Guide

Restaurants (and Food Trucks) that Changed LA

by Dorsia

posted on November 08, 2017

Photo Courtesy: Kogi BBQ

Los Angeles has one of the best food-scenes in the country. It's diverse, it's exciting at every price point, and famous restaurants can actually afford their rent. But the rest of the country didn't notice until recently. Get a taste of the reason why LA food got elevated to the world stage with this guide to influential places that made people sit up and take notice.

Night + Market Song

Night + Market Song puts an approachable, hip spin on Northern Thai street food. Kick back with some friends (even vegans!), some funky hot-pot, and a bottle from their surprisingly extensive wine list for a guaranteed good time.

Checkout: Pork toro, startled pig, and crispy rice salad.

Sqirl

Sqirl may be the quintessential LA restaurant. From the seasonal ingredients in creative combinations to the restaurant's cult-like following and a dish named after Jonathan Gold, Jessica Koslow's fame is definitely deserved.

Checkout: The Famed Ricotta Toast, Kabbouleh, and sorrel pesto rice bowl.

Kogi Taqueria

One could argue that Roy Choi single-handedly invented the gourmet food truck movement when he opened Kogi BBQ. Whether you believe the hype or not, this brick-and-mortar version of Kogi serves solid tacos that embody the multicultural spirit of LA.

Checkout: Short Rib Tacos, Kimchi Quesadilla, Sliders, Korean Spiced Fries, Chocolate Tres Leches Cake

Animal

Animal is a celebration of all things meat. From veal brains to fried rabbit, this 10-year-old off-the-wall snout-to-tail spot is now an LA classic. Visit the starkly decorated dining room with its unpredictable soundtrack for a guaranteed good time.

Checkout: Chicken liver toast, marrow bone with chimichurri and caramelized onions, smoked turkey leg, and the burger.

Bestia

Bestia is a truly exciting experience. Service is impeccable and over-the-top Italian dishes are artfully composed. This intimate yet bustling restaurant will capture your senses and stimulate conversation. Bring a date for a guaranteed good night.

Checkout: Spaghetti rustichella, cassoeula milanese, roasted marrow bone, alla’nduja pizza

Osteria Mozza

Topping the LA "must try" list is Mozza, a Michelin-starred Italian restaurant boasting handmade pasta, fine wine, and a convivial ambiance. Book in advance, bring someone to impress and enjoy a pleasure-filled dining experience you won't forget.

Checkout: Orecchiete, Burricota and spiced walnuts, Ricotta and egg raviolo, Tagliatelle, Bombolini

Guisados - Boyle Heights

Guisados has built a mini-empire making Mexican treats you can't find at any old taco truck. Standout eats and casual vibes will make you want to be a regular at this spot, the original location that started it all. Pro-tip: order the horchata.

Checkout: Taco sampler platter, mole poblano taco, horchata,

Bäco Mercat

If there's such a thing as a Mediterranean izakaya, it's Bäco Mercat. The dimly lit, always buzzing spot is a metaphor for Downtown itself: A little bit of everything creates a lot of character without taking itself too seriously. Quintessential LA.

Checkout: Bäco sandwich (especially the original and the toron), coca, caramelized cauliflower, blistered okra, salad

Eggslut - Grand Central Market

Eggslut got famous for serving everything from perfect coddled eggs to cheeseburgers (with fried eggs, of course) out of a food truck. They've retired the truck, but the concept hasn't changed. Start your day right with a Fairfax and some coldbrew.

Checkout: The Fairfax, The Slut, The Gaucho

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