Jarone Ashkenazi is a freelance writer who covers restaurants, bars, dating, relationships, sports and other lifestyle topics. More of his work can be viewed at www.jaroneashkenazi.com. Connect with him on Twitter: @JaroneAsh.
The 24 best Chinese restaurants in Los Angeles
Fact: L.A. County is home to the most diverse, high-quality array of Chinese food in the country. While many of the area’s best Chinese restaurants are in the San Gabriel Valley—and technically outside city limits—you’ll still find plenty of excellent, more centrally located options in Chinatown, Historic Filipinotown, West L.A. and Silver Lake, among other neighborhoods. In recent years, a new generation of Asian American chefs have also expanded the definition of Chinese food, blending old family recipes with seasonal, high-quality ingredients and uniquely L.A. flourishes. Whether you’re in the mood for Sichuan, Cantonese, Taiwanese, Hong Kong-style dim sum, Shanghainese or even Uighur cuisine, these restaurants more than solidify L.A.’s claim to the best Chinese food scene in the nation. From cash-only takeout joints to more formal dining establishments, here are the best Chinese restaurants in Los Angeles.
L.A.’s best seafood restaurants
As an ocean-adjacent city rife with beaches, L.A. doesn’t have as many seafood restaurants as one might think it would. But if you’re craving a decandent lobster roll, cheap food truck fare or a tower of oysters at a fine dining restaurant, there a few excellent options abound. Check out our favorite seafood restaurants in L.A., including a special-occasion splurge, a family-style grill and even a local market. RECOMMENDED: Guide to the best restaurants in Los Angeles
The best beer bars in Los Angeles
L.A.’s cocktail game is still supreme, but with new breweries pouring into town, craft beer continues to have a serious moment. Beer-centric gastropubs, breweries and gartens are popping up left and right, putting micro-beer in the spotlight. Whether you’re seeking an in-your-face local IPA or international sudsifaction, L.A.’s microbrew gems are in it for the long haul. From dive bars to beer gadens, here are the city’s best beer bars to check out now. RECOMMENDED: Best bars in Los Angeles
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Hot off the press, Bandit Brews is now open on Melrose and with a rotation of eight beers on tap and another eight in cans, all from local craft breweries. The spot soft opened this past July with two indoor rooms featuring a bar and wood-fire grill, a front outdoor seating section and an outdoor back patio (which is nearly completed). The menu showcases a variety of locally sourced meat, fish and produce with offerings like the grilled guacamole and La Diabla Shrimp that features a red chile sauce from the chef’s hometown of Oaxaca, Mexico.
When you put together two brothers with a passion for beer who, with the help of their friends, built the whole place themselves, you get Brews Brothers. The NoHo Arts District spot features 42 beers on draft and about 20 specialty bottles in a space with two pool tables, a shuffleboard table and foosball. The Burbank brewpub, which opened in April 2021, serves 29 (soon to be 34) beers on tap , including two house-brewed beers. Nosh on some pub fare like their brisket sliders, Holy Cluck chicken sandwich or any of their homemade burgers.
Santa Monica Brew Works
If you’re searching for some locally brewed beers on the Westside, swing by Santa Monica Brew Works. Their tasting room and beer garden offers a rotating selection of 15 to 20 beers on draft (with doubled brewery output and a permanent in-house food component on the horizon). Grab a pour of the award-winning Head in the Clouds Juicy DIPA or other year-round options which includes: 310 California Blonde Ale, Inclined IPA and Pali California-style Pilsner. There’s plenty of free on-site parking, and it’s only a few blocks from the E Line.
Lawless Brewing Co.
North Hollywood’s Lawless Brewing Co. was founded in 2010, but husband-and-wife team Ben and Whitney Wallace didn’t bring their garage project into a brick-and-mortar taproom until 2021. Ben teamed up with German-trained master brewer Josh McCombs to create Lawless’s tasty tap list with 16 rotating, house-brewed beers featuring pilsners, IPAs, sours and Belgian styles. Current fan favorites are NoHo Boho (Bohemian pilsner) and Dankershim (West Coast IPA). Stop by the family-friendly and dog-friendly community space in the NoHo Arts District and grab a beer and a bite from different food trucks and pop-up vendors every night.
Syncopated Brewing Company
Flying in or out of Long Beach? Order a flight around the corner from the airport at this throwback brewery. Syncopated Brewing Co. takes its name from the musical term for a variety of rhythms played together, and that’s exactly what Jason Van Fleet and Chris Klein offer through utilizing local resources, being as philanthropic as possible and having 12 beers on tap at any given time. Current crowd-pleasers include When Jimmy Hands Ya Lemons and whatever hazy is on at the time.
Fisherman’s Outlet Seafood
Serving classic seafood dishes from its counter in DTLA since 1961, Fisherman’s Outlet Seafood boasts over 15 fresh fish items on their menu. Everything here is homemade, from the soups (clam chowder, red chowder and lobster bisque) to the coleslaw, and they also offer a fresh seafood market where guests can order by the pound. Trying to figure out where to start? Stick with the local favorites: the fried fish and shrimp combo, as well as the grilled giant shrimp and fries with garlic butter sauce. And the best part, the restaurant is still owned and run by the original family and has stayed tried and true to their original dishes.
Tasty Duck Restaurant
True to their namesake, Tasty Duck offers a plethora of duck dishes, even encouraging guests to reserve a bird in advance. Their Peking roasted duck dishes, which are de-boned, are served three ways: sliced with the skin separated from the meat alongside pancakes, plum sauce and scallions; paired with soup or stir-fried with bean sprouts; or diners can choose all of the above. Other specialties include the filet mignon cubes with black pepper sauce and house-made tofu dishes like the Northern tofu.
Originally opened in SGV by husband and wife Alam and Grace Lam, then in Monrovia by their son-in-law, this cozy dumpling and noodle soup restaurant lives up to its name, serving high-quality dumplings. Along with choosing boiled, steamed or pan-fried dumplings, guests can opt for the dumpling and noodle soup combo, which comes with a half-portion of dumplings and a sizeable noodle soup.
Home to its famous slippery shrimp, Yang Chow Restaurant is a family-run staple in Chinatown, started by a family of five brothers who named the restaurant after their hometown. Once an old-school diner, the restaurant opened their doors in 1977 and now serves a menu of over 100 items from Mandarin and Sichuan cuisine. A Los Angeles Times review in the early 1980s featuring the aforementioned slippery shrimp launched Yang Chow into stardom; since then, customers have come here to try the dish along with other specialties including kung pao squid and General Tseng's chicken. If you can't make it to the Chinatown location, Yang Chow has branches in Canoga Park and Pasadena as well.
Din Tai Fung
You know the name by now: Din Tai Fung, the xia long bao mecca that started in Taiwan and now has SoCal locations in both Arcadia and Glendale (not to mention an OC spot as well). Each soup dumpling is meticulously made, resulting in lovely, thin-skinned pouches filled with savory pork (there are shrimp and veggie options, too, but you'll want to go with the pork) and hot broth, then eaten with a dab of soy sauce, vinegar and ginger. In Glendale, you can top them off with a slice of truffle (there's also a full bar at the Americana location).
Xi'an has been a favorite for Beverly Hills locals since 1996, serving traditional Chinese cuisine with an occasional fusion twist and an emphasis on healthy and flavorful cooking. Signature dishes range from the classic Peking duck, chicken potstickers and Szechuan string beans to contemporary versions of Crackerjack crispy shrimp, kung pao chicken and Xi'an's beef tenderloin. If you're looking for lighter menu options, they also offer veggie, low sodium and/or gluten free options.
This Tianjin breakfast place was originally founded by Anna Wen in her garage (hence the name) until she moved the location to a formal restaurant in Monterey Park. Garage Restaurant offers standard soy milk and tofu breakfast options like youtiao, a Chinese donut made of fried dough and baked with a layer of sugar on top, along with other exclusive breakfast items like Tianjin buns. The fresh wheat items along with Garage's fried dough with brown sugar, tofu jelly in gravy and crispy mung bean gabacai are must-trys.
12 vendors you need to try at Eat Drink Vegan 2018
The annual vegan food and beverage festival Eat Drink Vegan takes place this Saturday, May 26, at the Rose Bowl and the adjacent Brookside Golf Course. Originally conceived by Goldenvoice’s Nic Adler, a vegan and the co-owner of iconic Roxy Theatre, the event began as a small gathering in the Roxy parking lot and has turned into huge festival that hosts 10,000 hungry attendees annually. The fest features a highly curated selection of 100 restaurants and food vendors, 250-plus beverages and a plant-based marketplace that showcases clothing, candles, packaged foods, skin care and more. Along with local and other national vegan favorites, Adler and team have curated a variety of international vegan concepts as well, including Temple of Seitan from the UK, Charly’s Vegan Tacos from Mexico and the Dutch Burger from the Netherlands. If you’re heading out to this weekend’s event, these are the 12 vendors you need to visit. Donna Jean Photograph: Courtesy Lindsay Kriegbaum @cravedanddiffused Donna Jean, named after chef Roy Elam’s mom, is a San Diego restaurant (slated to come to L.A. in January 2019) that introduces a form of plant-based cuisine that even the most stubborn meat eaters can appreciate. At EDV, Donna Jean will serve their popular Nashville Hot Shrooms and two types of pizzas, the ‘Rita and the Thunderkiss ’65. The Vurger Co. Photograph: Courtesy the Vurger Co. After months of collaboration with famous vegan chef Chloe Coscarelli, the Vurger Co. will be serving