So many great dishes, so little time. After looking back at all the food we covered in 2015, we asked L.A. Weekly writers to share some of their favorite dishes of the year. Here's what came to mind.
Phuket-style crab curry at Luv2Eat Thai Bistro
"Murky, earthy and stained with turmeric, Luv2Eat's crab curry is as wonderfully complex as it is searingly spicy. You pick apart the poached meat from the bisected crab body and toss in a few sprigs of herbs, chopped long beans and daikon pickles. The bouncy rice noodles called kanom jeen are meant to be pulled from a tangled bundle, as you would with one of those packaged mozzarella sticks, and soak up as much liquid as possible." 6660 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; (323) 498-5835, luv2eatthai.com. —Garrett Snyder
Ribeye at Alimento
“At $78, this is one of the great bargains in town. Hear me out: You'd pay at least $78 for a steak of this quality at a steakhouse, and it would probably be a lot smaller than Alimento's 40 ounces. Plus, it wouldn't be accompanied by so much deliciousness: potato fonduta, smoked and roasted mushrooms, and a salsa verde made with parsley and anchovies that lends the whole thing an insanely umami-rich, funky edge. Plus it would feed three people, easily.” 1710 Silver Lake Blvd., Silver Lake; (323) 928-2888, alimentola.com. —Besha Rodell
Bo lan zi from Lao Xi Noodle House
"This is a dish from China's Shanxi Province that's made with shredded potatoes lightly coated in flour and stir-fried in sesame oil with some vegetables (including a few dried red peppers for kick). It's a bit home fries, a bit potatoes O'Brien and a bit hash brown (without the browning), but like the best version of all of those put together." 600 E. Live Oak Ave., Arcadia; (626) 348-2290. —Jim Thurman
Lamb Neck Tamales at Broken Spanish
"Bite into Ray Garcia’s lamb neck tamales at Broken Spanish and soft cornmeal masa gives way to saucy, tender-braised lamb neck meat. Chopped king oyster mushrooms and a sprinkling of queso Oaxaca give the already succulent dish that extra nuance for which Garcia is known." 1050 S. Flower St., downtown; (213) 749-1460, brokenspanish.com. —Heather Platt
Scallop and black truffle at Maude
“I was lucky enough to get to Maude for this month's black truffle dinner, and the standout of the night was a dish of raw scallop, hazelnut and black truffle. It was at once earthy, oceanic, nutty and sweet, and utterly, utterly elegant.” 212 S. Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills; (310) 859-3418, mauderestaurant.com. —B.R.
Nutella Pizza at 786 Degrees
"Competitive pizza chef Ali Haider developed this off-menu dessert at his all-halal, Neapolitan-style pizzeria in Sun Valley with his sons in mind. It might be the best Nutella dessert we've ever had." 8879 Laurel Canyon Blvd., Sun Valley; (818) 939-6566, 786degrees.com. —Susan Park
Kimchi Fried Rice at Baroo
"There are many variations on kimchi fried rice across the city, but you can guarantee none resemble the one served at Baroo. The ingredient list is comically long (bacon and Spanish chorizo, pineapple-fermented kimchi, Amira Basmati rice, sous-vide egg, gremolata, pineapple-jalapeño salsa, purple potato chip, roasted seaweed, toasted buckwheat, quinoa and micro greens), and the combined effect is like listening to a full orchestra, each tiny element functioning in service to something grander." 5706 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood; (323) 819-4344, baroola.strikingly.com. —G.S.
Shrimp aguachile at Rocio's Mexican Kitchen
“This was not only one of my favorite dishes of the year, it was probably also the spiciest thing I ate this year. But it was also so fresh and pure of flavor that it was completely pleasurable through the pain.” 7891 Garfield Ave., Bell Gardens; (562) 659-7800. —B.R.
Fried chicken sandwich at Howlin' Ray's
"There's an argument to be made that 2015 marked the golden age of fried chicken sandwiches in L.A. If that's the case, the one from Nashville-inspired fried chicken truck Howlin' Ray's deserves top billing. Drenched in fiery cayenne sauce, the crunchy fried breast is stacked with slaw, pickles and a tangy orange dressing dubbed 'Southern spread.' When Howlin' Ray's opens a brick-and-mortar in Chinatown next year, we look forward to washing it down with a cold beer." See website for updates; howlinrays.com. —G.S.
Seafood platter at Cassia
"You can order a chilled seafood platter of Ng’s cooked and raw cold seafood creations at Cassia: a bowl of large prawns bathed in an aromatic Vietnamese hot sauce; smoked salmon dip topped with fresh salmon roe and served with grilled country bread; hunks of raw scallop in chile oil with tiny bits of ham and corn and gobs of fresh herbs; long spindly king crab legs cut lengthwise so the sweet meat is easy to access, topped with a lemongrass fish sauce and a flurry of shiso leaves. At $45 for the small platter, which also comes with six raw oysters, this is an incredible treat." 1314 Seventh St., Santa Monica; (310) 393-6699, cassiala.com. —B.R.
Gheymeh stew at U Pick Café
"U Pick's Persian stew ghormeh sabzi, with its parsley and cilantro and kidney beans and dried lemon, is earthy and grassy and herbaceous and just a little bit tart. As brightly flavorful as the ghormeh sabzi is, the gheymeh is even brighter. Its base is split pea and tomato, in just the right proportions to bring it to the color of fall leaves. It is hearty but not heavy, and powerfully satisfying. Of the two, the gheymeh is the one with a bit more punch, a little less subtlety and more authority." 4628 York Blvd., Highland Park; (323) 344-7443, upickcafe.com. —Ben Mesirow
Swedish Meatballs at The Arthur J
"Chances are if you make the trek to David Lefevre's Manhattan Beach steakhouse, you're destined to eat steak. Don’t let your planned beef bender dissuade you from ordering the Swedish meatballs. They're a far plumper, juicier and tastier version of the ones fueling IKEA shoppers, drizzled with slightly sweet and tart cranberry-kumquat preserves and served atop silky potato puree." 903 Manhattan Ave., Manhattan Beach; (310) 878-9620, thearthurj.com. —H.P.
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Scallop and foie gras at Trois Mec
“I had an absolutely stunning meal at Trois Mec a few weeks back, and honestly it's hard to pick a favorite dish. It was really, really good from beginning to end. But the one thing that's stayed with me is a bowl of raw Nantucket scallops and small hunks of foie gras, over which the kitchen then poured a boiling broth of miso dashi. The broth lightly cooked the scallops, and every few bites you'd get a burst of fatty, luscious foie, along with slivers of pickled sunchokes. Beautiful texturally and also in terms of flavor." 716 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood; troismec.com. —B.R.
Mole poblano plate at Las Molenderas
"Even with all the options at Las Molenderas, I’m still inclined to go with the standard mole plate: a hunk of boiled chicken (leg, thigh or breast — go with one of the first two) blanketed with oil-streaked mole, sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds and served with a side of rice and refried beans that are haunting in their simplicity. I’ve wiped the plate clean every time." 2635 Whittier Blvd., Boyle Heights; (323) 269-2812, lasmolenderas.com. —G.S.