Since 1948, this family-owned market and deli in the San Gabriel Valley has imported a dizzying variety of preserved meats, cheeses, sweets, crackers and seemingly any other kind of Italian or Italian American foodstuffs you could ever possibly want or need. On our visit, we spied a human-sized piece of provolone cheese hanging off a rack, lemon-flavored digestive fizzies and pickled lupini beans—a party snack common across the Mediterranean. The made-to-order deli sandwiches are delicious as well. Locations in Arcadia and San Gabriel are closest to L.A. proper, but Claro’s extends its reach out to San Bernardino and Orange County with outposts in Upland and Tustin.
When it comes to food, L.A. is full of hidden gems. These tried-and-true places might offer excellent takeout, or be a known lazy Sunday dinner staple, but they never get the attention they deserve. Every neighborhood in L.A. seems to have at least a few, and no list could be fully exhaustive of specialty spots, beloved neighborhood joints and other under-the-radar restaurants serving hard-to-find cuisine and eclectic dishes you can’t find anywhere else.
In the name of our city’s diverse, often geographically isolated dining culture, we’ve rounded up two dozen hidden gem restaurants in 20 different L.A. neighborhoods and adjacent cities. No matter where you live, we’ve likely highlighted a hidden gem near you, with more than a few kernels of neighborhood knowledge and history most Angelenos probably aren’t familiar with peppered in. You may need to travel quite a ways to get to them or you may not, but these L.A. hidden gem restaurants are more than worth seeking out the next time you’re in the mood for something new.