Chef Brandon Kida of Hinoki & the Bird Shares His 10 Favorite Dishes in L.A.

The man has strong opinions about sandwiches

This is the man behind, truly, one of the finest burgers in all of Los Angeles if not (deep breath) the finest burger. So when that man tells me where he likes to eat sandwiches, I listen. And then I share it with all of you because where chefs eat in real life is perennially riveting information.

The French Dip from Philippe’s

The historic French dip place is located in DTLA. I love sandwiches! Function meets deliciousness. I can’t decide if I enjoy the ambiance, jus, roast meat, bread, or the burn-your-face-off mustard more.

The Godmother from Bay Cities Italian Deli
Santa Monica

The Godmother with its crusty bread and hot peppers is the sandwich for me. Back in the day, you could even pick a different style of bread like sour dough etc. It’s a solid sandwich that is well worth the wait in line at lunch-time. If you have the time grab a sandwich and drive to the California incline a couple of blocks away and eat your sandwich overlooking the Pacific Ocean. California living.

The Pastrami Sandwich from Johnnie’s Pastrami
Culver City

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Listen, I don’t want to hear about East Coast pastrami and West Coast pastrami. I take both at face value. I’ve spent the last 16 years in NYC eating the best pastrami sandwiches known to man but, let me tell you, the pastrami at Johnnie’s is delicious!!! Granted, a totally different style but delicious no doubt. The spicy mustard is tops. Every time I would eat a pastrami sandwich in NYC I wished I had a squeeze bottle of Johnnie’s spicy mustard with me.

Okay. Okay. Enough sandwiches.

Enchiladas from Gilberts el Indio
Santa Monica

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Enchiladas. Some dishes strike a nostalgic cord with me. The enchiladas at Gilberts definitely strum away. I have been going to Gilbert’s for as long as I can remember. The people and food are always consistently great. It’s the type of CalMex food that hugs you.

Any Pasta from Rose Café

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Any pasta Jason Neroni makes—the other day I had butternut squash agnolloti with mole and oxtail marmalade, BOMB. The play of rich flavors with a balancing act of pasta was memorable. Seriously, you can’t go wrong with any of the pastas he makes.

The Soy Milk Pot from Morinoya

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When the weather gets “cold” in LA I love to eat nabe. The soy milk pot at Morinoya blends two flavors I would have never imagined worked together, soy milk and truffle. The creamy milk and flavor of truffle remind me of béchamel and truffles.

The Cuban from Versailles

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Garlic chicken – roasted chicken with garlic mojo never gets old for me. The dish comes with chicken, mojo, sweet plantains, black beans, rice and of course order the steamed yucca con mojo. The dish is extremely comforting and satisfying.

The Ramen from Tsujita La

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The ramen at Tsujita is rich, complex, and balanced. The texture of the noodles are matched well to the broth with a perfect bounce to them. The garnishes are on point as well. The spicy mustard greens and cold beer are mandatory.

Seafood Tofu from Beverly Soon Tofu

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It is served in a small earthenware pot boiling hot a bubbling broth a red chilies, clams, oysters, and tofu topped with an egg and a steaming bowl of white rice. This dish reminds me of my childhood. The house I grew up in was down the street. I remember the first time I experienced the dish, pure bliss.

The Beef Ribs at Phillips BBQ

This is the second Phillip on my list. The rib sauce is made from the drippings and the white bread helps to mellow out the vinegar.

Audie Metcalf Ruyle is the Head of Digital Strategy at Los Angeles magazine and Follow her here on Facebook and Instagram. She wrote “Our Food Editor Lesley Bargar Suter Shares Her Favorite 10 Dishes In L.A.”