Phoebe 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.
Moving from London to Los Angeles last year was a disorienting experience, to say the least. My deadpan British humor didn’t translate, my clothes were all wrong (not nearly enough pairs of yoga pants) and suddenly—perhaps most distressingly—I had no idea where to eat. I pride myself on being the go-to girl for a restaurant recommendation in any borough of my hometown, but Los Angeles is a city where culinary gems are hard to unearth. You can find game-changing omakase in a rundown, chili bowl-shaped restaurant by the 10 freeway, or the best suadero taco of your life in a Von’s lot in Echo Park, but you’ll probably need a local to lead the way.
In fact, if I knew anything about LA’s food culture beyond the sprouted tofu and taco stereotype, it was mostly gleaned from years of following a streetwear blog, of all unlikely sources. TheHundreds.com—updated daily by the brand’s articulate co-founder, Bobby Kim—has long interspersed posts on t-shirt drops with food porn close-ups of pastrami, chili, and gruyere burgers in Eagle Rock, or mortadella-stuffed subs in Santa Monica. Naturally, I couldn’t think of anyone better than L.A. native Bobby to kick off the first installment of L.A. Mapped, in which long-time Los Angeles residents will talk you through their most-loved local spots.
“There are so many good places to eat in L.A. that people tend to have very defined opinions on where to find the ultimate version of any dish,” Bobby says. “That’s a big part of being an Angeleno; believing that you know where to find the ‘best’ burrito, or the ‘best’ kale salad.”
Read on to discover Bobby Kim’s ten favorite dining destinations in the city, from a slow-but-worth-it smokehouse to the “best” (!) Korean BBQ in L.A.—maybe even the world.