Recently visited from NY and ate pretty well overall in LA. Here are some quick notes:
Red Medicine – pretty disappointing given the raves on this board and the relatively high price point compared to our other meals. Went on a weekday evening and place was maybe about 1/3 full the entire time. Service and cocktails were excellent. We opted for the tasting menu and came away feeling that while the presentations were beautiful and there was obviously a great deal of creativity in the dishes, the meal was not very satisfying. Some dishes seemed overly complicated while there were also some execution errors.
Specifically, we very much enjoyed the trout roe dish, were mixed on the leek and Dungeness crab dishes, may have enjoyed the toasted grains and cereal if it were not for the overly salty broth, and thought the mugifuji pork dish (we substituted for the lamb dish) was a complete miss due to the overcooked pork and flavor combinations that were just weird. Desserts were very good. Really liked the birch ice dessert and another one that they brought out for us (I think the coconut bavarois).
Son of a Gun – probably my favorite meals of the trip (ate here twice as it was conveniently located next door to our hotel). Tried 5 or 6 raw dishes and really enjoyed them though there were a couple where it seemed one component slightly overpowered the dishes (yuzu in one, palm sugar in another). The baquetta collar and the linguine and clams were awesome. Fried chicken sandwich was good but nothing special. Service and cocktails were excellent. Wait was about 15-30 minutes both nights around 9, 9:30.
Soot Bull Jeep – great Korean bbq. We grabbed an early dinner here before a game at the Staples Center. Enjoyed the short ribs and shrimp. The panchan were good as well.
Gjelina – great brunch. Wait was about a half hour or so around 1:30pm on a weekend afternoon. Had eggs with prosciutto, a side of bacon, braised artichokes, and sugar snap peas.
Animal – very good dinner. Enjoyed every dish including the tendon chips, bone marrow (maybe could have used a little more salt), burrata, poutine, beef heart, and quail. Only quibble of the meal is we were rushed at the end. Servers kept coming by our table to check on us, and while I understand that they were anxious to close up, I don’t like being rushed since they only offered us a 10pm reservation. We ended up getting some food packed up to go and were out of the restaurant by 11:15 (this was a Sunday night).
Pink’s hot dog – stopped in when we noticed no line when driving by around lunchtime. Nothing special. Grilled mushrooms and onions on one dog were fine. Chili on another dog was pretty bad. Onion rings though were excellent. I much prefer the hot dogs back home at one of the Papayas (Gray’s Papaya, Papaya King, etc) where they are grilled instead of however Pink’s cooks them (steamed or boiled?).
In-n-Out – really not good at all. Went around 4pm one afternoon when we needed some food to tide us over until dinner. I had In-n-Out once before a few years ago and remember it being okay. I ordered a burger animal style and just really disliked it this time around. Shake Shack in NY is so much better for a fast-food style burger.
Monte Alban – just okay. Came here for a late lunch and had cactus salad, mole negro, and carnes monte alban (grilled beef and pork). The chicken in mole negro was overcooked and I’m also starting to realize that I don’t like moles or at least chocolate-based sauces after having it a few times over the years. Also discovered I don’t like cactus. The carnes monte alban was pretty good as were the chips on the table. A few families sitting around us were having soups so perhaps that was the way to go.
Zankou Chicken – the 1/4 dark chicken meal was really bad. Chicken was mushy. Hummus was good though as was the chicken tarna sandwich.
Loteria Grill – had huevos rancheros one morning. Okay, nothing special.
Huckleberry – great salads for lunch.
Clementine – excellent scones and coffee. Corn muffin and banana bread were okay.
Joan’s on Third – great coffee and scones. Other pastries we tried were alright. New York breakfast sandwich was very good but also really heavy (I could only eat half).
Kogi BBQ truck – really good short rib taco. Wish I had room to try more but we just happened to be walking by one of their trucks and weren’t hungry.
Miscellaneous – excellent coffee at Lamill and Intelligentsia, okay coffee at Urth Caffe.