When it comes to humble everyday dishes, Los Angeles does not mess around. Four restaurants are taking familiar foods to new heights.
© Joe Schmelzer Everyday Food in Los Angeles
| Credit: © Joe Schmelzer

The Burger

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).

The Taco

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.