FOOD FAVES IN LA + OC
Let’s get to the real reason why you’ve come to my blog, to see what I’ve eaten and to put it on your must -try list. Here’s my LA must-visitsor best eats from this past our time in SoCal:
NOTES WORTH MENTIONING -
Wish dish refers to the dish you wish you could have in your mouth, like, now. Skip my nonsense about how delicious the food is and order what I think is the cream of the crop.
My general food writing: emotionally driven. Unapologetic. May induce salivation and hunger pains. Warning: please do not read if hangry (Jon).
Class 302 - SW LA
Wish Dish: strawberry and mango shaved snow (don’t insult this delectable treat by calling it shaved ice - shame on you for thinking it)
This is the TOP of my list. This is the treat that I dream about in Dallas on a hot day, or sometimes while I’m driving, or sometimes when I’m at home watching TV….it’s really kind of sad how often I crave/desire/desperately Class 302’s shaved snow, and yet if you’ve had it, you get it. The melt-in-your-mouth texture of the shaved snow in combination with the subtlety its flavor and the sweetness of the strawberries and mangos is sheer perfection in your mouth. It’s far from LA, but gosh darn it, it’s worth it.
Porto’s Bakery - several locations around LA
Wish Dish: CHEESE ROLLS
I’ve been to Porto’s on multiple occasions now and it’s become an LA staple for me because it’s affordable, delicious, and you can get in and out within a reasonable amount of time. I also love that it’s always, always bustling! I go for their sweet pastry cream cheese filled cheese rolls, but their selection is incredible and their 3500+ reviews with a 4.5 star rating on Yelp will give you a long list of other fan favorites from this Cuban bakery. This is definitely a place you don’t want to miss out on!
Umami Burger - multiple locations in SoCal
Wish Dish: Maple Bacon Sweet Potato Fries
Yes, the burgers here are wonderful, but I’ve just experienced my fave umami side dish that will taunt me for a year or two until I make my next LA visit: their maple bacon sweet potato fries. Oh man, they’re good. Mix that with their truffle burger and a root beer and you’ve got a killer combination on your palette.
Grits Fullerton - OC
Wish Dish: Pork Shank and Grits + The “Boring” Pancake Balls
Big props to my hubs for finding this gem just two weeks after they opened. It was well lit, had a nicely designed interior and their food that was just as delicious as it was attractive. We ordered the pork shank which was braised in dr. pepper with dried cherries over white grits. It wasn’t an affordable dish, but it was unbelievably good and the cherries were an insanely good compliment to the dish. The pancake balls (also known as ebelskivers) were perfectly cooked and a wonderful sweet dish to go without savory pork and grits. We left full and utterly satisfied.
Malibu Seafood - Malibu
Wish Dish: Fish + Chips and their Strawberry Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich x 5
The best fish and chips in LA, no contest. You can try to argue with their 1300+ Yelp reviews and four star rating, but why try? Also, they sell a Santa Monica-made organic ice cream cookie sandwich called Beachy Cream. My brother got the balsamic strawberry ice cream sandwich with sugar cookies and it was so good, I bought another 10 minutes after we devoured the first one and I want one, like, now. Do you think I have a food problem? You’re not alone. Let’s pretend it’s a pregnancy craving (but we both know it’s a perpetual craving).
The Packing House - Anaheim
Wish Dish: JUST GO! IT IS SO COOL!
I won’t lie, I wasn’t crazy about the Indian dishes I got, but the atmosphere and the awesome selection of food cannot be beat. A little background on the awesome lunch date babe who's with us: Jon and I were nannies for the loveliest family in college and they’ve since become good family friends. The kids we once nannied as 8 and 12 year olds are now taller than us and basically full-fledged adults and Lauren, the oldest, is now living in LA. SO WEIRD and so wonderful at the same time. We were fortunate enough to take Lauren to The Packing House for lunch and frolic through its light-filled, well designed awesomeness. I can’t testify for the rest of the food (except for Pop Bar which we’ve had in NY, totes yummy) but if you’re in or nearby the area, it’s completely worth the experience of visiting. Also, there's an Umami Burger conveniently next door.
LA Street Food Festival - Pasadena
Wish Dish: Local Ice’s Banana Foster’s Ice Cream and LA Siracha’s Reverse Ceviche
It was so much fun to get to work the first day of Renengade Craft Fair and then head over to the Rose Bowl to eat our hearts out at LA’s Street Food Fest (big thanks to my brother who was a judge for the festival and invited us to eat). The two things I loved most from the festival were Local Ice’s Banana Foster’s ice cream and LA Siracha’s reverse ceviche bite. Local Ice gave away coupons and after the second day of the festival, Jon and I definitely capitalized on the coupon for some additional B-Foster love! The picture above basically captures my posture for the trip: have food in both hands as often as possible.
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream - Food Truck
Wish Dish: Brown Butter Almond Brittle with Salty Caramel sauce
Jeni’s ice cream was one of the food trucks at the fair and they provided us with the most amazing mid-afternoon craft fair pick-me-up ever. Jon and I were trying to share our single ice cream portion kindly with each other, but secretly hoping the other person wouldn’t see the extra-large spoonfuls we were both taking. Needless to say, the ice cream didn’t last long.
Son of a Bun - Food Truck
Wish Dish: any burger?
My incredible hubby braved the long line to get the Son of a Bun burger I was craving on our last day at the fair. We both loved our burgers and we loved, loved the buns. Totally worth a try!
Some fun group shenanigans at Bambu drinks and desserts for the only night we actually got to hang out with Danni! We surprised her at the airport with her husband Nick and she cried and it was SO sweet! So thankful we at least had one evening of overlap together (back story: Danni had to go work a trade show in Atlanta super last minute, so the day we flew in to LA was the same day she flew out for Atlanta...so we just stayed at her house….with her husband Nick….and packaged cards together and played video games….it was glorious).
We love this couple! Yes, Danni and I are aware that our hubbies kind of look similar and they're both married to asian wives....who are a little overly energetic (crazy). Can't wait for that baby in my belly to meet the Keiths in person!
So tell me, what are your must-have LA eats? Where do I absolutely need to go the next time I'm in the area?