Below are my top ten favorite places/things to eat in LA:
10. Lattitude Thai, http://www.lattitudethai.com/
Amid all the car repair shops and fast food joints that are characteristically Lincoln Boulevard, it’s easy to miss Lattitude’s small, unassuming storefront. But if you love thai curry, you should make sure to track this place down. Their red curry with chicken is so good and you’re sure to leave with yummy leftovers for lunch the next day.
9. Lares, http://www.laresrestaurant.com/
This is a great Mexican place: spicy salsa, family-owned, mariachi band, and fantastic Cadillac margaritas. Really, what more do you need in a Mexican place? Get the chicken mole enchiladas. Their verdes sauce is good too.
8. Cha Cha Chicken, http://www.chachachicken.com/
This is a great place to go after a long day at the beach. Bring your own beer or wine; order watermelon juice and the jerk chicken enchiladas at the window; grab a seat at one of the picnic tables outside; relax and enjoy.
7. Joe’s Shanghai, http://www.joeshanghairestaurants.com/
I know. I know. Joe’s is in NYC. But this place has the absolute best soba noodles I’ve ever had in my life. So it had to get a spot on my list, had to. Next time you’re in New York, go here.
6. The Omelette Guy, http://www.smgov.net/farmers_market/sunday.htm
I think Main Street in Santa Monica is pretty much the coolest place in LA. Every Sunday, there’s a great farmer’s market with live music, fresh produce (obviously), and vendors selling delicious wares. If you go in the afternoon, get the tamales. But if you make it for breakfast or brunch, you have to get an omelette from the omelette guy. You walk through the line and point to “bacon!,” “green peppers!,” “mushrooms!,” “tomatoes!” Just as you’re paying, your omelette is slid from the pan onto your plate and you’re ready to sit down in front of the band and dig into deliciousness. Don’t even think about going to The Omelette Parlor down the street; it’s disgusting compared to the omelette guy.
5. Bay Cities, http://www.baycitiesitaliandeli.com/
Duh, I know. Bay Cities’ sandwich is the best in town. I love that pickled carrot (?) stuff they put on it. Also great, their fresh-baked bread – I get it to serve at dinner parties with lots of butter.
4. Trader Joe’s Very Berry Cereal, http://www.traderjoes.com/
I know this is a weird entry, but I have discovered the best cereal ever made … and it’s exclusively sold at Trader Joe’s. The Very Berry Cereal is the perfect combination of crunch and soggy, sweet and tangy, yummy and delicious that you want in every bowl of cereal. Yes, I used to be very against cereals with freeze-dried berries of any sort. Special K with strawberries is gross. But these berries are NOT gross; they are perfect.
This cereal is especially delicious in soy milk, which I have to use now because I’m lactose intolerant. :(
3. California Chicken Café, http://www.californiachickencafe.com/
This place is so good. I go weekly. I suggest the California Chicken Salad with balsamic dressing. I get it without the cheese and avocados. I’m sure they are delicious in the salad if a) you’re not lactose intolerant and b) you like avocados.
2. Amelia’s, http://www.ameliascafe.com/
Get the soup of the day. It is always the best bowl of soup you’ve ever had.
1. The Daily Pint, http://thedailypint.net/
Again, I’m cheating a little bit. The Daily Pint does not serve food, thank goodness. This is a dive bar, THE dive bar. And it is my favorite bar in the world. Not only do they offer lots of great beer, pool tables, and shuffle board (!), but they also offer the best bar game of all time – Photo Hunt.
Happy holidays and happy eating in the new year!
-- Sarah Luppen