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Danny Jensen

Danny Jensen

Articles (6)

The best food trucks in Los Angeles

The best food trucks in Los Angeles

In 2022, most of Los Angeles’s buzziest meals might have moved from food trucks to roving pop-ups, but the zenith of L.A. native chef Roy Choi’s Kogi truck has imparted at least a few lasting imprints on the city’s culinary scene. Today, the idea of an amazing, takeout-style roadside meal is considered normal among most of the city’s diners, and some of L.A.’s best “restaurants” offering the finest tacos and fresh seafood are, in fact, from humble catering trucks. While we can’t say that the best new-to-us meals we’ve had in the last few years have come from a truck (in fact, many of the ones we’ve tried fall squarely into medicore territory), street food and food trucks have their place on film sets, college campuses, office parks and yes, on the side of major intersections—meeting Angelenos of all income levels where they’re hungriest and often in need of a hot meal. For those who still crave the thrill of the chase, we’ve rounded up the city’s best food trucks, so you can hunt down new-to-you spots to your heart’s content.

The best Highland Park restaurants

The best Highland Park restaurants

As one of the most high-profile gentrified neighborhoods in L.A., Highland Park now possesses a unique array of excellent brick-and-mortar restaurants and street food stands. Among them are decades-old family-run restaurants, cash-only taco spots, a relatively new neighborhood sushi bar, and a critically acclaimed Taiwanese fast-casual spot selling the finest thousand-layer egg pancake wraps outside of the San Gabriel Valley. No matter the time of day, you’ll find excellent places to eat, with the bulk of them concentrated on York Boulevard and Figueroa Street. Whether you’re looking for breakfast, lunch, dinner or late-night eats, here are our favorite Highland Park restaurants. RECOMMENDED: See more in our guide to Highland Park

A guide to Mar Vista

A guide to Mar Vista

Wedged between Venice and Culver City, Mar Vista has typically been seen as a relatively sleepy neighborhood that many Angelenos have a hard time placing without a map. But that’s all changing—and fast—thanks to the growing buzz over new additions to the neighborhood and long-running favorites. With stylish new restaurants and cafés plus fun and quirky independent boutiques, Mar Vista offers plenty of excellent options to eat, drink, shop and explore. The neighborhood, which is primarily centered around the stretch of Venice Boulevard on both sides of Centinela Avenue, also features an excellent weekly farmers’ market, a regularly occurring art walk and huge colorful murals painted by local artists. The area is also one of the first in L.A. to undergo improvements as part of a pilot program for the citywide Great Streets Initiative, and recently received new crosswalks, protected bike lanes and more to make the neighborhood safer for pedestrians and cyclists.

The ultimate guide to the Santa Ynez Valley

The ultimate guide to the Santa Ynez Valley

If Santa Barbara is as far north as your weekend road trips from L.A. take you, you’re missing out on an incredible getaway of food, wine and unexpected roadside attractions—all just a little farther up the road. Explore the Santa Ynez Valley and you’ll discover a hidden tiki bar, new wine tasting rooms, unforgettable eats, hotels both quirky and cool, antique and boutique shopping, funky museums, Old West charm and even an ostrich farm. Pack up the car and find out what you’re missing in the charming towns of Santa Ynez, Solvang, Buellton, Los Olivos and Los Alamos.

L.A.'s best dessert-inspired cocktails

L.A.'s best dessert-inspired cocktails

One of the top perks of being a grown-up? Indulging in our favorite childhood treats as often as we want—oh, and spiking them with alcohol. L.A.’s summer drinking trend has the city’s best bars serving boozy dessert cocktails, taking inspiration from the frozen treats we devoured as kids. 

The booziest cocktails in Los Angeles

The booziest cocktails in Los Angeles

Sometimes when we hit the town after a long day at work or an excruciating crawl through traffic, no mere ordinary cocktail will do the trick. For those nights when you’re in need of something a little more potent, we’ve sought out the booziest cocktails in Los Angeles that will give you a bit more more bang (er, booze) for your buck. And while you can usually convince most bartenders to fix you a Long Island Iced Tea or some other classic hooch-heavy mix—even if some might roll their eyes—we tracked down some very spirited cocktails that add a creative and fun twist that you won’t find elsewhere. Just be sure to bring along a designated driver, use your favorite ride-hailing service, take public transit or do some good old fashioned walking, as these drinks are sure to pack a wallop.

Listings and reviews (43)

ArtBarLA

ArtBarLA

This relatively recent addition to the neighborhood offers a cozy and colorful destination for craft beer, local art and live performances. Beer lovers will find a well-curated and rotating selection of pours from breweries both local and from afar, including Belgian ales, IPAs and ciders. To tide you over between rounds, order a gourmet grilled cheese or the house-made hummus and pita (plans are in the works for a full bar and kitchen). The eclectic array of artwork from local artists rotates regularly (and is available for purchase), and the stage in back is put to good use for everything from comedy, magic and trivia to drag shows, burlesque, bands and DJs.

Shop Morpheus

Shop Morpheus

This charming boutique feels like you’ve stepped inside of a stylish friend’s house—thanks in part to the wall-mounted fireplace, plush couch and small kitchen. (Morpheus Design is also an interior design and architecture outfit.) Founded by Sarah Fisk and Adam Picker, the bright and airy community-focused shop features locally and ethically made clothing, accessories, jewelry and home goods that are perfectly tuned to the Mar Vista/Venice vibe. On the third Sunday of the month, stop by for their open-air market along the sidewalk in front of the shop, featuring local designers, artists and DJs.

Mavro Kafe

Mavro Kafe

Stop by this sleek and stylish coffee shop for your caffeine fix and light bites—and a bouquet of flowers while you’re at it. In addition to well-made renditions of your favorite coffee beverage, you’ll also find matcha, chai and golden lattes, and a range of teas. Food options include a veggie-loaded bagel, a vegan mushroom sandwich, and pastries. Before heading home, you can snag a few staple veggies, cartons of oat and soy milk, and Mavro-branded shirts and totes in bright pastels.

Saby’s Cafe

Saby’s Cafe

This family-run hidden gem recently revamped under new ownership, serving all-day breakfast (including house-baked pan dulce and an excellent breakfast burrito), as well as burritos, tortas, huaraches, and larger platters. The fish tacos on homemade blue corn tortillas are also not to be missed. Seating is limited inside this casual spot, which is fine, since the place to be is the small front patio, surrounded by wooden planter boxes full of lush greenery and flowers, and illuminated by string lights at night.

Rutt’s Hawaiian Cafe

Rutt’s Hawaiian Cafe

This easygoing neighborhood stalwart has been serving inexpensive Hawaiian comfort fare since 1976. The decor is sparse, apart from splashes of tropical colors and a tiki hut bar, but the regulars are here for hearty fare, not frills. Start your day right with spam and eggs, French toast made with King’s Hawaiian sweet bread, or the signature Royale—an egg scramble with rice and your choice of protein. Come hungry for the plate lunch with options that include loco moco, kalua pork, katsu chicken and coconut shrimp—perfect with a cold beer. And don’t miss the shave ice.

Whimsy and Row

Whimsy and Row

Just past the more bustling stretch of Venice Boulevard, this stylish and eco-friendly boutique specializes in limited-run, locally made clothing, along with jewelry, accessories and some home goods, including candles and ceramics. Pick up a gift for a friend or refresh your wardrobe before heading to the beach, all while feeling confident with your sustainably-minded, fashionable choices.

Light on Lotus

Light on Lotus

Located just next door to Alana’s Coffee, this light and airy yoga studio offers a wide range of classes for all experience levels and ages. In addition to the indoor studio, they also offer classes in the back garden space, as well as online Zoom classes. They also frequently host special events, sound baths, teacher training and wellness services, including massage and pain management. There’s also a small shop in front where you can purchase mats, clothing and books.

Full-Circle Pottery

Full-Circle Pottery

Looking to get your hands dirty? This pottery studio offers a wide range of classes for all levels, from those looking to throw on the pottery wheel (or even just start working with clay by hand) to those wanting to refine their sgraffito technique. In addition to classes, dedicated clay enthusiasts can sign up for studio memberships, including space to store clay and tools, reduced rates for classes, and special events. The studio also offers clay therapy sessions, run by the founders Liz Rosenblatt, PsyD, a licensed clinical psychologist, and Patty Housen, PhD.

Quiadaiyn Restaurant

Quiadaiyn Restaurant

Serving an excellent array of Oaxacan specialties alongside other Mexican favorites, Quiadaiyan (pronounced “kia-dine”) is an all-day, family-run restaurant. From the bold, vibrantly painted walls to the exuberant staff, Quiadiayn exudes warmth and comfort—and that’s especially true when it comes to the food. Can’t-miss dishes include the tlayuda mixta, barbacoa de chivo and mole Coloradito. There’s also an extensive vegetarian menu, refreshing cocktails made with agave wine (a full bar is in the works) and an exceptional flan. The Martinez family makes all of the addictive salsas and tortillas in-house, and you can preorder tamales. They also offer outdoor seating, and frequently host celebrations with live music.

Mỹ Lai

Mỹ Lai

Opened by husband-and-wife team Shad and Traci Phan Davis, Mỹ Lai offers delicious fast-casual Vietnamese fare, including build-your-own bowls, vermicelli salads and banh mi. Choose from a colorful array of fresh vegetables and toppings, house sauces, and protein options that include grilled pork, chicken or beef, as well as crispy tofu and Impossible “meat”. You’ll also find family recipes like Mama Mỹ’s chicken and rice and Chau’s chicken salad. Grab a quick bite in the chic, minimalist interior, or unwind on the back patio and be sure to grab freshly baked cookies from Do House.

Mama Lion

Mama Lion

4 out of 5 stars

There's globally-minded finesse all over this sleek K-town supper club. Start the show with refreshing bites like vibrant hamachi tartare or Isaan-style sausages. Indulge with the seared foie gras, but definitely don’t miss the seared shrimp with an umami-packed anchovy butter. The bucatini with asparagus, sausage and 63-degree egg puts on a great performance, but the unexpected chicken schnitzel really steals the show. 

The MV Grab & Go

The MV Grab & Go

The team behind The Mar Vista launched this casual all-day spot across the street for breakfast, lunch and family-style dinner pickup. The morning lineup includes breakfast tacos and sandwiches, frittata wraps, and full plates with eggs any style. At lunch, don’t miss the Frico-style tacos with the addition of a crispy cheese to the tortilla and a fried egg to fillings like brisket, carnitas and veggies. The “Dillas” (corn tortilla quesadillas) are great, as are the sandwiches like the green chickpea falafel, and a range of salads. Other highlights include the torn potato poutine and cold-pressed juices (best enjoyed on the spacious patio in back) as well as the daily family-style dinner specials to take home.

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