There has not been a year in my life where I have eaten better food than 2012. This is because Los Angeles has stepped up their game in the food world and has turned out restaurant after restaurant after restaurant of food marvels. There is a lot to share and many that just narrowly missed the cut. We have a lot to be thankful for in terms of food in LA!
• Breakfast At Bäco Mercat
Downtown’s Bäco Mercat is a lot of people’s top pick for 2012 food. It’s fresh, new, and very, very good. We loved it! This said, our visit to their breakfast menu was quite a culinary storm–and totally unexpected! Save for some way overpriced mimosas, breakfast at Bäco Mercat was the best we had in Los Angeles this year.
• L&E Oyster Bar
We were way late to visit this Silver Lake newcomer but it was the best dining experience we had all year. Hand’s down. Great food, great concept, great service, great wine, great space: great everything! This is a place you absolutely must visit if you have not been yet. Our only regret with L&E is that we have not been back since our initial visit…
Alma kind of snuck up on everyone and only now is getting its due. We had a feeling this place was going to be good when its Kickstarter funded itself in just a few hours. Visiting, we were underwhelmed by the decor and overall atmosphere–but the food? The simplest, freshest food in the city right now. Ari Taymor is going to be a big name in 2013 and you can bet that this is going to be the new “it” spot in town very soon…
• The Parish
This was one of the most unexpected places to visit this year because we didn’t know it had opened and it was so, so, so delicious. We’ve been back here several times and Parish’s fried chicken is the best fried chicken dish in the city. Canelé’s fried chicken sandwich is close–but Parish’s hearty take on the classic is unrivaled.
• Play’s Mexi-China Menu and Art As An Appetizer at Playa
Chef John Sedlar’s Playa has started to come into its own this year. His recent Mexi-China menu and the PST Art As An Appetizer menus are creative efforts that push the restaurants New Mexican identity to new levels and–like we always say about Sedlar and his establishments–represent a culinary climate that is always shapeshifting due to a need to be better. Can’t wait to see what Sedlar has next!
• Laurel Hardware
Laurel Hardware is the best restaurant in town right now. If you have not gone, go. We recommend their brunch or drinks over dinner because it is so crowded and dark at night: go when the sun is out and soak in the space and savor your food. The only drawbacks of this place is how popular it is, the sometimes annoying music they play, and the whole “small plates” thing.
• Cookie Good’s Carmel Pretzel Chocolate Chunk Cookie
Cookie Good is not a new brand but this year was the first time we tried them and we fell in love. In particular, their Carmel Pretzel Chocolate Chunk Cookie was phenomenal. Eating it felt like I touched the face of the dessert gods and they whispered back, “You have found the one, my child.” This is Los Angeles’ cookie.
What were your favorite food moments of 2012? Is there anything we should check out in 2013? Share your thoughts in the comments!