One of the primary complaints about USC’s campus is its location. Situated in the middle of South Central, the good eats are slim, and the places that are tolerable are often packed. So it’s nice to travel to the land of our rivals, UCLA, located in beautiful Westwood. Complete with an In N Out, CPK, Whole Foods, and local gem Bella Pita, Westwood campus has it all—or at least a little more than our Fast Food Walk of Fame including McDonalds, Carls Jr., and Taco Bell, among many others. While I’ve come to appreciate USC’s sketchy digs, particularly the way they actually force me to leave my campus bubble and explore Los Angeles, UCLA has some awesome spots to offer. My personal favorites include build-your-own pizza bar 800 Degress from the guy who brought us Umami Burger, and Diddy Riese, a too-cheap-to-be-in-LA Ice Cream Sandwich shop where you can get two scrumptious cookies surrounding a GIANT scoop of ice cream for like…two bucks. What a steal. So if you ever find yourself in the UCLA area (boo!) those are two spots you can’t miss.
Oh, Ricky, we’ve missed you! After a scandalous run-in with the health department forced him to shut down his previous Los Feliz pop-up in his front yard (and subsequent outrage from Angelenos), cult favorite Ricky’s Fish Tacos is back in business! Now selling in a lot out of Chinatown, the familiar white tent, assortment of tables and chairs, deep fryers and buckets of batter is as good as ever. The fedora-wearing taco master still greets you with a smile and all the familiar offerings are still available—fish or shrimp (the occasional lobster) tacos topped with cabbage and a bevy of sauces. No word yet on a brick and mortar shop, though I did overhear some talk of a taco truck in the works.
LA finally gets a dose of BBQ! The guys behind Golden State Burgers have joined up with Bludso’s BBQ in Compton to bring you a classy, yet laid back, and totally delish BBQ experience in the middle of Los Angeles. Not being a full-fledged Texan, I don’t feel I have complete credibility here, but I have tasted some authentic Texas BBQ in Austin, and this comes pretty close. For the sake of convenience, Bludso’s Bar and Que will do until my next trip to the Lone Star State, but it’s never the same. A slightly judgmental waiter looked at two average-sized girls skeptically as we ordered beef brisket, ribs, pulled pork, cornbread, and mac n cheese, but we ate everything except for one rib. In other news, the Umami Burger super-franchise is expanding to the world of BBQ as well, collaborating with the guys from Hill Country Barbecue in New York, coming to Hollywood this summer. When will the madness stop???
Best Bakeries - Los Angeles
1. Langer’s #19 pastrami sandwich
2. Soppressata Salami sandwich from Larchmont Village Wine Spirits & Cheese
1. The Rising Sun burger
2. Brandon about to indulge in a Drunken Monkey milkshake