The 15 Best Bakeries in Los Angeles

January 8, 2016 by Heather Platt

Los Angeles might be a city full of transplants from New York, Paris, San Francisco and other more bread-centric parts of the world but the days of hearing those pretentious voices proclaiming “You can’t find good bread in Los Angeles!” are over.

It’s surprising how many excellent bakeries have opened in the past few years considering the current fear of gluten and demonization of carbohydrates in a city that has a reputation of valuing appearances above all else.

Of course the truth is that people love their bread and baked goods, and in the final accounting we all know it is love that conquers fear.

With that in mind,  let’s explore some of the best places around L.A. to get your hands on delicious breads, cakes, pastries, and more.

(List numbered for reference, in no particular order)

republique bakery display

Photo Credit: Heather Platt

1. Republique

Try having brunch at Republique without filling up on baked goods before your eggs have even arrived to your table. It’s impossible because pastry chef Margarita Manzke’s exhibition of treats like mini almond brown butter cakes, giant cookies, storybook perfect chocolate cake, cinnamon sugar bomboloni, breads and tarts is so glorious, it seems appropriate to order everything in sight.

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2. Milo and Olive

For more of Zoe Nathan Loeb’s creations, head to Milo and Olive for wood-fired pizzas and rustic pastries. The baked goods are a slight departure from those available at Huckleberry. Stop in for breakfast to sample an assortment of breads like farro and rye, a fruit and nut loaf and whole wheat potato bread. Or opt for the homemade bagels, croissants or breakfast pizza with house sausage and farm egg.

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3. Huckleberry

If you make the trip to Zoe Nathan and Josh Loeb’s Santa Monica Bakery Huckleberry, there might be a line in which you’ll have to wait. If you do, you won’t regret it because  Zoe’s legendary pastries like house-made English muffins, artisan breads, rustic baguettes, country boule, pan de mie, daily flatbreads and cinnamon sugar brioche are worth every second of it.

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violette de bordeaux kouign amann tarts. #figs #smfm

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4. Copenhagen Pastry

LA’s favorite Danish pastry shop has two locations. Both the original in Culver City and second in Pasadena offer fresh-baked flaky pastries. Shopping at Copenhagen is a treat in and of itself as the staff happily gives shoppers samples to aide in any indecision that might come about while deciding between the kringle or spandauer.

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5. Portos

Speciality cakes, Cuban sandwiches, flauta, meat pies, refugiato (guava and cheese pastry) and a myriad of other delights are available at the decades old Cuban bakery and cafe. Portos now boasts three locations in Downey, Burbank and Glendale.

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[RELATED: The 16 Best Places to Eat in Burbank You Should Definitely Try if You’re in the Neighborhood]

6. Lodge Bread Co.

Just when we didn’t think Culver City could get any more food-centric, last summer Lodge Bread Company arrived. Now, chefs-turned-bakers Alex Phaneuf  (Atelier Crenn, Morimoto Napa) and Or Amsalam (Spago) are baking some of the best bread in the city. Stop in for whole wheat toast with avocado and radish or country loaf with cashew butter. Sweets like cinnamon rolls, cookies and cakes are also available to munch on with coffee. You’ll want to buy a loaf of bread to take home too. But don’t plan on sharing it with anyone. Better yet, get two.

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7. Proof Bakery

Proof in Atwater Village is the best kind of bakery: equal parts high-end third-wave coffee shop and low-key neighborhood bakeshop. The great coffee is enough to draw a crowd. But those waiting in line to get their caffeine fix are likely to be lured en route by the pastry display. Baker Na Young Ma’s unpretentious spread of sweets like scones, pain au pommes, lemon verbena shortbread and lovely cakes decorate the adorable bakery. Savory items like quiche and sandwiches on house-made mini baguettes are perfect. Everything is baked in the back room, including Ma’s famous croissants, which are decidedly the best in town.

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8. Gjusta

What sets Gjusta, Gjelina’s younger sister spin-off restaurant apart from any other bakery in LA? The newish Venice cafe invented Baklava croissants, for one. And in addition to being one of the coolest new places to grab breakfast, Gjusta makes some of crispiest on the outside, soft and stretchy on the inside baguettes in town.

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9. Bouchon Bakery

For the most bourgeoise boulangerie head to Beverly Hills. There Thomas Keller’s Bouchon is baking artisanal breads, traditional French desserts, viennoiserie, confections, hand-made pastries, tarts and cookies in house daily.

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Happy 4th Anniversary #BirthdayMacaron #RockefellerCenter #NewYork

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10. The Sycamore Kitchen

The pastry display at Karen and Quinn Hatfield’s La Brea lunch spot is so mouthwatering you might forget about lunch and just end up eating an array of seasonal donuts, cakes, muffins and a salted caramel pecan babka roll.

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[RELATED12 Spots for the Best Breakfast Sandwiches in L.A.]

11. Valerie Confections

Valerie is known for her chocolates. But the famous confectioner makes delicious baked goods too. A variety of classic decadent cakes, hand pies and pastries are available at all of their locations in Echo Park, South Silver Lake and Grand Central Market in Downtown LA.

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12. The Larder Baking Company

Since 2008, Nathan Dakdouk has been making the delicious breads served at Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne’s restaurants Lucques, A.O.C. and Tavern. For several years, the talented Venezuelan baked artisan loaves out of a small bakery on the west side. Now with The Larder Baking Company, Dakdouk’s breads are available for wholesale all over the city and retail at The Larder at Burton Way, Maple Drive, Tavern and LAX.

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larder baking company pastries display

Photo Credit: Heather Platt

13. Cake Monkey Bakery

Cake Monkey provides far better versions of the store-bought kind of baked goods we craved in our childhood. Chocolate, vanilla cream-filled cakes coated with bittersweet chocolate, and a variety of fancy cakes and pies are available for order or purchase at various retail locations in the city.

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14. Joan’s on Third

Joan’s on Third is a busy gourmet marketplace that for years has been pleasing West Hollywood lunchers with its Chinese chicken salad, housemade pickles and omelets. But what makes a lot of the food at Joan’s on Third stand out is the in-house bakery. The very popular ham and cheese Ficelle sandwich, for example, is served on a house made baguette.

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[RELATED: 10 Spots for The Best Brunch in Los Angeles]

15. Euro Pane

Macarons seem to be popping up everywhere lately. The once rare and opulent Parisian treat is now available at mall kiosks. We’re not complaining. But we do suggest heading to Euro Pane Bakery in Pasadena for the most delicious and biggest ones in town.

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Honorable Mentions

La Brea Bakery




Superba Food and Bread

So what’s your favorite bakery in Los Angeles? Let us know in the comments below!


The 16 Best Steakhouses in Los Angeles

December 22, 2015 by Heather Platt

Among the top restaurant trends of 2015, the return of the so-called “old-school steakhouses” is perhaps the most celebrated. Huge, shimmering, caveman-worthy cuts of beef and table side-tossed caesar salads are being served in new swanky interiors. And of course everything is washed down with a martini.

To be fair the old-school steak houses never really left. There are a handful of tried and true establishments that have been here for the carnivores whether it was trendy or not. That said, we are now in the heyday of great Los Angeles steakhouses with the mainstays still going strong and the new kids on the block providing style along with a bit old-fashioned charm.

So where to find the best of the best? Here’s a list of where Angelenos can have their steak and eat it too.

(List below numbered for reference, presented in no particular order)

[RELATED14 Best Places to Eat in L.A. if You Can’t Stop Thinking About Bacon]

boa steakhouse

Dinner at BOA.  Photo Credit: Heather Platt

1. BOA

BOA on Sunset Blvd in West Hollywood is on the ground level of the building that perches Soho House on its top floor. So it comes as no surprise the steakhouse is a real scene. But comforting touches like warm rolls with sea salt and slabs of butter charm first time diners and well-executed classics like creamed spinach, beef filets with peppercorn sauce and NY Strip with bleu cheese crust keep regulars coming back. Luxurious round booths and a gorgeous patio seems to inspire everyone to dress-up, adding to the vibe. It’s certainly a Hollywood experience. The Santa Monica location delivers the same flavors with a slightly different vibe.

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2. The Dal Rae

Where is Pico Rivera? That is a good question. If you drive about 30 minutes south east of downtown LA, you’ll end up there. And if you’re lucky you’ll have time to dine at The Dal Rae. This old-school haunt is possibly the most bustling steak houses in the greater Los Angeles area. Order the pepper steak and you’ll be glad you made the drive.

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3. Mastros

Mastros, the famous Beverly Hills chophouse (and national chain) is no “foodie” destination. But if you’re in the mood for a predictable iceberg wedge salad and a $20 dirty martini that comes with  bleu cheese stuffed olives and a generous side car, Mastro’s might be your jam. Also, their “signature” warm butter cake with whipped cream and berries is a real crowd-pleaser.

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[RELATED14 Restaurants You Gotta Try If It’s Your Very First Visit to Los Angeles]

4. The Arthur J

An ideal restaurant experience requires a perfect storm of welcoming hosts, balanced cocktails, a beautiful space, delicious food, an impressive wine list and dessert that holds up to all that has come before it. Few places truly have it all. But the Arthur J is one of them. The dry aged tomahawk ribeye is a fan favorite and so are the creamy mashed potatoes. If you live in L.A., don’t let its Manhattan Beach locale dissuade you. It’s worth the trip.

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Bone-in Ribeye Tomahawk for Two 34oz 28 day dry-aged prime

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5. Steak and Whisky

If you’ve never been to Hermosa Beach, you now have a reason to go. This year, Chef Tin Vuong of Manhattan Beach’s Little Sister gave the beach town something new to brag about: a fancy new steak house with lots of, wait for it… whiskey.

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Steak and Whisky

Photo Credit: Steak & Whisky

6. JAR

Step foot inside Suzanne Tracht’s JAR, and suddenly you’re living out that fantasy of being a cast member on Mad Men. Sip elegant cocktails like the Jar Manhattan (bulleit rye whiskey, carpano antica sweet vermouth, angostura bitters) and dine in comfy plush chairs surrounded by vintage wood-paneling. In this case, though, the food is 21st-century great and the lovely chef Tracht greets customers at the end of the night. She hugs the regulars and you aspire to be one someday. She’s famous for her pot roast. But the steaks are a must, so good luck with that decision.

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7. Chispacca

Mozzaplex’s ode to meat, Chispacca, is the most intimate of the Mozza family’s establishments. But don’t let its size fool you. This small space delivers big meat, literally. A 50 oz dry-aged black angus porter house, The Bistecca Fiorentina is available for $220. Not quite that hungry? Opt for the Costata alla Fiorentina a 36 oz dry-aged bone-in New York steak.  Other choice options include the giant tomahawk pork chop or their famous decadent beef and bone marrow pie filled with beef cheek, cippolini and fungi. Whatever you go with the lesson here is that sometimes size does matter.

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Last minute tables at 6:00pm tonight • Come try our 50 oz #Bistecca fresh off the grill #SayMeat

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8. Pistola

Pistola was born inside the space that once housed LA’s beloved A.O.C. (which moved about a mile down the street): a tough act to follow, no doubt. But Pistola is holding its own and making a name for itself with beautiful handmade pasta and giant hunks of meat.

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9. Lawry’s Prime Rib

In a town obsessed with trends, how does a restaurant stay in business for over 70 years? By doing one thing, and doing it well. Since 1938, Lawry’s has been roasting and carving juicy slabs of prime rib. The restaurant is more of a Los Angeles institution than it is an innovative culinary destination, but like any legendary haunt, it’s worth checking out for the experience and the nostalgia. And quite frankly, prime rib is damn good.

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[RELATED10 Spots For The Best Burgers in Los Angeles]

10. The Royce

The Royce Wood-Fired Steakhouse is located inside the lavish old-fashioned Langham Pasadena, but there is nothing old or tired about it. The posh white interior is abutted by a glass wall giving diners a peaceful view of the hotel’s well-gardened grounds. Aside from the sophisticated, world-class menu you’d expect to see only in a metropolitan culinary hub, you feel more like you’re in a palace in the British countryside than in Los Angeles. The food matches the surroundings; luxurious, decadent and expensive. The “Beef Rossini,” for example is an 8 0z filet topped with seared foie gras and delicate shavings of black truffle. The Colorado rack of lamb is unbelievably plump.

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Top your #steak with seared foie gras for an added kick to your dinner! #RoyceLA #steakhouse #Pasadena #foiegras

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11. CUT by Wolfgang Puck

After so many decades in Los Angeles, Chef Wolfgang Puck is still at the top of his game. Take CUT at The Beverly Wilshire, for example. The modern steakhouse is popular with locals, tourists and critics alike, remaining on the top of all the best of LA lists year after year. CUT is one of the few restaurants to offer 100% Wagyu beef from Miyazaki Prefecture, Kyushu, Japan, the world’s most expensive meat.

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12. Baltaire

If for some reason you find yourself in Brentwood, it’s worth stepping foot in Baltaire for the gorgeous interior alone. The excellent service and grandiose steaks available with “upgrades” like foie gras and king crab oscar are worthy of a special occasion.

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13. Taylor’s

Go back in time at this old-world steakhouse in downtown LA. Since 1958, the Texas-born Taylor family has been serving aged, corn-fed prime and Angus beef at more affordable prices than you’d find in Beverly Hills.

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14. Alexander’s

For the Pasadena crowd there’s the southern California outpost of Michelin-starred San Francisco steakhouse Alexander’s. At this super-fancy chophouse you can choose from an extensive selection of non-steak options as well as steaks, roasts, dry-aged greater Omaha prime and Wagyu. In addition to its lavish Japanese-influenced menu, the restaurant boasts its very own dry-aging rooms where steaks are kept for weeks before serving.

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15. The Grill on The Alley

Perfect martinis, whiskey sours, Caesar salad, steak tartare and cowboy rib-eye steaks are all reasons to head to any steakhouse. But the Grill on the Alley in Beverly Hills has been a Los Angeles institution for over 30 years. Making it an iconic dining destination for any meat loving Angeleno.

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16. Carlitos Gardel Restaurant

It’s just not a steak house round-up without including some Argentinian deliciousness. In this case, Carlitos Gardel on Melrose Avenue. The popular restaurant serves Argentinian favorites like grilled steak with chimichurri.

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Did we miss your favorite steak spot on the list? Know of somewhere in Los Angeles you think deserves mention? Let us know in the comments below!


The 17 Best Cheap Eats in Silver Lake Every Angeleno Needs to Try Once

November 30, 2015 by Heather Platt

In the past few years, Silver Lake has blossomed into a bonafide food lover’s haven. Some of L.A.’s and the world’s (Ludo Lefebvre) greatest chefs and restauranteurs have begun venturing into the hood that was once where Angelenos went for cheaper rent.

Some have opened high-end eateries with impressive wine lists. Others have kept it casual with low-key brunch spots. But the good news is there is still plenty of affordable delicious grub for the hungry and discerning Silver Lakers, in fact, more than ever.

With that in mind, we compiled a list of where to grab a delicious bite for under $10 in the neighborhood.

List starts below, in no particular order (numbered for reference).

1. My Vegan Gold

You don’t have to be vegan to appreciate the tasty and cheap menu at Vegan Gold. Order the savory Pineapple Curry, Vegan Pho or Kale Salad all of which are local favorites. If you like chicken nuggets, give the soy chicken nuggets a try, it’s just as addictive. Almost all items on their extensive meatless menu are under $10.

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2. Silver Lake Ramen

Prices aside, Silver Lake Ramen serves some of the most crave worthy food in the neighborhood. This explains why, on any given night, you will find dozens of people waiting outside the unassuming spot. Why anyone would want to spend their time loitering on the edge of busy parking lot becomes obvious when you sip your first spoonful of Tonkatsu broth. In addition to the selection of $8.50 ramen options, Silver Lake Ramen offers tempting appetizers like gyoza dumplings, simmered chicken or pork chashu rice bowls, sushi rolls and steamed pork buns. Most of it costs less than $5 and tastes like it should cost a lot more than that. If waiting in line is not your thing, ordering for pick up is a safe bet.

3. Garage Pizza

Garage Pizza is open until 4:00am, making it the best possible last stop on a night out in the neighborhood. Slices of cheese are $3. Additional toppings cost .75 and we highly recommend trying the “Hawaii 5-0”:  ham, pineapple, red onion and feta cheese.

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4. Yeastie Boys Bagels

Check the Yeastie Boys website,  and you’ll find their weekly location schedule. Check their Twitter or Instagram and you might find they have had a change of plans. Show up too late in the designated window of time and they may have sold out of bagels early. But if you’re lucky enough to track down the self-described “Bagel Lords” who park their truck outside of the city’s hippest coffee shops, you’re in for a treat. Also, that elusive quality only make them more appealing. On weekend mornings the truck graces Silver Lake. On Saturdays at Dinosaur Coffee on Sunset Boulevard and Sundays outside of Alfred coffee less than a mile down the street. The bagels are only $4 with schmear. The fancy breakfast sandwich bagels like the “Game Over” (soft scrambled egg, bacon, beer cheese and jalapeño spread on a cheddar bagel) are only $8.

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5. Tacos Delta

Tacos Delta might not be home to the most Instagramed quesadilla, tweeted taco or blogged about burrito. We can’t guarantee a celebrity sighting or promise that a tv chef will be making your enchilada. But Tacos Delta is something better than that. It’s a neighborhood favorite, a local’s go-to for a satisfying breakfast, lunch, afternoon snack or early dinner. It’s not even a restaurant, technically it’s a walk-up window with some tables in the back. But regardless of the other trendy spots that swirl around it decade after decade, the little red stand on Sunset Boulevard continues to dish up plates of delicious charred carne asada and al pastor tacos along with a whole menu of Mexican favorites. Another reason this taco stand is so popular: almost everything is under $10.

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6. Berlin Currywurst

Located in the heart of Sunset Junction, Berlin Currywurst only does one thing: sausage. Luckily, they do it right by giving diners a variety of options. Words like pork, paprika, veal, chicken and beef make a seemingly simple decision, so mouthwatering and difficult. They even have tofu sausage for the vegetarians. The sausages are only $7, so feel free to splurge on a side of sauerkraut salad and the German craft beers they are now serving.

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7. Night Market Song

The Los Angeles restaurant scene seems especially exciting when the places on the best restaurant lists also make the cheap eats lists. Night Market Song is one of these places. The authentic Thai food hotspot headed by chef Kris Yenbamroong boasts one of the most unique menus in town. Avoid the long wait by stopping by for lunch and enjoy their chiengrai-style fried chicken thigh sandwich with papaya slaw, ranch dressing, jalapeño and cilantro for only $9 or Pad See Ew rice noodles with chicken, chinese broccoli, egg, black soy sauce for $10.

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8. Guerilla Tacos

If you’re smart enough to remember this on a Thursday, head to Silver Lake Wine for some seriously wonderful tacos. Chef Wes Avila changes his menu daily and his talent for using local meat and produce to create innovative tacos and burritos never disappoints. The tacos are slightly more expensive than those at your average taco stand ($5 instead of $3). But it’s worth every penny.

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Guerilla Tacos

Beef tongue (left) and Kona Kampachi and sea urchin tostada with winter citrus (right). Credit: Guerilla Tacos on Facebook

9. Trois Familia (for breakfast)

Anyone who has lived in Silver Lake long enough, knows that Trois Familia inhabits a space that was once a beloved BYOB Mexican comfort food spot called Alegria. Alegria was a neighbor institution for 22 years. Naturally, it was a tough act to follow. But if you’re Ludo Lefebvre, Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo you seem to know how to do everything right because Trois Familia is fitting right in. For one, it’s on this list. Meaning, if you go for breakfast, you’re not going to break the bank. Most items like the churro French toast and the chilaquiles are under $10.

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10. “Gus’s Lunch Box”

The burrito truck parked out side of Silver Lake Wine isn’t always there. But when it is, it is one of the best deals east of Vermont Ave. Conveniently located right outside of one of LA’s best wine shops, the truck serves up huge portions of hearty burritos, mulitas, quesadillas and tacos. The the food is a bargain and not fancy. But pairing it with the wine you just bought sure does make you feel classy.

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11.  Sqirl

Technically Sqirl is not in Silver Lake. It is one block west of Hoover, which, as it turns out, is the borderline of the neighborhood.  But it’s just not a cheap eats (or any eats) guide to Silver Lake without mentioning our beloved Sqirl.  Jessica Koslow’s tiny breakfast and lunch spot that centers around her homemade jams and big cartoonish toast is the kind of food you think about eating when you wake up. Thankfully, it’s not expensive either. So roll out of bed and head to Sqirl for the most perfect homemade jam and nut butter toast for $5.50 or their famous sorrel pesto rice bowl for $7.75.

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12. Blossom Vietnamese

Blossom Vietnamese is one of the few more affordable options in Sunset Junction. If you’re not in the mood to splurge at Cafe Stella or Cliff’s Edge, head across the street to Blossom where the spring rolls are fresh and the bun noodles are topped with lemongrass steak. The price is right with most menu items coming in under $10.

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13. Happy Hour at Malo

On weekdays from 3 p.m. until 7 p.m. Malo offers a happy hour menu worth celebrating. Beers are $3. Margaritas are $5. Munch on enchilada nachos and bean and cheese sliders for $3 or splurge on Mexican pizza and ceviche tostada for $5.

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14. L&E Oyster Happy Hour

The happy hour menu at L and E Oyster’s upstairs bar is the best to way enjoy Silver Lake’s loveliest restaurant without completely emptying your wallet. From 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, enjoy $4 beers, oyster specials, discounted wine and a tasty snack menu.

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#dinnerwithfriends #summernights #oysters #yum #instaoysters #oystergram

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15. La Playita Siete Mares

The cheapest deal in Silver Lake is on Tuesdays at La Playita Sieta Mares where fish tacos are only $1.50. The fish is nicely seasoned and not overly battered, the taco is stuffed with a generous amount of cabbage and doused in a delicious salsa.

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16. Mixto Comida Latina

If you work up an appetite shopping at Trader Joe’s across the street, head to Mixto where they use free range and grass fed meats in their popular tacos, burritos and tortas. Everything on their menu is under $8.

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17. Hache LA

For a delicious burger, craft beers and fun outdoor seating, head to Hache LA. Choose from a variety of composed burgers like the “Roaring Forties” topped with blue cheese, caramelized onions, portobello mushroom and horseradish, all of which are under $7.

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Honorable Mentions:

Where is your favorite spot to eat in Silver Lake that won’t break the bank? Let us know in the comments below!


16 Delicious Places to Eat in L.A. After Hiking in Griffith Park

November 24, 2015 by Heather Platt

Griffith Park and its iconic observatory are prominent Los Angeles landmarks and hiking any of Griffith’s myriad trails is a beloved pastime for locals and a must-do for visitors. Offering panoramic views of  the city, the sprawling, rugged park inspires a new appreciation for the diverse landscape of this expansive city.

Of course that scenic workout is bound to build up an appetite and you’re likely to find yourself in workout clothes with a post exercise must-eat-now hunger.

With that in mind, we put together a choice list of delicious and casual places in close proximity to Griffith where no one will mind if you show up in sweatpants and hiking boots.


[RELATED17 Fun Things To Do in Silver Lake if You’re In the Neighborhood]

1. Trails Cafe

The menu at Trails is not extensive.  But when you walk up to the window of the little hut in the woods, the hearty quiche, plump homemade scones, simple avocado and sprouts sandwich reminiscent of the ones your hippy mom made in the 80s and picturesque apple pie are suddenly all you could possibly think about eating. This might also be because trails is the only brick and mortar cafe inside of Griffith Park, making it a popular destination in and of itself. The coffee is good, not perfect, but when you’re sitting on a tree stump in the forest, latte art doesn’t seem appropriate.

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2. Fred 62

Fred 62 is one of those always-busy 1950s style eateries with a rather large yet standard diner menu. Any time of day or night you can have an omelette.  Since it’s L.A. there are “healthy” vegan options like the “Seitan Freshwich.”  Their signature burger, The Juicy Lucy, though not the best burger in town, is probably the most satisfying thing you can find to eat at 3 a.m. The other thing that makes Fred 62 noteworthy in addition to its convenient always-open policy, is its proximity to Griffith Park.

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3. The Deli at Little Dom’s

If you feel like eating at the neighborhood’s favorite Italian spot, but feel underdressed for the sit-down lunch, head to the adjacent sandwich shop where you can grab and go with all of the tasty flavors that make Little Dom’s famous. Hot meatball and provolone sandwiches, arugula and parmesan salads and Italian wedding soup taste even better with a hike induced appetite.

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 4. Sandwiches from Proof Bakery in Atwater Village

Sometimes less is more. Take Proof in Atwater Village, for example. Apart from a selection of sweet baked goods, the adorable bakery doesn’t have a bona fide lunch menu. But at noon until they run out everyday, the most perfect mini-baguette sandwiches in Los Angeles are available at the tiny coffee shop. Regulars loiter around the sidewalk at this time waiting for the white paper-wrapped treats to appear behind the glass display counter.  The varieties change daily and though there are usually only three options, choosing between fresh heirloom tomato with cheese and spicy mustard, salami with chive butter, Manchego and arugula or a classic French ham and Brie seems difficult. Thankfully, they are rather small, so ordering all three is perfectly reasonable. Also, you just hiked Griffith Park, so you’ve earned it.

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5. Best Fish Tacos in Ensenada

There’s nothing quite as delicious as a fish taco. Combine that with the hunger of hiking to the top of Griffith Park and you have the most delicious meal imaginable. The Best Fish Tacos in Ensenada is located on Hillhurst Avenue in Los Feliz very close to the park. Now stopping for that perfect fish taco on your way home from a hike in the morning, noon or night is imperative.

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#tacotuesday is never a bad idea. NEVER! #LosAngeles #losfeliz #lafoodie #nomnomnom #shrimptacos

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6. Tacos Villa Corona

If you’re an early morning hiker, you must end your hike with breakfast. And by that we mean, a breakfast burrito. Tacos Villa Corona is located on the south east corner of the park in Atwater Village and is only a few miles from where you worked up that appetite. It boasts some of the best breakfast burritos in town.

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7. All’ acqua

The relatively new Italian eatery on Glendale Blvd in Atwater Village is a welcome addition to an ever-blossoming neighborhood. Dinner there is pleasantly vibrant with locals chowing down on wood-fired pizzas and house-made pastas. All’ acqua is only a few miles from Griffith Park, and its lunch vibe is casual and welcoming, making it a  great post workout spot for hikers with a high-end appetite.

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8. Messhall Kitchen

If you’re too hungry to think about where to go after hiking, head to Messhall Kitchen on Los Feliz Boulevard. Its less than a mile from the park, making it the quickest fix for post-hike hunger.

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9. Cafe Figaro

A French bistro might sound too fancy for an after-workout meal. But snag a sidewalk table at the neighborhood cafe, and enjoy a selection of French specialties like moule frites or a croque madame while people watching on the always bustling and very casual Vermont Avenue. If you’re lucky enough to finish your hike in the late afternoon, head straight to Figaro for their happy hour menu. The $3 beers, $4 wines and food specials can’t be beat.

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10. Lucifers Pizza

Don’t be intimidated by the devilish name. Lucifer’s pizza is good. For those with dietary restrictions, Lucifers provides some of the best gluten-free and vegan pizza in the city. Stop by for that quick-fix New York-style slice of pie or order a whole one to take home for dinner. After all, who has the energy to cook after hiking all day?

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[RELATED5 Hikes You Gotta Do Your First Year Living in Los Angeles]

11. Alcove Cafe and Bakery

Due to its central location on the busy Hillhurst Avenue, sprawling outdoor seating area and large menu, Alcove Cafe and Bakery is a popular Los Feliz neighborhood hangout. Order from a big menu of classic American fare and relax outside on the garden patio. The homey, family-friendly feel makes it a a perfectly casual spot for a post workout brunch, lunch or snack.

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12. Pine & Crane

Decidedly one of the best restaurants in Silver Lake, Pine and Crane has a lovely balance of a casual atmosphere paired with excellent food. Located in the heart of Silver Lake, it’s a bit further from the park. But worth the extra minutes drive for the farm fresh produce driven menu. And eating Taiwanese cabbage and spinach sautéed with fresh garlic and salt won’t make you feel like you’ve just undone the benefits of your workout.

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13. Momed Atwater

Momed is located away from the main drag of Glendale Boulevard that makes Atwater Village famous. But don’t let that keep you from heading there for lunch or dinner. Only a few minutes from the south east corner of Griffith park, the east side outpost of the Beverly Hills mediterranean kitchen is affordable conveniently casual.

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14. The Village Bakery and Cafe

Located on the south east side of Griffith Park on Los Feliz Boulevard, The Village Bakery and Cafe is an easy go to for standard breakfast, lunch and baked goods.  The menu is unpretentious, reasonably priced and the atmosphere is as casual and welcoming as it gets.

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Breakfast sandwich with bacon. Not terrible. #atwatervillage #breakfastisserved #sammich #lafoodie

A photo posted by We Like L.A. (@welikela) on

15. The Oaks Gourmet

The Oaks Gourmet is the post-hiking pit stop for those headed towards Hollywood or farther west. After hiking some of the more western trails up Bronson Avenue, stop at The Oaks for gourmet sandwiches, brick oven pizzas, elaborate salads and fresh smoothies. While you’re at it, stock up on wine, craft beers, cheese and fine food items for your home kitchen.

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16. Olive and Thyme

Griffith Park is an enormous, 4,310 acres swath of land. So when it comes to describing where to eat around the park, it is necessary that we encompass all sides of the land. Olive and Thyme is located off of the north west side of the park in Burbank. So if you’re headed in that direction, take note of Olive and Thyme’s extensive breakfast, lunch and dinner menus. The lovely cafe is also a marketplace, making it a great place to stop after a hike for a quick snack and grocery shopping for dinner.

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Where are your favorite spots to eat after a great hike in Griffith Park? Share your recommendations below!

Things To Do

17 Fun Things To Do in Silver Lake if You’re In the Neighborhood

November 18, 2015 by Heather Platt

Silver Lake, the hilly neighborhood east of Hollywood and north west of downtown, has become internationally known as one of the best places to live in the U.S. Its creative vibe and unique landscape has turned it into one of the most sought after destinations for residents and tourists alike.

With new restaurants, bars and a coffee shop on every corner there is certainly plenty to eat and drink. But what does one do in between meal times in this hipster haven?

Below you’ll find a rundown of fun things to do in Silver Lake that’ll help you work up an appetite while getting to know this unique L.A. enclave (listed in no particular order, numbered only for reference).


[RELATED10 Excellent Places to Eat in Silver Lake You Definitely Gotta Try Once]

Sunset Junction Sign

Credit: Brian Champlin / We Like L.A.

1. The Silver Lake Reservoir and Meadow

There was a time when the mile-long water-filled basins, were nothing but an eyesore, surrounded by wire fence and dirt. But in April 2011, the City of Los Angeles opened up a three-acre grassy park on the east side of the reservoir for the public to enjoy. The swath of grass, known as the “Silver Lake Meadow” is lined with park benches, trees, walking paths and drought-appropriate landscaping. On any day of the week, you’ll find the meadow reminiscent of a scene from New York’s Central Park; doted with picnic blankets, kites flying and children running. Take a walk or jog around the well-groomed 2.2-mile path which circumnavigates the reservoir before joining the neighborhood locals for a relaxing afternoon in the meadow.

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2. Concerts at The Satellite or Silver Lake Lounge

Since the 1990s Silver Lake has been a hub for alternative and indie rock music, a place where many international artists got their start. Be a part of history by catching a show at one of the neighborhood’s legendary venues. Silver Lake Lounge is a tiny, dive bar with a small stage located on Sunset Boulevard across from Silver Sun Liquors, the place from which the band The Silversun Pickups got its name (apparently, band members would pick-up booze from the liquor store during rehearsal). The Satellite (formerly known as Spaceland) has survived its gentrified surroundings by continuing to host local bands in an intimate setting to throngs of enthusiastic music lovers.

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video via edithleung / YouTube

3. Thai Massage at The Raven Spa

Enter through a serene courtyard and make your way to the front desk where a calm receptionist with a soothing voice hands you a perfectly folded set of Thai pants and a soft t-shirt. After changing into the cozy pajama-like ensemble, get rubbed and stretched in ways you never thought possible in a sectioned-off portion of a large communal room. Separated by curtains, the space is meditative and the sound of water trickling in the central fountain makes you forget you’re in Los Angeles, at least for a few minutes.  At $70 for one-hour, the traditional Thai massage at The Raven Spa is not the cheapest in town, but reaching this kind of maximum relaxation is priceless.

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4. Stair Hike in the Silver Lake hills

Even if you’re just visiting Los Angeles for a week, you should get your hands on Charles Fleming’s book Secret Stairs: A Walking Guide to the Historic Staircases of Los Angeles. The book leads to and around the city’s abandoned staircases, a network of forgotten steps that once connected residence to trolley cars and a light-rail system before Los Angeles was dominated by highways and cars. While in Silver Lake, take the Music Box Loop and admire the distinct mid-century architecture built into the hills. Guides for these unique paths can also be found on the Secret Stairs Website, and a stairclimbers group meets regularly on

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5. Flamenco Supper Club at El Cid

Silver Lake might seem like it’s in its heyday right now, but the neighborhood has its exciting history too. No where is this more prevalent than at El Cid, the Flamenco theater/restaurant on Sunset Blvd. In 1925, El Cid began as a speakeasy and in 1963 became the Spanish supper club it is today. On Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays catch a Flamenco show for $15.00 while sipping sangria and dining on tapas and paella.

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6. Tuesday and Saturday Farmer’s Market

With Trader Joe’s and Gelson’s across the street from each other on Hyperion Avenue, Silver Lake has no shortage of groceries. But when it comes to produce, save your dollars for the farm fresh fruits and vegetables available on Tuesday afternoons and Saturday mornings in Silver Lake’s Sunset Triangle Plaza. The bi-weekly farmers markets, located just a few blocks from Sunset Junction, are community events small enough to navigate easily and comprehensive enough to provide locals with all of their seasonal produce needs.

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[RELATEDA Handy Day-by-Day List of Farmers Markets in Los Angeles]

Silver Lake Farmers Market

Silver Lake Farmer’s Market. Credit: Brian Champlin / We Like L.A.

7. Play soccer, basketball, or baseball in Bellevue Park

If you really want to know where the locals are, it’s called Bellevue Recreation Center. The public park is located on the south west side of Silver Lake (about a 10 minute walk from Sunset Junction) and includes a baseball diamond, soccer fields, a basketball court, two separate playgrounds, public barbecue pits, picnic tables and a 1/2 mile running path that encircles all of it. On the weekends you are likely to see long tables set up with balloons, a piñata hanging from one of the large trees and lots of happy families.

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8. Music Classes at Silver Lake Conservatory of Music

Ever dreamed of actually learning how to play that Ukelele you bought in Hawaii? Well, now you can. Located in the heart of Sunset Junction, Silver Lake Conservatory of Music was founded in 2001 by Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist, Michael “Flea” Balzar. The non-profit organization offers a wide range of instrumental instruction. Though their mission is geared toward youths, adults are also welcome. Half hour lessons in everything from voice, to piano, cello, tuba or banjo are available for a mere $30.

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video via MOCA/ YouTube

9. Shopping and caffeinating at Broome Street General Store

The third wave coffee, baked goods, sandwiches and shaded outdoor seating at Broome Street General Store on Rowena are reasons enough to love it. But the coffee shop doubles as, well, a general store. Selling a highly curated selection of everything from lotions and candles, to kitchen wares, blankets and jewelry. The owners seem to have an obsession with France: Petite Bateau baby clothes, Mauviel copper pots, Laguiole knives, Duralex Picardie glassware. Francophiles take note.

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10. Shopping for Vintage Clothes in Sunset Junction

It’s comforting that in a neighborhood quickly being overrun by swanky bars and expensive designer handbag stores, a tiny vintage clothing boutique has remained in Sunset Junction since 1998. Ragg Mopp Vintage offers everything from casual shirts to high end gowns, jewelry and accessories. Their well-picked inventory dates as far back as the 1890’s and as recently as 1990’s. Splurge on a  glorious red velvet dress from the 1930s or grab a casual Ramone’s tee-shirt.

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11. Chandelier Tree

After visiting the reservoir, Broome Street General Store, or The Raven Spa, walk  over to one of the neighborhoods most idiosyncratic landmarks, the chandelier tree.

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video via Colin Kennedy / Vimeo

12. Wine Tasting at Silver Lake Wine

Silver Lake Wine is undoubtedly the best place in the neighborhood to purchase a bottle of vino. But in line with the social vibe of the neighborhood, the favorite wine shops offers a variety of in house tasting events with everything from weekly $15 per person wine and cheese tastings, four-course wine and food pairings for $25 and Thursday night wine flights. As wine is always best paired with food, it is worth noting that some of LA’s favorite food trucks are usually parked right outside of these popular events.

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13. Trade in your old clothes for cash at Crossroads Trading Company

How else do you plan to pay for all of those $5 lattes? Crossroads Trading Company has several locations in LA. But its Silver Lake branch is arguably the best. Trade in last years threads for store credit or cash.

14. Silver Lake Picture Show

In the same space that hosts the Silver Lake Community Farmer’s Markets, in the summer months the public is welcomed to come and enjoy free moving screenings. Sunset Triangle Plaza is closed off to traffic and makes for an excellent picnic environment.  Live bands and screenings of short films by local filmmakers are displayed as opening acts to the feature films shown. The screenings routinely attract around 500 guests and the series claims to have had over 10,000 attendees in total since its inception. No RVSP is required but seating is limited, however, so arrive early to claim a spot.

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15. Silver Lake Dog Park

Located on the southern tip of the reservoir, Silver Lake Dog park is the place for canines and their parents to socialize. Dog owners from all over the neighborhood meet there to let their dogs play before or after a nice walk around the reservoir path.

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[RELATED15 Awesome Los Angeles Dog Parks Where Your Ruffer Can Roam Free]

16. Shop for Spices at The Spice Station

Yes, there are shops entirely devoted to spices. Couldn’t find sassafras at Ralph’s? Head to The Spice Table. The little store located down a charming alley off of Sunset Boulevard, is paradise for neurotic home cooks and creative restaurant mixologists. It is the go-to for any hard-to-find spices and the shop owners will even grind them in-house for you.

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17. Holyland Exhibition

Rumor has it that the fictional movie character Indiana Jones is based on a real life man named Antonia F. Futterer. Devout in his religious faith, in the 1920s, Futterer travelled to Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Cyprus, and Palestine in search of biblical relics from the Holy Land. He succeeded in discovering a trove of artifacts and mementos. With no place to store his treasure, he founded five-room museum in a Los Angeles house. His findings remain in the house to this day. The museum is open by appointment only for visitors to see for themselves the oil lamps, bottles, coins, ivory, silver Mideastern jewelry, tapestries and mummy casket that dates back to 600 B.C.

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What are your favorite things to do in Silver Lake? Be sure to let us know in the comments below!