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4 Restaurants to Try This Weekend in Los Angeles: January 26

Your handy guide on where to eat from the editors at Eater LA

For hot wings that pack a serious crunch: Go Go Bird.
For hot wings that pack a serious crunch: Go Go Bird.
Go Go Bird

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 check out this weekend in Los Angeles. And if you need some ideas on where to drink, here’s our list of the hottest places to get cocktails in town.


For the longest but most rewarding wait at Smorgasburg: Taste of the Pacific

For the longest but most rewarding wait at Smorgasburg: Taste of the Pacific.
For the longest but most rewarding wait at Smorgasburg: Taste of the Pacific.
Matthew Kang

After the departure of Shrimp Daddy last year, shrimp specialist Taste of the Pacific was a welcome entry to the new lineup at Smorgasburg this year. Founder Jeff Mejia’s Filipino background weaves in Korean and Hawaiian flavors for a stand that’s drawing the longest lines at Smorgasburg right now. The shrimp plate offers two flavors (with options like sweet and sour, garlic butter, and buffalo), in this case, I opted for the honey walnut-esque “smackin’ shrimp” and the dry chile-dusted spicy version served with two scoops of white rice and a side of macaroni salad. The shrimp are incredibly plump and juicy, with a portion that feels big enough for two or even three to share. The deep-fried crusts are ultra-crisp and satisfying, layered with so much flavor — the blast of umami and spice will outshine almost anything at the market. The move is to get there first, order, and then nibble on a few other bites before coming back a half hour later (or longer depending on the wait time). 777 S. Alameda Street, Los Angeles, CA, 90021. — Matthew Kang, lead editor

For a weekend breakfast burrito: Wake & Late

For a weekend breakfast burrito: Wake & Late.
For a weekend breakfast burrito: Wake & Late.
Rebecca Roland

Something about a Sunday morning makes the call of a breakfast burrito sound like a siren song. It just doesn’t get much better than crispy potatoes, cheesy eggs, and salty bacon wrapped in a warm tortilla with salsa on the side to drizzle. It also doesn’t hurt that Wake & Late is currently making some of the best breakfast burritos in town, along with rip-and-dip bagels (don’t knock it until you try it). The burritos are available in a bevy of options including bacon, pastrami, vegetarian, and vegan, which is made with a tofu scramble. Best of all, they hold up to takeout. 105 E. 6th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90014. — Rebecca Roland, associate editor

For hot wings that pack a serious crunch: Go Go Bird

For hot wings that pack a serious crunch: Go Go Bird.
For hot wings that pack a serious crunch: Go Go Bird.
Go Go Bird

Find Go Go Bird tucked inside Citizens Public Market in Culver City. The corner vendor is the place to go for those who refuse to choose between spicy or crispy when it comes to chicken wings because this stall’s got it all. Chef Brandon Kida marinates Jidori chickens in a bevy of spices before frying them to order and finishing with Sichuan-style chile oil. The results are supremely crunchy wings that pack serious heat. Make sure to get some herb-flecked Japanese ranch and togarashi aioli on the side, the duo of creamy sauces balances the chicken’s spice nicely. Cheddar biscuits, drizzled in condensed milk and topped with miso powder, work well as a side dish or even dessert. 9355 Culver Boulevard, Culver City, CA 90232. — Cathy Chaplin, senior editor

For a Mediterranean meal on one of Pasadena’s best patios: Cafe Santorini

Take a quick Google search and look at the images of Old Pasadena in the 1970s and 80s. Like many downtown city centers during this era, Old Pasadena fell into decline. In Old Pasadena’s case, those businesses moved eastward. But in the 1990s, a handful of independent restaurants and businesses fell in love with the historic buildings and history. One of those is Cafe Santorini. Brothers Vasken and Panos Haitayan opened Cafe Santorini in 1993 where staff prepare Mediterranean fare including traditional hummus, tabouleh, kibbe, kebabs, and grilled rib eye, salmon, or Moroccan-style lamb shank. Upon entering the second floor, see the massive windows, restored brick walls, and one of the best patios in the neighborhood that overlooks One Colorado plaza. It’s romantic any time of day, especially when the candles and moody lights sparkle throughout the patio at night. 64 W. Union Street, Pasadena, CA 91105. — Mona Holmes, reporter