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‘Discoveries’

El Pique Taco Truck

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WHY Meltingly tender al pastor and savory chorizo tacos and burritos, served late into the night. WHAT One of L.A.’s finest taco trucks lives in the parking lot of the car wash at the corner of York and Avenue 53, and it has a devoted following. The al pastor is smoky and richly spicy, the [...]

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Gelato Bar

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WHY Classic and seasonal flavors, ranging from a superb dark chocolate gelato to an amazing pear sorbet, served with excellent coffee and espresso. WHAT Homemade gelati in fun flavors from Gail Silverton, sister of L.A.’s culinary queen Nancy Silverton, in a handsome Italian-country café setting. A real find on the most picturesque block in the [...]

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Lares

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WHY Chiles rellenos, lengua en mole and good margaritas, all at low prices. WHAT Manny Lares seems to be the main man at this family restaurant, but then there’s his brother, his two sisters, his niece…. We all cook, we all wash dishes, we all go to the bank, he says. Downstairs is a quiet [...]

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Cookbooks Plus

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WHY To score that near-mint copy of The Silver Spoon, or another highly collectible cookbook. WHAT Not enough foodies know about the treasure-trove of cookbooks tucked away in Santa Clarita, just a half-hour north of L.A. This is one of the last of an endangered species: the bricks-and-mortar cookbook shop. Mimi Hiller’s store offers some [...]

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The Park

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WHY Jidori chicken, cornmeal pancakes with grilled shrimp and chipotle cream, Mexican Coke, $5 burger night, and bargain wines. WHAT One of the leaders of the Echo Park boom (it’s not evil gentrification, it’s a renaissance!), the Park is stylish in a barren, homespun way, with empty frames on stark walls and a simple patio [...]

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Portugal Imports

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WHY A rare chance to savor the sweet side of Portugal. WHAT This Artesia store serves what amounts to lunch—sausage sandwiches and a weekend-only selection of salt cod dishes—but the main reason to make the trip here is the selection of Portuguese breads and pastries. Try thequeijadas, little tartlets flavored with almond, pineapple, caramel, coconut, [...]

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Tacos Baja

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WHY A top contender for L.A.’s best fish tacos. WHAT Still called by its former name, Tacos Baja Ensenada, this stylish lime-green former burger stand turns out seemingly weightless battered fish tacos whose textural contrasts of crunchy cabbage, crackly battered, moist fish and tart, rich crema are an epiphany. A tiny ceviche bar serves blends [...]

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Old Sasoon Bakery

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WHY A wonderland of Armenian baked goods. WHAT There are some two dozen savory specialties at this family-run shop, like tangy zaatar-rubbed flatbreads and tender, doughy pockets stuffed with spicy sujuk and cheese. All are baked to order, including the magnificent khachapuri, an oblong Georgian pizza topped with four kinds of Middle Eastern cheeses and [...]

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A-Frame

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WHY Asian, American, Latin and whatever-else-Roy-Choi-feels-like-cooking dishes intermingle in perfect harmony at this unfussy neighborhood restaurant that’s something of an indoor picnic. WHAT Whether it’s the crisp Beer Can Chicken or the cheekily named Knuckle Sandwich (a massive bowl of broth bobbing with oxtail, tendon and other unloved meaty bits), the man who invented the [...]

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Guidi Marcello

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WHY It’s like stepping into the neighborhood negozio di alimentari you frequented on your last trip to Italy. WHAT This hidden, family-run, 14,000-square-foot warehouse and teeny showroom teem with “tutti prodotti tipici regionali.” It’s all here and it’s all Italian: excellent dried pastas (Spinosi! Columbro!); canned tuna, beans and San Marzano tomatoes; rice and faro; [...]

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