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Tempt your taste buds with these exotic dishes in West Hollywood


Exotic. Definition: of origin or character that is not native. Introduced from abroad. We love the word. It’s got a certain armchair travel moment in just saying it, and there’s a ton of armchair (or, dining chair) travel to be had in West Hollywood.

West Hollywood is a neighborhood built on creative passion and chefs here love to play around with interesting spices, flavors, produce and proteins. It’s a lovely playground to dine and experiment, from tasting Thai/Jewish mashups to cold, Japanese-infused cocktails.

E.P. & L.P.
Classic Filipino Meets California

Sabel Braganza welcomes you to her ‘Californian-meets-Asian philosophy’ on food, via a whole host of dishes from the Philippines, like Chicken Inasal, with Filipino-style marinated Jidori Chicken thigh, kalamansi lime, pickled papaya, and spicy soy. There’s also a Kare Kare––a dish featuring braised oxtail in a peanut sauce. “On Saturday mornings,” she recalls, “I would watch cooking shows, instead of cartoons.” Today, she says her approach is, “Nothing too fussy. Just tasty food people can enjoy eating. The bright, acidic, and bold flavors mesh in a way of what an Asian-American Californian ate growing up.”

603 N. LA CIENEGA BOULEVARD, WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA 90069
310-855-9955, EPLOSANGELES.COM

Kare Kare (Braised Oxtail). Photo Credit: Wonho Frank Lee

CATCH LA
Cantonese Lobster

Come have a dash of Hong Kong in WeHo. “Our Cantonese Lobster is one of my favorite dishes on the menu to make,” says Executive Chef Brad Race. “It’s two and a half lobsters, sautéed with ginger, scallions and jalapeño. Then, flambé’d with sake, making it a fun dish to cook, as flames shoot up out of the pan.” It’s finished with a house-made, Cantonese-style oyster sauce and a homemade lobster butter. Lightly sweet, with tons of umami flavor, we also adore the presentation. It hits the table in a bright, copper roasting pan.

8715 MELROSE AVENUE, WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA 90069
323-347-6060, CATCHRESTAURANTS.COM/CATCHLA

Night + Market WeHo
Pastrami Pad Kee Mao

The entire menu at Night + Market is based around Thai cuisine and you’ll come into contact with more than one dish you’ve probably never seen before––from catfish tamales to grilled pork neck. However, it’s their penchant for a great American-meets-Thai mashup that earns it a spot on this list. Our pick is the Pastrami Pad Kee Mao.

Traditionally, you’d find all the basics­­––wok tossed rice noodles, peppers, basil and Thai chilies. They throw in a few Jewish staples, though, like cured pastrami and peppercorns, to create an unforgettable, exotic moment in food.

9043 SUNSET BOULEVARD, WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA 90069
310-275-9724, NIGHTMARKETLA.COM

Laurel Hardware
Gardens by the Bay

Surprising locals with cocktails is nearly hard to do these days in the city of Los Angeles. There are so many incredible places to drink, the booze game is on a global level. Laurel Hardware’s drink list is a standout, especially if you are seeking interesting, exotic flavors. The Gardens By the Bay centers around Japan’s beloved yuzu fruit––in gastrique form. They add a cucumber infused Grey Goose vodka and fresh lime.

7984 SANTA MONICA BOULEVARD, WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA 90046
323-656-6070, LAURELHARDWARE.COM

Tesse
Hamachi Crudo

You’ll find Hamachi Crudo preparations all over Los Angeles; a delicate, raw white piece of fish, with a buttery texture and a clean, palate-cleansing taste. At Tesse, they are known for old world wines and inventive takes on classic comfort foods. (Seriously, their onion rings slay us). This crudo preparation has gooseberry and sudachi orange. The sudachi is a hybrid of mandarin. The gooseberry we never seem to see outside of Christmas. This dish marries it all, on all levels.

8500 SUNSET BOULEVARD, WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA 90069
310-360-3866, TESSERESTAURANT.COM

Cavatina at Sunset Marquis
Togarashi Potato Chips

A dreamy, al fresco spot, tucked behind one of the world’s best hotels? Sign us up. Particularly for the menu, which frequently transports in tiny moments, like their incredibly addictive togarashi potato chips. Togarashi is a Japanese food staple, found on most tables in Tokyo the way you might find salt and pepper in America. A finely ground blend of  red chili pepper, orange peel, sesame seeds, Japanese pepper, ginger and seaweed, it adds a fabulous element to these lightly fried, thin potato chips.

1200 ALTA LOMA ROAD, WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA 90069
310-358-3759, SUNSETMARQUIS.COM/CAVATINA-RESTAURANT

Togarashi Potato Chips. Photo Credit: Saint Peter John

Header Image Courtesy of Wonho Frank Lee

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