Bestia’s Menashe and Gergis: 5 Great Bites in Los Angeles

An occasional series about LA chefs and the low-cost food they love.

Ori Menashe and Genevieve Gergis are the husband-and-wife team behind Bestia, a restaurant on the outskirts of LA’s Arts District with what Jonathan Gold calls some of the "most purely Italian dishes" in Los Angeles. Menashe trained under Gino Angelini at Angelini Osteria; his cavatelli alla Norma has become one of LA’s defining dishes. Same with Gergis’s chestnut zeppole with coffee ice cream.


Yuca’s [Los Feliz]
“The food is simple, uncomplicated, and tasty, and it's near our house.”
2056 Hillhurst Avenue, Los Angeles; 323-662-1214


Bar Amá [Downtown]
“It's $9, but it comes with a side of guacamole, salsa, and cream with a huge bowl of chips—good enough for a large snack for two or a really hearty lunch for one. You can add some really tasty chorizo for $2 more, or you can just eat it plain. But why would you want to?”
118 W. Fourth Street, Los Angeles; 213-687-8002


Zankou [Hollywood]
“We keep trying many different places, but we always end up here. It's the cheapest, and the best, plus you can get hummus and stuffed grape leaves on the side.”
5065 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles; 323-665-7845 (check website for other locations)


Daikokuya [Little Tokyo]
“You’ll never spend more than $30 for two people and you'll be full on pork fat for hours.”
327 E. First Street, Los Angeles; 213-626-1680


Mariscos 4 Vientos [Boyle Heights]
“It's in Boyle Heights, but sometimes you have to drive a little out of your way to spend pocket change for something so good.”
3000 E. Olympic Boulevard, Los Angeles; 323-264-3565 (no website)

Photo credits: Ori Menashe and Genevieve Gergis by Andrea Bricco; Yuca’s burrito by Flickr member T.Tseng under Creative Commons; Bar Amá queso from Bun Boy Eats LA; Zankou chicken from EAT Everyday; Daikokuya ramen from Mamaloli; Marisco 4 Vientos shrimp tacos from Feed The Monster

Justin Bolois is a writer living in Los Angeles. Follow him on Twitter @JustinBolois.