Very few chefs in L.A. had a better year than Ray Garcia. Just a few months after opening an impressive tandem of restaurants—a huge feat in and of itself—the East L.A. native was crowned Chef of the Year by Esquire and Broken Spanish landed at the number 7 spot on L.A. mag’s own list of Best New Restaurants. But, when Garcia isn’t busy ladling chili de arbol-spiked hunks of pig snout, ears, and tails over steaming Okinawan sweet potatoes, what’s he eating? Here are five of his favorite dishes from around L.A.
1 . Kale and Rucola Salad at Chi Spacca
“On a menu full of meat, this salad is easy to overlook but hard to forget. Impeccable ingredients, flawlessly executed.”
2 . Chopped Escargots at Cassia
“Cooked with lemongrass and garlic and served with clay oven-baked bread, it strikes a perfect balance of decadence, brightness, and finesse.”
3 . Marinated Trumpet Mushrooms at Sotto
“Properly cooked heirloom beans, meaty mushrooms, a good amount of acid. The best bite is at the end, when you tear off some bread and wipe the bowl with it.”
4 . Crispy Sunchokes at Hatchet Hall
“They fry them in beef fat, so the inside is creamy and the outside has a slight crunch.”
5 . Single Burger at E.R.B.
“The burger is wonderfully simple. Great beef, melted cheese, a touch of dijonaise, and a bun that’s toasted but still spongy and soft. Addicting.”