Nik Sharma’s Guide to Los Angeles

·2 min read

Nik Sharma has written multiple books on flavor, the science behind it and how to enhance it in your own cooking with spices. So naturally we wanted to know where the flavor-seeker goes out to eat! Here, he shares restaurants old and new, bakeries and dessert spots, and a plant-filled detour that’s worth the possible traffic jam.

Check out more food-focused itineraries from our favorite food people here.

Go big with a breakfast sandwich at All Day Baby
Go big with a breakfast sandwich at All Day Baby
Photo Courtesy of All Day Baby
A Taiwanese feast at Joy
A Taiwanese feast at Joy
Photo by Jakob N. Layman

Los Angeles

Los Angeles is so huge that it is impossible to tackle in one day. I live north of downtown, which is central to all my favorites. With just a few freeways, you (or your rideshare driver) can navigate from Miracle Mile to San Marino to get to all of them.

I’ll start at République, which has exceptional pastries. There’s lots to choose from, and I love their baguettes and avocado toast, which has sumac and dill—a delightful combination of fresh herbs.

Or I’ll head to All Day Baby, a great diner-inspired restaurant where the portions are ridiculously huge. They do a fantastic wedge salad (the dressing is made of labneh!) and hot crab sandwich, which has a smoked jalapeño mayo that plays so well with the sliced green tomatoes.

A beautiful place to walk all that off is on a scenic route through The Huntington in San Marino. In spring, they have a plant sale, which is open to the public.

After that, it’s time for lunch, which means a thousand layer pancake at Joy, a casual Taiwanese restaurant. I get it fully loaded—with egg, cheese, chili sauce, and basil—and it also does a delicious Chiayi chicken on rice.

For dinner, I’m off to Pardis in Glendale for Persian food. Everything from the rice to the bread and the kabobs is delicious. They even serve you lemon verbena leaf to snack on as a palate cleanser.

For dessert, I like to go to Mashti Malone’s, a Persian ice cream shop. The Mashti Special, two wafers sandwiching an ice cream flavor of your choice, is superb, and I fluctuate between a few flavors, including the orange blossom, pistachio, ginger rosewater, and sour cherry rosewater with rice starch noodles sorbet.


The gorgeous Cara Hotel in Los Feliz, which has a pool to cool off


Three-cheese semolina loaf from République

Originally Appeared on Bon Appétit