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A selection of food from Los Angeles restaurants
(Photo illustration by Martina Ibáñez-Baldor / Los Angeles Times; photographs by Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times; Silvia Razgova / For The Times; Klose Up Photography)
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The ultimate Los Angeles restaurant delivery and takeout guide

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The wondrous complexity of Los Angeles makes it America’s most compelling dining city. As with restaurant cultures around the world, our chefs, restaurateurs and their staffs have faced unprecedented challenges during the pandemic crisis. To sustain the industry, takeout has become the lifeline of restaurants — the necessary means into which our best culinary minds funnel their creativity and maintain a sense of community with diners.

Here are more than 100 restaurants where my colleagues Patricia Escárcega, Jenn Harris, Lucas Kwan Peterson, Garrett Snyder and I have savored takeout since the mid-March shutdown. The list encapsulates the foods that make eating in Southern California singular: kebabs and Iranian stews, smothered oxtails, Ethiopian vegetable platters, regional Mexican and Chinese specialties (including Oaxacan tlayudas, peerless Sonoran flour tortillas, Sichuan toothpick lamb and Macao-style pork buns, for starters), pizza and pasta, Syrian kibbeh. Our palates still travel the globe from our tables at home.

In uncertain times, a carne asada taco or jeweled chirashi bowl can shift a mood, calm a storm, recast the day. For more recommendations, visit latimes.com/food and sign up for our weekly Tasting Notes newsletter. Those who feed us from restaurant kitchens and serve us from takeout windows (or deliver our meals) are on the front lines; please remember to tip generously.

— Bill Addison, restaurant critic

Food Bowl Takeout and Give Back is making financial contributions to the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank. Please show your support and donate now.

Al & Bea's bean and cheese burrito.
(Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

Al & Bea’s Mexican Food

Boyle Heights | Mexican | $
The Carreon family’s 50-year-old burrito stand in Boyle Heights is a neighborhood institution and home to arguably the city’s most famous bean and cheese burrito. A hearty chile relleno burrito wrapped in yellow paper is fine takeout fare, though taquitos with guacamole and green chile cheese fries carry well too. Ask for extra oregano-kissed house hot sauce. Pickup or delivery.
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All Day Baby
ADB biscuit sandwich from All Day Baby.
(Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)

All Day Baby

Silver Lake | American | $$
Chef Jonathan Whitener and business partner Lien Ta take a masterful grab-bag approach to big flavors: spicy wings, smoked whitefish melt, barbecued ribs, a carnitas burrito. The breakfast sandwich is glorious, layered with scrambled eggs, white American cheese, bacon or sausage (or both) and a spoonful of strawberry jam whose sweetness ends up making a strange kind of sense. Speaking of sweet: Look out for pastry chef Thessa Diadem’s strawberry and cream pie, which sells out fast when it’s available.
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Akasha

Culver City | American | $$
Featuring California and New American cuisine, Akasha’s menu is created with cultural influences taken from Chef Akasha Richmond’s many travels around the world and changes seasonally, reflecting local and sustainable ingredients.
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Fresh spun strawberry, left, and ricotta with pistachio ice cream at Antico.
(Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)

Antico

Larchmont | Italian
Antico’s pivot strategy boils down to four happy-making words: pizza and ice cream. Chad Colby builds pies from billowing rectangles of focaccia. The pizzas can easily feed a small family, though cheese and pepperoni also are available as square slices, which makes an ideal midday snack for one. To disappear into one of pastry chef Brad Ray’s pints of ice cream is luxury escapism. His lavish Harry’s Berries strawberry ice cream, as tangy as it is sweet and rich, deserves a splurge. Pickup or delivery.
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A.O.C. Wine Bar

Beverly Grove | French | $$$
L.A. Times’ 101 Best Restaurants
| 2019 | #41
Inspired by the original A.O.C., the Wine Bar features a wide selection of Caroline Styne’s favorite new- and old-world wines paired with Suzanne Goin’s signature small-plates menu. Offering brunch and dinner.
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A vegetarian string hopper meal (including sides of beet curry, okra, and grated-coconut pol sambol) at Apey Kade in Tarzana.
(Silvia Razgova / For The Times)

Apey Kade

Tarzana | Sri Lankan | $
L.A. Times’ 101 Best Restaurants
| 2019 | #99
Lalith Rodrigo and his wife, chef Niza Hashim, are natives of Colombo, the port-city capital of Sri Lanka. Hashim makes fantastic string hoppers — thin rice-flour noodles steamed into flat, pearly nests and served with a golden spiced coconut-milk gravy and other garnishes. Lamprais, a feast of chicken or beef curry with vegetables and other sides warmed in a banana leaf, was a takeout mainstay well before the current crisis, though it tastes especially soothing in these times.
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A square-slice pepperoni pizza from Apollonia's Pizzeria.
A square-slice pepperoni pizza from Apollonia’s Pizzeria in Los Angeles on Saturday, April 13, 2019. This off-menu item is only offered at noon on Fridays and after 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. (Calvin B. Alagot / Los Angeles Times)
(Calvin B. Alagot / Los Angeles Times)

Apollonia’s Pizzeria

Mid-Wilshire | Italian | $$
Justin De Leon’s Mid-Wilshire pizzeria has become a magnet for his take on the Detroit-style square pie. The crust is ringed with cheese so caramelized and glassy it resembles spun sugar. He’ll baptize the surface in herb oil and splotch it with burrata after baking. Available fresh from the oven whole or by the slice, the square is an off-the-menu special once reserved for weekends but lately offered more frequently. Check Instagram or call ahead. De Leon also fashions lovely thin, round pizzas crowned with combinations like grape tomato, goat cheese, Kalamata olives, pesto and lamb sausage. Pickup or delivery.
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Beef tongue sandwich is on the menu at Attari Sandwich Shop in Los Angeles.
(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

Attari Sandwich Shop

Westwood
Attari is a mainstay of Tehrangeles, as the Westwood-based Iranian community has long been designated, where customers linger over lunch under umbrellas in its sunny courtyard. Standouts include thinly sliced beef tongue with pickles on a soft French roll; and kuku sabzi, an herb-dense egg dish similar to a frittata that’s also a requisite at Nowruz.
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LOS ANGELES, CA -- MONDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2018-- The newly established restaurant Banh Oui, a vietnamese inspired sandwich shop opened this past July in Hollywood, Calif. The organic fried chicken sandwich offers pickles, cole slaw and peppers. (Maria Alejandra Cardona / Los Angeles Times)
(Maria Alejandra Cardona / Los Angeles Times)

Banh Oui

Hollywood | $$
Casey Felton and Armen Piskoulian introduced their modern riffs on banh mi at Smorgasburg L.A. before opening a permanent storefront. At Banh Oui, chicken liver pâté enriches a chicken meatball variation; mint among the usual cilantro and scallions adds piercing grace notes. The compact, ultra-cheesy khachapuri that Felton and Piskoulian make as a side business (it’s sold at the same location) is obsession-worthy.
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Carne guisada (stewed beef) puffy tacos from Bar Amá, a Tex-Mex restaurant downtown.
Carne guisada (stewed beef) puffy tacos from Bar Amá, a Tex-Mex restaurant downtown.
(Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times)

Bar Amá

Downtown
L.A. Times’ 101 Best Restaurants
| 2019 | #7
Josef Centeno’s take on the Tex-Mex/Tejano cooking of his San Antonio childhood — chicken enchiladas with tomatillo salsa, breakfast burrito, arguably the best queso in California — is universal comfort. Nachos kit? Bring it on. Pickup and delivery.
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Bavel's malawach.

Bavel’s malawach.

(Mariah Tauger / For The Times)

Bavel

Downtown | Middle Eastern | $$$
L.A. Times’ 101 Best Restaurants
| 2019 | #11
Ori Menashe and Genevieve Gergis’ Arts District blockbuster whirls together Israeli, Egyptian, Moroccan and Southern Californian flavors; there will be a variation on hummus and a sunny centerpiece like a chicken leg fragrant with saffron or short rib tagine over couscous. The full menu is available for takeout, as is a weekly changing multicourse menu. Pickup only.
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For the sweet course, the Beijing Pie House offers the Rolling Donkey.
(Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times)

Beijing Pie House

Alhambra
The restaurant specializes in xian bing, savory meat pies filled with things like lamb and green onion or nappa cabbage and pork. They’re great reheated or at room temperature, eaten out of the container on the way home. The Alhambra location is also selling bags of frozen dumplings, so you can pan-fry or boil them whenever the craving hits. Pickup and delivery.
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Roasted Marrow Bone with spinach gnocchetti, crispy breadcrumbs and aged balsamic from Bestia.
(Silvia Razgova / For The Times)

Bestia

Downtown
L.A. Times’ 101 Best Restaurants
| 2019 | #24
In takeout form, Bestia still goes full-blast Italian. The set menu might kick off with house-made salumi and segue to a Little Gem salad with walnut orange blossom vinaigrette, ricotta dumplings with sausage and black truffles, Wagyu short rib and vanilla bean panna cotta with berries. Pickup only.
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Bludso's on La Brea will be serving Kevin Bludso's Texas BBQ along with craft beer and cocktails.
(Betty Hallock / Los Angeles Times)

Bludso’s

Fairfax | American | $$
Texas native Kevin Bludso is a forefather of L.A.’s modern barbecue — and brisket — boom. Though his original restaurant in Compton closed in 2016, his much larger La Brea location maintains the straightforward splendor of his brisket, beef sausage and ribs, with porky greens and banana pudding framing the meal. Pickup or delivery.
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Bags of crab, shrimp and sausage at Boiling Crab in Alhambra.
(Jenn Harris / Los Angeles Times)

Boiling Crab

Koreatown | $$
A meal at one of the Boiling Crab restaurants (there are several in Southern California) usually involves a gobsmacking amount of boiled-in-bag shrimp doused with Cajun spices and lemon-garlic butter and dumped ceremoniously onto a paper-lined table for feasting. It turns out the Boiling Crab experience translates well at home, provided you don’t feel the need to pour out crawfish and crab legs on your kitchen counter. Bulk out your order with corn on the cob, lemon pepper fries and some rice to soak up that flavorful sauce. Delivery or pickup.
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Bone Kettle noodles and broth with beef ribs.
(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

Bone Kettle

Pasadena | Southeast Asian
The menu at chef Erwin Tjahyadi’s Pasadena restaurant is influenced by the Indonesian flavors of his youth. There’s Indonesian fried rice, rendang carbonara, and then there’s the bone broth. The stock is rich and milky — cooked down for 36 hours. It’s served with springy noodles and a hunk of protein of your choice. Pickup and delivery.
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Nem nuong cuon (grilled pork spring rolls) from Brodard Chateau in Fountain Valley.
(Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)

Brodard Restaurant

Fountain Valley | Vietnamese
It’s difficult to exhaust the sweeping menu at this long-running Vietnamese restaurant, but it’s a mistake to avoid the signature nem nuong cuon, grilled pork spring rolls, each bite vivid with crunchy bits of meat, chives and bracing hints of mint. The crisp rice flour saucers called banh khot are excellent, and you can easily build a meal around the restaurant’s skewered filet mignon or grilled rack of lamb. Pickup and delivery.
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A selection of sushi from The Brothers Sushi in Woodland Hills.
(Andrea Chang / Los Angeles Times)

The Brothers Sushi

Woodland Hills | Japanese | $$
Mark Okuda, a longtime chef at Studio City’s Asanebo, took over this Woodland Hills sushi staple in 2018, keeping the name but making the menu entirely his own. For a lunchtime splurge, opt for the $50 chirashi bowl, a piscine rainbow over sushi rice. It’s an equal pleasure, though, to order a yellowtail-scallion hand roll alongside a few pieces of nigiri (buttery nodoguro, silky hotate, mild kanpachi) or a sashimi plate like halibut and cucumber dressed in yuzu vinegar and shiso oil. Pickup only.
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Burritos La Palma
Within the flour tortillas are fillings that include beef birria and first-rate chicharrón en salsa verde at Burritos La Palma.
(Christina House / Los Angeles Times)

Burritos La Palma

El Monte | Mexican | $
L.A. Times’ 101 Best Restaurants
| 2019 | #15
Long before the recent birria mania, the Bañuelos Lugo family perfected the birria burrito at its first taqueria in Jerez, Zacatecas, back in the early 1980s. The winning equation: spiced stewed beef (and nothing else) swaddled in a flour tortilla that’s crisped on the griddle to a golden sturdiness. Pickup only.
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Cueritos and mixo tacos at Carnitas El Momo. The Acosta family suggests trying its carnitas garnished only with pickled vegetables.
(Michael Owen Baker / For The Times)

Carnitas El Momo

Boyle Heights | Mexican | $
L.A. Times’ 101 Best Restaurants
| 2019 | #65
If ever there were a food named appropriately for the times, it’s the “Aporkalypse,” a massive carnitas taco filled with a mix of maciza (chopped pork shoulder), cuerito (squiggly slivers of pork skin) and buche (delicate slices of pork stomach). It’s a specialty of the Acosta family, whose carnitas rate as a civic treasure. Carnitas by the pound, ordered for pickup in Boyle Heights, come with tortillas, salsa, limes and garnishes. Pickup only.
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During the pandemic, Carousel is offering a new rotating menu of specials.
(Jenn Harris / Los Angeles Times)

Carousel

Glendale | Lebanese-Armenian | $$
This Middle Eastern restaurant is known for its excellent kebab plates and mezze. But during quarantine, owners Rosalie and Mike Tcholakian created a new rotating menu of specials that Mike’s mother, Rose, normally only cooks at home for the family. Rose, 73, who is the chef de cuisine at the restaurant, is making dishes such as chicken kabsa (cumin- and turmeric-marinated chicken thighs) and dawood basha (ground beef meatballs braised in tomato sauce) in addition to the regular menu. Delivery or pickup.
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SANTA MONICA, CA., SEPTEMBER 15, 2016 -- Vietnamese Sunbathing Prawns with Fresno chiles, garlic, and Vietnamese hot sauce. Cassia is a casually cool spot for upscale French-Asian fare & seafood served indoors or on the cozy patio, located in Santa Monica. (kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

SANTA MONICA, CA., SEPTEMBER 15, 2016 -- Vietnamese Sunbathing Prawns with Fresno chiles, garlic, and Vietnamese hot sauce. Cassia is a casually cool spot for upscale French-Asian fare & seafood served indoors or on the cozy patio, located in Santa Monica. (kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

(Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

Cassia

Santa Monica | Vietnamese | French | $$$
L.A. Times’ 101 Best Restaurants
| 2019 | #13
Cassia’s singular mashup of cultures (Vietnamese, Malaysian, Singaporean and Southern Californian among them) is as honed as ever. Order standouts like kaya toast sandwiching coconut jam; wontons filled with shrimp, cod and country ham in chile oil; and the ever-wonderful seafood laksa. They’re available as individual meals or bundled into family meals with multiple choices. Delivery or pickup.
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The chile relleno burrito from Chori-Man in San Pedro.
(Jenn Harris / Los Angeles Times)

The Chori-Man

San Pedro | Mexican | $
Humberto “Chori-Man” Raygoza is something of a San Pedro celebrity. His neighborhood shop sells scratch-made artisan chorizo in a variety of flavors, from Zacatecas-style red chorizo stained with guajillo chiles to earthy Toucan-style green chorizo made with poblanos. But the reason regulars beat a path to Raygoza’s door each morning is the shop’s breakfast burritos: hulking things stuffed with tender chunks of potato and two fried eggs and served with a duet of blazing salsas. Delivery or pickup.
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A plate of Hainan chicken and rice from Cluck2Go restaurant in Pasadena.
(Stan Lee)

Cluck2Go

Pasadena | Singaporean | $
For their Singaporean-style Hainan chicken, owner Qi Yang and his daughter Jenny Yang use fresh, locally raised chickens poached with lemongrass and other spices. The essence of the bird chimes through the rice and broth served on the side. Pickup only.
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Ceviche from Coni' Seafood.
Ceviche from Coni’ Seafood.
(Mariah Tauger / For The Times )

Coni’Seafood

Inglewood | Mexican | $$
Connie Cossio runs this South Bay institution serving Nayarit-style seafood dishes. Home in on camarones borrachos, a dish of shrimp sautéed with garlic and crushed pepper and then set alight in tequila. Fluffy rice alongside absorbs the thin, rich sauce. Delivery or pickup.
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(Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times )

Connie & Ted’s

West Hollywood | Seafood | $$$
L.A. Times’ 101 Best Restaurants
| 2019 | #71
At Michael Cimarusti’s casual New England seafood spot, fried clam bellies and loaded lobster rolls pay homage to the breezy charm of beachside fish shacks. Supple peel-and-eat shrimp and a bowl of savory chowder make for dependable takeout, but the kitchen turns out a mean bacon burger with aged cheddar too. Pickup or delivery.
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Sausage pizza with mustard greens at Cosa Buona in Echo Park.

Sausage pizza with mustard greens at Cosa Buona in Echo Park.

(Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times)

Cosa Buona

Echo Park | Italian | $$
Zack Pollack amassed a following for revisionist Italian food at Silver Lake’s Alimento, but it’s his casual red-sauce joint in Echo Park that’s best suited for a pizza and movie night. Cosa Buona nails indulgent Italian American fare like smoked mozzarella sticks and oozy eggplant Parm. A legit Neapolitan pizza topped with barbecue sauce, chicken and cilantro? It works. Delivery or pickup.
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Craig’s

West Hollywood | American | $$$
At Craig’s, you’ll find something for every appetite, with Chef Kursten Kizer’s menu of classic American fare, from upscale comfort food to vegan specialties.
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Clark shaves a piece of cheese for tasting at DTLA Cheese. Now that we're heading into fall, look for Alpine cheeses that are peaking in flavor.
(Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

DTLA Cheese

Downtown | American | $$
DTLA Cheese is not simply cheese — is it strange to say that? Yes, there is the eternal wisdom of cheesemonger Lydia Clarke, who is always happy to dole out dairy-related advice, but in the event you’re in the mood for more than just an A-plus chunk of Comté, there’s also killer tomato soup, mac and cheese, and a grilled cheese that spills satisfyingly for at least a couple of inches beyond the diameter of the bread. Enjoy with some very good pickles. Outdoor dining available at the Grand Central Market, as well as pickup.
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The Beef Wellington from Dialogue.
(Andrea Chang / Los Angeles Times)

Dialogue

Santa Monica | $$$$
L.A. Times’ 101 Best Restaurants
| 2019 | #6
Dave Beran has been creating three-course dinners of comforts like tomato, strawberry and burrata salad; hangar steak with chimichurri and vegetables; and, for dessert, stone fruit cobbler. In early August Beran will reimagine the restaurant as an al fresco wine bar called Tidbits by Dialogue, serving small plates that will also be available for takeout. Beran’s famous take on Basque cheesecake, its crown burnt and its base oozing, will continue to be a mainstay. Pickup only.
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Fried chicken, collard greens, mac and cheese, black-eyed peas and a spread of other sides at Dulan's on Crenshaw.
(Andrea Chang / Los Angeles Times)

Dulan’s on Crenshaw

Hyde Park | American | $$
Oxtails should be simmered until the meat is somewhere between tensile and melting, barely cohering to the bone. Dulan’s does them right. For sides? Collard greens, mac and cheese, and black-eyed peas. If oxtails don’t appeal, the fried chicken is righteous — and it’s satisfying the next day, straight from the refrigerator. Pickup or delivery.
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Carne asada and chile Colorado tacos from El Ruso.
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - Jan. 11, 2020: Carne asada and chile Colorado tacos in El Ruso taqueria, co-owned by taquero Walter Soto and tortillera Julia Silva, on Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020, at the outdoor El Ruso trailer in an industrial part of Boyle Heights, in Los Angeles. (Silvia Razgova / For the Times) Assignment ID: 477420
(Silvia Razgova / For The Times)

El Ruso

Boyle Heights | Mexican
Walter Soto and Julia Silva make some of the most spectacular tacos in Los Angeles. Silva is a tortilla artist; Sonoran-style flour discs are her pliant canvases. Soto grills the meats and composes the tacos. Carne asada, beef birria and a wondrous, chin-staining chile colorado typically comprise the fillings: Get all three. Pickup only.
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The Stoner Party pie from Fat & Flour.
LOS ANGELES,CA., JUNE 24, 2020: Stoner Party pie from Fat & Flour in the Grand Central Market (Bill Addison/Los Angeles Times)
(Bill Addison / Los Angeles Times)

Fat & Flour

Downtown
Nicole Rucker had already built a reputation as the brightest star in the L.A. pie universe, but her talent is on exceptional display these days. She closed her short-lived Fairfax restaurant Fiona last summer and regrouped this year with a stand in Grand Central Market, where she makes every pie herself. Order in advance for pickups on Fridays and Saturdays; pies made with the ripest seasonal fruits rightly sell out first.
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(Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)

Felix

Venice | Italian | $$$
L.A. Times’ 101 Best Restaurants
| 2019 | #49
Focaccia and pizzas from Evan Funke’s Venice trattoria reheat beautifully, and a lemony chicory salad jolts the palate out of hibernation. Pasta, though, is the center of Funke’s universe; he recently published a book on mastering it at home. Rather than preparing hot pasta to-go at Felix, the restaurant sells kits of freshly extruded rigatoni, pappardelle, spaghetti and other shapes with sauces — an easy boil-and-serve situation. Funke, resolutely and perhaps infamously, prefers his pasta molto al dente, and he serves it that way in his dining room. Now’s the opportunity to prepare his take on a classic like rigatoni all’Amatriciana to your own taste. It will be magnificent. Delivery or pickup.
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ANAHEIM, CA-May 28, 2019: The Cheese Boat from Forn Al Hara restaurant in Anaheim on Tuesday, May 28, 2019. (Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)
ANAHEIM, CA-May 28, 2019: The Cheese Boat from Forn Al Hara restaurant in Anaheim on Tuesday, May 28, 2019. (Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)
(Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)

Forn Al Hara

Anaheim | Lebanese | $
Mohammad Alam oversees the ovens of this exemplary Lebanese bakery, in the core of Anaheim’s Little Arabia district, that focuses on manakeesh — breakfast flatbreads topped with three dozen variations of ingredients. Za’atar with cheese or sujuk with eggs are two favorites. Eat the manakeesh outside immediately and take home spinach fatayer and ma’amoul (delicate cookies crowned with pistachios, walnuts or almonds) for later. Pickup only.
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Oaxacan barbecued goat is flavored with dried red chiles, cloves and ripe tomatoes.
(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

Gish Bac

Arlington Heights | Mexican | $$
Need overt beauty in your life right now? Behold the tlayuda at Gish Bac — a circle of life layered with pureed black beans, lacy Oaxacan string cheese, grilled steak and chicken and chile-marinated pork, with slices of tomato, avocado and slivers of rajas arranged like spokes radiating from a wheel’s center. The crackle of the foundational oversize tortilla is key, as is your ability to consume it as quickly as possible. The other specialty at Maria Ramos and David Padilla’s restaurant is barbacoa, either goat long-simmered with chiles or a less saucy, cumin-scented variation with lamb. Both are wonderful. Weekends only. Pickup or delivery.
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Bun chao tom and thit nuong and cha gio from Golden Deli Vietnamese Restaurant.
SAN GABRIEL, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 22, 2014: Bun Chao Tom and Thit Nuong & Cha Gio (shrimp paste and grilled pork and egg roll with rice vermicelli) as seen from Golden Deli Vietnamese Restaurant on April 22 in San Gabriel. (Gary Friedman/Los Angeles Times)
(Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)

Golden Deli

San Gabriel | Vietnamese | $
Vietnamese food is all about the contrast of hot and cool: getting a perfect bite of chả giò, crispy fried spring rolls stuffed with pork, and the cool crunch of lettuce and sweet funk of fish sauce. Or slurping a hot bowl of anise-inflected beef pho and munching on bean sprouts and fresh herbs. There aren’t many places that do it better than Golden Deli, and we sincerely hope that never changes. Pickup only — get your food and enjoy it at one of the nearby parks.
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Guelaguetza moles.
Among the expert moles is the bold estofado, bottom right.
(Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)

Guelaguetza

Harvard Heights | Mexican | $$
L.A. Times’ 101 Best Restaurants
| 2019 | #98
Moles are the crossword puzzles of Oaxacan cooking. Their complexities tease and challenge our brains; we need them more than ever. Bricia Lopez and her family have created family meals with one of four moles (negro, rojo, coloradito and the stewy variation, fortified with almonds and raisins, known as estofado) and either grilled chicken or pork carnitas. Scroll through the online menu to see other combination and solo meal options, including a platter of seven appetizers (guacamole, taquitos and fried guacamole among them) and herbed chicken soup to feed a crowd. Pickup or delivery.
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Baja-style fried cod taco, with cabbage slaw, chile morita, cilantro, chipotle crema, from Guerrilla Tacos.

Baja-style fried cod taco, with cabbage slaw, chile morita, cilantro, chipotle crema, from Guerrilla Tacos.

(Peter Cheng / For The Times)

Guerrilla Tacos

Downtown | Mexican | $$
If you remember Wes Avila’s singular tacos served from a scrappy Arts District stand nearly a decade ago, you know the chef’s mettle: He knows how to make a situation work. Tacos remain his palette on which to mix modern Angeleno flavors, including favorites like sweet potato with feta, almond salsa and fried corn. Pickup and delivery.
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Gwen

Hollywood
A butcher shop and fine-dining restaurant, Curtis Stone’s Gwen calls on fire-based cooking techniques and offers elegant and delicious meals and sides perfect for any occasion.
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Hail Mary Pizza

Atwater Village
The pizzeria’s flavor combinations (lamb neck, with the texture of pot roast, strewn among nettles and Calabrian chiles; potato, chard, lemon and lemon zest) lean toward boldfaced without becoming too zany. The meatball pie brings the fundamental Italian American gusto: polpette with mozzarella and oregano under a dusting of Parmesan. Salads (avocado and seasonal citrus or grilled peach, ham and burrata) bring the senses back to California. Pickup or delivery.
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Harold & Belle’s

Jefferson Park
This third-generation, family-run Creole restaurant in Jefferson Park has a local history that’s as colorful as its jambalaya. Go for the grilled catfish topped with a trinity of sautéed onions, celery and bell peppers, the shrimp scampi or a po’ boy stuffed with fried Gulf oysters. Rich okra gumbo — thickened with a midnight-dark roux and a dose of filé powder — is a must for vegetarians. Pickup or delivery.
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Octopus, cranberry beans, troves, lemon aioli and salsa verde at Hatchet Hall in Culver City.
Octopus, cranberry beans, troves, lemon aioli and salsa verde at Hatchet Hall in Culver City.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Hatchet Hall

Culver City | Southern | $$$
Brian Dunsmoor’s rustic Southern spot in Culver City delivers unfussy comfort food that feels at home in California. Roasted shishitos and cheddar add a pop of color to tangy cornbread, while grilled lamb chops come with salsa verde and smoky tonnato sauce. Don’t miss the Low Country-style shrimp boil on weekends. Pickup or delivery.
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The Leaning Tower of Watts burger at Hawkins House of Burgers: Three ground beef patties, bacon, a chicken wing, a couple of fried eggs, melted cheese, lettuce, tomato and onion rings.
(Patricia Escárcega / Los Angeles Times)

Hawkins House of Burgers

Willowbrook
The esteemed Watts burger restaurant is known best for its baroque Angus beef burgers, densely built with char-edged patties and generously layered with add-ons such as thick apple-smoked bacon. The restaurant has expanded its menu over the years to offer breakfast and lighter options, including veggie burgers and grilled chicken sandwiches, but the thing to try once is the Whipper Burger, a double-patty burger served with pastrami and a hot link.
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LOS ANGELES, CA-January 22, 2019: The tagliolini with duck ragu from Hippo restaurant in Highland Park on Tuesday, January 22, 2019. (Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)
(Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)

Hippo

Highland Park | Italian | $$$
L.A. Times’ 101 Best Restaurants
| 2019 | #82
Matt Molina’s fettuccine with pork ragu springs from its container like a dozen clowns climbing out of a compact car. Shake out the strands and the mass mystically expands to fill a bowl, precisely al dente and almost too hot to eat. But the food excels beyond pasta: Smoked ocean trout with lentils and mushrooms duly expresses lightness and heft; even the simplicity of lettuce with radish vinaigrette with dill and walnuts is uplifting. General manager David Rosoff is one of our wisest sommeliers — and it helps that the restaurant is connected to Highland Park Wine — so trust his suggestions for a Sicilian orange or California Pinot Noir. Pickup or delivery.
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Honeybird

University Park | Southern | $$
Inspired by the Southern table, Honeybird serves up handcrafted comfort food centered on golden fried chicken. The menu offers classic sides such as garlic mashed potatoes as well as homemade pies.
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This soul food restaurant is a neighborhood favorite. As soon as you walk through the doors you can smell the aroma of freshly baked biscuits and pies. If you're in need of a fried chicken fix, you can get a golden brown, crispy chicken breast and a fluffy biscuit for $3.75. Whatever you do, don't forget the vinegar hot sauce.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Honey’s Kettle

Culver City | Southern | $$
Owner Vincent Williams uses a secret batter, peanut oil and kettle drums to get his chicken coating crispy without the grease. You could eat a basket on its own, but for the real Honey’s Kettle experience, dip it in some of the restaurant’s honey and hot sauce. It’s superb cold, eaten straight out of the fridge the next day. Delivery or pickup.
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LOS ANGELES, CA- January 9, 2020: Behind the scenes at Hotville during a taping of the new show, 'Bucket List' with Jenn Harris and Kim Prince on Thursday, January 9, 2020. (Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)
LOS ANGELES, CA- January 9, 2020: Behind the scenes at Hotville during a taping of the new show, ‘Bucket List’ with Jenn Harris and Kim Prince on Thursday, January 9, 2020. (Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)
(Mariah Tauger/Los Angeles Times)

Hotville

Baldwin Hills/Crenshaw | American | $$
Kim Prince grew up behind Prince’s Hot Chicken in Nashville, the restaurant credited with inventing Nashville-style hot chicken. Her Baldwin Hills Crenshaw spot is an ideal Los Angeles ambassador for her family’s legacy. Hotville serves plain fried chicken and hot chicken in three intensities: mild, medium and (more fiery than plenty of West Coast palates can handle) hot.
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Pastries are plentiful, and fillings include green onions, shredded daikon and sweet curried pork. You can also get them just sweetened and hollow.
(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

Huge Tree Pastry

Monterey Park
Taiwanese breakfast is the specialty at this popular Monterey Park diner, which offers curbside pickup for those on the go. Start with an order or two of you tiao — slender, deep-fried crullers — paired with sweet soybean milk for dipping. Something savory? Try the colorful version of fan tuan — made with purple-hued rice, wrapped burrito-style around an egg omelet, tangy mustard green pickles and fluffy stands of pork floss. Pickup or delivery.
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The pajeon green onion pancake at Hyesung Noodle House.
(Andrea Chang / Los Angeles Times)

Hyesung Noodle House

Koreatown | Korean | $$
Hyesung Noodle House is getting creative with its little corner in a strip mall on Western Avenue, setting up a tent in the parking lot so patrons can dine al fresco. Whatever your comfort level, the kalguksu, chewy, freshly made noodles in a chicken or mild anchovy broth, is essential in any environment. The pajeon green onion pancake is one of the best you’ll encounter in Ktown, packed with vegetables and not just a bunch of doughy filler. Pro tip: If you’re not dining in, get the noodles uncooked and pop them into some boiling water at home for best results. Dine-in, pickup and delivery.
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Izakaya Hachi

Torrance | Japanese | $$$
A swank izakaya in the heart of Torrance, Hachi has stood out by offering omakase takeout dinners that manage to re-create the thrill of sitting front and center at the chef’s table. Seared skirt steak takati comes dressed with tangy ponzu, while artfully arranged sashimi platters are stocked with slabs of tuna and halibut. A robust selection of sake sweetens the deal. Delivery or pickup.
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A plate of tonnarelli at Jame Enoteca in El Segundo, Calif., on Nov. 14, 2019.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Jame Enoteca

El Segundo | Italian
Jame Enoteca was, back in the days we all used to go to the office (remember that?), a bright spot for many of us non-South Bay-ers on our forays into El Segundo, and a solid Italian option no matter where you live. Blanket-like sheets of mandilli covered in a kale-almond pesto and slightly piquant rigatoni tubes in vodka sauce are just a couple of the excellent pastas you can enjoy (there are sandwiches, too, but the pastas are where it’s at). Dine-in available, as well as pickup and delivery.
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Jane Q

Hollywood | American | $$
Jane Q offers LAMILL coffee, vegetable-driven dishes and house-baked focaccias and pizzas all day. With fresh ingredients prepared with care and served in a low-key neighborhood atmosphere, it’s an easy spot for a delightful, simple meal.
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Jar

Beverly Grove | American | $$$
A modern chophouse in the heart of Los Angeles, Jar dazzles Angelenos with the allure of chef Suzanne Tracht’s familiar retro dishes from the American culinary repertoire. It offers a signature pot roast, wild and sustainable seafood, lemongrass chicken, award-winning french fries, market-fresh sides and more.
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Curry lamb rack from Jitlada.
proprietor Jazz Singsanong has kept her Southern Thai restaurant relevant — in fact, indispensable. At top, curry lamb rack.
(Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times)

Jitlada

East Hollywood | Thai | $$
L.A. Times’ 101 Best Restaurants
| 2019 | #75
Sarantip “Jazz” Singsanong continues to preside over the legendary Thai Town restaurant, where the Southern Thai cooking is as nuanced as it is fiery. On the enormous menu, look for tiger prawns in curry laced with turmeric and pineapple, turmeric fish, and the infamous “Spicy Dynamite Challenge” stir-fry that delivers a full-body burn. Pickup or delivery.
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Joan’s On Third

Beverly Grove | $$
Joan’s on Third offers gourmet soups, salads, sandwiches, cheeses, charcuterie and fresh-baked pastries in a cafe-style marketplace.
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Joan’s On Third

Studio City | $$
Joan’s on Third offers gourmet soups, salads, sandwiches, cheeses, charcuterie and fresh-baked pastries in a cafe-style marketplace.
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LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - APR. 30, 2019: A lunch spread at Jon & Vinny's, including Roman Gladiator pizza with bacon, Italian sausage, pepperoni, and smoked ham; mozzarella sticks in Italian breadcrumbs served with spicy pomodoro; grilled chicken with olive, heirloom tomato, arugula and lemon; and rigatoni with broccolini, garlic, chilies and pecorino romano; on Tuesday, Apr. 30, 2019, at the second installment of the Italian restaurant, in Brentwood. (Photo / Silvia Razgova) 3078377_la-fo-bill-addison-jon-and-vinnys-review
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - APR. 30, 2019: A lunch spread at Jon & Vinny’s, including Roman Gladiator pizza with bacon, Italian sausage, pepperoni, and smoked ham; mozzarella sticks in Italian breadcrumbs served with spicy pomodoro; grilled chicken with olive, heirloom tomato, arugula and lemon; and rigatoni with broccolini, garlic, chilies and pecorino romano; on Tuesday, Apr. 30, 2019, at the second installment of the Italian restaurant, in Brentwood. (Photo / Silvia Razgova) 3078377_la-fo-bill-addison-jon-and-vinnys-review
(Silvia Razgova / For The Times)

Jon & Vinny’s

Mid-Wilshire | Italian | $$
L.A. Times’ 101 Best Restaurants
| 2019 | #57
The L.A. Woman pizza; meatballs braised in marinara; Little Gem lettuces slapped with Calabrian chile dressing; pistachio wedding cookies — every Italian American triumph for which we crowded into Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo’s Fairfax and Brentwood restaurants (when we could score a reservation) also prevails as takeout. Breakfast has always been a low-key masterstroke: For a morning indulgence order soft scrambled eggs oozing burrata with grilled ciabatta or spaghetti carbonara generously flecked with pancetta. Pickup or delivery.
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Pickles, white rice, furikake, shoyu poke (tuna, shoyu, green onions, sweet onions, ogo)

Pickles, white rice, furikake, shoyu poke (tuna, shoyu, green onions, sweet onions, ogo)

(Jenn Harris / Los Angeles Times)

Jus’ Poke

Redondo Beach
Poke is everywhere these days, which makes it all the more impressive that Redondo Beach shack Jus’ Poke stands out for its spot-on version of the Aloha State’s favorite beach snack. The original-style poke mixes cubes of high-grade tuna with scallion, onion and fresh ogo seaweed; richer, California Roll poke folds in avocado, cucumber and imitation crab. Order by the pound or as a combo, with furikake rice and a side of spicy edamame or crunchy seaweed salad. Delivery or pickup.
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Kang Kang Food Court’s sheng jian bao.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Kang Kang Food Court

Alhambra | Chinese | $
This “food court” of sorts is known for its excellent sheng jian bao: The dumpling’s wrapper, which evokes both a fluffy bao and a chewy dumpling skin, is studded with black sesame seeds and seared to a crisp brown on the bottom. It surrounds a middle of juicy, simply seasoned ground pork that explodes with hot juice when you take a bite. Pickup only.
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Uni, tapioca from Kato on Friday, October 18, 2019.
Uni, tapioca from Kato on Friday, October 18, 2019.
(Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)

Kato

Sawtelle | Taiwanese | $$$
L.A. Times’ 101 Best Restaurants
| 2019 | #1
Jon Yao, whose West L.A. restaurant took the top slot on The Times’ 101 Best Restaurants list last year, and his team offer two takeout meal options: the “Kato Box,” a gorgeous chirashi bento of seafood, vinegared rice and pickles, and a $180 family meal for four that might include dishes such as charsiu Wagyu short rib, Taiwanese-style cold noodles, miso slaw and other accompaniments. Pickup only.
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(Mariah Tauger / For The Times)

Kismet

East Hollywood | Mediterranean | $$$
L.A. Times’ 101 Best Restaurants
| 2019 | #25
Sara Kramer and Sarah Hymanson’s bright, layered Middle Eastern-esque flavors shine through the takeout boxes that now contain them. The lemony chicken and pine nut pies are just as satisfying. The cucumbers are just as punchy with za’atar and rose water. And the rabbit for two, just as mesmerizing. You can also order a side of crispy rice, the one with a magical egg that oozes out the middle. Delivery or pickup.
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LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 29, 2014 - The medium pork bossam plate from Kobawoo House restaurant in Koreatown is a popular shared dish for 2 or 3 people. Bossam is a Korean dish of thinly sliced boiled pork belly. The meat is served with kimchee, radish, salty crab/shrimp paste and peppers and meant to be wrapped together with cabbage. Kobawoo House is located at 698 S. Vermont Avenue, Suite 109.

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 29, 2014 - The medium pork bossam plate from Kobawoo House restaurant in Koreatown is a popular shared dish for 2 or 3 people. Bossam is a Korean dish of thinly sliced boiled pork belly. The meat is served with kimchee, radish, salty crab/shrimp paste and peppers and meant to be wrapped together with cabbage. Kobawoo House is located at 698 S. Vermont Avenue, Suite 109.

(Kathy M.Y. Pyon / Los Angeles Times)

Kobawoo House

Koreatown | Korean | $$
Kobawoo’s reputation in Koreatown revolves around its bossam platter, an assemble-it-yourself combination of steamed pork belly spread out like a deck of playing cards, sweet and spicy kimchi, raw garlic and fermented shrimp paste, all ready to be wrapped up in cabbage leaves. It’s a slippery carnival of flavors and textures, one that will not lose any of its charm during the 30-minute car ride home. Delivery and pickup.
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Fried kobee, hummus and yogurt with cucumber at the Kobee Factory & Syrian Kitchen.

Fried kobee, hummus and yogurt with cucumber at the Kobee Factory & Syrian Kitchen.

(Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times)

Kobee Factory

Van Nuys | Middle Eastern | $
This tiny Syrian restaurant in Van Nuys specializes in kibbeh, the combination of bulgur and spiced meat (typically lamb throughout the Middle East; beef here) that comes in several shapes and variations; best is the fried kibbeh formed into tapered croquettes and riddled with pine nuts. Also order the mujadara, a mix of lentils and bulgur made special by an overlay of golden fried onions. A swirl of hummus alongside lends creaminess. Pickup and delivery.
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Whether it's a plate of shawarma or chicken kebab, don't forget to order extra garlic sauce to go along with your order at Koko's Med Cafe.
(Jenn Harris / Los Angeles Times)

Koko’s Med Cafe

Pasadena | Mediterranean
If you’re craving a plate of shawarma, this is the place. The meat is marinated with lemon, garlic and spices and cooked until it’s wonderfully crisp around the edges. There’s chicken kebab and lule too. All of the plates come with rice, Greek salad, hummus and pita. Don’t forget to order extra garlic sauce. Delivery or pickup.
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LOS ANGELES, CA-January 18,2019: This colorful spread of dishes at Konbi include, (from top clockwise to center), the Canel?, Eggplant Katsu, Egg Salad, Butter Croissant, Pork Katsu, Layered Omelette and Carrots Crudit?. (Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)
(Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)

Konbi

Echo Park | Japanese | $
L.A. Times’ 101 Best Restaurants
| 2019 | #58
Akira Akuto and Nick Montgomery’s 10-seat Echo Park cafe became an Instagram sensation for its strikingly sculpted egg salad. Hint: The new Jonah crab layered omelet sandwich is even better. The restaurant also makes excellent pastries (including canelé and croissants served hot); unlike sandwiches and seasonal vegetable dishes, they can’t be ordered online ahead of time, but ask what’s available at the takeout window. Pickup only.
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Kotohira

Gardena | Japanese | $$
If you’re craving noodles in the South Bay, head to Kotohira — the homey strip-mall joint has been serving thick, chewy handmade udon for nearly three decades. Bowls of warm slippery strands come garnished with ginger, green onion and wisps of freshly shaved bonito, alongside a tiny cup of soy for drizzling over the top. Order the bargain-priced combo set to pair your udon with Japanese comfort dishes such as crispy karaage or sweet-salty broiled unagi over rice. Delivery or pickup.
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Try the veggie combo with doro wot and neck tibs at Lalibela Ethiopian restaurant.
(Cecilia Hae-Jin Lee)

Lalibela Ethiopian

Carthay | Ethiopian
One of the marquee restaurants in Little Ethiopia, Lalibela’s vegetarian platter presents a dozen colorful vegetables, among them spiced red lentils, gingered yellow split peas, cabbage stained with turmeric, gomen (onion-laced collards), chickpea stew and a dip made of sunflower seeds called suf. If you want meat, add special kitfo (chopped beef in spiced butter with fresh, crumbly cheese and puréed greens) or yebeg alicha wot, cardamom-tinged lamb. Delivery or pickup.
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Little Dom’s

Los Feliz | Italian | $$
Classic Los Feliz establishment Little Dom’s offers seasonal ingredients with Italian classics like homemade linguine carbonara and burrata agnolotti and meatballs. Offering breakfast, lunch and dinner.
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Lucques Catering

Beverly Hills
L.A. Times’ 101 Best Restaurants
| 2019 | #48
Lucques Catering is brought to you by Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne. These legendary restaurateurs offer menus showcasing the best of seasonal produce from local farmers markets.
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Combination barbecue platter from Lunasia.
ALHAMBRA, CA- October 28, 2019: Combination bbq platter from Lunasia on Monday, October 28, 2019. (Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)
(Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)

Lunasia

Alhambra | Chinese | $$
The translucent wrappers of har gow encasing pieces of shrimp with some actual snap to them; glossy baked pork buns; beautifully textured taro cakes with lap cheong; thin rice noodles rolled around crisp you tiao and greens — Lunasia’s reputation for dim sum has grown so outsized that the owners serve it for dinner too.
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Chicken sausage link on a bun from Mama's Chicken and Market.
(Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)

Mama’s Chicken

Hyde Park | American | $
Chicken sausage is the thing to get at Mama’s Chicken on Slauson Avenue in South L.A. Proprietor Karen Whitman, who’s worked at Mama’s for 50 years, is the mastermind behind the success of this restaurant and neighborhood market. Juicy chicken sausage links, well-seasoned and with a pleasing snap, are possibly only outdone by the chicken sausage burger — oversized and twice as flavorful as a humdrum old beef burger. I’m only partly kidding: Try it yourself and judge. Takeout only.
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Tacos dorados de camarones at the Mariscos Jalisco taco truck, parked in downtown L.A. for the last 15 years.
(Mariah Tauger / For The Times)

Mariscos Jalisco

Boyle Heights | Mexican | $
L.A. Times’ 101 Best Restaurants
| 2019 | #61
Raul Ortega’s shrimp tacos, blazing from the fryer with a cooling overlay of avocado and salsa, might be the most essential dish for visitors to eat to understand Los Angeles. It’s a critical time to support this culturally vital Boyle Heights food truck. Supplement the tacos with the Poseidon, a flavor-bomb mashup of shrimp ceviche and octopus aguachile. Pickup only.
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(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

Mayura Indian Restaurant

Culver City | Indian
L.A. Times’ 101 Best Restaurants
| 2019 | #47
Tucked into a Culver City strip mall, this long-running Indian restaurant specializes in dishes from Kerala, the slender coastal strip in southern India that meets the Arabian Sea. Highlights include the exquisitely crisp rice-flour pancakes called appam; a delicately spiced braised fish curry; and rice bowls of ven pongal infused with cumin and butter. Delivery or pickup.
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LOS ANGELES, CA-January 14,2019: Inside the Ma'am Sir on Monday, January 14, 2019. The Pork Sisig (with egg): Sweetbreads, Maui Onions, Serrano Chile, Green Onion, Calamansi.(Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)
(Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)

Ma’am Sir

East Hollywood | Filipino | $$
L.A. Times’ 101 Best Restaurants
| 2019 | #39
Charles Olalia both celebrates and intensifies the Filipino foods he grew up with. The bento boxes, filled with chicken adobo, fried milkfish or vegetables, are an easy go-to lunch. The sandwiches, stacked with corn-nut-crusted eggplant, sweet and spicy chile-glazed fried chicken or house-made pork patties, are where Olalia really excels, with playful, craveable food that’s just plain fun. And for dessert, there’s halo halo. Pickup only.
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The vegetarian platter at Meals By Genet.
(Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)

Meals by Genet

Carthay | Ethiopian | $$
L.A. Times’ 101 Best Restaurants
| 2019 | #23
Genet Agonafer, deservedly famed for her masterful Ethiopian cooking, is a vegan, so you know her vegetarian combination platter is tremendous. But many diners understandably order Agonafer’s doro wat, chicken in a sauce fueled by sweet-sharp berbere and cooked for two days until everything is profoundly interconnected. Agonafer cooks every dish herself, offering takeout from 5 to 8 p.m., Thursday through Sunday. Pickup only.
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(Eliana Rodgers / For The Times)

Mel’s Fish Shack

West Adams
A West Adams staple for nearly 40 years, Mel’s Fish Shack specializes in flaky cornmeal-crusted fried fish — choose from a dozen varieties, from snapper to sand dabs — paired with sides such as hush puppies, slaw, creamy potato salad or eggy potato salad. For a summery dessert, there’s peach cobbler or a slice of sweet potato pie. Pickup or delivery.
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Mini Kabob

Glendale
The Martirosyan family’s meat-heavy restaurant is located on a small side street in Glendale, but don’t let the tiny, three-person operation lull you into thinking that you’re there purely for the aesthetic. Juicy skewers of marinated chicken served with blistered whole tomatoes and beef lule kebabs hand-shaped by the patriarch himself, Ovakim, will make you wish you had more Armenian food in your life. Takeout and delivery.
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Grilled salmon salad and other dishes at Mizlala.
(Andrea Chang / Los Angeles Times)

Mizlala

West Adams | Middle Eastern | $$
The dining experience at the West Adams location of Mizlala (there’s another location in Sherman Oaks) is enough to make you remember the days of pre-corona. A beautiful outdoor dining space graced with, aptly enough, olive trees, makes this Middle Eastern spot ideal for a casual meal. A crispy-on-the-outside green falafel and tender pargiyot, grilled marinated chicken thighs, are exceptional — and, oh yeah, they have beer and wine too. Dine-in, pickup and delivery.
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Shrimp Lamajoun flatbread at Momed in Atwater
(Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times)

Momed

Atwater Village | Mediterranean
The cooking at Momed circumscribes the breadth of the Mediterranean, but focus eastward for the menu highlights: short-rib tagine, herb-roasted chicken with lemony Greek-style potatoes and hummus, garlicky prawns with ras el hanout and saffron, meatballs spiked with pomegranate and feta. Vegetarians have plenty of options here as well, including a gratifying seven-vegetable tagine variation spiced with harissa. Pickup and delivery.
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(Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times )

n/naka

Palms | Japanese | $$$$
L.A. Times’ 101 Best Restaurants
| 2019 | #4
Niki Nakayama’s kaiseki restaurant in Palms is one of the country’s hardest reservations to score. That remains true during the pandemic: Weekly bookings for her takeout options go live every Saturday at 10 a.m. and sell out in seconds. There are two options. A $38 bento combines several pieces of nigiri and a sushi roll with grilled miso black cod over sunchoke purée, a panko fried shrimp, koji-roasted sweet potato and matcha white chocolate cake. The $85 jūbako distills the crux of her kaiseki meals into a two-tiered box. Pickup only.
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Specialties at Northern Thai Food Club include khao soi (being squeezed with lime), sai ua (pork sausages) and an ever-changing selection of stews from the steam table.
(Silvia Razgova / For The Times)

Northern Thai Food Club

East Hollywood | Thai | $
L.A. Times’ 101 Best Restaurants
| 2019 | #37
The move at this tiny showcase for the cooking of Thailand’s Chiang Rai province was always to let chef-owner “Nancy” Amphai Dunne guide you through her steam table of fragrant curries. Now the restaurant’s website details her specialties. Start with gaeng hang lay, cubed pork belly kissed with tamarind and ginger. For a jubilant lunch or dinner, surround it with creamy khao soi (preferably doused with chile oil), bamboo shoots in crab paste, minty-musky pork larb, green papaya salad and the distinctly herbaceous sausage sai oua. We never particularly craved Thai iced tea with Dunne’s food before, but its taste now cheers us in unexplainable ways. Delivery or pickup.
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Special sashimi lunch at Nozomi in Torrance.
(Andrea Chang / Los Angeles Times)

Sushi Nozomi

Torrance | Japanese | $$
There’s plenty to swoon over on the to-go menu at Nozomi, Torrance’s stalwart sushi bar. A $50 temaki set for two includes nori, rice and a fresser’s portion of pristine seafood (Hokkaido scallops, Scottish salmon, etc.) to assemble your own hand rolls. The briny-sweet uni bowl heaped with an obscene amount of Santa Barbara’s finest sea urchin? It’s a worthy splurge. Delivery or pickup.
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The Stasuki rice porridge with parmesan, uni, abalone, geoduck from Orsa & Winston
The Stasuki rice porridge with parmesan, uni, abalone, geoduck from Orsa & Winston during the L.A. Times Food Bowl launch party at Hauser & Wirth on Thursday, April 27, 2017 in Los Angeles, Calif.
(Patrick T. Fallon / For The Times)

Orsa & Winston

Downtown | Italian | $$
L.A. Times’ 101 Best Restaurants
| 2019 | #7
L.A. Times Restaurant of the Year
| 2020
The Times’ 2020 Restaurant of the Year embodies excellence in the face of unprecedented challenges. Josef Centeno continues to create tasting menus that successfully bridge Japanese and Italian flavors; he also builds a righteous cheeseburger sando on milk bread and composes nourishing rice bowls rich in market vegetables. Pickup and delivery.
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Lomo saltado tacos from Pablito’s Tacos in Burbank.
(Pablito’s Tacos)

Pablito’s Tacos

North Hollywood | Peruvian
Traditional Peruvian flavors meet Tijuana-style tacos at Danny Rodriguez’s and chef Flor Oropeza’s popular Valley taquería, which has locations in Burbank and North Hollywood. The Peruvian marinated steak called lomo saltado is compulsively good over handmade corn tortillas, and tacos made with smoky pollo a la brasa are invigorated by the restaurant’s spicy fluorescent-green salsa. Pickup and delivery.
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The grilled cheese at Pasjoli in Santa Monica: Gruyere cheese, layers of mornay sauce, caramelized onions sandwiched between country bread.
(Bill Addison / Los Angeles Times)

Pasjoli

Santa Monica | French
Chef de cuisine Matthew Kim keeps the restaurant’s Gallic spirit intact for takeout: Indulge in the caramelized onion tart, steak au poivre, the ridiculously good riz au lait and Basque cheesecake. Kim, it turns out, is also a sandwich whisperer: Try his “croque Matthieu,” rich with grilled country ham and Gruyère. Pickup only.
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Pasta Sisters

Arlington Heights | Italian | $$
This fast-casual family-owned Italian restaurant and fresh pasta store features authentic Italian dishes and desserts that have been in the same family for over 100 years.
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Pasta Sisters

Culver City | Italian | $$
This fast-casual family-owned Italian restaurant and fresh pasta store features authentic Italian dishes and desserts that have been in the same family for over 100 years.
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The combination char siu bowl at Pearl River Deli.
The combination char siu bowl at Pearl River Deli.
(Bill Addison / Los Angeles Times)

Pearl River Deli

Chinatown | Chinese | $$
In Chinatown’s Far East Plaza, Johnny Lee crafts a short, mercurial menu centered around classic Cantonese dishes. His Macao-style pork-chop bun is an instant hit; balance its richness with silky shrimp scramble or the Hainanese chicken, a frequent weekend special and one of Lee’s signatures. Pickup only.
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The neo-Margherita pizza, cooked in a wood oven by chef Daniele Uditi at Pizzana in Brentwood, June 12, 2017.
(Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

Pizzana

Brentwood | Italian
L.A. Times’ 101 Best Restaurants
| 2019 | #67
Daniele Uditi’s declarative statement is the neo-Margherita, with its charred and tangy crust (Uditi grew up among bakers in Naples), concentrated San Marzano tomato sauce, dollops of fior di latte mozzarella and flourish of basil-infused bread crumbs. It is a sustaining pleasure, as are his pies inspired by classic pastas (Cacio e Pepe, Amatriciana) and the Pignatiello — braised short rib melting into Parmigiano crema. The original Pizzana in Brentwood and the newer West Hollywood satellite are open daily.
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Chicken from Pollo a la Brasa is wood-roasted. You can get rice and beans on the side.
Chicken from Pollo a la Brasa is wood-roasted. You can get rice and beans on the side.
(Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times)

Pollo a la Brasa

Koreatown | Peruvian | $$
The smoky wood-fired birds at Peruvian chicken joint Pollo a la Brasa have long been the stuff of legend. Wisely order the whole chicken and choose your sides: velvety stewed beans, tortillas and a salad tossed with a vinegary dressing are good bets. And whatever you do, don’t leave without an ample supply of the signature lime-green aji sauce, sharp and spicy enough to clear your nostrils and the perfect contrast to the chicken’s crisp garlicky skin. Delivery and pickup.
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Poncho's Tlayudas
Freshly-made tamales from Alfonso “Poncho” Martinez at his home on Wednesday, April 29, 2020 in Los Angeles, CA. Martinez normally sells tlayudas and blood sausage, but since the COVID-19 pandemic, the price of tlayuda has increased astronomically and is not widely available.
(Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)

Poncho’s Tlayudas

Historic South-Central | Mexican
The beloved South Los Angeles pop-up run by Alfonso Martinez and Odilia Romero continues to soldier on. Ask for Martinez’s crisp-edged, hubcap-size folded tlayudas filled with blood sausage (the favorite); the couple also sells sublime tamales. Takeout on Sundays. Pickup only.
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Poppy & Rose

Downtown | American | $$
Michael and Kwini Reed’s menu of modern California comfort classics has kept their daytime restaurant busy for takeout this year. Pulled pork hash, biscuits and gravy and a weighty breakfast burrito stand out for breakfast — though there’s no shame in ordering a patty melt (a favorite among the lunchtime sandwiches) for a morning meal, either. Pickup and delivery.
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The poultry and mushroom porridge at Porridge & Puffs.
The poultry and mushroom porridge is a staple: mirepoix rice porridge, soy-braised chicken, turkey, crispy shallots, celery pickles, edible flowers and pickled soft egg.
(Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)

Porridge + Puffs

Westlake | American | Southeast Asian | $
L.A. Times’ 101 Best Restaurants
| 2019 | #29
It is a given that Minh Phan’s porridge — especially the one with mushrooms, ground turkey and strands of chicken — is balm at any time, and certainly for these times. That said, Phan is in improvisational mode these days; watch the restaurant’s Instagram for weekend, three-course, $25 “pinch meals” (as in a pinch of this and a pinch of that) as well as far more elaborate five-course meals anchored by dishes such as swordfish over kerchief noodles in tamarind-fennel broth. Pickup only.
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Guava cheese strudel at the original Porto's Bakery in Glendale.
(Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times)

Porto’s Bakery

Burbank | $
For Angelenos it’s hard to overstate the ubiquitous appeal of the Porto’s pastry box, an assortment of baked wonders that usually includes cookies and pastries, meat pies, potato balls, empanadas or the deservedly iconic guava-and-cheese strudels. Though the long lines at its stores have always moved with surprising efficiency, it’s easier to carb-load on Cuban treats now that Porto’s has implemented a contactless parking-lot carryout system at its handful of locations. Delivery or pickup.
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Jerked catfish with dirty rice and chimichurri sauce at Post & Beam.
BALDWIN HILLS-CA-JULY 19, 2019: Jerked catfish with dirty rice and chimichurri sauce is served at Post & Beam restaurant in Baldwin Hills on Thursday, July 19, 2019. (Christina House / Los Angeles Times)
(Christina House / Los Angeles Times)

Post & Beam

Baldwin Hills/Crenshaw | American | $$
L.A. Times Gold Award
| 2020
A sense of fellowship defines the experience at this neighborhood beacon in Baldwin Hills Crenshaw. Its current and founding team — Brad and Linda Johnson, Govind Armstrong and John and Roni Cleveland — are this year’s recipients of the Los Angeles Times Gold Award, and the spirit of community rings through even in carryout form: Fried chicken, shrimp and grits, short ribs and turkey meatball pizza taste best shared with friends and family. Pickup or delivery.
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Pupusas at tamales from El Cerro Verde.
(Patricia Escárcega / Los Angeles Times)

Pupuseria El Cerro Verde

Hawthorne
The marvelous pupusas at El Cerro Verde include revueltas — dense, griddled-corn disks filled with an irresistible slurry of cheese, pork and beans. Pupusas flavored with the pungent Salvadoran vegetable called loroco are terrific; for purists, a crisp-edged pupusa oozing creamy cheese and beans paired with a spicy side salad of Salvadoran cabbage slaw is a feast. Traditional Salvadoran tamales, snacks and braised-meat combo plates round out the menu. Delivery or pickup.
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HUNTINGTON PARK, CA - AUGUST 9, 2017 : A smorgasbord of items from the menu at Ray's BBQ includes pork ribs, beef brisket, pulled pork, turkey breast and sausages on August 9, 2017 in Huntington Park, California.(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

Ray’s BBQ

Huntington Park | American | $$
Ray Ramirez was an L.A.-area forerunner of the underground-sensation-to-bricks-and-mortar model. His Texas-style brisket, glossy and suffused with oak smoke, remains a standout. The massive, dense barbecue burrito — layered with mac and cheese, beans, brisket, pulled pork and sliced sausage — is basically a handheld combo platter. Pickup only.
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Redbird

Downtown | American | $$$
Featuring Modern American cuisine that is refined yet approachable and highlights the multicultural influences of Los Angeles, Redbird also offers an extensive cocktail menu with well-balanced, bespoke renditions of the classics.
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En Croute dessert from République.
(Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)

Republique

Hancock Park | American | French | $$$
L.A. Times’ 101 Best Restaurants
| 2019 | #2
The template for the all-day modern American restaurant perfected by Walter and Margarita Manzke translates seamlessly to takeout: Order Margarita’s pastries a day ahead for treats like peach danish, barbecue chicken hand pie, sweet and savory croissants and raspberry-pistachio kouign amann. Bring home breakfast (kimchi fried rice, avocado toast gilded with market herbs and vegetables), lunch (grilled chicken salad, a smashing Cuban sandwich) or family-style weekend dinners.
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Lonnie Edwards at his family business Ribtown BBQ.
(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

Ribtown BBQ

Jefferson Park
On Fridays and Saturdays, Lonnie Edwards serves barbecue in the parking lot of the Westside Loan Office in Jefferson Park. His specialty is smoked rib tips, a cut with glorious intersections of meat and cartilage that is a gratifying investment when cooked with precision. Coffee-spiked sauce stays compelling as you whittle down the pile of tips.
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"The Philippe," a French dip calzone, rare roast beef, French onion soup and hot mustard from Ronan.
(Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)

Ronan

Fairfax | Italian
Daniel Cutler’s calzone is an only-in-L.A. construct that channels Philippe’s French dip with its filling of rare roast beef and sides of jus and hot mustard. Pizzas and small plates show equal excellence and wit. Begin the meal with one of the restaurant’s dirty martinis, poured as a double. Pickup or delivery.
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Nonna’s Tagliatelle Al Ragu Bolognese Beef, Pork, Not Too Much Tomato Sauce served at Rossoblu, June 22, 2017.
Nonna’s Tagliatelle Al Ragu Bolognese Beef, Pork, Not Too Much Tomato Sauce served at Rossoblu, June 22, 2017.
(Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)

Rossoblu

Downtown | Italian | $$$
L.A. Times’ 101 Best Restaurants
| 2019 | #17
Steve Samson’s menu isn’t dogmatic about serving only dishes from Bologna, the capital of Italy’s fertile northern Emilia-Romagna region, where he spent parts of his childhood, but they’re the terra firma upon which the restaurant builds its foundation. Pastas are masterful. For a curated meal he creates seven-course dinners Wednesdays through Sundays; expect dishes like lasagna with duck ragu and Amaretto ricotta cheesecake with house-made peach jam. Pickup and delivery.
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A banh mi sandwich from Saigon's Bakery is shown.

A banh mi sandwich from Saigon’s Bakery is shown.

(Katherine Spiers / For The Times)

Saigon’s Bakery & Sandwiches

San Gabriel | Vietnamese | $
This is an excellent benchmark for banh mi explorations in the San Gabriel Valley. Beyond standard options like grilled pork, grilled chicken and meatball, try the banh mi thit nuong bi — grilled pork combined with crackly pork skin. Each sandwich is precision-engineered: crisp bread, sharp pickles, just enough mayo, robust meats. Pickup only.
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Sanamluang

East Hollywood | Thai
Hear us out: There’s a ton of great Thai food on Hollywood Boulevard east of the 101, but we’ve always had Sanamluang near the top of our list for its late hours and, for our money, one of the best pad kee maos in the city. “Medium spicy” will likely be enough to set your sinuses ablaze; we recommend it with ground chicken. Seaweed soup with tofu is a winner for the vegetal-ly inclined. The days of rolling in at 2 a.m. might be over for now, but it’s still open until 11 p.m. for takeout and delivery — later than most.
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Dumplings from Sichuan Impression.
(Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)

Sichuan Impression

Alhambra | Chinese | $$
L.A. Times’ 101 Best Restaurants
| 2019 | #60
Kelly Xiao and Lynn Liu’s restaurants (there are locations in Alhambra, Tustin and West L.A.) each serve full menus of fiery, nuanced Sichuan specialties. Yes to toothpick lamb, wontons in red chile oil, boiled fish with rattan pepper, diced rabbit and pickled cucumbers. For a welcome jolt to the senses, try the mao cai — a stew of prawns, beef, tripe, Spam, lotus root and mushrooms roiling in a crimson broth. Delivery or pickup.
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A barbecue platter at Slab.

A barbecue platter at Slab.

(Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)

Slab

Beverly Grove | American | $$
Before partnering with the Hwood Group for his West 3rd Street restaurant, pit master Burt Bakman spent nearly a decade refining his smoking technique on a Big Green Egg in his Studio City backyard. At Slab, focus on the peppery, deftly rendered brisket and the ribs. In a nod to Texas, Bakman builds his mac and cheese from a base of queso, which also anchors the chips and chili in a nostalgic riff on Frito pie. Pickup or delivery.
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LOS ANGELES - CA - SEPTEMBER 08, 2015 - Ganjang Ge Jang (Fresh live Crab pickled in a brine of soy sauce ginger & garlic, served at SoBan Korean Restaurant in Koreatown, September 08, 2015. Picture to illustrate the Gold 101 guide 2015. (Ricardo DeAratanha/Los Angeles Times)

LOS ANGELES - CA - SEPTEMBER 08, 2015 - Ganjang Ge Jang (Fresh live Crab pickled in a brine of soy sauce ginger & garlic, served at SoBan Korean Restaurant in Koreatown, September 08, 2015. Picture to illustrate the Gold 101 guide 2015. (Ricardo DeAratanha/Los Angeles Times)

(Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)

Soban

Koreatown | Korean | $$
L.A. Times’ 101 Best Restaurants
| 2019 | #76
Ganjang gejang, raw blue crab marinated in an herb-infused soy sauce, is Soban’s signature dish for good reason: The salty-savory tangle of shells and marinated flesh is irresistibly flavorful. You may also want to try the terrific stir-fried baby octopus called nakji bokkeum, and a sumptuous braised black cod served with radish and potatoes. Banchan, the flotilla of tiny vegetable dishes that includes kimchi, are meticulously arranged in a takeout container. Pickup and delivery.
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Sonoratown's Lorenza is the only menu item that uses a corn tortilla instead of flour.

Sonoratown’s Lorenza is the only menu item that uses a corn tortilla instead of flour. It comes topped with Monterey Jack cheese, avocado, cabbage, pinto beans and a grilled poblano pepper.

(Silvia Razgova / For The Times)

Sonoratown

Downtown | Mexican | $
L.A. Times’ 101 Best Restaurants
| 2019 | #5
The Burrito 2.0 is both a delivery godsend and a superb encapsulation of what makes Jennifer Feltham and Teodoro Diaz-Rodriguez’s downtown taqueria so special. Carne asada is the meat of choice; guacamole, Monterey Jack, sharply spicy chiltepin salsa and pinto beans round out the tidy package. A meatless option includes grilled poblanos and spring onions with corn tortillas.
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(Mariah Tauger / For The Times )

Spago

Beverly Hills | Italian | $$$
Icons from the menu of Wolfgang Puck’s flagship are available for takeout, including Wienerschnitzel, Hong Kong-style fish and, of course, the smoked salmon pizza. Look for pastry chef Della Gossett channeling Puck’s Austrian heritage into kardinal schnitte, a cathedral of a dessert (to be assembled at home) built of rich sponge cake beams, meringue and layers of strawberry-white chocolate crème, all glorified by the ripest Harry’s Berries strawberries.
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LOS ANGELES, CA.,MAY 28, 2020: Fried chicken from Spartina (handout from Spartina)
(Spartina)

Spartina

Fairfax | Italian | $$
With a menu that floats mainly around the Mediterannean, you might not expect one of the most unforgettable fried chicken sandwiches in town. But there it is, the fried chicken doused in a mixture of honey and Calabrian chile, topped with prosciutto and fontina. That and the grilled avocado make for a satiating anytime meal. Delivery or pickup.
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Eggplant ensalada from Spoon & Pork.
(Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)

Spoon & Pork

Silver Lake
At their Silver Lake café, chefs Ray Yaptinchay and Jay Tugas cook a motley menu of what they call “modern Filipino comfort food.” It includes lechon kawali, deep-fried cubes of pork belly over jasmine rice; gloriously crisp chicken adobo; a playful and delicious adobo belly nigiri; and the sumptuous patita, braised pork shank glazed in a sweet chile sauce and dusted with crumbles of dried garlic. Delivery or pickup.
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Kimchi rice with a fried egg at Spoon by H.
(Silvia Razgova / For The Times)

Spoon by H

Fairfax | Korean | $$
L.A. Times’ 101 Best Restaurants
| 2019 | #62
The best way to order Yoonjin Hwang’s singular interpretations of Korean and American cuisines is through Instagram. Check her stories for the day’s menu and enticing shots of noodle, dumpling and rice dishes; the takeout presentations are as artful as the cooking. In the summer heat, try the spicy cold noodles with pork belly and iced green tea with passion fruit and lychee. Pickup or limited delivery.
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The Mezza Combo at Sunnin Lebanese Cafe.
Counter Intelligence column review of Sunnin Lebanese Cafe in West Los Angeles. Photo of the Mezza Combo.
(Ken Hively / Los Angeles Times)

Sunnin

Westwood | Lebanese | $$
The menu at this bastion of Lebanese cooking lists dozens of dishes. For the truest, homiest dishes, though, zero in on the section called “Em Tony,” a nickname for Fayeza Chammaa, the matriarch of the family behind Sunnin. There you’ll find wonderful specials like koussa — a thin-skinned variety of zucchini stuffed with spiced ground beef and rice in tomato sauce. If you’re looking for standards like hummus, falafel and kebabs, the kitchen makes textbook renditions. Pickup or delivery.
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Chicken mole taco made with almonds, queso fresco and dates, garnished with criollo cilantro at Taco Maria.

Chicken mole taco made with almonds, queso fresco and dates, garnished with criollo cilantro at Taco Maria.

(Christina House / For The Times)

Taco Maria

Costa Mesa | Mexican | $$
Carlos Salgado has rechanneled the braininess of his masa-driven tasting menus into Mexican American comfort foods: grilled fish tacos, quesadillas, pork chile verde for a crowd, burritos, bacon-wrapped Sonona dogs and a Wagyu burger with caramelized onions and blue cheese, aptly named Cortez the Killer.
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The Tehran Plate special from Taste of Tehran,
LOS ANGELES, CA-JULY 26, 2019: The Tehran Plate special, with chicken, beef and filet mignon kebobs, is photographed with rice a house salad and yogurt mixed with cucumber and mint at Taste of Tehran restaurant on July 26, 2019, at in Los Angeles, California. (Photo By Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Times)
(Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Times)

Taste of Tehran

West Los Angeles | Iranian | Persian | $$
L.A. Times’ 101 Best Restaurants
| 2019 | #34
Saghar Fanisalek’s restaurant, hidden among Westwood’s throngs of Iranian American cafes and markets, dabbles in modernist concoctions such as spiced lentil-quinoa salad with raisins and dates, but the heart of her cooking lands squarely in tradition: kebabs, rice and dips, all prepared with exacting finesse. Koobideh kebabs display a master’s hand, the grated onion in the tender-singed beef added in just the right proportions, every bite precisely seasoned.
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Pimento cheese and crackers, Peach Thunderbolt cocktail and pork belly burnt ends from Thunderbolt in Echo Park.
(Andrea Chang / Los Angeles Times)

Thunderbolt

Echo Park | American
Thunderbolt, the vaguely Southern-themed cocktail bar next door to Park’s Finest BBQ, hasn’t let the pandemic put a damper on its creativity. Owner Mike Capoferri is offering a robust selection of canned cocktails (nitro-carbonated espresso martini?), and the food is both soulful and snacky: biscuits with white cheddar pimento cheese and jam, pickled shrimp with grits and a two-fisted fried green tomato sandwich spread with tangy goat cheese. Delivery or pickup.
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Lime Chicken, Me So Corny, Flaming Hot Sope and the L.A. Bite Burrito from Tirsa's Mexican Cafe.
(Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)

Tirsa’s Mexican Cafe

Chinatown | Mexican
Chef Tirsa Nevarez’s cheerful downtown restaurant is known for its boldly flavored, unapologetically oversized Mexican and Mexican American dishes. The DTLA Torta is an enormous, flat, crusty telera roll plumped with crinkly strips of grilled steak, beans, rice and guacamole. Burritos are half-pound behemoths stuffed with things like French fries and carne asada, and the enchilada plate is a chile-stained quartet of rolled tortillas oozing with cheese and your choice of meat. Pickup and delivery.
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The Vaca Tonic, a frozen gin and tonic from Vaca restaurant.
(Sarah King)

Vaca

Costa Mesa | Spanish
Chef Amar Santana’s paella Valenciana, aromatic with saffron and shot through with chicken, chorizo, scallops and shrimp, is a menu highlight at his Spanish restaurant near Costa Mesa’s South Coast Plaza. It nabs the spotlight again among several options for takeout family meals. Portioned for two, four or six people, it comes with three filling vegetable sides and both flan and tres leches cake for dessert. For a solo dinner there is a monster burger with manchego and caramelized onions.
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Savory cookie with black currant from Vespertine.
(Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)

Vespertine

Culver City | American | $$$$
L.A. Times’ 101 Best Restaurants
| 2019 | #101
Among restaurants serving takeout, unearthly Vespertine was perhaps the biggest surprise: How would chef Jordan Kahn, whose food can look like astronomical phenomena, express himself in the medium of to-go containers? Beautifully, it turns out. His family-style meals have been largely biographical, delving into (among frequently changing themes) his Cuban heritage, his coastal Georgia upbringing and his time in the kitchen at the French Laundry.
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The Steve Julian sandwich, Wax Paper’s take on the banh mi, stuffed with roasted pork loin, pickled carrots and daikon and a miso and bacon fat aioli, served on a baguette.

The Steve Julian sandwich, Wax Paper’s take on the banh mi, stuffed with roasted pork loin, pickled carrots and daikon and a miso and bacon fat aioli, served on a baguette.

(Tien Nguyen)

Wax Paper

Elysian Valley | American | $$
Shipping container turned sandwich shop Wax Paper is a testament to the restorative power of a good veggie sandwich. As much we swoon over the creative specials that owners Peter and Lauren Lemos turn out weekly, it’s the flagship Ira Glass — sharp cheddar, avocado, sprouts, cucumber, pickled onions, garlic mayo and two soft slices of whole grain bread — that inspires regular lunchtime cravings. Are all the sandwiches still named for NPR hosts? You know it.
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Chorizo kebab served with rice, Lebanese salad and hummus at X'tiosu Kitchen in Boyle Heights.

Chorizo kebab served with rice, Lebanese salad and hummus at X’tiosu Kitchen in Boyle Heights.

(Calvin B. Alagot / Los Angeles Times)

X’tiosu Kitchen

Boyle Heights | Mexican | Lebanese | $
L.A. Times’ 101 Best Restaurants
| 2019 | #87
The Oaxacan-inflected, Lebanese-inspired cooking at Felipe and Ignacio Santiago’s takeout-only Boyle Heights restaurant (pronounced “sh-tee-oh-sue,” the name means “thank you” in Zapotec) includes spice-rubbed, spit-roasted chicken shawarma tacos; a citrusy tabbouleh Oaxaca salad that swaps out bulgur for nopales; and hummus made from whipped black beans and a pantryful of spices. The house-made chorizo kebab is great with the house “arabesque salsa,” a blend of extra-garlicky tahini sauce and homemade salsa verde. Pickup and delivery.
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The Biryani as served at Zam-Zam Market in Hawthorne.
(Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times)

Zam Zam Market

Hawthorne
Call ahead at this mom-and-pop Pakistani restaurant to see what’s cooking for the day. Chicken biryani, loaded with fragrant whole spices, is a must, along with tender beef kebabs served with cumin-laced yogurt and pillowy garlic naan. Stock up on fresh spices and other sundries at the adjacent grocery while you grab your takeout order.
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Jingalov hatz, flatbread stuffed with a dozen herbs and tangy greens, from Zhengyalov Hatz in Glendale.
(Andrea Chang / Los Angeles Times)

Zhengyalov Hatz

Glendale | Armenian | $
The first American branch of a traditional Armenian bakery, Glendale’s Zhengyalov Hatz specializes in jingalov hatz, a football-shaped flatbread stuffed with a dozen herbs and tangy greens. Somewhere between a hearty snack and a light meal, each supple flatbread is patted out by hand and cooked on a hot griddle until leopard spots appear, then rolled in paper to keep it warm. The vibrant shock of greens packs so much flavor, no embellishment is required, except maybe a cool yogurt soda to wash it all down.
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