There’s old money in Los Feliz, and art school kids and Hispanics everywhere else. Plus some industry people are in Glendale, since it’s close to Burbank.
Le hot waiters! They make the slow service so much easier to bear. We suggest the creamy halibut, silky potatoes, and shell-less escargot swimming in clarified butter and garlic. Tip: Guys, do not bring your girlfriend here if you’re the uptight, jealous type. The waiters will flirt shamelessly and boldly, and they’re probably better looking than you, too. 1712 Colorado Blvd., Eagle Rock, 323-255-5111.
CASITA DEL CAMPO
Little House of Camp? Why, yes indeedy. It’s pretty typical Mexican, but that’s not why you go. You go because there are fresh fruit margaritas: mango, strawberry, melon, even cucumber. You also go because the happy hour is even sweeter than the margaritas, the salsa is some of the best on the Eastside, and because, well, it’s literally a gay Mexican restaurant. There’s a friggin’ mural of unicorns and rainbows for fuck’s sake, and the waiters are gay in the happy sense. Everything’s so colorful and festive it makes you feel like jumping on that unicorn and screaming, “Wheeeeeeeee!” 1920 Hyperion Ave., Silver Lake, 323-662-4255.
We randomly found this place years ago when we pulled into the mini-mall parking lot to turn our car around or something. We don’t really remember. Anyway, this Colombian joint serves up the tastiest little empanadas, packed to the gills with spiced beef and raisins. You don’t want to miss the lomo saltadas, fried platanos, and arepas. 2619 W. Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake, 213-483-8072.
If you happen to be cheating on your girlfriend and she’s out of town and you want to take the other girl out to dinner, go here. There’s a small back patio up against a hill, and it’s dark and private and you won’t have to deal with the “Fuck you” phone call in the morning. Also, it has good food like french fries with gorgonzola sauce and Kobe burgers. 3626 Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake, 323-666-6116.
This is the place to go for good, solid Indian food. They don’t pull any punches, the servers are super-friendly, and you always know what you’re getting. The cheese naan is just mmmmm. There’s also a private back room with a low table and cushions to sit on. Definitely not a place to take the parents, since the music gets so loud it could blow out what little hearing they have left. 4656 Franklin Ave., Los Feliz, 323-953-0040.
Craving basic, old-school diner food, but you live in Glendale and don’t wanna drive to Pann’s? Go to Foxy’s, a little slice of chalet/ski-lodge heaven. They even light the fireplace when it gets cold enough out, which is practically never. There are always lots of old, regular people eating here, so you know it’s a good diner. T-bone steak ’n’ eggs, fresh cinnamon rolls, and your own personal toaster on your table. 206 W. Colorado St, Glendale, 818-246-0244.
Get here early! If you arrive any time after 7:30 PM, you’re due for a nice long wait along with the rest of the scruffy screenwriter crowd (although you can run to Silverlake Wine across the street and get a screw-cap to chug in a paper bag while you warm the bench outside). Gingergrass is Vietnamese food for American tastes, which means everyone loves it—you can’t argue with the fresh, clean ingredients. Skip the somewhat bland summer rolls and go for the lemongrass-y steamed tilapia (Banana Leaf Fish), spicy, tender filet mignon (Shaking Beef), or a noodle bowl or pho. Wash it down with some ginger limeade or sangria. 2396 Glendale Blvd., Silver Lake, 323-644-1600.
LAMILL COFFEE BOUTIQUE
On Saturday mornings, graphic designers from across the land of Silver Lake put on their best Japanese denim and make their way to Lamill, a high-end coffee shop with a menu from the chef who runs Providence. They order their coffee black, pure, and simple, dripped slowly from the spout of the Clover machine, then settle in for table service and a helping of eggs and chai-spiced duck breast as they put the finishing touches on
La Dolce Shitteé
and watch the minorities drift by. 1636 Silver Lake Blvd., Silver Lake, 323-663-4441.
Remember that 80s gum with the liquid center, Fresh’n Up? You bit into it and all this oozy sweet goodness came squirting out. Well, Little Dom’s rice balls are sort of like that with a surprise center of melted ricotta. They also serve
salad—if you know your cheese, you know that
mozzarella is a combination of mozzarella and cream served at room temperature. Breakfast is outstanding; the French-toast soufflé and ricotta blueberry pancakes will weigh you down like an anchor—if that anchor were solid gold and coated in sweet, sweet batter. 2128 Hillhurst Ave., Los Feliz, 323-661-0055.
Pho to die for—delicate, tasty, and with perfectly fatty little cuts of pork. The lighting sucks, though, so don’t go here with someone you want to impress. It’s like sitting in an interrogation room. 2841 W. Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake, 213-413-0888.
Red Lion Tavern
RED LION TAVERN
Primarily known as a drinking spot across from the horrific Cha Cha, the Red Lion Tavern, or
, actually has a very authentic and tasty German menu. They boast a “European breakfast” and have schnitzel, spaetzle, brats, Jägermeister on tap, and a gigantic beer garden in which to devour all of it. Don’t miss the piano guy downstairs though. 2366 Glendale Blvd., Silver Lake, 323-662-5337.
RESTAURANT ECUATORIANO EL CASERIO
Hey, buddy, what do you feel like for dinner tonight? Italian? Well, fuck you, I want Peruvian. What’s that? We can get both at Ecuatoriano El Caserio? Who DOES that? Fine, fine, I’ll trust you. I’ll get the Ecuadorian ceviche, those fat shrimp with lime juice and onion, and the chicken cooked in beer and tomatoes, and you can have the fettuccine Alfredo. Done and done! 309 N. Virgil Ave., on the border of Silver Lake, 323-664-9266.