Avocado toast is way past the point of being just another food trend, and we’ve embraced its status as a mainstay menu item all across L.A. Sure, Gwyneth-haters might cringe at the enduring cult status of a vegetable, but, frankly, it’s too delicious to dislike. Here are a handful of the city’s best avocado toast offerings, from the basic to the avant-garde.
The plant-based, eponymous restaurant of chef Nick Erven is still new to the city’s food scene, but its avocado toast is already garnering hype. Laden with peaches, pine nuts and chili powder, it’s unlike any other toast in town. The truly one-of-a-kind flavor palette and gorgeous presentation practically guarantees Insta-fame—so get there now to get a jump on the crowds.
This toast may be billed as a Smoked Salmon Tartine, but it’s blanketed in a creamy layer of avocado. Think of it as a beloved bicoastal friend, bridging the NYC/L.A. culinary divide with the harmonious pairing of California avocados and smoked salmon good enough to come from a New York bagel shop. The multigrain bread is also stacked with pickled Persian cucumbers and capers up the saltiness, but a generous squeeze of lemon cuts the bite nicely.
We’d be fools not to include Sqirl’s most famous menu item, especially after crowning it the city’s best avocado toast back in 2015. The ruling still stands. Sqirl’s rendition is rooted in high quality ingredients from some of California’s biggest names in food (Clark Street Bread for the thick country bread, JJ’s Lone Daughter Ranch for those luscious avocados). The whole thing is topped off with pickled carrots, za’atar and green garlic crème fraîche. Gilding the lily? Maybe, but damn if it isn’t delicious.
The Free Range food truck settles down at the Melrose Farmer’s Market on Sundays to provide brunch to the masses, and their avocado toast has developed something of a cult following. A thick slab of Clark Street bread supports Sriracha-spiked avocado mash and an over easy egg, creating a hearty enough meal to fuel a day at the Melrose Flea Market. Itching for an avocado toast fix on a weekday? Find the truck at popular coffee spots like Blue Bottle Coffee, Alfred Coffee and Stumptown for the ultimate drink/snack pairing.
Amara Kitchen is an organic cafe geared to foodies that eat vegan and paleo, so their avocado toast starts out simply, with whole grain bread, smashed avocados and a salsa verde/pesto combo. However, we’d recommend less virtuous eaters up the ante and add poached eggs and prosciutto for an extra special breakfast.
Avocado toast returns to its roots here, but simple doesn’t equal basic. After all, avocado toast doesn’t need a million crazy toppings to be great. Instead, cilantro, radish sprouts and pickled Fresno chilies act as mere garnishes that round out the dish without detracting from the creamy avocado and crusty bread. This is classic, old school avocado toast.
There’s some deceptive (and much appreciated) fanciness going on with Terrine’s brunch menu staple item. A slice of thick country bread gets hard-griddled in oil, schmeared with avocado, and then topped with tiny radish slices, meyer lemon, and tarragon salsa verde. It’s that last part that really gets you—cheffed-up and innovative but nowhere near overkill.