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Best of LA: Eat

Faith & Flower

705 W 9th St., Los Angeles, CA, 90015

213-239-0642

Edgy but not alienating, ambitious but not brash: It’s a tough line to walk but necessary for a 165-seat restaurant near the Staples Center

Website: http://www.faithandflowerla.com/

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Falafel

3535 Cahuenga Blvd W, Los Angeles, CA, 90068

(323) 512-4447

Inside the fritter’s crunchy, grease-free shell lies an airy knot of ground chickpeas speckled with onion and so parsleyfied it’s green

Website: http://joesfalafel.net/index.htm

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Falafel Arax

5101 Santa Monica Blvd # 2, Los Angeles, CA, 90029

(323) 663-9687

The unsung gem at this wee spot is the hummus, which the owners will describe only as a blend of garbanzos and olive oil. Unlike the bland, gummy, or overly acidic versions found in tubs at your grocer, this one—creamy, with a sprinkle of ground red pepper—has a devilishly satisfying finish.

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Fat Dog

801 North Fairfax Avenue, Los Angeles, CA, 90046

(323) 951-0030

No doggie? Adopt one at Tailwaggers, located next door to the Fat Dog gastropub, then spoil your new friend (and yourself) at brunch. He gets a choice of three bowl sizes for water; you get a farmers’ market frittata and a craft beer.

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Fishing with Dynamite

1148 Manhattan Ave., Los Angeles, CA, 90266

Manhattan Beach’s intimate and wryly named Fishing with Dynamite showcases David LeFevre’s expertise with seafood, honed during his years at Water Grill downtown.

Website: http://www.eatfwd.com

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Fried Calamari

8764 Melrose Ave, West Hollywood, CA, 90069

(310) 432-2000

Thicker than A bangle but less bulky than your uncle’s class ring, the calamari at CECCONI’S WEST HOLLYWOOD are gifts from the deep, wrapped in golden paper. The width of the squid sections is key, allowing each bite to hold a splash of lemon or a dab of tartar sauce while packing a marine tang.

Website: http://www.cecconiswesthollywood.com/

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Fried Chicken Sandwich

1710 Silver Lake Blvd, Los Angeles, CA, 90026

(323) 928-2888

Fried Milanese style, is so juicy, it will have you questioning the popularity of breast meat

Website: http://www.alimentola.com/

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Froyo Toppings Bar

8803 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood, CA, 90069

(310) 652-6830

Any froyo pro(yo) knows that a transcendental yogurt experience is as much about the toppings as it is about the soft serve

Website: http://yogurtstop.net/

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Gnocchi

8022 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA, 90048

(323) 951-9800

The bite-size potato dumplings at PISTOLA hit the right balance between chewy and supple. While the doughy bits remain constant, what they’re dressed in evolves: They might sop up a deep marsala gravy in winter or a buttery parmesan sauce with wild mushrooms and asparagus in spring.

Website: http://www.pistola-la.com/

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Got Kosher?

8914 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, CA, 90035

310-858-1920

From Thursday afternoon through closing time Friday, customers file steadily into Got Kosher?, stopping at the racks where shiny two-pound pretzel challahs are on display.

Website: http://www.gotkosherinc.com

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Guisados

2100 East Cesar E Chavez Avenue, Los Angeles, CA, 90033

(323) 264-7201

In partnership with Armando De La Torre, Ricardo Diaz is building a Mexican American restaurant empire in East L.A. At Guisados his one-of-a-kind tacos are made with braised meats and homestyle stews

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Hai Di Lao Hot Pot

Westfield Santa Anita, 400 S. Baldwin Ave, Arcadia, CA, 91007

626-445-7232

At peak times the wait to gain entry into Hai Di Lao Hot Pot—Arcadia’s wildly popular Chinese hot pot import—can take up to three hours

Website: http://www.haidilao.us

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Harold & Belle’s

2920 West Jefferson Blvd., Los Angeles, CA, 90018

323-735-9023

When transplants from the Crescent City hanker for gumbo and cornmeal-crusted catfish, they head home to Mama. For Creole-style food—a mélange of French, African, and Native American flavors—Harold & Belle’s is as close to the Dirty Coast as you’ll come on the West Coast.

Website: http://www.haroldandbellesrestaurant.com/

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Huntington Meats

6333 W 3rd St # 350, Los Angeles, CA, 90036

(323) 933-8577

Sausage is having a moment. On display at Huntington Meats is a rotating selection of more than 20 pork, lamb, and chicken links free of nitrates and preservatives.

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Il Pastaio

400 N. Canon Dr., Los Angeles, CA, 90210

310-205-5444

Giacomino Drago’s restaurant is always good for antipasti, carpaccio, pasta, and risotto.

Website: http://celestinodrago.com

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Jongewaard’s Bake-N-Broil

3697 Atlantic Avenue, Los Angeles, CA, 90807

(562) 595-0396

A flaky crust, the dense sweetness of vanilla pudding, a billowing crown of whipped cream, and the rush of tropical fruit come together in the banana cream pie at Jongewaard’s Bake-N-Broil in Long Beach.

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Kae Sung Market

1010 S. St. Andrews Pl.., Los Angeles, CA, 90019

323-737-6565

Situated in the heart of K-Town, Kae Sung Market stocks a constellation of kimchi to go, but it’s the jar of sliced Chinese cabbage that takes top honors.

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