Cheap Eats: Top Chefs' Two Cents


Andrew Kirschner

Soot Bull Jeep is an amazing charcoal korean bbq spot. Cheap and awesome. Don’t wear your finest threads! » 3136 W. 8th St., Koreatown, 213-387-3865.


topchef_spenceCarolynn Spence

Chateau Marmont Restaurant
The no. 1 plate of two fish tacos and chips at El 7 Mares in Silver Lake is irrestistible. And their version of shrimp cocktail in a cup is amazing, full of cilantro and avocado, topped with lime and Tapatio sauce. It’s worth it to pay an extra buck for the glass bottle of Mexican Coca-Cola. » 3131 W. Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake, 323-665-0865.


topchef_traviJason Travi

Fraiche & Riva
Daikokuya in Little Tokyo is a real chef’s hangout. I’ve eaten there with David Rosoff from Mozza and Quinn and Karen Hatfield from Hatfield’s. The last time I was there it had a C health rating, and I still waited an hour to sit. It’s tiny and worn down, but the ramen broth is fantastic. The fried tuna wrapped in shiso is really good, too. » 327 E. 1st St., Little Tokyo, 213-626-1680. 


John Sedlar

Loteria Grill at The Farmer’s Market is my favorite. The food is real and honest—it’s full of flavor. » 6333 W. 3rd St., L.A., 323-930-2211.



topchef_yoonSang Yoon

Father’s Office
One of my all-time favorites is a Szechuan restaurant called Yun Chuan Garden. There is a deli case, which I call the “innards bar,” with tripe, gizzards, tongue, and the like. The dishes are authentic and exceptionally spicy. But there’s almost no English spoken here—lots of pointing. » 301 N. Garfield Ave., Monterey Park, 626-571-8387.


Susan Feniger & Kajsa Alger

Susan: I love the Godmother sandwich from Bay Cities Italian Deli. The combination of meats, cheeses, hot peppers and Italian dressing is unbelievably delicious. At Bay Cities, it’s all about the food, not the ambience. » 1517 Lincoln Blvd., Santa Monica, 310-395-8279.

Kajsa: I love the Haitian chicken at Tigeorge’s Chicken. » 309 N. Glendale Blvd., Echo Park, 213-353-9994.



topchef_dotoloshookVinny Dotolo & Jon Shook

Vinny: For breakfast, I love Ed’s Coffee Shop on Robertson. It’s an institution. They have one of the best breakfast cooks in L.A.—he’s always there, and that guy can nail eggs, which is the true test of a chef. I usually get the matzo brei, but their huevos rancheros are really good. » 460 N. Robertson Blvd., West Hollywood, 310-659-8625.

Jon: I eat maybe three times a week at this Thai place, Ruen Pair. I always order the pork jerky and the salty turnip and egg. I don’t know the actual name, but it’s no. 100. Every one of their dishes is, like, $5, and they’re open till 3 a.m. » 5257 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, 323-466-0153.


Illustrations by Jason Lee