Route 66 is perhaps the most legendary roadway in the United States, even if it no longer technically exists. "The Mother Road" was established in 1926 and ran from Chicago through Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona, then into California and all the way to the ocean in Santa Monica. It opened at the right time and ran through the right places to make it synonymous with U.S. expansion, as people moved west to look for work during the Great Depression, and then just kept moving west because everyone liked big cars and big backyards - two things strongly associated with Los Angeles. The highway was officially decommissioned in 1985 after years of sections being renamed and rerouted, but the mystique endures, and people still follow its route to learn a bit about Americana. Here are some of the restaurants to check out as you cruise the streets that make up Route 66, most of them holdovers from mid-century road culture.
There’s no shortage of great guacamole in Los Angeles, a city blessed to contain some of the best Mexican food on the planet, in a state that grows a fair percentage of the world’s avocados. This most perfect snack (and the most-consumed item on Super Bowl Day) has ancient roots, as avocados have been cultivated in Central America for thousands of years and there’s record of the fruit being smashed together with other ingredients in a molcajete by the Aztecs. People might disagree about what other ingredients are necessary - onions? Garlic? Tomatoes? Lemon? - but everyone knows that at its base, guacamole is one of the world’s best dishes. Here are five restaurants in L.A. County doing excellent renditions of it.
East L.A. has a storied and complicated history that started well before Spanish settlement from Gaspar de Portolà in the 1700s. The area is now a center for Latino culture in L.A., particularly for Mexican Americans. Discover five of the best dishes in this vibrant community that lives between Boyle Heights and Montebello/Monterey Park.
Every season is pizza season, right? Between the abundance of imaginative chefs and beautiful produce available here year-round, there are vegan pizzas aplenty in Los Angeles. Even chains like Lucifer’s, Z Pizza, Blaze, Pizza Man and Whole Foods are keeping vegan cheeses on hand for dairy-free customers. Mangia!
L.A.’s Chinese American community dates to the 1850s, but it wasn’t until 1938 that the neighborhood that once held Little Italy officially became known as Chinatown. Now, eight decades later, Chinatown is enjoying unprecedented growth. Classic spots like Eastside Market Italian Deli, Nick’s Café, Phoenix Inn, and Sam Woo are still going strong, and a new crop is providing diversity and depth. Start with these five dishes.
Discover Los Angeles
Nothing quite tops off a great meal better than a spectacular coastal view. There’s just something about the backdrop of the Pacific Ocean that sets the perfect tone for a light lunch or an evening out. The organic ambiance of a breathtaking sight truly enhances one’s dining experience and adds a touch of sophistication to any date or casual outing. These beachfront L.A. restaurants are worth seeking out, even if it’s only just to take in the beautiful views.
Studio City’s name was inspired by Mack Sennett’s thriving movie studio (now CBS Studio Center). The six-square-mile-plus expanse has added a number of neighboring studios over the years. Hollywood players splurge on good food, and not just at power lunches. Thankfully, Studio City has one of the highest concentrations of destination sushi bars in L.A., and has gained a wide variety of seasonal and international restaurants in recent years. Discover five dishes that help kickstart a Studio City culinary adventure.
Woodland Hills is an upscale neighborhood in the southwest San Fernando Valley that spans nearly 15 square miles and extends from the Warner Center business park to the wilds of Topanga State Park. Much of the action centers on Ventura and Topanga Canyon Boulevards. The area is a hotbed for Middle Eastern and Indian restaurants, though you’ll find a fairly wide spectrum. Start by eating these five standout dishes.
Summer dineL.A. 2018 is upon us, and the food fans among us (this is L.A., it’s everyone) are carefully creating spreadsheets and cross-referencing locations with their friends. It’s important business, deciding which restaurants must be visited during this brief time when every place that's participating is offering a once-in-a-lifetime - well, twice-in-a-year - deal. There are a lot of big name restaurants on the Summer dineL.A. list, but there are some eateries that maybe don’t get as much shine as the famous places - but they’re absolutely great. Be sure to include these hidden gems in your dineL.A. plans.