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Knead is open and the reviews are in!

February 9, 2016

Union co-owners, Marie Petulla and Bruce Kalman have opened their second venture together downtown, Knead & Co. Pasta Bar + Market, and the good reviews have come pouring in. We’re so happy for our sister restaurant which features handmade pastas, fresh salads, a porchetta dip, and cannolis! Enjoy the nice things being said about Knead and make sure to stop in at Grand Central Market for lunch. The Knead crew makes the pasta in front of you.

 

Screen Shot 2016-02-19 at 10.13.54 PM

Zagat

Just when you think the Grand Central Market couldn’t get more delicious, chef Bruce Kalman adds his meatballs and Sunday gravy, fresh-made pastas, salads and more to the mix. Knead & Co Pasta Bar is now open along the south side of the market, closer to the Broadway entrance. The space is bigger than most with a 16-seat counter that offers views into the kitchen and pasta making, plus a small marketplace for myriad dried goods, including Knead’s pastas, Kalman’s spice rubs, Hepp’s salt, funny pasta “spirit noodle” T-shirts and more. Of course the centerpiece is the menu full of rustic Italian specialties for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

You’ll find elevated Italian-American dishes that nod to Kalman’s East Coast roots — spaghetti with meatballs and a rich meat sauce (the “gravy”), baked ziti, lasagna Bolognese, cannoli and the like — alongside duck agnolotti with butternut squash, sage and raisins; charcoal wheat orzo salad; and a Tuscan grain bowl. All of the pastas are made in-house most using freshly milled flours from Pasadena’s Grist & Toll; you’ll also see some of these on Kalman’s menu at Union in Pasadena, the restaurant he and Marie Petulla opened in 2014. The morning menu is especially compelling with its breakfast raviolo with kale, ricotta and pepperonata; polenta porridge with seasonal fruit and Santa Monica honey; and ham-and-egg crostone with crispy fontina and tomato jam (watch out, Eggslut). Knead opens Sunday through Wednesday, 8 AM to 6 PM, and Thursday through ­Saturday, 8 AM to 9 PM.

Tasting Table

Knead & Co. Pasta Bar + MarketBruce Kalman’s pasta project has joined the destination worthy lineup at The Grand Central Market. Kalman’s kiosk has seating for 16 and an open kitchen where his team is rolling and extruding pastas, turning them into dishes like spelt cavatelli with spicy fennel sausage, chickpeas and rapini. In the mornings there’s a breakfast raviolo with eggs, kale, ricotta, and tomatoes as well as polenta porridge with berries, pistachios and honey. Find Knead & Co. Pasta Bar + Market here, or in our DINE app.

LA Magazine

1. Knead and Co. Pasta Bar
Finally, you don’t have to go all the way to Pasadena to get Bruce Kalman’s pasta in your mouth. The Union chef opened up his long-awaited Grand Central Market stall serving Italian staples like cavatelli with fennel sausage, bucatini all’amatriciana, and, of course, meatballs with Sunday gravy. The best part is—other than being able to chase your cannoli with a scoop of nearby McConnell’s ice cream—the bowls of pasta start at just $8. And if there’s one thing that Kalman does as well as pasta, it’s porchetta, which Knead and Co. is serving up French dip-style.

LA Times

Your spirit noodle

If you love Bruce Kalman’s Pasadena restaurant Union, you probably spend a lot of time eating that exceedingly pretty plate of wound spaghetti. And you’ve also probably been waiting impatiently for Kalman to open Knead & Co., his highly anticipated pasta place in downtown’s Grand Central Market. It has finally opened, serving many pasta dishes — you can buy pasta here too — and something the chefs calls a porchetta dip sandwich. If you needed another reason to go eat a plate of spaghetti and meatballs and pick up some squid ink garganelli for dinner later.

WhereLA.com

Los Angeles Restaurants to Eat at this Week

Knead & Co. Pasta Bar + Market
The newest addition to Grand Central Market comes from Chef Bruce Kalman. You may know him from his perfect pastas and porchetta at Union in Pasadena. At Knead, Kalman focuses on handmade pasta—you can watch his team make it in the open kitchen’s “pasta lab.” Dine on specialties like Sunday gravy spaghetti and meatballs, and spelt cavatelli with spicy fennel sausage and Koda Farms chickpeas. The all-day bar offers pastries and breakfast dishes like polenta porridge with seasonal fruit, pistachios and Santa Monica honey (Prosciutto di Parma and/or a cage free egg for an additional charge). You can also pick up made-to-order paninis, fresh pasta salads and classic desserts like cannoli, tiramisu and zeppole. 317 S. Broadway, downtown. kneadpasta.com

Thrillist

Remember that one moment this month where you thought “El Nino’s here, time to stop going out for a while,” and then the rain actually stopped and you were more like, “Oh, I actually should try to remember where all those new restaurants I was trying to hit were because I can actually leave the house”? Well, here they are: the best new openings of January, including an ultra-lauded chef’s new pasta stall, burgers from Roy Choi, and omakase… tempura?? Get to these spots now, before El Nino rain makes you a hermit again.

 Downtown

Bruce Kalman and Marie Petulla — aka the ultra-lauded chef from Union in Pasadena and his partner — have opened up this new stall at Grand Central Market, with a “pasta lab” churning out fresh noodle dishes (the simple Sunday spaghetti is fantastic), as well as made-to-order panini and Italian omelettes.

Eater LA

Bruce Kalman’s spot has housemade pasta for days, plus some other goodies.

Knead & Co. had a line of dozens of eager diners when it opened at noon today, about an hour off of their planned opening time of 11 a.m. Either way, Bruce Kalman’s fresh pasta bar was firing on all cylinders, cranking out everything from bucatini amatriciana to duck agnolotti filled with butternut squash, golden raisins, sage, and pecorino romano. Eater was on site Snapchatting the affair (follow the account at EaterLosAngeles) to get a look at the action.

As for the menu, it’s a variety of starters, panini, and hand pies capped off with 11 different kinds of fresh pasta, ranging simple spaghetti and tomato sauce for $8 to a lasagne bolognese for $16, though that comes with housemade ricotta. To start, have an arugula or shopped salad, and dive into the porchetta panini, which comes with spicy giardiniere and roasted rapini. Nota bene on that porchetta though, it’s a little on the smaller side, so you’ll want to line up a pasta dish if you plan to head back to your cubicle with a full stomach.

By noon the line had about a half hour wait, which means that 11 a.m. start time tomorrow (and for the time being) will be the ideal time to show up without a wait.

 

Thrillist says eat with us before you die.

September 9, 2015

Thank you to The Thrillist for listing our Squid Ink Garganelli at #6 on their “To eat before you die list”. We totally agree! You can make a reservation to dine with us by clicking here. Please enjoy their entire feature at this link or read below.

50 LA THINGS YOU NEED TO EAT BEFORE YOU DIE

1. Chorizo breakfast burrito
Cofax Coffee Shop
Mid-Wilshire
It may only be less than a year old, but this small coffee shop’s chips-and-smoked-potato-laden breakfast burrito has become a defining member of the city’s hand-held tortilla-wrapped community.

2. #19
Langer’s Delicatessen
MacArthur Park
The most iconic pastrami sandwich in the city is also its most delicious. Yep, we said it.

3. Tonkotsu ramen
Daikokuya
Multiple locations
By far the most well-known Japanese noodle-and-broth combo in the city, and even with the city’s ramen explosion, it’s still one of the most delicious.

4. Crispy rice salad
Sqirl
Silver Lake
Yeah, it’s got the word “salad” in the name, but you can get this unctuous dish with an egg and sausage. Which you will. And you will be very happy you did.

5. Seared Salmon Right Away
Sushi Ike
Hollywood
Available only at the bar at this raw-fish institution, the Seared Salmon Right Away melts on your tongue and makes you truly wonder why you’ve ever eaten second-rate sushi before.

6. Squid ink garganelli
Union
Pasadena
This hole-in-the-wall Pasadena farm-to-table restaurant has rapidly become one of the city’s go-to tables, and this dish — with lobster, fennel, and truffle butter — is its shining-est star.

7. Chianina steak
Chianina Steakhouse
Long Beach
It’s worth exploring Long Beach to end up at this classy steakhouse, which grows and butchers its own meat, serving up limited servings of each cut that’ll clean out your wallet in the most delicious way possible.

8. BBQ pork belly sandwich
Animal
Mid-Wilshire
These slider-sized morsels have become the signature dish at Jon & Vinny’s signature restaurant — the rest of the menu changes around them, but a meal there without these fatty blasts would be sacrilege.

9. Chopped fruit w/ chili powder and lime juice
Any street vendor with them
New York people may brag about their street-vendor hot dogs and pretzels, but who needs those when you’ve got juicy watermelon, mango, jicama, and more, acid-ed up with lime and spiced up with chili? Not you. Not. You.

10. Omelette
Petit Trois
Hollywood
It’s simply called an “Omelette,” but this perfectly buttered, Boursin cheese-stuffed fluffy egg dish is much more than that: it’s Ludo Lefebvre’s way of saying “I’m not just a TV-star gimmick.” And after one bite, you’ll agree.

11. Short rib
Odys & Penelope
Mid-Wilshire
This dinosaur-sized bone-in hunka-hunka-delicious meat isn’t just one of the best BBQ dishes in the city, it’s one of the best dishes in the city, period.

12. Hickory burger
Apple Pan
West LA
Thankfully, nothing at this WLA burger institution has changed since 1947: the space-wasting counter-only set-up, the old-school servers, and this burger — legendary for its smoky, classic flavor.

13. Pork xiao long bao (aka soup dumplings)
Din Tai Fung
Multiple locations
That first bite, when your teeth puncture the surface of these perfect, thinly doughed pockets of soup and meatball, and the broth hits your upper lip, burning it ever-so-slightly in the process? Nirvana.

14. Chicharron quesadilla
Oaxacan Quesadilla Cart
Echo Park
You may have a hard time finding this woman, but you NEED TO FIND THIS WOMAN, who hand-makes blue-corn tortillas stuffed with chicharrones, cheese, and some sort of magic insanity that makes you go “where the hell have you been my whole life???”

15. Strawberry donuts
Donut Man
Glendora
“But, it’s like a pie filling made from fresh strawberries stuffed inside a donut,” say haters. To which you’ll say, “DUDE IT’S LIKE A PIE FILLING MADE FROM FRESH STRAWBERRIES STUFFED INSIDE A DONUT!!!!”

16. Baseball Steak
Pacific Dining Car
Downtown and Santa Monica
Is this the best steak in the city? It is not. Is this the best steak in the city at 3am inside a relic from the 1950s where you’re treated like Frank Sinatra in his prime? Yes. It is most certainly that.

17. Whole snook
Coni’Seafood & Mariscos Chente
Inglewood/Marina Del Rey
These brother-sister restaurants both serve the same delectable signature dish: a whole flayed fish, fresh from Mexico, served with stewed onions and homemade tortillas. Put them together: perfection.

18. Chicken kafta plate w/ eggplant salad, hummus, and baba ganoush
Pita Kitchen
Van Nuys
Anyone who’s lived in The Valley is either a Pita Kitchen disciple or has wondered what the hell the out-the-door lines on Van Nuys Blvd are all about. Well, here’s the thing: they’re about these spiced chicken patties, this mushy, flavorful eggplant, and this perfectly oily hummus. Two pro tips, though: pay the extra $1 for a third side (baba ghanouj!) instead of stomach-filling rice, and avoid, at all costs, the same-named ripoff restaurant on Wilshire.

19. Uni Dynamite
POT
Koreatown
The dirty secret of Roy Choi’s excellent Korean menu is that the best stuff is actually NOT in the pots — rather it’s side dishes like this gooey, savory, creamy uni-and-rice dish.

20. Shrimp taco
Mariscos Jalisco
Downtown
One bite of the shrimp taco and you’ll understand why this truck is one of the most lauded cheap bites in the city.

21. Half-chicken
Zankou Chicken
Multiple locations
There are a lot of things you don’t know about this beloved Middle Eastern chain, but here’s one thing you do: its chicken (and ohGodthat garlic sauce) are absurd.

22. Half-chicken
Dino’s Chicken and Burgers
Multiple locations
Another half-chicken? Yep. But Dino’s — a series of roadside cafes that look about as nondescript as possible — couldn’t be more different than Zankou; its deep-red Mexi-ish bird is covered in a vinegar sauce that makes it truly moist all the way through. Pro tip: order extra sauce and let it seep into the fries or rice below for an insane carb-bomb side.

23. Tsukemen ramen
Tsujita Annex
West LA
Why not get the frothy, thick tonkotsu ramen? Because the dippable tsukemen gives you the ability to have as much — or as little — broth on your noodles as you want, plus the inevitable leftovers travel better.

24. Chinese chicken salad
Chin Chin
Multiple locations
The Chinese chicken salad is one of LA’s defining dishes, and the version at the gentrified Chinese chain Chin Chin is one of its defining variations, thanks to a gingery dressing, an abundance of nuts, and — oh yeah — not one, but TWO types of crispy fried noodles.

25. Hoecake
Barrel and Ashes
Studio City
Its BBQ meats may be divisive, but no one who’s been to this new-ish meat-centric spot can deny the buttery, gooey hoecake, which is essentially a cornbread if cornbread were made of dreams instead of corn.

26. Smoked salmon pizza
Spago
Beverly Hills
Its glory-est days may be behind it, but Wolfgang Puck’s flagship restaurant is still an emblem of Hollywood decadence, and this now off-menu signature dish was once the height of LA’s food scene — and one bite in, you’ll understand why.

27. Bacon breakfast burrito
Lucky Boy
Pasadena
As notable for the fact that you’ll get yelled at as you try to order it as it is for the monster amounts of crazy-good bacon that the guy yelling at you will eventually stuff into it. Mmmm.

28. Godmother
Bay Cities Italian Deli & Bakery
Santa Monica
This is pretty universally considered one-of-if-not-the best sandwich in all of the LA area. If you haven’t had this meat monster yet, what have you been waiting for? Really, WHAT?

29. Smoked fish platter
Wexler’s Deli
Downtown LA
There are so many things we could recommend at the Grand Central Market, but this platter of freshly smoked fish hits the soul in the same way as Eggslut — without the line.

30. Dodger Dog
Dodger Stadium
Chavez Ravine
You’re really not allowed to call yourself an Angeleno unless you’ve had a Dodger Dog. Extra points for finishing it, saying, “that’s not as good as I expected,” and then immediately ordering another one.

31. French dip
Cole’s
Downtown
Is Cole’s or Phillipe’s the best French dip in the city? That’s a debate we don’t want to take a side in.

32. French dip
Philippe the Original
Downtown
Told you.

33. Office Burger
Father’s Office
Culver City/Santa Monica
Love it or hate it, Sang Yoon’s defining dish set the stage for LA’s reputation as a burger mecca, and still stands as one of the best ground meatwiches in the city.

34. All the salads
Hummus Bar
Tarzana
It’s worth the drive to this strip mall for two things: the skewers of meat at Kushiyu, and this Mediterranean restaurant’s salads, which come with any entree order and fill the table with everything from eggplant to chopped liver, all dippable with their piping-hot homemade bread, which is sort of a mix between lavash and pita. It’s outstanding.

35. Al pastor taco
Leo’s Taco Truck
Multiple locations
This taco truck mini-chain’s rotating, pineapple-aided rotisseries of meat make for tortilla-stuffed perfection; there are hundreds of trucks in the city making al pastor tacos, but Tacos Leo stands out completely from the rest.

36. Albacore belly
Sugarfish
Multiple locations
What, you’ve only ordered the set sushi meals? Then you’ve missed out on the real treat: this absurdly flavorful bite, which has to be ordered separately. It’s worth it. Completely.

37. Chicken and waffles
Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles
Multiple locations
There are a ton of variations of this dish all over the city, but Roscoe’s is definitive, and still stands out for crispiness, balance, and being open late on Friday and Sat. Which never hurts. (And usually helps.)

38. Ice cream sandwich
Diddy Riese
Westwood
It’s a rite of passage to stand in line for an hour at this nearby-to-UCLA spot, asking the entire time you’re in line if it’s really worth all that standing around for a $2 ice cream sandwich. And then you take a bite, and, yep, it totally is.

39. Short rib taco
Kogi BBQ
Multiple locations
This dish essentially started the food truck trend. It’s an amazing mesh of flavors, and all that time ago — like, five years — it was groundbreaking. Now, it’s just super tasty.

40. Fish dip
Son of a Gun
Mid-Wilshire
When they opened Son of a Gun, Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo wanted to recreate the flavors they remembered from fish shacks in Florida, and they knocked it out of the park with this fish dip, going so far as to import the crackers they use to give it a hit of salty authenticity. Pro tip: even if you don’t love Tabasco, it adds a killer vinegar extra to the already-great flavors.

41. Charcuterie platter
Bestia
Downtown
So many spots in the city offer platters of cured meats, but Bestia’s is all made in-house, which means the process is carefully curated, and the meats are that much better for it.

42. BBQ chicken pizza
Mulberry St Pizzeria
Multiple locations
Some people may complain that the pizza here is too floppy, and yeah, it kinda is. But the ingredients in its BBQ chicken variation are top-notch, and the serving size is massive, and once it’s in your mouth, who cares about that flop anyways?

43. Chili cheeseburger
Original Tommy’s Hamburgers
East Hollywood
You could go to any of the Tommy’s locations and leave happy, but if you hit the original-original-really-guys-we-mean-the-original spot, you’ll be super-duper-double happy. (Until about five hours later.)

44. Mole negro
Gueleguetza
Koreatown
This sort of formerly under-the-radar Oaxacan spot just won a James Beard Award for having killer mole. Seriously, if that doesn’t get you in the door, what does?

45. Kimchi fried rice
Republique
Mid-Wilshire
Walter Manske’s gorgeous restaurant has gotten praise for its dinners, but the real move is to go for brunch: the pastries are insane, and you can order this monstrous bowl of egg-topped, short rib-laden spicy rice and then… nap. You’re definitely gonna nap.

46. Garlic knots
C&O Trattoria
Venice
Going to C&O for a big-group dinner is unavoidable, and surely someone will complain in the comments below that the massive pasta plates are not up to snuff with other Italian joints in the city. Who cares? The free garlic knots — which come both with every dinner and for whomever is waiting outside for a table as well — are, like, insanely, insanely great.

47. Lasagna
Dan Tana’s
West Hollywood
That said, if you do want Italian, and you don’t mind dropping some dough, classic Italian steakhouse Dan Tana’s still satisfies, especially when you’re ordering something as classic as meat-stuffed lasagna.

48. Fried chicken
Honey’s Kettle
Culver City
It’s the #1 fried chicken in the city according to the most expert of experts. Do you really need another reason?

49. Green mussels curry
Jitlada Thai Restaurant
Thaitown
You put one of these in your mouth and it explodes with spice and flavor. Then you repeat. Then you repeat again. Then you sip some Singha. Then you repeat again.

50. Danger dog
Any random street cart
Because if you’re gonna have your last meal, it may as well be bacon-wrapped and topped with onions, jalapeños, and mayo. Right?

50 LA THINGS YOU NEED TO EAT BEFORE YOU DIE

June 18, 2015

We certainly don’t want you to die, but do agree that if you must retire from this mortal coil, eating a bowl of our squid ink garganelli is a must before you go. Thank you Thrillist for including us. Coming in at #6 is our pleasure. Make a reservation today! And please enjoy the full Thrillist article at this link or read it below.
 
IMG_0227
 

50 LA THINGS YOU NEED TO EAT BEFORE YOU DIE

 
PUBLISHED ON 6/17/2015 BY JEFF MILLER
 
You know all the things you’ve gotta do in LA before you die, but what about all the things you’ve gotta eat before heading to the big traffic jam in the sky? Here’s our list of 50, from Apple Pan’s hickory burger to an ice cream sandwich at Diddy Riese.
 
1. Chorizo breakfast burrito
Cofax Coffee Shop
Mid-Wilshire
It may only be less than a year old, but this small coffee shop’s chips-and-smoked-potato-laden breakfast burrito has become a defining member of the city’s hand-held tortilla-wrapped community.
 
2. #19
Langer’s Delicatessen
MacArthur Park
The most iconic pastrami sandwich in the city is also its most delicious. Yep, we said it.
 
3. Tonkotsu ramen
Daikokuya
Multiple locations
By far the most well-known Japanese noodle-and-broth combo in the city, and even with the city’s ramen explosion, it’s still one of the most delicious.
 
4. Crispy rice salad
Sqirl
Silver Lake
Yeah, it’s got the word “salad” in the name, but you can get this unctuous dish with an egg and sausage. Which you will. And you will be very happy you did.
 
5. Seared Salmon Right Away
Sushi Ike
Hollywood
Available only at the bar at this raw-fish institution, the Seared Salmon Right Away melts on your tongue and makes you truly wonder why you’ve ever eaten second-rate sushi before.
 
6. Squid ink garganelli
Union
Pasadena
This hole-in-the-wall Pasadena farm-to-table restaurant has rapidly become one of the city’s go-to tables, and this dish — with lobster, fennel, and truffle butter — is its shining-est star.
 

7. Chianina steak
Chianina Steakhouse
Long Beach
It’s worth exploring Long Beach to end up at this classy steakhouse, which grows and butchers its own meat, serving up limited servings of each cut that’ll clean out your wallet in the most delicious way possible.
 
8. BBQ pork belly sandwich
Animal
Mid-Wilshire
These slider-sized morsels have become the signature dish at Jon & Vinny’s signature restaurant — the rest of the menu changes around them, but a meal there without these fatty blasts would be sacrilege.
 
9. Chopped fruit w/ chili powder and lime juice
Any street vendor with them
New York people may brag about their street-vendor hot dogs and pretzels, but who needs those when you’ve got juicy watermelon, mango, jicama, and more, acid-ed up with lime and spiced up with chili? Not you. Not. You.
 
10. Omelette
Petit Trois
Hollywood
It’s simply called an “Omelette,” but this perfectly buttered, Boursin cheese-stuffed fluffy egg dish is much more than that: it’s Ludo Lefebvre’s way of saying “I’m not just a TV-star gimmick.” And after one bite, you’ll agree.
 
11. Short rib
Odys & Penelope
Mid-Wilshire
This dinosaur-sized bone-in hunka-hunka-delicious meat isn’t just one of the best BBQ dishes in the city, it’s one of the best dishes in the city, period.
 
12. Hickory burger
Apple Pan
West LA
Thankfully, nothing at this WLA burger institution has changed since 1947: the space-wasting counter-only set-up, the old-school servers, and this burger — legendary for its smoky, classic flavor.
 
13. Pork xiao long bao (aka soup dumplings)
Din Tai Fung
Multiple locations
That first bite, when your teeth puncture the surface of these perfect, thinly doughed pockets of soup and meatball, and the broth hits your upper lip, burning it ever-so-slightly in the process? Nirvana.
 
14. Chicharron quesadilla
Oaxacan Quesadilla Cart
Echo Park
You may have a hard time finding this woman, but you NEED TO FIND THIS WOMAN, who hand-makes blue-corn tortillas stuffed with chicharrones, cheese, and some sort of magic insanity that makes you go “where the hell have you been my whole life???”
 
15. Strawberry donuts
Donut Man
Glendora
“But, it’s like a pie filling made from fresh strawberries stuffed inside a donut,” say haters. To which you’ll say, “DUDE IT’S LIKE A PIE FILLING MADE FROM FRESH STRAWBERRIES STUFFED INSIDE A DONUT!!!!”
 
16. Baseball Steak
Pacific Dining Car
Downtown and Santa Monica
Is this the best steak in the city? It is not. Is this the best steak in the city at 3am inside a relic from the 1950s where you’re treated like Frank Sinatra in his prime? Yes. It is most certainly that.
 
17. Whole snook
Coni’Seafood/Mariscos Chente
Inglewood/Marina Del Rey
These brother-sister restaurants both serve the same delectable signature dish: a whole flayed fish, fresh from Mexico, served with stewed onions and homemade tortillas. Put them together: perfection.
 
18. Chicken kafta plate w/ eggplant salad, hummus, and baba ganoush
Pita Kitchen
Van Nuys
Anyone who’s lived in The Valley is either a Pita Kitchen disciple or has wondered what the hell the out-the-door lines on Van Nuys Blvd are all about. Well, here’s the thing: they’re about these spiced chicken patties, this mushy, flavorful eggplant, and this perfectly oily hummus. Two pro tips, though: pay the extra $1 for a third side (baba ghanouj!) instead of stomach-filling rice, and avoid, at all costs, the same-named ripoff restaurant on Wilshire.
 
19. Uni Dynamite
POT
Koreatown
The dirty secret of Roy Choi’s excellent Korean menu is that the best stuff is actually NOT in the pots — rather it’s side dishes like this gooey, savory, creamy uni-and-rice dish.
 
20. Shrimp taco
Mariscos Jalisco
Downtown
One bite of the shrimp taco and you’ll understand why this truck is one of the most lauded cheap bites in the city.
 
21. Half-chicken
Zankou Chicken
Multiple locations
There are a lot of things you don’t know about this beloved Middle Eastern chain, but here’s one thing you do: its chicken (and ohGodthat garlic sauce) are absurd.
 
22. Half-chicken
Dino’s Chicken and Burgers
Multiple locations
Another half-chicken? Yep. But Dino’s — a series of roadside cafes that look about as nondescript as possible — couldn’t be more different than Zankou; its deep-red Mexi-ish bird is covered in a vinegar sauce that makes it truly moist all the way through. Pro tip: order extra sauce and let it seep into the fries or rice below for an insane carb-bomb side.
 
23. Tsukemen ramen
Tsujita Annex
West LA
Why not get the frothy, thick tonkotsu ramen? Because the dippable tsukemen gives you the ability to have as much — or as little — broth on your noodles as you want, plus the inevitable leftovers travel better.
 
24. Chinese chicken salad
Chin Chin
Multiple locations
The Chinese chicken salad is one of LA’s defining dishes, and the version at the gentrified Chinese chain Chin Chin is one of its defining variations, thanks to a gingery dressing, an abundance of nuts, and — oh yeah — not one, but TWO types of crispy fried noodles.
 
25. Hoecake
Barrel and Ashes
Studio City
Its BBQ meats may be divisive, but no one who’s been to this new-ish meat-centric spot can deny the buttery, gooey hoecake, which is essentially a cornbread if cornbread were made of dreams instead of corn.
 
26. Smoked salmon pizza
Spago
Beverly Hills
Its glory-est days may be behind it, but Wolfgang Puck’s flagship restaurant is still an emblem of Hollywood decadence, and this now off-menu signature dish was once the height of LA’s food scene — and one bite in, you’ll understand why.
 
27. Bacon breakfast burrito
Lucky Boy
Pasadena
As notable for the fact that you’ll get yelled at as you try to order it as it is for the monster amounts of crazy-good bacon that the guy yelling at you will eventually stuff into it. Mmmm.
 
28. Godmother
Bay Cities Italian Deli & Bakery
Santa Monica
This is pretty universally considered one-of-if-not-the best sandwich in all of the LA area. If you haven’t had this meat monster yet, what have you been waiting for? Really, WHAT?
 
29. Smoked fish platter
Wexler’s Deli
Downtown LA
There are so many things we could recommend at the Grand Central Market, but this platter of freshly smoked fish hits the soul in the same way as Eggslut — without the line.
 
30. Dodger Dog
Dodger Stadium
Chavez Ravine
You’re really not allowed to call yourself an Angeleno unless you’ve had a Dodger Dog. Extra points for finishing it, saying, “that’s not as good as I expected,” and then immediately ordering another one.
 
31. French dip
Cole’s
Downtown
Is Cole’s or Phillipe’s the best French dip in the city? That’s a debate we don’t want to take a side in.
 
32. French dip
Philippe the Original
Downtown
Told you.
 
33. Office Burger
Father’s Office
Culver City/Santa Monica
Love it or hate it, Sang Yoon’s defining dish set the stage for LA’s reputation as a burger mecca, and still stands as one of the best ground meatwiches in the city.
 
34. All the salads
Hummus Bar
Tarzana
It’s worth the drive to this strip mall for two things: the skewers of meat at Kushiyu, and this Mediterranean restaurant’s salads, which come with any entree order and fill the table with everything from eggplant to chopped liver, all dippable with their piping-hot homemade bread, which is sort of a mix between lavash and pita. It’s outstanding.
 
35. Al pastor taco
Leo’s Taco Truck
Multiple locations
This taco truck mini-chain’s rotating, pineapple-aided rotisseries of meat make for tortilla-stuffed perfection; there are hundreds of trucks in the city making al pastor tacos, but Tacos Leo stands out completely from the rest.
 
36. Albacore belly
Sugarfish
Multiple locations
What, you’ve only ordered the set sushi meals? Then you’ve missed out on the real treat: this absurdly flavorful bite, which has to be ordered separately. It’s worth it. Completely.
 
37. Chicken and waffles
Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles
Multiple locations
There are a ton of variations of this dish all over the city, but Roscoe’s is definitive, and still stands out for crispiness, balance, and being open late on Friday and Sat. Which never hurts. (And usually helps.)
 
38. Ice cream sandwich
Diddy Riese
Westwood
It’s a rite of passage to stand in line for an hour at this nearby-to-UCLA spot, asking the entire time you’re in line if it’s really worth all that standing around for a $2 ice cream sandwich. And then you take a bite, and, yep, it totally is.
 
39. Short rib taco
Kogi BBQ
Multiple locations
This dish essentially started the food truck trend. It’s an amazing mesh of flavors, and all that time ago — like, five years — it was groundbreaking. Now, it’s just super tasty.
 
40. Fish dip
Son of a Gun
Mid-Wilshire
When they opened Son of a Gun, Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo wanted to recreate the flavors they remembered from fish shacks in Florida, and they knocked it out of the park with this fish dip, going so far as to import the crackers they use to give it a hit of salty authenticity. Pro tip: even if you don’t love Tabasco, it adds a killer vinegar extra to the already-great flavors.
 
41. Charcuterie platter
Bestia
Downtown
So many spots in the city offer platters of cured meats, but Bestia’s is all made in-house, which means the process is carefully curated, and the meats are that much better for it.
 
42. BBQ chicken pizza
Mulberry St Pizzeria
Multiple locations
Some people may complain that the pizza here is too floppy, and yeah, it kinda is. But the ingredients in its BBQ chicken variation are top-notch, and the serving size is massive, and once it’s in your mouth, who cares about that flop anyways?
 
43. Chili cheeseburger
Original Tommy’s Hamburgers
East Hollywood
You could go to any of the Tommy’s locations and leave happy, but if you hit the original-original-really-guys-we-mean-the-original spot, you’ll be super-duper-double happy. (Until about five hours later.)
 
44. Mole negro
Gueleguetza
Koreatown
This sort of formerly under-the-radar Oaxacan spot just won a James Beard Award for having killer mole. Seriously, if that doesn’t get you in the door, what does?
 
45. Kimchi fried rice
Republique
Mid-Wilshire
Walter Manske’s gorgeous restaurant has gotten praise for its dinners, but the real move is to go for brunch: the pastries are insane, and you can order this monstrous bowl of egg-topped, short rib-laden spicy rice and then… nap. You’re definitely gonna nap.
 
46. Garlic knots
C&O Trattoria
Venice
Going to C&O for a big-group dinner is unavoidable, and surely someone will complain in the comments below that the massive pasta plates are not up to snuff with other Italian joints in the city. Who cares? The free garlic knots — which come both with every dinner and for whomever is waiting outside for a table as well — are, like, insanely, insanely great.
 
47. Lasagna
Dan Tana’s
West Hollywood
That said, if you do want Italian, and you don’t mind dropping some dough, classic Italian steakhouse Dan Tana’s still satisfies, especially when you’re ordering something as classic as meat-stuffed lasagna.
 
48. Fried chicken
Honey’s Kettle
Culver City
It’s the #1 fried chicken in the city according to the most expert of experts. Do you really need another reason?
 
49. Green mussels curry
Jitlada Thai Restaurant
Thaitown
You put one of these in your mouth and it explodes with spice and flavor. Then you repeat. Then you repeat again. Then you sip some Singha. Then you repeat again.
 
50. Danger dog
Any random street cart
Because if you’re gonna have your last meal, it may as well be bacon-wrapped and topped with onions, jalapeños, and mayo. Right?
 
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Jeff Miller’s glad he’s not dead yet, because he’s ready for 50 more. Watch him hit ’em at @jeffmillerla on Instagram and @ThrillistLA on Twitter.
 
1. Cofax Coffee Shop
440 N Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles
2. Langer’s Delicatessen
704 S Alvarado St, Los Angeles
3. Daikokuya
327 E 1st St, Los Angeles
4. Sqirl
720 N Virgil Ave, #4, Los Angeles
5. Sushi Ike
6051 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles
6. Union
37 E Union St, Pasadena
7. Chianina Steakhouse
5716 E 2nd St, Long Beach
8. Animal
435 N Fairfax, Los Angeles
9. Petit Trois
716 N Highland Ave, Los Angeles
10. Odys & Penelope
127 S La Brea Ave, Los Angeles
11. The Apple Pan
10801 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles
12. Oaxacan Quesadilla Cart
1246 Echo Park Ave, Los Angeles
13. The Donut Man
915 E Route 66, Glendora
14. Pacific Dining Car
1310 W 6th St, Los Angeles
15. Mariscos Chente
4532 S Centinela Ave, Los Angeles
16. Pita Kitchen
14500 Ventura Blvd, Los Angeles
17. POT
3515 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles
18. Mariscos Jalisco
3040 E Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles
19. Tsujita Annex
2014 Sawtelle Blvd, Los Angeles
20. Barrel and Ashes
11801 Ventura Blvd, Studio City
21. Spago
176 N Canon Dr, Beverly Hills
22. Lucky Boy
531 E Walnut St, Pasadena
23. Bay Cities Italian Deli & Bakery
1517 Lincoln Blvd, Santa Monica
24. Wexler’s Deli
317 S Broadway, Los Angeles
25. Cole’s
118 E 6th St, Los Angeles
26. Philippe the Original
1001 N Alameda St, Los Angeles
27. Father’s Office
3229 Helms Ave, Los Angeles
28. Hummus Bar & Grill
18743 Ventura Blvd, Tarzana
29. SUGARFISH
11288 Ventura Blvd, Studio City
30. Diddy Riese
926 Broxton Ave, Los Angeles
31. Son Of A Gun
8730 3rd St, Los Angeles
32. Bestia
2121 E 7th Pl, Los Angeles
33. Original Tommy’s Hamburgers
2575 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles
34. Gueleguetza
3014 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles
35. Republique
624 S LA Brea Ave, Los Angeles
36. C&O Trattoria
31 Washington Blvd, Marina Del Rey
37. Dan Tana’s
9071 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood
38. Honey’s Kettle Fried Chicken
9537 Culver Blvd, Culver City
39. Jitlada Thai Restaurant
5233 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles