If you’ve seen my Santa Barbara food guide I posted a couple of weeks ago, then you’d know I went to California over winter break. After we spent a relaxing few days with family, my parents and I headed to the big city of Los Angeles. It was such a huge change of scenery from the small, quiet little city we were just in, to the loud, bustling atmosphere in LA!
I visited so many amazing restaurants and cafes, and I’m so excited to be sharing my Los Angeles food guide. Enjoy!
The Whisper Restaurant and Lounge
The Whisper is located in the Grove, which is an outdoor mall that literally has everything you could ever need! There were a ton of retail stores that I don’t have easy access to where I live, and SO many amazing restaurants I was dying to try. I even found a Dominique Ansel cafe, and you know how much I love Dominique Ansel (I went to his bakery in NYC, and I had the best pastries I’ve ever tasted in my life). So many celebrities/influencers in Los Angeles go to the Grove pretty frequently because of its stores and great eats, so I had to come and check it out. I’m so glad I did! I highly recommend stopping by if you’re in need of some retail therapy.
My parents and I split the Jidori chicken wings as an appetizer, and I enjoyed the yummy K-Town Salmon Bowl. I was pleasantly surprised by the salmon – it was nice and tender and covered with a yummy Asian-style sauce. My parents both enjoyed the chicken wings, which were almost a little too rich for my taste, but still OK.
Blu Jam Cafe
One of the things I remember most clearly throughout my entire trip to California is coming to Blu Jam after a VERY long morning of visiting Griffith’s observatory and the Warner Brother’s studio. Don’t get me wrong, I had a great experience visiting both of them, but we were so just exhausted pushing through the endless swarms of tourists and travelers! Lunch here was so refreshing, and was a much needed break from our eventful day.
I ordered a half-and-half combo with the vegan tofu sandwich and the Tuscany soup. I particularly enjoyed the sandwich, which I thought was really well made. The tofu was super crispy, the sauerkraut was pretty good, and honestly I could have eaten a whole bucket of the chipotle 1000 island sauce!
I felt SO annoying when I made my dad take this picture of me in front of Pressed Juicery, but I couldn’t help it! In LA, everything is so health oriented nowadays, and don’t laugh, but I felt really trendy taking this pic. I look like such a basic blogger in this moment!
One of Pressed Juicery’s more popular items is their Freeze, which is basically a healthy ice cream alternative. I was dying to give it a try, but it was around 30 degrees outside, so I decided to settle for a juice. I bought a bottle of the activated charcoal lemonade. It was pretty good, but I probably could have made it at home for a much cheaper price. It also stained my lips and I spent a great deal of time trying to scrub it off before dinner. I looked ridiculous!
Right before we headed to the airport to go home, my mom and I made a pit stop at Lemonade, yet another trendy, Los Angeles based cafe. I’m so sad I wasn’t able to have a full meal here. Their menu is huge and everything looked so good!
I don’t remember the exact name of my beverage… I’m pretty sure it was the skinny red lemonade with lavender elderflower. I also got one of their homemade vegan brownies, which was sweet, decadent, and surprisingly didn’t taste “healthy” at all!
If you don’t get coffee from Alfred’s in LA, did you really even go to LA at all?
I don’t have much to say about this place other than it was one of the best lattes I’ve ever had in my life. And as an avid coffee drinker, I’m pretty picky with my caffeinated beverages! I don’t know what Alfred’s secret is, but after having a sip of their latte with almond milk, I was in heaven. A latte paired with one of their giant cranberry scones was such a great start to my day!
Plus, I’m obsessed with their adorable neon “but first, coffee” sign! Isn’t it so cute??
眉州东坡 (Meizhou Dongpo)
Y’all. Out of all of the restaurants I went to in LA, this was probably my favorite. Meizhou Dongpo is probably the best Chinese food I’ve had in the U.S., because it actually started out in Beijing before branching out to California. All of the food is completely authentic – no orange chicken or beef and broccoli or Asian-American stuff here! My family and I enjoyed this restaurant so much that we ended up coming twice – once for dinner and once for lunch before we headed to the airport.
We ordered so many different dishes! But to be fair, Chinese food is usually eaten “tapas style” (kind of). Basically, you order a bunch of food to share with everyone at the table, so the portion sizes are relatively small. I can’t remember everything we ordered, but I do recall enjoying the Sichuan dumplings, classic Dongpo pork, and Sichuan cold noodles. We also ordered the serrano pepper beef, wood ear mushrooms, Pettitoes and soybean soup, and Meizhou pork buns.
I wanted to find a nice Italian restaurant to enjoy on our last night in LA, and Uovo was just the perfect place! It reminded me of Padella in London… remember how I raved about them in my London food guide? Ahhh I miss London! Anways, it’s a tiny, hole-in-the-wall location with a relatively small menu but extremely well-made food. They cook the food right in front of you, so you can actually see the chefs making your dish! All of the pasta is handmade and directly sourced from Italy, so it’s completely fresh and authentic.
I think I ordered the Tortellini Crema di Parmigiano? Since the dishes are written in Italian, it’s kind of hard for me to remember what I got! Regardless, it was super creamy and cheesy and reminded me of my love for stuffed pasta of all kinds. My parents and I also shared a side of sautéed mushrooms.
It was a beautiful, sunny day in California, and after checking out of our hotel in the morning, we drove down to Venice beach. It was such a nice day! My parents and I rented some bikes and rode along the sand, enjoying the glittering blue ocean and the gentle breeze.
After spending an hour or two riding bikes and relaxing on the sand, we headed to Eggslut. I’m sure you’ve all heard of this trendy place somewhere, because it’s a very popular breakfast sandwich location. Like Uovo, their menu is pretty short, but everything is very well made. They’re well known for specializing in egg sandwiches! I ordered the Fairfax sandwich, which is a brioche bun stuffed with scrambled eggs, cheese, caramelized onions, and mayonnaise. The eggs were so delicate and flavorful! I ate my sandwich with some coffee, and I also tried a sip of their freshly squeezed orange juice.
Looking back at all of these delicious eats, I’m really missing all of the great food in Los Angeles! Unfortunately, you can’t find anything like it here in Dallas. I hope you’ve enjoyed all of my California adventures! If you missed part one, you can click here for my Santa Barbara food guide.
PS. It’s been a pretty long, stressful week back at school, but I’ll be back very soon with another recipe. I’ve been working on it and doing some finishing touches for a long time. I’m really excited to share it with you guys! :)