Best Thing I Ever Ate-LA!

California, Los Angeles Guide (D): Best Thing I Ever Ate-LA!

I love food. You love food too. And because we’re foodies, we want every meal to be as good as if it were our last. So for those few times us foodies sit at a table and unexpectedly strike gold, we must remember, honor and share that memorable meal. Here is a list of affordable LA area culinary creations that forever linger on this palate.
This article is featured in the app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" on iTunes App Store and Google Play. You can download the app to your mobile device to read the article offline and create a self-guided walking tour to visit the attractions featured in this article. The app turns your mobile device into a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

Download The GPSmyCity App

Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for IOS   Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for Android

Attractions Map

Guide Name: Best Thing I Ever Ate-LA!
Guide Location: USA » Los Angeles
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Article (D))
# of Destinations: 12
Sight(s) featured in this guide: Sprinkles Cupcakes   Masa of Echo Park   Umami Burger   Pinks Hot Dogs   Fonuts   El Carmen   Roscoe's House of Chicken and Waffles   Blue Palms Brewhouse   Philippe The Original   Ganda Siamese Cuisine   Bottega Louie   Soda Pop's  
Author: Cat Veit
Author Bio: I'm a Vegas buffet connoisseur and an absolute sucker for the DailyPuppy.com! I've lived in Tokyo, Romania, Seattle and currently in Los Angeles. I also write for Music Connection Magazine, and spend my days scouring Yelp for new breakfast spots!
Author Website: http://www.twitter.com/cat1says1hi
1
Sprinkles Cupcakes

1) Sprinkles Cupcakes

Cupcakes are definitely the new food fad as new stores seem to pop up out of nowhere with their take on the illustrious red velvet cupcake. Everyone values different stores for different reasons, but for me, Sprinkles Cupcakes in Beverly Hills still shines above the rest when it comes to quality, ingredients and an endless variety of flavors, not to mention their strong cups of drip coffee for the best sugar/caffeine induced high you’ll get anywhere! Holidays are even more anticipated with their limited edition holiday selections including sinful Salted Caramel Cupcakes and Orange Cranberry for Fall, Pumpkin and Caramel Apple for Halloween, Eggnog Spice for Christmas, Mexican Choco Loco for Cinco de Mayo and Key Lime and Summer Cherry until August. Never has cupcake frosting been richer and more delectable, complaints of too much frosting on these moist little cakes are unfounded.
2
Masa of Echo Park

2) Masa of Echo Park

Located in Echo Park, Masa is a wait-worthy little Italian bistro offering coma-inducing Chicago-style deep dish pizzas made from scratch. The cornmeal crust is light and flakey with Chicago imported toppings cooked to cheesy perfection. If you’re short on time, remember to order your deep dish early in the night as it takes 30 minutes to prepare. Guests can also enjoy a full menu of rich pastas, salads, crepes and Panini’s. There’s not a single menu item I’ve tried that wasn’t delicious, the food is always consistent with attentive service. Also, endearing dog and kitty paintings adorn all four walls adding to the warm ambience of the main dining area.
3
Umami Burger

3) Umami Burger

Umami is a hip burger joint with a culinary twist with various locations in and around Hollywood, mid-city and Santa Monica, making it super accessible. The burgers are insanely juicy and combined with creative toppings like parmesan crisps, port-caramelized onions, shitake mushrooms and truffle cheese. The most memorable menu item is the Manly Burger, Umami’s version of a bacon cheddar burger, BUT with crispy bacon lardons aka tender bacon fat. It is truly heaven for bacon lovers. The burgers aren’t exactly man-size, but are so rich that the portions are just enough. Throw in their famous crispy tater tots with roasted garlic aioli dipping sauce and you will be planning your next trip.
4
Pinks Hot Dogs

4) Pinks Hot Dogs

If it’s 2am and you’re trying to sober up with cravings of greasy hangover food, Pinks is the first place you look. Open until 3am on the weekends, patrons can glut well into the wee hours with chili dogs topped with bacon, Pastrami dogs and bacon burrito dogs (flour tortilla wrapped around 2 hot dogs, 2 slices of cheese, 3 slices of bacon, chili and onions). Special menu items make the selection process particularly fun as the biggest and most shameful dogs are usually named after celebrities and LA notables. The Ozzy Dog (named after Ozzy Osbourne, of course) is a huge spicy Polish sausage topped with nacho cheese, grilled onions, guacamole, tomatoes and jalapenos. Eat in and ogle the interior walls, plastered with signed headshots of everyone from Ellen DeGeneres and Nicole Kidman to Arnold Schwarzenegger and The Fonz. Anticipate long lines at night, but the steady flow of orders makes the line move fast and the wait a bit more tolerable.
5
Fonuts

5) Fonuts

Fonuts is not your normal donut shop. It goes to the extreme with flavors like Maple Bacon, Peanut Butter & Jelly and Chorizo Cheddar. It you’re at all deterred by the richness of these inventive gems, bear in mind that the product is true of the shop’s name. These donuts are baked not fried, and you couldn’t even tell the difference. The star of the display case is the Maple Bacon fonut. If you’re not a fan of maple donuts as a rule, you will surprise yourself. The crispy fatty bacon bits literally melt into the sweet maple icing making this salty and sweet combo utterly addictive and impossible to share. Fonuts also feature gluten free versions of most donuts, as well as a full coffee bar to cut the sweetness.
6
El Carmen

6) El Carmen

El Carmen is a favorite bar by many. It’s a tiny, dark little bunker festooned with Mexican wrestler masks and Christmas lights. They’re famous for their extensive tequila selection and the strongest, yet tastiest, margaritas you’ll get anywhere. Two will have you on the floor. Get the Perfecto, Jalapeno or the Cactus Fruit Margarita. If that wasn’t enough, they have amazing food. Try anything (tacos, nachos) with Hongo, sautéed mushrooms, or the street Elotes, roasted corn slathered with butter, parmesan, mayo, chili powder and lime juice. The menu also has combination plates if you’d prefer a full dinner before tying one on.
7
Roscoe's House of Chicken and Waffles

7) Roscoe's House of Chicken and Waffles

Savory salty fried chicken served with sweet buttery waffles and syrup has to be the best tastebud combination ever. So thank you, Roscoe’s, the West Coast’s answer to that tasty fusion as well as all the comforts southern soul food has to offer. If it’s your first time to Roscoe’s, the Carol C. Special is a good start. A buttermilk waffle served with a “succulent” fried chicken breast. It’s my belief that butter is laced with honey and sugar, making the syrup, butter and salty combo truly out of this world! On your second and third visit, broaden your horizons with a Sir Michael, two pieces of Chicken, smothered in gravy with grits and a biscuit. Be sure to add a side of fried chicken livers and cornbread for the table.
Image by Viva La Foodies under Creative Commons License.
8
Blue Palms Brewhouse

8) Blue Palms Brewhouse

If you’re headed to a show at the Music Box in Hollywood, pop in at the Blue Palms Brewhouse, situated next door. Blues Palms is a tiny beer bar featuring over 24 craft beers listed either on the chalkboard or the giant digital display much like a flight board, planted high above the bar. Featured on many local top beer and food lists, Blue Palms is a surprising diamond in the roughs of Hollywood. The menu is tasty, inspired and well seasoned. Come in Thursday night and enjoy 35 cent wing night. I always order the Garlic Wings and Rings, garlic buffalo wings served with beer battered onion rings. Also try their rare sausages like Duck w/ foie Gras & Sauterne Wine or their Alligator & Pork Andouille, in addition to their house special, Lobster Mac and Cheese.
Image by Blue Palms Brewhouse under Creative Commons License.
9
Philippe The Original

9) Philippe The Original

Considered by many to be the birthplace of the French Dipped Sandwich, Philippes is a treasured LA institution, established in 1908 it is one of LA’s oldest running restaurants. Los Angelinos take pride in Philippes and fill its tables to capacity nightly. Line up at the counter and order the specialty of the house, The French Dipped Sandwich, prepared with either roast beef, pork, leg of lamb, turkey or ham on fresh baked french rolls and be sure to get it double dipped in the savory au jus . All the sides are homemade in addition to their famous hot mustard available on each table. Be sure to bring cash, if not there is an ATM located in the main dining area.
10
Ganda Siamese Cuisine

10) Ganda Siamese Cuisine

Located in Hollywood’s Thai Town district, Ganda Siamese Cuisine is cheap, casual and incredibly authentic, aka insanely spicy and fragrant. Don’t be put off by the overpowering smells and questionable buffet display, if you like real Thai food, you will fall in love. The Red Curry Fried Catfish is gold and considered by many food bloggers as one of the best entrees in the city. Other notables include the Basil Garlic Duck, steamed mussels with a cilantro dipping sauce, Shrimp Paste Rice with fresh green apples. Expect the standard Thai fare like tom yum koong, pad thai, and curries to be packed with flavor and spice. Ganda will make all other LA area Thai spots underwhelming.
Image by Midtown Lunch under Creative Commons License.
11
Bottega Louie

11) Bottega Louie

Bottega Louis is a food blogger’s paradise. A luxurious gourmet restaurant, market and patisserie located in Downtown LA on the ground floor of an old 1920s loft building. Therefore you can expect an inviting overture of white marble, impressive high ceilings and brass millwork. There are no reservations so expect a wait as well. Show up, put down your name, order a few glasses of wine and take in the rumbling noises of the patrons and aromas from the brick pizza oven. Waiting doesn’t really feel like waiting, it feels like you’re about to dine in a hot Manhattan bistro. In other words, you feel like you’re in an episode of Sex in the City. The menu is full of sophisticated Italian fare with gourmet pizzas and pastas along with dozens of small plates for sharing. Try the Portobello Mushroom Fries, Tuna Nicoise Crostini and the Prosciutto served with seasonal fruit. Bottega also has a beautiful display case of pastries and desserts straight from the pages of Bon Appétit Magazine. With elegant ambience and beautiful food, Bottega Louis just makes you feel special.
Image by nomsnotbombs under Creative Commons License.
12
Soda Pop's

12) Soda Pop's

Only steps from the Beverly Center Mall and run by Boston culinary school transplants, stands Soda Pops. This modern deli offers east coast subs, and deli standards as well as unique sandwich offerings like Steak Bombs and Chicken Pesto and B.E.L.T.A (bacon, fried egg, lettuce, tomato and avocado). Most impressive are the salads, made to order with fresh ingredients and presentation you wouldn’t get from most restaurants. The Nicoise Salad (pictured) and the Cobb are some of the best I’ve tasted and served with garlic ciabatta toast. Homemade chips, your choice bacon and cheddar or dill, come with each order, also choose from a broad selection of obscure bottled sodas from around the country. The menu changes constantly with Sicilian pizza by the slice on selected days.

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


15 Charming Cafes with Fast and Free Wifi in Los Angeles

15 Charming Cafes with Fast and Free Wifi in Los Angeles

Need to find free wireless connection AND a great cup of coffee? These charming cafes, hot-spots and writers’ hang-outs are scattered across LA but catalogued by neighborhood. These indie cafes cater to screenwriters, students and tourists who want to set up camp with their laptops for a few hours...
Los Angeles: 15 Souvenir Shopping Tips and Ideas for Travelers

Los Angeles: 15 Souvenir Shopping Tips and Ideas for Travelers

With some many celebrities per square mile, living or just visiting, practically any stone in LA could pass for a souvenir that one time or another was touched, held or walked upon by some of the movie or rock stars, or was filmed in one of the many movies shot in the City of Angels for almost a...
10 Amazing Food to Try in Los Angeles (LA)

10 Amazing Food to Try in Los Angeles (LA)

I love food. You love food too. And because we’re foodies, we want every meal to be as good as if it were our last. So for those few times us foodies sit at a table and unexpectedly strike gold, we must remember, honor and share that memorable meal. Here is a list of affordable LA area culinary...