Justin Pichetrungsi's Los Angeles City Guide

The 2022 F&W Best New Chef’s best bites in LA include pork shoulder shabu and a mind-blowing chocolate chess pie.

Justin Pichetrungsi
Photo: Alex Lau; David Liu / Getty Images

Learn more about 2022 Food & Wine Best New Chef Justin Pichetrungsi.

Noodles for Breakfast

"I've been going to Sapp Coffee Shop for boat noodles and tom yum noodles since I was a kid. It's the only place my parents eat at in Thai Town. Ordering sen chan pad boo is the move; this Chanthaburi-style classic is a glossy, tangier cousin to pad thai but with crab meat. Order it spicy, and prepare to regret it. I also start with the rare pork liver salad, known as thaap wan, or the nam sod salad."

Bakestagram

"Fat and Flour is the treasured gem in Grand Central Market where Nicole Rucker is making her mind-blowing chocolate chess pie and cookies. I like establishments with personality and a point of view, so I also follow her hilarious Instagram stories. She brings all that charm into her baked goods."

MSG Latte

"Thank You Coffee in Chinatown (and Anaheim, their new gorgeous location) is equal parts adorable and creative. Jonathan Yang and his crew lift my spirits in the mornings. Try the Five Spice Latte, aka the MSG latte."

Outdoor Buzz

"Found Oyster for the vibes and great hospitality. Grab a wine while you wait in line and enjoy the sunset while sitting in your car. Melody Wine Bar to eat Malli (a very tasty popup by chefs Elizabeth Heitner and Nestor Silva; and drink delicious natural wine!"

Must Eat

"Go to Seoul Garden in K-town. Get the pork shoulder shabu. It's a three-step meal that starts with shabu, then to noodles, and ends with porridge."

Follow Her Lead

"Lien Ta is the brightest restaurateur in the city with Here's Looking at You and All Day Baby. Now she's created Re:Her to empower and advance the talented women of the food world. There's a guide in L.A. and D.C. now that connects talented folks around the cities through food and topics to support the women of the industry. Lien is a leader and a lighthouse for us in the industry."

Cool Colada

"My favorite cocktail is the Jungle Bird from Horses. What can I say? I love a riff on the piña colada. Steve LaFountain is the bar director, and his bartenders are geeky and full of personality. Lou, one of the bartenders at Horses, retains an encyclopedic knowledge of tiki drinks and obscure ingredients."

One of Everything

"The city's signature dish is gonna be Korean barbecue, sushi, or tacos. Soot Bull Jeep is old-school and still grilling on actual charcoal; the flavor is unparalleled. Beef tongue is the move there. For sushi, we drive down to Nozomi, in Torrance. The daily fish menu is from Toyosu fish market in Japan, and you will discover species not seen on most sushi menus, like unicorn leather jacket and ark clam, to name a few. We love sitting in the tatami room and always order one of everything off of the daily menu."

World's Best Market

"The Joint Seafood is arguably the best seafood market in America. They are our dry-aged fish purveyors and supply to many good restaurants around L.A. and California. Go speak to their fish butchers there and grab some uni and golden eye snapper for home. There is so much passion and quality there. I love this crew like my own. As for produce, is there anywhere better than Santa Monica Farmers Market?"

Keep it Simple

"Kinjiro in Little Tokyo is a special upscale izakaya hailed by owner Jun Isogai. Go for the cured mackerel saba, called saba kobujime; baby spinach with assorted mushroom salad; and the grilled thick-cut beef tongue, and end with the cold green tea soba noodles. Don't be fooled by the simple presentations—this is very artisanal style food for the soul. If you don't get a sake, you will be missing out on a major part of the experience there."

All-Around Favorites

"Antico Nuovo hand-makes the most beautifully detailed pastas. Chef Chad Colby is a friend and mentor to me, and I have learned so much from him. His lineage for Italian cooking in L.A. goes back far. Chad's dedication to the perfection of this humble cuisine is admirable. Hanchic is the vibrant nouveau Korean restaurant by chef Kyungbin Min. Korean "tapas," or drinking food, that packs a lot of flavor and a lot of heart. Pair the tteok-bokki ragù with some refreshing Makgeolli, and you're set. Pearl River Deli for the Hainan chicken rice. Chef Johnny Lee is the true face of the Cantonese revival cuisine in Chinatown."

Meet all of Food & Wine's Best New Chefs 2022: Warda Bouguettaya | Damarr Brown | Ana Castro | Calvin Eng | Tim Flores and Genie Kwon | Melissa Miranda | Justin Pichetrungsi | Emily Riddell | Rob Rubba | Caroline Schiff

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