Los Angeles: California brunchin’ (and other meals)

Los Angeles is known for sun and fun, sure, but it’s also home to some world-class eateries. Maybe it’s the foodies who helped L.A. take home the #3 spots on our 2017 Travel Hacker lists for most popular destinations and most popular family destinations.

While you’re sure to find gastronomical bliss anytime day or night in the City of Angels, it doesn’t get more La-la-land than brunch.

If you’re traveling to L.A. and in need of some poached eggs and mimosas ASAP, allow our locals to light the way.
 

Brunch bonanza

Willie Javier Sparks, the blogger behind SparksNStyle, doesn’t mess around when it comes to brunch.

“My favorite thing to do on an off day in the city is go out for brunch with friends,” he said. “That’s such an L.A. thing.”

That said, Ashley and Jenn of My Best L.A. Day may have him beat.

“We’re lucky that L.A. is a breakfast town every day of the week, and so a day off always spells b-r-u-n-c-h for us,” they said. “We’ll start by hopping on our bikes and heading down to Gjusta, where we’ll saddle up to the deli counter and order a cortado and the insanely delicious Risky Biscuit breakfast sandwich (sausage, fried egg, cheddar, harissa ketchup).”

It’s difficult to throw a rock without hitting a Bloody Mary and plate of French toast in Los Angeles. The only question is whether you want down home or upscale dining.

If you can’t make up your mind, why not try “Top Chef” contestant Alex Eusebio’s new brunch menu at Cascabel? Brunch with a Mexican flair is muy bien.
 

Lunch, dinner and dessert, oh my!

Brunch may take the cake, but don’t think Los Angelenos are fasting the rest of the day.

If you’re looking for a tasty treat on a budget, look no further than that California favorite: In-N-Out Burger.

“If I need to eat on a budget, In-N-Out will always be an option!” Sparks said. “I love Animal Style Fries, which may be an extra buck but are worth it.”

And where does Caroline Juen of blog Love & Loathing Los Angeles go when she’s not trying to break the bank? You guessed it.

“In-N-Out!” she said. “But besides the obvious, I would go to Kogi Taqueria, Mariscos Jalisco, Sunny Blue, Sapp Coffee Shop, Prime Pizza – there are so many great affordable places to choose from in L.A. A great place to find a ton of affordable options in one place would be either Smorgasburg LA or First Fridays on Abbot Kinney where all kinds of food trucks line up and serve.”

Meanwhile, Ashley and Jenn are partial to some more homegrown flavors.

“Mercado la Paloma, always,” they said. “We first discovered this South L.A. market-like space back in graduate school at USC, and it’s remained our go-to spot for the tastiest food on a budget. The community around the market is mostly Central-American and Mexican, and many of them longed for the local markets they left back home – so about 18 years ago, the local housing development set out to re-create that kind of space. There’s a host of restaurants, a few nonprofit businesses, and some independent shops that bring arts and culture to the market. Chicken Itza, which serves Yucatecán dishes, is out of this world – and lately, we’ve been pretty obsessed with Azla, a vegan Ethiopian cafe that only uses local, organic produce.”

Of course, sometimes you want to splurge.

“We love the creativity and innovation happening around pop-up dinners in L.A., so if we’re going to splurge on a meal, this is usually the place to do it,” they continued. “There’s also something special about a communal table and sharing booze with a bunch of strangers – you always leave with new friends! Foodshop is always a neighborhood favorite for these kinds of semi-secret supper clubs, but there’s honestly new ones appearing every month.”

Ready to cap it all off with a snack sure to satisfy your sweet tooth?

Sparks recommended Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams or Salt & Straw if you’re in the mood for inventive flavors. You also can’t go wrong with an ice cream sandwich at the “adorable” Manhattan Beach Creamery, according to Ashley and Jenn.

Just try to leave some room for the next day. L.A.’s food scene is a marathon, not a sprint.
 
 

Header Image Attribution: Gemila/Shutterstock.com
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