Ford's Filling Station L.A. LIVE finally has an official opening date: Dec. 3. Chef Ben Ford's new downtown restaurant, which will be similar in concept to the Ford's Filling Station that closed over the summer in Culver City, will anchor the Marriott Hotel at L.A. Live, and there's even been chatter (which we could not confirm) that the concept might become a staple at other Marriott hotels around the country.
What we could confirm are the chef's favorite L.A. restaurants. Here are the 10 places in L.A. that Ford craves the most.
10. Din Tai Fung
"Din Tai Fung in Arcadia is a bit of a drive and the lines are long, but this dim sum institution is well-known for their soup dumplings that are made on site. This is a Ford family favorite."
"They make several trips a day for fresh masa to turn out the best corn tortillas for their operation. Their traditional home-style braises are just icing on the cake. The chuleta en chile verde, chicharron, tinga de pollo, and the frijoles con queso are among my favorites."
8. India's Grill
"India's Grill in Hollywood has been around for many years, and also delivers (if you beg!). It is solid across the board. The lamb saag, chicken tikka, curries and samosas are all top-notch."
"HomeState is a funky, neighborhood Tex-Mex spot in Los Feliz. My wife, the kids and I love to eat here to give us a little taste of home, especially the breakfast tacos and queso. The homemade flour tortillas are the way to go here."
6. The Factory Kitchen
"This place in DTLA pleasantly surprises me with its precise and delicate flavors coupled with great service. It is an interesting hybrid of an informal trattoria with formal italian cooking. The mandilli di seta, focaccia di Recco, porchetta and cannolis are all a must-try."
5. Horse Thief BBQ
"One of many great places in the Grand Central Market. The authentic Texas barbecue has all the chops of the iconic barbecue joints in and around Austin but without any of the complacency some longtime establishments show. Everything is thought out well."
"My favorite sushi in town. Chef Ken Namba is a Peruvian-trained sushi master. He’s been a guarded secret by many for years. My favorite dish is the seared toro and the crunchy Sawagani crab (when available.)"
3. Nozawa Bar
"Nozawa Bar is a small and intimate 10-seat sushi bar tucked behind Sugarfish Beverly Hills. The 21-course omakase meal is simple and the quality is outstanding. Chef Osamu Fujita is lively and personable, making the experience that much better."
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2. Connie & Ted's
"Great seafood with a lot of integrity behind the food. The Portuguese fish soup is a favorite. Best selection of oysters in town. Fried clams with bellies. Yum! Top to bottom, it is my favorite place to eat in L.A."
1. La Reyna Taco Stand
"When you have a strong desire for late-night tacos, La Reyna Taco Stand in the Arts District will deliver a low price ($1 tacos!) with quick and friendly service, with food that will more than satisfy your appetite. The Al Pastor, which is perfectly marinated and slow-cooked on a spit, is the centerpiece of the operation. This kind of place makes me love L.A." Seventh Street and Mateo, dwntwn.