Tag Archives: best restaurants los angeles

The 10 Best Things I Consumed in 2023

It’s that time once again for my annual list of the 10 best things I consumed and posted about during the past year. I hope one or more make your to do list in 2024. Happy New Year!
Uni Toast with Avocado Crema, Onion Aoli, Jang-a-jji Cucumbers and Smoked Trout Roe from Tokki

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.

Chicken Shawarma Plate with Tahini, Red Cabbage, White Cabbage, Israeli Salad and Pickles from Tel Aviv Grill

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.

Soon Tofu (aka Soon Dubu) with Beef Dumplings from Seoul House of Tofu

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.

Trio of Shellfish including Baked Mussel, Clam and Shiitake Scallop from Sushi Sasabune

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.

Duck Leg Bread Pudding at Pasjoli

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.

Pizza with Lamb Sausage, Asiago, Confit Tomato, Rapini and Pecorino from Gjelina

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!

Babka Pie from Winston Pies

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.

Dirty Chicken from Citrin

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.

Black Sesame Bingsoo at Sul & Beans

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.

Queso Relleno with Edam Cheese, Ground Pork, Olives and Capers at Chichen Itza Restaurant

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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Filed under Beverly Hills, Brentwood, Downtown, Encino, Glendale, Koreatown, Marina del Rey, North Hollywood, Santa Monica, Venice, West Hollywood, Woodland Hills

The 10 Best Things I Consumed in 2022

My New Year’s resolution is to post more in 2023, but for now please enjoy my annual year-end list. Here are the 10 best things I consumed and posted about this year. Have a happy, healthy and delicious New Year!

Pretzel Bread and Mustard Butter

10. Pretzel Bread with Mustard Butter at Catch LA in West Hollywood. These incredible rolls are served hot-out-of-the-oven with a sweet mustard butter, and prove that sometimes the best things in life really are free (or, at least, complimentary with your meal).

Assorted Bourekas, Hard Boiled Eggs, Pickles and Tomato Dipping Sauces

9. Borekas at Bo-re-kas in Sherman Oaks. These savory Sephardic Israeli pastries with fillings such as potato & brown butter and cultured cheese & za’atar are one of the best things you can nosh on in the Valley.

Bahn Mi

8. Bahn Mi at Bahn Mi My-Dung in Chinatown. This perfect version of the classic Vietnamese sandwich is made and sold in a tiny, unassuming grocery store.

Brisket, Pork Ribs, Pulled Pork, Korean Sticky Glazed Pork Belly Burnt Ends, Jalapeño Cheddar Sausage, Mac n Cheese, Slaw, Red Potato Salad, Pickles, Onions and Tres Leches Strawberry Bread Pudding

7. Barbecue at Moo’s Craft Barbecue in Lincoln Heights. It’s hard to pick just one menu item for this list from my new favorite Texas-style barbecue joint in town, so I’m just going to recommend all of them.

Green Slice with Caciocavallo, Spinach-Cream Sauce and Parmigiano Reggiano

6. Green Slice at Pizzeria Bianco in Downton. Believe the hype.

Double Cheeseburger

5. Double Cheeseburger at The Win-Dow in Venice and Silver Lake. Smashingly delicious!

Prime Beef Bulgogi

4. Prime Beef Bulgogi at Woo Hyang Woo in Koreatown. This Korean BBQ staple is elevated to a whole new level at a great, new-ish, high-end eatery in the heart of K-town.

Cacio e Pepe Bagel

3. Cacio e Pepe Bagel at Belle’s Bagels in Highland Park. Jewish meets Italian and the result is possibly the best bagel ever.

Lobster Hand Roll

2. Lobster Hand Roll at Kazunori in Westwood, Studio City, Downtown, Mid-City, Santa Monica, Downton and Marina del Rey. Shello, uber-delicious hand roll. You are clawsome!

Banana Leaf Flan with Sesame and Caramel

1. Banana Leaf Flan at Damian in Downton. Upscale Mexican restaurant Damian is one of my favorite new places and this dessert is flan-tastic! It’s the best thing that I consumed and posted about this year!

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Filed under Chinatown, Downtown, Highland Park, Koreatown, Lincoln Heights, Marina del Rey, Santa Monica, Sherman Oaks, Silver Lake, Studio City, Venice, West Hollywood, Westwood

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

The 10 Best Things I Consumed in 2017

As we bid adieu to 2017, let’s just focus on the good stuff. And by “good stuff,” I mean the food we consumed to tantalize our taste buds, lift our spirits and provide a bit of pleasure in these ever-changing and uncertain times. Keeping with tradition, here is my annual list of the ten best things I ate and wrote about during the past year:

Shul Lung Tang (Korean bone broth) from Han Bat

10. Shul Lung Tang from Han Bat. Is bone broth a miracle elixir that will cure all your ailments, align your chakras and balance your chi? Probably not, but there’s nothing better than a hot bowl of this soup on a cold rainy day.

Pork Chop “Niman Ranch” from Salazar

9. Pork Chop “Niman Ranch” from Salazar. The penultimate dish on my top ten list is smoky, fatty and juicy. As excited as I am about this pork chop, I’m equally excited about using the word “penultimate” in my post.

Flaky Bread with Labneh, Preserved Lemon and Honey from Kismet

8. Flaky Bread from Kismet. The servers at Kismet are flaky and so is the hipstery restaurant’s best dish: a melt-in-your-mouth pan-fried bread served with labneh, preserved lemon and honey.

Banchan from Genwa

7. Banchan from Genwa. We all like free things, and the ridiculous amount of complimentary banchan (side dishes of fermented vegetables, fishcake, seasoned peanuts, braised beef, scallion pancakes and other Korean delicacies) at this Korean BBQ joint has the additional benefit of being exceptionally tasty.

Ceviche Tostada from Holbox

6. Ceviche Tostada from Holbox. How do you make an octopus laugh? With ten-tickles. The Ceviche Tostada at Holbox is a lot better than that joke.

Macarons from Ladurée

5. Macarons from Ladurée. The French know a thing or two about creating incredible baked confections. I know a thing or two about eating them.

Marinated Short Ribs from Chosun Galbee

4. Marinated Short Ribs from Chosun Galbee. I know what you’re thinking: Where’s the beef? It’s right here at #4 and it’s amazing.

Fresh Uni in the Shell from Jolly Oyster

3. Fresh Uni in the Shell from Jolly Oyster. Fun fact: uni is actually a sea urchin’s gonads. These gonads are especially delicious when eaten right out of the shell at the Jolly Oyster stall at DTLA’s weekly Smorgasburg.

Pastrami Sandwich from Ugly Drum

2. Pastrami Sandwich from Ugly Drum. “Oy gevalt!”…is something you will not be saying when you eat this pastrami masterpiece (which is also found at Smorgasburg).

Carrot Mole Enchiladas from Trois Familia

1. Carrot Mole Enchiladas from Trois Familia. You haven’t really had carrot mole enchiladas until you’ve had the ones from Trois Familia. They are insanely good and the best thing that I consumed and wrote about in 2017.

If you enjoy Consuming LA, please subscribe, like me on facebook and follow me on twitter and instagram at the top right of this page. And please forward to your friends!


Filed under Beverly Hills, Frogtown, Koreatown, Los Feliz, Mid-City, Silver Lake, South Los Angeles

Totally Bazaar

Serving creative small plates of culinary genius in an ultra-cool setting, The Bazaar is one of the best and most unique upscale restaurants in the city. Helmed by master chef Jose Andres, the restaurant is situated adjacent to the uber-funky and modern lobby of the SLS Hotel, and consists of two contrasting dining areas: Blanca (white) which is sleek and elegant and Rojo (red) which is dark and intimate, like a lively little restaurant in Spain. There is an open kitchen and the whole restaurant exudes a party-like atmosphere.

I suggest starting your meal with one of The Bazaar’s innovative libations such as the Magic Mojito, which is poured into a glass filled with cotton candy, or the Liquid Nitrogen Caipirinha, which is prepared tableside. An order of Sweet Potato Chips with Yogurt, Tamarind and Star Anise (pictured above) and the Pa’amb Tomaquet (Catalan-style Toasted Bread with Manchego Cheese and Tomato) are perfect complements to your cocktails.

Like the restaurant’s interior, the extensive menu at The Bazaar is bifurcated into two distinct sections. Half of your choices are expertly prepared traditional Spanish tapas, and the other half are “modern tapas” which include whimsical dishes, molecular gastronomy and other avant-garde offerings. I recommend ordering with a sense of adventure and getting a mix of dishes from both sides of the menu. On the traditional side, my favorite things are the Jamon Bechemel or Codfish Fritters and the Rossejat (Paella-style Pasta with Shrimp). On the modern side, the “Philly Cheesesteak” made with “air bread,” cheddar and Wagyu beef (or the vegetarian version with mushrooms called the “Hilly Cheesesteak”) is an absolute must-have. I also love the Tortilla de Patatas “New Way,” a deconstructed version of the typical Spanish dish made with potato foam, egg and caramelized onions, as well as the “Not Your Everyday Caprese,” a salad of cherry tomatoes and liquid mozzarella balls which dissolve in your mouth.

For dessert, you are moved (literally) to the Patisserie, which is situated in the rear of the hotel lobby and features a candy/pastry bar that looks like it’s right out of “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.” As with the savory part of your meal, the idea here is to order and experience an assortment of small bites, which includes tarts, cookies, bonbons and pates de fruits, as well as a few plated desserts. After dinner, it’s fun to explore the lobby’s unusual gift shop with museum-like displays of idiosyncratic art objects.

The Bazaar is located in the SLS Hotel at 465 S. La Cienega, Los Angeles (Mid-City near Beverly Hills and West Hollywood).

Jamon Bechemel Fritters

Catalan-style Toasted Bread, Manchego Cheese and Tomato

American Sturgeon Caviar Cone

Tortilla de Patatas “New Way” with Potato Foam, Egg 63 and Caramelized Onions

“Not Your Everyday Caprese” with Cherry Tomatoes and Liquid Mozzarella

Local Persimmon and Seaweed Salad with Olive Oil Yogurt and Sesame

Smoked Yellowtail and Crispy Rice with Yogurt, Grapes, Capers and Radish

Ceviche and Avocado Roll with Jicama, Micro Cilantro and Coconut

Sea Urchin with Avocado on Steamed Buns

Ottoman Carrot Fritters with Apricots and Pistachio Sauce

Rossejat (Paella-style Pasta with Shrimp)

Seared Squid with Artichokes and Chicken Escabeche

Seared Scallops with Romesco Sauce

Codfish Fritters with Honey Aioli

Baby Japanese Peaches with Di Stefano Burrata, Hazelnuts and Arugula

“Philly Cheesesteaks” with Air Bread, Cheddar and Wagyu Beef

Cava Sangria, which was prepared tableside

Apples “Carlota” — Bread Pudding with Saffron Sauce

Hot Chocolate Mousse with Pear Sorbet and Salty Hazelnut Praline

Bonbons, Mini-Tablettes and Pates de Fruits


The Bazaar By José Andrés on Urbanspoon


Filed under Beverly Hills, Mid-City, West Hollywood