2020 will be the year that upended the restaurant industry. It’s difficult to talk about the year in review when everything changed, when people and businesses suffered during the pandemic. In light of the challenging year for everyone in Los Angeles, we asked food writers and industry folks what their go-to takeout and delivery destinations were across the city.
Mona Holmes, Eater LA Reporter
I’ve had a complicated relationship with fried chicken over most of my adult life, but it was a welcome, comforting dish in 2020. I’m not talking about hot chicken, which is wonderful, but the classic brined, breaded, deep-fried classic. LA is ripe with options and Gus’s Fried Chicken, Lucky Bird, or Jim Dandy on Vermont and Imperial Highway are equally satisfying and completely different experiences.
Tal Ronnen’s Crossroads Kitchen was on point when my meat consumption was at an all-time high. Especially Ronnen’s pasta and thick, chewy pizzas without a drop of animal product. But when the opposite was needed, Mariscos 4 Vientos made my seafood dreams come true.
Hillary Dixler Canavan, Eater restaurant editor
When my family and I lived in Los Feliz, our regular spots included Kismet Rotisserie, Luv2Eat Thai, Maurys, Yucas, and, for a special treat, Sogo Roll Bar and Cosa Buona. Since moving to Pasadena, our most regular delivery, by orders of magnitude, is Joy.
Euno Lee, Eater LA writer
Zaytoon’s Kebab, Mo Ran Gak, Katella Deli, Charo Chicken, California Fish Grill, Peking Gourmet, Needle, Kismet Rotisserie
Joshua Lurie, FoodGPS.com founder
I’ve tried to support as many restaurants, pop-ups and chefs as possible in 2020, so I don’t repeat too often, but my family does enjoy a few regular pick-ups. Saigon Flavor in San Gabriel fries my favorite chả giò (imperial rolls) in L.A. Their #91 combo is another must-order plate that teams cơm tấm (broken rice) with shrimp paste, pork chop and baked egg loaf. El Dorado in Pasadena specializes in pollo a la brasa, wood-fired rotisserie chicken. I always order at least one bird with beans and rice. Hamlet’s Kitchen, hidden in back of a Glendale strip mall in Unit Z, has become a frequent stop for charcoal-grilled beef and chicken lule kebabs and assorted flame-licked pork parts.
Danielle Dorsey, LA editor, Thrillist
Sky’s Gourmet Tacos and Pinches Tacos were regular choices for Taco Tuesday (a weekly tradition even COVID couldn’t break), Delicious Pizza was my go-to pizza joint, but Antica’s foccacia bread pizza played a good substitute game. Black-owned Simply D’licious Southern Creole Cuisine was my favorite for when I was lonely or missing my family’s soul food cooking. I also pickup meals from BBQ & Rice pretty often; their bowls are cheap and filling when I’m feeling hungry without a specific craving.
Esther Tseng, freelance writer
Pine & Crane, BBQ+Rice, Dune, DeSano, Wah’s Golden Hen
Jim Thurman, freelance writer
Baja Subs; and owing to convenience and comfort, Rubio’s and DogHaus.
Farley Elliott, Eater LA senior editor
I’ll always say HomeState for satisfying weekend morning meals, but this year I found myself returning also to DTown Pizzeria, Hail Mary in Atwater Village, and Goldburger in Highland Park — plus Lao Tao for frozen dumplings to have at the ready.
Oren Peleg, Eater LA contributor, freelance writer
Night + Market Song, Gamboge, Kismet, Terroni, El Jalapeño
Cathy Chaplin, Eater LA associate editor
Pasadena Fish Market, Mian, Golden Deli
Hadley Tomicki, L.A. Taco
Lonzo’s Peruvian Restaurant, Mr. Menudo, SaMo’s Oaxaca, Humaya Mariscos y Botanicos, Sonoratown, El Ruso, Vespertine, Asakuma, Valle, Chuy’s Tacos Dorados, Gracias Señor, Naan Hut, Perro 110, Northern Cafe
Matthew Kang, Eater LA editor
BCD Tofu, MDK Noodles, La Burrita Marina, Ponchos Tlayudas, Tacos La Carreta, Big Boi, Katsu Sando, Mitsuwa Marketplace, Northern Thai Food Club, Jun Won, Porto’s Bakery