Someone told me to not expect much out of the food in LA. They clearly haven’t spent enough time in LA. Because they couldn’t have been more wrong.
All of our eats put my airplane food to shame (I cooked Will and I some chicken and sweet potato wedges for our long flight our to Cali). Simple and good- but this was a mere palette cleanser to get us ready for all of the awesome food ahead.
The food in California was excellent. Every meal that Will and I hunted out was amazing. I did lots of research before hand and compiled a list of places we had to go and then there were some surprises along the way that we discovered.
While there were certainly some indulgent treats- I was pleasantly surprised at how fresh and health minded all of the food was. I didn’t feel like a weirdo wanting gluten free things (in fact, that was the norm in so many spots) and it was completely normal to want to eat food exactly the way you wanted it to be.
I don’t have time to give a full review of everywhere but here’s a brief run down of the things I stuffed my face with on the west coast.
Thanks to Will’s phone, we found a restaurant with a killer breakfast right around the corner from our hotel. It was called M Street Kitchen (which is hilarious because it sounds like it could be in DC- and apparently they’re opening a Rockville, MD location!). We went here four times. They had solid egg breakfasts, fun pancakes, a poached egg over root vegetable hash that I loved, and a nice outdoor setting. Good price- good food- good spot.
When we weren’t there for breakfast- we tried out some other local spots.
We hit up Huckleberry in Santa Monica- oh. my. goodness. Just look at the pictures.
We both got a brisket hash- GAH. Can’t say enough good things. And we split a little banana bread that was completely vegan and gluten free. Yum.I discovered a place in Venice through instagram called Superba Food + Bread and we went there another day. Will got the most legit looking cinnamon roll ever and moroccan stew with eggs. And I got a breakfast sandwich with kale and linguica (yesss!)The most perfect egg that ever was…And then there was another local place- Dogtown Coffee. I got the greatest acai bowl for breakfast with eggs and Will got a smoked salmon platter. Plus there coffee was really good.When I ordered my food the guy was like- oh did you just workout? And I was like… no (haha sucka I just love food and big breakfasts- get outta here!)
Lunches and Dinner
On our first night, we had pizza from 800 Degrees. It’s made to order neopolitan style pizza make in like five minutes. The ingredients were so quality and delicious- like they were better than the crust and the sauce and the cheese. I could’ve eaten the mushrooms and eggplant and meatballs forever.And I had the best pastrami sandwich of my life from Wexler’s Deli. We picked up sandwiches to take to the Dodgers game with us- best decision. They were hands down the best part of the day. I’ve never had tastier pastrami.We experienced the magic that is Umami Burger. Will got a regular burger and I got an ahi tuna burger wrapped in lettuce- so clutch after a long morning at the beach.
I think one of the best things I ate on the trip was at Border Grill for lunch. I got this shredded pork and plantain dish that I could’ve cried over it was so good. I was silent throughout this entire meal- except to say occasionally, holy crap this is the best.Will got tacos- it was Tuesday afterall!Nearby our hotel was a restaurant called True Food Kitchen (they’re building one in Virginia in the Mosaic District area!). Their food was reliably healthy and tasty. I got some simple pacific seafood with veggies and brown rice. It sounds boring- but it was done really well.
Another one of the only redeeming things about Hollywood was finding Michael Voltaggio’s sandwich shop, Ink.Sack. He has a restaurant called Ink around the corner, too. You might recognize his name… his brother Bryan has restaurants in DC. On the Ink.Sack menu there was a sandwich called the “Jose Andres” BAHHH a little bit of DC love in California! Anyway, I got a tuna salad sandwich with a side of spicy marinated pineapple- yeah baby.In our jaunt up to Malibu we ate at none other than, Malibu Seafood. I got some grilled fish with a salad and a baked potato. It was classic beach feelin’ food. Served with beloved tartar sauce- Allison’s seaside heaven.On a further seafood note- on our last night in Santa Monica we went to Tar and Roses and at a whole fish. Seriously. This is how it came out! Literally a fried red snapper.They cut it in a way where you could just pull the meat off the fish. We cleaned that bad boy good. They also had some bomb desserts- featuring ice cream from L.A. creamery. These desserts were stupid good.
And then our last lunch Santa Monica was at Cha Cha Chicken– known for authentic Caribbean food. My friend Maggie recommended it to me and I’m so glad she did! The fried plantains melted in my mouth. So good.
Snacks and Such
There were a bajillion juice places in LA but the one that we cozied up to was Nekter. Mainly because they also had acai bowls. Will had his first one ever and I devoured a tropical version that included coconut. I was all about it. It was clutch to be able to order a juice and take it to the beach with you. Refreshment!I also had some PERFECT coconut water while I was there. It was better than anything I’ve ever tasted. I got it at Intelligensia on Abbot Kinney Blvd. instead of coffee because I had a headache (annoying) and while it didn’t cure my head- it soothed my soul.Speaking of Intelligensia… it’s from Chicago and Will is a little obsessed. Thus, we had to go to the LA location. I’m glad we did though because it was wicked cool. It’s in a really unique building. It was really industrial looking.We got ice cream from Sweet Rose Creamery– which came highly recommended. Their homemade waffle cone was impressive and I really liked their mint ice cream.
Oh. And OBVIOUSLY I hit up the Whole Foods in Santa Monica! I bought some coconut oil there (to soothe sunburns for the most part) and a few snacky things. Including pecan butter… which I’ve never seen before! I slathered it on a banana one morning- yep- tastes like spreadable pecans- what a surprise!
Andddd now after this recap I’m ready to go back and eat everything all over again.
WAIT. One more thing- if you’re eating airport food at LAX- go to terminal 5 and eat at Lemonade. Best airport food ever. Ahi tuna and brussel sprouts? YEAH. Perfect.
Now I’m done.
Keep it wicked healthy xoxo