Travel

Los Angeles Specialty

Establishment neighborhood
Chong’s Sesame Oil
3560 W. 8th St., Koreatown
The taste of freshly pressed sesame oil is distinct—nutty, a little smoky, and deeply savory. The seeds for this particular oil come from El Salvador, and the owner (simply known as Mr. Chong) roasts and presses them himself. Add a splash of it in dressings and stir-fries and you’ll never go back to the mass-produced stuff again. Like many of Koreatown’s gems, Chong’s is hidden (it’s behind Pollo Alla Brasa). It’s the best sesame oil you’ll find in Los Angeles.
California Market
450 S. Western Ave., Koreatown
What was formerly called Gaju Marketplace has recently been remodeled into an incredibly vast food court and grocery store that’s a staple for the goop staffers who live in Koreatown. The banchan (small prepared sides like bean sprouts with sesame oil) are convenient to pick up for a light solo meal or for an impromptu dinner party. And because of the big Latino community that also lives within K-town, you’ll find the freshest avocados and papayas alongside daikon and jars of kimchi. The best part: the free, on-site, five-floor parking structure with panoramic views stretching from DTLA to Culver City.
Rose & Blanc Tea Room
301 S. Western Ave., Koreatown
A pause in the afternoon for a cup of tea is standard in many parts of the world, but drinking anything other than an iced beverage in LA is almost an anomaly. Rose & Blanc Tea Room is an exception, bringing a dose of international tea culture to Koreatown in a hyperfeminine blush-and-white setting. The tea menu is legit—French Palais des Thés, American Harney & Sons, as well as Rose & Blanc’s own blends (the Earl Grey rooibos is our favorite). Its version of afternoon tea runs more on the sweet side than the cucumber-sandwich side—imagine delicate macaroons, scones, and waffles with lavender syrup.
Moon Juice
8463-3 Melrose Pl., West Hollywood
COVID-19 Update: Open for pickup and delivery. Moon Juice is a New Age pharmacy—look no further than the fifty-pound jade crystal that’s affixed to the shop’s exterior on Alfred Street. There are tonics for every malady or desire (we love turmeric cup, with cayenne pepper, black pepper oil, and oil of oregano to help us through a cold). At the raw copper Alchemy Bar, one of the alchemists will happily help you customize the Vittoria coffee or gynostemma tea with a Moon Juice dust of your choice. The cabinet of cold-pressed goodness is almost too pretty to drink, but it’s delicious and effective. At the register, the snacks (dried chili and mango slices, activated maca mesquite walnuts) are absolutely addictive. COVID-19 Disclaimer: We are working hard to keep our listings as up to date as possible (deliveries, outdoor dining, etc.), but given the evolving nature of local COVID-19 restrictions, we recommend double-checking the information in this guide with any business you plan on visiting. Also, please note that we have not vetted any businesses listed within our guides for their compliance with applicable safety regulations.
Naturewell
3824 Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake
It’s easy to miss Naturewell on this busy stretch of Sunset Boulevard in Silver Lake (you’ll probably need to plug it into the GPS if you’re unfamiliar with the neighborhood) but this blink-and-you’ll-miss it juice bar is worth finding for its phenomenal smoothies and acai bowls (the coconut-kale smoothie is legendary). It also doubles as a health-food market, with an entire wall of legumes, and it carries snacks like nutritional yeast, organic nuts, and kale chips.
Magpies Softserve
2660 Griffith Park Blvd., Silver Lake
Few sweet treats are as satisfying on a hot LA afternoon than a crunchy waffle cone filled with frosty soft-serve ice cream. At Magpies in Silver Lake it can feel almost virtuous. That’s because Magpies has created one-of-a-kind vegan flavors like black rice horchata, chocolate taro, and orange yuzu creamsicle. The shop’s dairy-free fan base is so strong you’ll often find a line out the door, but trust us when we say it’s worth it—especially if you top your soft-serve with toasted maple coconut chips (also vegan).
The Goods Mart (Closed)
3140 Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake
Founder Rachel Krupa had an ambitious goal when she opened the Goods Mart in Silver Lake earlier this year: to create a convenience store unlike any other in the country. Think of it as the corner bodega for a new era, where prices are low (a cup of La Colombe coffee is a steal at $1.25), but the quality is high. Shelves are devoid of artificial colors, flavors, and sweeteners; pesticides; and hormones, and even the slushies (in partnership with Brooklyn’s Kelvin Slush Co.) are made with organic ingredients and served in paper—not plastic—cups. Even the tip jar is thoughtfully considered, as all donations go to local charities, and any food that’s approaching its sell-by date is donated to a nonprofit that helps the homeless on Skid Row.
Standing Egg Coffee
2833 Hyperion Ave., Silver Lake
Not everyone likes drip coffee, and a good espresso-based brew is not something to be taken for granted. Standing Egg, one of the new cafés in Silver Lake, gets it. The space is sparse—polished stone walls and floors with a few plants in the corners. The baristas are enthusiastic, always keen to make your coffee just as you like it (and like it we do). The gluten-free doughnuts are excellent, the complimentary water is always ice-cold, and the old-school record player in the corner plays the Rolling Stones at 7 a.m. daily.
Breakfast by Salt’s Cure
7494 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood
COVID-19 Update: Open for takeout and delivery. This is a no-fuss iteration of the original Salt’s Cure (now located a few miles east on Highland), where you’ll find the same oatmeal griddle cakes that were once the reason behind horribly long wait times for brunch. It's now set up counter-style and à la carte, which makes engineering your perfect breakfast blissfully simple—it’s all the classic options, done better than anywhere else. Plus, you can now get a gluten-free version of the griddle cakes, and they’re somehow equally good. Just don’t ask for syrup: They come topped with decadent sea-salt butter and powdered sugar, and the staff will proudly tell you that nothing else is required. COVID-19 Disclaimer: We are working hard to keep our listings as up to date as possible (deliveries, outdoor dining, etc.), but given the evolving nature of local COVID-19 restrictions, we recommend double-checking the information in this guide with any business you plan on visiting. Also, please note that we have not vetted any businesses listed within our guides for their compliance with applicable safety regulations.