Food & Drink

19 LA spots to cure the munchies on 4/20

Published On 04/18/2014 Published On 04/18/2014
Darin Dines
Jeff Miller
Danny Jensen
Flickr user Marshall Astor
Random Meal Of the Day
9021Pho
Flickr user Vanesser III
Beer Belly
Andrew Zimmer
Jeff Miller
Starry Kitchen
Jeff Miller
Jeff Miller
Jeff Miller
Darin Dines
Spoondles
Yelp user Jeff B
Jeff Miller
Jeff Miller
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1. Diablo Taco 3129 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026 (Silverlake)

Diablo Taco's an 88-seat tortilla-stuffer serving up "Berzerker" huevos rancheros w/ pasilla peppers & braised beef cheeks, and burritos stuffed w/ egg, Russet potatoes, jack cheese, and your choice of meats, including crispy pork belly and "bison chili".

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2. The Church Key 8730 W Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069 (West Hollywood)

The Church Key gets aggressively inventive with its Asian-influenced interpretations of modern American cuisine. Waiters push dim carts around the dining room featuring small plates that are familiar enough for you to recognize (sweet potato gnocchi, curried chicken pot pie) but exciting enough that some will only appeal to the most adventurous of eaters (pig ear cheetos). Signature cocktails continue to challenge expectations: Negronis come in a can and boozy popsicles are a common sighting.

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3. Animal 435 N Fairfax, Los Angeles, CA 90036 (Mid Wilshire)

Vinny Dotolo and Jon Shook's OG restaurant is a stone-cold classic in Los Angeles known for a constantly changing menu that's always creative and never stale. As the name suggests, Animal specializes in head-to-tail eating and meat-centric plates; past and present hits include a bacon crunch chocolate bar, a barbecue pork belly sandwich, and a short rib and bone marrow-blended burger.

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4. Stall 239 239 S Vermont Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90004 (Koreatown)

Located right across from Vons on Vermont, Stall 239 is a street food stand that, like Cher's pants, is totally seatless (!) and ready to serve you extra-cheap eats (like lollipop chicken wings, poutine, and a deep fried pb&j), almost all of which're under $5.

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5. Pita Kitchen 14500 Ventura Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 91403

The chicken kafta plate is the way to go -- order it without rice, load up on hummus/baba ghanouj/eggplant "salad" (marinated to the point of being unrecognizable as a vegetable), and you'll have two to three meals' worth of amazingness for $11.

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6. A-Frame 12565 Washington Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90066 (Culver City)

This Hawaiian Culver City eatery from the Roy Choi is an Asian-fusion collaboration in a totally refurbished IHOP, hopped up with a picnic-type patio and light wood-clad walls. Food's meant to be utensil-optional, with inventive dishes like green curry and a poké sampler including choices like tuna with gochujang sauce, sesame leaves & oil, cabbage, seaweed, and nori, as well as tuna with kukui nut chili pesto and Parmesan.

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7. Seoul Sausage Company 11313 Mississippi Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90025 (West La)

If there's one thing Seoul is known for, it's living in constant fear their neighbors to the North are going to bomb the s**t out of them. If there's another, it's sausages -- or at least, that's what Seoul Sausage Company'd lead you to believe. The company is a labor of love to the founders, brothers Yong and Ted Kim, who bring a spin on Korean BBQ that won them the title of Food Network's 3rd The Great Food Truck Race.

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8. Starry Kitchen 943 N Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90012 (Downtown)

Originally a guerrilla cookery in the Valley, this Asian Fusion joint's now a legitified nook, serving up always-changing deliciousness like crispy tofu balls, roast pork belly XO fried rice, and Singaporean chili crab.

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9. Greenspan's Grilled Cheese 7465 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036 (West Hollywood)

Iron Chef contestant Eric Greenspan is behind this counter-serve grilled cheese temple on Melrose. With options that range from speciality sandwiches like the blue cheese and fried chicken Buffalo Blue to make-your-own-creations, Greenspan's menu is stacked with crazy inventive cheese-and-bread combos. The bright yellow space is relatively small and narrow, but there are a few tables inside and out.

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10. Original Tommy's Hamburgers 2575 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90057 (Westlake)

Ignore all the imitators -- this is THE original location of THE Original Tommy's. Get the double chili cheeseburger (or two or three) with chili cheese fries and never look back.

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11. OO-KOOK Korean BBQ 3385 W 8th St, Los Angeles, CA 90005 (Koreatown)

This bustling, two-story Korean barbecue favorite in Koreatown is first and foremost, all you can eat. Not only does Oo-Kook offer grill-ables like seafood, duck breast, and pork belly three ways, but it serves up high-quality beef like premium brisket, tongue, and short ribs, plus more banchan than you've likely ever seen. Resist your urge to order one of everything -- they charge for leftovers.

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12. Beer Belly 532 S Western; Koreatown, Los Angeles, CA 90020 (Koreatown)

Hidden in the back of a K-Town parking lot is this graffiti-covered beer bar-slash-restaurant. Beer Belly's self-described speciality is craft beer and crafty food, and the menu lives up to its eclectic promise. The excellent selection of local craft beers changes daily, and the food is bar bites-meets-county fair -- think double bacon mac & cheese, pork cheek chili cheese fries, and deep-fried Oreos. The Jidori hot wings are a power-packed delight if you're in the market for some of LA's best chicken wings (who isn't?). As for seating, there are plenty of tables inside but the outdoor beer garden is where it's at.

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13. Ramen By Omae 14425 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423

Run by a Michelin-starred chef, this cozy ramen house in The Valley is known to be one of the best in the city -- and actually lives up to the hype. Offering a variety of upscale Japanese cuisine, Omae has some seriously tasty bowls of ramen on the menu, too, such as the Kogashi ramen, which is made with a pork broth, instead of the usual chicken, and their always-scrumptious and chewy noodles. Trust us, you'll want seconds.

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14. 9021Pho 490 N Beverly Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210 (Beverly Hills)

From the former chef of Michela comes this nook-like, modern casual soupery dedicated almost entirely to brothy Vietnamese deliciousness, with variations including Pho Ca (sliced tuna, onion, bean sprout, basil, and chili w/ chicken stock).

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15. The Original Rinaldi's 323 Main St, El Segundo, CA 90245

Serving quality deli meats from the likes of Boar's Head, etc, Rinaldi's take standard deli fare and ups the ante with fixins like egg whites and prosciutto, and plates it for you with ocean views to boot.

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16. Bludso's Bar & Que 609 N La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036

This BBQ spot/sports bar is a fine place to get loaded up with some serious grub -- get some rib tips, creamy mac 'n cheese, and an assortment of hot links.

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17. POT 3515 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90010 (Koreatown)

POT is a group-meal spot for sure. Try as many of the pots as you can but the dirty secret of Roy Choi's excellent Korean menu is that the best stuff is actually NOT in the pots -- rather its side dishes like this gooey, savory, creamy uni-and-rice dish.