Eating My Way Through LA
Updated: Mar 28, 2019
There’s no surprise that Los Angeles has some great places to eat. From tacos to seafood to coffee, you name it, and it can probably be found. I went to LA for about three days to work with a friend, but also take in some vitamin D (we don’t get enough sun in Portland). Here are some of the food I tried during my time in LA!
Cheese, cheese and more cheese (Spot #1)
One of my first stops was recommended to me by a friend. The place was called LA Café, located in downtown LA, it was a little café with a bar stool area inside and seating outside to eat at the restaurant. The first thing I noticed was that the menu was extensive and everything I read sounded soooooo good. We were there around breakfast time but could still order entrée style food for lunch. They had an assortment of pastries behind a glass screen and also more pastries and salads inside an open fridge.
I couldn’t figure out what to order, but in the end I had to go with what my friend recommended…a lobster grilled cheese. I looooove lobster…but grilled cheese (Picture 15, 18 and 20)* not so much, but this was hands down one of the best sandwiches I’ve had. According to the website, their lobster grilled cheese is made up of lobster, brie, tarragon mustard, and cheddar on white bread. Tearing it in half was probably the best part to see the cheese ooze out of the bread.
The smell was amazing and it was the perfect texture meaning not too tough or burnt and soft in the middle pieces. I also had it with their fries which were delicious. I believe it had some type of Cajun seasoning that I loved and it is a huge portion. If I lived in La, I would definitely try multiple items on the menu every time I’d go. One thing I will say is that the sandwich is very greasy
Bring me Vietnamese (Spot #2)
This next spot was also recommended by a friend. It’s called Golden Deli in San Gabriel. It is a Vietnamese restaurant. It is small with a few booths and long tables and it seems like a family owned establishment.
The staff is very knowledgeable about the menu and very quick when it comes to taking orders and bringing out food. You’re going to need their help because the menu is HUGE consisting of multiple options with meatballs, barbecue pork, shrimp, beef, chicken and more. I had the wontons with egg noodle soup (Picture 24) . I didn’t care for the wontons as they tasted pretty bland to me but I loved the egg noodles and the broth. The soup is filled with lettuce, bean sprouts and cilantro.
It was very much a family and friends oriented space and reasonably priced. They even let us split the bill and pay separately at the end.
I Scream for Ice Cream (Spot #3)
After dinner, we stopped at a handcrafted ice cream parlor called Afters Ice Cream in Pasadena. Their staple is their Milky Bun, which is a glazed bun that they use to create an ice cream sandwich. According to the website, they seal it back up and heat the outside for a hot-cold effect. The location was small like an older style outside diner. There was a small truck, old gas station pumps and seating outside.
The first step was choosing your base (milky bun, cone, cup etc), then your flavor (There were about 10 to 12 different flavors) and finally some toppings. I tried their Strawberry Cookie Crunch, Frozen Hot Chocolate, Jasmine Milk Tea, and their Milk and Cereal. They all tasted pretty good but I ultimately went with their Frozen Hot Chocolate and Jasmine Milk Tea with Oreos (Picture 5, 12, and 22) . I didn’t get a milky bun but instead just got a cup. This place is pricey but they gave me a decent amount of ice cream where I felt full and satisfied. My favorite part were the actual pieces of marshmallow in the Frozen Hot Chocolate ice cream! I would come back and try different flavors hands down.
Chai and Match (Spot #5)
While we were at our Airbnb, we stopped at a nearby coffee shop in Highland Park called Kindness and Mischief (Picture 7 and 17). I love the vibe of this shop. The huge bay windows lets in so much light to create a happy and mellow vibe. The shop is dog friendly and there is a book shelf where you can leave a book and take a book. I think it is very organized and neatly decorated which helps people who are working feel focused. The staff members were very helpful and sweet as I pondered over what to order, in the end ordering a chai latte, which had just the right amount of tang and sweet flavor. If I lived nearby, I'd take my laptop to work at this cafe quite often.
Salmon Bowls (Spot #6)
This spot is one of my favorites and I normally try to go when I’m in LA and that spot would be Tender Greens. Their food is normally so fresh and it just makes me feel healthy. Since their menu is based on proteins and greens plus their food is sustainable meaning they use products and techniques that protect the environment. This time I had their Grilled Salmon Bowl (Picture 25) , it came with grilled salmon, seasonal salsa, brown rice, cotija, cabbage slaw and lime-crema. It was soooo delicious! I’m a huge fan of cotija which is why I ordered this dish. Everything mixed together well and the salsa was like a butternut squash or sweet potato flavor cut into squares with seeds.
Bison and Beers (Spot #7)
On my last day in LA I didn’t really have a plan of where to eat for dinner. I was in the arts district waiting for a friend and decided to look up a brewery. That’s when I found Angel City Brewery, a craft brewery in LA, and where I got to try the Bison Burger food truck. The brewery has a huge outside area with seating and large paintings against the walls of the brewery and a fence. Half of the brewery is without walls but instead has a railing so you can get to the outside area. Inside, there is a small bar, arcade games in the back, and picnic style tables to eat and drink at.
The brewery hosts a lot of events, provide tours, and you can even submit your artwork to be showcased. I’m not sure if they change out food carts, but I really enjoyed my bison burger. I had the Mushroom Swiss Bison Burger with mayo, portobella mushroom, and swiss cheese (Picture 1, 2, and 3) . It was pretty pricey, but when you're hungry...you're HUNGRY.
LA always has great food options from pop-ups, to food trunks, to sit downs. Every time I visit I find something new to rave about. If you're ever in LA give these spots a try and let me know how it was by leaving a comment or tagging me on instagram (@kayla_nicole64).
*Pictures numbered in the article start from left to right