By Sam Catanzaro
Breakfast, lunch, dinner or in between, the Westside has no shortage of world-class food to satisfy cravings. From a perfect breakfast burrito to a melting sashimi, here are some of the best dishes the area has to offer.
Best breakfast burrito: Cerveteca
Located on Venice Boulevard in Culver City, Cerveteca’s Breakfast Burrito is arguably one of the best breakfast burritos in LA. While the $ 12 price tag isn’t cheap, it’s not unreasonable for the area and worth every penny. While I opt for the bacon (as opposed to the chorizo), both are excellent when complemented by the crispy tarts, a perfect amount of eggs, and black beans dipped in their flavorful creamy sauce. Cervetca – 9418 Venice Blvd, Culver City cervetecaculvercity.com.
Best coffee: Kyoto Cold Brew – Demitasse
Located on 3rd Street, north of Wilshire Boulevard in Santa Monica, Demitasse takes its coffee seriously. Their Kyoto Drip Cold Brew, however, stands out and is one of the best cold brews on the market, made by slowly dripping water through the coffee grounds over several hours. The result is a strong, sweet, ultra-caffeinated drink that can either be served over ice or chilled and enjoyed neat. Demitasse – 1149 3rd St, Santa Monica cafedemitasse.com.
Best bagel: Pop’s Bagels
While no bagel in Los Angeles will satisfy a New Yorker, Pop’s Bagels can come close. While some of the bagel sandwiches are a bit pricey, just keep the order with the veggies and cream cheese and let the bagel quality speak for itself. Pop’s Bagels – 1928 San Vicente Blvd, Brentwood and 9300 Culver Blvd, Culver City, popsbagelsla.com.
Best Sandwich: Al’s Hot Chicken – The Nash Sandwich
Thick, juicy, crispy, spicy. These adjectives accurately describe Al’s Hot Chicken’s Nash Sandwich. Words don’t do this sandwich justice, however. Only taste buds can do that. Als Hot Chicken – 10821 Venice Blvd, Los Angeles, alshotchicken.com.
Best Pizza: Prime Pizza – cheese pizza
The expansion of Prime Pizza to the Westside this year was surrounded by excitement after Dave Portnoy named it “LA Pizza # 1”. Prime Pizza lived the hype and produced no-frills NY-style cakes and slices that always got to the point. While the classic cheese is best, the square pies are delicious too, especially the “Grandma” and “Sicilian” options. Prime Pizza – 12219 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, primepizza.la.
Best burger: Tripp Burger
If your looking for a gourmet burger go to Father’s Office. If your looking for a classic burger head to The Apple Pan. If you’re looking for a great burger to go with a kale salad, head over to The Window at American Beauty. If you’re looking for a great (albeit pricey) smash burger, head to Tripp Burgers, a pop-up in the Palms area. Each 2.75 ounce patty – a freshly ground mixture of USDA Prime Chuck, Top Sirloin, and a small amount of bacon – is mashed on the griddle. The taste is nothing special, just pure burger goodness. The bacon in the meat mixture cannot be recognized in terms of taste, but the fat gives the patty its crispness. The sweet onions add a hint of flavor, but act more as a structural component, which makes the burger character stand out. Tripp Burgers – 3458 S Sepulveda Blvd, Los Angeles. trippburgers.com.
Best pasta: Puglia – San Giuannid
The pasta San Giuannid in La Puglia in Santa Monica is a testament to simplicity. Spaghetti Alla Chitarra with a wood-fired tomato sauce that only contains capers and oregano with pecorino cheese and breadcrumbs. And for those who are averse to capers, the other pasta dishes are just as good. La Puglia – 1621 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, lapuglia.us.
Best Tacos: El Primo Tacos – Al Pastor
All of the tacos at El Primo Tacos, a street vendor in Venice, are top notch, but the Al Pastor steals the show. Straight from the rotisserie onto the grill and then in a tortilla, these tacos are incredibly juicy and flavorful. Oh, and they cost $ 1 per person too, but remember to bring cash and don’t forget to top up at the salsa station. El Primo Tacos – 845 Lincoln Blvd, Venice, instagram.com/elprimotacosla.
Best Noodles: Little Fatty – XO Fatty Noodles
Comfort food comes in all shapes and sizes, including fatty noodles, which are dangerously easy to eat, from the aptly named Little Fatty in Mar Vista. Rolled chow fun, XO sauce, bean sprouts, garlic chives and roasted garlic come together in this dish. The noodles, which resemble a cheese puff in shape and size, are structurally somewhere between bao and soba. Like cheese puffs, bao, and soba, these noodles are the epitome of comfort food. Little Fatty, 3809 Grand View Boulevard, Mar Vista. littlefattila.com.
Best happy hour: The outsider
With drinks at half price from Monday to Saturday from 4-7 a.m., the Misfit doesn’t hesitate when it comes to cocktails. While all drinks are perfectly prepared, standout products include the sidecar and whiskey sour. And don’t forget the food: the fries and Brussels sprouts are both top notch. The Misfit – 225 Santa Monica Blvd, Santa Monica, themisfitbar.com.
Best sushi: bluefin tuna platter – soko
Tucked away in the lobby of a Santa Monica hotel, Sushi Chef Masa Shimakawa’s Soko offers one of the best omakase experiences in Los Angeles. The heart of Soko is the bluefin tuna platter. With lean Akamai meat, medium-fat chu-toro and extra-fatty, mouth-melting O-toro alongside a torotaku roll, this dish shows the versatility of bluefin tuna. Also unbelievable in Soko is the steamed monkfish liver, which is served with cucumber and seaweed. Soko – 101 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, fairmont-miramar.com/dine/soko-sushi.
Best date night spot: Prix Fixe in Citrin
The Citrin menu is the sister restaurant to Josiah Citrin’s acclaimed Melissa and offers a variety of dishes that will impress you. The $ 145 tasting menu offers a world-class dining experience highlighted by the Crudo of wild Japanese fish, lobster Bolognese, and sirloin and short rib platter from Snake River Farms. Citrine – 1104 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, citrinandmelisse.com.