Tag Archives: silverlake restaurants

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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Golden Battered Bliss


The home of my current food obsession is basically a parking lot with a tarp canopy, some cheap plastic tables and folding chairs, a couple deep fryers and a cash register. There’s no sign and the hours are very limited, but when they are open, there is almost always a line of hungry Angelenos, eager to devour a specialty of Ensenada, Mexico. The place is Ricky’s Fish Tacos in Silverlake and the tacos there are insanely good.

The menu consists of only Baja-style fish tacos (made with catfish), shrimp tacos and occasionally lobster tacos, as well as drinks including homemade agua fresca.  For his batter, owner Ricky Piña uses his grandmother’s recipe, which produces the most delicious, golden, crispy coating on the deep fried seafood.  The tacos are served on warm corn tortillas with shredded cabbage and pico de gallo made of fresh tomatos, onions and jalapenos.  To complete these incredible street delicacies, homemade salsas (mild tomatillo, medium tomato/garlic and spicy chipotle) and crema in plastic squeeze bottles are added by the customer to his or her liking. I usually order three and put a different salsa on each.

Ricky’s Fish Tacos is located at 1400 N. Virgil Ave., Los Angeles (in Silverlake).  Parking can be a bitch. UPDATE: Ricky’s was shut down by the Board of Health no doubt because of improper permitting (not a huge surprise). They plan to relocate soon.

Amazing Fish Tacos!


The shrimp and fish are fried right in front of you.


Spinach-Cucumber Agua Fresca


It’s under a tarp canopy in a parking lot.



Ricky's Fish Tacos (Food Stand) on Urbanspoon

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Devil Got Your Tongue


The Michelada has been my favorite drink of late. Popular throughout Latin America, a Michelada is a beer cocktail with lime juice, assorted sauces, spices and peppers. Diablo, a new gastropub in Silverlake, serves really excellent Micheladas with a twist. The beer of your choice is poured into a tall glass with a heavily salted and spiced rim and is accompanied by a tomato or yuzu popsicle, which you can dip and/or suck on between sips or simply submerge into your beer to melt.

The unusual Micheladas are not the only great thing about Diablo. The food there is exceptionally good. The main focus of the menu is gourmet fusion tacos. While fusion tacos are nothing new in LA and are served by at least half of the gourmet food trucks on the streets of this city, the tacos at Diablo stand out due to their high-end seasonal ingredients and their unique combinations of sweet and savory. My favorite is the Maple Fried Chicken Taco with Purple Kale and Red Rooster Vinaigrette. It’s salty, sweet, crunchy and incredibly good! I also love the Pork Belly Taco with Thai Peanut Salsa and Caramelized Bananas, and the Beef Cheeks Taco with Horseradish Puree, Fromage Blanc and Parsley. Vegetarian and vegan options are numerous and include the “Portabello Asada” and “Hen of the Woods” Tacos.

The layout and decor of Diablo are very similar to that of Wurstkuche. It’s industrial chic with lots of brick, metal and reclaimed wood. You order and pay at a counter in one room and your food is brought to you in a large Biergarden-esque dinng hall with a very long communal table and several smaller tables. In addition to the tacos, I also recommend ordering the Grilled Sweet Corn with Cojita, Lime Mayo and Truffle Oil and the Heirloom Radish Salad with Persian Cucumber, Jicama, Chili, Lime and Apple. For dessert, there are more popsicles. One is Hibiscus-flavored, while another is made with Chocolate, Espresso and Bacon. Speaking of bacon, there’s also a Chocolate, Bacon, Peanut Butter and Marshmallow Cookie served warm out of the oven. If you’re just going there for drinks, I suggest you order the Kurabuta Pork Chicharrones (fried pork rinds) with one of Diablo’s homemade sauces such as the Habanero Gasoline Sauce or the Ghost Chili Aioli. They’re devilishly good and the perfect accompaniment to the Popsicle Micheladas.

Diablo is located at 3129 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles (in Silverlake).

Michelada with Tomato Popsicle (Beer with Lime, Chili, Salt and Tomato Paleta)


Heirloom Radish Salad with Persian Cucumber, Jicama, Chili, Lime and Apple


Grilled Sweet Corn with Cojita, Lime Mayo and Truffle Oil


Pork Belly Taco with Thai Peanut Salsa and Caramelized Bananas


Beef Cheeks Taco with Horseradish Puree, Fromage Blanc and Parsley


Maple Fried Chicken Taco with Purple Kale and Red Rooster Vinaigrette


Bison Chili Taco with Yellow Cheese and Banana Peppers


Kurabuta Pork Chicharrones with Diablo “Ketchup”


Warm Chocolate, Bacon, Peanut Butter and Marshmallow Cookie


Diablo describes itself as an “Urban Taco Fabricator and Crafter of Fine Micheladas”



Diablo Taco on Urbanspoon

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I Melt For You


This place is a nice find. Named after the 16th Century playwright/poet who wrote that “the moon is made of green cheese,” Heywood is a cool little Silverlake joint that essentially serves only one thing: grilled cheese sandwiches accompanied by tomato soup and salad. For so many of us, grilled cheese and tomato soup is a childhood favorite; the ultimate comfort food prepared lovingly for us by our mothers, especially on a cold or rainy day. No offense to your mother, but the sandwiches and soup at Heywood are better.

The grilled cheese sandwiches here are gourmet versions of the classic. You can build your own and choose from ten different cheeses (including an aged English cheddar, a triple cream French brie, and a cotswold), five different kinds of bread and more than a dozen add-ons and artisan spreads including bacon, maple onion confit and raspberry habanero jam. Or you can choose from one of the pre-designed models such as the Tres Truffle Shuffle (country white bread, Appenzeller Swiss cheese, aged English cheddar, Pointe Reyes blue cheese and a dash of truffle salt) or my favorite, the Muy Caliente (fontina and spicy jack cheeses melted on top of sliced jalapenos, fresh cream cheese and crunchy tortilla strips on sourdough bread). Not to be relegated to the role of mere sidekick, the tomato bisque at Heywood is the best tomato soup I have ever had; no exaggeration. It’s perfectly spiced and has small bits of roasted tomatoes and peppers in it. Every sandwich comes with a tiny bowl of this soup, as well as a side salad. They also offer vintage sodas and a few desserts including a decadent S’Mores Bar by Motherfudger Fudge.

One word of warning: Heywood is a tiny place and it can be hard to get a table at lunchtime. It would be great if they installed a counter for additional seating. It’s cool that they’re open late (until 3am on Friday and Saturday) so you can hit them up after a concert or a night of hipster bar hopping in Silverlake. Would your mom grill you a sandwich so late at night? I don’t think so.

Heywood is located at 3337 1/2 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles (in Silverlake). UPDATE: Bad news grilled cheese lovers. Heywood is closed.

The best tomato soup I’ve ever had


Half sandwich with soup and salad


I’ll take a Lemmy!


Motherfudger Fudge S’Mores Bar


A Gourmet Grilled Cheese Shoppe in Silverlake



Heywood: A Grilled Cheese Shop on Urbanspoon

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