Jim Thurman

Credit: Danny Liao

Best Tropical Fruit–Flavored Ice Creams

Lucuma and soursop are just two of the tropical fruit flavors you'll find at Helados Pops in San Fernando. Lucuma, an orange-fleshed fruit popular in Peru, has a unique flavor described variously as maple-like or like a candied sweet potato. Owner Marthin Ken doesn't follow an exact recipe for his......
Credit: Courtesy Pacific Coast Food Co.

Best Russian Superstore

Nicknamed "the Russian Costco," Pacific Coast Food Co. sits in a warehouse just across the tracks from a Burbank Airport runway. Inside are aisles filled with every Russian foodstuff imaginable, from freezer cases of Russian dumplings — pelmeni and varenikis — to smoked fish and canned goods. There's a full-service......
Credit: Jim Thurman

Best Traditional Japanese Breakfast

One of the great joys of living in L.A. is that you can find a dazzling array of international cuisine within reasonable driving distance. This extends to breakfast. One of the few places to find a traditional Japanese breakfast around these parts is Fukagawa — and fortunately, it's served all......
Credit: Anne Fishbein

Best Sichuan Restaurant

Sichuan cuisine is known for its use of lip-numbing Sichuan peppercorns and perspiration-inducing chili pepper heat, but it's so much more than that. Well-executed Sichuan food features many nuanced flavors. At Szechuan Impression, nostalgia for home-style cooking pairs with trained chef technique in dishes ranging from fiery spiciness to those......
Credit: Danny Liao

Best Vietnamese Desserts

While food courts rarely offer surprises, there are exceptions, including one located in a supermarket food court in Rosemead. A display case filled with a colorful array of rainbow-hued desserts and beverages awaits you at Hien Khanh, the SGV branch of one of Little Saigon's leading sweets purveyors. The vivid,......
Credit: Jim Thurman

Best Shanxi Province Home Cooking

China's Shanxi Province is known for noodles. At Lao Xi Noodle House, a small, unassuming restaurant in an Arcadia strip mall, you'll find about a dozen types of them that are not commonly seen in the SGV. There are knife-cut noodles (dao xiao mian), thick, rough-edged noodles made by slicing......
Credit: Jim Thurman

Best Somali Food

The only dedicated Somali eatery around L.A., Banadir Somali Restaurant occupies an old stucco building along a secondary street in Inglewood. Unlike the food of its Horn of Africa neighbor, Ethiopia, the cuisine of Somalia is meat-intensive. This means chicken, beef and especially goat. Goat is the star here, served......
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