Category Archives: Culver City

The 10 Best Things I Consumed in 2020

This past year was brutal for all of us, and the restaurant industry was hit especially hard. Like many of you, I have tried my best to support the eateries I love by ordering take-out or delivery. Plus I think we all need delicious comfort food now more than ever to make us feel better and provide a sense of normalcy. As in prior years, I have put together a list of my favorite ten dishes I wrote about (mostly via Instagram lately) during the past year. Here’s hoping for a happier and healthier new year!

Ube Creme Caramel (in the center) from Creme Caramel LA.

10. Ube Creme Caramel from Creme Caramel LA. This Filipino-inspired dessert shop specializes in different flavors of crème caramel. All are amazing but the Ube (purple yam) flavor is my favorite.

Bagels from Maury’s

9. Bagels from Maury’s. We are in the midst of a bagel renaissance in L.A. and these are some of the best. They are ideally consumed hot out of the oven with a scallion cream cheese schmear.

Crispy Soft Shell Crab from Rustic Spoon

8. Crispy Soft Shell Crab from Rustic Spoon. Crunchy, salty and crabilicious, this is my favorite dish at my favorite Valley Thai eatery. It’s served on a bed of Papaya Salad with a sugary Plum Sauce on the side.

Cheeseburger Potstickers from Ms Chi Cafe

7. Cheeseburger Potstickers from Ms Chi Cafe. These jumbo fusion dumplings made with Ground Chuck Roast, Diced Onion and Shredded Cheddar Cheese, and served with Tomato-bacon Jam, were a winning dish for Chef Shirley Chung on Top Chef.

Fried Clam Basket from Connie and Ted’s

6. Fried Clam Basket from Connie and Ted’s. Whole Belly Ipswich Clams are hard to find in LA., and the ones fried up at Chef Michael Cimarusti’s New England-themed restaurant are wicked good!

Bee Sting Pizza with Tomato, Soppressata, Chile, Honey and Basil from Roberta’s

5. Bee Sting Pizza from Roberta’s. Brooklyn’s most hipsterish pizza joint has expanded into Culver City, and this spicy, doughy, cheesy and slightly sweet work of culinary art is not to be missed.

Bread Pudding from B Sweet Dessert Bar

4. Bread Pudding from B Sweet Dessert Bar. In addition to her other incredible offerings, talented pastry chef Barb Batiste serves a rotating selection of 50+ hot bread puddings, each with its own accompanying sauce. My favorites are Salted Caramel, Glazed Donut, Banana Chocolate and Pumpkin.

Lobster Risotto from Melisse x Citrin

3. Lobster Risotto from Melisse x Citrin. There is no better place on the Westside to splurge for a special occasion. This fine dining establishment’s fixed price menu of gourmet delights changes every week and, when ordered to go, includes instructions on assembling each course at home. This heavenly Risotto was from their “Lobster, Lobster, Lobster” set menu.

Dulce de Leche Besito Cookies from Porto’s Bakery

2. Dulce de Leche Besito Cookies from Porto’s Bakery. “Besito” means “kiss” in Spanish and I am head-over-heels in love with these Cuban buttery cookies filled with gooey thick caramel and dusted with powdered sugar.

Uni Pizza with Santa Barbara Uni, Uni Cream Butter, Mushrooms and Truffle Oil from The Joint Eatery

Uni Pizza from The Joint Eatery. This gourmet seafood restaurant and market offers a seafood-themed pizza on Sundays. Every version of this pizza I’ve ordered there has been amazing, but the one that they occasionally make with Uni, Mushrooms and Truffle Oil is transcendent. It’s the best thing I consumed in 2020.

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Filed under Burbank, Culver City, Downey, Glendale, North Hollywood, Santa Monica, Sherman Oaks, Silver Lake, Toluca Lake, Valley Village, West Covina, West Hollywood, West LA

10 Best Fried Chicken Joints in LA

There is no better comfort food than fried chicken. Crispy and unctuous on the outside and hot and juicy on the inside, it makes you forget your troubles with every bite.

However, all fried chicken is not created equal. In our sprawling metropolis, there are several blue-ribbon eateries producing truly exceptional finger-lickin’-goodness that stands out from the rest. After conducting years of extensive research on the topic, here are my top 10 favorites:

Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken

#1 (tie) Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken (1262 Crenshaw Blvd in Mid-City Los Angeles, 509 S Glenoaks Blvd, Burbank, and 2580 Long Beach Blvd, Long Beach). Gus’s, a small chain originating in Tennesee, serves Memphis-style spicy fried chicken which is perfect in every way. Served atop a slice of white bread, these insanely amazing drumsticks, wings, thighs and breasts are accompanied by traditional Southern sides such as mac n cheese, greens and baked beans.

Plan Check Kitchen + Bar

#1 (tie) Plan Check Kitchen + Bar (1800 Sawtelle Blvd in West LA, 351 N Fairfax Ave in Mid-City LA, 1401 Ocean Ave #104 in Santa Monica, and 1111 Wilshire Blvd in the Westlake district adjacent to Downtown). While Gus’s fried chicken is a traditional Southern type, the other top winner on my list, the Smokey Fried Chicken at Plan Check, is the opposite. It’s an elevated gourmet version of the dish marinated in buttermilk brine, fried in beef tallow and severed with Smoked Milk Gravy, Yam Preserves and Spicy Pickled Okra. It’s my favorite dish on the menu and real show-stopper.

Howlin’ Ray’s

#3 Howlin’ Ray’s (727 N Broadway #128, Los Angeles in Chinatown/Downtown). Located amid the souvenir shops and Chinese herb merchants in the Far East Plaza in Chinatown, Howlin’ Rays serves Nashville-style Hot Chicken. This place is so popular — and so incredibly good — that the wait in line can often take two hours or more. I don’t love waiting in lines, but this place is definitely worth it.

OB Bear

#4 OB Bear (3002 W 7th St, Los Angeles in Koreatown). This tavern in K-town serves the most awesome Korean fried chicken. Enjoy it with pickled radish, cabbage salad, a seafood leek pancake and a couple of nice cold Korean beers.

Honey’s Kettle Fried Chicken

#5 Honey’s Kettle Fried Chicken (9537 Culver Blvd, Culver City). This Culver City mainstay serves expertly cooked and super yummy Southern-style fried chicken made with high-end ingredients. I order mine with biscuits, honey, mashed potatoes and gravy.

Dave’s Hot Chicken

#5 Dave’s Hot Chicken (970 N Western Ave, Los Angeles in East Hollywood). Spice is the name of the game at Dave’s and if you love your chicken eye-tearing, lip-burning, brow-sweating spicy, then this is the place for you. But even if you wimp out and order your bird mild, you will be impressed with the deliciously seasoned Nashville-style chicken.

Golden Bird

#7 Golden Bird (8300 S Western Ave in Inglewood, 2847 Crenshaw Blvd in West Adams, and 13501 S Avalon Blvd in Gardena). This Southern fried chicken chain in South LA is a sentimental favorite of many Angelenos and has been serving delicious fried chicken and soul food sides and desserts (including Sweet Potato Pie and 7-Up Cake!) since 1953. The mouth-watering batter here reminds me of my personal childhood favorite, Pioneer Chicken.


#8 Pikunico (767 S Alameda St Suite 122, Los Angeles in Downtown). Newly opened in the uber-hot Row DTLA complex, Pikunico serves excellent gourmet Karaage (Japanese Fried Chicken) which is free range, gluten-free and made with locally sources ingredients. It’s served with house-made assorted pickles, three gourmet sauces (Daikon Ponzu Oroshi, Lemon Aioli, and Parsley Sesame Sauce) and your choice of Ginger Onigiri or Fingerling Fries.

Dinah’s Family Restaurant

#9 Dinah’s Family Restaurant (6521 S Sepulveda Blvd, Los Angeles in Westchester). This old school diner is an LA institution famous for their fried chicken (as well as their giant German pancakes). It’s perfect for a meal of fried chicken and waffles or as your first stop after landing at nearby LAX.

Anzu Japanese Gourmet

#10 Anzu Japanese Gourmet (11270 La Grange Ave in West LA) Even if you are a frequent visitor to the Japanese restaurants and shops on Sawtelle, you may not be aware of Anzu. Located just off of the main drag, it’s simply a tiny window with very limited seating outside where you can purchase some of the best Japanese fried chicken in the city.

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Filed under Burbank, Chinatown, Culver City, Downtown, East Hollywood, Gardena, Inglewood, Koreatown, Long Beach, Mid-City, Santa Monica, West Adams, West LA, Westchester, Westlake

10 Best Korean BBQ Joints in LA

There are few things in the world that I love more than Korean BBQ. Nothing beats gathering around a fiery tabletop grill with your friends while marinated meats are cooked to perfection right in front of you. Grab a hot piece of caramelized short rib with your chopsticks and pop it in your mouth followed by a swig of cold Korean beer. Yes, life is good.

After years of extensive research, here are my 10 favorite Korean BBQ restaurants in LA:

Kang Ho-dong Baekjeong

1. Kang Ho Dong Baekjeong (3465 W 6th St, Los Angeles) Part of a chain from Seoul owned by a comedian/wrestler, this place has everything you want in a Korean BBQ joint: a super fun and bustling atmosphere, fantastic service and incredible food. The only downside: they don’t take reservations and there is always a long wait.

Chosun Galbee

2. Chosun Galbee (3330 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles) While the food here is authentic and traditional (and absolutely amazing), I’ve found Chosun Galbee to be very accessible for Korean BBQ novices and it’s where I usually bring first-timers. Everything here is big — the menu, the restaurant (including a large patio) and the flavors. There are private rooms in the back which are perfect for parties. My favorites here are the chadol (thiny sliced brisket), spicy pork bulgogi and marinated galbi.

Magal BBQ

3. Magal BBQ (3460 W 8th St, Los Angeles) Magal is the cool new kid in town. It’s a recent import from a successful chain in Korea and has a party-like atmosphere. Make sure to check out their signature Beef Sushi and Volcano Fried Rice.

Genwa Korean BBQ

4. Genwa Korean BBQ (5115 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles and 170 N La Cienega Blvd, Beverly Hills) The big draw here is the banchan, the little side dishes of kimchi and other fermented vegetables, sliced pancakes, potato salad, boiled peanuts, braised beef and other Korean delicacies. While most Korean BBQ places give you between 4 and 7 different kinds of banchan, Genwa gives you around twenty different varieties and, as with virtually all Korean restaurants, they’re all refillable upon request.

Park’s BBQ

5. Park’s BBQ (955 S Vermont Ave, Los Angeles) This joint is the top choice for ballers and foodies who demand the highest quality meats and don’t mind paying the highest prices. Their heavily marbelized Wagyu beef may ruin you for all other Korean BBQ.

Soowan Galbi

6. Soowan Galbi (856 S Vermont Ave B, Los Angeles) While the decor of this small strip mall eatery is a bit plain and the atmosphere is a bit staid, the BBQ is anything but dull. The quality of the food here is incredible and their marinated meats are among the best in town.


7. Hanjip (3829 Main St, Culver City) Owned by celebrity chef Chris Oh and LA restaurant maven Stephane Bombet, Hanjip is one of the few great LA Korean BBQ places outside of Koreantown. It’s also my favorite of the all-you-can-eat joints. In addition to the meats, make sure to order their incredible Kimchi Fried Rice, Uni Steamed Egg and Bone Marrow Corn Cheese. For extra fun, enjoy Soju poured into your mouth through a marrow bone “luge.”

Quarters Korean BBQ

8. Quarters Korean BBQ (3465 W 6th St, Los Angeles) Located in historic Chapman Plaza in the center of K-town, this is where I usually wind up when the line is too long at neighbor restaurant Kang Ho Dong Baekjeong. It’s fun and modern and they have great banchan and excellent bulgogi.

Soot Bull Jeep

9. Soot Bull Jeep (3136 W 8th St, Los Angeles) The pork baby back ribs here are insanely good. All of the meat is cooked at your table on charcoal grills, which adds a great smokey flavor to your food. The charcoal smoke fills up the restaurant and creates a magical atmosphere on a cold wintery night. The fact that the smokey smell remains in your clothes and hair when you leave is a small price to pay for all of that charcoal grilled goodness.

Chung Ki Wa

10. Chung Ki Wa (3545 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles) This traditional looking joint has old school charm and solid BBQ. The galbi is especially good here. Make sure to also order their famous cold buckwheat noodles.

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Filed under Beverly Hills, Culver City, Koreatown, Mid-City

The Great Blogiversary Giveaway

Five Year Blogiversary
Consuming LA is celebrating its fifth blogiversary! As a thank you to my readers who have made Consuming LA one of the top food blogs in Los Angeles, I am giving away gift certificates to many of the places that I’ve written about and recommended. There are ten prizes in all.

Here’s how to enter to win: If you do not already subscribe to Consuming LA, you can enter simply by subscribing (which is free). If you are already a subscriber, you can enter by simply emailing me at Once you become a subscriber or if you have already been one, you can enter additional times by referring new subscribers. You will receive one entry for each referral and you can enter as many times as you want. The deadline to enter is April 20, 2016. Click here to see the official rules. Here are the prizes:

Marinated Kurobuta Pork Belly

Marinated Kurobuta Pork Belly

$100 Gift Certificate from Hanjip. Favorite dishes include Kimchi Fried Rice Sauteed in Brown Butter, Bone Marrow Corn Cheese with Shaved Parmesan and Bonito Flakes, and Marinated Kurobuta Pork Belly.

Skirt Steak with Oregano Chimichurri and Sea Urchin Butter

Skirt Steak with Oregano Chimichurri and Sea Urchin Butter

$100 Gift Certificate from Maré Favorite dishes include Branzino with Fig Pomegranate Sauce, Skirt Steak with Oregano Chimichurri and Sea Urchin Butter, and Blood Orange "Trifolo" with Semolina Cake and Fruit Compote.

Albacore Poké with Mango on Jasmine Rice

Albacore Poké with Mango on Jasmine Rice

$100 Gift Certificate from Sweetfin Poké Favorite Dishes include Spicy Tuna Poké on Kelp Noodles, Mango Albacore Poké on Jasmine Rice, and Sriracha Tuna on Citrus-Kale Salad.

Cheese Burger from Cassell's Hamburgers with House Ground Prime Beef Patty and Cheddar Cheese on a Parker House Bun.

Cheeseburger from Cassell’s Hamburgers with House Ground Prime Beef Patty and Cheddar Cheese on a Parker House Bun.

$50 Gift Certificate from Cassell’s Hamburgers This is my favorite burger joint in the city! Favorite dishes include the Cheese Burger, the Patty Melt and the Dulce de Leche Pie.

Frozen Popcorn

The best popcorn ever!

$50 Gift Certificate to California Mad Poppers Favorite items: “South of the Border” Cheese Popcorn with Jalapeños and Cheddar, "Bacon on the Brain" Caramel Corn with Maple and Bacon, and “Elvis” Caramel Corn with Peanut Butter, Banana and Bacon.

Maple Bacon Doughnut

Maple Bacon Doughnut

$50 Gift Certificate from Sidecar Doughnuts & Coffee This is my favorite donut shop in LA! Favorite donuts include the Butter & Salt Doughnut, the Huckleberry Doughnut, and the Breakfast Doughnut with sliced country ham and a poached egg inside.

Brownie with Vanilla Ice Cream and Caramel Sauce

Brownie with Vanilla Ice Cream and Caramel Sauce

$50 Gift Certificate from The Independence Favorite dishes include Ricotta Gnudi with Asparagus, Bacon and Parmesan Cheese, Angus Burger with French Onions, Gruyere and Herb Aioli on an Onion Bun, and Brownie with Vanilla Ice Cream and Caramel Sauce.

Aussie Pie Tiger Stack

Aussie Pie Tiger Stack

Lunch or Dinner for Two at Aussie Pie Kitchen Favorite Dishes include Ground Beef and Shiraz Pie, Chicken and Tarragon Pie, and any pie served “Tiger Style,” which means it’s served on a pile of Garlic Mashed Yukon Gold Potatoes and topped with a scoop of bacon-laced Mushy Minty Peas and a ladleful of Creamy Thyme Gravy.

Crab Hand Roll

Blue Crab Hand Roll

Lunch or Dinner for Two at KazuNori Favorite dishes include Blue Crab Hand Roll, Bay Scallop Hand Roll, Toro Hand Roll and Lobster Hand Roll.

Figueroa Philly

Figueroa Philly

Lunch or Dinner for Two at Figueroa Philly This is my favorite cheesesteak place in Los Angeles. Favorite dishes: Cheesesteaks and Hot Pastrami Sandwiches.

Good luck!

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Filed under Culver City, Downtown, Hollywood, Inglewood, Koreatown, Mid-City, Santa Monica, West Hills, West Hollywood

I Like Your Gold Grillz


Featuring a mohawk-sporting badass chef, gold grills (not the kind that were an unfortunate hip hop fashion trend several years ago, but the ones you cook on), and bone marrow luges, Hanjip is the new cool kid on the block. Chef Chris Oh of Seoul Sausage fame, along with top LA restauranteur Stephane Bombet, have created something very unusual with Hanjip: a top notch Korean BBQ joint which is traditional, yet also super hip and modern, and located not in Koreatown, but on the Westside.

A meal at this Korean house of hedonism should start with some of their decadent appetizers. The Seafood Pancake and the Kimchi Fried Rice Sauteed in Brown Butter are great choices, and the Bone Marrow Corn Cheese with Shaved Parmesan and Bonito Flakes is an absolute must-have. After eating the marrow, you can order soju, which your server will gladly pour into your mouth by way of a “luge” created with the bone.

Then it’s on to the grilling action! The Tomahawk Steak with Foie Gras Butter is as excellent as it sounds. The Carabineros Prawns are also amazing. But my favorite thing to cook here is the Marinated Kurobuta Pork Belly. It’s sweet and savory and truly exceptional.

Hanjip is located at 3829 Main St in Culver City.

Seafood Pancake with Curry Dipping Sauce

Seafood Pancake with Curry Dipping Sauce

Kimchi Fried Rice Sauteed in Brown Butter

Kimchi Fried Rice Sauteed in Brown Butter

Bone Marrow Corn Cheese with Shaved Parmesan and Bonito Flakes

Bone Marrow Corn Cheese with Shaved Parmesan and Bonito Flakes

Bone Marrow Luge

Bone Marrow Luge

Uni Steamed Egg with Salmon Roe

Uni Steamed Egg with Salmon Roe

Marinated Kurobuta Pork Belly

Marinated Kurobuta Pork Belly

Carabineros Prawns

Carabineros Prawns

Pork Neck/Jowl and Banchan

Pork Neck/Jowl and Banchan

Chopped Tomahawk

Tomahawk Steak with Foie Gras Butter

I love this place!

I love this place!

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Filed under Culver City