West Hollywood is still primarily boystown last time we checked, and rich. Hollywood proper is old Hasidic families in the Fairfax District who hate the youngsters who’ve moved in. Everyone hates the
-type kids and guys who wear Ed Hardy and spray tan, along with the big-titted “actresses.” Mexicans and trannies farther to the east, skater kids hanging at Hollywood High, “famous” people in the Hollywood Hills.
101 COFFEE SHOP
Need to take your high school friend from Iowa somewhere “cool” where he might see “celebrities” and think that you are “in the know”? Take him here. This is one of the 17 places in LA that people claim was the locale for the opening and closing diner scenes in
. As you’re ordering your mac ’n’ cheese, tell your Iowa buddy; he’ll never know that this place actually used to be a total dump where no one ever went. 6145 Franklin Ave., W. Hollywood, 323-467-1175 (until 4 AM).
While the food is just a step above El Coyote’s (i.e., make sure you have the Pepto on hand), the flaming margaritas are as infamous as the Flaming Moe. Tons of bands eat here, since it’s fairly close to the Troubadour, Whisky, and Roxy. There’s a wonderful mariachi band that can get a little too loud, but when you’re drunk it doesn’t even matter. 7408 W. Sunset Blvd., W. Hollywood, 323-874-7924 (there’s also one in Echo Park).
When you were a little kid and your mom told you not to eat with your fingers, what did you do as soon as she was out of sight? Scooped up the SpaghettiOs with those grubby little paws and shoved it all in your mouth. At Dar Maghreb, it’s not only acceptable to do this, it’s expected. The Moroccan dishes come with some spongy bread for dipping and scooping. You sit on pillows, there’s a fountain in the middle of the restaurant, and you can lounge as long as you want—the staff is awesome and doesn’t rush you through your
. Plus, there are belly dancers! 7651 W. Sunset Blvd., W. Hollywood, 323-876-7651.
This Denny’s is the successor to the mighty Rock ’n’ Roll Denny’s on Sunset, where you may have totally been sitting in the same chair that Axl Rose once sat in, feeling the “Welcome to the Jungle,” coke-’n’-heroin vibe mixing with the tantalizing smell of Moons Over My Hammy. Alas, this Denny’s is a poor substitute, but the kids seem to like it. 6100 W. Sunset Blvd., Hollywood, 323-464-7470.
Our gramma is Cajun. So we can say with confidence that this is a great introduction to good Cajun and Creole food in LA. The gumbo is thick with okra (you can tell they made the roux pretty close to right) and the jambalaya’s packed with andouille sausage. The po’ boy sandwiches have paper-thin slices of lemon, the catfish isn’t too fishy, and the beignets (square doughnuts with powdered sugar on top, served hot) are pillowy and messy. With a cup of strong chicory coffee, it’s a breakfast that cannot be beat and will have you flying for hours. 6333 W. 3rd St., Ste. 312, inside the Farmer’s Market, Mid-City, 323-933-0358.
Blah blah blah burger blah blah order it Animal Style blah blah secret menu blah blah shakes blah blah grilled onions blah blah blah. 7009 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood, 1-800-786-1000.
Shut up! A cupcake menu? We don’t give a fuck if cupcakes are “passé”; it’s the easiest way we know of to have a bunch of different little cakes all at once. Friends claim they have the best turkey burger in town, and, as far as beef goes, the Kobe Diablo should be one of the best in town at $15 a pop. Wash away the pain of spending your last dollar on a hamburger with some majorly alcoholic Belgian beer. 6613 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, 323-465-8259.
OSTERIA MOZZA/PIZZERIA MOZZA
Half of Mozza is dark and fancy; the other half is a relaxed pizza place with some of the best pies in the city. Made with a thin, slightly charred, crispy crust and real mozzarella—or even
—that doesn’t get all greasy like your average slice. Mario Batali, king of the Crocs and truly an awesome, awesome chef, is behind this place. 641 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood, 323-297-0101.
Two words: Thai Elvis. More words: cheap food, good food, and a solid, authentic Thai atmosphere. But back to Thai Elvis! This is, obviously, a Thai Elvis impersonator who looks nothing like Elvis but does a pretty good job on the vocals. While you slurp your
pad kee meo
on a Friday or Saturday night, you can be serenaded with a charming rendition of “Treat Me Like a Fool” from five feet away. 5900 Hollywood Blvd., Ste. B, Hollywood, 323-462-5073.
REAL FOOD DAILY
Wanna see Jonah Hill for some reason? Go here. The food is your standard veggie and vegan, with “faux” nachos, “faux” meatloaf TV dinner, “faux” Salisbury steak… You get the picture. 414 N. La Cienega Blvd., W. Hollywood, 310-289-9910.
ROSCOE’S HOUSE OF CHICKEN AND WAFFLES
What would an LA food guide be without a mention of Roscoe’s? Overhyped, overcrowded, and overcooked all-American chicken and waffles, which are often abandoned for their fat-ass Belgian cousin. We like a little meat on our bones so we’ll pass, but by all means, if you’re like the rest of LA, feel free to enjoy the gristly, lackluster servings. 1518 N. Gower St., W. Hollywood, 323-466-7453.
Down-home Italian comfort food and one of the most authentic Italian espressos in LA. Don’t pull a “Yeah, instead of the fine pizzas you are offering me, could I get BBQ chicken and arugula on it instead? Along with some of that powdered parmesan cheese to sprinkle on top of it? Also, can you make sure there’s no garlic on it? I’m allergic to garlic.” If that’s your deal, why are you here? 7605 Beverly Blvd., W. Hollywood, 323-954-0300.
The Urth on Melrose (there are a couple more in Santa Monica and Beverly Hills) attracts so-called celebs and people with “producer” in their title. Try and go during off-hours to get your chicken-curry-salad fix, a true delicacy of tender chunk chicken, not-too-spicy yellow curry, raisins, and grapes. Or just get your diagnosis from the Zen tea mistress (“How is your chakra today?”). Otherwise, do takeout—as our friend says, “Hell no to sitting next to people who look like they walked out of a bedazzled Ed Hardy k-hole.” 8565 Melrose Ave., W. Hollywood, 310-659-0628.
Pretty much just a teeny shack on Cahuenga, Vegan Express is a slightly better version of the highly acclaimed Vegan Plate in the Valley, which is saying a lot. Fried faux-chicken? Yes sir! May I have another? Hm, how about pancakes and fried faux-chicken? Or a vegan breakfast burrito? Gimme! 3217 Cahuenga Blvd., W. Hollywood, 323-851-8837.