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Guide

Infatuation LA’s Favorite Meals Of The Week

A Burger king’s latest creation, Hainan chicken, spicy ramen, and more... these are the best things we ate this week.

43 Spots
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43 Spots
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Updated December 4th, 2020

Los Angeles may not be open for outdoor dining at the moment - or for any outdoor activities, really - but don’t worry; there are plenty of great options for pick-up and delivery. Or perhaps a pop-up is more your speed?

Point being, there are plenty of ways to support your favorite LA restaurants right now, or try something new this weekend. If you can’t decide where to start, we totally understand. That’s why we’re highlighting the best dishes we’ve had recently, which are available for takeout and delivery. Here’s a look into our personal food journals.

THE BEST THINGS WE ATE THIS WEEK

Josh Telles

Adrift Burger Bar

$$$$ 1025 Abbot Kinney Blvd.

If the phrase “Abbot Kinney burger bar” and Instagram photos like this (or this) (or this) give you pause, you’re not alone. But don’t sleep on Adrift - because the burgers are fan-f*cking-tastic. They’re the brainchildren of Burger king David Myer, formerly of LA’s Comme Ça (the now-closed home of a burger once declared “perfect” by The New York Times), and since there are only three on the menu, you can - and should - order ’em all. The 1940s Classic is an old-school burger, with appropriate old-school toppings (lettuce, tomato, pickles, etc), while the DM (with aged Vermont cheddar and “secret sauce”) and the Adrift (kicked up with tomato-and-Indian-ajwan jam, pickled jalapeños, and a pair of cheeses) push things forward, and though the latter was my favorite, they’re all worth your time. Throw in amazing shakes, curry leaf fries, and must-order fried button mushrooms, and you’ve got a spot so good, it’ll make you forget your judgmental ways… at least for the next few hours.

- James Montgomery, LA Editor

Burosu Ramen

$$$$ 12265 Ventura Blvd, Unit 102

After Kat put Burosu on our Openings Guide last week, I realized it had been a minute since I’d had a good bowl of ramen, so I decided to check them out. Needless to say, I found what I was looking for - and more. Located on Ventura Blvd. in Studio City, Burosu does both hot and cold appetizers (the spicy shrimp wontons are a standout) and even some temaki, but the reason you’re here is the ramen. I ordered the spicy Reddo, which is made with Japanese chili oil and sesame paste, as well as the broth-less Orenji, but please don’t ask me which one was my favorite, because as my boyfriend will attest, I don’t have that answer. They’re both excellent, so just order both, plus anything else that looks good to you.

- Brant Cox, Editorial Lead

Jakob Layman

Pearl River Deli

$$$$
$$$$ 727 N Broadway #130

I knew I had to try PRD because Kat wouldn’t stop talking about them - and sending me photos to make me jealous. So finally I trekked from West Hollywood to Chinatown to pick up the Hainan chicken and char sui. And yes, that is a trek. But after eating both in one sitting, I will tell you, it was 100% worth it. It’s hard not to want to try everything on the menu, but you should absolutely try everything on the menu. The Hainan chicken isn’t always available, but when it is, you know where I’ll be.

- Marika Jayne, Marketing Manager

Kat Hong

Nunchi

$$$$

Guess what, everyone? I finally did it! No, not replace the driver’s license that’s been missing for eight months now, something even better - I got to try Nünchi. After months of pining over every single photo creator Lexie Park posts to her Instagram - including glowing jelly cakes, hyper-real corn desserts, and edible vaporwave dreamscapes - I finally managed to secure an order for an apple yuzu cheesecake this past week. Did I wait a super-long time to eat it because it was so stunning? Yes. Was it creamy and slightly-tart? And did it taste exactly like freshly picked apples? Absolutely x 2. Will I be ordering from her again? The answer just might surprise you (literally, duh).

- Kat Hong, Staff Writer

Ggiata

Ggiata Delicatessen

$$$$
$$$$ 1842 W Washington Blvd

We published our Sandwich Takeout Guide earlier this week, and since I am a person who enjoys sliced meat on bread, I consulted said guide, and took my first trip to Ggiata, an Italian deli that firmly belongs on the shortlist for best new-school deli in town. Their Italian is loaded with ham, spicy capicola, salami, Muenster, and Calabrian chilies, and is appropriately drippy for any sauce sticklers out there. I also wanted to get something hot, and had to try the Spicy P - a chicken parm sandwich made with vodka sauce. The crispy chicken cutlets are crunchy and moist, and there’s a tiny kick of basil pesto in every bite, along with the sweet-and-spicy sauce. Both sandwiches are served on tremendous seeded baguettes, that somehow manage to contain all the sauces quite nicely.

- “Bread” Keating, Staff Writer

THE BEST THINGS WE ATE LAST WEEK

Albert Ocampo

Helluva Time

$$$$
$$$$ 3200 W. Sunset Blvd.

When it opened last year, Silver Lake’s All Day Baby quickly became one of my favorite spots for sandwiches so filling you need a cigarette afterwards. So when the ADB team announced their new outdoor-dining spot Helluva Time, I had to check it out (though, sadly, my girlfriend doesn’t let me rip cigs anymore). Located across from ADB on Descanso Dr., Helluva Time’s space is small - just a handful of tables and heat lamps on a stretch of blue astroturf - and the menu isn’t much bigger (13 items total, counting dessert), but the inventiveness on display here is boundless. Whether it’s speck ham served with salty potato chips and a sprinkling of black lime togarashi, a simple burrata elevated with grilled peppers and chicharrónes, beef tartare au poivre, or an excellent smoked pork belly bossam, the menu is filled with creative takes on classics, the cocktails are strong, and everything is shareable, so everyone in your party can enjoy it while you sneak off to the bathroom to Juul. Wait, just kidding about that last part.

- JM

Kinkan

$$$$

I’m a relatively simple person - I see a stunning photo of uni and soba on Instagram, then immediately order it. Well, there’s also usually a step somewhere in between where I check my bank account (I’m not what you would call “fiscally responsible”), but that part’s not as fun to say. Anyway. Once I had confirmed my funds, I promptly DM’d Kinkan on Instagram and within the hour, was on my way to pick up their daily special. Plump pieces of uni arrived on a bed of chilled buckwheat noodles adorned with ikura (salmon roe) and a side of light, soy-based dipping sauce. In true Kinkan fashion, the entire meal was dazzling, elegant, and executed with an attention to detail that is second to none - in other words, kind of like Japanese food on Adderall.

- KH

Brett Keating

Parm Boyz

$$$$ 7315 Melrose Ave

Chicken parmesan is exactly what I want to be eating when the temperature drops into the g*ddamn 40s at night, so Parm Boyz’s new weekend residency at The Corner Door in Culver City is very good news for me. The chicken parm nails the “crispy breading/moist chicken breast /gooey cheese” ratio that every parm should strive for. They’re also serving up inventive versions of checkered-tablecloth classics, like garlic bread stuffed with burrata, mascarpone, and cream cheese, Caesar salad with brown butter croutons, and a soppressata-heavy antipasto that I suspect even Carmela Soprano would approve of. Also, if you’re interested in doing dine-in, the set-up here is super-spacious, with a comfortable amount of distance between tables.

- BK

Chao Krung

Chao Krung

$$$$
$$$$ 111 N Fairfax Ave

Living within close proximity to both Night + Market and Noree, I have no shortage of great neighborhood Thai takeout options. That said, Chao Krung will always be among my favorites. The family-run spot on Fairfax is one of the oldest Thai restaurants in LA (it’s been open since 1969), and after a big renovation last year (of both the menu and restaurant), they’ve only further cemented their status as one of Weho’s best in my mind. I absolutely love their sweet and citrus-y tom kha soup, but it’s the spicy phanaeng curry with vegetables that finds its way onto my order every week. Bonus: There’s also a great craft beer list.

- BC

VZLA

$$$$

Arepas are something I wish I could make myself, just so I could eat them with every meal. Fortunately, VZLA, a new(ish) Venezuelan pop-up, is here to help me out. In short, their arepas are incredible - you can choose from chicken, beef, chashu, or vegan, and although the beef and chashu were my favorites, you can’t go wrong with any of them. And I know that because I ordered all of them… because, unfortunately, VZLA only delivers on Thursdays, so I had to stockpile. But hey, that’s still easier than learning to make arepas myself.

- MJ

PREVIOUSLY, ON THE BEST THINGS WE ATE LAST WEEK...

Brett Keating

Jeff's Table

$$$$
$$$$ 5900 N Figueroa St

Highland Park sandwich shop Jeff’s Table caught my attention when they opened at the start of the year, right before the entire world came to a crashing halt. But with so many new pop-ups to check out over the last few months, I (foolishly) forgot just how good this place is. Turns out, these deli sandwiches are even better than I remembered. I still can’t pick a winner between the Hot KimCheezy - thinly sliced pork, house kimchi, and smoky melted cheese - and the Turkey Special, a Reuben with house pastrami-style turkey, sauerkraut, spicy Russian dressing, and both melted cheese and a cheese crisp. So usually, I just order both. A side of their potato salad, dressed with tobiko, wasabi, and mayo, rounds it all out perfectly.

- BK

Brant Cox

Dtown Pizzeria

$$$$
$$$$ 7326 Santa Monica Blvd Ste 10

Of all the food trends that have taken hold of LA this year, no one could’ve seen the proliferation of Detroit-style pizza coming. Plain and simple, it’s all over town right now. And that’s a good thing - Detroit-style pizza is f*cking delicious, a fact I learned during my four years at school in Ann Arbor (Go Blue!). Here’s another fact: Dtown Pizzeria might just be the best of the bunch. Operating inside Phorage in West Hollywood, this pop-up is run by Detroit native Ryan Ososky, who is cranking out the kind of real-deal, Detroit-style pizza I haven’t eaten since college. Think Buddy’s or Jet’s, for any Detroit natives reading this. The crust is perfectly golden and crispy with a light, airy center that makes taking down a whole pie by yourself a very doable option. The 1946, which comes topped with a red stripe (not the beer, in Detroit that means a thick ribbon of marinara) and oregano, and The Goomba (pepperoni and fennel pollen) are standouts.

- BC

Uovo

$$$$
$$$$ 1320 2nd St A

It was Friday morning, LA was headed for a wet weekend, and the folks at Helluva Time had just called to change my Saturday reservation because, as a brand-new al fresco operation, they weren’t exactly weatherproof. What to do? Well, I opted for Uovo. Opened in 2017, this Santa Monica Italian spot rose to fame - and a second location in Mid-Wilshire - thanks to their pasta, which is handmade in Bologna, Italy using special eggs from the region (Uovo means “egg” in Italian) and shipped directly to the restaurant. The end result are dense, savory noodles strong enough to stand alone (like in the tagliatelle olio e sale, literally pasta with olive oil and salt) yet still supple enough to soak up some of their house-made pomodoro. In short, I made the right call. And don’t worry, I’m going to Helluva Time this weekend.

- JM

Ackee Bamboo Jamaican Cuisine

$$$$ 4305 Degnan Blvd

This fantastic Jamaican restaurant in Leimert Park has been one of my comfort food go-to spots for a while, so it was an easy choice to make while waiting on our future to literally be counted. Truthfully, I haven’t tried one thing at Ackee that I didn’t love, but these days, my order usually consists of jerk chicken, brown stew chicken, and some Jamaican patties on the side. Portions here are massive, so if you’re flying solo, just go for the small - every order comes with plantains, steamed vegetables, festival bread, and a huge helping of rice and peas.

- BC

Sunny Blue

$$$$
$$$$ 12608a Washington Blvd.

I’ve spent this week mainlining MSNBC, marveling at Steve Kornacki’s sartorial splendor, backsliding on cigarettes, and just eating my feelings in general. And on Wednesday afternoon, that meant housing $30 worth of omusubi at Sunny Blue. These fist-sized rice balls are stuffed with everything from miso beef to Japanese pickles, wrapped in nori, and perfect for on-the-go snacking (yes, that includes staring at your phone wondering how the f*ck Prop 22 passed). I took down a house chicken curry with scallions, a spicy salmon, a spicy cod roe, and two of my all-time favorites - The Lucky Cat (with those aforementioned Japanese pickles, fresh wasabi, ginger, and bonito flakes) and the wasabi tsukudani, a mix of pickled wasabi and kelp. Did I do that all in one sitting? You bet. Do I feel any better? Votes are still being tabulated, but at least I turned the TV off for an hour.

- JM

JESS BASSER SANDERS, PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER

Cooking - and therefore having to unglue my eyes from cable news - has not been a high priority these past few days. Luckily, my freezer was already extremely well stocked (please refer to my photo) with bags and bags of loot from Cali Dumpling. Set up quickly when the state first went into lockdown, Cali Dumpling is from the people behind Capital Seafood and delivers frozen dumplings to different parts of town once a week. You can’t really go wrong with any of the options, but it’s the Hong Kong pork and shrimp wontons and the pork xiao long bao that I keep going back to. They’re a great value at $15-17 for a pack of 30, and you should absolutely order a bottle of dumpling sauce to go with them.

- Jess Basser Sanders, Editorial Ops Manager

Brett Keating

Golden Leaf

$$$$
$$$$ 717 W Las Tunas Dr

In a week where my anxiety was (is) at an all-time high, I needed a more comforting food option than stress-microwaving a ham and cheese quesadilla at 1am. So I went to Golden Leaf. This Taiwanese cafe in San Gabriel is perhaps my favorite place to eat noodles in the SGV (where there is no lack of competition). I always order the beef noodle soup - there’s beautifully marbled sirloin, lightly fermented cabbage, and wheat noodles in a rich, deeply aromatic sweet-and-salty broth. It’s actually pretty light on noodles, which is good, because it lets me save some room for their incredible ground pork chow mein; salty, heavily spiced pork served over tender handmade noodles and a heaping portion of bean sprouts. And while Golden Leaf is takeout-only right now, the food holds up incredibly well during the drive home.

- BK

Jakob Layman

Holbox

$$$$ 3655 S. Grand Ave

Unlike my anxiety-addled coworkers, I actually had a beautiful, relaxing, and utterly pleasant week. JK, I was so stressed out, I accidentally didn’t sleep for two days straight :-) And whenever I find my brain whipped into this kind of special, sleep-deprived state, there’s only one clear answer for me - an order from Holbox. Named after the idyllic, car-free island off the coast of the Yucatán Peninsula, this tiny DTLA takeout counter serves some of my favorite seafood in town. I got the kanpachi and uni tostada, which comes loaded with a ton of super-fresh blue baja kanpachi, uni from Santa Barbara, creamy avocado purée, and a drizzle of arbol-guajillo hot sauce - a.k.a. the exact combination of flavors I need to keep me off of Twitter for, like, a second.

- KH

Brant Cox

Gamboge

$$$$ 1822 N Broadway

I’m absolutely in love with Gamboge, a tiny Cambodian cafe that opened in Lincoln Heights this past summer. With a streamlined ordering process (everything’s done at the front table), a concise menu ideal for a quick lunch, and a secret back patio that feels like you’re in a friend’s backyard, Gamboge has made opening a restaurant in the middle of a pandemic look like a standard process. I highly recommend either the chicken salad or the grilled coconut-glazed corn, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say the star of the show wasn’t the num pang. A close cousin to the banh mi, they’re served on crunchy bolillo bread (a variation of a baguette) and filled with everything from poached chicken to grilled oyster mushrooms, but my favorite is the pork shoulder.

- BC

Like many good things in life, this Caribbean pop-up came at the recommendation of Infatuation editorial legend Jess Basser Sanders. And much like her other recommendations (chocolate croissants at Konbi, the new Chippendales movie, etc.) - I completely loved it. Located at the Crenshaw Farmers’ Market on Saturdays (and at the Atwater Village market on Sundays), this tiny pop-up helmed by Guyanese chef Yonette Alleyne offers all sorts of incredible Caribbean dishes like vegan curry and rice, jerk chicken, and a plate of oxtail stew where the meat literally fell off of the bone. Seriously, it was so tender, you might think it was one of the many daydreams I’ve had about British actor (and most-referenced celebrity on the site), Dev Patel.

- KH

Piccalilli

Piccalilli

$$$$
JapaneseIndianThaiSouthern  in  Culver City
$$$$ 3850 Main Street, Suite A

When I first visited Piccalilli, they had only been open for about a month, and were still figuring things out. The space was great, and the cocktails were strong, but the menu - equal parts Southern and Southeast Asian, full of dishes like Thai banana hush puppies and shrimp & sweet potatoes - was in need of an edit. Apparently, I wasn’t the only person who felt that way, because when I returned recently, that edit had happened. The good news? They kept the best dishes, like the Thai chicken katsu, a solid version of the Japanese dish that’s also an interesting interpretation of Nashville hot chicken (thanks to a dollop of pickled Thai chili), and Brussels sprouts coated in Korean chili sauce and crispy canchas. With plenty of outdoor seating, and solid Happy Hour specials (including deals on smoked chicken wings, miso pork jowl, and crispy pig ears), Piccalilli is also a great spot to spend a socially distant afternoon. But as someone who edits for a living, I wanted to celebrate their decision to cut back. Sometimes less really is more.

- JM

Highland Park Brewery Chinatown

$$$$ 1220 N Spring St

There might not be a better brewery in Los Angeles than Highland Park, the Chinatown spot that makes some of my favorite beers on the planet: Timbo Pils (a hoppy, grape-forward pilsner), Hello LA (a fragrant West Coast IPA), and Irresponsible (a super-boozy hazy IPA) are all winners. But one thing I didn’t know until recently is just how great their food is. The all-new burger is genuinely up there with the best in town - smashed thin, extremely greasy, with house pickles and a massive sheet of crispy griddled cheddar cheese on top, it’s the perfect pairing for some of LA’s best beer.

- BK

Jess Basser Sanders

Angry Egret Dinette

$$$$
$$$$ 970 N Broadway Ste 114

I’m not normally one to go to a restaurant the day after it opens (at least, not since I stopped writing about food for a living), but on Sunday, I found myself at Angry Egret Dinette, the new Chinatown spot from former Guerrilla Tacos mastermind Wes Avila. He’s serving a small menu of tortas - that he doesn’t want to call tortas - from an equally small window, including The Whittier Blvd, with fall-apart beef suadero, horseradish cream, avocado, queso fresco, and serranos. It checked all my Perfect Sandwich boxes - not too many ingredients, excellent structural integrity, solid spread-to-filling ratio, etc - and I definitely would’ve tried one of the other options, but had already committed to walking down the street for a burger and fries at Amboy - a move I in no way regret.

- JBS

Brant Cox

Yume Sushi

$$$$
$$$$ 12254 Ventura Blvd.

I’ve been a big fan of Yume since they opened over the summer in Studio City, and after a recent revisit, I’m doubling-down: In fact, I think their $30 Yume Box is one of the best to-go sushi boxes in town. Six pieces of premium sushi, truffle edamame, and a Yume Roll (spicy tuna and mushrooms, topped with avocado and... more tuna) - it’s one of my favorite takeout meals in LA, and considering the Yume Roll on its own is $21, it’s also a tremendous value. If you’re tired of your regular sushi routine - or have already ordered Sugarfish twice this week - put Yume into your rotation immediately.

- BC

El Zarape

Taqueria El Zarape

$$$$
$$$$ 5203 Fountain Ave

El Zarape is a neighborhood taqueria in East Hollywood that has been a favorite of mine for years now. The set-up doesn’t look like much from the outside - a counter, a tiny outdoor dining room, and a TV showing Liga MX games - but there’s a huge menu and a few tremendous finds on it. My recent favorite is the carnitas burrito - the shredded pork shoulder is braised until tender and then crisped in a pan, and it’s wrapped in a flour tortilla with fatty pinto beans and seasoned rice. The cabeza tacos have also long been a go-to for me. Topped with some salsa roja, the delicate and flavorful cabeza makes this one of my favorite tacos in the city.

- BK

Anikah Shaokat

Yum

$$$$
Thai  in  Downtown LA
$$$$ 700 S. Los Angeles Street

Yum is a tiny Thai pop-up churning out Bangkok- style street food that’s unlike anything else I’ve had in LA. Operated by the team behind the DTLA pop-up Holy Basil, almost everything on the menu is a type of Thai salad, with chili, lime, and fish sauce as they key flavors. There’s plenty of seafood and even more spice (Yum is definitely not for those who can’t handle heat). We basically got the entire menu and I already can’t wait for them to be back. The only downside? I’m not really sure when that will be. Yum doesn’t seem to operate on a set schedule, so your best bet is to do what I do: Stalk their Instagram, and keep your schedule clear.

- Anikah Shaokat, Editorial Ops Coordinator

Talia Mayden

Gardena Bowl Coffee Shop

$$$$
DinerHawaiian  in  Gardena
$$$$ 15707 S Vermont Ave

You wouldn’t think great food can come out of a bowling alley. But if you let that stop you from going to Gardena Bowl Coffee Shop, you’re making the biggest mistake of your life. The menu may make your head spin, but if you want one dish that pretty much sums up everything going on here, order the Hawaiian Royal - rice topped with an omelette of cha-shu, Portuguese sausage, and teriyaki sauce. It’s filling, savory, salty, a little sweet, and enough for about three meals.

- MJ

Huichol22

$$$$

Fresh and vibrant, thoroughly spiced but not too spicy (important), the ceviche at Mexican pop-up Huichol22 is, as we say in “the biz,” just right. The cuts of fish are generous, the lime marinade they sit in is refreshing and sharp, and although housing Nayarit-style seafood while going 90mph on the freeway may not sound appetizing (or even safe), the bright flavors at this Pasadena pop-up are really all the ambience you’ll ever need. Or you could just wait until you get home. Yeah, you should probably do that. DM Huichol22’s Instagram to place an order for pick-up.

- KH

James Montgomery

Great White

$$$$
American  in  Venice
$$$$ 1604 Pacific Ave

We just published our picks for The Best New Pizza In Los Angeles, which means I’ve spent the past month doing extensive pizza-related research (and, as a result, lots of cardio, too). I shouted out one of my picks - the Hapa Pizza at Ospi - a couple weeks ago in this very space, so now I’d like to give a little love to the wood-fired pies at Great White. The menu at this popular Venice spot already features something for every occasion, and the pizzas follow suit. Want a pie at brunch? The 55° is a pretty solid approximation of Nova lox, with cold-smoked salmon, red onions, capers, and dill atop a schmear of chive crema and a charred crust. Looking for something super-savory at dinner? Like the name implies, their Truffle Fungi pairs deep, rich truffles with plenty of earthy mushrooms (and a white-wine lemon cream). Or, if you’re just in the mood for, like, a regular pizza, their pepperoni pie has about seven pounds of perfectly crisp, slightly salty pep on it, and was my favorite of the bunch.

- JM

Brant Cox

Baja Subs Market & Deli

$$$$
$$$$ 8801 Reseda Blvd. Suite A

I was out in Canoga Park this week doing some research and decided to swing by Baja Subs in Northridge for, what was at that point, a third lunch. Aggressive? Sure. But when you’re that close to this neighborhood market, you find the room. Baja Subs in Northridge looks like any other corner convenience store, but inside, you’ll find some of the best Sri Lankan food in Southern California. This past trip, I ordered chicken curry, biryani rice, and Sri Lankan noodles (enough food for three meals), but just know that when the food’s as good as it is at Baja Subs, you’ll always leave lamenting the fact that you didn’t order more.

- BC

Jesse Hsu

Cheeky's

$$$$
$$$$ 622 N Palm Canyon Dr

My breakfasts have become pretty dull recently (how many days in a row can one person eat scrambled eggs?). But that’s what happens when your body rejects gluten. So when I went to Palm Springs and noticed Cheeky’s had gluten-free waffles on their menu, I knew what I had to do. Even getting them to-go, they were thin and crispy, sweet and salty (thanks to the sides of maple syrup and salted butter), and egg-actly what I needed to break up my morning monotony.

- MJ

Zhengyalov Hatz Glendale

Zhengyalov Hatz

$$$$
$$$$ 318 E Broadway

I’m a relatively simple person. When I hear the words ‘Fluffy dough stuffed with 15 types of herbs and spices,’ I immediately head to my computer and order it for takeout. Which usually doesn’t happen outside of, like, a Subway situation, so when I came across the titular Armenian flatbreads at Zhengyalov Hatz in Glendale, my “add to cart” reflexes immediately kicked into high gear. Each zhengyalov hatz is served nice and warm, swaddled in a thick, whole wheat dough, and packed with a fragrant medley of greens, including minced spinach, beetroot leaves, scallions, spring onions, kale, and mint - which, in my opinion, is a much better alternative to the foot-long meatball marinaras I used to crush in high school.

- KH

Red Lion Tavern

$$$$
$$$$ 2366 Glendale Blvd

The Red Lion Tavern was the first bar I visited when I moved to Los Angeles, and immediately became my go-to for a raucous night out. And even in the midst of the pandemic, this Silver Lake staple is still a fantastic place for that. I’ve been pretty cautious with dining out, but felt completely safe in their parking lot that’s been converted into a huge biergarten. They have tons of space between the tables, lots of light, and servers wearing masks and face shields. Their German menu is exactly what I wanted to go with my craft doppelbock straight from a Bavarian brewery - bratwurst, sauerkraut with chopped bacon, and a fresh-baked pretzel the size of my face, with accompanying beer cheese. The parking lot is also filled with projector screens showing soccer and football games, whenever they’re on.

- BK

Mírame

$$$$
$$$$ 419 N Canon Dr

It’s been a long time since I went out for a big, special occasion-type meal. And while there wasn’t really a special occasion (unless you count installing a new window perch for my cat), my dinner at Mírame still felt like a celebration. This new Mexican spot in Beverly Hills is a fancy, fun, and absolutely tremendous place for a meal. The food is inventive and impressive - there’s crispy salmon skin chicharrónes, a gamey, tender lamb quesadilla covered in fresh herbs, and some really incredible costilla tacos with Bordelaise sauce. And, unlike other fancy places, you’ll only need about two dishes per person, because the portions are enormous.

- BK

Jakob Layman

Little Dom's Seafood

$$$$
$$$$ 686 Linden Ave.

I’ve spent the past… oh, I don’t know, 1,300-odd days thinking about fleeing America, and this past weekend, I finally went for it - but only made it as far as Carpinteria, a beachside town about 75 miles north of LA. Why did I stop there? Because I read Brant’s review of Little Dom’s Seafood and got hungry. Turns out, I made the right choice. If you’ve ever been to Little Dom’s in Los Feliz, you know their rice balls and meatballs are the stuff of legend, and both made the trip up the coast to LDS, but that’s just the beginning. From raw bar standouts like ridgeback shrimp and uni (both fresh from the waters of Santa Barbara) to the smoked fish rillettes and rich squid ink mafaldine with spicy uni butter, this was a Meal with a capital M - delicious enough to forget the hellscape we inhabit, if only for a couple hours.

- JM

Benji Dell

The Park's Finest BBQ

$$$$ 1267 W. Temple St.

It’s been a while since I’ve eaten at The Park’s Finest, one of my favorite spots in my old hood, so when they announced that they would be serving their signature Filipino BBQ for one day only, I was on it like flies on Pence. And although it’s been approximately seven months since I’ve had their food, the Historic Filipinotown restaurant didn’t miss a beat - I ordered The People’s Plate, a massive serving of their top dishes, like tender, slow-roasted pork shoulder confit, elote served with freshly grated parmesan, cornbread bibingka (their take on the Southern staple that involves combining cornmeal with rice flour then baking it on banana leaves), and smoked Gouda mac and cheese - which I ate all of, despite the fact that I’m pretty sure I’ve developed late-onset lactose intolerance. Pray for me.

- KH

Brant Cox

Birria Pa La Cruda

$$$$ 5300 Alhambra Ave.

This past weekend I checked out the grand reopening of Birria Pa La Cruda, a popular taco truck in El Sereno. As the name suggests, birria is the name of the game here, and while I certainly enjoyed the quesotacos and consomé, the star of the show is without question the mulita. Stuffed with perfectly cooked birria, griddled cheese, onions, and cilantro, I took one bite of this masterpiece while starfished on the hood of my car, and immediately jumped off and ordered a second one. Also, you won’t find many LA taco trucks with grilled vegetables on their menu, so make sure you get involved with them as well. The honeynut squash is a standout. Right now, the truck is only open Saturday and Sunday starting at 9am, and they go until they’re sold out - which was around noon last weekend. Plan accordingly.

- BC

Kate's Bread

$$$$
Cafe/Bakery  in  Ojai
$$$$ 1280 Fairview Ct

If my hummus rant last week wasn’t enough to get you to drive to Ojai to eat, I have another, even better reason: Kate’s Bread. This cul-de-sac baking operation isn’t exactly a secret anymore, so you do need to be prepared and pre-order, but you will regret nothing by being organized. Her cinnamon roll is the single best baked good I’ve eaten since quarantine started (sorry to all the goods I baked myself). It took me three days to eat and was just as good on the last day as the first. Honestly, just order as much of her bread and pastries as you can handle, stick them in the freezer, and send me a thank you note later. (I will also accept a cinnamon roll as thanks.)

- JBS

Brant Cox

Warung Bali

$$$$
$$$$ 740 S Western Ave #116

It’s been five days since my last meal at Warung Bali, and it’ll probably be another five before I stop thinking about it. The Indonesian pop-up is run out of Iki Ramen in Koreatown and sells only one thing - a $22 seafood bento box - but it’s unlike anything you can get in LA right now. Grilled snapper and shrimp, spicy sauteed squid, urab sayur (Balinese mixed vegetable), acar (pickled vegetables), and two different kinds of sambal - if you want a true mic drop at your next friend picnic, show up with Warung Bali and watch everyone (unsuccessfully) try to negotiate a snack swap with you. All pre-orders are done through their Instagram and pick-ups are Sunday only.

- BC

Petite Peso

Petite Peso

$$$$ 419 W 7th St

Petite Peso is a takeout window in the 7th St. space that used to house Rice Bar, the tiny (and excellent) Filipino spot that was one of my favorite places to grab a quick meal in DTLA. And they admirably fill Rice Bar’s small-but-massive shoes. Petite Peso’s tremendous Bicol Express - pork stewed with coconut milk, peppers, and fermented fish paste - is creamy, spicy, and very hearty. You’ll also want a salad - either the sisig chicken salad with crisp-but-creamy chicken livers, or the garlic shrimp pinakbet, which has a sweet kabocha puree beneath it. And don’t leave without one or two ensaymadas, sweet and savory brioche rolls with butter and cheddar cheese - I certainly didn’t.

- BK

Stevie's Creole Cafe

$$$$
$$$$ 5545 W Pico Blvd

The shrimp mac & cheese from Stevie’s Creole Cafe is - and I don’t say this lightly - a complete and utter revelation. Half shrimp scampi, half traditional mac, this excellent Southern-style dish combines all of my favorite things: Thick-ass noodles, delicious globs of cheddar cheese, tons of Cajun seasoning, peeled shrimp (duh), and what tastes like at least two sticks of butter per serving. Make sure to have your Lactaid handy.

- KH

Ojai Rotie

$$$$
$$$$ 469 E. Ojai Dr.

My hummus intake has decreased dramatically since we started working from home, and I no longer had access to Brant’s contractually demanded tubs in the Infatuation LA fridge. (They aren’t technically in his contract, but he would probably quit if we stopped buying them.) But I’ve made up for lost time now that I’ve discovered the Marcella white bean hummus at Ojai Rôtie. It’s creamy and extremely heavy on the garlic, and I’ve poured it over multiple meals after adding it to my rotisserie chicken takeout spread on a whim. Don’t make the same mistake I did - order two straight off the bat.

- JBS

Ospi

$$$$
SeafoodItalian  in  Venice
$$$$ 2025 Pacific Ave

My favorite meal of the week was a true meal at Ospi, the new Venice spot from the duo behind El Segundo’s Jame Enoteca, a restaurant so good even their kale salad is incredible. Like Jame, the menu at Ospi features plenty of pasta - my favorites were the malloreddus (tiny, pillowy Sardinian gnocchi) with a rich beef-cheek ragu, and a fantastic cannelloni stuffed with tender lamb neck - but there’s a lot more, too. I loved the thick slices of toasted fettunta topped with chilled lobster, stracciatella, watermelon radish, and Calabrian chili, the Hapa Pizza with roasted pineapple, pickled jalapeno, and spicy ground pepperoni (a play on the pies at Long Beach’s iconic Domenico’s, which co-owner Melissa Saka grew up eating), oh, and the crab cake, which was very full of plump crab and came atop tangy gremolata with spicy giardiniera on the side. Like I said, this was a meal - but, hey, it’s been a minute.

- JM

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