L.A. Pastry Chef LeeAnn Tolentino of Bouchon Shares Her 10 Favorite Dishes in the City

Take it from someone who knows sweets, and everything else for that matter.

1. Cookies and Cream “Cream’Wich” from Manhattan Beach Creamery

Manhattan Beach

“I get their famous  “cream’wich” cookies and cream ice cream sandwich.  A scoop of cookies and cream ice cream sandwiched between two perfectly chewy chocolate chip cookies.  Great location where you can enjoy your cream’wich while walking on the pier.”

2.  Corned Beef Cheek Hash with a Side of Bacon from Manhattan Beach Post 

Manhattan Beach

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“One of my favorite places for brunch.  It’s a delicious dish that combines tender beef, crispy potatoes, topped with a fried egg. A side of their bacon is a must. It’s sweet and salty with a little kick of chili. The bacon reminds me of how my grandma used to cook bacon for us, she fried it with sugar! Sweet and salty.”

3. The Don Sandwich from Del Rey Deli 

Playa Del Rey

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“This is my go to sandwich place located down the street from my house.  The don is a perfect combination of sliced meat: salami, mortadella, capocollo, ham, and prosciutto with all the toppings on a soft deli roll. The sandwich isn’t complete without Maui onion chips and a Mexican coke.”

4. Gnocchi with Duck Ragu and bombolini from Osteria Mozza 

Fairfax District

Up close and personal with our gnocchi 💪🏽💥✨ #osteriamozza

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“Mario Batali and Nancy Silverton’s Osteria Mozza is one of my favorite dining experiences. The restaurant is romantic yet fun and you can’t go wrong with what you order.  The duck gnocchi is a dish I fell in love with when I had my first bite of the pillowy gnocchi served with a flavorful duck ragu. You can feel the love that was put in this dish.  The best part of any meal is always dessert (no bias as a pastry chef) but you have to save the best for last. The bombolini is a great ending to the meal. Who doesn’t like donuts? These bombolini are served with huckleberry compote and lemon mascarpone. The perfect balance of sweet soft fried donuts with the acidity from the huckleberry and lemon mascarpone makes every bite satisfying.”

5. Blue Crab Hand Roll from Echigo 


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“This hole in the wall sushi place located on the second floor of a strip mall in West L.A. delivers incredible sushi. Omakase is the way to go. I always sit at the sushi bar and let the sushi chef put the best of what he has that day in front of me ending with my favorite blue crab hand roll. Warm rice, cold crab, crispy nori. ”

6. Crispy Pata from Barrio Fiesta 


“When I can’t visit my parents house, Barrio Fiesta is the closest thing to my parents’ delicious home cooked Filipino meal.  Crispy pata is deep fired pork trotters. You dip it in a soy/vinegar sauce where the acidity helps cuts the fattiness. Served skin on so the meat is practically wrapped in a giant chicharron.”

7. Frito Pie from Barrel & Ashes

Studio City

“There are so many delicious things here on the menu when you are in the mood for some BBQ, but frito pie is one of the things that you have to try.  It’s a perfect combination of chili, cheddar, green onions, sour cream, and pickled Fresno chili on top of Frito chips and served in the original Frito bag. It’s a nice appetizer and great for sharing even though you might not want to share after your first bite.  The restaurant feels welcoming and fun with an open kitchen. My friends at Barrel & Ashes sure know what they are doing.”

8. Shrimp and Pork Wontons with Spicy Sauce from Din Tai Fung


“There are multiple locations throughout the world and the Los Angeles area but I go to the one in Glendale the most. It’s located in the Americana where you can eat, shop, and walk off your full belly after a satisfying meal at Din Tai Fung. There can be a long wait but it’s worth it just to have some of those perfectly steamed wontons. They are mouth watering and the spicy sauce goes with everything. I like to mix some of the sauce with my fried rice! “

9. Arroz Con Pollo from Sausal

El Segundo 


“Sausal is a new place that a friend introduced me to and I’m glad she did. Located on Main Street in El Segundo this place is a hidden gem in a small town. The arroz con pollo is an achiote-marinated jidori chicken with mushrooms, oven roasted tomatoes, onions, and cilantro served over a bed of achiote rice.  The chicken is juicy, well seasoned, and has a great char that just enhances the flavor of the entire dish. It’s a fairly generous portion for one leaving you with the perfect leftover lunch for the next day!”

10. Pastrami Sandwich from Johnnie’s Pastrami

Culver City

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“Open since 1952, this Culver City institution is the perfect late night stop for me on my way home from work.  Piled high with thinly sliced pastrami topped with provolone and yellow mustard served on a deli roll. Pair it with onion rings and a root beer for the perfect trio.”