By Ruksana Hussain
Looking for a few local hotspots to add to your dining escapades? It’s no lie that you can find almost every type of cuisine and culinary specialty in Los Angeles but we decided to round up a few Asian options in the larger metro area to cover everything from a craving for ramen to a weekend dash for fried rice. Read on!
A southern Thai specialty restaurant located near UCLA in Westwood, this has been a staple of the L.A scene since 2000. Some of their star offerings include crying tiger beef and Thai buffalo wings, coco mango salad with shrimp, tofu with veggies in soy sauce, their signature house special southern curry which is a 30-year-old family recipe you will not find anywhere else, as well as their UCLA curry which is a classic yellow curry but with pumpkin and Thai herbs.
A build-your-bowl concept but with a South Korean flair! Start with a base for your bowl (purple rice, white rice, salad, noodles or roll). Their signature purple blend is a mix of antioxidant packed black wild rice and white rice without any dyes. Follow that with hot toppings and proteins though the cold toppings are where you can truly experiment – options include red cabbage, daikon and kale, among others. Choose from five sauces to top your creation, and a side of kimchi or pineapple, and you are all set.
The 100 percent plant-based menu by chef Caroline Concha that offers bold flavors and a strong Asian influence, is entirely original and puts vegan cuisine at the forefront. Try the Adobong Mani toasted peanuts and Mr. Togarashi crispy chickpeas in the Bar Bites and the Stinkin’ Fries, made with soyrizo in Street Food. Heartier main dishes range from the Viet Nom Nom wrap with citrus ‘spare rib’ cutlets to the Buddha bowl filled with quinoa. A highlight is the Impossible Burger featuring Impossible Burger plant-based meat, plantains, shredded kale, gochujang aioli and house-made jalapeno on pretzel bun.
The long-standing Japanese restaurant on West Third Street is famed for traditional robata skewers, fresh sashimi and sushi, and Japanese tapas. If you visit, try the shrimp toast, Ikura-Oroshi and oyster shooter, yellowtail tiradito and albacore sashimi with crispy onion, JINYA signature homemade tofu, Wagyu stone grill, baked crab hand roll, half-sized “Diner’s Choice” ramen, and homemade caramel nut ice cream.
The restaurant recently launched a new menu including a Yakitori service Friday evenings. Their menu is filled with contemporary blends of Asian flavors from chef de cuisine DJ Eusebio who serves up signature dishes include sizzling shaking beef, garlic noodles and crispy whole fish. At the stylish bashi bar, sip artisanal concoctions like the Emerald Dragon and Himalayan Lassi and enjoy more than 17 sake varieties and an unrivaled selection of Asian beers.
A unique dining experience through their interpretation of kaiseki – a traditional Japanese culinary art form. Chef Niki Nakayama creates fixed price tasting menus with wine and sake pairings. Each plate is an involved process, from preparation to presentation. This is also an involved process for the diner as well considering its 13 courses served over about three hours. This is a reservations only spot, open only for dinner and only five days a week so you already know you have to plan well in advance for this experience!
Bringing sophisticated traditional Chinese cuisine to the heart of Beverly Hills in a quaint, modern venue, Joss’ signature dishes include the Hong Kong Pin Pei chicken and China’s most famous dish, Peking duck. Other specialties of the house include lychee autumn fish, organic west lake haute chop sui and clay pot of heirloom multi grains – unprocessed heirloom multi-grains cooked in a clay pot for a high fiber and low carb treat. Indulge in their proudly selected Chinese teas.
This neighborhood fave in West Hollywood serves up breakfast all day, brunch and dinner. Walking by you can see early risers here for coffee but their menu offerings range from classic Thai options like the kai-kata baguette, porridge and roti with condensed milk to Belgian waffles and brioche French toast. A little something for everyone.
Fresh ingredients and skilled artistry bring traditional sushi to a whole other level of innovation at this pioneer of contemporary sushi in Southern California. think tuna pizza, octopus crudo, hokkaido scallop, bamboo rice risotto and chilled ramen with a few unexpected ingredients. Equally innovative are their cocktail concoctions – the Roku Fusion Martini and Fuji Apple Martini will make delectable additions to your dinner order.
To end on a sweet note, visit this boba shop specializing in high quality cheese tea drinks – a global craze that began in Asia and has now traveled to L.A. Founder Jenny Zheng swears by the layer of decadent, creamy cheese foam paired on top of freshly brewed sweet tea. Flavors include Chedd-Cha (ice matcha latte with cheddar cream cheese), Original (boba black milk tea), Fluffy Green Tea (jasmine green tea with cream cheese on top), Dirty Mess (black milk tea with creme brûlée and oreo), Fluffy Oolong Tea (medium oolong with cream cheese on top) and Autumn Spice milk tea (black milk tea topped with pumpkin spice cream and sprinkled with graham cracker dust).