First-timers at the Brooklyn Bagel Bakery, a squat factory in a part of town now better known for burritos and Filipino sinigiang, are often put off by the display in the cramped retail vestibule, glass cases full of blueberry bagels and strawberry bagels, cranberry bagels and chocolate bagels, banana-nut bagels and other affronts to the proud tradition Brooklyn Bagel has… More >>
The Cobb salad was invented at the old Hollywood Brown Derby when owner Bob Cobb, faced with either an overfull refrigerator or a starlet with troublesome bridgework, chopped the elements of a standard chef's salad into chunks no larger than a pea. He was always a couple of steps ahead, that guy, just as you would have to be if… More >>
Los Angeles, as has been amply proven, is a melting pot of world hot dog culture, a city where it is possible to find persuasive versions of Chicago hot dogs, New York street dogs, Okinawan-Jewish-Mexican hot dogs, Dodger Dogs, Chinese hot dogs, West Virginia coleslaw dogs, Colombian hot dogs and Chez Panisse–influenced organic hot dogs with pedigrees more impressive than… More >>
We are living in an age not just of cupcakes but of cupcakes with publicists, exquisitely art-directed confections whose geometric decoration owes less to Betty Crocker than to Josef Albers. Cupcake manufacture seems to occupy the midlife-crisis Plan Bs that used to be reserved for interior decoration or jewelry design. Eat them, arrange them prettily on a conference room table,… More >>
Angelenos are spoiled for choice when it comes to roast chicken, from the smoky Peruvian-style chickens at Lola's or Pollos a la Brasa to the garlicky Armenian birds at Marouch and Carousel, the soft, savory hens at Brentwood's Reddi-Chik to the oregano-kissed chicken at Papa Cristo's in the Byzantine-Latino district. Nowhere else that I know of can you duck into… More >>
Despite the downtown sushi restaurant that has reimagined the cheesesteak as an egg roll stuffing, and the close approximations of cheesesteaks assembled at both Vietnamese banh mi parlors and a Jewish delicatessen in the deep Valley, the basic form of the Philadelphia cheesesteak is well-settled. There will be a light, chewy Italian roll, almost certainly imported from the Amoroso bakery… More >>
It is almost impossible to have a civil discussion about pizza in this city of immigrants, because there may be no foodstuff so intimately linked to one's sense of identity. People who grew up in New York usually plump for Vito's or Mulberry Street, where it is automatically assumed that the best pizza in the world is found only in… More >>
Leo Bulgarini is the wrong guy to mouth off to the day after his beloved AS Roma squad drops a game to Genoa or Inter Milan, and I suspect he cheered the bankruptcy of AIG as cosmic revenge for its sponsorship of the hated Manchester U. His gelati are labeled only in Italian, and he is not above correcting an… More >>
I often find myself drawn to the peppery fried chicken at Bertha's, a soul-food café not far from Watts, and the crackly skinned fried chicken with fermented tofu at Mission 261 may be the best dish in that formidable Cantonese restaurant. The Buffalo-style fried wings at Ye Rustic Inn and the Japanese-style fried wings at FuRaiBo are exemplary. But it… More >>
It isn't that the food in Disneyland sucks — it does — but who wants to waste precious ride time waiting in food lines that move slower than Dumbo's (the slowest-loading attraction in the Magic Kingdom)? As a pal once said, "If you go to the snack bar in Tomorrowland, you won't end up getting your food until tomorrow." The… More >>
Mastro, Arnie Morton's, Wolfgang's, BLT Steak, Ruth's Chris, the Palm — the city is awash in expense-account steak, empurpled slabs of rare, prime beef seared on 1,000-degree grills, and ideally accompanied by a bottle of California cabernet that costs as much as your first car. For years, we asserted that the best steak in town was at Michael's in Santa… More >>
Yes, we know about the old standards and the new, the austere Tokyo-based chain with branches in local Japanese supermarkets, and the impeccably credentialed noodle czars. We like the options at Shin Sen Gumi, where you can dictate the firmness of your noodles and the pungency of your broth, and may insist upon second helpings at a nominal fee. We… More >>
Sometimes, we're in the mood for something delicate, turbot steamed in lemon leaves perhaps, or thinly sliced East Coast fluke in a nage of verbena and freshly picked chervil. We're a fan of delicately scented souffles that vanish into hot, eggy air at the touch of a fork, and of sashimi so fresh that the only taste is that of… More >>
Shrimp Louie, a goopy seafood salad dressed with a pinkly sweet mixture of mayonnaise and sugary bottled chile sauce, was the height of chic before World War I, a big-city dish served in every restaurant of distinction between Seattle and San Diego. James Beard used to insist that shrimp Louie originated in his hometown of Portland; food historians suspect it… More >>
There are famously two schools of Los Angeles sushi at the moment, one of them, like Matsuhisa, looking to the global future of sushi; the other toward the past. Some of the traditionalists, led by Kazunori Nozawa, of Sushi Nozawa, take their fishy fundamentalism to an extreme, bouncing customers who dare to ask for a caterpillar or a spicy tuna… More >>
There are a lot of things to admire about Comme Ça. The selection of ripe cheese is among the best in the city, and the braised beef shoulder is exemplary. I love the mussels steamed in cream and Pernod, the hand-chopped steak tartare and what at the moment may be the only serious coq au vin in Los Angeles. The… More >>
It's Friday night, and cars are streaming into Tommy's on Beverly and Rampart — not the big spillover lot across the street but the tiny main one. Miraculously, no matter how crowded it gets here, spaces always open up as you approach. Still, it's claustrophobic here because the small asphalt rectangle is packed not so much with cars as small… More >>
Like a cleft apricot, the logo of Fred 62 diner sits above a stretch of Vermont Avenue pavement in Los Feliz, where the smoking, chattering masses talk too much and too, like, loud as they ease your suffering soul.
These are the outdoor tables, at which alcohol is not served, street gazing is optimal and the smell of good cigarette smoke… More >>
The old-school themed restaurant was a peculiarly mid-20th-century American institution, wherein a straight-up steak house operated within an exotic, painstakingly dressed setting. In the bleak, post–Trader Vic's era, Glendale tiki shrine Damon's Steakhouse is perhaps the highest-profile survivor. But deep within the darkest heart of the San Fernando Valley (well, the Granada Hills–Mission Hills cusp, really) there lies a stunning… More >>
Best Way to Wile Away Your Smoggy, Sunny L.A. Day When You'd Really Rather Be in London
And, why wouldn't you rather be in London? Cute boys, great curry, high fashion, public transportation, sexy skies of gray and drizzle, and the chance at a chance run-in with Thom Yorke. But you've got obligations keeping you stateside — your book proposal's (over)due, your bandmates would freak, and your most high-maintenance private yoga client swears she'd slit her wrists… More >>
The Pacific Coast Highway is rife with reasons to crane one's neck: occasional deer on the ridge line of the eastern mountains; the brown fiberglass horse at the European & Equestrian Pet Supply; the towering serape'd Hispanic at La Salsa, forever offering a platter of food; and until recently, the two fake sacks of money emblazoned with dollar signs and… More >>
You care about the planet, so not only did you convert your diesel Benz station wagon to run on veggie oil, but you carpool. Your morning crew is a hodge-podge of finicky morning beverage preferences, and you're tired of the early morning arguments over to where to stop for your morning buzz. You head to Nature Mart's Bulk Bin. They… More >>
It happened slowly: I clipped the edge of my cup and the raspberry mocha went flying, like a liquid tongue, in the direction of a very nice man from Ealing. It missed his laptop by inches and formed a hazardous pool around the plugs and cords at our feet.
I was wired, just like the Internet café where it all went… More >>
Best South Bay Pier Restaurant to Waste Away a Saturday Morning
Stuck in an inland office during the week, longing for a beach haven — and the bums (and non-bums) who hang out there? Some of my girlfriends and I like to head out on a Saturday morning to the Hermosa Beach Pier and Patrick Malloy's, where the hot-bodied clientele will take you back to Spring Break, even in January. Well,… More >>
By Matthew Fleischer
You did it. You may not have wanted to, but curiosity overcame you. You drove all the way out to Glendale to check out the Americana mall. Now, depending on your personal philosophical outlook/response to trauma, you're either packed to the gills with crap from Forever 21 or questioning your faith in God.
What do you do now?
You could… More >>
Suburban childhood turned me into a committed urban dweller as an adult. But creeping gentrification has made metropolitan centers prohibitively expensive for all but the filthy rich. I’ve watched in dismay as the dismantling of rent control transformed my hometown for the past 18 years from the People’s Republic of Santa Monica to the Temporary Digs for Entertainment Lawyers Building… More >>
You have to sidestep the Golden Bridge boutique to get there, and there's still the matter of the turbans, the beards and Sunday's rush of toddlers and movie stars, but the moist, sweet, crumbly oat-topped blueberry muffins at the Kundalini Yoga mecca's Nite Moon Café are well worth the obstacles and the unfamiliar.
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In the heart of Silver Lake, on the other end of the hipster spectrum from the Golden Bridge's spiritual village, is Flore, which boasts cute, grungy, rock & roll waiters and an eclectic array of vegan dishes. My favorite: the Tempeh Tu-No Melt, a food-combining train wreck of tempeh salad and cashew cheese on toasted seeded bread. It's hot, it's… More >>
Real Food Daily's been L.A.'s go-to vegan spot for more than a decade. Its carob-mint cookie remains a rock-solid sweet-tooth-sating standby. It's kind of dry but sweet and substantial, and it totally hits the spot when you're on the go, having a low-blood-sugar moment, and really, really itching for something baked and bready.
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M Café's wheat-free blueberry pancakes top the list, and not just because I have a blueberry fetish, but also because they're crispy on the outside and warm and comforting on my insides, especially drenched in fake vegan butter and maple syrup. Plus, they're served into afternoon hours on the weekends, which means I get to sleep in and eat pretend… More >>
Billy Bragg once wrote, "The Beach is Free." It's a lovely song, which points out nicely that no matter how much crap and congestion we city dwellers have to put up with, we can always go to the beach. Someone should put the song on a mixtape and send it to Bob Morris, who owns the Paradise Cove Beach Café,… More >>