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‘Discoveries’

Falafel Arax

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WHY The best falafel in town, crisp on the outside and tender within. Succulent schwarma, too. WHAT This tiny diner has been attracting falafel addicts for more than 25 years, and the lines still haven’t abated. 5101 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood, 323.663.9687 B & L daily, D Mon.-Sat., early D Sun. Cash only. Type: Food [...]

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Goldstein’s Bagel Bakery

WHY Large, chewy bagels that are boiled and baked, and good bagel wraps, too. WHAT New Yorkers may criticize, but these are excellent bagels by California standards, and both branches have drive-through windows for people who need a dozen assorted bagels—stat! WHO During the week, folks hurrying to work or taking a turkey-wrap lunch break; [...]

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Alexander’s Prime Meats

WHY For some of the best prime beef in L.A. Consider going in with friends on a side of dry-aged beef. WHAT Inside the winningly old-school Howie’s Ranch Market is this superb purveyor of beef—it’s mostly from Harris Ranch, and it’s mostly prime. The butchers know what they’re doing. The marinated meats, notably the chicken [...]

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Beverly Glen Marketplace

WHY For small-town service with big-city products, from fine wines and prime meats to frozen organic baby food and boutique-label chocolates. WHAT This swank little market doesn’t have 50 kinds of toilet paper, but it has everything a Bel-Air resident might need, including artisanal cheeses and sushi. There’s an espresso bar, too. WHO Movie stars [...]

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Pacific Dining Car

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WHY For delicious, expensive steaks, satisfying, expensive breakfasts, 1920s elegance and food served 24 hours a day. Great for serious business meetings and gleeful middle-of-the-night splurges. WHAT Dating to 1921, this added-upon former railroad dining car on the fringes of downtown is as beloved as Musso & Frank and even more—but the food’s a lot [...]

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Bel Air Prime Meats

WHY The on-site smoker, the Harris Ranch beef dry-aged on the premises and the homemade sausages. WHAT Part of the elite Beverly Glen Marketplace is this high-end butcher, known for its prime beef, veal chops and kebabs and other prepared meats. Good movie-star-spotting, too. WHO Bel-Air locals, for whom the price of prime, dry-aged beef [...]

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Wolfgang Puck Catering

WHY For the celebrity cachet, of course, but also because Puck remains the standard-bearer in modern American cooking. WHAT L.A.’s original celebrity chef is now a national superstar, with restaurants, airport cafés and catering operations from coast to coast. His food is universally appealing, and the entire operation is completely professional. It’s no bargain, but [...]

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Happy Trails Catering

WHY For a lovely and reasonably priced wedding or garden party, as well as carry-out platters of comforting modern American food (grilled tri-tip, white-bean chicken chili, Southern fried-chicken salad) for all sorts of events. WHAT Many a wedding has been held in this secret garden behind a brick storefront on the south end of Old [...]

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Baked It Myself

WHY For delicious, reasonably priced catered lunches for business meetings, script readings or production shoots; they do good dinner parties and showers, too. WHAT Cheryl Canter-Valesella first found success with cakes and desserts at her wholesale and retail bakery operation. But she doesn’t just bake, and eventually she found herself in demand at studios and [...]

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Shekarchi Downtown

WHY Excellent kebabs (try the koubideh, a ground-beef blend), particularly good rice and refreshing yogurt drinks. And they deliver throughout Downtown. WHAT This very good Iranian businessman’s lunch place in an historic part of Downtown has a far more fashionable décor than you’d suspect from the outside. It’s open on weekdays only and is packed [...]

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