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LA

Guide

Infatuation LA’s Favorite Meals Of The Week

Carnitas burritos, Thai salads, Hawaiian breakfasts, and more... we break down the best things we ate this week.

20 Spots
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20 Spots
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Updated October 23rd, 2020

Los Angeles is open for outdoor dining, which means there are hundreds of restaurants where you can eat outside today. If you’re still not ready to venture back out into the world, don’t worry; there are just as many great options for pick-up and delivery - or perhaps a pop-up is more your speed?

Point being, there are plenty of ways to support your favorite LA restaurants right now, or try something new this weekend. If you can’t decide where to start, we totally understand. That’s why we’re highlighting the best dishes we’ve had recently, which are available for takeout, delivery, and outdoor dining right now. Here’s a look into our personal food journals.

THE BEST THINGS WE ATE THIS WEEK

Brant Cox

Yume Sushi

$$$$
$$$$ 12254 Ventura Blvd.

“I’ve been a big fan of Yume since they opened over the summer in Studio City, and after a recent revisit, I’m doubling-down: In fact, I think their $30 Yume Box is one of the best to-go sushi boxes in town. Six pieces of premium sushi, truffle edamame, and a Yume Roll (spicy tuna and mushrooms, topped with avocado and... more tuna) - it’s one of my favorite takeout meals in LA, and considering the Yume Roll on its own is $21, it’s also a tremendous value. If you’re tired of your regular sushi routine - or have already ordered Sugarfish twice this week - put Yume into your rotation immediately.” - Editorial Lead Brant Cox

El Zarape

Taqueria El Zarape

$$$$
$$$$ 5203 Fountain Ave

“El Zarape is a neighborhood taqueria in East Hollywood that has been a favorite of mine for years now. The set-up doesn’t look like much from the outside - a counter, a tiny outdoor dining room, and a TV showing Liga MX games - but there’s a huge menu and a few tremendous finds on it. My recent favorite is the carnitas burrito - the shredded pork shoulder is braised until tender and then crisped in a pan, and it’s wrapped in a flour tortilla with fatty pinto beans and seasoned rice. The cabeza tacos have also long been a go-to for me. Topped with some salsa roja, the delicate and flavorful cabeza makes this one of my favorite tacos in the city.” - Staff Writer Brett Keating

Anikah Shaokat

Yum

$$$$ 700 S. Los Angeles Street

“Yum is a tiny Thai pop-up churning out Bangkok- style street food that’s unlike anything else I’ve had in LA. Operated by the team behind the DTLA pop-up Holy Basil, almost everything on the menu is a type of Thai salad, with chili, lime, and fish sauce as they key flavors. There’s plenty of seafood and even more spice (Yum is definitely not for those who can’t handle heat). We basically got the entire menu and I already can’t wait for them to be back. The only downside? I’m not really sure when that will be. Yum doesn’t seem to operate on a set schedule, so your best bet is to do what I do: Stalk their Instagram, and keep your schedule clear.” - Editorial Ops Coordinator Anikah Shaokat

Talia Mayden

Gardena Bowl Coffee Shop

$$$$
DinerHawaiian  in  Gardena
$$$$ 15707 S Vermont Ave

“You wouldn’t think great food can come out of a bowling alley. But if you let that stop you from going to Gardena Bowl Coffee Shop, you’re making the biggest mistake of your life. The menu may make your head spin, but if you want one dish that pretty much sums up everything going on here, order the Hawaiian Royal - rice topped with an omelette of cha-shu, Portuguese sausage, and teriyaki sauce. It’s filling, savory, salty, a little sweet, and enough for about three meals.” - Marketing Manager Marika Jayne

Huichol22

$$$$

“Fresh and vibrant, thoroughly spiced but not too spicy (important), the ceviche at Mexican pop-up Huichol22 is, as we say in “the biz,” just right. The cuts of fish are generous, the lime marinade they sit in is refreshing and sharp, and although housing Nayarit-style seafood while going 90mph on the freeway may not sound appetizing (or even safe), the bright flavors at this Pasadena pop-up are really all the ambience you’ll ever need. Or you could just wait until you get home. Yeah, you should probably do that. DM Huichol22’s Instagram to place an order for pick-up.” - Staff Writer Kat Hong

THE BEST THINGS WE ATE LAST WEEK

James Montgomery

Great White

$$$$
American  in  Venice
$$$$ 1604 Pacific Ave

“We just published our picks for The Best New Pizza In Los Angeles, which means I’ve spent the past month doing extensive pizza-related research (and, as a result, lots of cardio, too). I shouted out one of my picks - the Hapa Pizza at Ospi - a couple weeks ago in this very space, so now I’d like to give a little love to the wood-fired pies at Great White. The menu at this popular Venice spot already features something for every occasion, and the pizzas follow suit. Want a pie at brunch? The 55° is a pretty solid approximation of Nova lox, with cold-smoked salmon, red onions, capers, and dill atop a schmear of chive crema and a charred crust. Looking for something super-savory at dinner? Like the name implies, their Truffle Fungi pairs deep, rich truffles with plenty of earthy mushrooms (and a white-wine lemon cream). Or, if you’re just in the mood for, like, a regular pizza, their pepperoni pie has about seven pounds of perfectly crisp, slightly salty pep on it, and was my favorite of the bunch.” - LA Editor James Montgomery

Brant Cox

Baja Subs Market & Deli

$$$$
$$$$ 8801 Reseda Blvd. Suite A

“I was out in Canoga Park this week doing some research and decided to swing by Baja Subs in Northridge for, what was at that point, a third lunch. Aggressive? Sure. But when you’re that close to this neighborhood market, you find the room. Baja Subs in Northridge looks like any other corner convenience store, but inside, you’ll find some of the best Sri Lankan food in Southern California. This past trip, I ordered chicken curry, biryani rice, and Sri Lankan noodles (enough food for three meals), but just know that when the food’s as good as it is at Baja Subs, you’ll always leave lamenting the fact that you didn’t order more.” - BC

Jesse Hsu

Cheeky's

$$$$
$$$$ 622 N Palm Canyon Dr

“My breakfasts have become pretty dull recently (how many days in a row can one person eat scrambled eggs?). But that’s what happens when your body rejects gluten. So when I went to Palm Springs and noticed Cheeky’s had gluten-free waffles on their menu, I knew what I had to do. Even getting them to-go, they were thin and crispy, sweet and salty (thanks to the sides of maple syrup and salted butter), and egg-actly what I needed to break up my morning monotony.” - MJ

Zhengyalov Hatz Glendale

Zhengyalov Hatz

$$$$
$$$$ 318 E Broadway

“I’m a relatively simple person. When I hear the words ‘Fluffy dough stuffed with 15 types of herbs and spices,’ I immediately head to my computer and order it for takeout. Which usually doesn’t happen outside of, like, a Subway situation, so when I came across the titular Armenian flatbreads at Zhengyalov Hatz in Glendale, my “add to cart” reflexes immediately kicked into high gear. Each zhengyalov hatz is served nice and warm, swaddled in a thick, whole wheat dough, and packed with a fragrant medley of greens, including minced spinach, beetroot leaves, scallions, spring onions, kale, and mint - which, in my opinion, is a much better alternative to the foot-long meatball marinaras I used to crush in high school.” - KH

Red Lion Tavern

$$$$
$$$$ 2366 Glendale Blvd

“The Red Lion Tavern was the first bar I visited when I moved to Los Angeles, and immediately became my go-to for a raucous night out. And even in the midst of the pandemic, this Silver Lake staple is still a fantastic place for that. I’ve been pretty cautious with dining out, but felt completely safe in their parking lot that’s been converted into a huge biergarten. They have tons of space between the tables, lots of light, and servers wearing masks and face shields. Their German menu is exactly what I wanted to go with my craft doppelbock straight from a Bavarian brewery - bratwurst, sauerkraut with chopped bacon, and a fresh-baked pretzel the size of my face, with accompanying beer cheese. The parking lot is also filled with projector screens showing soccer and football games, whenever they’re on.” - BK

PREVIOUSLY, ON THE BEST THINGS WE ATE LAST WEEK

Mírame

$$$$ 419 N Canon Dr

“It’s been a long time since I went out for a big, special occasion-type meal. And while there wasn’t really a special occasion (unless you count installing a new window perch for my cat), my dinner at Mírame still felt like a celebration. This new Mexican spot in Beverly Hills is a fancy, fun, and absolutely tremendous place for a meal. The food is inventive and impressive - there’s crispy salmon skin chicharrónes, a gamey, tender lamb quesadilla covered in fresh herbs, and some really incredible costilla tacos with Bordelaise sauce. And, unlike other fancy places, you’ll only need about two dishes per person, because the portions are enormous.” - BK

Jakob Layman

Little Dom's Seafood

$$$$
$$$$ 686 Linden Ave.

“I’ve spent the past… oh, I don’t know, 1,300-odd days thinking about fleeing America, and this past weekend, I finally went for it - but only made it as far as Carpinteria, a beachside town about 75 miles north of LA. Why did I stop there? Because I read Brant’s review of Little Dom’s Seafood and got hungry. Turns out, I made the right choice. If you’ve ever been to Little Dom’s in Los Feliz, you know their rice balls and meatballs are the stuff of legend, and both made the trip up the coast to LDS, but that’s just the beginning. From raw bar standouts like ridgeback shrimp and uni (both fresh from the waters of Santa Barbara) to the smoked fish rillettes and rich squid ink mafaldine with spicy uni butter, this was a Meal with a capital M - delicious enough to forget the hellscape we inhabit, if only for a couple hours.” - JM

Benji Dell

The Park's Finest BBQ

$$$$ 1267 W. Temple St.

“It’s been a while since I’ve eaten at The Park’s Finest, one of my favorite spots in my old hood, so when they announced that they would be serving their signature Filipino BBQ for one day only, I was on it like flies on Pence. And although it’s been approximately seven months since I’ve had their food, the Historic Filipinotown restaurant didn’t miss a beat - I ordered The People’s Plate, a massive serving of their top dishes, like tender, slow-roasted pork shoulder confit, elote served with freshly grated parmesan, cornbread bibingka (their take on the Southern staple that involves combining cornmeal with rice flour then baking it on banana leaves), and smoked Gouda mac and cheese - which I ate all of, despite the fact that I’m pretty sure I’ve developed late-onset lactose intolerance. Pray for me.” - KH

Brant Cox

Birria Pa La Cruda

$$$$ 5300 Alhambra Ave.

“This past weekend I checked out the grand reopening of Birria Pa La Cruda, a popular taco truck in El Sereno. As the name suggests, birria is the name of the game here, and while I certainly enjoyed the quesotacos and consomé, the star of the show is without question the mulita. Stuffed with perfectly cooked birria, griddled cheese, onions, and cilantro, I took one bite of this masterpiece while starfished on the hood of my car, and immediately jumped off and ordered a second one. Also, you won’t find many LA taco trucks with grilled vegetables on their menu, so make sure you get involved with them as well. The honeynut squash is a standout. Right now, the truck is only open Saturday and Sunday starting at 9am, and they go until they’re sold out - which was around noon last weekend. Plan accordingly.” - BC

Kate's Bread

$$$$
Cafe/Bakery  in  Ojai
$$$$ 1280 Fairview Ct

“If my hummus rant last week wasn’t enough to get you to drive to Ojai to eat, I have another, even better reason: Kate’s Bread. This cul-de-sac baking operation isn’t exactly a secret anymore, so you do need to be prepared and pre-order, but you will regret nothing by being organized. Her cinnamon roll is the single best baked good I’ve eaten since quarantine started (sorry to all the goods I baked myself). It took me three days to eat and was just as good on the last day as the first. Honestly, just order as much of her bread and pastries as you can handle, stick them in the freezer, and send me a thank you note later. (I will also accept a cinnamon roll as thanks.)” - Editorial Ops Manager Jess Basser Sanders

Brant Cox

Warung Bali

$$$$ 740 S Western Ave #116

“It’s been five days since my last meal at Warung Bali, and it’ll probably be another five before I stop thinking about it. The Indonesian pop-up is run out of Iki Ramen in Koreatown and sells only one thing - a $22 seafood bento box - but it’s unlike anything you can get in LA right now. Grilled snapper and shrimp, spicy sauteed squid, urab sayur (Balinese mixed vegetable), acar (pickled vegetables), and two different kinds of sambal - if you want a true mic drop at your next friend picnic, show up with Warung Bali and watch everyone (unsuccessfully) try to negotiate a snack swap with you. All pre-orders are done through their Instagram and pick-ups are Sunday only.” - BC

Petite Peso

Petite Peso

$$$$ 419 W 7th St

“Petite Peso is a takeout window in the 7th St. space that used to house Rice Bar, the tiny (and excellent) Filipino spot that was one of my favorite places to grab a quick meal in DTLA. And they admirably fill Rice Bar’s small-but-massive shoes. Petite Peso’s tremendous Bicol Express - pork stewed with coconut milk, peppers, and fermented fish paste - is creamy, spicy, and very hearty. You’ll also want a salad - either the sisig chicken salad with crisp-but-creamy chicken livers, or the garlic shrimp pinakbet, which has a sweet kabocha puree beneath it. And don’t leave without one or two ensaymadas, sweet and savory brioche rolls with butter and cheddar cheese - I certainly didn’t.” - BK

Stevie's Creole Cafe

$$$$ 5545 W Pico Blvd

“The shrimp mac & cheese from Stevie’s Creole Cafe is - and I don’t say this lightly - a complete and utter revelation. Half shrimp scampi, half traditional mac, this excellent Southern-style dish combines all of my favorite things: Thick-ass noodles, delicious globs of cheddar cheese, tons of Cajun seasoning, peeled shrimp (duh), and what tastes like at least two sticks of butter per serving. Make sure to have your Lactaid handy.” - KH

Ojai Rotie

$$$$
$$$$ 469 E. Ojai Dr.

“My hummus intake has decreased dramatically since we started working from home, and I no longer had access to Brant’s contractually demanded tubs in the Infatuation LA fridge. (They aren’t technically in his contract, but he would probably quit if we stopped buying them.) But I’ve made up for lost time now that I’ve discovered the Marcella white bean hummus at Ojai Rôtie. It’s creamy and extremely heavy on the garlic, and I’ve poured it over multiple meals after adding it to my rotisserie chicken takeout spread on a whim. Don’t make the same mistake I did - order two straight off the bat.” - JBS

Ospi

$$$$
SeafoodItalian  in  Venice
$$$$ 2025 Pacific Ave

“My favorite meal of the week was a true meal at Ospi, the new Venice spot from the duo behind El Segundo’s Jame Enoteca, a restaurant so good even their kale salad is incredible. Like Jame, the menu at Ospi features plenty of pasta - my favorites were the malloreddus (tiny, pillowy Sardinian gnocchi) with a rich beef-cheek ragu, and a fantastic cannelloni stuffed with tender lamb neck - but there’s a lot more, too. I loved the thick slices of toasted fettunta topped with chilled lobster, stracciatella, watermelon radish, and Calabrian chili, the Hapa Pizza with roasted pineapple, pickled jalapeno, and spicy ground pepperoni (a play on the pies at Long Beach’s iconic Domenico’s, which co-owner Melissa Saka grew up eating), oh, and the crab cake, which was very full of plump crab and came atop tangy gremolata with spicy giardiniera on the side. Like I said, this was a meal - but, hey, it’s been a minute.” - JM

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