West Hollywood/Koreatown Mini Food Adventure
Grant and I recently took a trip to L.A. with some friends. Our main purpose was to visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (check out our 9 ¾ Tips for Visiting the Wizarding World of Harry Potter), but our pilgrimage to Hogsmeade ended up being a weekend tour around some of Southern California's finest eateries. Here's a recap of our West Hollywood/Koreatown food adventure.
Taste on Melrose
We had brunch our first morning at Taste on Melrose, an uber chic eatery in West Hollywood where everyone looks like they're probably best friends with Kate Hudson. A beautiful place full of beautiful and fashionable people. We snagged a table on the patio, which is a prime spot for people-watching. I ordered the blackened salmon tacos with shredded cabbage, the freshest avocado I've ever tasted, roasted corn salsa on soft corn tortillas with a chipotle creme fraiche ($15). Grant ordered the Taste-y Breakfast Burrito ($13) with scrambled eggs, tomatoes, applewood smoked bacon, cilantro, black beans, aged white cheddar cheese, pico de gallo and ranchero sauce on a spinach tortilla and mixed greens.
Curry House CoCo Ichibanya
This Koreatown restaurant does everything right. Great food, great portions, great prices, great service. If you're a curry fan and want to discover a new place where Japanese curry is perfected, go to CoCo Ichibanya. You can order a variety of curry dishes and can customize the portion sizes. Essentially, you can pay less for a smaller portion or pay more for a lil' something extra. I ordered the small-sized scrumptious eggplant curry with cheese, served on white rice. Savory goodness. Also, make sure you don't miss out on the addicting cream of corn soup for only $1!
Hae Jang Chon
If you relish in the thought of endless Korean barbecue, look no further than Hae Jang Chon in Koreatown. This place is legit. About 3,400 Yelp reviews and counting. For a dinner price of $24 a person, you and your friends can feast on endless barbecue with a choice of 27 items. You can have beef brisket or short rib, or maybe you're in the mood for pork belly and spicy chicken. Or maybe, you've got a hankering for all of the above. It's all available for one flat rate. Servers come out with one meat/protein item at a time and they throw it onto the your tabletop grill. Pro tip: Make a reservation. My friend Sam was smart enough to book us a table for seven people at around 9:30 p.m. When we arrived, I was shocked to see a flock of people waiting outside the restaurant for a table. On my way out after dinner, I noticed that some of those same people were still outside waiting for a table. Yes, this place is that popular. And yes, that popularity is justified.
Real Food Daily
First of all, let me preface that I am not a vegan, but this vegan restaurant served me one of the most delicious egg scrambles I've ever had in my life. Real Food Daily is the real deal, folks. We visited the West Hollywood location, which from the sidewalk, looked pretty unobtrusive for a place with more than thousand Yelp reviews. Still, make sure not to pass this place up if you're in the neighborhood. The service is fast and friendly, and the food is amazing. I ordered the Ava B 'n' Cheez scramble. Translation: Avocado, tempeh bacon, sun-dried tomatoes and melted cashew cheese, served with whole wheat toast and hash browns ($14). Oh, my goodness. There are very few foods I love so much that I literally slow down to savor every last bite. This scramble officially makes the elite list. The scramble had a unique nutty flavor and, unlike traditional egg scrambles, was very light and doesn't induce a feeling of bloating. If I lived closer, I'd have this for breakfast at least three times a week. If you're lucky enough to be have an RFD near you, do yourself a favor and get this scramble ASAP.
Alas, our mini SoCal trip lasted only a few days, but we'll be back. And we'll come back hungry.