Of Grain Bowls, Chopsticks, Hidden Gems, and L.A.

the longganisa sausage at Rice Bar, photo mine

For a New Yorker, visiting L.A. conjures up cultural references from Woody Allen films, visions of Hollywood galas, and clichés about grain bowls at sidewalk cafés. Well, the latter, at least, rings one hundred percent true in my recent experience–but the grain bowls these days are not so plain, as I found out during a culinary journey through L.A.

During these few days in the city of angels, I experienced some meals that I can only describe as moving–and some of these were at hole-in-the-wall spots where no dish cost more than $10. The meals were moving not because of extravagance, but because they originated from a deeply personal source, connected to the chefs’ families or home countries, or a journey abroad. But on top of the personal layer, there was also technical prowess, and powerful creativity.

Find my story here about the tiny, hidden-away, new wave of chef-driven Asian restaurants in L.A. Thanks for reading!