I don’t go to LA as much as I did when I was younger, but on a recent trip, I was pleasantly surprised at the food scene and other things. I will definitely go more often now. There is a ton of cultural street food that needs to be experienced!
EP LP is a scene restaurant and rooftop bar in West Hollywood. Reviews were mixed, but I wanted to be in a party atmosphere for our last weekend night in LA. These types of places can become a disaster for dinner because they have a tendency to operate more as a nightclub rather than a restaurant. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the food and service.
Entry was quick and efficient. We started with caviar seaweed snacks, which were basically crispy nori topped with caviar. They were pretty good.
Here are a couple of random, quick, and cheap places we ate at in LA:
Salt and Straw – Delicious ice cream. I went to the one on Santa Monica in West Hollywood and had the cold brew coffee. It was perfectly balanced between the taste of coffee, sweetness, and creaminess. I would definitely return.
The Window at American Beauty – This is a unique setting for a walk up window which is located within a restaurant called American Beauty in Venice. There is plenty of outdoor seating.
Orsa and Winston is a Japanese Italian inspired restaurant in downtown L.A. The place is named after the owner’s dogs. The restaurant is fairly small and has an open kitchen.
Overall, the service was really good. The food was good, but I would not say that anything particularly blew me away. The ingredients are fresh and the preparation was clean. There is some inventiveness going on. I would not return and I am undecided whether I would recommend someone to try it.
I could not leave LA without having Korean food too. After much research, I decided on Sun Nong Dan for lunch. They have a few locations throughout the city and one of them is even open 24 hours. We went to the one on Western (which is the one open 24/7). Upon entry, we were greeted by the banchan cart which set a good mood for the meal (the banchan were good, but I wish there was more variety).
Here was the menu which was fairly small for a Korean restaurant. As I did some research prior to coming, I knew what I wanted – The Galbi Jim (its like a Galbi stew).
Coming off a very disappointing Mexican meal at Cantina Frida, I was determined to have at least one good taco in L.A. How could I come to this city and not? I would never be able to forgive myself. Ironically, there was a more authentic experience right around the corner from Cantina Frida, which made the disappointing meal there all the more worse. Anyway, Guisados is a Mexican Restaurant with a couple of locations in the city, and they specialize in braised meat over fresh handmade tortillas. A benefit of this place is many of their locations open early, and serve breakfast tacos (but you can also get “normal” items too). The Beverly Hills location is a “hole in the wall” which is the way I want to eat Tacos. Note that there is a parking lot in front of the place, but you have to pay to park. The kind attendant let us park for half price as I mentioned we would be quick.
There are two kinds of celebrity chefs. Ones that are more celebrity and ones that are more chef (I guess there can actually be three as they can be both equally). One a trip to Dallas a few years ago, a friend said he had booked Georgie for us, a Curtis Stone restaurant. For whatever reason, I thought we were in for the first kind of celebrity chef. I was wrong.
Fast forward to a recent trip to Los Angeles and my assistant recommended we try Maude, Curtis Stone’s one Michelin Star Beverly Hills restaurant. After a positive experience in Dallas, I went to Maude.
One day while out shopping on Rodeo Drive, I asked a sales associate for advice on where to have lunch. He claimed to be a “foodie” so I listened. I should of known better. Although I always research places to eat when visiting an area, I was tired, lazy and hungry and wanted to eat at a place conveniently close to where I was; so I ignored the list on my phone. The associate recommended a place called Cantina Frida in Beverly Hills.
To start, the venue IS nice. That should of been a red flag, and not surprising considering where we were. L.A. is filled with authentic, ethnic food, especially Mexican and Korean, and many of the best places are “street” food or located in strip malls.
This restaurant was on my list of places to visit when in LA though I don’t know why or when I put it on the list. I will usually put places on my “to try” list when I see something that interests me on social, TV, or in an article. In any case, this was the first of 2 mediocre meals this day unfortunately.
We visited the location in West Hollywood. We had a 9AM reservation on a Thursday but the place was 3/4 empty. TIP: if you don’t need table service, you can just brose the pastries on display, get one, and a coffee and sit. This is what we probably should of done as I don’t eat large breakfasts anyway.
Osteria Mozza is a a Michelin starred restaurant in LA. Given the name of the restaurant, I wanted to start with something from the Mozzarella bar and Fett’unta, their famous bread. The dishes were ok, but I wasn’t blown away.
We also tried a couple of pastas. The Sweet Corn Cappellacci and a ragu. The ragu tasted good BUT the pasta was overcooked, or at least way past al dente. This is unforgiveable at an Italian restaurant at this level. The corn flavor was incredible. The way they extracted that much essence of corn was truly outstanding, BUT again, the pasta was overcooked.
I recently booked an experience at the Porsche Experience Center in L.A. As my event time was in the afternoon, I thought it would be great to have lunch at the 917 on site restaurant beforehand too.
Overall, I would not go back and do it again, but I would recommend someone to experience it once. As for the restaurant, it was good, but its located far from the main areas of LA so probably not worth the trip if you are not in the area. If you are in the area and a fan of Porsche, then I would recommend you go check out the cars on display and grab something to eat.
Q Sushi is a one Michelin star, omakase only restaurant in downtown LA. They have two seatings per night. The place is located across the street from a Brazilian restaurant which will valet your car if you need it. They will also point out where the restaurant is as it was a bit hard to spot. The interior was clean and Japanese minimalist.
The meal ended with the tamago. It would of been nice if they provided something sweet or miso soup or green tea at the end. Service was good and the chef was friendly when you engaged him. What was amazing to me is that the chef served this entire meal by himself and one other waitstaff.
Irv’s Burgers was founded in 1946, closed down for a while, and has now re-opened. It is located in West Hollywood. You order from a pick up window but there is indoor and outdoor seating.
I had the Irv’s single and fries. The burger was delicious!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was perfectly seasoned with an incredible crust. Everything worked so well together. The fries were crisp and seasoned well. I think they are using a Lawry’s type seasoning.
Everyday I was in LA I thought of going to Irv’s. Just incredible.