11 L.A. Dishes Already on Their Way to Legendary Status
You know the expression “American as apple pie”? Well, we’re here talking about foods as Angeleno as avocado toast—which is exactly what you have to eat in Venice, foodie stan. Meet the new iconic tastes of L.A. Don’t be the last on your block to try them.
Pizza at Jon & Vinny’s
The secret is in the crust, which is thin and cracker-crispy, with big burn marks from the oven that only add to its rustic beauty. And the intensity of the you-can-really-taste-the-tomatoessauce. Do yourself a favor and order the L.A. Woman pie—it’s topped with tomato sauce, dollops of burrata and fresh basil leaves. The late, great food critic Jonathan Gold named it one of his favorite pies in town.
412 N. Fairfax Ave.; 323-334-3369 or jonandvinnys.com
ICED TEA AT THE BASE CO.
This is a high-concept beverage that’s made to order: You choose one of a half-dozen naturally sweetened base flavor combos such as charcoal-blackberry or marigold-gooseberry, then add seltzer, cold brew or other mixers. It’s supposed to be healthier than soda, and it’s definitely healthier for the planet. That’s because if you bring your reuseable jar back to Base’s drink stand (they’re a fixture at Smorgasburg and the Vegan Street Fair), you’ll get to skip the line since you’ve saved the stand from using disposable cups.
Smorgasburg L.A., Row DTLA, 777 S. Alameda St.; la.smorgasburg.com
NoHo Vegan Street Fair, Chandler Blvd. between Tujunga and Vineland; veganstreetfair.com
Pho at Pho Hai Kieu
This mom-and-pop place in the San Gabriel Valley is a dependable stop for clean broth floating with chicken or beef and thick with rice noodles and add-ins of basil, bean sprouts and cilantro, with a happy squirt of lime and sprinkle of sriracha.
1000 S. San Gabriel Blvd., San Gabriel; 626-872-0328 or phohaikieu.com
Medium-Hot Chicken at Howlin Ray’s
Hours-long waits at the DTLA location (and a new Pasadena outpost opening soon) attest to the wild popularity of this restaurant, which serves its fried chicken at five levels of spiciness, as they do in Nashville. But the excellent sides like collard greens and vinegar slaw (and don’t forget the waffles) are what keep you coming back even after you’ve documented eating the hottest chicken on your IG story.
Far East Plaza, 727 N. Broadway, #128; 213-935-8399 or howlinrays.com
Omelette at Petit Trois
Star chef Ludo Lefebvre has taught his perfect French omelette on Today, but we’re not here for all that celebrity business. We keep going back for the delicately cooked (never browned) egg, the plump filling of herb-flecked Boursin cheese and the side salad of vinaigrette-sprinkled salad, the perfect way to set off the two big tablespoons of butter in this babe of a breakfast order.
718 N. Highland Ave., 323-468-8916, or 13705 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks, 818-989-2600; petittrois.com
Avocado toast at Superba
This long-hours joint (open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.) is a combination diner-hangout for Venice hipsters (and now El Segundo residents too), and it’s easy to eye-roll at a place whose tag line is “Food + Art + Community.” Until you order the avocado toast, a gorgeous heap of greens, watermelon radish, pickled onion and the star veggie atop rustic bread. Think of it as a particularly tasty gallery installation on your plate.
830 S Sepulveda Blvd, Ste. 100, El Segundo; 310-906-4598 or superbafoodandbread.com
Sorrel Pesto Rice Bowl at Sqirl
House-made lemon preserves on fancy rice with pesto, sheep feta, poached egg and a watermelon radish. It sounds random, but it’s the strange and creamy flavor profile that packs in the Silverlake throngs.
720 N. Virgil Ave.; 323-284-8147 or sqirlla.com
Short Rib Taco at Kogi Food Truck
Double caramelized Korean short ribs, a Mexican-Korean salsa, cilantro-lime relish and soy slaw on a corn tortilla—yep, it’s the taco that could launch a thousand ships (as well as Roy Choi’s incredible food career).
Various locations; kogibbq.com
Soup Dumplings at Din Tai Fung
Each of these juicy broth-filled packages, called xiaolongbao, are made with exactly 18 folds by a crew of chefs in white lab coats and surgical masks. Translation: This international chain of Chinese restaurants is not messing around with its consistently delicious dim sum.
At Americana at the Brand, 177 Caruso Ave., Glendale; 818-551-5561 or dintaifungusa.com
Office Burger at Father’s Office
Gastropubs are cool, and this Santa Monica (and now Helms Bakery) restaurant’s elevated hamburger (and 36 craft beers on tap) is why: a super-thick slab of beef topped with blue cheese, caramelized onions and onion jam, from a chef so confident he allows no substitutions. (Trust us—do not ask for ketchup.)
1018 Montana Ave., Santa Monica, and 3229 Helms Ave.; 310-736-2224 or fathersoffice.com
CROISSANT DOUGHNUT AT KETTLE GLAZED
Doughnuts are a staple in Los Angeles, but now this more pastry-like iteration is the luscious way to break your diet. Croissant dough is baked in the shape of a doughnut, with vanilla custard put in between its flaky layers. Oh, and a cinnamon-sugar dusting and maybe a chocolate drizzle topping. Believe the hype.
6211 Franklin Ave., Hollywood; 323-462-2344 or kettleglazed.com