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‘Discoveries’

Jay Bharat

WHY Inexpensive and excellent Gujarati food. WHAT One of Little India’s top chat shops, Jay Bharat is a standard-bearer on Pioneer Boulevard. And though you can eat well sampling the sweets and snacks, don’t ignore the precise Gujarati cooking. Everything is vegetarian—appetizers like the potato-patty slider pav vada and the pettis, a six-piece plate of [...]

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JTYH Restaurant

EatLA-1641

WHY For the delicious thrill of expanding your pasta connoisseurship. WHAT The house specialties, three northern Chinese noodle styles, open a window onto the earliest forms of noodle: dao xiao mian, absorbent ribbon-like noodles that are cleaver-shaved from a stiff dough roll resembling a yule log; cat’s ears, little dumpling-like blobs; and dumpling knots, spaetzle-like [...]

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Magic Wok

WHY No-frills Filipino home cooking. WHAT Magic Wok prepares pork at its most glorious. Order the crispy pata, a bone-in leg of pork brined and fried until its skin is a crisp mahogany and its meat falls away simply because of gravity. Sisig, cubes of fatty, crunchy fried pork tossed with bits of ginger, scallions, [...]

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Gaja

WHY The South Bay’s preeminent specialist in okonomiyaki, a Japanese pub dish that straddles the line between savory pancake and omelet. WHAT There’s more to Gaja’s menu than just okonomiyaki, but all the izakaya-style small plates combined can’t topple the popularity of its various permutations of the pancake-like dish. You can cook for yourself on [...]

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El Gallo Mexican Bakery

WHY Life-changing, melt-in-your-mouth buttery crescent rolls (cuernitas) that are to supermarket pan dulce what La Brea is to Wonder Bread. WHAT When owner Jesus Huerta’s mom started this bakery in 1949, she was determined to mimic the pan dulces she’d grown up with in Mexico. She played around with ingredients, eventually hiring Mexican artisans who [...]

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Derrick’s Jamaican

WHY For Caribbean specialties that are a cut above the usual hole-in-the-wall fare. WHAT Yes, Derrick’s offers the traditional beef patties, oxtail and a mean jerk pork. But at this stylishly decorated spot there’s more emphasis on seafood, lean chicken and fresh veggies: marinated grilled shrimp flamed with barrel-aged Jamaican rum, spice-infused grilled rainbow trout [...]

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Bleecker Street

WHY Because there’s nothing like it in Tarzana: an upscale but casual spot serving the kind of food we like to eat. WHAT A couple of smart restaurateurs (they own 22 places around the country) opened Bleecker Street late in 2009, in affluent but restaurant-challenged Tarzana, and it took off like a rocket. The two-story, [...]

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Anzen Hardware

EatLA-1616

WHY Knowledgeable service and some of the best professional-grade knives in the city. WHAT Knives are the big draw—Wolfgang Puck, the Border Grill gals, Joe Miller and Gino Angelini are all customers. You’ll find everything from $50 starter santokus to $3,000 handmade sushi knives. Anzen, which means safety in Japanese, was founded in Little Tokyo [...]

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Atwater Certified Farmers’ Market

EatLA-1617

WHY A low-key, compact market that’s easy to navigate, well priced and doesn’t start until 10 a.m., so you can sleep in. WHAT Less of a scene than the nearby Silver Lake Saturday market, this market (from the same nonprofit that runs the great Hollywood one) has gained fans for produce from the South Central [...]

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4th Street Vine

WHY Generous pours of good, modestly priced wines in a very cool Retro Row shop, with $3 glasses on Thursdays and often-terrific live music. WHAT Almost every afternoon and evening, bartender Evan mans the small, living-room-like wine bar in back of the store, and regulars stop in to ask him what he’s pouring and to [...]

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