Best of LA: Eat
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
Neighborhood: Historic South-Central
Inside the fritter’s crunchy, grease-free shell lies an airy knot of ground chickpeas speckled with onion and so parsleyfied it’s green
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.
Neighborhood: East Hollywood
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.
Neighborhood: Los Angeles
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.
Neighborhood: Manhattan Beach
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.
Any froyo pro(yo) knows that a transcendental yogurt experience is as much about the toppings as it is about the soft serve
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.
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.
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
Neighborhood: Lincoln Heights
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
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.
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.
Neighborhood: Beverly Grove
Giacomino Drago’s restaurant is always good for antipasti, carpaccio, pasta, and risotto.
The informal formality of Joan’s on Third presents a less-pressured way to talk shop with your mouth full
Neighborhood: Beverly Grove
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.
Neighborhood: Long Beach
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.