The Hidden Food Gems of Los Angeles

Courtesy+of+LA+Weekly
Courtesy of LA Weekly

Courtesy of LA Weekly

Courtesy of LA Weekly

Millie Dyer '19, Health & Leisure Section Editor

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Petit Trois

About a week has passed since the French restaurant, Petit Trois, opened an enormous location dead in the middle of Sherman Oaks; it has launched a crusade that will lead to its becoming less of a hidden gem. The restaurant is working its way into the broader public, one reason why you should jump to experience it in its final days of secrecy. As per my opinion on their new location, I am a bit bitter; the original Petit Trois embodies an ambiance singular to itself. You will have to pay a visit yourself but, certainly, count on a wait. Even without taking reservations, Petit Trois’  shanty stools and narrow tables are packed full of hungry foodies. Perhaps one benefit of the new location is that it offers reservations; but the wait has become Petit Trois and Petit Trois has become a wait, the anticipation of their french fare with a California flair. Petit Trois does not offer a variety, but this seems to make each dish more notable than the next, especially the fried chicken and steak frites. I question my ability to remain a newfound vegetarian with Petit Trois over there in West Hollywood, looming over me like a dark cloud. Baguette and pastries for me, at least.

 

Clifton’s

I would never say that I go to Clifton’s for the food. I am never disappointed by the food, but other aspects of Clifton’s most strongly encourage me to embark on a voyage to East LA in afternoon traffic. Clifton’s itself embodies all of LA’s curious oddities. Clifton’s is unexpected; a massive fortress of a “Cafeteria” that harkens back to the roaring twenties, preserved from this era during which it was constructed. The Cafeteria wraps a seemingly displaced theme of nature around its jazz-age ambiance, providing that you may turn your head and see a stuffed deer in a corner, or walls wrapped in fake moss. Clifton’s celebrates both California and old Los Angeles in embracing these themes and even boasts a display of old artifacts. Clifton’s warps time and provides a home for anybody that lives in the past. Clifton’s night-scene certainly attracts a more mature clientele, attributed to its gothic bars; but it is in equal part a place for afternoon fun and will capture the fascination of any kid.

 

Ay Papa Que Rico

In my house, Sundays are reserved for take-out. Before I moved to LA, we had Peruvian food on Sunday night; now Van Nuys’ “Ay Papa Que Rico” brings Cuban food to our Sunday dinners instead. We came across Ay Papa through a search for something to replace our Peruvian food; we landed something different than expected, but certainly no less appreciated. Ay Papa Que Rico does not serve breakfast but begins serves coffee at ten in the morning. Police officers sip the morning brew and watch the staff as they begin to fire up the massive grills. The police officers of Van Nuys constitute a large part of Ay Papa’s crowd. Don’t get the wrong idea – the restaurant is plenty safe, but these officers have made a home base out of the chicken joint. The only real crime is the fact that we missed out on Ay Papa’s food all of those years, notably their killer chicken and homemade tortillas.

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