Consider this your insider’s guide to comfort food, caffeine, and evening tipples in the City of Angels.
FLY Entertainment artiste Elizabeth Lazan may have been based in the US for the past six years, but she still experienced culture shock when she made the move from New York City to Los Angeles one and a half years ago. “There’s definitely a different energy in LA compared to NYC, ” she says. “I’ve met so many types of people in LA. In a way, the cliche of ‘you can be anyone who you want to be in LA’ holds true. But I’m happy I waited till I was older and more settled into who I am before I made the move to the west coast.”
Lazan (left, shot by Katie Graves) has been busy filming a travel food show, “Crack the Cookie Code”, which will be available online on various platforms in February 2017. The show takes Lazan across several states to find out just what constitutes “Asian fusion” food in different parts of the US of A. “As a mixed race person who’s lived in Asia and North America, I’ve always been fascinated with how people go about bridging the east-west cultural divide. The main inspiration for the show came about because I noticed the ubiquity of fortune cookies and something called ‘Singapore noodles’ in many of the Asian restaurants here in the US, as these have been hallmarks of what constitutes Asian cuisine and yet, neither of these things can be found in Asia or Singapore, ” she shares.
Her most surprising discovery while filming the show? Perhaps that New Orleans has the best rendition of Asian fusion food that she’s ever tried. “I tried this fried chicken dish that came with a hoisin bourbon sauce, and was bowled over by the flavours!” enthuses Lazan.
Lazan was recently in town for a short visit, so we took the opportunity to find out just what her favourite food and drinks stops are in the City of Angels.
1. Stamp Proper Foods
4500 Los Feliz Blvd. Ste. C
“They serve up wonderful coffee, as well as a great variety of dishes made with organic ingredients such as hormone-free chicken.”
3922 West Sunset Blvd
“Located in the hipster neighbourhood of Silver Lake, this specialty coffee bar is another place I like to hit up for my caffeine fix.”
3. Cafe Stella
3932 Sunset Blvd
“Also located in Silver Lake is this cute speakeasy that serves wonderful, creative cocktails and French cuisine.”
4. Blue Bottle Coffee
“Okay, can you tell that I’m a caffeine addict? I like Blue Bottle Coffee as they’ve got a number of outlets in LA, meaning I’m always not too far away from one!”
5. Harvard & Stone
5221 Hollywood Blvd
“This is a seriously cool bar housed in an old industrial building. But what’s really interesting about it is that it has great live music or burlesque performances happening almost every night.”
6. Father’s Office
1018 Montana Avenue
“Forget In-N-Out. If a decadent burger is what you’re after, then head straight to this joint in Santa Monica. Hardcore fans are of the opinion that its Office Burger was what launched the gourmet burger trend!”
7. Son of a Gun
8370 W 3rd St.
“For the best damn fried chicken sandwich this side of the US!”
8. Little Dom’s
2128 Hillhurst Ave
“When I’m in need of comfort food in the form of spaghetti with meatballs, I head to Little Doms in Los Feliz, which is also the neighbourhood I live in.”
9. Jeni’s Ice Cream
1954 Hillhurst Ave
“They have an amazing array of flavours including goat cheese with red cherries and Thai curry pumpkin, in addition to a range of buttermilk frozen yoghurt.”
10. Ruen Pair
5257 Hollywood Blvd
“When I’m craving Asian flavours, I head to this Thai eatery. It’s not fancy, but it’s definitely legit because it’s frequented by Thais! My favourite dish is the pad krapow moo – stir fried pork with basil.”
11. The Upstairs Bar at Ace Hotel
929 S. Broadway
“For an unparalleled view of downtown LA with your tipple.”