Los Angeles, East Side vs West Side

Los Angeles can be talked about in the simple terms of east side vs west side. Getting back and forth can be torture depending on the time of day. It could take you an hour to get to Koreatown from Venice to have dinner but 20 minutes to get back. I wish I could figure out how to get in a car for dinner, take a nap to ignore the traffic, and show up at the many restaurants on the east side. We have found the west side to be a bit challenging on the food situ.

Last Friday night we went to Here’s Looking at You in Koreatown. The food was really good, the menu changes daily, the vibe was great, and it bummed me out it took an hour to get there.

Starting off with a martini seems to be the call these days. I really loved how they serve the martini’s in different glasses with a small pitcher on ice of the excess vodka on the side.

The chicory salad mixed with ricotta, candied walnuts, persimmons and a cured egg was absolutely delicious. The combination of tart, sweet, and a hint of an asian dressing was pretty perfect.

Winter citrus, fennel, pistachio, champagne vinegar and pink pepper was refreshing, simple and delicious too.

Really browned crispy shishito peppers covered in tonnato and huamei. I couldn’t get enough of these.

Thin slices of yellowtail sitting in a soup of coconut milk, fresno chili, basil, shallots and arare.

We had beef tartare, Tandoori sea bream and Manila clams but the star is the Yellow corn ribs with poblano, cotija and lime. Corn that had been roasted, cut into quarters and then cut again, marinated in a lime and peppers then sprinkled with cheese. I could have eaten bowls of this. I am dedicated to figuring out how to make this over the summer.

Frog’s legs which might not be everyone’s cup of tea but c’mon it takes like chicken. Delicious charred legs with salsa negra, scallions, lime and salt and pepper. I loved these.

The 32 oz beef rib chop with porcini sauce, enokis and for me they put the garlic butter on the side was beyond flavorful.

Dessert was another winner. Roasted chestnut mochi with coconut, muscovado and thin slices of halvah.

Why can’t there be more places like this on the west side??

Comments (Archived):

  1. awaldstein

    The LA conundrum in a nutshell.Most of my work and work connections live on the West side and that is where I stay.Most of my wine and food community live and have places (including 10 Bells!) in the Silverlake area.Driving is unworkable for me.We can easily imaging a Venice that has all the East side has to serve the population of tech and wellness companies that are everywhere.But like you, why isn’t it happening? Dunno.(btw–that food looks delish!–thanks for sharing.)

    1. Pointsandfigures

      Scooter? (ha)

      1. awaldstein

        I have two scooter aps on my phone and use them everyday many times a day from SM to Venice even Northern Marina del Ray.Downtown I usually take the train when I can. The true East side, a problem!

  2. William Mougayar

    Looks really tasty. Begs for champagne to accompany.

    1. awaldstein

      Or a pet nat I agree.One of the big changes in artisanal wines over the last few years is acknowledging that bubbles are indeed wine, moving to single fermentation bubbles as a platform for natural creativity, and more interesting pairings especially with bubbles.Kinda went mainstream with Marta, upscale pizza with Champagne that was a smash hit.

      1. William Mougayar

        Yup. Bubbles can go anywhere with food. Especially with tough to match foods like spicy stuff, Indian, Thai, Chinese, Malay, etc. Better than a beer 🙂

        1. awaldstein

          Three things everyone learns about enjoying wine that are always worth repeating:-pairing is a function of texture and weight. Start there, end well.-always have 3-4 bottles open at a time, sparking and still, drinking cross them daily. Especially true if you are into no or low added SO2 wines as the bottles are changing day to day. -only tool anyone needs to enjoy wine is a decent stopper (or three) for bubbly so you can drink it over a few days.Have fun in NYC. Try Ruffian if you can get in as there are no reservations and ask for Patrick.

  3. Pointsandfigures

    Went there two weeks ago. Really great place. The clams are wonderful. For us, one of the stars was the tomato. Had similar things on the menu when we were there. I love the cocktail creativity. I had their version of a Manhattan. Was interesting. Place isn’t cheap but it’s very good. As @wmoug:disqus said, we had a bottle of Proseco with the meal.

  4. Mike Mayer

    It’s true the East Side has some fabulous food, I didn’t realize the Wets side was less exciting. I highly recommend Kismet in Los Feliz / Echo Park — it is spectacular.As a recent transplant from NYC to LA, I’m very grateful that I have a wonderful commute via the LA subway from Hollywood to DTLA.Great as it already is, autonomous vehicles would really make LA a tremendous place to live.

  5. Semil Shah

    I found two solutions for this (as a lover of Koreatown food)… either do one less hour of email that day and just do it in the car on the way there; or I will actually spend a night at The Line Hotel when I want to spend more time there.

    1. Gotham Gal

      Ha. I like it

  6. jason wright

    Does LA need a subway system? The US has a pretty bad reputation for public transport infrastructure. What’s the issue?

    1. Gotham Gal

      It was one including above rail. It has more users than expected and will be growing in the years to come

      1. jason wright

        A London Crossrail scheme might do the trick. Massive diameter ‘express’ tunnels going east-west and north-south. It would probably cost about $25 billion. The lost productivity due to the delays you describe probably exceeds that sum in short order (a fast decade). It’s the same old chestnut, how to reconcile the ideology of individual ‘freedom’ with collectivism.

  7. Julie Lerner

    Don’t know the ins and outs of the city, but I did just order a gift certificate for my LA brother for the restaurant for his birthday. Thanks for the recommendation, looks delicious!