Welcome to Dining Confidential, a series in which Eater gets restaurant recommendations from well-known personalities around town.
Largely thanks to his show on Vice F*ck, That’s Delicious, rapper Action Bronson has made quite the name for himself in the culinary community. It certainly doesn’t hurt that the New York City musician actually began his career as a chef, or that his love for food and cooking still makes frequent cameos in his lyrics. Take for example this run from “It Concerns Me”: Greek men, jump off the back of the boat for dinner/Barehanded snatch up a octopus I’m a winner/Grill it, hit it with olive oil and lemon/Then kiss my fingers, efharisto that was delicious.
Eater sat down with the chef and rapper at the J. Hernandez and Sons Bodega Pop-Up Experience by Olmeca Altos Tequila recently to discuss where and what the Bronson likes to eat when in Los Angeles.
Where do you eat when you’re in LA?
So many different places. One of my favorite places is Gjusta; Travis is a legend and a mad man. He somehow clashes Italian deli with Jewish deli and everything in between to the highest level possible for our enjoyment, and I love him for that. The breads, the desserts, you can get smoked belly of salmon, you can get smoked all kinds of beautiful things, fermented things, I love it.
Have you had the baklava croissant?
Of course! I’ve watched the lady make it in front of me. She made it for me with the pistachio cream and the extra pistachio on top! It gets me going.
Where else do you eat in LA?
Sapp Coffee Shop, I love that place. The wonton soup is underestimated, you wouldn’t expect to get a great wonton soup there, but you get the beautiful dumplings, the good roasted pork, and the Chinese broccoli. I like all the dishes there. I like the crispy pork belly with the chili and basil.
There are so many places that I love. I could just stop at any random taco truck and have an experience. It might not be the best taco in the world, but just talking to someone there will heighten your experience.
I like Tacos Por Favor; it’s a little spot in Santa Monica. It’s a family run spot that makes really, really good home-style tacos and Mexican food.
What’s the order?
I like torta milanesa. That’s the one thing that I can’t live without. Milanesa de pollo with avocado, queso, pickled jalapenos, a little refried beans on there. And a beautiful cemita. Any type of empanada. Dominican food and Columbian food is really lacking out here. It’s more of an East Coast thing, but it needs to be all over the place.
Would you say tacos in LA are better than in New York?
No, I wouldn’t because I grew up with Mexicans my whole life they are not from the western part. They are from Puebla, from Veracruz, from Monterrey. But New York is mostly Poblanos. I learned to cook from a man who was from Puebla, I just recently went to his house, and his sister-in-law made me mole verde. Stewed up pork ribs with everything green, zucchini, green beans. The cuisine of Puebla in not to be messed with. So to be honest with you I’ve had amazing Mexican food in New York City. I’ve eaten all over the world, and my favorite tacos are in New York. Actually my favorite tacos are in Chicago at Rubi’s. Rubi’s is fire.
Have you been to Leo’s Tacos?
No, put me on! But everyone says LA has the best tacos, and it’s not true.
What about pizza? Is there any good pizza in LA?
There’s a Joe’s pizza out here from New York. Mozza has really good pizza. I like the pizza at Gjusta or at Gjelina Take-Away. They make really good pizza. It’s like a sourdough type of thing. It’s something different—it’s not a New York-style pizza. One of my favorite slices is in Utah called Pie Hole. I was blown away. It’s like a Neapolitan style with an olive oil crust. It was a pretty crazy mixture.
What about to drink? Do you have a favorite cocktail?
I love a good Aperol spritz in the summertime. I love natural wine. When I want to have a really delicious beverage, I muddle up grapes, mint, and sugar with Altos plata tequila, a little lime juice, blood orange or any citrus of your choice, and enjoy it for the summertime.