Answers from Our Experts (2)
I ate at BLD recently. Breakfast Lunch Dinner. It’s Neal Fraser and the people from Grace restaurant. I had the best blueberry ricotta pancakes I have ever had. They were fluffy and the ricotta was interspersed throughout so they weren’t grainy and filled with delicious blueberries.
Joan’s is a must if you are anywhere near Los Angeles. It doesn’t matter what I am in L.A. for or what I have to do while I am there or what my dinner plans are. It’s the first thing I do. I go to Joan’s on Third. First it’s a great neighborhood; sort of Wilshire District, not quite Hollywood, maybe a few blocks. You can walk around and go to all sorts of great shops. There is a really amazing travel bookstore that I can get lost in for hours. But Joan’s is where I have to go for a great sandwich or soup. And Joan herself is there, making her signature omelets. Everything is from scratch. Very seasonal. A muffin or something at BLD, lunch at Joan’s, go to the beach and have dinner at Post. That’d be a perfect day for me in Los Angeles.
At Josef Centeno's Baco Mercat where you can grab eclectic bites like a "baco," Centino's signature flatbread sandwich. The baco is somewhere between a gyro or a very dense taco, and you can get it stuffed with lighter ingredients like feta and chickpeas in "the fava fritter," but why not go all out and order "the original," which is a mix of pork, beef carnitas and a salbitxada sauce. Other menu must-haves are the Ceasar Brussels sprouts, and pork belly served over rocotta cavatelli. The plates are smaller, which makes them perfect for exploring the menu and sharing.
Not too far away from Baco Mercat you'll stumble on chef Ricardo Zarate's restaurant, Mo-Chica, which offers bold flavors from Peru in a lively atmosphere. The menu showcases Zarate's signature alpaca stew served with tagliatelle and aji amarillo sauce with fried organic fertile egg on top. Zarate presents more upscale versions of Mo-Chica's flavors at Picca in Century City and Paiche in Marina del Rey.
Meat-driven cuisine takes the spotlight at chef Jon Shook's and Vinny Dotolo's Animal, in the form of dishes like marrow bone with chimichurri with caramelized onions, and crispy pig head with salsa macho, crema and avocado. At Tar & Roses, chef Andrew Kirschner serves eclectic shareable plates, many of which are cooked in the restaurant's wood-burning oven.
Fishing With Dynamite
Chef David LeFevre’s second Manhattan Beach outpost is steps from the Pacific Ocean and Manhattan Beach Pier. The cozy location reminiscent of those you might find in Nantucket offers traditional and innovative seafood selections from a menu that is divided among the raw bar, “new school” (creative dishes like black miso cod with Japanese eggplant, adzuki beans and Thai basil), “old school” (East Coast favorites like New England clam chowder and Maryland blue crab cakes) and "after school" dessert selections like Key lime pie.