I May or May Not Have Left My Heart in LA

*island music playing in the background*

This time around, our trip to LA was so relaxing and it was nothing like the first time we stepped foot in LA. We didn’t really have a set itinerary, except we knew we had a lot of restaurants to try. We went wherever the wind brought us. I wanted this to be a surprise but was so hard for me to hold back when Will kept saying “we should go to LA” “should we go to LA?” “when are we going to LA?”. So I had to break it to him, months ahead, that I had already booked our flights to LA for his birthday. 5 days was enough for us to eat everything we wanted, squeeze in mini activities and still chill.

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Luckily, we had a few friends in town so it meant we could sample more food. In fact, there was one restaurant we tried that was so good that we went back a second time! We never do that! Below are a few recommendations, ranked in order of our favorites —

Hamachi Tostada @ Guerilla Taco

Hamachi Tostada @ Guerilla Taco

Coconut Mango sticky Rice @ Night+Market Song

Coconut Mango sticky Rice @ Night+Market Song

Beef Tartare @ HLAY

Beef Tartare @ HLAY

Here’s Looking At You - A unique modern Asian restaurant with a menu that will leave you questioning everything you once new about Asian food. As we went through the list, everything sounded so interesting because we never saw the combinations before. Dishes here are served tapas style, with some being on the larger side. My most favorite and memorable dish was the Frog Leg’s served with a side of bangin’ salsa. The only time I eat frog legs is when I go out for a large family dinner at a Chinese banquet. But never have I ever had such crispy and tender frog legs. The salsa itself was so unique and it elevated the dish’s flavor. On the other hand, Will won’t stop talking about how good their beef tartare was. Unlike other tartares that we’ve had, this was more coarse and heavily seasoned in deliciousness. It reminded us of bulgogi marinade (sesame oil, asian pear and soy).

Night+Market Song - There are multiple Night+Market locations, the one we went back to twice was located in Silverlake. Yes, we went back to this restaurant twice within a short trip because we loved the food that much and wanted to try the entire menu! They have a mix of classic dishes like pad thai and pad see ew but also a huge variety of Isan style dishes like laarb and khao soi. Fair warning though, some dishes are extremely spicy — we shed some tears, snot and may or may not have left our soul in the restaurant. Unsurprisingly, our favorite dish was the Crispy Rice (we always get this at Ugly Baby too). Their version was way more spicy and super crispy. I could eat this for the rest of my life. If you love sweet and salty food, don’t forget to try their Coconut Mango Sticky Rice!

Guerilla Tacos - You cant’t leave LA without trying these tacos. They started off as a taco truck and now have a permanent location near DTLA! Hands down, they make one of the best fish tacos I’ve ever had and surprised me when I saw Hamachi tostadas on the menu. When it came out, I was so amazed by the vibrant presentation! It was garnished with citrus, microgreens and homemade chile sauce. I wish I didn’t eat before going here because I wanted to sample all the tacos.

A few other outstanding spots to try in LA

  • Lengua Tacos @ Tacos Tumbras in Grand Central Market

  • Taquitos @ Cielito Linda in “Little Mexico”

  • Pork Belly @ Majordomo

  • A sample of millennial creations @ Smorgasburg

  • Korean BBQ @ Park’s

  • Unicorn Toast @ Sqirl

If you enjoy craft beers, here are a few microbreweries we stumbled upon and loved:

  • Imperial Western (Union Station)

  • Modern Times (DTLA)

  • Mikkeller (DTLA)