When it comes to humble everyday dishes, Los Angeles does not mess around. Four restaurants are taking familiar foods to new heights.
Chef Sang Yoon made his name at the Santa Monica gastropub Father’s Office, where his burger—topped with Gruyère, Maytag blue cheese, arugula, and applewood-bacon compote—ranks among the nation’s finest. Last spring Yoon opened a second outpost of F.O. that’s twice as spacious, making his haute American standard even more enjoyable.
The Cup of Joe
In funky Silver Lake, Lamill Coffee Boutique offers a five-page menu of java drinks—all prepared in your choice of brewing device, from a siphon (which resembles a very elaborate bong) to a one-of-a-kind La Marzocco espresso machine sheathed in hand-pounded brass.
The Hot Dog
Let’s Be Frank is a seriously ambitious hot-dog stand run by Berkeley-based Chez Panisse veteran Sue Moore, who started the chain in San Francisco. Moore’s grass-fed beef and Berkshire-pork dogs are subtly seasoned with organic spices (garlic, paprika, and black pepper).
New York’s esteemed James Beard Foundation called Yuca’s an “American classic” back when it was a mere shack in a Los Feliz parking lot. Last year, Yuca’s became a proper sit-down joint, where chef Dora Herrera’s sublime tacos al pastor, filled with grilled pork and peppers, can be savored not only on the hood of a car, but also on sidewalk tables under plastic-thatch umbrellas.