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Even LA’s Sleepiest Neighborhoods are Getting Great New Restaurants Now

Plus an inside look at Nancy Silverton, and more

Maple at Descanso Gardens
Wonho Frank Lee
Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

The rise of LA’s mountain towns

Have you noticed the rising culinary scene in neighboring LA areas like La Crescenta, Montrose, and Altadena? Those normally sleepy enclaves run right up against the mountainous Angeles National Forest, and have for years mostly offered an equally muted dining experience. But with more and more young families heading up that way to enjoy the city-adjacent lifestyle, tastes along the 210 are changing too.

There’s Honeybird, the popular fried chicken outlet on Foothill Boulevard run by chef Phil Lee. Not far away is C’est La Vie, a newer all-day option doing breakfast through dinner plus pastries and coffee. And lest we forget Maple, a stunner of a brunch restaurant that is currently doing holiday-season dinners up at Descanso Gardens.

More is on the way, with a coffee shop or two planned and a few other things in the works. Among them is John Sparr Tavern in Montrose, a homey after-work option for craft beer and pub food. The place has been a long time coming, but with all the marble and tile and glasswork they’ve got up now, it seems only a matter of a week or two before the place comes online. With fingers crossed, says ownership, they’ll be up and running before the end of the year, adding their name to a growing list of places redefining the dining scene in some of LA’s sleepier stretches.

The problem with poke

LA Weekly takes a scary look at our seafood-loving ways, and the sustainability of all those poke shops around town. Talking farmed fish and responsible sourcing, the piece paints a bleak picture of global seafood levels, unless customers start demanding better product.

This pork sandwich makes people cry

Vice Munchies takes a humorous look at a pork sandwich being served at Primera Taza in Boyle Heights, claiming it’s made regulars cry tears of joy after experiencing it. The massive sandwich is full of nostalgic flavors, and apparently has some big-named fans like Ray Garcia and Eddie Ruiz.

Nancy Silverton rules the world

The inimitable Nancy Silverton is next up for the Lucky Peach treatment, earning a lovely profile from the quarterly publication. The lengthy feature charts her rise from London culinary school to becoming one of the most important people in the Los Angeles culinary scene.

DIY pizza and macarons

Here’s a storefront mashup you might not have seen coming: pizza and macarons. But that’s exactly what’s on the table at The Pizza Mac, a very unlicensed Pac-Man nod going up in Westwood. The upcoming address at 2029 Westwood Blvd. is the handiwork of Aman Shekarchi, and promises make-your-own pizza and wholesale macarons for takeaway. Apparently Shekarchi is already in the sweets business, as the man behind Monkey Macarons in Downtown.