Green tea bowl at Oakobing
Green tea bowl at Oakobing
Michele Stueven

Shaved Ice and Gourmet Pasta: More of the Best Food in Central L.A.

Read about this year's Best of L.A. Food & Drink issue here.

Best Shaved Ice: Oakobing

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One of the coolest dessert cafes when you're looking to beat the heat is Oakobing in the heart of Koreatown, with its unique style of Korean shaved ice shaped into the finest art sculptures and fruit-inspired creations. Ice flakes are shaved to order in everything from fresh mango and melon to chocolate, green tea and coffee, and combined with warm breads and traditional Korean toppings. The unsweetened, nondairy green tea bowl is made in-house with matcha and has a creamy texture. It's surrounded by sweet milk pudding, mini mochis and sweet red beans and served with a shot of matcha condensed milk. Also try the mango pineapple bowl. —Michele Stueven

3300 W. Sixth St., Koreatown; (213) 387-4392, oakobing.com.

Rossoblu's pappardelle with sausage ragu, broccoli and ricotta cremaEXPAND
Rossoblu's pappardelle with sausage ragu, broccoli and ricotta crema
Danny Liao

Best Pasta: Rossoblu

Sfoglino Francesco Allegro from Bologna has been making all of the pasta dishes served at Rossoblu al mattarello (by hand) since its doors opened in the Fashion District in May 2017.  In order to preserve the Northern Italian authenticity, chef Steve Samson and partner/wife Dina Samson felt it necessary to have a native Bolognese pasta maker as part of their team. For the definitive Bolognese experience, try Nonna's tagliatelle al ragu with beef, pork and not too much tomato sauce. Maltagliati with porcini and pioppini mushrooms and dandelion greens or the classic tortellini in brodo with pork, chicken, mortadella, prosciutto and parm also are musts. —Michele Stueven

1124 San Julian St., downtown; (213) 749- 1099, rossoblula.com.

A hot dog from APL Restaurant's takeout window
A hot dog from APL Restaurant's takeout window
Jakob Layman/Courtesy APL

Best Steakhouse: APL Restaurant

Finally, he's here! Grilling guru Adam Perry Lang has landed in Hollywood with both the elegantly rustic APL Restaurant, located inside the historic Taft Building, as well as his "APL Hole in the Wall" takeout window next door for BBQ sandwiches and hot dogs. Inspired by steakhouses from the early 1900s, Perry has installed a subterranean dry-aging room for his 100-day dry-aged rib-eye, tomahawk for two and porterhouse steaks. Top those with a choice of classic sauces such as Béarnaise, horseradish cream or bone marrow jus. Potato options include mashed, whipped with Cantal cheese, or fried, and yes, of course, there's creamed spinach. —Michele Stueven

1680 Vine St., Hollywood; (323) 416-1280, aplrestaurant.com.

Mini fried chicken biscuit
Mini fried chicken biscuit
Poppy + Rose

Best Breakfast: Poppy + Rose

Located a rose petal's throw from the Original Los Angeles Flower Market, the casual, Southern-influenced Poppy + Rose is a perfect stop before or after shopping at the mart. It opens bright and early at 6 a.m. (the market closes between noon and 2 p.m., depending on day of the week) and provide rib-sticking breakfasts such as biscuits and gravy that come with two eggs any style, choice of sausage or mushroom gravy and a side of greens. There are sandwiches and scrambles, and a steak breakfast burrito made with house-smoked steak, eggs, cheese, brick hash, crème fraiche, BBQ sauce and mixed greens. The signature chicken and waffles will keep you full and focused on your flower shopping. —Michele Stueven

765 Wall St., downtown; (213) 995-7799, poppyandrosela.com.

Prank Bar's Lazy Daisy, left, and Silly Wabbit cocktails
Prank Bar's Lazy Daisy, left, and Silly Wabbit cocktails
Michele Stueven

Best Terpene Cocktails: Prank Bar

Not only does Prank Bar have the best and freshest selection of terpene cocktails, it's one of DTLA's friendliest bars. Located on a breezy corner in South Park, the two-story indoor/outdoor walk-up bar prides itself on organic produce and fresh-squeezed citrus juices that are tested for freshness throughout the day by the bartender. Depending on your desired spirit, I suggest either the Lazy Daisy (Tanqueray 10, grapefruit, lime, chamomile ghum, amaro angeleno, humulene hops and rosemary) or the Silly Wabbit (a frisky combination of fresh cantaloupe, reposado tequila, happy terpenes, fresh lemon and agave, topped off with a rolled orange peel tucked in a mint bush). The Geppetto with Bulleit rye, pineapple and pinene terpenes is good, too, as well as the la'ventura. For this one, the Pranksters mix apricot with DeLeón reposado, beet and carrot aplomado, fresh citrus and limonene terpenes. Prank uses non-cannabis, FDA-approved plant-derived terpenes in its cocktails. Call it lunch and a safe spot for a single gal to take in her terpenes solo. There's also a patio for pooches. —Michele Stueven

1100 S. Hope St., downtown; (213) 493-4786, prankbar.com.


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