The Top 5 Dishes in Hollywood

Discover 5 essential dishes, from a French bistro to a Thai Town gem


No longer are tourists flocking to Hollywood just to see their favorite star on the Walk of Fame, place their hands on prints in front of TCL Chinese Theatre, or ride a double-decker bus in hopes of spotting a celebrity. We’re in the early stages of a revival of compelling restaurants in the center of LA’s pop culture factory, with culinary influences spanning the globe. Curtis Stone recently opened Gwen, and other high-powered chefs like Adam Perry Lang, and April Bloomfield are also hitting Hollywood hard. Discover my five favorite dishes in this historic, high-density neighborhood.

 

Roasted duck leg and oatmeal griddle cakes at Salt's Cure | Instagram by @saltscure

Duck leg & oatmeal griddle pancakes - Salt's Cure



A planter-lined patio frames Salt’s Cure, a restaurant and bar with warm wood, white, and red color scheme. Inside, Chris Phelps prepares comfort food with impeccably sourced ingredients. Duck leg with oatmeal griddle cakes is a great alternative to chicken & waffles. Crispy pancakes are made with oatmeal, butter, sugar, and eggs and have become so popular that they inspired a spinoff restaurant: Breakfast by Salt’s Cure. The dinner menu pairs cakes with a bone-in duck leg that’s cured in warm, oatmeal friendly spices like peppercorns, cinnamon and clove. The meat’s foil-wrapped and slow-cooked overnight in olive oil and residual duck fat, yielding luscious results. Pancakes come with a dollop of molasses butter and with roasted skin-on pink lady apples. In winter, the accompaniment switches to blood orange marmalade, a nod to duck a l’orange. Chris created this combo for his mom’s 50th birthday dinner and is the gift that keeps giving.

Rodded Duck Noodle Soup

 |  Photo: Joshua Lurie

Duck noodle soup - Rodded



Rodded is one of L.A.’s oldest Thai restaurants, operating for over four decades while managing to remain relevant. The current owners include Prontip Komenkul, husband Loesjai, and son Danny, who’s leading the family business into the future. Duck soup with noodles is their signature dish, featuring a duck broth treated to boldly flavored duck meat that’s been stewed with soy, cinnamon, and proprietary secrets. Typically, the noodle soup comes with sliced breast meat, crunchy bean sprouts, garnishes of scallions, cilantro, and toasted garlic. If you’re feeling adventurous, request “everything,” and receive additional duck parts like liver and feet. Your biggest decision is which noodle to place in your soup: small noodle, egg noodle, flat noodle, rice stick, or glass noodles.

Kimchi fried rice at Baroo | Instagram by @phil.rosenthal

Kimchi Fried Rice - Baroo



Chef Kwang Uh and business partner Matthew Kim straddle the line between innovation and tradition at Baroo, their sign-less strip mall restaurant that’s named for the bowl that Buddhist monks use for life-long meals. Uh is a champion of fermentation, which finds its way into one of Baroo’s signature dishes: kimchi fried rice. People know kimchi, and they know fried rice, but Uh finds most versions mushy, so he took the dish in a totally different direction. Long-grain Amira basmati rice hosts distinctly vivid ingredients like punchy pineapple fermented kimchi, oozing 63-degree °C sous vide egg dusted with toasted buckwheat & quinoa, gremolata, pineapple jalapeno salsa, purple potato chips, nori strips, and micro greens. Bolster with bacon and Spanish chorizo if you need meat.

Lobster Roll at The Hungry Cat | Instagram by @cyclamen_114

Lobster Roll - The Hungry Cat



Maryland native David Lentz casts a wide net at The Hungry Cat, his stylish seafood restaurant that helped to revive Hollywood when opening with wife Suzanne Goin in the Sunset + Vine complex in 2005. Some menu items change seasonally, but the Maine lobster roll is a constant, showing up long before lobster rolls started to become ubiquitous in L.A., and still a standout. They pluck sweet cooked tail and claw meat from the shell and mix with minced shallots, celery, salt, pepper, paprika, tarragon, aioli, and lemon juice. The vessel is a supple brioche bun from sister establishment Larder Baking Company that’s slathered with soft butter and toasted in a cast-iron pan. Each plate comes with skin-on Kennebec French fries that are garnished with chopped chives and celery leaf, bread and butter pickles, and a squeeze-able lemon.

Omelette at Petit Trois | Instagram by @maximumfeast

Omelette - Petit Trois



Chef Ludo Lefebvre and business partners Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo have turned a Hollywood strip mall into a destination with the fine dining Trois Mec and casual bistro Petit Trois. Ludo presents powerhouse French classics at Petit Trois like steak frites and sole meunière, but more people gravitate towards a seemingly humble omelette. Of course, this omelette is far from simple. Five eggs are prepared to their fluffy, runny pinnacle, loaded with a week’s worth of Boursin pepper cheese, folded and garnished with chives and sea salt. Each plate comes with Colleen DeLee’s textbook baguette and a bright butter lettuce salad dressed with Dijon vinaigrette, shallots and grape seed oil.