I recently made two trips to Los Angeles, my old stomping grounds. My daughter had enrolled in USC’s freshman class (Fight on!) and so we went first for orientation and back again for move-in day. Los Angeles has great places to eat. Funky, elegant and everything in between. We had a few culinary adventures. My teenage daughter insisted we start at world-famous Pink’s.
Customers (some spilling out of limos) line up day and night for one of Pink’s famous chili dogs. Six inch, nine inch. Naked or everything on it but the Pink’s kitchen sink. Hot dog establishment to the stars. Been at the corner of La Brea and Melrose Blvd. since 1946. Started as a pushcart business in 1939. If you’re in L.A., try a Pink’s dog and some fries. Worth the wait.
More Los Angeles Eats
Uber over to the Los Feliz neighborhood. Visit Churro Borough and sample a luscious, freshly made churro “sandwich” filled with handmade ice cream. This thing will be gone-baby-gone in less than 5 minutes.
Save room for dinner at a place that’s about to make history. Musso & Frank on Hollywood Boulevard is nearly 100 years old, the oldest restaurant in Hollywood. Wood paneled. Lots of show folk. Some of the waiters have been there for decades. Today’s menu was mostly created in the 1920’s. Known for its stiff drinks and great food. Fabulous sour dough bread. I love having the sand dabs–a small, flat flounder out of the Pacific coastal waters. Lightly breaded, lightly fried–butter, capers, tartar sauce if you want it. Yum.
Start another day with breakfast at The Original Pantry in downtown Los Angeles, on Figueroa just north of the L.A.Live entertainment center.
The Original Pantry is also an L.A. institution. Around since 1924 and never closes. Ever. Traditional bacon and eggs or huevos rancheros. You pick. As busy as they are, they will poach your eggs. And they serve the best bacon west of the Rockies.
Of course, L.A. isn’t all sun and food and botox. Take a culture break and visit the J. Paul Getty Museum (the Getty Center) on the westside. Here’s a snap of part of the Getty grounds looking south through the haze and smog towards Santa Monica. The Getty is a must-see.
If you feel your arteries aren’t clogged enough, come down off the Getty mountain and have yourself the best burger in California: the In-N-Out burger. Have two. And you’ll want fries with that.
You can’t eat all day so visit a movie studio. Here are my two favorite leading ladies ready for the Universal Studios Tour.
Eventually you’ll want some dinner. Someplace new and modern. Like Katsuya, a hip Japanese restaurant at the L.A. Live Center. The menu cover welcomes you with a big fat kiss! This place is so hip and with-it and fast-paced and noisy. The wait-staff runs around like they’re on speed-dial. I felt like I was sitting there encased in aspic.
It’s hard to discreetly take food photos in such a dimly lit place. But the food is great, all around. Witness my plate of Wagyu Tobanyaki, beef with wild mushrooms. And not as pricey as you’d think.
Of course we visited many more places like Road to Seoul in Koreatown and Jon & Vinny’s for great pizza made at you watch. But enough about food. Let’s see the ocean.
The Venice beach ocean, that is. I hadn’t been there in years. Here’s the boardwalk about 11:00 a.m. Just starting to come alive.
A typical store on the boardwalk. Boy, the Venice Beach never changes. Thank goodness.
Zoltar still rules. And he’s such a card! Sorry about the photo glare. That California sun, you know.
And yes, a sucker is born every minute. I inserted a dollar to see my fortune. It said a big fat tuition bill was waiting to be paid. Zoltar is never wrong.