The close of 2010 is upon us, and as is the tradition here at Eater, we've surveyed a variety of bloggers, writers, and industry types to comment on the LA dining scene over the past 12 months — as well as what diners in our fair city might expect to see in the year to come. The results will run in this space throughout the week from Meal of the Year to Top Standbys. But we want you, dear readers, to share your voice, too, so don't forget the comments.
[Photo: Inside Animal.]
Q: What are the top standbys (the restaurants you returned to most) of 2010?
Barbara Fairchild, former E-I-C Bon Appetit: Loteria Grill, Hatfield's, eva, Jar, Joan's on Third, Amarone, Pizzeria Mozza, Sushi Roku, Nic's & The Martini Lounge (love that Vod Box!!), Canele.
Brad Metzger, restaurant recruiter Restaurant Solutions: Rustic Canyon, AOC, Bar Pintxo, Westside Tavern, Jiraffe.
Zach Brooks, Midtown Lunch: Animal and Pizzeria Mozza. And for lunch, I've been seriously addicted to Thai Town. There was a two week period I must have eaten at Sapp's Coffee Shop 5 times.
Brad A. Johnson, Angeleno: Cube (more often than any other), Lazy Ox, Street, Hatfields, Culina, Cactus Taqueria, and La Bottega Marino Beverly Hills (porchetta!).
Hadley Tomicki, Grub Street: Seems I'm always looking at the new, but find myself returning to Santouka, A-Frame, Flor Blanca #3, Umami Burger, La Oaxaquena Truck, Huarache Azteca, Juquila, Mo-Chica, Baby Blues BBQ, Poom Thai, Hurry Curry for quick tandoori chicken, Marsicos Chente, Fiesta Brava, In-N-Out, Cora's Coffe Shop, Sakura, and Hugo's for the chilaquiles.
Josh Lurie, Food GPS: Given the nature of my job, which is so news and story-dependent, it can be tricky to return to any particular restaurant all that often, but I do have a few casual, reasonably-priced favorites. Elena’s Greek-Armenian Cuisine is a family-run restaurant in Glendale that specializes in wood-grilled kebabs – lule and quail are especially good. They’ve also got the best lentil soup in the city, great falafel and hot, dill-laced grape leaves with yogurt sauce. In Highland Park, the sea blue El Mar Azul truck that sidles up to Sycamore Grove Park serves my favorite L.A. tostadas, all made to order with a bed of creamy slaw and piles of shrimp, abalone, octopus and/or “crab.” In east Hollywood, Spicy BBQ has a handful of great northern Thai dishes, including chile-flecked pork patties topped with fried garlic and mint, khao soi and taut lemongrass-studded sausage. For an especially quick bite, a number of Middle Eastern bakeries get the job done, including Sasoun Bakery, which is across Santa Monica Boulevard from Spicy BBQ. My favorite offerings are the crispy lahmajun, the half-moons filled with ground beef, and the spicy torpedo-shaped cheese breads.
Neil Kohan, Food Marathon: Dean Sin World (mainly for 50-packs of frozen xiao long bao), Lazy Ox, Joan's on Third, Jitlada (but never at peak times).
Jeff Miller, Thrillist: Definitely still Animal. This year I also re-discovered House on Beverly, and was extremely excited about both Robata Jinya and the re-opening of Doughboys -- they're a baseball-throw from my apartment, so if you're looking for me around lunch time, chances are you'll spot me there.
Cathy Chaplin, Gastronomy: Kyochon, Mama's Lu, Cham Korean Bistro, Kam Hong Garden, LudoBites.
Odell: Dean Sin World, JTYH, Lazy Ox Canteen, Tasting Kitchen, Rustic Canyon, Umami, A-Frame, Sushi Park, Hiko, Pitfire Pizza, Huckleberry, Golden Mean, Pa-Ord, Vardo, Cube, Native Foods, Animal, Cora's Coffee Shop, Planet Raw, Scarpetta, Sham (though it's now shuttered), Caffe Luxxe.