10 best restaurants in LA right now
BY : JASON STEWART
A four star Oaxacan restaurant disguised as a fast casual spot, priced somewhere in between. Known for outside the box dishes like duck skin tacos as well as fantastic chips and guacamole. In me opinion, they quietly have the best Cobb salad in Los Angeles, and is a favorite for a hangover brunch without the hassle.
JOY ON YORK
From the people who brought you Silverlake’s Pine & Crane, comes Joy. I like Joy a bit more than P&C, plus it seems to be considerably cheaper. Start off with cold deli sides like lotus roots and flesh like marinated wood ear mushrooms, then their refined take on Hainan Chicken Rice, especially heightened with a few hits of vinegar and soy. Save room for the shaved ice dessert, it’s so jiggly.
Indian food can often be a problem for the insides of my body, but not at Badmaash. Start off with a rainbow plate of pickled veggies, dip their chile and cheese stuffed naan into a bowl of vegan lentils simmered down overnight, I’m a sucker for their butter chicken too. You’ll be unable to stop eating their poutine once you begin, so make sure you order it with a group. You won’t have room for dessert so luckily it’s a baby sized ice cream sandwich with a tiny chai tea.
Owned and operated by two of DTLA’s sweetest people, Sonoratown offers a precise but glorious selection of Mexican food specifically from the borderlands of Sonora. That means mesquite grilled short rib tacos on irresistibly translucent flour tortillas, mini burritos stuffed with stewed chicken and cheese, and perfectly balanced agua frescas that aren’t too sweet.
My favorite Persian restaurant in town, what would I order? Chicken Koobideh, Labneh with Shallots, Tadig, the irresistible crispy rice dish is a must order with slow braised stews of greens and lentils served on the side. Their plain rice is great but I order the sour cherry one, stained hot pink. It can get very busy on the weekends so show up early to get your name down, grab a beer at the shitty sushi place around the corner while you wait.
Some of LA’s most interesting and odd flavor pairings served in a no nonsense strip mall storefront. Housemade fermented things are all over, their take on kimchi fried rice is a stunning plate for about the cost a chipotle burrito. My favorite special is their take on arancini, the Italian fried balls of rice, Baroo’s version served with deep mushroom flavors, and garnished with raw endive and green apple matchsticks.
Recently voted in Bon Appetit’s top 10 restaurants in America, this modern take on Jewish Deli food is about to blow up even more than it already was. Their latke, served as a deep fried Belgian waffle is pillowy potato on the inside, dark golden brown on the outside. Smoked fish “cigars” land somewhere between a Filipino lumpia and a blue crab hand roll at Nobu, garnished with fennel seed and lavender syrup, naturally. If you can’t afford the tableside brisket, carved to order with your Grandad’s electric knife, the $6 hot dog covered in smoked hatch chile cream cheese and their nori-forward everything bagel seasoning will do.
EP & LP
Sadly their excellent take on Southeast Asian food is often outshined by it’s WeHo nightlife scene, but come sit at the chef’s counter for the proper experience. It doesn’t make sense, but start things off with a mezcal shot, then chase down dishes like grilled lamb neck and spot prawns dusted in blackened nori butter with some cold Beer Laos. Save room for dessert, they’re all works of art.
Thanks to global warming our summers extend to November now, and my favorite way to cool down is with a cold bowl of Korean buckwheat noodle soup called “Naengmyeon.” Garnished with cucumber strings, hard boiled egg, and other bits, it’s odd at first but truly addicting. Make sure to grab a cup of self served hot beef broth to wet your appetite with unadulterated MSG while waiting for your always late pork dumplings to come out.
Painted all black for sleek laptoppers, Triniti serves high level coffee drinks plus house made pastries on the main drag in Echo Park. It’s easy to overlook their concise rotating food menu, but they’ve been able to achieve nearly-noma levels in both flavor and presentation. The seemingly simple but glorious bean stew has graced the instagram story of many a blogger, plus a new greek street food concept is on the horizon.