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‘Discoveries’

Torihei

EatLA-1472

WHY A near-perfect pairing of yakitori and oden. WHAT Torihei splits its kitchen equally between yakitori and oden, a relatively rare but harmonious coupling. The yakitori is made from tender, flavorful Jidori chicken.Oden is the more unusual of the specialties, a homey dish that’s typically prepared as a one-pot stew. Here, however, items are parceled [...]

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Santa Monica Certified Farmers’ Market: Main Street

EatLA-1561

WHY Kids’ amusements, live music, great people-watching and very good produce. WHAT This sibling of the famous Arizona Avenue market is the social event of the week in south SanMo, where neighbors meet and families shop. It may seem to be more about the face-painting and music, but there’s also some terrific food from the [...]

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Harold & Belle’s

EatLA-1724

WHY New Orleans heaven: gumbo, jambalaya, soft-shell crab, crawfish etouffée and, most of all, the fried chicken. WHAT A landmark on a battered stretch of Jefferson, Harold & Belle’s is home to L.A.’s best Cajun and Creole cooking. This is not the funky dive some people expect given the neighborhood—it’s a nice restaurant with a [...]

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Savory

EatLA-1746

WHY Because Malibu has long needed a sophisticated, ingredient-driven dinner house. WHAT Chef Paul Shoemaker, who’s cooked at Bastide and the Water Grill, refines American comfort foods (smoky clam chowder, Jidori chicken pot pie, house-baked breads) with a seasonal menu based on produce that’s often sourced from nearby farms. His straightforward preparations elevate but don’t [...]

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Merry’s House of Chicken

EatLA-1758

WHY Classic Javanese cooking and crisp fried chicken. WHAT The history of Merry Istiowati’s namesake restaurant traces back to her culinary academy in the Indonesian city of Surabaya. Here in a West Covina strip mall, her cooking is indebted to that past. There is, of course, ayam goreng kremesan, Indonesian fried chicken covered in crunchy [...]

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Verdugo

EatLA-1506

WHY Well-selected beers from small breweries in a location that’s a bit hard to find, but worth the search. WHAT Choose from two rooms and a beer garden with picnic tables for sampling rare Belgian and California craft brews at this hidden hot spot. There’s a full bar, wine and special cask-beer nights, but no [...]

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The Coop Pizza

EatLA-1567

WHY Superb New York—style pizza, by the slice or the pie. WHAT Is this the best New York—style pizza in town? Many think so, and it’s certainly on our very short list. There’s no seating, just a stand-up counter with room for two to eat a slice or wait for a pie; Cheviot/Palms locals get [...]

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New Chong Qing

EatLA-1745

WHY A place for chileheads to give their palate a thrill ride. WHAT Light years beyond kung pao, the Sichuan fare at this nicely designed little storefront is the winning contender for capsicum artistry in a city filled with peppery stir fries and incendiary noodles. The fresh fish hot pot has a fan club, but [...]

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1886 Bar

EatLA-1869

WHY Downtown-style cocktail chic in a formerly frumpy Pasadena landmark restaurant. WHAT It was a stroke of genius for the owners of the Raymond, a pricey restaurant in a circa-1886 cottage, to turn space over to cocktail guru Aidan Demarest (of Edison and Seven Grand fame). The drinks are terrific, the cozy interior has a [...]

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Original Brooklyn Water Bagel Co.

EatLA-1844

WHY Because Los Angeles needs better bagels, and it needs more of them. WHAT Backed by talk show maven Larry King, this small franchised chain has a gimmick: real Brooklyn water. The bulky bagels are boiled in it, making them dense and chewy in the best possible way. You can also make your own egg [...]

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