Hungry in Hollywood? These are my favorites.
- Zankou Chicken. So good that Beck sings about it. Every time I go to Zankou, I’ll pretend that I’m actually going to order the 1/4 chicken meal, but somehow I end up with 1/2 chicken. I’ve stopped pretending that I’m going to be satisfied by the 1/4 chicken meal.
- Paru’s Indian. This is a really great Indian restaurant focusing on South Indian cuisine. This means that you won’t find the usual dishes you’re familiar with (such as chicken tikka masala), but you will find really delicious vegetarian cuisine and at very reasonable prices. It’s so good that even Indian people eat there, unlike Electric Lotus in Los Feliz which is only frequented by local hipsters.
- Square One Dining. I almost didn’t want to put this on my list, because this place gets pretty crowded as it is. All I can say is that the food is amazing The French Toast is ridiculously good. The thick-sliced bacon is the best I’ve ever had. And the shiitake, oyster and feta omelet is just heavenly, even if you get it with egg whites only. I had to stop going to Square One EVERY weekend, because after spending 90 minutes spinning on Sundays, I’d end up undoing all the good with ALL the food I’d consume. My usual Sunday breakfast is shiitake omelet with egg whites (my attempt of eating healthy), with side of bacon and French Toast to share (my 2nd attempt to eat healthy) with a friend. That’s a lot of calories, and lately I’ve been really watching the calories. But in any case, you will not be disappointed by Square One.
- 101 Coffee Shop. The food is really good, and so is the scene for people watching. And the waiters are always nice whether you’re ordering just coffee or a whole meal. It’s open 24 hours, so it’s a great place to satisfy those late night munchies brought on by legal/illegal drug and alcohol consumption.
- Beard Papa. Yummy cream puffs at the Hollywood and Highland complex. Normally, I avoid venturing out to the Hollywood and Highland complex like the plague. It’s just a short walk away from home, but it’s just too touristy. But if I absolutely have to go there for an emergency trip to Bebe, BCBG or Aldo shoes, Beard Papa is a MUST.
- Panos Pastry. I couldn’t mention Beard Papa without mentioning Panos. If you’re in the Eastern part of Hollywood, in Little Armenia, stop by Panos for some dessert. They have amazing baklava, and all other types of cakes and desserts at really cheap prices. If you need to order a cake, skip the supermarket and go here. The prices are great and the quality is even better. Did I mention the baklava? Yummy.
- Carousel Restaurant. Great Armenian food, very reasonably priced. There are 2 locations — Hollywood (Little Armenia) and Glendale (Big Armenia). If you want a little fancier experience go to the one in Glendale. But the food is great at both locations.
- Marouch. This is a Lebanese restaurant in Hollywood. If you’re with a group, order the appetizer combo to share. You’ll get so much food that you won’t need an entre. Not that you should skip the kebabs. They also have great kebabs. So if you’re feeling like a true American, and don’t mind eating past the point of feeling full, then get some meat dishes too. I know I do when I’m feeling patriotic.
- Jitlada. The best Thai food in LA. Period. If you don’t believe me, ask Jo Stougaard or Jonathan Gold.
- Mario’s Peruvian. Mario’s has been given the stamp of approval by every Peruvian I know. And I know quite a few. Excellent saltado dishes. And I love how they serve potatoes over rice. I feel like I’m in a carb heaven.