Six months into living in Los Angeles, lots of kickass food, and a hodgepodge of questionable choices later, I decided that I should whip up a food guide. Granted, I've been in LA for a very little amount of time, and never mind that I'm no food writer — I love good food, especially when it comes at a good price.
Other than my never-fail In N Out protein style, animal style with raw onions and chopped peppers order, here's a comprehensive guide to my favourite places to eat in LA.
If you told me I had to spend the rest of my life eating only seafood and nothing else, I would really have no complaints. My husband, too, loves seafood as much as I do, so skip Red Lobster and try these places instead .
There are few things in life that will never fail you, and Spinfish's, and Sweetfin's poké bowl are two of the best raw-fish-in-a-bowl deliciousness that never fails me. I've tried five poké spots in LA so far, and I keep going back to Spinfish because it's closer to home, the portions are generous and the service is second to none. Spinfish has such good sauce combos. I'm a fan of Sweetfin's toppings, and green bamboo rice. I mean, who doesn't like green rice?
Boiling Crab, Multiple locations
You've probably heard of Boiling Crab from your friends who have visited Los Angeles and photographed themselves in adult bibs before tucking into cajun-style crabs. While this style of cooking and serving seafood has seen imitators all over the world, John and I keep going back to Boiling Crab because it's tried, tested and loved to death. We get the shrimp over crabs and always take it to go.
I mean, in a country that birthed the greatest pick-your-own Mexican fast food restaurant in the world (i.e.: Chipotle), it's hard to go wrong with Mexican food. Unfortunately, you can come across shitty Mexican that'll make you want to throw your burrito against the wall. Like Makciks in hawker centres who serve up sugar-laden, bastardized versions of Nasi Padang to cut costs.
Pinches Tacos, Multiple locations
Pinches is one of the spots I fell in love with the first time in LA and I keep going back, and bringing guests to, because nothing in their menu is mediocre. It will always be an explosion in your mouth. The spot is affordable, and opens late too.
La Azteca Tortilleria in East LA
This an old school tortilleria in East Los Angeles has been open for 65 years. Their burritos, touted as the best in Los Angeles on LA Weekly, are assembled with freshly made tortillas, which strangely, tastes like crispy of prata! It's cheap - under ten bucks, and it's frills-free and a hole-in-the-wall spot. It's worth noting that La Azteca is closed Mondays and opened from Tues-Sat 6 AM - 3:30 pm and Sun 6 AM - 2:30 PM.
Cha Cha Chili in Alhambra
Located close to my favourite Asian supermarket in all of LA, Cha Cha Chili dishes up some Asian-fusion Mexican food. Don't bother with anything else — just go straight for their Adam Richman-approved chimichanga. The beef chimichanga we shared was a beef bulgogi, fried to crispy perfection and slathered with a tangy, slightly spicy creamy sauce. It's worth noting that they dish up really big portions.
ASIAN/ ASIAN FUSION
While I love fortune cookies, American Chinese food is whack. I am appalled by Panda Express and everything else people try to pass off as "Asian" in this country. And sure, I can probably never find an honest-to-goodness Singaporean food joint, there are a handful of Asian food places I love.
Take A Bao in Studio City
We went to Take A Bao a few months ago, and I love it. It's a chic Asian fusion restaurant and dishes up delicious bowls, baos and more. Ask to have their cocktails as mocktails like I did if you don't do alcohol. Super yummy.
Suriya Thai in Pasadena
You can find Thai food EVERYWHERE in LA, but you come across a lot of shitty ones. This one is dope. It's authentic, quick and it's actually spicy unlike a lot of Thai spots that have been dumbed down for American Chick Fil A palates.
Jitlada in Thai Town
Jitlada is one of those places that everybody knows. They've been featured in just about all the magazines in the city and can be overhyped. It gets really expensive for Thai food, but it's good. They have a massive menu, so much that a blogger went through a quest of devouring all 300 items. They don't skimp on the spice when you ask to make it extra spicy, so it's a winner.
RANDOS, BUT DAMN GOOD ONES
Some people would categorise this as American, but I think American is burgers and fries, so these are a little deviated.
Scratch Bar in Beverly Hills
This tapas-style restaurant is located on restaurant row, and is downright phenomenal. Adventurous eating, quirky taste combinations and incredibly insightful staff go hand-in-hand here and you won't be disappointed. The staff explains what goes into your food, and how best to eat each dish, which makes the experience even more memorable. Don't leave unless you've ordered their Foie, uni and marshmellow masterpiece pictured above.
Roscoe's Chicken & Waffles, Multiple locations
All sensibility should be left at the door when you go to Roscoe's. This Southern style eatery is an LA institution is nothing but healthy but it's good. Fried chicken, waffles with a slab of butter, mac and cheese. All American, all around. Admittedly, I got a headache when I ate there for the first (and only) time from the amount of salt used in the food, probably.
More will be added from time to time, just bookmark this! ;o)