I went to LA and the food was the real star!

I went to LA and the food was the real star!
Edited by Travel Weekly


    Travel Weekly’s culinary expert, Greg ‘Sparrow’ Graham, is back with another gustatory adventure. First ravaging the delights of Bali, Sparrow has now popped across the Pacific to eat his way through Los Angeles. Read what he has to say below!

    After a weeklong foodie adventure in LA from the fancy places in Beverly Hills to downtown LA near Skid Row, I was up for it all and my taste buds were expecting Academy Award performances.

    The diversity and contrasts in LA are always prominent or even shocking. From Michelin-rated restaurants in upmarket neighbourhoods to a brilliant food truck in an industrial area downtown serving the best qasidas ever with a homeless tent city on the same block.

    (Credit: Sparrow)

    Firstly, the LA food scene has evolved for the better there is now a range of mid-priced restaurants serving up scene-stealing food at incredible locations.

    I remember when the LA food scene was dominated by Wolfgang Park in Beverly Hills and the best burger was at In-N-Out Burger West Hollywood (actually it’s still one of my favourite LA burger joints.)

    (Credit: Sparrow)

    This new wave of LA restaurants boasts market gardens with fresh veggies, brilliant relationships with local produce growers and heaps of Mexican influences. Downtown has really come alive – 11 years ago everyone thought chefs Ori Menashe and Genevieve Gergis from Bestia were crazy when they found a vacant warehouse downtown and created an incredible interpretation of classic Italian dishes with brilliant flavours and wood fire cooking.

    Now I believe downtown is the place to be with an all-star cast of chefs creating Oscar-winning dishes.

    Two foodie must-sees are Grand Central Market and Smorgasburg LA both downtown.

    The market vendors at Grand Central market range from Egg Slut, Broad Street Oyster Co, Jose Chiquito, La Tostaderia etc. Smorgasburg LA offers another star-studded production with a showstopping diverse cast of vendors e.g. Black SugarRib Co, Correas Mariscos, Lobsterdamus, Los Dorados, Smoke Queen BBQ, Urban Pizza, etc…

    After much deliberation and soul searching, I have arrived at my Top 10 LA list of Foodie-winning performances:

    1. Best Overall meal – Bestia downtown
    2. Outstanding lobster roll – Broad Street Oyster Co.- both at Grand Central Market & Smorgasburg LA
    3. Best Food truck– Adrians Taco’s downtown LA
    4. Star breakfast performance – The Proper Hotel Santa Monica,Calabra rooftop
    5. Classic Hollywood steak – Dear Johns Culver City
    6. Winning Mexican cast -Guerrilla Taco’s Downtown
    7. Best supporting foodie experience – Smorgasburg ROW DTLA
    8. Original screenplay brunch – Gjusta Venice
    9. Best Italian – Rossoblu Downtown
    10. Best location – Manuela Downtown

    On reflection, during my LA adventure, I encountered a few movie celebrities however the real star of LA is definitely the downtown food scene.

    The ultra-cool warehouse locations with scene-stealing restaurants to brilliant foodie markets, plus outstanding Mexican food trucks … they are the real stars of an LA visit.

    Email the Travel Weekly team at traveldesk@travelweekly.com.au

    los angeles

    Latest News

    • Aviation
    • Destinations

    Singapore Airlines to launch flights to Beijing Daxing from November

    Singapore Airlines (SIA) has announced a new daily route between its capital city hub and Beijing’s Daxing International Airport. The flights are set to begin operating from 11 November 2024 assuming there are no complications with regulatory approvals. Located in the south of Beijing, the airport gives customers convenient access to the Beijing, Hebei, and […]

    • News

    Touropa adds European river cruises to product offering

    Touropa, the flexible coach touring company, have announced an exciting extension of its travel programme to include more than 100 European River Cruise departures. Touropa, a collaboration between Sun Island Tours and Europamundo Vacations, is a global touring provider renowned for its extensive range of flexible and affordable travel options, and this expansion is aimed […]

    • Events

    Christmas in July 2024 program

    The four-day winter extravaganza unveils its exciting 2024 program as locals and guests get ready for XMAS in July from 27 to 30 June. Park Lanes Lawn will be the heart of the festival, offering a holiday experience with music, gastronomy, artisan crafts. Free Christmas shows, concerts, and more The festival kicks off with the […]

    • Destinations

    Victoria’s Rutherglen named Australia’s trendiest location

    Melbourne is often dubbed as Australia’s trendiest and coolest city, however, there are plenty of other up-and-coming regions vying for that title, including Victoria’s Rutherglen. B2C Furniture did an analysis of every major Australian city, ranking the number of cafes, markets, vintage shops, theatres, street art murals, and art galleries. They then created a custom […]

    • Health & Wellness
    • News

    Two Australian beaches named in the top 10 nudist beaches globally

    A recent study identified the best nudist beaches in the world and it was good news for freedom-loving Aussies, with two Australian beaches making it to the top of the list.  Experts from Emisil.com identified the world’s best beaches for nudists by factoring in categories such as safety index, average sunshine hours, summer water temperature, […]

    • Hotels

    Opening of Argini Hotel in Syros Greece

    Located in cosmopolitan Vaporia in Ermoupolis, Syros, the Argini Hotel has opened its doors at the world’s second most welcoming city for 2024. Built in 1853 to house the family of Gregoris Paikos, a leading figure in the Greek Revolution, Argini Hotel was renovated with ethos, modern artistry, and utter respect to its neoclassical history. […]

    • Attractions
    • First Nations

    Australian National Maritime Museum celebrates NAIDOC week

    The Australian National Maritime Museum kicks off NAIDOC Week 2024 with a Family Fun Day on Sunday, 7 July, honouring the theme “Keep the Fire Burning! Blak, Loud, and Proud”. NAIDOC Week gives all Australians a chance to celebrate and recognise the history, culture, and achievements of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The […]

    • Food & Beverage

    Nobu Bangkok the World’s Highest Nobu Restaurant at EA Rooftop at The Empire

    Nobu co-founders Hollywood star Robert De Niro and Meir Teper, plus eponymous chef Nobu Matsuhisa have visited EA Rooftop at the Empire ahead of the official launch of the world’s highest Nobu restaurant in the heart of Bangkok. With unparalleled dining experiences with breathtaking panoramic views of the Bangkok skyline and the Chao Phraya River, […]

    • Hotels

    Nesuto celebrates five years of success with five five-night stay vouchers competition

    Nesuto is offering guests the chance to win one of five five-night stay vouchers that can be used at any Nesuto apartment or apartment hotel across Australia and New Zealand as part of its 5th anniversary celebration. Guests and team members are invited to contribute to a digital time capsule that captures their favourite memories, […]

    • Cruise

    Viking Cruises special 8-day cruise rate

    Viking cruises is providing a special offer on its 8-day Rhine Getaway itinerary for November 2024 departures with a strictly limited basis. The cruise takes guests out to discover the charm of old-world Europe as they sail through Netherlands, Germany, France, and Switzerland. The itinerary includes visits the turreted fortresses, grand cathedrals, and medieval towns […]