LA Trip Report July 2021

I’m visiting LA for about a week, and for the first stop in this trip, I had some tacos at Tire Shop Taqueria for a very late lunch. Thanks to @A5Kobe @JeetKuneBao and @Sgee for the very enthusiastic recommendations, and also @Chowseeker1999 who covered it in their extensive taco thread. Tire Shop is in a small lot and is a couple of tents with some griddles, a charcoal grill, and a selection of agua frescas. There was a decently sized line when I got there but it moved quickly. I had dinner in about 4 hours so I just got a chorizo and carne asada taco for a snack. And both were excellent. As you can see from the pictures the tortillas are hand made (very efficiently btw) in the griddle in front. The chorizo are actual little sausages off the grill that are chopped up, which gave them some nice crispy bits from the skin. The carne asada was sliced thin, tender and juicy. Both meats had a nice smoky flavor from the charcoal grill. The corn tortillas were also quite good and had a good corny(?) flavor. Each taco was dressed simply with cilantro, raw chopped onion, and some guacamole. Good stuff.

Tacos ($2.25 each) - carne asada on the left, chorizo on the right. There’s also some salsa and a packet of radishes and limes.


More pics


Next stop was dinner at Bestia, in the Arts district. Bestia seems to show up in many lists of restaurants to try in LA.

I had a late reservation at 9:45 and the place was pretty much full, its very popular. It’s in a large space that apparently used to be a warehouse.

I started with the
Roasted Marrow Bone ($22)
spinach gnocchetti. crispy breadcrumbs. aged balsamic.
When this was brought out they explained that the marrow was the sauce for the spinach gnocchetti. It was scooped out onto the bowl and mixed with the pasta for me. This was delicious and quite rich. The fatty marrow had kind of a nutty and toasty flavor. The spinach gnocchetti for me resembled spaetzle with a mild spinach flavor.

next I had the
Cavatelli alla Norcina ($35)
ricotta dumplings. black truffles. pork sausage. grana padano.
This is one of Bestia’s signature dishes, and tonight it had some sliced black truffles on top of it. Also quite delicious. The pasta had a really nice texture, toothsome but also tender, maybe due to the ricotta? The sauce was not overly rich and had some mushroom in it I think (or maybe black truffle?). The shaved black truffles on top added a bit of perfume, but not as strong as you would get from a white truffle I think.

for dessert I had the
Mascarpone Biscuit Peach Cobbler ($13)
housemade buttermilk ice cream
A very nice warm peach cobbler topped with an interesting ice cream that had a bit of acidic tang from the buttermilk.

I also had a few cocktails which were both very tasty

The Magic Bullet Theory ($15)
gin. snap pea. almond. lime. egg white.
Very refreshing. Interesting use of peas, I wonder if they make pea juice or something. It was garnished with a few fennel seeds

Radio Listener ($16)
japanese whisky. islay style single malt. sweet vermouth. root beer tincture.
A Manhattan variation. The root beer tincture did give it a hint of root beer flavor


Next, lunch at Holbox. Holbox is a seafood focused Yucatecan restaurant from chef Gilberto Centina Jr. located in the Mercado La Paloma, which is a small center that includes shops and restaurants like chef Centina’s own Chicken Itza.

Casual service - you order at the counter and get a number. There’s a small counter surrounding the restaurant, and you can also sit at any of the tables or outside where there are some tables.

I had the
Kanpachi & Uni Tostada ($20)
Premium kanpachi ceviche topped with Santa Barbara Uni
Delicious, nice bracing meaty ceviche with some uni goodness on top. Had a little bit of guacamole and a hot sauce.

Taco de Scallop ($7)
*Maine diver scallop, caramelized onions, marinated fennel, chile x’catic sauce.
Also really good. Slightly cooked and browned meaty scallops with some sweetness from the onions, a little acidity from the fennel, and some heat from the chile sauce.

Blood Clams ($9 for 1/2 lb 2-4 pieces)
Pata de Mula Baja California
I think this was my first time trying blood clams. I’m not sure if I like them! the clams tasted like raw clams, so a little chewy, but also with a bit of muddiness from the liquid? Hard to describe the taste.

More pics


I ate steamed blood clams in Asia, both small and huge ones. They look a bit scary with all that blood. Taste like clams to me, but drenched in blood.

Not a fan of aguachile? I love it, but have only had Baja Sur style (very spicy).


Sure I like aguachile! It’s a bit like a spicy ceviche. And I was eyeing that spot prawn and scallop aguachile on the menu but I think it would have been a little too much food.

:joy: yes, blood is a good description. With a splash of lime juice.

I was in Downtown LA after a visit to the Broad museum and got a taco from Villa Moreliana in the Grand Central Market for a snack. They specialize in carnitas tacos and have fillings from all parts of the pig, illustrated by the menu + pig diagram up top. You can see a bunch of metal cauldrons behind the counter where the carnitas are cooked.

I just had one taco ($4) with a combo of maciza (pork shoulder) and cueritos (pickled pork skin) H/t to @Chowseeker1999 @A5KOBE for the recommendation, this was a delicious combo. The taco is pretty substantial and comes on two tortillas, which though I think were factory made were soft and pliable. A really nice porky taco with the little gelatinous skin bits. I added some onions cilantro and red and green salsas from the condiment bar.


I had a dinner at Majordōmo, David Chang’s Momofuku Group’s restaurant in LA. I’ve been to a few Momofuku restaurants before (the original Momofuku Noodle Bar, Momofuku Las Vegas, and the recently closed Momofuku Seiōbo), and wanted to try this one.

Majordomo, to this visitor, seems to be located kind of in an odd and isolated location in an area with a lot of big warehouse buildings.

I had a late reservation here and a bunch of things had sold out. A lot of the plates in the mains section are for sharing, and since I was solo I just ordered from the other sections.

I had the
Bing with Spicy Lamb ($15)
A bing is a kind of Chinese flatbread (thanks Wikipedia). This was served warm and was fluffy and airy. It came with a slow cooked lamb as a topping, which was tender and had some cumin and other spices and was mildly spicy, tasted I guess like a Northern Chinese preparation. This was the best thing I had in the meal.

also had the
Heirloom Tomatoes ($17)
stone fruit, sherry vinaigrette, sesame
This was pretty good too - like a tomato salad with some I think plums? Several types of tomato including some whole cherry tomatoes. Dressed in a vinaigrette. Tasted like summer.

also the
Stuffed Peppers ($16)
Benton’s sack sausage, buttermilk ranch
Some nicely fried shishito peppers stuffed with sausage. The coating was a bit like a tempura batter. With a creamy ranch dressing.

Baby Lettuces ($16)
lemon vinaigrette, nut brittle, chives
I wanted to try the potatoes but they were sold out, so they recommended this dish instead. A large portion (looked like a head of lettuce or two was in there) of lettuce dressed in a vinaigrette and a lot of chives. The interesting part was the addition of peanut brittle crumbles! This was good for a few bites - interesting flavor from the zingy vinaigrette and the crunchy sweet brittle, but I think I got some taste fatigue from it after awhile.

Also had a Ginger mocktail, which tasted like a penicillin but without booze.

I ordered too much, no room for dessert.


I went to Venice yesterday to get lunch at Gjusta. It was a longish ride from Koreatown, I keep forgetting how huge LA is. As a side note Uber/Lyft are a lot more expensive right now. I didn’t have the foresight to make a reservation so wasn’t able to get a table at the patio (there was a really long wait). However, you have the option of getting take-out and eating it on the benches outside the patio, so I did that. There are multiple counters inside with pastries, bread, smoked fish, salads, pizza, cured meats, etc. The ordering system was a little unclear - there was a number dispenser but it didn’t look like it was being used - I found that you just had to kind of find someone to take your order after awhile.

I was feeling more fish than meat today so I got the
5oz Fish Plate
You can choose up to 3 different fish options for the plate. There is also a 10oz option where you can choose up to 5 different fish. 5oz was plenty for one person. I chose three types of salmon - the herbed gravlax, the hot smoked salmon belly (h/t to @Chowseeker1999’s report), and the lox. I believe the lox is cold smoked and the gravlax is cured but not smoked.

A little bit later I received a pizza box with all the fish nicely laid out inside along with some ripe tomato slices, lightly pickled cucumbers and radish, a lot of thinly sliced red onion, capers, lemon, and a bit of labneh (strained yogurt) topped with olive oil. And three slices of bread. Really good fish! The gravlax and and lox had a really nice silky texture. Salt level was just right too, not too salty. The hot smoked salmon belly was fantastic. I think they heated it up a bit. It was cooked to just the right doneness, tender and almost falling apart, and glistening with fat. I made little open faced sandwiches by spreading some of the labneh on a slice of bread and adding some of the veg and fish. The bread was really good too. I think I got slices of the sourdough loaf and also one sourdough loaf that was covered with sesame seeds. The crumb was moist and tender. A bit like a Tartine country loaf.

Also had a slice of carrot cake that was pretty good. Moist with a good amount of nuts and raisins and had a hit of ginger flavor in it.


Looks truly lovely.

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Hi @Mr_Happy,

Thanks for the great report back. :slight_smile: I’m so glad you enjoyed your trip so far. Holbox, Villa Moreliana (there are more different types of Carnitas to try next time!) :wink: and Gjusta and beyond.

I wish you were able to try more of Gjusta’s offerings, but so glad you enjoyed the Fish Plate with the Smoked Salmon Belly (so good, right?), lox (yes it’s cold-smoked) and gravlax. :slight_smile:

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@Mr_Happy if El Ruso is still on your list, might I suggest the new Silver Lake location on Sunset.

Not only will you have opportunity for great carne asada and Chile Colorado tacos served on fresh fluffy flour tortillas, but you’ll also have access to some other delights within walking distance.

All Day Baby (all day breakfast and lunch concept with amazing cocktails!) is across the street and serves some of the best biscuits you an get in LA. The biscuits also heat up well next day or freeze well.

Across the street from that is Playita, a fast casual mariscos concept that has the approval of Chef Alvin Cailan of Amboy & Egg Slut fame. Fish/shrimp tacos, ceviche, and coctels.

Go south on Sunset, and you’ll hit Ototo, Tsubaki, Guidsados, Tartine, Konbi, Triple Beam…and a few others I might have forgotten.

Make your way towards Chinatown and you’ll have Pearl River Deli, Angry Egret Dinette, Wax Paper, and Howlin’ Ray’s.


Thanks! Me too, but I can only eat so much! Yes the salmon belly was so good.

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Thanks for the recs and advice! I did make it to Angry Egret.

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Some more meals:

Dinner at Luv2Eat in Hollywood. I had a bowl of the jade noodles here. Jade noodles are a green tinted wheat noodle, and at Luv2Eat they came with three meats as toppings - char siu style pork with the red tinted exterior, roast duck, and roast pork with crispy puffy crackling skin. On the veg side there were some slightly bitter gai lan (Chinese broccoli) and also some bean sprouts. topped with some crushed peanuts as well. Dry style without soup. They all came together as a very solid bowl of noodles.

Lunch at Angry Egret Dinette. Angry Egret is a walk-up counter from chef Wes Avila, located in Mandarin Plaza in Chinatown. There’s a bunch of tables and chairs in the plaza where one can eat. I missed out on trying Guerrilla Tacos when chef Avila was still there so I got the Tacos de Lengua from Angry Egret, which was on the specials list. Three to an order, they came with a somewhat smoky tomatillo salsa and onions and cilantro to add along with lime. Nice corn tortillas that I believe are handmade, and the lengua (beef tongue) was very good - beefy and a little bit chewy with fatty bits. I think there might have been some other beef cuts in there as not all of it had that lengua sponginess and tasted a bit more like/had the texture of suadero or something. Or maybe I’m just a lengua newbie and that’s how it’s supposed to be. Anyway some really good tacos here.

Also had a tepache to drink, which is a fermented beverage made with pineapple and pineapple rinds. Quite refreshing. Pineapple-y with a bit of that tangy fermented taste.

I had a slice of the strawberry cake with almond from Phoenix Bakery across the street from the plaza for dessert. A very nice, light, sponge cake with whipped cream and fresh strawberries, and almond slivers on the back. Not very sweet at all which was fine by me as I don’t have much of a sweet tooth.


I’m trying to catch up with reports. Next was a delicious sushi dinner at Sushi Hide, which I thought warranted its own thread.


I went to Langer’s for a lunch, this was my second visit. I got a seat at the counter and went for a pastrami sandwich (~$20), which was just their wonderful pastrami in between two slices of their rye bread. The pastrami was just as good as the other time I had it, sliced into medium sized slices, moist and tender and a little smoky, with just the right amount of saltiness - salt level was perfect. The rye bread was also quite good. Caraway studded rye with a soft interior and a crispy crust. caraway seeds. I applied some brown mustard from the counter between bites of the sandwich. Comes with half of a pickle, which was fine. Just a great pastrami sandwich.


Nice! Langers is the one spot I hit every time I’m in LA


SO jealous! We don’t get down to LA very often, and we’ve never made it to Langer’s. I love Canter’s, but I need to go to Langer’s too.