For this being a Los Angeles-based blog, I’ve written surprisingly little about Los Angeles these past few months. Instead, I’ve indulged you all in tales of my Hawaiian vacation, which has been a welcome escape from the day-to-day of being back at work. Yet life has continued since I was in Hawaii, and I’ve frequented dozens of local eateries that I’ve not yet shared with you — many of which are well worth a mention!
Today I’ve put together a round-up of the most notable restaurants I’ve visited over the last several months. Have a look, and maybe try some for yourself!
- Bon Vivant Market & Cafe — A recent discovery, Bon Vivant has become a regular weekend brunch stop for Eric and me. We particularly appreciate the friendly staff, cozy atmosphere, and wide variety of breakfast fare. The best part? They serve brunch every single day until 4 PM! || Recommendations: Breakfast Burrito, Eggs Benedict with Hollandaise and Crab, and Fresh Mixed Berries, Sweet Butter & Crème Fraiche Crepe.
- Lamill Coffee Boutique — Eric and I have visited this Silver Lake coffee shop off-and-on for several years. Their recent menu revamp is a vast improvement over their old breakfast fare. Lamill has an extreme hipster vibe and is a popular place for celebrity spotting (if you’re into that sort of thing). || Recommendations: Breakfast Sandwich with Bacon, and the Iced Salted Caramel Latte.
- MessHall Kitchen — If you’ve delved into my archives, you’ve likely read about my love of MessHall Kitchen. I’ve written not one but two blog posts on the subject. I enjoy their weekend brunch for the tasty menu selections, the cozy outdoor patio, and their kick-ass Bloody Mary, the “Breakfast of Champions”. || Recommendations: MessHall Benedict, Pick 3 Omelette, and Breakfast of Champions.
- The Village Bakery & Cafe — I’ve shared The Village Bakery on the blog in the past, and it remains one of my favorite brunch spots. They make their dishes with fresh, natural ingredients, and offer a friendly, down-to-earth ambiance. || Recommendations: Village Scramble, Thanksgiving on a Bun, and any of their homemade pastries.
Lunch & Dinner
- Din Tai Fung Dumpling House — Ever since this popular Taiwanese dumpling house opened at the Americana, we’ve visited frequently to get our fill of delicious soup dumplings. I discovered their Arcadia locations in 2012, and I’m overjoyed to now have them in my neighborhood. Plus, this location serves alcohol in the form of tasty cocktails! || Recommendations: Pork XiaoLongBao, Vegetarian Fried Noodles, and Shanghai Flame.
- Dune — Eric and I have spent the past several weeks exploring nearby Atwater Village and their many restaurants. Dune is a recent discovery. This cozy spot serves up hearty Mediterranean-style fare and has tons of outdoor seating. || Recommendations: Organic Green Herb Falafel, Pasture Raised Lamb, and Rosemary Lemonade.
- Hugo’s Tacos — Hugo’s is another that I’ve mentioned before; it’s a top choice for quick and healthy take-out. They offer a vast selection of Americanized Mexican fare with options for vegans, vegetarians, and carnivores alike. || Recommendations: Al Pastor Burrito Bowl, Torta Ahogada, and Horchata.
- Jitlada Thai Restaurant — I learned about Jitlada through some friends of mine several years ago but hadn’t returned until recently. This modest Thai restaurant, nestled in the corner of a dingy strip mall, is known for it’s seemingly never-ending menu, containing a large number of incredibly spicy dishes. It’s also a favorite of Matt Groening, creator of The Simpsons. || Recommendations: Crying Tiger Pork, Jungle Curry Lamb (it’s very spicy!), and Thai Iced Tea.
- Kanpai Ramen — This tiny ramen joint opened up in Glendale a few years ago, but I avoided it for some time. Roughly a dozen restaurants had come and gone from the same crusty strip mall, and I assumed this one would be no different. It persevered, and I decided to finally give it a try. Now I’m disappointed I didn’t discover it sooner! || Recommendations: Spicy Tonkatsu Ramen with Marinated Pork Belly.
- Link N Hops — Eric and I are huge fans of Wurstkuche, but making the trip downtown is a bit of a stretch for us these days. That’s why we were so excited to discover Link N Hops, a nearby sausage joint with a relaxed vibe and tasty cuisine. We order carry-out and enjoy dinner and a movie at home. || Recommendations: Smoked Portuguese Hawaiian, Chicken Habanero & Tequila, and Duck & Bacon with Jalapeno.
- Neptune’s Net — Whenever we make it out to Malibu for a beach day, Neptune’s Net is a must-visit. This crusty seafood shack serves up the best fried fish and offers some of the most fascinating people-watching in the area. || Recommendations: Calamari and Shrimp Combo and Fish & Chips.
- Pine & Crane — This trendy and popular Taiwanese eatery offers up an impressive variety of fresh-made dishes. I have yet to try something here that I didn’t like. || Recommendations: Wonton Noodle Soup, Zha Jiang Noodles, and Three Cup Jidori Chicken.
- Poke N Roll — Poke N Roll is one that I wouldn’t necessarily recommend, but it seems to be popular with locals which is why I think it’s worth a mention. It’s like the Chipotle of sushi joints; you walk along the counter, following the steps to assemble a poke bowl of your choosing. The food is good. They seem to keep the fish well-chilled despite it sitting behind a counter. The restaurant is small and cramped, and I’ve had better sushi elsewhere. || Recommendations: Crab, Albacore, and Seaweed Salad.
- Smoke City Market — It is practically impossible to find real BBQ in Los Angeles. If you weren’t raised in the south, you might be able to settle for the mediocrity that many LA restaurants try to pass as BBQ, but Eric and I don’t have that luxury. Smoke City Market made one of the most authentic attempts at Texas-style BBQ that I’ve found so far. || Recommendations: Pulled Pork, Pit Beans, and German Potato Salad.
Bars & Pubs
- Golden Road Pub — The home of Golden Road Brewery, the Golden Road Pub is a local hot spot. Eric and I stopped visiting for a long time when the brewery first became popular because the crowds were far too intense. We stopped by a few times this summer to grab some of their yummy bar-style food and refreshing brews. || Recommendations: Rosemary Roasted Turkey Melt, Southwest Vegan Burger, and Golden Road Hefeweizen.
- The Lost Knight Pub — “A very British pub,” according to their website, but a modernized version of any British pub I’ve visited. We discovered The Lost Knight through dineLA’s Restaurant Week earlier this year. Excellent food and service, and the most savory fish and chips I’ve eaten this side of the pond. || Recommendations: Duck Pate & Toast and Fish & Chips.
- The Morrison Pub — I’ve yet to write a full post about The Morrison, which is surprising, considering it’s generally my first choice when going out for dinner and drinks. Their menu selections are top-notch, the beer selection is impressive, the mood is fun and hip, and the service is absolutely outstanding. Plus, they make a cocktail called “The Unicorn” — can’t beat that. || Recommendations: Bacon Bourbonator, Atwater Veggie, and The Unicorn.
- Tam O’Shanter — I fell in love with Tam O’Shanter the moment I laid eyes on it. The building appears to have been transplanted from the United Kingdom itself, complete with a red phone booth out front. Then I learned that this restaurant was a favorite of Walt Disney’s, making it all the more magical. Every time I eat here, I feel like I’m in another world. || Recommendations: Pan Seared Scottish Salmon, Fish & Chips, and the Nightly Ale & Sandwich Bar.
- Churro Borough — A scoop of homemade small-batch ice cream sandwiched between two fresh, crispy churro disks. Need I say more? Many of the hip new food spots that pop up in LA are overrated, but Churro Borough delivers. It’s desserts are high-quality, satisfying, and delicious. || Recommendations: Brown Butter Cookie Sorbet, Horchata Sherbert, and “The Original” Churro Ice Cream Sandwich.
- Sprinkles Cupcakes — The Glendale location of Los Angeles’ quintessential cupcake shop is my go-to for satisfying sweets cravings. Complete with a variety of cupcake flavors, cookies, ice cream, and a 24-hour cupcake ATM, I can’t say no to a visit to Sprinkles. || Recommendations: Salty Caramel Sprinkles Sundae with Dark Chocolate Ice Cream, Red Velvet Cupcake, and Peanut Butter Pretzel Chip Cookie.
Of course, this is but a mere sample of the outstanding flavors Los Angeles has to offer. I’m always on the lookout for new eateries, and I’m planning to share more of these round-ups here on the blog in the future. If you want even more, you can follow my exploits on Instagram, Foursquare, and Snapchat (use the snapcode below to follow)!