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4 Restaurants to Order Takeout From This Weekend in LA

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Eat well and stay safe while supporting Los Angeles’s vibrant restaurant scene

For extra fresh Pacific oysters you can shuck at home: Jolly Oysterette.
For extra fresh Pacific oysters you can shuck at home: Jolly Oysterette
Matthew Kang

Every Friday our editors compile a trusty list of recommendations to answer the most pressing of questions: “Where should I eat?“ Here now are four places to get takeout this weekend.


December 18, 2020

For a plant-based feast: Crossroads Kitchen

For a plant-based feast: Crossroads Kitchen
For a plant-based feast: Crossroads Kitchen
Mona Holmes

If Crossroads Kitchen were fully open, it’s easy to see how it’s a unique spot in the plant-based restaurant world. It looks just like any upscale LA restaurant, but the vibe jumps with animated diners, good music, with a long bar that is typically packed. That’s something to look forward to when in-house dining returns to California. There’s still something to seek out right now, and that’s chef Tal Ronnen’s food. Vegan food can be a bit underwhelming and predictable, but Ronnen makes his fantastic pasta from scratch, along with a Sicilian pizza where the flavors hit different and right. He even made a smoked beet eggplant that resembles osso buco over pureed potatoes. It’s not as if he’s trying to emulate meat, he combines good flavors, creativity, and technique that puts produce at the center of these delicious dishes. 8284 Melrose Avenue, West Hollywood. —Mona Holmes

For extra fresh Pacific oysters you can shuck at home: Jolly Oysterette

For extra fresh Pacific oysters you can shuck at home: Jolly Oysterette.
For extra fresh Pacific oysters you can shuck at home: Jolly Oysterette
Matthew Kang

The five minutes Jolly Oysterette owner Mark Reynolds takes to explain why you absolutely should use an oyster knife, and not a pairing knife, is an elevator speech he’s likely told a thousand times. It’s convincing too, to know that shucking oysters is safer and a lot more satisfying at home with a special tool. It’s also a lot cheaper to shuck at home, with a dozen still-live oysters going for $18.50 at Jolly Oysterette’s new Culver City kiosk. Reynolds threw in a ‘shucker’s dozen’ of 14 oysters, with half kumamoto and half Pacific. The former was sweet, juicy, and bursting with freshness, the latter a little meatier. And thanks to Reynold’s knife recommendation, I didn’t even cut myself. Note: the caviar was my addition from Wexler’s Deli. 9355 Culver Blvd, Culver City.—Matthew Kang

For Filipino comfort that always hits the spot: Tony’s Barbecue and Bibingkinitan

Fans of Filipino barbecue flock to Tony Macasieb’s namesake restaurant for meats and skewers grilled over charcoal, slathered in sweet teriyaki, and served with classic Pinoy accoutrements. The variety of proteins available ranges from simple pork and chicken skewers to fancier cuts like tuna collar, salmon, and pork belly. The kitchen takes extra care to make sure that everything that touches the grill is evenly charred and unfailingly juicy. Also good here are the banana leaf-wrapped bibingka, sweet cakes with a pudding-like texture made from rice flour and coconut milk. 555 East Amar Rd. #A, West Covina. —Cathy Chaplin

For Christmas deliciousness at the ready: La Perla Bakery

In need of seasonal tamales to scratch that Christmas itch? Consider La Perla Bakery, the longstanding Highland Park shop on Figueroa Street. The family-run takeaway storefront keeps nearly around-the-clock hours, selling pan dulce, champurrado, and everyday grocery basics for those in the neighborhood — to say nothing of the fantastic tamales, steamed in corn husks and rich with pork or chicken filling. Swing through for a bag, tip well, and enjoy the holiday season. 6645 N. Figueroa, Highland Park. —Farley Elliott


December 11, 2020

For house-smoked meats in an unlikely place: Element 29 Deli

For house-smoked meats in an unlikely place: Element 29 Deli.
For house-smoked meats in an unlikely place: Element 29 Deli
Farley Elliott

Who knew there was pastrami this good in Culver City? Apparently that’s what the guys from Element 29 Deli on Washington Boulevard have been saying for a while now. Not only is the pastrami (and the corned beef, brisket, and just about everything else) handled in-house, it can also be stacked up high on marbled rye from Breadbar and served with a whole lot of slaw. The end result is a sandwich worthy of Westside consideration; surprising, considering the unassuming shop has been hiding in plain sight all along. 8636 Washington Blvd., Culver City

For crispy, juicy, slightly spicy fried chicken: Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken

Comfort food has never been more in need, and at the top of the list is fried chicken. LA is lucky enough to have options in every corner of the city, including three locations — Burbank, Long Beach, and Santa Ana — for Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken. You’ll have a moment when taking the first bite because the juiciness and crunch will stop anyone in their tracks. About 30 seconds later, there is a bit of heat to follow. Order Gus’s sides including the baked beans and slaw and never, ever forget a slice of sweet potato pie. 2580 Long Beach Blvd., Long Beach. —Mona Holmes

For Peruvian chicken perfection: Pollos a la Brasa

The secret to Pollos a la Brasa’s superior specimen lies in its wine-based marinade and wood-fired treatment. The restaurant’s Okinawan-born owner rustled the rotisserie from Peru and feeds it a steady diet of oak, hickory, and eucalyptus, which results in a beautifully browned chicken with a crispy, smoky cloak for skin. A squirt of the spicy as all hell aji verde (Peruvian green chili sauce) takes the chicken to a perfect 10. Choose a few sides such as rice, French fries, beans, or salad and you’re good to go. 764 South Western Ave., Los Angeles. —Cathy Chaplin

For tacos and sandwiches, together at last: Flaco/E Stretto

For tacos and sandwiches, together at last: Flaco/E Stretto
For tacos and sandwiches, together at last: Flaco/E Stretto
Farley Elliott

There are taco fans, and then there are carnitas fans. The latter are a devoted bunch, concerning themselves with cook styles (lard, water, braise, and finish in oil?), kitchen equipment (where’s the copper cazo), and cuts of meat from shoulder to snout. Native Angeleno Steve Livigni counts himself in that faithful group, having turned a backyard passion into Flaco, a new carnitas-only taco and quesadilla spot in East Hollywood. Livigni is known for spots like Dama, Scopa Italian Roots, and more, but these days you can find him here working a wooden paddle, making crispy-soft carnitas, sold on Kernel of Truth tortillas. Better still: He’s not alone. Joel David Miller of E Stretto fame shares half the space, meaning it’s possible to snag some of LA’s best sandwiches alongside said tacos. The mortadella, capicolla, and dijonaise-rich Ill Papa is a classic, but really it’s hard to go wrong with anything the E Stretto team whips up — especially when tacos are also involved, all under one roof. 5652 Hollywood Blvd., East Hollywood. —Farley Elliott


December 4, 2020

For a little bit of this, a little bit of that: Citizen Public Market

A corner stall of a food hall restaurant with pizza oven and wooden bar area.
Pizzette at Citizen Public Market
Wonho Frank Lee

Culver City’s new food hall Citizen Public Market certainly opened at an inauspicious time, given the immediate outdoor dining ban and likely upcoming statewide lockdowns. That said, there’s no bad time for coffee, burgers, pizza, oysters, and wine, so why not head over to sample a bit of it all (for takeaway of course). The gorgeously remodeled building hosts a slew of vendors including Goodboybob up front for all things coffee (and some delicious chapati wraps); Jolly Oyster for the freshest bivalves not on the coast; Weho Sausage Co. for beers and sliders; and Pizzette from Nancy Silverton for crispy-ish sandwiches and personal pizzas. The eggplant and zhug option is a particular star. 9355 Culver Blvd., Culver City. —Farley Elliott

For wildcard chicken dinners with Instagram appeal: Birdie G’s

Food Instagram is mercilessly persuasive, and the new semi-daily, off-menu specials offered at Birdie G’s in Santa Monica are especially convincing. Earlier this week, I had the restaurant’s take on chicken française — juicy chicken breast that is beaten, breaded, and then bathed in a shallow pool of parsley-inflected lemon butter and served with a local lettuce salad. This weekend they’re offering gluten-free fried chicken served by the whole and half bird, with two hot sauces, fries, ketchup, and a bright, eggy aioli. To order, you’ll have to pick up your phone and call, but considering the re-shutdown of on-site dining in Los Angeles, that human contact is not unwelcome. 2421 Michigan Ave., Santa Monica. —Nicole Adlman

For dependably great Thai boat noodles: Pa Ord

There are plenty of kwaytiao reua (boat noodles) to be had in Thaitown, but Lawan Bhanduram makes the best bowl around. The broth, dark and murky from pig’s blood and fragrant of cinnamon and cloves, has a distinct funk to it, while the noodles can vary from simple rice sticks to short and wide strands depending on diners’ preferences. Thin slices of beef, squeaky meatballs, and tender tripe round out each bowl. Also of note on Pa Ord’s menu is the khao kanah mu grob, crispy pork and Chinese broccoli slicked in a sweet marinade and served over steamed rice along with a fried egg. 5301 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles. —Cathy Chaplin

For a well-planned takeout system with pan con lechon: Porto’s Bakery

For a well-planned takeout system with pan con lechon: Porto’s Bakery.
For a well-planned takeout system with pan con lechon: Porto’s Bakery
Matthew Kang

Porto’s Bakery has developed a very good car pickup system where customers drive up, stay in their cars, and get food dropped off by staff after ordering online. It’s best to plan ahead at the busy Cuban bakery, which has locations in Burbank, Glendale, Downey, Buena Park, and West Covina. The Downey location uses an adjacent covered parking lot so you can stay comfortable while waiting. I’ve been eating at Porto’s since I was young at their Glendale location, so I know what to eat: juicy pan con lechon; a warm, cheesy Cubano, potato balls, guava-cheese rolls, and even a shareable tres leches cake (sadly, they forgot the forks so we had to eat this at home). My wife and I enjoyed the meal on our tailgate a few miles from the restaurant, next to a golf course, and away from everyone. With outdoor dining closed, this was the closest we could get to a blissful late lunch. Various locations. —Matthew Kang


September 25, 2020

For a four-course affair to go: The Tasting Kitchen

Tasting Kitchen al fresco dining
Tasting Kitchen al fresco dining
Tasting Kitchen

Since returning to action earlier this summer, the new-look Tasting Kitchen in Venice has become a hotspot once again. The al fresco setup means lots of patio and sidewalk seating, and the takeaway menu is appealing for those looking to simply grab and go. Expect a bit of Spanish flair on the recent menu, including grilled and chilled prawns, jamon serrano, and churros for dessert. Better still: Pull together a four-course affair (including some patatas bravas) for only $85, and enjoy the ocean breezes nearby. 1633 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA —Farley Elliott

For affordable udon that’s ready in minutes: Mugimaru in Torrance

Udon from Mugimaru at Mitsuwa Torrance
Udon from Mugimaru at Mitsuwa Torrance
Matthew Kang

Rounding out the savory options at Mitsuwa’s Torrance marketplace is Mugimaru, a trifecta of udon, yakitori, and tempura. The tempura is all pre-fried and ready to choose behind a glass display while the yakitori, which doesn’t strike me as something that keeps particular well already cooked, is next to the fried stuff. But the main draw is udon, which has a simpler menu than I would like. It’s certainly not Marugame Monzo or Marugame Udon, which are much better and have more options. But what’s remarkable is how quick Mugimaru is: a bowl is ready in less than two minutes, making this a better fast food takeout option than your standard-issue burger chain. 3525 W Carson St. Torrance, CA —Matthew Kang

For charming vibes and Mexican food for both vegans and omnivores: Las Glorias del Buen Comer

Las Glorias del Buen Comer
Las Glorias del Buen Comer
Mona Holmes

Las Glorias is one of those decades-old special finds in the city. It truly is hidden, as its business sign fell victim to an overgrown tree. Just plug in the coordinates to your phone, and look for the orange-accented building. It’s a shame the lush covered patio is closed right now, it feels like an oasis on this busy stretch of Silver Lake Boulevard slightly south of Sunset. Be patient, as staff takes care with the grilled fish with black beans and rice, burritos, tacos, and even vegan proteins that are incredibly flavorful. But those extra minutes are why they’ve been around for so long. Las Glorias is unfussy, reliable, and friendly. Note: parking can be a challenge. 620 Silver Lake Blvd, Silver Lake, CA —Mona Holmes

For a breakfast burrito that reminds you that things just might get better: Wake & Late

Wake & Late
Wake & Late

In a week spent thinking about breakfast burritos, it’s good to go out on Saturday with a bang. That means eggs, bacon, tortilla, cheese, potatoes, salsa, and so much more, all wrapped up in a giant flour tortilla from the folks at Wake and Late in Downtown. From early-morning hours to late-afternoon pickups, this casual takeaway does it all — and yes, you can get avocado with that. After all, it’s been a hard week (month? year?), and most Angelenos agree that the quickest path to making things just a little bit better, is with a breakfast burrito. 105 E 6th Street, Downtown LA —Farley Elliott

September 18, 2020

For Southern and soulful brunch vibes: Poppy and Rose

Chicken and waffles from Poppy and Rose
Chicken and waffles from Poppy and Rose
Mona Holmes

While busy weekend brunches are a recent memory, it’s still possible to pick up these comforting dishes to eat at home. Brunch without having to cook sounds pretty awesome in fact, especially when donning comfortable clothes and sipping champagne to your own playlist. This is the move with Poppy and Rose. The buttermilk chicken and waffles travel well and only require a quick reheat in the toaster oven. (It has to be hot to melt the accompanying smoked honey butter). The same goes for the pulled pork hash. And if feeling particularly adventurous, first make a stop by the Flower Mart to brighten up your weekend table. 765 Wall Street, Flower District —Mona Holmes

For Parisian decadence, to go if you’d like: Perle Restaurant

Perle restaurant Pasadena
Perle restaurant Pasadena
Perle

It’s been an unbelievable year for Dean Yasharian, the chef-owner of Perle restaurant in Pasadena. The restaurant had the unfortunate distinction of opening (and then being forced to pivot, and re-pivot) during the ongoing pandemic, but now he and the Perle team seem to have settled in to a real rhythm, thanks in no small part to that city’s installation of street dining right past the front door. For those not dining al fresco at the moment, there’s takeout aplenty, and done with the same care for detail one might expect from a chef of Yasharian’s tenure. Head for staples like coq au vin and frisee salad with lardons for a perfectly Parisian evening, either out under the open sky or in front of the TV at home. 43 E. Union St., Pasadena. —Farley Elliott

For innovative banh mi from a drive-thru in Garden Grove: Carrot and Daikon

Banh mi from Carrot and Daikon in Garden Grove
Banh mi from Carrot and Daikon in Garden Grove
Matthew Kang

Driving through the 22 in Garden Grove/Wesminster? A quick grab-and-go option is Carrot and Daikon on the corner of Newland and Westminster, which serves fantastic banh mi with some more upscale variants like thick-sliced barbecue pork and turmeric fish. The baguettes here are massive but crumble and fall into place without tearing up the top of your mouth. The turmeric fish in particular had an incredible balance of plump, seasoned fish and fresh herbs. This is definitely my go-to banh mi when I’m in Little Saigon going forward, and the drive-thru option makes it even better. 8511 Westminster Blvd, Garden Grove, CA —Matthew Kang

For tasty takoyaki made the right way in Torrance: Gindaco

Takoyaki at Gindaco, Torrance
Takoyaki at Gindaco, Torrance
Matthew Kang

The futuristic new Mitsuwa Marketplace has already drawn in curious South Bay locals, but the best one-dish pick in the somewhat busy food court is Gindaco, which makes delicious, chewy takoyaki all day long in its stall. The ping pong ball-sized snack comes covered with kewpie mayo, rich Worchestershire sauce, and “dancing” bonito flakes — and it’s terrific to eat right away on Mitsuwa’s outdoor patio or taken to-go. What’s really great about Gindaco’s takoyaki is that they don’t skimp out on the octopus inside, with big chunks in the center. 3525 W Carson St Suite 164, Torrance, CA —Matthew Kang

September 11, 2020

For stellar cookies from a sidewalk in West LA: Chocolate & The Chip

Chocolate chip cooking on a plate.
Chocolate and the Chip

Chocolate & The Chip is a true LA story. Founder Lola Marie moved from Queens to LA six years ago as a musician/songwriter, then found a passion for baking cookies. After developing a solid following on Etsy and getting pop-up support from the Tripp Burgers crew, Marie also set up a weekly stop next to the parking lot of CVS and Trader Joe’s. This week’s flavors are classic chocolate chip, along with purple velvet and red velvet. Chocolate & The Chip ships nationwide, but can also be found Thursdays at Ladera Farmers Market from 4 to 6 p.m., and local deliveries on Fridays from noon to 3 p.m., with Palms and Sepulveda pickups every Saturday from 10:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. Order early via Instagram direct message as she often sells out. 3456 S Sepulveda Blvd —Mona Holmes

For square slices with a side of air quality: Venice Way Pizza

Slice from Venice Pizza Way
Slice from Venice Pizza Way
Farley Elliott

The square slice is this year’s defining pizza style, thanks to a slew of underground operators that have started making pan pies at home during the pandemic. Now the genre is everywhere, including at popular restaurants like Cafe Birdie and Antico, but for Venice Way Pizza at Hotel Erwin in the heart of Venice, the square slice is nothing new. This takeaway-only window operation, perfectly suited for the current pandemic, has been turning out slices since before stay-at-home orders in March, and continues to show up daily for locals, tourists, and folks east of the beach desperate to outrun the heat and the smoke. Stop in for a quick bite, and be sure to get something with those delightfully crispy pepperoni cups. 1697 Pacific Ave., Venice. —Farley Elliott

For a cheese-riddled, gut-busting lunch in the South Bay: Chile relleno burrito from Chori-Man

Chile relleno burrito from Chori-Man
Chile relleno burrito from Chori-Man
Matthew Kang

Chori-Man already has some of the best breakfast burritos in town, but I hadn’t tried anything else on the menu until this past week. The chile relleno burrito, which came at the strong recommendation of a friend, is a delightful cheese and chile missile that might as well knock you out for the rest of the day (unfortunately we had a 14-mile bike ride back home after eating this). With Chori-Man’s crumbly green chorizo, beans, and crema binding it all together, this burrito has been permanently embedded into my consciousness. 2309 S Alma St, San Pedro, CA —Matthew Kang

For a cooling bowl of handmade soba noodles: Ichimiann

Mentai oroshi soba bowl at Ichimiann in a black plastic bowl.
Mentai oroshi soba bowl at Ichimiann
Matthew Kang

Last weekend and its heat wave called for a bowl of Ichimiann’s excellent cold soba noodles. The menu is abridged at the moment, with most popular variants and a few daily specials like a tempura-topped kake rice bowl still on it. But thankfully they retained their mentai oroshi, one of my favorites on the regular menu that comes topped with cod roe, seaweed, green onions, and bonito flakes. Carried just a few yards away to the breezy tree-lined park in Old Torrance, this was an absolutely spot-on thing to enjoy on a weathered park bench. My only wish is that they had an option for a bigger size so I could slurp up even more of the hand-cut soba. Remember, Ichimiann is still cash-only. 1618 Cravens Ave, Torrance, CA —Matthew Kang

September 4, 2020

For a slice of strawberry cake and seasonal mooncakes: Phoenix Bakery

Filling of a moon cake, arranged for photography. Mid-...
For a slice of strawberry cake and seasonal mooncakes: Phoenix Bakery
Photo by Zhang Peng/LightRocket via Getty Images

Strawberries and whipped cream are the lifeblood of the Chan family, the proud proprietors of Phoenix Bakery since 1938. In addition to the bakery’s signature fresh strawberry whipped cream cake, the daily selection includes a number French-style desserts like eclairs, palmiers, and fruit tarts. In late August, the bakery began baking mooncakes in anticipation of the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival that falls on October 1 this year. The classic lotus paste-filled mooncake with a single salted egg yolk in the center is certainly delightful, but it’s the fruit nut mooncake that really exemplifies what this bakery is capable of. The filling, a sticky mixture of dried meat, fruit, and seeds, charms with its rush of sweet and savory. The mooncakes cost three times as much as factory-produced ones, but are worth every penny. 969 North Broadway, Los Angeles. —Cathy Chaplin

For a delicious sandwich find in South LA: Tortas Hula Hula

A sandwich filled with a hamburger patty, cheese, and avodcado.
For a delicious sandwich find in South LA: Tortas Hula Hula
Matthew Kang

For Salvadorans, the torta mexicana, or torta hula hula, has a truly mysterious origin. It’s unclear to anyone in El Salvador why it’s called the torta mexicana, as it has no resemblance to Mexican tortas, except for the generous mayo and avocado. Oscar Cortez has been preparing these delectable sandwiches in Vernon (and now South LA) with a traditional method: well-seared hamburger patties, thinly sliced griddled ham, mustard-tinted curtido, salsa dulce, and melted cheese. Think of this as the hamburger sub sandwich, with a wonderfully crisp pan flauta hugging all the ingredients together. Polish off a hula hula then venture to the mata niño (literally, child killer...), a sandwich filled with ketchup, grilled mortadella, and curtido. 10425 S. Avalon Blvd., Los Angeles. —Matthew Kang

For Tex-Mex cantina vibes: Bar Amá

Nacho ingredients ready to be assembled.
For Tex-Mex cantina vibes: Bar Amá
Mona Holmes

It’s entirely possible to dine-in or get delivery for one of DTLA’s most reliable spots: Bar Amá. Josef Centeno’s Fourth Street restaurant is usually bursting at the seams, but with social distancing, not so much. On the menu are thoughtful food and drink options that keep their structure and flavor until they arrive at your doorstep. The massive nacho kit with creamy queso and the charred cauliflower with cilantro pesto travel exceptionally well. Don’t be upset when opening what appears to be a small container of margaritas. Those suckers are strong. You’ll only need one. 118 West 4th Street, Los Angeles. —Mona Holmes

For a delightful treat: Sheera Sweets

Fancifully decorated dates and baklava.
For a delightful treat: Sheera Sweets
[Official Photo]

Beverly Hills cafe Sheera Sweets is a lot of things — a neighborhood hangout, a place to grab a cup of coffee in the center of town, a drop-in for delicious dates and baklava. Greek-Armenian owner Suzy Hovanesyan has curated her Bedford Drive space to be a little bit of everything, a representative of her dedicated work ethic (having spent years in the non-profit sector) and her playful side, complete with a rosy faux-living wall and gold #DateMe signs. The shop’s Egyptian rose latte is an earthy, sweet staple, but the real focus is and should be on those stuffed dates, some dripping with chocolate, others dusted with coconut flakes or ground pistachio. It’s a simple and indulgent afternoon snack for anyone already wandering around busy Beverly Hills, coffee in hand. 443 N. Bedford Dr., Beverly Hills. —Farley Elliott


August 28, 2020

For an interactive sushi-building takeout: Sushi Tama

A collection of fresh sushi and nigiri in a simple box.
For interactive sushi-building takeout in West Hollywood: Sushi Tama
Matthew Kang

One of the things my wife has been pining for is sushi, but the traditional counter experience isn’t an option at most places right now. Sushi Tama, which opened in a gorgeous fishbowl space on Robertson in West Hollywood a few weeks ago, will probably have one of the city’s most impressive omakase experiences from Tsukiji Market veteran Hideyuki Yoshimoto. Until an omakase experience is possible indoors, Tama’s takeaway nigiri bento and temaki set will have to suffice. The 10-piece nigiri is very good for $45, with great variety and precise sushi slices. But the $60 temaki is a lot more fun, with bigger fish pieces and generous rice cubes to build custom bites. You can top a dense piece of tuna with a sliver of uni and some salmon roe. You won’t be as good as a master sushi chef, but it’s a start. 116 N. Robertson Blvd., Los Angeles. —Matthew Kang

For a larger than life tamale: Sabor Colombiano

A tamale in a banana leaf.
For a larger than life tamale: Sabor Colombiano
[Official Photo]

Rosario Hernandez, a native of Palmira, Colombia, opened Sabor Colombiano in 2010 to introduce Angelenos to her grandmother’s recipes. Start with the freshly baked Colombian cheese bread (pan de bono) that’s otherworldly just out of the oven. The arepas, corn cakes stuffed with beef, chicken, or cheese, are also made with care. Under the “Desayunos” section of the menu is the terrific tamal Tolimense, a one-pound Colombian rice flour tamale stuffed with carrots, green peas, chicken, and pork, and cooked in banana leaves. Its immense heft, along with its pudding-like texture, sets it apart from the firm, masa-made parcels of the world. The weekends-only lechona is also not to be missed—a whole pig is stuffed with rice, peas, potatoes, and spices, and roasted for the better part of a day. Due to its unpredictability and popularity, call ahead to confirm availability. 847 South Union Ave., Los Angeles. —Cathy Chaplin

For a fantastic ready-to-bake pizza: La Morra Pizzeria

Four cheese pizza with a spotted crust on a wooden cutting board.
For a fantastic ready-to-bake pizza that you could never do at home: La Morra Pizzeria
[Matthew Kang]

It’s unclear how Zach Swemle captures the Neapolitan pizza at the exact moment of doneness for La Morra’s frozen pizza delivery, but the hermetically sealed pizzas arrive ready to bake in about 10 minutes. Swemle and partner Marlee Blodgett made the move from Charleston to LA a few years ago looking to introduce another player to the city’s pizza scene. With the pandemic halting plans to open a permanent location, the duo put together this frozen pizza delivery of La Morra’s favorite variants, like margherita, pepperoni, and this elemental four cheese. Instructions are pasted to the back: preheat the oven to 475 and warm up the pie until the cheese is melted (I might’ve failed this basic instruction here). The crust is miraculously light, with only some of the fringes a bit chewier than one would like, but the infusion of the tangy, sharp four cheeses and sauce makes this a fantastic afternoon snack. La Morra is available for delivery. —Matthew Kang

For a cookie you can’t forget: Largwa

The underground Instagram food scene is awash in baked goods right now, but that does not mean that everyone is created equal. There are chocolate chip cookies and then there is Largwa, the upstart online bakery run by Laura Hoang out of her small apartment in City Terrace, east of Downtown LA. Expect a rotating collection of baked goods from the longtime pastry professional (who was running the sweets side of Buddy’s in Downtown and Kensho in Hollywood, at least before things went south), including a melty chocolate chip cookie that may restore your faith in the world. Not for weeks on end mind you — there’s still a pandemic after all — but at least for a few glorious bites. Sign up soon because Largwa sells out fast. —Farley Elliott


August 14, 2020

For Indian food and some serious bottled flavor: Badmaash

Badmaash Fairfax’s orange bowl of curried chicken.
For Indian food and some serious bottled flavor: Badmaash
Wonho Frank Lee/Eater LA

Fairfax is loaded with fantastic restaurants, but none are doing the kind of cooking that Badmaash has become famous for. The stellar Indian spot is a wonderful blend of Indian, Canadian, and pure LA influence, and the food being turned out there makes for one of the better takeaway meals anyone can have at home. Better still is the family’s recent pivot into bottled drinks, including a supremely crushable mini bottle of oat milk chai. It comes chilled and is a must for these upcoming heatwaves, so snag a few to keep at home and don’t forget the butter chicken on the way out. 418 N. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles. —Cathy Chaplin

For a restaurant-style family meal delivered to your home: Bites & Bashes

For a restaurant-style family meal delivered to your home: Bites & Bashes .
For a restaurant-style family meal delivered to your home: Bites & Bashes
Matthew Kang

Catering companies are having a rough go during the pandemic, with gatherings and events shut down in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Bites & Bashes, a South Bay caterer and daytime cafe operated by former Eater LA staffer Crystal Coser and her mother Julie, are preparing staff meals for delivery around the city. Delivery costs are lowest around the South Bay, though Bites & Bashes will deliver almost anywhere in LA. Last week, the staff meals featured delicious sweet, sticky ribs and tender Cuban-themed dishes like ropa vieja. Meals start at around $42 for two people, and the best part is that everything tastes a touch lighter thanks to Julie Coser’s balanced flavors and fresh ingredients. 25600 Narbonne Ave, Lomita. —Matthew Kang

For a quick meat-free meal with excellent service: Veggie Grill

For a quick meat-free meal with excellent service: Veggie Grill.
For a quick meat-free meal with excellent service: Veggie Grill
[Official Photo]

I’m in the midst of a serious realization: I’m tapped out on meat. Over the last five months, I’ve eaten large amounts of chicken, steaks, bacon, and basically everything I wanted when a protein craving hit. I’m not saying that I’m headed to the plant-based sphere of food consumption forever, but I just need a break. My first stop is Veggie Grill, where the menu isn’t all tofu and fake meats, they’ve curated dishes where creative and well-made vegetables are plentiful, with some indulgent deep fried items, including those tasty “wings” with vegan ranch, and surprisingly good nachos and taco salad. 6374-A Sunset Blvd, Hollywood. —Mona Holmes

For wonderful Indian sweets and snacks: Surati Farsan Mart

For wonderful Indian sweets and snacks: Surati Farsan Mart.
For wonderful Indian sweets and snacks: Surati Farsan Mart
Cathy Chaplin

Tantalizing methai (sweets) and chat (snacks) are what it’s all about at Surati Farsan Mart, a stylish shop specializing in Gujarati-style nibbles since 1986. The pani puri are pitch-perfect — delicate whole-wheat shells carefully filled with mung beans, potatoes, and jaljira, a cool liquid imbued with herbs and spices, and drizzled with chutneys. Attempt to eat it all in one big bite to avoid any jaljira dribbling down your chin. The selection of methai includes a rainbow of confections carefully constructed from sugar, nuts, and spices. The shop makes half a dozen varieties of barfi, sugary bites flavored with dried fruits and nuts. Go wild on sweets and savories...it’s the weekend! 11814 186th St., Artesia. —Cathy Chaplin


August 7, 2020

For brilliant Brazilian cooking in Downtown: Wood Spoon

Various Brazilian dishes at Wood Spoon on decorated plates, sangria, and wine bottles.
For brilliant Brazilian cooking: Wood Spoon
Wonho Frank Lee

At Downtown’s Wood Spoon, owner and chef Natalia Pereira shares her mother’s treasured recipes and homey cooking. Start with an order of the coxinha de galinha, tear drop-shaped morsels made from shredded chicken that are fried until crisp golden. The kibe, a mash up of bulgur wheat, mint, and ground beef, are nuanced and juicy, is just as good. The Brazilian-style chicken pot pie has a cult-like following for good reason. While the crust sings a flaky and buttery tune, the filling is a hearty mix of chicken, hearts of palm, and roasted corn. Open from Tuesday to Saturday from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. for takeout and delivery. 107 West 9th St., Los Angeles. — Cathy Chaplin

For stellar Thai dishes in the Griffith Park shade: Northern Thai Food Club

For stellar Thai dishes in the Griffith Park shade: Northern Thai Food Club.
For stellar Thai dishes in the Griffith Park shade: Northern Thai Food Club
Matthew Kang

Northern Thai Food Club’s delicious specialties are always ready within a few minutes at “Nancy” Amphai Dunne’s plucky Thai Town restaurant. After picking up the dishes, we made a quick trip up to Griffith Park’s picnic benches to enjoy this feast in the shade, taking down bowls of rich khao soi (both the chicken and beef) and picking off big chunks of pan-fried fish covered in a tangy tamarind sauce. Spice-filled larb and fish green curry were also solid companions while the freshly made som tum (green payaya salad) was probably the first dish we finished on this breezy Thursday afternoon. 5301 Sunset Blvd #11, Los Angeles. —Matthew Kang

For dumplings that hit the spot: Mason’s Dumpling Shop

For dumplings that hit the spot: Mason’s Dumpling Shop
For dumplings that hit the spot: Mason’s Dumpling Shop
Mona Holmes

Mason’s Dumpling Shop seems well-prepared for life without in-house dining. There’s a giant banner listing a phone number right outside, a cordoned off sit-down area, and prepares just one dish: dumplings. The menu is a bit limited at the moment, but the steamed, boiled, and pan-fried beauties are ready with options like fish or pork. The to-go boxes provide an added layer of protection when eating soup dumplings, so nothing gets on your clothes when the hot broth sprays out on that first bite. Order early before they sell out. 5803 N. Figueroa St., Highland Park. —Mona Holmes

For a chicken sandwich that flies above almost everyone else: Katsu Sando

Katsu sando on a yellow background.
For a chicken sandwich that flies above almost everyone else: Katsu Sando
[Official Photo]

Everybody loves fried chicken, particularly in sandwich form. It’s a tried and true option for diners seeking a big, flavorful (and inexpensive) dining option, and for operators trying to make large volume and low overhead work during the ongoing pandemic. That being said, not all fried chicken sandwiches are created equal, as the long and appropriately distanced lines for Katsu Sando in Chinatown can attest. The former Smorgasburg pop-up hit has found a new home in the same building as Wax Paper, across the street from Far East Plaza, turning out modern interpretations of Japanese fried chicken sandwiches to hundreds of hungry folks daily. The meals are big, messy, and effortlessly delicious; they’re also worth the wait. 736 N. Broadway, Los Angeles. —Farley Elliott


July 24, 2020

For Vietnamese sandwiches and snacks: Saigon’s Bakery and Sandwiches

For banh mi and Vietnamese snacks: Saigon’s Bakery and Sandwiches.
For banh mi and Vietnamese snacks: Saigon’s Bakery and Sandwiches
Cathy Chaplin

Business is brisk at San Gabriel’s Saigon’s Bakery and Sandwiches and the folks working behind the plexiglass know just how to manage its hungry crowds. Come in for banh mi that are built on fresh baguettes with a pleasant crisp and not too much fluff. Fillings include everything from cold cuts to grilled lemongrass pork and reddish hued xieu mai meatballs. Best of all are the bi sandwiches filled with a porky mixture of meat, skin, and toasted rice powder. Also on hand are Vietnamese snacks like banh bao (meat and egg stuffed bun), xoi man (sticky rice), and thach, a kind of gelatinous sweet found in the refrigerated case. Take everything to-go and head for the nearest shady tree to enjoy it all. 718 Valley Blvd, San Gabriel. —Cathy Chaplin

For comfort food from a top South LA truck: Bleu Kitchen

Drunken Noodles from Bleu Kitchen food truck in South LA
For comfort food from a top South LA truck: Bleu Kitchen
Wonho Frank Lee

The Bleu Kitchen food truck shows up at a South LA location pretty much daily, but can typically be found on the corner of Manchester and Western. In this Ralph’s parking lot, regulars and newcomers arrive to try the rotating comfort food dishes. It’s entirely worth the wait (which is never too long) for the garlic noodles. Inspired by Helene An’s Crustracean classic, be sure to try the classic combo with steak and shrimp. The fried noodles are flavorful, slippery, and so garlicky. Topped with two hearty proteins and you’ve got a memorable dish with generous portion sizes for later. Check Instagram for schedule and locations. —Mona Holmes

For the Hungarian feast you didn’t know you needed: Eden Batki Pop-Up

Stuffed cabbage from Eden Batki Pop-Up.
For the Hungarian feast you didn’t know you needed: Eden Batki Pop-Up
Eden Batki

Former line cook Eden Batki spent time working with vegetables at Elf in Echo Park and helped to open Dune in Atwater Village, but now the Pasadena resident has turned to a more personal perspective: Hungarian food. The little-seen (at least in LA) cuisine is making a comeback thanks to Batki’s weekend Instagram pop-ups, where she takes direct message orders for things like chicken paprikas with egg noodles and fish sausage with dill and saffron. Order in advance, and have Batki herself deliver the food to your doorstep. —Farley Elliott

For the hottest new takeout spot in Chinatown: Katsu Sando

For the hottest new takeout spot in Chinatown: Katsu Sando.
For the hottest new takeout spot in Chinatown: Katsu Sando
Matthew Kang

Hungry fans are already waiting in line for Katsu Sando, Daniel Son (and his family’s) new storefront in Chinatown that opens today. Inspired by Japanese convenience store fare, Son is making as much as he can in-house, from the plush Japanese milk bread to the pre-packed onigiri sitting in the fridge near the entrance. Menu highlights include the honey walnut shrimp katsu sando — packed into a patty with plump, fresh shrimp, as well as the pork curry katsu plate which is miraculously priced under $15. To drink, Korean sikhwe, a sweetened rice drink with whole grains on the bottom of the can, and a bright yuzu soda from Japan. As the place settles in, Son will expand the yoshoku (Western-inspired Japanese food) menu to include dishes beyond convenience store fare. 736 N. Broadway, Los Angeles. —Matthew Kang


July 17, 2020

For slammin’ sandwiches that travel well: Jeff’s Table

Reuben sandwich from Jeff’s Table.
For slammin’ sandwiches that travel well: Jeff’s Table
Cathy Chaplin

It used to be that catching up with a friend meant meeting for drinks and dinner. Socializing looks a lot different these days and truth be told, I kind of love it. On a recent outing, a girlfriend and I placed orders for sandwiches at Jeff’s Table and consumed them in the comfort of our respective trunks. For me, a Reuben sandwich with bread and butter pickles and mac salad on the side. My friend showed more restraint with just a yuzu kosho turkey sandwich served on a baguette. Both traveled well from Flask liquor store to Lot 637 where they were consumed as soon as hands were properly sanitized. 5900 N Figueroa St., Los Angeles. —Cathy Chaplin

For a big improvement to the Raising Cane’s formula: Luther Bob’s

For a big improvement to the Raising Cane’s formula: Luther Bob’s.
For a big improvement to the Raising Cane’s formula: Luther Bob’s
[Official Photo]

Luther Bob Chen started his culinary career with a little-known, but highly ambitious tasting menu experience called Xian Wei where he riffed on Chinese dishes through a fine dining lens, all served in his San Pedro home. He then meandered around, operating a Chinese barbecue truck called Shao Kao followed by a stint as executive chef at Japanese barbecue spot Yakiya. Now he’s found a passion for fried chicken tenders, like the ones from Raising Cane’s and Chick-fil-A. His packaging and setup very much resemble these popular fast-food restaurants complete with buttered roll, waffle fries, and tangy sauce, except there’s deviation in terms of the sourcing and preparation of the chicken (antibiotic-free brined meat, organic flour, rice bran oil, etc.). The result is a very tasty tender that keeps most of its crunch in delivery. The star of the menu could be the fried chicken sandwich, riffing on the one from Popeyes but with less grease — though I yearned for even more of the punchy sauce. Available on most delivery apps, like UberEats. —Matthew Kang

For a hearty couch meal, because staying at home is important right now: Parsnip

Parsnip
For a hearty couch meal, because staying at home is important right now: Parsnip
Farley Elliott

The warm weather months of summer are upon us, which might make some want to shy away from hearty stews and feta-and-dill stuffed flatbreads. That’s fine for those who only need to eat salads for the next half-a-year, but for the rest of humanity there is Parsnip, the Romanian cafe tucked inside of Lemon Poppy Kitchen in Glassell Park. The quiet restaurant is on all the delivery apps, sending out packages of rich foods like paprikash and mamaliga (cheesy stuffed polenta dumplings) across the greater Eastside, perfect for a cozy night in with family, no matter the temperature outside. This is warming Netflix-and-lockdown material, right here. 3324 Verdugo Road, Glassell Park. —Farley Elliott

For gorgeous cake satisfaction: chef Krista Hernandez

For gorgeous cake satisfaction: chef Krista Hernandez.
For gorgeous cake satisfaction: chef Krista Hernandez
Mona Holmes

The expectation around cutting into a cake is inherently satisfying, which is why the current craze of cakes in disguise is so polarizing. NB: cakes shaped like a piece of cheese should just be cheese. LA pastry chef Krista Hernandez — who works at Gjelina Takeaway — created a yogurt citrus cake with a peach and nectarine jam and a sumac-coriander buttercream. The knife gently glides through the gorgeous layers with ease. Hernandez doesn’t rely heavily on sugar, so the fruits and aromatics come through beautifully. It’s also just stunning to look at, which is exactly what I did for about 20 minutes — stared at the simplicity and beauty then dug right in. This cake was specially ordered and not available at GTA, but you can do the same by following Hernandez here. —Mona Holmes


July 10, 2020

For a barbecue destination that feels like something special: Ribtown BBQ

For a barbecue destination that feels like something special: Ribtown BBQ.
For a barbecue destination that feels like something special: Ribtown BBQ
Farley Elliott

An offset smoker sits in a parking lot next to a pawn shop. Smoke disappears above a thin stack at one end. The front of the black container opens, pulled by Lonnie Edwards, and out comes yet another rack of meaty ribs. Add sauce, maybe a hot link, and sides galore, and you’ve got a meal fit for these trying times thanks to Ribtown in Jefferson Park. More than a pop-up and less than a restaurant, this neighborhood staple has become part of the new guard of South LA barbecue, turning out some of the most delicious ribs, rib tips, and sides anywhere in Los Angeles. This isn’t the Texas-style stuff cooking in backyards and sold on Instagram — fans here expect as much sauce as smoke, and to dive in there’s no pre-order and no DM, you’ve just got to drive on over. The ride is worth it, if only to see Lonnie and that smoker dance. 2125 W. Jefferson Blvd., Jefferson Park. —Farley Elliott

For LA’s most exciting new lobster roll spot: Broad Street Oyster Co.

For LA’s most exciting new lobster roll spot: Broad Street Oyster Co.
For LA’s most exciting new lobster roll spot: Broad Street Oyster Co.
Matthew Kang

At Broad Street Oyster Co. in Malibu, there’s covered bench seating scattered about the outside of the restaurant, a drive-thru for beachgoers needing a brewski and lobster roll on the sand, and early 2000s indie tunes blaring on the Sonos speakers. Tucked behind the most bourgeois strip mall in LA, this might be the tastiest lobster roll on the Westside, with big chunks of fresh lobster doused in drawn butter for $22 (including some fairly good, if slightly limp, fries). The takeout package is really handy for enjoying with an ocean view. I saw a Mercedes G-Wagon Cabriolet roll through the drive-thru only to spot it on the drive back to home on the side of the road with its occupants chowing down just over the waves. I should’ve done the same. 23359 CA-1 #3874A, Malibu. —Matthew Kang

For beautiful Neapolitan-style pizza up the coast: Bettina’s

For beautiful Neapolitan-style pizza up the coast: Bettina’s Pizza
For beautiful Neapolitan-style pizza up the coast: Bettina’s
Mona Holmes

It’s entirely possible to eat your way up the coast with just takeout. And if a Santa Barbara road trip sounds ideal, here’s what to do. Make a stop at Singing Sun Coffee in Ventura to help fuel the drive before dropping into Bettina’s right on the border of Montecito and Santa Barbara. They’ll serve cocktails in a cup while waiting for the Neapolitan-style carbonara pizza. It’s an excessively perfect pizza with ricotta, mozzarella, spicy provolone, pancetta, egg, pecorino, and so much black pepper. Take it to the beach and enjoy. 1014 Coast Village Rd., Santa Barbara. —Mona Holmes

For a bittersweet trip down memory lane: Here’s Looking At You

For a bittersweet trip down memory lane: Here’s Looking At You.
For a bittersweet trip down memory lane: Here’s Looking At You
Cathy Chaplin

There’s a chance, a really good chance, that Here’s Looking At You in Koreatown will close forever after this weekend. It’s heartbreaking when any restaurant ceases to operate, but this one hits so damn hard that I can’t even get the words out right now. So let’s drown our collective sorrows this weekend with Lien, Jonathan, Thessa, and the rest of the crew. Tonight from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., HLAY is serving its greatest hits including the beef tartare, shishito peppers, frog’s legs, and hazelnut meringue cake. Then on Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., it’ll be the best-of HLAY’s brunch including the magnificent koji coconut waffle and the forever-joyful Jerusalem bagel. 3901 West 6th St., Los Angeles. —Cathy Chaplin

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