Recently I made my 6th trip to LA and back. It was excellent and full of great food as usual, and this time I want to share my experience. I assume many of you struggled with finding good food on the way to LA. It was either a crappy airplane meal and tasteless coffee or a hamburger from McDonald’s somewhere on interstate 5. Doesn’t sound like a fancy meal at all, right?
Well, I found a few spots where you can stop and actually have a delightful dining experience. Not a Michelin one, but a perfect one!
Taking Interstate 5
This drive can be done in under 5 hours on a weekday (not Friday though) if you take Interstate 5 and will keep going in the left lane.
If you want to stop by for a nice lunch or dinner, I recommend Willow Ranch at Buttonwillow.
Address: 27770 Lagoon Dr, Buttonwillow, CA, 93206, USA.
At first glance, the place looks like a regular diner, but don’t judge it by the look! Food in there is much better than you would expect and it is made for meat lovers. They have large portions of ribs, a variety of steaks, cuts and the meal is customizable. You can get either a salad or a cup of soup with an entree of choice plus a side dish that you also choose.
For those, who don’t eat meat, there is grilled salmon and veggies.
Taking highway 101
If you decided to take highway 101, make sure to stop by a sweet town Solvang. t is especially beautiful in fall and has a Dutch architecture and many tasting rooms.
If you are into red wines and want to soak in the atmosphere of the dutch cottage, I recommend hopping into a Wandering Dog tasting room just for a quick tasting fight. Their Zin and Pino are tasty, and the wines are pretty affordable: $25–$35 per bottle.
Address: 1539 Mission Dr, Solvang, CA, 93463
In case if you love craft beer and white wine, stop by The Good Life tasting room and have a glass of crisp and almost honey tasting Grunervertliner by the fireplace dreaming about moving to Solvang one day. It is located just a few blocks away from the Wandering Dog.
Address: 1672 Mission Dr, Solvang, CA, 93463.
There are endless options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. If you stay somewhere around Hollywood Boulevard, you are a lucky one! The area is very walkable and has many excellent options for food and entertainment.
Let’s start with breakfast/brunch.
Address: 1535 Vine street, Los Angeles, CA, 90028, USA.
Seafood lovers will fall in love with this place instantly. Located just a few feet from the walk of fame it’s a paradise free of tourists and overpriced food. They have an outside patio but you might wanna sit inside to boost your appetite.
For the drinks, they have everything from brunch classics like the bloody mary with a little creative twist to craft cocktails. For the food: they have the fantastic raw bar with oysters, shells, crabs, and mussels. The list of entrees includes tender grilled octopus with chickpeas, lobster rolls filled out to the top and traditional eggs benedict with crab, For veggie lovers there are some options too!
Address: Multiple locations
If you have never been to Sugarfish, you have probably never tried the most delicious sushi in your entire life. Trust me, if you go there, you will never eat sushi anywhere ever again, they are THAT good!
Sugarfish has multiple locations and doesn’t take reservations whatsoever and are open from 11:30 am until 10 – 11 pm (closing time depends on a day).
I recommend taking a tasting flight called “Trust Me” because you will be able to taste a variety of different sashimi and one hand roll. Servers do not recommend using the additional sauce to the sushi, and you will have to take their word because you will forget about soy sauce forever.
They also have a good variety of sake, and if you have never tried this kind of drink, their servers will kindly explain it to you.
Sugarfish is a great opportunity to dine like a movie star without being one!
Picture is taken from Grub Street
Address: 4648 Hollywood Blvrd, Los Angeles, CA, 90027, USA.
If you have never been exposed to the proper turkish cuisine, Kismet is THE place to go! They not only make Turkish food absolutely stunning, but they also bring a pinch of exquisite to it. All the details in the restaurant are well thought out: from the modern minimalistic interior to extremely light glassware.
It is both a nice place for brunch and for dinner. They don’t take reservations so be prepared for a line. The best time to go is morning around 11 am. We got a table right away but the place was already packed.
You have an option to try a little bit of everything from the menu if you order a turkish plate. Please make sure that you don’t order anything else because the porcions are generous.
Veggie lovers would especially appreciate broccoli toast which was the size of my head and other options on the menu.
Iced Turkish coffee with cardamon is a must!
Address: 3540 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA, 90020
Looking for photogenic food? California doughnuts is not only serving really tasty doughnuts, they are also opened 24/7. So in case you start craving some sweets at the middle of the night, hop on your car and get them!
The doughnuts taste as good as they look 😉
To be continued…