Category Archives: East Hollywood

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

11 Best Artisan Ice Cream Shops in LA

Neveux Artisan Creamery
I scream. You scream. We all scream for ice cream . . . unless you’re from LA, where consuming ice cream is a guilty pleasure that you’re discreet about.

But when Angelenos are looking to quietly indulge in creamy frozen bliss, there are thankfully a lot of great choices. The latest craze is artisan ice cream shops that produce small batches of gourmet product with a high cream content, top notch ingredients, and flavors that are often exotic and unusual.

Here are my eleven favorite ice cream joints in the city (gelaterias excluded):

Butterscotch Ice Cream and Butterscotch Sauce from Mother Moo Creamery

Butterscotch Ice Cream and Butterscotch Sauce from Mother Moo Creamery

1. Mother Moo Creamery (17 Kersting Ct in Sierra Madre) Located in the quaint little village of Sierra Madre, just east of Pasadena, this is my new favorite ice cream place in the city. There are so many amazing flavors here, it’s a challenge to choose just one or two. Recommended flavors: Classic Butterscotch, Salty Chocolate and Brownie.

McConnell's Ice Cream

McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams

2. McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams (317 S Broadway, Los Angeles in Downtown). This famous Santa Barbara ice cream shop just opened a branch here in the newly gentrified Grand Central Market. It’s awesome. Recommended flavors: Churros Con Leche, Double Peanut Butter Chip, Turkish Coffee, Summer Fruit Cobbler. UPDATE: A second LA location is now open in Studio City at 12073 Ventura Place

Salted Caramel Ice Cream from Sweet Rose Creamery

Salted Caramel Ice Cream from Sweet Rose Creamery

3. Sweet Rose Creamery (225 26th St #51, Santa Monica in the Brentwood Country Mart, 826 Pico Blvd in Santa Monica, and 7565 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles in Mid-City). Everything about Sweet Rose is outstanding and the choices of ice creams and toppings are amazing and extensive. Recommended Flavors: Salted Caramel, Fresh Mint with Homemade Chocolate Chips, Summer Corn.

Peddler's Creamery

Peddler’s Creamery

4. Peddler’s Creamery (458 S. Main St, Los Angeles in Downtown) Hipsters love ice cream too, especially at this cool looking shop which serves small batches of bicycle-churned ice cream made with organic, fair-trade, locally sourced ingredients. A percentage of their profits go to social and environmental causes. Recommended Flavors: Chocolate Cacao, Pancake Batter, Cinnamon.

Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream from Mashti Malone's

5. Mashti Malone’s (1525 N. La Brea Ave, Los Angeles in Hollywood) This unique shop specializes in Persian-style ice creams and sorbets made with ingredients like Rosewater and Saffron. But don’t overlook their American flavors like Peanut Butter, which are also phenomenal. Recommended Flavors: Rosewater Saffron with Pistachios, Ginger Rosewater, Peanut Butter

Three Twins Ice Cream

Three Twins Ice Cream

6. Three Twins Ice Cream (2726 Main St in Santa Monica) This Northern California import, which opened only a few months ago, has wickedly good organic ice cream. I love that a “single” is actually two flavors! Recommended flavors: Lemon Cookie, Bittersweet Chocolate and Dad’s Cardamom.

Blueberry Pie Ice Cream from Quenelle

Blueberry Pie Ice Cream from Quenelle

7. Quenelle (2214 W Magnolia Blvd in Burbank) This cute little shop opened just last year on a hip and funky stretch of Magnolia Boulevard in the Valley. Their Blueberry Pie flavor (pieces of Blueberry pie in creamy vanilla ice cream) is pretty much mandatory when ordering. Other recommended flavors: Vanilla Mascarpone, Strawberry Shortcake, Miso.

Carmela Ice Cream

Carmela Ice Cream

8. Carmela Ice Cream (2495 E Washington Blvd in Pasadena and 7920 W. Third Street, Los Angeles in Mid-City) I discovered this little gem several years ago at the Hollywood Farmer’s Market. Even though they have brick and mortar locations now, they still sell their amazing ice cream at certain farmer’s markets around town and purchase many of their ingredients from other farmer’s market vendors. Recommended flavors: Salted Caramel, Brown Sugar Vanilla Bean, Lavender Honey and Rosemary Toasted Pine Nut

Fosselman's Ice Cream

Chocolate Dipped Strawberry Ice Cream from Fosselman’s Ice Cream

9. Fosselman’s Ice Cream Company (1824 W Main St in Alhambra) This San Gabriel Valley landmark is over 91 years old and is still run by the same family. If you don’t want to drive all the way to Alhambra, you can always find a few of their super tasty flavors at Brian’s Shaved Ice in the Valley and on Sawtelle in Little Osaka. Recommended flavors: Chocolate Dipped Strawberry, Butter Pecan, Lemon Custard, Toasted Almond.

Scoops Westside

Scoops Westside

10. Scoops (712 N. Heliotrope Dr, Los Angeles in East Hollywood and 3400 Overland Ave, Los Angeles in Palms) One of the first Artisan Ice Cream places in the city, Scoops is constantly offering new and exotic flavors. For best selection, get there early in the day because flavors often run out. Recommended flavors: Brown Bread, Red Velvet Toffee, Horchata.

Neveux Artisan Creamery & Espresso Bar

Neveux Artisan Creamery & Espresso Bar

11. Neveux Artisan Ice Creamery & Espresso Bar (7407 ½ Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles in West Hollywood) The service is not great here, but the ice cream is. It’s perfect for capping off an afternoon of vintage clothing and vinyl record shopping on Melrose. Recommend flavors: Roasted Banana and Caliente Cinnamon Chocolate.

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Fosselman's Ice Cream Company on Urbanspoon
McConnell's Ice Cream on Urbanspoon
Neveux Artisan Creamery & Espresso Bar on Urbanspoon
Mashti Malone's on Urbanspoon
Quenelle on Urbanspoon
Mother Moo Creamery on Urbanspoon
Carmela Ice Cream on Urbanspoon
Carmela Ice Cream on Urbanspoon
Scoops on Urbanspoon
Scoops Westside on Urbanspoon
Scoops on Urbanspoon
Sweet Rose Creamery on Urbanspoon
Sweet Rose Creamery on Urbanspoon
Sweet Rose Creamery on Urbanspoon


Filed under Alhambra, Brentwood, Burbank, Downtown, East Hollywood, Echo Park, Fairfax, Hollywood, Mid-City, Palms, Pasadena, Sierra Madre, West Hollywood, West LA

We Be Jammin’

Brioche Toast, Cranberry Bourbon Jam and Nut Butter
Located on ungentrified Virgil Avenue in East Hollywood, SQIRL is an exceptionally good breakfast and lunch joint and one of the biggest hipster haunts in the city, packed with more vintage-clad, irony-obsessed, artisan-loving neo-bohemians than an organic food co-op in Williamsburg. The name of the restaurant is a combination of “squirrel” and “girl,” and refers to owner Jessica Koslow, a former producer of American Idol and a girl who “squirrels” things away by making jams and other preserves. SQIRL’S homemade jellies, jams and marmalades feature prominently in the menu and come in such flavors as Blackberry + Meyer Lemon, Pakistan Mulberries + Thai Magic Basil, and Moroblood Orange + Tonga Vanilla Bean.

One the best ways to sample the preserves is by ordering an obscenely thick slice of brioche toast slathered with nut butter and jam. While I love this open-faced PB&J, as well as SQIRL’s Malva Pudding, a decadent spongy caramelized pudding-cake, my favorite dish is their breakfast rice bowl. It’s unlike any rice bowl I’ve consumed before and made with Kokuhu Rose Brown Rice, Sorrel Pesto, Preserved Meyer Lemon, Lacto Fermented Hot Sauce, French Feta, Pickled Radish and a Poached Egg. It’s one of those perfect dishes where artisanal ingredients with disparate flavors are creatively fused together to produce something that seems both harmoniously simple and wonderfully complex. I’m completely obsessed.

SQIRL is located at 720 N. Virgil Ave., Los Angeles (in East Hollywood near Silverlake).

Kokuho Rose Brown Rice, Sorrel Pesto, Preserved Meyer Lemon, Lacto Fermented Hot Sauce, French Feta and Poached Egg

Kokuho Rose Brown Rice, Sorrel Pest, Preserved Meyer Lemon, Lacto Fermented Hot Sauce, French Feta, Radish and Poached Egg

Sunchoke Hash with Cheddar, Potato, Scallion and Fried Egg

Sunchoke Hash with Cheddar, Potato, Scallion and Fried Egg

Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad with Pomegranate, Hazelnut and Lime Vinaigrette

Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad with Pomegranate, Hazelnut and Lime Vinaigrette

Malva Pudding

Malva Pudding

Sweets for sweet hipsters

Sweets for sweet hipsters

Squirl, that's my jam

SQIRL, that’s my jam

SQIRL on Urbanspoon

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Filed under East Hollywood, Silver Lake