East Coast expats always complain about how other-side-of-the-country staples like lobster rolls, and pizza slices, and bagels, and cheesesteaks, and etceteras just aren't the same in LA. And 99% of the time, they're totally right. 1% of the time, though -- yup -- they're not. Here are nine places in LA that're crushing other-coast eats so hard, even East Coasters can't be all, "these aren't as good as the ones on the East Coast pahk the cah in Hahvad Yahd."
What you're getting: A cheesesteak and a Tastykake
This longtime Valley favorite imports Amoroso rolls, Dutch birch beer, and Tastykakes for a "true" Philly experience, which -- of course -- also includes people throwing batteries at you. Wait, no... your choice of provolone or Whiz (there we go).
What you're getting: An everything bagel with lox and cream cheese
Since 1987, the Broker has been delivering on carb-bombs that are damn-near identical to the ones you'll find in New York: they're big and doughy, they're boiled before they're baked, and they use unbleached, high-gluten flour, sugar, salt, yeast, and water. Pair that with the thin and salty lox and cream cheese, close your eyes, and you'll feel like you're ankle deep in a slush puddle in no time!
What you're getting: Clam chowder
On Fridays only, this Silver Lake institution serves up thick, white chowder just swimming with chewy goodness -- and then promptly runs out, because everyone wants some. So, our pro-tip? Lunch. Definitely lunch.
What you're getting: Fried clams
They're hard to find in LA, but this divey Santa Monica sports bar does crispy, slaw-abetted fried Ipswich clams 100% right, which is no surprise: the slogan for the Patriots-Celtics-Red Sox bar is "who says you're 3,000 miles away?"
What you're getting: Lobster roll
The only dish listed under The Anchor's "A Must" menu section, this lobster roll is... um... a must. The thing is, it's both a classic lobster roll (perfectly buttered roll and rich, pleasantly juicy lobster) and not (ultra-thin truffle shavings), but the whole thing is far larger (and ultimately more satisfying) than its closest competitors (we're looking at you, Son of a Gun).
What you're getting: The Godmother
Okay, it's pretty definitively the best sandwich in LA, and you know this already, but one of the reasons it's the best is that it's so close to a legit Italian East Coast sub that you can almost taste the subway-and-urine-and-trash. Almost.
What you're getting: Scrapple
Slow down, Delawareians (Delawarites? Delawareists??) -- the scrapple at Doughboys isn't exactly like it's made on the East Coast, but all of the scrapple made on the East Coast isn't exactly like all of the other scrapple made on the East Coast, either. The 3rd St version is less loaf-like and looser than what people philosophically consider scrapple, but this is still the closest/best you're gonna find in LA.
What you're getting: A slice of pepperoni
Okay, you're not gonna find any slice in LA that holds a candle to a walk-by slice in NY, but this tiny, thin crust contender holds, like, a lighter or something, thanks to a step that's often overlooked: they cook the pizzas, let 'em cool a bit, and then make them available by the re-heated slice. It double-cooks the crust, making sure it's crispy without being overcooked, and leading to some of the best East Coast-style pie in LA.
What you're getting: Crab cakes
There are plenty of great crab cakes all over Los Angeles, but this oft-overlooked classic restaurant makes them just loose enough, just breaded enough, and just buttery enough to project them just that far enough over the competition.
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1. The Bagel Broker7825 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles
2. Taix French Restaurant1911 W. Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles
3. Sonny McLean's Irish Pub2615 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica
4. The Anchor235 Main St, Los Angeles
5. Bay Cities Italian Deli & Bakery1517 Lincoln Blvd, Santa Monica
6. Doughboys8136 W 3rd St, Los Angeles
7. Prime Pizza446 N Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles
8. The Grill on the Alley9560 Dayton Way, Beverly Hills
Fresh, piping hot bagels are traditionally known as a NYC favorite but The Bagel Broker has been serving them up in LA's Fairfax district since 1987. This family carbotoreum has 18 different flavors of bagels and one bialy. (Want a schmear with that?)
At almost 80, this Silver Lake restaurant's an institution, with dishes straight from the French country from which its eponymous family emigrated: ratatouille, les salades niçoises, Croques Monsieurs. Plus, on Fridays only, it serves up thick, white chowder just swimming with chewy goodness -- and then promptly runs out, because everyone wants some.
From Irish ale to pear cider, fish & chips to the brilliantly deep-fried, slaw-abetted fried Ipswich clams, this divey Santa Monica sports bar brings LA a bit of Ireland as well as a bit of Irish America -- its namesake owner ended up here only after living in Country Cork as well as Boston. No surprise the logo's "who says you're 3,000 miles away?"
The Anchor is a cozy, Main St eatery where you can satisfy your cravings for East Coast-style seafood favorites (their lobster roll, with barely-there mayo on toasted King's Hawaiian rolls, may be the best in the city) along with an intensely curated beer list.
Slinging sandwiches in Santa Monica since the 1920s, Bay Cities is responsible for masterpieces like The Godmother, a sub made with basically every Italian cured meat, Provolone cheese, and the works (mustard, mayo, Italian dressing, onions, pickles, tomato, and lettuce). More than just a sandwich specialist, the shop also serves prepared pastas like lasagna, spaghetti and meatballs, and stuffed shells. While the counter crew assembles your order, browse through the grocery section that's stocked with imported Italian specialities.
This classic, monster-portion cafe features eats like, aptly, The Monster (open-faced grilled focaccia w/ Swiss, onions, mushrooms, roast beef, and horseradish sauce), red flannel hash (braised beef, potato, sweet potato, onion, and roasted beet topped w/ eggs), and the 3-cheese grilled cheese/tomato soup "After-School Special".
What if we were to tell you that the guys behind LA's best burger (at Golden State), best BBQ (at Bludso's), and best breakfast burrito (at Cofax) opened a NY-style pizza slice shop? You'd want to go to there, right? Well, that's what we're telling you. Tally ho.
There are plenty of great crab cakes all over Los Angeles, but this oft-overlooked classic restaurant makes them just loose enough, just breaded enough, and just buttery enough to project them just that far enough over the competition. And that's the same approach the steakhouse takes with all its dishes (not least the steak), making it a classy spot for trusty American classics.