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Persimmon and pomegranate salad at Caldo Verde in Downtown.
Persimmon and pomegranate salad at Caldo Verde in Downtown.
Cathy Chaplin

Best Dishes Eater Editors Ate This Week, January 2024

Follow Eater editors as they share their favorite dishes they ate in LA

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Persimmon and pomegranate salad at Caldo Verde in Downtown.
| Cathy Chaplin

The editors at Eater LA dine out several times a week, if not per day, which means we’re always encountering standout dishes that deserve time in the limelight. Here’s the very best of everything the team has eaten this month. This map is updated weekly and the newest additions are denoted with an asterisk (*).

For more dining inspiration, peruse our best dishes of 2023.

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Eater maps are curated by editors and aim to reflect a diversity of neighborhoods, cuisines, and prices. Learn more about our editorial process.

* Lonely Louie salad at the Lonely Oyster

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I love a good crab Louie, a salad that’s surprisingly difficult to find in Los Angeles. I think it’s hard to improve on the one at San Francisco’s Swan Oyster Depot, but the updated, swankier version at Echo Park’s Lonely Oyster could stand on its own. Studded with plump, sweet shrimp, a mixture of blue and snow crab, and slices of radish for extra crunch, the version here captures the spirit of the classic crab Louie without feeling overly rich. It’s easily a contender for one of the best salads in Los Angeles and a great way to start the year. — Matthew Kang, lead editor

A crab and shrimp salad with beets.
Lonely Louie salad at the Lonely Oyster in Echo Park.
Matthew Kang

* Persimmon and pomegranate salad at Caldo Verde

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The brightest note during a late-December dinner at chef Suzanne Goin’s Caldo Verde on the first floor of the Downtown LA Proper hotel was a stupendous winter salad made with ripened fuyu persimmons, pomegranate arils, trout roe, feta, and red endive. Winter can be a tough time for salads in some parts of the country but Southern California’s year-round bounty, paired with Goin’s expert taste, makes it impossible to go wrong. Sweet, tart, savory, bitter, and rich — this salad has it all. — Cathy Chaplin, senior editor

Persimmon and pomegranate salad at Caldo Verde in Downtown.
Persimmon and pomegranate salad at Caldo Verde in Downtown.
Cathy Chaplin

Birria de chivo bowl at Saucy Chick Goat Mafia

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Lunching on Saucy Chick Goat Mafia’s sunny Pasadena patio provided a much-needed break on a recent afternoon. In addition to supplying plenty of Vitamin D, the new restaurant’s dynamic Mexican Indian menu offered many affordably-priced and amply-portioned options. The birria de chivo bowl, which arrives with tender goat meat, cumin rice, and Mayocoba beans, was just the flavorful and filling lunch I desired; the hand-pressed corn tortillas were especially hearty. A side order of the fenugreek esquites made for a solid accompaniment. — Cathy Chaplin, senior editor

Birria de chivo bowl at Saucy Chick Goat Mafia.
Birria de chivo bowl at Saucy Chick Goat Mafia.
Cathy Chaplin

Root beer float at Fluffy McCloud’s

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Even though it’s quite chilly outside, there’s always time for a frozen dessert served in a classic soda fountain glass filled with ice cream and root beer. A sweet treat at Fluffy McCloud’s is an ideal way to kick off the holiday season, with a charming faux white Christmas tree, jukebox, a massive modern light fixture that looks like an upside-down fedora, and for the lactose intolerant: a dispenser filled with Lactaid. — Mona Holmes, reporter

Chicken and sausage gumbo at Fixin’s Soul Kitchen

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The dining room seemed back to normal at Fixin’s Soul Kitchen a day after a tragic shooting at the usually very family-friendly L.A. Live, though extra security and police were stationed outside. Despite the incident, Fixin’s and its team continued to serve delicious food, possibly the best in the Downtown entertainment district. The chicken and andouille sandwich bowl comes in a huge, shareable portion topped with a choice of biscuit or cornbread. Imbued with deep umami flavors from the dark roux, and a tight balance between the meaty chicken and sausage to the piquant aromas, it’s a great pre-hockey or basketball bowl in these chilly months. — Matthew Kang, lead editor

Chicken and sausage gumbo at Fixin’s Soul Kitchen.
Chicken and sausage gumbo at Fixin’s Soul Kitchen.
Matthew Kang

Head-on shrimp with furikake at Maison Kasai

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Eater staffers had a ball dining at chef Josh Gil’s reimagined teppanyaki restaurant for our annual holiday party this past weekend. Firing on all cylinders, the flattop grill was a festive centerpiece, cooking everything from squash to wagyu steak and fried rice. The most exquisite bite of the night were the seared head-on prawns with house-made furikake and yuzu. While the shrimp’s flesh was properly supple, the seasonings enhanced its sweetness without overpowering it. Teppanyaki grills aren’t particularly known for their finesse, but at Maison Kasai (and under our cook K.B.’s care) that isn’t the case. — Cathy Chaplin, senior editor

Head-on shrimp with furikake at Maison Kasai.
Head-on shrimp with furikake at Maison Kasai.
Cathy Chaplin

Baked brie at Moonlark's Dinette

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The Edward Hopper vibe inside Moonlark’s Dinette, the new Americana-inspired restaurant at the Hoxton Downtown, was a necessary counterpoint to a busy day of shows in Bunker Hill. Chris Pandel, executive chef at Chicago’s Le Select, has done wonders with the just-launched dinner service, using eggs, grains, sauce, and veggies in several playful updates to tried-and-true greasy spoon fare. Particularly comforting paired with the Duck Season cocktail (a smooth, duck fat-washed concoction) was a soft wheel of baked brie served honeyed and almond-littered astride four triangles of buttery multigrain toast. The cheese was almost too much to finish, but finished it we did. — Sean Malin, contributor

Baked brie at Moonlark’s Dinette.
Baked brie at Moonlark’s Dinette.
Sean Malin

* Mole negro enchiladas at Madre

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Los Angeles is luckier than most with excellent sit-down Mexican spots spread throughout the city. Ivan Vasquez’s Madre excels in so many ways with refreshing cocktails, stunning interior, and deeply flavorful mole. If trying the enchiladas Oaxaqueñas, expect a complex and rich bite. If stationed in the West Hollywood location, be sure to marvel at the luminous wall bearing one of the region’s most extensive mezcal and tequila collections. — Mona Holmes, reporter

A bar with bottles of tequila and mezcal at Madre in West Hollywood.
Madre West Hollywood.
JakobLayman

* Lonely Louie salad at the Lonely Oyster

I love a good crab Louie, a salad that’s surprisingly difficult to find in Los Angeles. I think it’s hard to improve on the one at San Francisco’s Swan Oyster Depot, but the updated, swankier version at Echo Park’s Lonely Oyster could stand on its own. Studded with plump, sweet shrimp, a mixture of blue and snow crab, and slices of radish for extra crunch, the version here captures the spirit of the classic crab Louie without feeling overly rich. It’s easily a contender for one of the best salads in Los Angeles and a great way to start the year. — Matthew Kang, lead editor

A crab and shrimp salad with beets.
Lonely Louie salad at the Lonely Oyster in Echo Park.
Matthew Kang

* Persimmon and pomegranate salad at Caldo Verde

The brightest note during a late-December dinner at chef Suzanne Goin’s Caldo Verde on the first floor of the Downtown LA Proper hotel was a stupendous winter salad made with ripened fuyu persimmons, pomegranate arils, trout roe, feta, and red endive. Winter can be a tough time for salads in some parts of the country but Southern California’s year-round bounty, paired with Goin’s expert taste, makes it impossible to go wrong. Sweet, tart, savory, bitter, and rich — this salad has it all. — Cathy Chaplin, senior editor

Persimmon and pomegranate salad at Caldo Verde in Downtown.
Persimmon and pomegranate salad at Caldo Verde in Downtown.
Cathy Chaplin

Birria de chivo bowl at Saucy Chick Goat Mafia

Lunching on Saucy Chick Goat Mafia’s sunny Pasadena patio provided a much-needed break on a recent afternoon. In addition to supplying plenty of Vitamin D, the new restaurant’s dynamic Mexican Indian menu offered many affordably-priced and amply-portioned options. The birria de chivo bowl, which arrives with tender goat meat, cumin rice, and Mayocoba beans, was just the flavorful and filling lunch I desired; the hand-pressed corn tortillas were especially hearty. A side order of the fenugreek esquites made for a solid accompaniment. — Cathy Chaplin, senior editor

Birria de chivo bowl at Saucy Chick Goat Mafia.
Birria de chivo bowl at Saucy Chick Goat Mafia.
Cathy Chaplin

Root beer float at Fluffy McCloud’s

Even though it’s quite chilly outside, there’s always time for a frozen dessert served in a classic soda fountain glass filled with ice cream and root beer. A sweet treat at Fluffy McCloud’s is an ideal way to kick off the holiday season, with a charming faux white Christmas tree, jukebox, a massive modern light fixture that looks like an upside-down fedora, and for the lactose intolerant: a dispenser filled with Lactaid. — Mona Holmes, reporter

Chicken and sausage gumbo at Fixin’s Soul Kitchen

The dining room seemed back to normal at Fixin’s Soul Kitchen a day after a tragic shooting at the usually very family-friendly L.A. Live, though extra security and police were stationed outside. Despite the incident, Fixin’s and its team continued to serve delicious food, possibly the best in the Downtown entertainment district. The chicken and andouille sandwich bowl comes in a huge, shareable portion topped with a choice of biscuit or cornbread. Imbued with deep umami flavors from the dark roux, and a tight balance between the meaty chicken and sausage to the piquant aromas, it’s a great pre-hockey or basketball bowl in these chilly months. — Matthew Kang, lead editor

Chicken and sausage gumbo at Fixin’s Soul Kitchen.
Chicken and sausage gumbo at Fixin’s Soul Kitchen.
Matthew Kang

Head-on shrimp with furikake at Maison Kasai

Eater staffers had a ball dining at chef Josh Gil’s reimagined teppanyaki restaurant for our annual holiday party this past weekend. Firing on all cylinders, the flattop grill was a festive centerpiece, cooking everything from squash to wagyu steak and fried rice. The most exquisite bite of the night were the seared head-on prawns with house-made furikake and yuzu. While the shrimp’s flesh was properly supple, the seasonings enhanced its sweetness without overpowering it. Teppanyaki grills aren’t particularly known for their finesse, but at Maison Kasai (and under our cook K.B.’s care) that isn’t the case. — Cathy Chaplin, senior editor

Head-on shrimp with furikake at Maison Kasai.
Head-on shrimp with furikake at Maison Kasai.
Cathy Chaplin

Baked brie at Moonlark's Dinette

The Edward Hopper vibe inside Moonlark’s Dinette, the new Americana-inspired restaurant at the Hoxton Downtown, was a necessary counterpoint to a busy day of shows in Bunker Hill. Chris Pandel, executive chef at Chicago’s Le Select, has done wonders with the just-launched dinner service, using eggs, grains, sauce, and veggies in several playful updates to tried-and-true greasy spoon fare. Particularly comforting paired with the Duck Season cocktail (a smooth, duck fat-washed concoction) was a soft wheel of baked brie served honeyed and almond-littered astride four triangles of buttery multigrain toast. The cheese was almost too much to finish, but finished it we did. — Sean Malin, contributor

Baked brie at Moonlark’s Dinette.
Baked brie at Moonlark’s Dinette.
Sean Malin

* Mole negro enchiladas at Madre

Los Angeles is luckier than most with excellent sit-down Mexican spots spread throughout the city. Ivan Vasquez’s Madre excels in so many ways with refreshing cocktails, stunning interior, and deeply flavorful mole. If trying the enchiladas Oaxaqueñas, expect a complex and rich bite. If stationed in the West Hollywood location, be sure to marvel at the luminous wall bearing one of the region’s most extensive mezcal and tequila collections. — Mona Holmes, reporter

A bar with bottles of tequila and mezcal at Madre in West Hollywood.
Madre West Hollywood.
JakobLayman

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