L & E Oyster Bar has been killing the seafood game in Silver Lake for almost five years now, and Altadena-native chef/co-owner/oyster director (that’s a rad title) Spencer Bezaire is one of the main reasons why. He plays the traditional oyster bar hits like Rockefeller and Casino, but he’s also not afraid to go modern and farm-driven with things like an asparagus and fava bean salad with bottarga and blood orange. But when he’s not busy shucking oysters and topping chorizo toast with smoked mussels, where’s he eating? These are chef Spencer Bezaire’s 10 favorite dishes in L.A.
Griddled on an original flat top from the ’60s—this is what a perfect burger is supposed to be. Charred onions, American cheese, iceberg lettuce, and sliced tomato equals perfection.
Super crunchy, spicy, tangy, fish sauce-y—this dish hits every note imaginable. You sweat while you eat it, and at times you tell yourself you should stop eating it in fear of the pain one might experience later in the day, but you can’t.
You know this Highland Park taco table is good when the first thing they ask you is how many you are ordering. This tells them how many tortillas they need to make to complete the order. All tortillas are made fresh and the pastor spit perfumes the air for blocks. Just a propane flat top, some stringed lights, and a table full of salsa options, including a napales salad that is not to be missed. The pastor is sweet and adding piña is a must.
You will not miss meat with this veggie sando. Bub and Grandma’s super moist bread, smashed avocado, sprouts, grated cheddar, and the pickles—oh the pickles!!! Not to mention it’s owned by the most amazing and sweetest couple, Peter and Lauren.
Hands down Houston’s French dip is the best I have ever had. I am from L.A. and have had every French dip in the land, but Houston’s reigns king. Beef is perfectly tender, perfectly rare, and the jus is perfectly seasoned. They bake all the bread on location which creates a perfect vehicle for horseradish, rare beef, and beef drippings. Maybe my favorite restaurant in L.A. (don’t judge).
Maybe its more nostalgia than flavor, but Jim’s delivers on the Pastrami game in Altadena. I grew up not too far from Jim’s and I have to say that sandwich has not changed in 30 years. Rye bread, juicy pastrami, and MSG fries is the holy trinity of Woodbury.
Very skilled sushi chefs, super fresh fish, and reasonably priced. Their lunch specials are amazing and they have a selection of fish rarely seen in Los Angeles. Knife cuts are perfectly executed and the nigiri is always seasoned to my satisfaction. The black cod is glazed then torch-seared and topped with pickled daikon.
Perfectly tender and charred from the grill, served over a simple tomato sauce and house made garlic focaccia.
Steamed until tender, then charred on the grill, makes for varying textures and a great light starter. They serve it with a garlic, lemon, parmesan aioli that’s whipped in a whipped cream whipper which gives it a light airy mouth feel. Wash it down with a lovely glass of an Umbrian Pecorino wine.
A simple but very well executed dish. The salsa verde is made from charred tomatillos and jalapeños, and the enchiladas are piled high with juicy grilled chicken thigh meat. Ask the bartender for a “Spencer Bezaire” for a refreshing mescal and soda to jump start your evening.