Leimert Park is a planned community from Walter Leimert that primarily sprouted up during the Depression. Thankfully, a pair of Supreme Court decisions – Shelley v. Kraemer (1948) and Barrows v. Jackson (1953) - helped to strip away racist housing restrictions, and the neighborhood gradually became a thriving African-American community. A wave of development is now escalating interest in the neighborhood, with 8.5 miles of Crenshaw/LAX Line track extending from the Expo Line through Inglewood to the Green Line and LAX. Locals are anxious to see what Leimert Park’s next iteration looks like. Sadly, the original Phillips Barbecue from Foster Phillips is no longer in business, but you can still find serious comfort. Discover five notable Leimert Park dishes.
Route 66 is perhaps the most legendary roadway in the United States, even if it no longer technically exists. "The Mother Road" was established in 1926 and ran from Chicago through Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona, then into California and all the way to the ocean in Santa Monica. It opened at the right time and ran through the right places to make it synonymous with U.S. expansion, as people moved west to look for work during the Great Depression, and then just kept moving west because everyone liked big cars and big backyards - two things strongly associated with Los Angeles.
The highway was officially decommissioned in 1985 after years of sections being renamed and rerouted, but the mystique endures, and people still follow its route to learn a bit about Americana. Here are some of the restaurants to check out as you cruise the streets that make up Route 66, most of them holdovers from mid-century road culture.
There’s no shortage of great guacamole in Los Angeles, a city blessed to contain some of the best Mexican food on the planet, in a state that grows a fair percentage of the world’s avocados. This most perfect snack (and the most-consumed item on Super Bowl Day) has ancient roots, as avocados have been cultivated in Central America for thousands of years and there’s record of the fruit being smashed together with other ingredients in a molcajete by the Aztecs. People might disagree about what other ingredients are necessary - onions? Garlic? Tomatoes? Lemon? - but everyone knows that at its base, guacamole is one of the world’s best dishes. Here are five restaurants in L.A. County doing excellent renditions of it.
East L.A. has a storied and complicated history that started well before Spanish settlement from Gaspar de Portolà in the 1700s. The area is now a center for Latino culture in L.A., particularly for Mexican Americans. Discover five of the best dishes in this vibrant community that lives between Boyle Heights and Montebello/Monterey Park.
Every season is pizza season, right? Between the abundance of imaginative chefs and beautiful produce available here year-round, there are vegan pizzas aplenty in Los Angeles. Even chains like Lucifer’s, Z Pizza, Blaze, Pizza Man and Whole Foods are keeping vegan cheeses on hand for dairy-free customers. Mangia!
L.A.’s Chinese American community dates to the 1850s, but it wasn’t until 1938 that the neighborhood that once held Little Italy officially became known as Chinatown. Now, eight decades later, Chinatown is enjoying unprecedented growth. Classic spots like Eastside Market Italian Deli, Nick’s Café, Phoenix Inn, and Sam Woo are still going strong, and a new crop is providing diversity and depth. Start with these five dishes.
Discover Los Angeles
Nothing quite tops off a great meal better than a spectacular coastal view. There’s just something about the backdrop of the Pacific Ocean that sets the perfect tone for a light lunch or an evening out. The organic ambiance of a breathtaking sight truly enhances one’s dining experience and adds a touch of sophistication to any date or casual outing. These beachfront L.A. restaurants are worth seeking out, even if it’s only just to take in the beautiful views.