Eat-LA


Starling Diner

Starling Diner

WHY Neighborhood charm with gourmet soul. WHAT Surrounded by a quaint neighborhood of historic homes and breezy apartments, this bright, quirky café has become a hub of local life. (Come in alone and you can sit at a long communal table with soon-to-be friends.) For breakfast, try the mascarpone-stuffed French toast or the sweet and […]

Locali

Locali

WHY Locali is the opposite of Famima—instead of convenience foods imported from Japan, the emphasis is on locally sourced edibles from some of our favorite producers. Don’t miss the Ruby Jewel ice cream sandwiches—they may come all the way from Portland, but they rock. WHAT Locali packs a lot of interesting products into a tiny […]

Primera Taza

Primera Taza

WHY A place to hang in bitchin’ Boyle Heights. WHAT This funky, rather cramped coffeehouse is emblematic of the gentrification of Boyle Heights (in case you didn’t know, it’s the new Echo Park, which in turn was the new Silver Lake only yesterday), thanks in part to the newish Metro station out front. It has […]

M Street Kitchen

M Street Kitchen

WHY A crisp margarita on the sidewalk patio is a beautiful thing. WHAT The former La Grande Orange is now M Street Kitchen, part of the huge LEYE restaurant chain, which makes us disinclined to like the place. That said, it’s worth knowing about for its sidewalk tables, breakfast sandwiches, brussels sprouts salad (an LGO […]

Tropicana Bakery

Tropicana Bakery

WHY Sweet Cuban classics and worthy sandwiches and entrées. WHAT Like Porto’s, Tropicana blurs the line between bakery and restaurant. It has lots of great pastries—rum-soaked raspberry tarts, éclairs sweetened with dulce de leche, empanada-like pastelitos stuffed with the likes of cheese and guava—all of which go down even easier with a sip of Cuban […]

Mishi’s Strudel

Mishi’s Strudel

WHY Fresh-baked strudel with Old World charm. WHAT This family-owned spot brings a taste of Hungary to the historic waterfront. Styled like a country café, Mishi’s specializes in both sweet and savory strudels and crèpes. There are plenty of fruit-centric fillings, including apricot-almond and apple-walnut, as well as savory options, including spinach, mushroom and cabbage. […]

Barbrix

Barbrix

WHY A bohemian-chic indoor/outdoor wine bar with spot-on Mediterranean-inspired small plates. WHAT Interesting, well-priced wines from California to Croatia are the centerpiece of this house-turned-festive wine bar. The food’s just as good, from cheese and charcuterie samplers to flavorful farmers’ market vegetable salads and meaty plates of pork belly, Moroccan-style lamb chops and wild boar […]

Singapore’s Banana Leaf

Singapore’s Banana Leaf

WHY Straightforward and satisfying Malaysian curries, salads and rendang chicken, presented with more flair than you’d expect of a Farmers Market stall. WHAT Melding the flavors of China, Thailand and even India, Malaysian cooking is richly spiced but not hot, sweet but not sugary, and this order-at-the-counter spot in the Farmers Market represents the cuisine […]

SugarFISH

SugarFISH

WHY Takeout or eat-in sushi from the ‘Sushi Nazi’ Kazunori Nozawa of Sushi Nozawa in Studio City—without the high price tag or quite the same creative combinations. The Marina location has curbside service for people hustling to catch a plane. WHAT Nozawa has traded his omakase at the flagship restaurant for pre-set ‘Trust Me’ combinations […]

Polkatots

Polkatots

WHY Dulce de leche cupcakes, either regular size or mini. WHAT This spot hidden in a low-end strip mall on an unfashionable stretch of Lake Avenue rocketed to fame when its dulce de leche cupcake won the 2009 L.A. Cupcake Challenge. It deserved the win; we’re not even cupcake fans and yet we cannot resist […]