Here, the F&W Best New Chef alum (Class of 1990) shares her go-to restaurants, from hot newcomers to beloved classics, in the city she calls home. 

Homestate, Los Angeles
Credit: Peden + Munk; Erin Doll, ChowNow

The bread obsessive behind Osteria Mozza and Pizzeria Mozza is a fervent champion of her city’s food scene. “It’s wildly diverse, which is no secret,” she says. “And we have the best inexpensive restaurants in the country. There’s a taco truck on 3rd and Normandie with a lady making fresh tortillas and carnitas on the grill. The tacos are $1.25!”

Burritos La Palma

5120 N. Peck Road, El Monte; 626-350-8286;

“Hands down my favorite burrito in town. I always get the birria (shredded beef) with refried beans and cheese. Jonathan Gold brought them over to Ruth Reichl’s place for the Academy Awards. We forgot about the Oscars.”

Everson Royce Bar

1936 E. 7th St., Los Angeles; 213-335-6166;

“I could sit for hours on the patio in the Arts District, drinking red wine and munching on Matt Molina’s simple, tasty food. I especially like his burger.”


1023 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Los Angeles; 424-387-8622;

“Going out to Venice for me takes practically an act of Congress. But Evan Funke’s pastas, like tonnarelli cacio e pepe, are worth it.”

Here’s Looking at You

3901 W. 6th St., Los Angeles; 213-568-3573;

“My usual is the frog legs, with salsa negra scallions. This Koreatown spot has such a good neighborhood feel, and bonus: It’s six blocks from my house.”


4624 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles; 323-906-1122;

“I rarely go out for breakfast, but when I do, I come to this Los Feliz Tex-Mex joint. Get the Guadalupe breakfast tacos, with eggs, chorizo and cheddar.”


4648 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles; 323-409-0404;

“This is the best new Middle Eastern place in town. I order the barbari bread with tahini.”

Lodge Bread Co.

11918 Washington Blvd., Los Angeles; 424-384-5097;

“When I come home after work—usually around midnight—I crave a toasted slice of Lodge’s delicious seeded country bread slathered with French butter. I eat it standing up, and life is alright.”

Tabula Rasa Bar

5125 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles; 213-290-6309;

“Sometimes all you want is classic bar food, and this place hits the spot with a hot soft pretzel served with Champagne-garlic and nose-clearing Hong Kong–style mustards.”