This busy fast-casual Taiwanese spot in Highland Park serves a tight menu of classic street foods, including rice bowls, noodles, and buns, along with a changing selection of cold appetizers like crunchy lotus roots and wood ear mushrooms. Joy is the sister restaurant of equally popular Pine & Crane, but the menu here is more solo dining friendly and one we find ourselves returning to more often. Part of the menu carries over hits from Pine & Crane, like the minced pork on rice, but also brings some new items exclusive to Joy, like the flaky thousand layer pancakes, best eaten filled with egg, cheese, chili sauce, and basil. And while this isn’t the case with every place on this guide, make sure to save room for dessert - the shaved ice or soft Hakka mochi dusted with finely crushed peanuts and black sesame are both great.
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Ichijiku is a neighborhood sushi bar in Highland Park and a great spot for all levels of sushi eaters.
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Today Starts Here
Today Starts Here is an excellent Taiwanese breakfast pop-up in Chinatown from the people behind Joy.
Kato is a casual Taiwanese tasting menu spot in West LA for people who don’t like tasting menus.
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