5 best things to eat in L.A.

By: The Spicy Stiletto

I wasn't really shutter-happy during my trip to LA. Most of the time I was too busy eating and by the time I would remember to take a photo, there were just crumbs or half full drinks left. So aside from the occasional iPhone/ Instagram photo, this is one of the only food snaps I took.

I spent the majority of my time in L.A. exploring the food and drink scene. So much has changed since I moved, and the multiple trips I've taken over the past seven years were too short-lived for me to really appreciate the food scene as a whole. This time around, I was able to try a lot more and even though most involved more healthy farm-to-table eating, I still let myself indulge a bit. Here's a shortlist of the five best things I tried during this trip.

'Turkey Butcher' sandwich at Gjusta. I'm all about an understated sandwich. Cucumber and mayo? Ham and cheese? That's me. So basic, but don't you agree that's often times the best? That can be said about the turkey sandwich at Gjusta — simple roast turkey with salt and pepper seasoning on a baguette, with a side of jus. Courtney and I weren't exactly sure what to expect when we arrived at this rustic little joint in Venice but we decided on sharing everything and did just that.

The tasting menu at The Gadarene Swine. It's rare that I jump at a tasting menu option, but I knew I had to once I saw the offerings. Minimalistic and creatively presented dishes at this joint that I've wanted to try for years. I showed up with many expectations which were all met at first bite. My favorite fancy-vegan spot that definitely deserves a second visit.

The 'Dragon Bowl' at Backyard Bowls. One thing that New York is severely lacking is this health-bowl(?) culture. If this spot resided in New York, I would probably eat it every single morning after a workout. Healthy, fresh, and simply delicious. I love Backyard Bowl's use of bee pollen, local honey, and fresh dragon fruit.

The cocktails at Gracias Madre. I spent a lazy weekday afternoon enjoying happy hour here with one of my best and oldest friends. I lovetheMexi-vegan menu options this place has injected into the heart of West Hollywood, but I never explored the cocktail menu till now. I ordered a number of cocktails off their extensive mezcal and tequila list. I was enthralled by the presentation of The 'Boozy Popsicle' and the Snow Cone when they arrived at our table, and as a fan of anything spicy, the extra kick the 'Popstar' offered was a mix of refreshing and adventurous. The well-balanced cocktails along with their mission to serve organic and plant-based foods is something I wish I can find more of in New York, and definitely worth a try if you're looking for a quaint restaurant to host a happy hour.

Birthday cake and blackberries ice cream in a waffle cone at Salt & Straw. I hung out around Larchmont Village quite often, and during on one of the hotter days I saw a woman walk out of here at 11AM with a double scoop in a waffle cone. I was immediately intrigued. I'm a proponent of eating meals at set times, i.e. lunch should start after 12 and sweets shouldn't be consumed before that, so I bookmarked the spot. I came back on another day to taste test a few of the flavors. Now, as someone who doesn't have much of a sweet tooth and would never wait in line for sweets (unless convinced by a friend), this ice cream was too good not to finish. I have a bit of a weakness for anything birthday cake flavored/ resembling funfetti so that's exactly what I ordered. Sweet, creamy, and filled with happiness.

More from The Spicy Stiletto:
Apple cinnamon packages
3 combinations for goat milk yogurt
Marinated cauliflower steak

Before you head to LA, here are some packing tips! ​

5 Must-Haves to Pack for Vacation

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