10. Uni Toast from Tokki in Koreatown. One of my favorite newer restaurants is this modern Korean tapas spot in the heart of K-Town. I’ve loved everything I’ve tried on the menu, especially their thoughtful spin on Uni Toast.
9. Chicken Shawarma Plate from Tel Aviv Grill in Encino, North Hollywood and Woodland Hills. This is my favorite Middle Eastern place in the City and their shaved-to-order Chicken Shawarma is metzuyan (excellent)! Pick out your sides when your order is ready and don’t forget the phenomenal fresh baked pita bread, crispy french fries and fried eggplant.
8. Soon Tofu from Seoul House of Tofu in West LA. This is my regular go-to; my ride or die; the dish I eat the most when I dine out. I order this Korean tofu stew medium spicy with beef dumplings, but it can be customized many different ways and ordered as a combo with Hot Stone Bibimbap, Galbi or Bulgogi. It’s a good choice in any weather, but nothing beats it on a cold or rainy night.
7. Trio of Shellfish from Sushi Sasabune in Brentwood. This has been one of my favorite sushi bars for decades and, along with its sister restaurants in Beverly Hills and Glendale, serves one of the best omakase in town. Your adventure starts off with this glorious trio of clam, baked mussel and shiitake scallop.
6. Duck Leg Bread Pudding at Pasjoli in Santa Monica. I love a savory bread pudding and this one at Chef Dave Beran’s elevated French Bistro is incredible. However, you’re going to need to splurge and get (via pre-order) his signature pressed duck meal for 2 in order to get the bread pudding. But it’s worth it.
5. Pizza with Lamb Sausage, Asiago, Confit Tomato, Rapini and Pecorino from Gjelina in Venice. This Abbot Kinney mainstay bakes some of the tastiest pizzas in town, and this meaty pie is my favorite of them all. That’s amore!
4. Babka Pie from Winston Pies in Brentwood, West Hollywood, Santa Monica and Marina del Rey. Custard pie meets chocolate babka and the result is to die for. Unfortunately, it’s only available around the Jewish High Holidays which occur in September and/or October. Here’s hoping they add it to their permanent rotation.
3. Dirty Chicken from Citrin in Santa Monica. This amazing signature dish of Chef Josiah Citrin is juicy baked Jidori Chicken coated in Panko, Preserved Lemon and Confit Garlic. Formerly only available at fine dining establishment Citrin, you can now also get it at their new fast casual joint, Augie’s on Main.
2. Black Sesame Bingsoo at Sul & Beans in Koreatown. This Korean dessert of shaved creamy ice, red beans and house-made chewy rice cakes is all the rage in K-Town these days. My favorite of the 14 flavor combos offered at Sul & Beans is the Black Sesame one. It’s sweet and savory perfection.
1. Queso Relleno at Chichen Itza Restaurant in Downtown LA. This is my favorite Mexican restaurant in town and it specializes in Yucatan cuisine. They make their own corn tortillas and are famous for their Habañero hot sauce. The insanely wonderful Queso Relleno is my favorite dish there and the best thing that I consumed and wrote about in 2023!
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