Welcome to the Smackdown, where we pit two of LA's best dishes against each other and crown a winner. Our inaugural battle is a food fight between nine old-school favorites versus new school riffs on the classic. For six weeks, TOLA staff ate their way across town, judging 18 contenders—food categories from BLT to French toast and eateries from Bay Cities to Michael Voltaggio's Ink Sack—on presentation, value and taste. (And we polled our Facebook fans to vote on their favorites, too.) The winners, quite frankly, surprised us. But that's the point of a good smackdown. Let the games begin.
Philippe the Original vs. Farmshop
Bob's Coffee & Doughnuts vs. Cooks County
Ed's Coffee Shop vs. Sycamore Kitchen
Key lime pie
House of Pies vs. Salt's Cure
Fried chicken and waffles
Roscoe’s Chicken & Waffles vs. The Tasting Kitchen.
Mac and cheese
Pacific Dining Car vs. Cut
Matzo ball soup
Canter's Deli vs. Umamicatessen
Fountain Coffee Room vs. Sweet Rose Creamery
Bay Cities Italian Deli vs. Ink. Sack.