Many times I have seen people say that LA does not have good food. As someone who loves Los Angeles and has spent a TON of time here, I just look at these people crazy because “HOW CAN YOU THINK THIS?” Then I remember a few things but the biggest one is: everyone is not me and doesn’t know how to find good places in such a sprawling city. I’m writing this post as a helpful guide for people coming to LA and not knowing where to begin their foodie missions.
I’ve currently been in LA for the last couple of weeks and let me tell you, I have been eating so good. I’m just going to go over some of my fave places I’ve had over the last few weeks. I plan to do more of posts like this, however, since I’ll be spending a few more weeks in Los Angeles and also extending the idea to other cities since I am a foodie at heart. Stay tuned for those <3 Be mindful that this isn’t some LA essentials list by any means; this is just a list of places I’ve found and really liked for those needing any recommendations! Now lets get into the food..
Angel’s East LA Taco Crawl
Every city I go to, I always try to fit in one AIRBNB Experience. The experiences are basically different activities hosted by locals and they range from something small like guided tours to cooking classes to bar crawls and everything in between. I was going through the different experiences when I came across this Angel’s East LA Taco Crawl. I was immediately intrigued for two reasons: 1. I don’t have any experience with East Los Angeles, I literally never go over there and 2. tacos are one of my fave things ever. So I booked it for me and my bestie and it was a really great experience. We went to 5 different taco trucks/stands in Belvedere and also a churro place and I kid you not, every taco I had that night was amazing. I think I had like 7 tacos and each was different as every place has something they’re best at. One spot even had ribs and those were also bomb AF LOL. Everything was just a couple dollars for a taco and they also had horchata, aquas frescas, and galletas! I consider going back to East LA just to revisit all these spots. This is definitely a big recommend for me if you’re looking to experience authentic tacos and also do a food based tour. Angel is super informative and just a good person, in general. He has tons of recommendations besides just the taco places! You can check out the experience here.
Location: East Los Angeles, Belvedere area
This is a place I randomly stumbled upon and it shockingly turned out to be really, really good. It’s a Japanese fried chicken place and they do chicken, VERY WELL. I personally am not a huge fried chicken fan. It’s just not something I eat often or like very much but this place definitely had me smacking my lips. The skin is so crispy and flavorful and the meat itself is very juicy. They do sandwiches as well as assorted pieces. I know chicken sandwiches are super trendy right now and if you want a really delicious one, you should come here. It has everything you need for the perfect sandwich and the miso jam on bottom is a very appreciated touch. They also have pickled radishes that are *chefs kiss*. On their counter, they have a jar of chocolate chip cookies that are so ooey-gooey, it’ll make your tastebuds melt. I’m still thinking about those cookies, honestly! They are also cashless and have free wifi. (:
Location: 767 S Alameda St. DTLA
Met Her At a Bar
This spot is super popular from the few hours I spent there. I definitely recommend going early in the morning or later afternoon. Otherwise, be prepared to wait because the brunch crowd is SKRONG on any day of the week, btw. Once I was able to get a table, I instantly LOVED their menu. It’s one of those menus where everything sounds amazing and you have no idea what to get. It’s a pretty big menu, too, which is nice to have options. I decided to go with breakfast tacos (one of my fave breakfast items, btw, you’ll probably see me bring them up all the time!) and I also decided to get their thai chicken and waffles because it just seemed like an interesting spin on a classic breakfast staple. I had the tacos first and loved that they came with a side of fruit and tajin; so yum and refreshing. The tacos themselves were SO GOOD. I don’t know what kind of red salsa is on top but it was so good. The flavors really blended together so well and I usually hate a ton of toppings on tacos besides meat, onion and a salsa but they created a really delicious experience in every bite of the taco. When I first got the chicken and waffles, I was at first skeptical because the waffle just didn’t look that great to me. I was shook after eating it, though. Looks can be deceiving! It was very moist and sweet and fluffy. The chicken was super good, too, and you get a lot of those Thai spices that I love so much. It isn’t spicy like I originally thought it would be but it pairs so well with the sweetness of the waffle. I recommend the tacos, for sure, but they’re kind of small so I would def grab something else too to go with them. I definitely plan to go back and try more items!
Location: 759 South La Brea Ave; Mid-Wilshire
The other day, I was craving Vietnamese food.. BAD. I knew I didn’t want pho, though. I was actually going through photos I’d taken in Vietnam and reminiscing on those amazing flavors and just wanted those again. Luckily, Los Angeles has an amazing Vietnamese scene so I was able to find a fix really easy. Enter Bahn Oui! It’s right down the street from where I’m staying so I was really curious about it since it’s so close. I was hype upon seeing their menu; they had two different kinds of chicken wings AND ribs. I was immediately in. They specialize in sandwiches if the name didn’t give it away but i’m not really a sandwich person, tbh. They looked delicious from the photos I’ve seen so if that’s your thing, give it a shot and let me know what you think. I had the lemon pepper wings, the sticky wings and the ribs. They were so good, I went back later that day to get more wings. I am not ashamed. The lemon pepper were delicious and I usually find lemon pepper very underwhelming; the sticky wings were so good, had a little oomph to em, not spicy but definitely has a kick. The ribs can be described with one word: TENDER. I love this place.
Location: 1552 N. Cahuenga blvd; Hollywood
Post and Beam
One of my fave areas in Los Angeles is Leimert Park. It’s in South LA and it’s a neighborhood that is just full of life and real people, tucked away from the Hollywood scene. There are a ton of little food gems around here (there’s another one on my list actually) but this is definitely one of my favorites in all of Los Angeles. It’s black owned so shout out to that but also it is just really good comfort, down home food. There’s definitely southern influences on their menu but it isn’t soul food. They have a great brunch menu on the weekends and I highly recommend the pecan pie french toast or the shrimp and grits. Their dinner menu is also really great and offers a ton of variety from the jerked catfish (YUM), to the cast iron natural chicken (ALSO, YUM). They even have vegan and vegetarian options, which is really cool too. I really love the energy of this place as well as the food. The walls are decorated in black art from film posters to famous activists. It’s a really good spot, with amazing food, and a great ambiance.
Location: Santa Rosalia Dr; Leimert Park
Kosuke is a little hidden gem but also not really that hidden judging by how busy it can be. This is such a bomb ramen place, I dream about their ramen. It’s one of those family run establishments that has the entire family in the kitchen cooking their BUTTs off. The matriarch runs the front of house and is so adorable. The ambiance is really chill and they have a small space so prepare for it to be packed. The ramen itself is to die for. The broth is so flavorful and has such depth, you’d think they’d been making it for weeks. You can add all kinds of things to your ramen but I go for the fried chicken or karaage. Listen, there are those who say fried chicken doesn’t belong in ramen; I’m here to tell you, you’re wrong. TRY THIS. The chicken does not get soggy, I promise. Or I just eat extremely fast because it is so damn good. Either way, this spot definitely needs to be on your list if you’re a ramen lover.
Location: 618-B W Main St; Alhambra
Ackee Bamboo Jamaican Cuisine
As diverse and huge as Los Angeles is, it is very hard to find good Jamaican food. Which sucks for those, like me, who love Jamaican cuisine. It isn’t that LA doesn’t have Jamaican food spots, it does; but they are just so underwhelming. Sorry, not sorry! That being said, this is my all time favorite Jamaican food spot in LA. Hands down. It is so good and authentic. I could literally eat anything from the menu even though they are always out of something I want when I go (but that just means it’s amazing, right?). If you can, get the oxtail OR the jerk chicken combo. You won’t regret it.
Location: 4305 Degnan Blvd; Leimert Park
Lettuce Feast: food truck
If you are ever craving hot and juicy, flavor packed chicken sandwiches, this is the truck you need to be at. If you couldn’t tell by the huge line you’re sure to come across, Lettuce Feast is IT. Oh and did I mention, IT’S VEGAN. *gasp* Okay now before you stop reading and move on, let me just tell you that I am not swimming in the Vegan pool, but this truck is where I dip my pinky toe in. The food is so fresh, ingredients are high quality and it is finger licking good. Seriously, I lick my fingers after each bite. They specialize in Nashville hot chickn sandwiches and they come in a few flavors too. Sometimes, they even have a yummy yummy banana pudding that I could devour in two bites. I know Vegan food can immediately sound off putting for alot of people but I promise you, it tastes even BETTER than an actual chicken sandwich. No cap. You can check their schedule and find out where they’ll be here and get their early or prepare to wait. The wait is worth it though, I swear.
Nae’s Cakes and Catering: home cook
I love to support up and coming locals; the people who are on their grind trying to make their dreams a reality. I found this girl on twitter through a mutual friend and I was so excited to try her food! I’m a dessert person and I’ll be the first to admit it. However, she not only does cake jars and sweet goodies but also she does catering for real food! You can check out what her menu is on her Instagram. I highly recommend trying her cajun pasta, it is SO good. She also makes a damn good mac and cheese. The cake jars come in a few diff flavors; I am partial to the banana pudding (I could live off of it, no joke) but she also does a strawberry shortcake flavor that is just as delectable. She travels so she can meet you somewhere if you’re not close to her! If you’re wanting some comfort food, look no further OR if you have an event and need to bring a dish, she’s your girl.
Location: Inglewood but travels
Part health food store, part restaurant, this place is a staple in the community at large. A friend took me here and I’ve been obsessed ever since. I love places with an emphasis on health but keeping the food delicious. Their menu is pretty Caribbean based and you can get everything from jerk chicken patties to Vegan sandwiches. They have a really great variety on their menu so there is something for everyone. You can also check out the store, too, and find something to take home. Whenever I go here, I’m always trying to try something different and everything is so good. If you decide to go, I recommend any of the patties. They’re literally all amazing. I also recommend the blackened salmon or blackened chicken. *Chefs kiss*
Location: 4508 W. Slauson Ave; South LA
Okay, that’s it for now! I hope these recommendations are helpful for people coming to visit LA or even for those who are in LA and just want somewhere new to try and look into. Let me know if you visit any and what you think. I’m also always open to more food recommendations! I definitely want to do posts like this more often for LA and other cities as well.