Welcome (back) to Dining Confidential, a series in which Eater discusses restaurant recommendations by well-known personalities around town.
Kiernan Shipka has been a child star for years, ever since landing the part of Sally Draper on the iconic show Mad Men. Since the show ended, Shipka has been tearing through Los Angeles, eating her way through some of the city's best restaurants.
How did you get into going out to eat?
I grew up mainly in LA, I moved here when I was six. I've always liked food and I think it was when I was 13 or 14 my friends and I started going out to different restaurants. It's something that we really like doing. Of course, the Jonathan Gold 101 list became our bible. The social media aspect was important too. The city is really exciting right now, and I was really eager to sharing my experiences.
What were the first great restaurant experiences you had?
The mainstay is always SQIRL. There was a period of time, maybe before the long times started, where we would go every Sunday. It was very fun. We also like dim sum, we like Sea Harbour in San Gabriel Valley. Nowadays, we're doing more of the brunch stuff.
How have you been exploring ethnic cuisine in LA?
I live near Koreatown. I just went to Soban for the first time and it was great. The city has so many different kinds of food. I've been going to Jitlada for a long time, it's probably one of my favorite restaurants. LA's a cool place to live for that reason.
What do you not like about LA's scene, or wish could be better?
It's not toward the city in particular, but the traffic in LA makes me really antsy. I get really excited when I'm heading to a restaurant, and if it's going to be a 45 minute drive to Downtown, I get really antsy. I start getting worried we're not going to make our reservation. It's probably the one thing that worries me.
Are you driving right now?
I guess the process is over because I have my license, but I don't have a car. Hopefully it'll be soon enough. When it happens, I'm really excited to start driving myself places. Uber is great, but it doesn't quite feel official.
What are your top LA restaurants?
I'm going to go with Guerrilla Tacos because it's very LA in the best way possible. I feel like Baroo is really LA too, in the best way possible. It's really like nothing else and it's the LA experience. It's so good. I love a place with a fun vibe so I'd recommend Jon & Vinny's or Night + Market. But if someone likes sushi I'd probably just take them to Shunji.
Follow Kiernan on Instagram right here.
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