I recently spent a week in Los Angeles visiting my sister. My vacation days are usually used in pursuit of exploring other countries, but I decided to visit the west coast. Until this trip, I haven’t been further west than Laredo, Texas. During my trip, I focused on the same thing I always focus on. Food.
There were a lot of great places to eat and I did what I always do when traveling. Overeating.
The coolest place was definitely Chinatown. There were a lot of places in Chinatown to choose from, but the one that stood out above all others was Lucky Deli. This place had what was probably the most authentic har gow I have ever had in the US. It was fresh and much more affordable than the frozen stuff in the land locked cities I usually visit. No surprise considering we were 20 minutes from the beach. Over the course of two days I ate about 30 pieces of har gow. I even ate it for breakfast one day, considering the deli opens at 7AM. Not even kidding. This store also had some of the best baked pork buns I have ever had. I would literally eat here every single day.
TAKE A BAO
Being a big fan of dim sum, of course I love bao too. My sister took me to a place called Take a Bao that had a more modern version of the dish. The steamed bun was presented similarly to a taco shell. A taco shell that bought a size 30 pair of jeans when it clearly should have bought a 34. These tacos could barely contain the meat they were holding. This was great considering I love craft tacos and generous portions. There were many options including fried chicken, pork belly and peking duck. The duck came with a delicious sauce, fried chicken was perfectly crispy and the pork belly was as tender as could be. I ate here twice during my visit and it was delicious both times.
UMAMI BURGER BURBANK
Taking a break from Asian food, I visited a spot called Umami Burger. This being my first visit, the server explained that “umami” was Japanese for savory. Savory was an understatement for this burger. Among the many available burgers, I chose the “Manly Burger.” This featured a mountain of crispy onions covered in a delicious beer cheese and bacon lardons. Probably one of the best craft burgers I have had in a while.
TAMASHII RAMEN HOUSE
Recently, I’ve been on a ramen kick. It started with Shin Ramyun and Odongtong Myon. In Switzerland I became addicted to a restaurant, Saku, that specialized in Miso Ramen. My visit to Los Angeles introduced me to a few more ramen places. The best one was Tamashii Ramen House. Although their ramen was great and the “extra noodles” option is extremely generous, I would like to focus on something else I ate there. Takoyaki. I have tried takoyaki at several places since I left Japan, but none have been as good as Tamashii. These octopus balls were perfect.
The only thing that made the meal better was a cold bottle of Orion Japanese beer. This is a delicious, hard to find beer in the US. It’s worth every overpriced penny when I find it.
A FEW MORE
There were a few other great places to eat during my visit. Ayce Gogi was a cook-it-yourself style Korean restaurant. With a time limit of two hours I was able to do a lot of damage to their stock. Good Greek Grill was a great place to get gyros with Greek fries stuffed inside them. If you’re looking for a great dessert, head to Lilit Bakery and Cafe. I definitely spent a lot of money there. I’m sure there were many other great places I didn’t get a chance to experience, but I’m certain these were some of the best.