My lifelong bestie Shannon was in town this past weekend, and what that means is that we spent the fast few days gorging ourselves around town. It was her first time ever in Los Angeles, so in addition to bringing her for a walk down Hollywood and whipping up homemade acai bowls, we did some necessary hiking. beaching, and Asian feasting.
The thing about LA that you have to accept is that if it's delicious or hip or Instagrammable or has high internet ratings, there will be a line. It takes some getting used to (like the lack of parking), but you just got to tough it out and enjoy the company you're with.
Here are my snippet reviews of the foods we savored over the weekend:
Catch LA (8715 Melrose Ave, West Hollywood) - Apparently this is the rooftop bar to be seen at. Honestly, there's no real view in LA unless it's the ocean, so it really is just to be dining al fresco without the LA traffic ruining your vibe. It's a beautifully floral (though half are fake, a la LA style) adorned space inside and out, so I see why the celebrities love it here. We ate the most beautiful and reasonably priced fruit platter ever, the LA classic spicy tuna tartare on crispy rice, truffled sashimi, and vegan crispy cauliflower. The lobster mac and cheese was also delicious, albeit not too cheesy. Will definitely come back for the nighttime vibes.
Leo's Tacos (2400 W Pico Blvd, Koreatown / various locations) - Shannon got her first taste of taco trucks at one my go-to's. Delicious, much needed al pastor, cabeza, and lengua tacos after a night out of waiting in line to get into clubs. Such is the LA life.
Little Sister (1131 Manhattan Ave, Manhattan Beach) - Had to have some fusion because we are in LA, so had some southeast Asian inspired cuisine at the end of our beach day. Ate some deliciously skewered baby octopus, fresh summer rolls, and loved that so many of the dishes had so many fresh veggies and herbs incorporated. Only complaint was the pea sprouts were too tart.
Master Ha (1147 S Western Ave, Koreatown) - my Ktown pick for people that only know KBBQ. It's a great intro to a lot of other delicious Korean delicacies that aren't barbecue. They have a menu with only a handful of options, so you know it's legit. We got the boiled beef on a stone plate, raw crab with rice, and suh long tang (ox bone soup). I've only ever had Han Bat's suh long tang, which is very cleansing. Master Ha's was extremely milky and rich, which makes it a bit suspect, but all delicious nonetheless. Will do it again.
Oomasa (100 Japanese Village Plaza Mall, Little Tokyo) - Came here because everywhere else had a ridiculous wait and this one was only a short wait. Luckily got seated at the sushi bar, where we promptly ordered a sashimi platter, nigiri, and rolls. Everything was fresh and great quality, but the fish on the sushi was just a touch too cold. More points than Hama Sushi, where the chef definitely overdid it with the wasabi.
Republique (624 South La Brea Ave, La Brea) - This is my go-to brunch spot for when people visit from out of town. The food is solid, the ambiance is perfect for a weekend morning, and the pastries are on point. They have all the essentials - juices, smoothies, mushroom toast, shakshuka, fried rice, yogurt granola bowl, pork belly sausage egg sandwich, and more. The menu is confusingly diverse, which makes make the ordering experience both a blessing and a curse. I recommend trying their creme brulee bomboloni and cardamom sticky bun. Skip the chicken and biscuit with gravy - boy do I miss the south.
Rosenthal Wine Bar & Patio (18741 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu) - After a light hike, we were all ready for some refreshing wine. We stopped by the nearest wine spot and got to try some local white wine. The patio was packed and popping, but with a 2 person per bottle minimum, I'm not surprised.
Somi Somi (621 S Manhattan Pl #208-A, Koreatown) - I talk about fish ice cream a bit too often, and it always so weird, but it's legit. Take traditional taiyaki and fill it with soft serve, and there you have it. Fish ice cream. You can choose a base of traditional red bean or custard or nutella. They soft serve flavors are revolving, but I always end up getting matcha/milk with classic red bean filling. I hate that I'm writing this, but it's very Instagrammable. There will be a ridiculous line on weekend evenings.
Tsujita LA Artisan Noodle (2057 Sawtelle Blvd, Sawtelle) - There's always a line, but we got there after the lunch rush, so we got seated pretty quickly. They specialize in tsukemen, which is dipping ramen. They serve it with lime, giving it an extra tang. It was actually my first time having it, and it was delicious. So were the plentiful char siu slices in their ramen. The winner was their perfectly runny soft boiled egg!
|$15 fruit platters do not get better than this - Catch|
|Labyrinth at Tuna Canyon|
|Check out the runny yolks doe - Tsujita|
|The spider roll and sashimi combination - Oomasa|
|Not as delicious as it looks - Republique|
|Autumn Roll - Little Sister|
|My favorite combination - Oomasa|
|Manhattan Beach sunset|