In case ya didn’t know it, living in a massive city that spans over 502 square miles, has its major foodie advantages. Yup LA has so many restaurant gems that offer every type of cuisine imaginable. Different flavors, vibrant colors, and savory taste can be found at a variety of spots filled with diverse cultural influences. We were on the hunt to find some of the best cultural foods near us, because sometimes you have to shake up the typical American burger and fries. Whether you’re in the mood for a spicy Thai curry or a steak served Brazilian-style, we promise there will be a plate to please every palate here in Los Angeles. Check out our list of LA’s best cultural foods & restaurants that are culturally rich, packed with flavor, & hold no culinary bounds.
Location: 14704 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks
Anajak Thai Cuisine offers various experiences on different nights of the week, so it’s worth marking this hotspot as a favorite in your navigation app and returning to it time and time again. Expect Thai classics such as Haw Mok, a steamed fish curry custard, Pad Horapa and fried eggs, Pad Thai ( our LA Girl pick) & Pad Siew. It offers an a la carte menu Wednesday through Sunday evenings from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Thai Taco Tuesday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. to start the week off right. Additionally, Anajak Thai offers Omakase, a relaxed, multi-course tasting experience occurring the last weekend of each month. And be sure to enjoy a traditional Thai meal with a bottle from its award-winning wine list.
Location: 1034 S. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles
You need energy to explore all LA’s great cultural foods and Buna Ethiopian Restaurant and Market has just the brew to put the spring back in your step. With an authentic Ethiopian coffee roaster on-site, you can fuel up on plenty of the most delicious go-juice you’ll find on this side of the globe. Of course, a cup of coffee isn’t the only reason to visit this spot. Once your eyes open sufficiently, peruse the extensive menu, featuring delights such as yebeg awaze tibese, with just the right touch of jalapeño to provide a pleasant kick. It also has vegetarian choices, making this restaurant a great choice for the cruelty-free crowd, who won’t have to rely on just a salad.
The LA Girl’s pick: Shiro wot
Location: 4103 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles
When it’s time for some refreshing flavor, head to Tombaloco Peruvian restaurant. This five-star establishment won’t break the bank, especially if you arrive between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday through Friday for the daily special, which includes soup, the meal of the day and a beverage. However, you’ll have plenty to choose from in the evenings too. The ceviche de pescado is an excellent start to any meal, prepping the appetite with fresh-caught shrimp. Various meat dishes come served with your choice of rice or beans, or you can go more exotic with a dish called Rachi. It is not for the faint of heart as it comes from cow belly. But it’ll be worth it when you delight in choclo con queso, which sounds like a dessert, but is really a Peruvian twist on an elote.
The LA Girl’s Pick: Choclo con queso
Location: 1534 N. McCadden Place, Los Angeles
You don’t often find a restaurant in LA that’s done business for over 150 years, but L’Antica Pizzeria Da Michele holds that award. Their unique hand stretched crust straddles the line between deep dish and thin, making it familiar to East Coast visitors who grew up on Naples-style pie. They are located in Hollywood, Santa Barbara & Long Beach. But, pizza isn’t the only comfort classic you’ll find here. Seafood lovers will delight in the grilled octopus, served with potato, arugula and lemon dressing, followed by the grilled Branzino, a seared Mediterranean sea bass. Pasta lovers can also dig into a big bowl of pappardelle Genovese or tagliatelle al pesto.
The LA Girl’s pick: CACIO E PEPE
Location: 7265 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles
No tour of LA’s cultural foods scene is complete without a comforting bowl of daal or lentils simmered with tomatoes, ginger and garlic. It’s the ultimate tummy filler when you need a little extra love. Roots Indian Bistro offers multiple Indian classics like Vindaloo, Tandoori chicken, Tikka masala, Bhel puri & Saag. This place also offers multiple vegan options too. Additionally, it’s a fun meal for one or two, because it allows you to sample a taste of various dishes, all nut-free for folks with allergies.
The LA Girl’s pick: Kashmiri alla pasta
Location: 12114 W. Washington Blvd., Los Angeles
When you’ve got to get a little Baba ganoush, head to Tut’s Egyptian Cuisine, which offers family meal deals for two, four or six people with rice, hummus, salad, pita and your choice of two proteins. However, there’s plenty to enjoy from the traditional menu. Specialties include rakakat, a fried wonton stuffed with feta, mozzarella, sumac, onion and lemon juice. Or try their shawarma, chicken or beef prepared in a zesty yogurt sauce over rice. It also has numerous a la carte kebabs and wraps, from lamb to sautéed veggies.
The LA Girl’s pick: Baba ganoush
7. Fogo de Chao
Address: 800 S. Figueroa, Los Angeles
Fogo de Chao has the advantage of a terrific location amid several popular conference hotel. But there’s more fun than business to this Brazilian steakhouse. While it’s fabulous for wooing clients, it’s also ideal when you want to kick back, loosen your belt buckle a notch and dig into some of the most tender meat this side of the equator. If you and your dining companions have a hearty appetite, go for the full churrasco experience, which features various proteins prepared in 14 different ways, from filet mignon to pork sausage. It comes with equally indulgent sides like warm pao de queijo, a delicious cheesy bread, crispy polenta, mashed potatoes and caramelized bananas. Wash down your meal with an authentic Brazilian beverage, all non-alcoholic. Choose from Brazilian limonada, pineapple-mint lemonade, guarana antarctica or paradise spritz.
The LA Girl’s pick: Wagyu ancho
View this post on Instagram
Are you feeling a little full after tasting so many essential foods? Burn off some of those calories by taking one of these LA-area hikes.
Feature image courtesy of Anajak Thai