We love food.
We really, really do. And something about staying safer at home has made us love it even more. The restaurant industry needs our support and we’ve been more than happy to give it by ordering takeout much more than we should in a heroic effort to do our gluttonous part.
This love of food is why we get along with Steven, Andrew and Adam so well. The hosts of BuzzFeed’s immensely popular “Worth It” series, Steven and Andrew are directed by Adam as they try meals at wildly different price points to determine which is the best value for money (think $3 sushi vs. $350 omakase sushi).
In this week’s episode of the L.A. Weekly podcast, Publisher Brian Calle and Food Editor Michele Stueven have a fun conversation with the “Worth It” guys to discuss L.A.’s takeout scene and how we can best support our local eateries.
Not to be deterred by a pandemic, the trio recently fed viewers’ hunger with a special “shelter in place” episode of the mega-hit series where they try takeout from local Los Angeles restaurants while observing all safety requirements for social distancing.
“We wanted to do an episode about takeout with restaurants that we had visited previously on the show,” explains Andrew. “It was a little bit about seeing how the business models for these restaurants have shifted, with all the new restrictions and shelter at home requirements, and also to shine the spotlight on all of the great businesses we’ve worked with in the past.”
“The restaurant industry has been hit particularly hard by the pandemic and so we also wanted to make a piece of content that would encourage our viewers to support local businesses that we love,” he continues.
As someone whose job is to always be ready for lunch, Michele wants to know everyone’s preferred spots for food and drinks to-go.
“My favorite takeout is probably a restaurant we featured in our special edition takeout episode, which is Spoon by H,” answers Andrew. “It’s incredibly delicious and it’s incredible value.”
“My answer is not the same, though it is actually a Korean restaurant and I had it today for lunch,” laughs Steven. “It’s from Han Bat Sul Lung Tang, it’s an ox bone soup restaurant and they’ve just been doing traditional Korean beef bone soup for many many years here in K-Town. They’re a staple.” According to the expert, it’s as good to eat at home as it is in the restaurant. Which is a talent that is really tough to pull off.
And for Adam? “Probably Spoon by H, same as Andrew. But I’ll give another answer just to mix it up: I’ve also been eating a lot of Burgerlords recently … they have an insanely good veggie burger.”
Michele has been doing a lot of cooking at home, but still indulges in takeout now and then. Her surprising favorite? El Pollo Loco.
“They’ve got it down. It’s so easy. The food is always good, it’s reliable. I love that,” shares our Food Editor. “La Cabana is a Mexican restaurant in Venice that’s also got it down … they’ve got delicious tacos.”
“I’ve been trying to support just as many restaurants as I can during this thing – and also I’m a horrible cook so I have no choice – Olivetta, which Michele introduced me to, I feel like their takeout is bomb for sure,” says Brian. “And in Costa Mesa there’s a Mexican restaurant called El Matador which is just unbelievable.” His favorite item on the menu? Their to-go margaritas.
“I was really hesitant about to-go cocktails,” Michele chimes in. “But I’ve been really pleasantly surprised.”
Want to know the best places to order from? Listen to the podcast here or find it on iTunes here or Spotify here and learn more about what goes into making an episode of “Worth It,” who has the best taste in food (hint: it’s Steven), and to chime in on the raging debate that is the validity of peanut butter pickle sandwiches.