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Kebabs plate at Mini Kabob
Mini Kabob
Farley Elliott

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How to Eat Through Los Angeles in 24 Hours: Eastside Edition

From morning to late night, one epic day of dining in LA

Los Angeles is just as big, sprawling, and (sometimes) hard to navigate as everyone says it can be, but that also breeds a great hyper-local restaurant culture built on feeding the immediate neighborhoods that chefs actually live in and serve. Take for example the greater Eastside and Downtown, where Glendale Armenian spots rub up against high-flying upscale cocktail bars, with plenty of Thai food and tacos in between. Rather than trying to jump from the beach to the river in one tight day, consider hanging out in hip (and historic) neighborhoods like Silver Lake, Koreatown, and Boyle Heights for a perfect 24 hours of eating and drinking across Los Angeles.

8 a.m. Coffee and toast at Sqirl

Inside Sqirl, Virgil Village
Inside Sqirl, Virgil Village
Wonho Frank Lee
Ricotta toast with jam at Sqirl
Ricotta toast with jam at Sqirl
Wonho Frank Lee

The not-so-secret move to beat the lines at Sqirl is to show up before they start serving hot food at 8 a.m. There’s coffee and pastries before eight in the morning for any real early birds. Later in the morning, waits can range up to half an hour, sometimes longer on weekends. So what to order? With a full day of eating ahead, stick to the basics: Toast of course, with one of the seasonal jams on top, and maybe the sorrel pesto rice bowl with the sunnyside egg on top. They’ll be guaranteed to draw those coveted Instagram likes. Sqirl. 720 N. Virgil Avenue, Los Angeles, CA

10 a.m. Thai iced tea and bowl of noodles at Sapp Coffee Shop

A wooden table filled with Thai dishes, including boat noodle soup.
Sapp Coffee Shop
Euno Lee

From Sqirl’s Silver Lake edges (it’s technically in Virgil Village) it’s a quick jaunt up the street to Anthony Bourdain-favorite Sapp Coffee Shop in Thai Town. This longstanding strip mall gem is home to what may be one of the city’s best simple lunches: Thai iced tea and noodles. The boat noodles work for a cooler day, otherwise it’s all about the light green jade noodles with crab and duck for a refreshing mid-morning meal. Just remember to bring cash, as Sapp does not accept credit cards. Sapp Coffee Shop. 5183 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA

1 p.m. Lunch at Mini Kabob

Kebabs plate at Mini Kabob Farley Elliott

Now it’s time to head to the endless land of Armenian eats: Glendale, California. The sprawling city at the edge of the San Fernando Valley is home to the largest expat Armenian community in the world, which means the kabobs and rice and whipped garlic is second to none. One of the most delicious shops in town is Mini Kabob, down a side street of the main drag and with less than a handful of tables inside. Eating here is like dining in the kitchen of the Martirosyan family, where there’s always too much grilled meat to eat on big, spilling platters, and the conversation is sure to raise an eyebrow. Laugh, eat, and enjoy — just don’t hog the tables, because someone else wants that seat next. Oh, and again, be sure to bring cash. Mini Kabob. 313 Vine St., Glendale, CA

3 p.m. Snack at Mariscos Jalisco

Mariscos Jalisco’s crispy shrimp tacos
Mariscos Jalisco’s crispy shrimp tacos
Matthew Kang

After a quick stop for coffee somewhere in Downtown (G&B at Grand Central Market? Endorffeine in Chinatown?) get to Boyle Heights for some of America’s best tacos at Mariscos Jalisco. The unique truck creations are made by marinating diced shrimp and then pushing it into a corn tortilla that’s sealed up and fried to crispy perfection. Toss on plenty of spicy salsa and hot sauce for maximum effect, particularly when paired with the thin slices of avocado. Mariscos Jalisco. 3040 E. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles, CA

6 p.m. Cocktails at 71Above

Lounge area at 71Above, Downtown LA
Lounge area at 71Above, Downtown LA
Wonho Frank Lee

After a quick change of clothes into something slightly more formal, get to 71Above atop the U.S. Bank Tower building in Downtown. The perfect perch will allow for views from the mountains to Long Beach to Santa Monica, and in the fall and early spring it’s a killer place to catch a sunset. Dinner here is a more expensive affair, but the drinks are reasonable (by big city standards) and come with the same sky-high 360 views. 71Above. 633 W. 5th St., Los Angeles, CA

8:30 p.m. Dinner at Majordomo

Braised short ribs at Majordomo
Braised short ribs at Majordomo
Wonho Frank Lee
Majordomo, Chinatown
Majordomo, Chinatown
Wonho Frank Lee

For those who had the foresight to plan ahead a meal at Majordomo awaits. David Chang’s first West Coast foray is among the hardest tables to get in the city, though there’s often room at the bar for snacks and drinks. Assuming a table, opt for a wide range of Korean-inspired snacks and sides, and be sure to lean into one large format meat. There’s the Adam Perry Lang homage short rib served a variety of ways, or the char siu pork butt that’s shown off tableside for all to see. Just don’t overindulge, because there’s more to come. Majordomo. 1725 Naud Street, Los Angeles, CA

1 a.m. Late night cheese corn at Dan Sung Sa

Dan Sung Sa, Koreatown
Dan Sung Sa, Koreatown

Enjoy the post-Majordomo glow at one of Koreatown’s many karaoke shops, from Recital to YD Karaoke Studio. Belt out more than a few songs over soju and beers, then make for last call at Dan Sung Sa. The dim bar is great for big groups looking to decompress after a long day, or for anyone trying to fortify their bellies further with cheese corn and other traditional Korean bar snacks. There’s time for one last round of drinks, then a rideshare trip back home to a warm bed. Tomorrow is a new day. Dan Sung Sa. 3317 W. 6th St., Los Angeles, CA

Dan Sung Sa

3317 West 6th Street, , CA 90020 (213) 487-9100

Mini Kabob

313 1/2 Vine Street, , CA 91204 (818) 244-1343

Mariscos Jalisco

801 East 10th Street, , CA 90021 (323) 309-1622

71Above

633 West 5th Street, , CA 90071 (213) 712-2683 Visit Website

Sqirl

720 North Virgil Avenue, , CA 90029 (323) 284-8147 Visit Website

Sapp Coffee Shop

5183 Hollywood Blvd, , CA 90027 (323) 665-1035 Visit Website
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