Welcome to the first installment of Dishing, where I convince some really cool, adventurous, curious and food-loving people from outside the food world to share with me their best tips for eating and drinking well.
MIKE GONZALEZ, FASHION DESIGNER AND PHOTOGRAPHER Mike Gonzalez caused a leather bomber addiction a few years ago when he and his wife launched the contemporary line Mike and Chris. Now he’s moving in a new direction with his eponymous line Mike Gonzalez, a collection of edgy chic separates for the city chick, and that city chick is clearly a hybridized style from New York, where Gonzalez got his start as a fashion photographer and LA, where he lives now. So why, besides the fact that I love his metallic blue leather jacket and silky tunics, is he on this blog? Because when I met him last week to view the debut collection, I learned he is an obsessive foodie. He dreams of it, he lives for it, and he knows exactly where you should go in LA. This laidback, photographer-cum-designer has a perfectly edited list of where to go if you REALLY care about good food. So here is Mike’s take on his MUST EAT spots in LA (in order):
1) NISHIMURA: West Hollywood: Japanese: Maguro with Wasabi Dressing & Dai-Dai; Toro Two ways: one seared (reminiscent of a fine Kobe Steak) and one raw with truffle salt, kanpachi with ginger grated garlic & grapeseed oil. The best sushi and sashimi I have ever had hands down…simple and creative without being overdone.
read more about it here.
2) E. BALDI: Beverly Hills: Northern Italian: Sweet Corn Agnolotti (This one is basically crack cocaine on a plate! Such soft flavors I actually ordered this as an appetizer one time and had to order it again for dessert!) Grilled Langoustines: this is a must as well, so simple and extremely fresh, just grilled lightly with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt=AMAZING!
try making corn agnolotti yourself with this recipe
3) JITLADA: East Hollywood: Thai Indonesian: Fried Morning Glory Leaf Salad with Shrimp (I have dreams about this one!)
4) DONG IL JANG: Koreatown: Yook Hwe (Old School Korean Dish, basically Rib-Eye Sashimi, served “icy” with slivers of Korean pear, grated garlic, sesame oil, sea salt and a cracked raw quail egg…perfectly refreshing during the summers yet hearty!) Galbi (barbecued at table, but also ask for the bones…they grill the bones for you in the back and return it to your table boneless leaving the tender sometimes chewy pieces of cartilage and fatty meat, UNREAL! To me better than even the meat itself!), Dae Gu Jorim (black cod stew with rice cake…unbelievably rich for a fish dish and such nice flavors)
read the review in LA times here.
5) ANGELINI OSTERIA: Hollywood: Northern Italian: Lasagna alla Nonna w/ Fried Spinach (one of the most luscious things I have ever eaten…)
read the LA Times review here
6) HAPPY HARBOR: Rowland Heights: Hand Pulled Chicken with Sesame Sauce (so amazing, a bit pricey for chicken about $80 a whole chicken, but worth every penny) My sister told me that the Black Chicken Soup is unreal, haven’t had it myself though. This place is also well known for dim sum, huge lines on weekends, haven’t had it yet…)
7) BIRRIA CHALIO: East Los Angeles: Authentic Mexican: Goat Birria with handmade tortillas (so flavorful and their salsa has a nice vinegary note to it that contrasts so well with the rich goat…delicious)
click here for amazing goat write-up on mattatouille
8) ORD NOODLE: East Hollywood: Southern Thai: Crispy Pork w/ Chinese Broccoli (insanely addictive…) crispy pork pics on tableconversation.com
9) MOZZA: Hollywood: Italian: Fried Squash Blossom Flowers (Lightly Battered Squash Blossoms stuffed with Ricotta and a sprinkle of Flaked Sea Salt, so simple and delicious)
[ed note: read about AFB’s meal at Mozza here. a little upset I didn’t order the squash blossoms]
10) OINKSTER: Eagle Rock: Cheeseburger & Belgian Fries (A simple and well executed hamburger and fries. The burger is perfectly “crusty and caramelized on the outside and juicy on the inside, great flavor. The fries are ridiculous—double fried, super crispy on the outside and perfectly “flowered” and fluffy on the inside, comes with a wonderful house made garlic mayo…so addictive.)
read more about it on seriouseats.com