L.A. Essentials: Chris Gibbs of Union Los Angeles

The New York transplant—and owner of one of the best menswear stores in the country—is the man to hit up if you want to know where to eat without waiting for a table. Because who has time for that?

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Courtesy Chris Gibbs

phoebe_laPhoebe Lovatt (@phoebelovatt) is a born-and-raised Londoner now living in Los Angeles. She writes about food, style, and music for publications including Dazed & Confused, GQ, and Elle, and documents her travel obsession on her own site, anywhere-anywhere.com.

Union L.A. owner Chris Gibbs might have been living in Los Angeles for ten years, but he still runs on New York time. “I’m impatient. I won’t wait an hour for a table,” Gibbs says of his affinity for lowkey sushi and sandwich spots. “I left a lot of the ‘go-to’ restaurants in the city off my list for that reason. Animal might do the best poutine I’ve ever tasted in my life (and I say that as a Canadian), but you can’t get in after 6.30pm, so I never go.”

Instead, the self-made streetwear guru (he ran Union’s New York store for ten years before buying the business and relocating to L.A.) sticks to a tried-and-tested list of spots that fits his busy schedule. And despite initially struggling with L.A.’s sprawl (“Los Angeles doesn’t really work like a metropolitan city—when I first moved here, that was really hard for me to navigate”), Gibbs has come to appreciate the upsides of its more leisurely way of life.

“Your average Los Angeleno with money probably doesn’t have to wear a suit, and is therefore more likely to spend more on the high-end Japanese casualwear we’re importing,” he says. “You definitely have to seek out good food in L.A., but business-wise, this city has been good to me.”

Here, Gibbs lets us in on the secret to eating well in L.A., without wasting your time.

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