Well we have now been in LA for 8 months what a wonderful time
they have been. I may never look back. We’ve been to art exhibits at LACMA, MOCA, Skirball, LAOC westside food & chamber music series, concerts, walks on the beach, finding fun & funky shops, hitting farmers markets and my getting my 1st tattoo. I confess to wanting another. Now. There is just an endless plethora of things to do, discover and enjoy life to its fullest.
Upcoming : Susan Feniger at LAOC, The Wombats at the El Rey, The “Rock” at LACMA, dinner at Gary Menes pop up LeComptoir in DTLA, Green Days American Idiot, which I saw 3x on broadway, The Follies with Elaine Page, Chicago with Christie Brinkley, and oh snap.. so much more. I am loving it. But not so much as I am loving discovering LA food. CoolCulinaryLA destinations.
This has been serious fun, and has helped me as a chef to better understand this city what Angelenos like to eat. Some casual, some upscale, some pretentious, some simply delicious and lots of hidden gems. So without further ado, here is my current list of loves in LA. You can google the destination, though for right now most are on the west side, as I reside in Cheviot Hills, nestled between Century City, Beverly Hills, Culver City & Westwood. I think I will stay awhile :).
CoolCulinary”s LA picks:
My top fav would have been Mako on South Beverly, but my friend Mako San lost his lease but is still creating casual nibbles at Robata-ya on Sawtelle. Give it a look.
Spago: Beet salad, tuna cone, pizzas, salads, and of course Sherry Yards amazing desserts. Timeless classic, get there and eat before he closes to reinvent the wheel.
Craft: Open your wallet and enjoy.
Bouchon: Moules frites & foie gras terrine.
Hatfields: Quinn hatfileds delicious but oh so very pretentious food.
Waterloo & City: Great gastropub, fantastic happy hour, and a kick ass punk rock soundtrack. Me likes.
Akasha: Healthy meets haute. Wine Wednesday.
The Six: Calm, quite, amazing food. Someone in the kitchen spent serious time in france, trust me I know. Order the mushroom toast or steak frites.
City Tavern: Beyond a doubt LA’s BEST burger (sorry Fathers office) and the cheesy poofs are a must. Chef Jessica is a wonder.
Gjelina: Pizza & butterscotch pot de creme.
The Farm of Beverly Hills: Sat/Sun brunch, 2 items only: Country Benedict or peanut butter stuffed french toast w/ caramel sauce.
The Nosh of Beverly Hills: When I need my new york city jewish deli fix, it’s not 2nd ave, but it will do. Cantners runs a close 2nd. Langners the best but to far a drive for a quick fix.
Cut: Simply amazing steak, ok one that will break the bank.
Son of a Gun: By far one of my most fav places in LA, parking sucks, but oh.. the lobster roll, shrimp toast, linguine with clams, spicy chicken sandwich..damn just order the entire menu and smile. We do.
Lukshon: Duck confit spring roll, chicken pops, beef tartare, enjoy.
Chego: Pork belly, kimchi, ooey goey fries. Enjoy.
The Misfit: Santa Monica. Just go.
Animal: The name says it all.
Honey Kettle Chicken; No not chicken & waffles, fried chicken (the best ) & pancakes, get the blueberry ones & the hush puppies.
Rocksugar: Best. Happy. Hour. Ever, in the Century City mall.
Providence: Its NOT Le Bernadin, but its damn close.
Melisse: Prepare to spend an insane amount of $$ and be glad you did when its over.
Newcomers: Sotto & Picca also in my hood, hell yes.
Street: Susan Fenigers wonderful new cool spot. Drop in when u can.
Clementine, Huckelberry, Jar (great mad men vibe) The roof on Wilshire.
French: Comme Ca, ps the burgers decent.
Sorely missed: Phamish food truck.
Nice casual nibble: Josie Next Dooor, duck bahn mi & bbq chips & a killer ipod soundtrack.
Pancakes: John O’Groats on pico, have the bacon chedar waffle.
Pizza: Pizzeria Mozza, PitFire & 800 degrees.
BBQ: Parks or Jr’s.
After a Craig Ferguson taping at CBS: TART across the street.
Business deal: The Grille on the Alley.
Over priced hotel breakfast: The Belvedere in the Peninsula.
Hidden Hotel Gem: Hush in the Mosaic Hotel in Beverly Hills.
Steaks: Cut, Mastro’s, Lawrys the prime rib.
Mall shopping: Obiko Mozzerlla bar in the Century City mall, back up: Breadbar or Gulfstream.
Sandwiches: BayCities or Phillipes.
South of the border: Border Grill.
In the mood for a drive to the SGV! : Beging Pie House, Mama’s Lu. Luscious Dumplings, in a pinch on the westside: Fu’s Palace, on Pico, dumplings only!!
Bouchon= cookies. Magnolia=cream pies. La Brea=pretzel bread. Friandise/=cupcakes. Jamacias cakes= stuffed scones.
Food Supplies : Surfas, awesome store, simply horrendeous staff.
Best imitation of Dean & Delucca in NYC, #Joans On Third, right down to the floor. Foods good though.
Markets: Gelsons, Mitsuwa, Ralphs
Seafood: Santa Monica Seafood
Tacos: Love komodo cafe on Pico, fish & grape tacos..(BEST PAIRING EVER!!)
To say you’ve been:
Koi, great scene, mediocre food.
The Ivy : Just to view the hilarious menu. Order the fried chicken, guacamole & spaghetti & meatballs or just get a salad.
Mr. Chow: Shun Lee Palace it’s not. But go anyway.
The Original pantry in DTLA, cause u have to.
Pinks Hot Dogs, take an out of town friend there.
The Apple Pan, Juniors deli, Frank & Mussos, Titos Tacos, all fall into this category. Go once and your good.
Good honest bar food besides #CItyTavern is #RushStreet. ( PS: City Taverns Cheesy Poofs are phenomenal)
Nice newcomer : POST & BEAM
Dont believe the Hype: Cue the Arctic Monkeys here:
Ludo Bites food truck , been 3 times, bah. Greasy, soggy mess.
WP24, stunning space, incredible view, sadly overpriced food that doesnt deliver.
Grub, isnt that a name for a worm. Being on Top Chef does not make one a good cook. Though INK is stellar.
The Larder at Maple drive. I didnt get it.
Quite a few more, but I never pass judgement till after a 3rd visit.
Still on my list to get to:
Red Medicine, Axe , The Spice Table, Cafe Basil. Baco Mercat, Canele, Forage, Lemon Moon, OsteriaMozza, Cooks County, Fig, Nobu, Jiraffe, Tavern Brentwood, AOC, Luques, Xiomara, Rays Stark Bar, Food, Chinios on Main, Madeo, Campenille, and holy fuckballs to many more to list. This looks like I have a great path ahead of me.. and then on to my own space.
Which I cant wait to get underway..Stay Tuned. V