Dakota Weiss is the executive chef and partner for Sweetfin Poke and Estrella. Both different, both delicious.
She was nice enough to take time away from ruling the Los Angeles food scene to tell us the 10 dishes she keeps coming back to.
Grilled Pigs Tail, Served with Bibb Lettuce, Herbs and Fish Sauce from Cassia
The first time I had this dish was at Chef Bryant Ng’s Spice Table DTLA. It blew me away in both presentation and the flavors. The meat just falls off the bone. It’s the perfect combination of meat to fat. Wrap it up in the lettuce cup with mint and cilantro and fish sauce and it’s truly a dance party in your mouth.
Nonna Meatballs from Knead & Co
Anything Bruce Kalman makes has me swooning…but these meatballs are by far the best I have ever had. They are HUGE and sold by the piece…but don’t torture yourself and just order one or two even if you can’t eat them all at once, you will be patting yourself on the back when you have some for a midnight snack in your fridge. Trust me on this one.
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Spicy, Sum Gyup Sal from Soowon Galbi
Say that 5 times fast…haha. This is delicious thinly sliced, grilled Spicy Pork Belly. It’s outrageously good and you will without a doubt order a second round.
The Fat Texas from Fat Sal’s
This is my go to late night sandwich. It is loaded with Pastrami BBQ Brisket, Chicken Fingers, Mozzarella Sticks, Bacon, Grilled Onions and Cheddar on a Toasted Garlic Bread. Serious food for a serious hunger.
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Kimchi Soon Tofu Hot Pot from BCD Tofu
This dish comes out of the kitchen fiercely bubbling, when they set it down you can then crack your egg into it and stir it in. Then just go to town. I like to get a side of rice…for me the perfect ratio is 15% rice on the spoon to 85% Tofu goodness.
Spicy Miso Ramen from Daikokuya
You would have to be living in the deepest, darkest hole in Los Angeles not to have heard about the ramen at Daikokuya. This is the food I crave on a rainy day or the perfect food to slurp after you have had “a few.” I like to get the noodles cooked al dente and I also like to add crispy garlic and onions to my bowl. It’s amazing and highly addictive.
BYOB Chopped Vegetables from Sweetfin Poke
I truly love this bowl and I crave it at all times. I get my Veggie Bowl served over Bamboo Rice and tossed with the Creamy Togarashi then I add, bean sprouts, extra avocado, crispy garlic, crispy onions and another extra side of Creamy Togarashi sauce to pour over the rice…if I have any left over. 🙂 It’s pretty spicy but also has a great balance of sweetness to savory flavors.
Mapo Tofu from Pine & Crane
This is a sexy little dish with the silkiest tofu with Kurouta Pork and Sichuan Peppercorns served with White Sticky Rice. This dish is also another comfort food for me, it truly warms the soul. It has that perfect balance of Spicy to Sweet and Salty. So darn good.
The Belcampo Burger from Belcampo Meat Co.
They make one of the better burgers in town…I love their Belcampo Burger. It’s loaded with White Cheddar, Caramelized Onions, Lettuce and their house Sauce, all served up on a butter and toasted Sesame Bun…mmmmmmm so good. The patty itself is meaty and juicy, just what I am looking for in a great burger.
Kobe Beef Potstickers from Peking Tavern
These are perfectly crispy on one side and served with a ginger vinegar glaze. If you are lucky enough to have one of the owners or both (Andrew Wong & Andrew Chui) for that matter give you a demo on how to properly eat dumplings and potstickers…take them up on it! They hand make all of their dumplings in house, they even make the dough from scratch! Handcrafted goodness right there. Wash it down with a shot of Baijiu followed with a shot of Celery Juice and you will feel like a million bucks!
Audie Metcalf Ruyle is the Head of Digital Strategy at Los Angeles magazine and LAMag.com. Follow her here on Facebook and Instagram. She wrote “Chef Ryan Ososky Of The Church Key Shares His 10 Favorite Dishes In L.A.”