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,

Estevan Oriol is a Los Angeles O.G. Aside from a short spell living in San Diego (his mom shipped him there, aged 15, to keep him out of trouble), the photographer and director has spent his entire life living in, working from, and repping Los Angeles to the fullest. From his stark portraits of West Coast lowriders, gangbangers and cholos to his provocative shots of L.A. Women, Oriol has earned worldwide acclaim for his rare and authentic perspective on subcultural life in the City of Angels.

Still living in Los Angeles (of course), Oriol now spends much of his life traveling the world with his longtime collaborator, legendary tattoo and graffiti artist Mister Cartoon. When they’re not shooting content for Sanctioned TV, they spend their time hunting down international replacements for their regular roster of L.A. dining spots.

“Cartoon and I think of ourselves as food connoisseurs,” says Oriol over the phone from his current location of Hawaii. “We make sure we find the best Japanese, Chinese, Indian, or Italian places all around the world. That way we know where to go back to and we can avoid all those hit and misses.”

Of course, avoiding culinary duds is slightly easier when you’re tapped into a global network of likeminded creative homies. “We know somebody pretty much everywhere we go,” says Oriol of his personalized international dining club. “Locals always take you to the best spots, so I’ve learned to return the favor when people from out of town come to L.A.

Read on to find out where Estevan Oriol takes guests for hearty Mongolian barbecue, the best sit-down Mexican in town, and, um, all-vegan, dairy-free strawberry cheesecake. (Like I said: this man is L.A. to the core).