from the world's big
Here’s how to eat your way through LA
This culinary map of Los Angeles proves the city is more than just the world's movie capital.
- Fast food and car culture found each other in Los Angeles.
- Add a unique blend of cultures and cuisines, and LA is a culinary hotspot second to none.
- This map details some of the city's most famous eateries.
WALTER: He lives in North Hollywood on Radford, near the In-N-Out Burger--
THE DUDE: The In-N-Out Burger is on Camrose.
WALTER: Near the In-N-Out Burger--
DONNY: Those are good burgers, Walter.
WALTER: Shut the f*** up, Donny.
– "The Big Lebowski" (1998)
Fast cars and fast food
Drive-by food is a perfect fit for LA's car-based culture
Image courtesy of Clay Hickson.
There are many ways to navigate a city. Take its architectural wonders as guideposts, its museums or houses of worship. Or its bars or bookshops. But the hungry visitor to Los Angeles could do worse than to pick the string of famous eateries festooning this map of the City of Angels.
Drive-by food is a perfect fit for LA's car-based culture, and both – the fast cars and the fast food – conquered the city before they took over the world. So even if they're relatively recent, a lot of places on this map deserve a mention in fast food history.
But 'fast' is just one item on LA's menu. So are various Latin and Asian cuisines, sophisticated restaurants, farmer's markets, and the moveable feast that is the food truck.
Anyone looking for a foodography of Los Angeles can stop right here, at this map produced by illustrator Clay Hickson. And take a bite.
"To celebrate the return of the LA Times Food Section (at the start of April, Ed.), I was asked to illustrate a map of some of the best/most beloved/iconic restaurants in Los Angeles," Mr Hickson says. "I didn't choose the restaurants myself, but I was able to slip a few suggestions in there."
Here are some eye-catching (and appetite-whetting) examples:
Pastrami on rye and lobster Thermidor
Bob's Big Boy is another foodie landmark nearby.
Image courtesy of Clay Hickson
Officially Brent's Delicatessen & Restaurant, this Jewish deli opened in Northridge in 1967. It was taken over by Roy Peskin two years later (for the princely sum of $1,700) and has since opened a second location in Westlake Village. Brent's is most famous for its Black Pastrami Reuben (pastrami, Russian dressing, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese on grilled rye bread).
This burger stand on Oxnard Street in Van Nuys produces, according to Forbes Magazine, "the kind of burger you marry." The burgers may be legendary, but Bill Elwell, who has been flipping them since the mid-1960s, doesn't do fries. Mr Elwell is in his early nineties now, so it may be wise to put this shack high up the to-do list – fries or no.
This Mexican restaurant in Sherman Oaks, still owned by the same family that opened it in 1956, is an LA institution – and not just for its food. Their Mexican Coffee, made with 1800 Tequila Reposado, Kahlua, whipped cream (and coffee), is as famous for its name as for its kick: 'Keep the Change, Ya Filthy Animal'.
Opened in 1919 on Hollywood Boulevard, Musso & Frank advertises as the 'oldest (bar and restaurant) in Hollywood', but has a few other claims to fame. It is the Hollywood restaurant, making appearances in countless movies ("Oceans Eleven" and "Ed Wood", to name but two). It was the beloved haunt of writers such as Fante, Faulkner and Fitzgerald; and movie royalty including Chaplin, Garbo and Bogart. Popular items on the classic menu include Welsh Rarebit, lobster Thermidor and chicken pot pie (the latter only on Thursdays).
Old French and new Asian
The most mouthwatering map ever of the San Gabriel Valley and environs.
Image courtesy of Clay Hickson
Old-fashioned joint serving classic burgers, milkshakes and fruit pies in Pasadena since 1963 – and 'home of America's Top 5 cheeseburger as ranked by the Food Network', the website proclaims.
This Vietnamese restaurant has been a San Gabriel institution since 1981. Whether you show up for the breakfast pho or a banh mi lunch, expect the food to be delicious and the helpings generous – but only after you've braved the inevitable queue.
To the original restaurant in the San Gabriel Valley, Sichuan Impression has added two more locations in LA, the latest one last year on Santa Monica Boulevard. The expansion reflects the growing popularity of the spicy fare typical of China's Sichuan province.
Founded in 1927 by Marius Taix Jr., this family restaurant in Echo Park is known for its generous portions at modest prices. It is also the oldest French restaurant in Los Angeles.
Gigantism and deconstructivism
Vespertine is an avant-garde restaurant in an avant-garde building.
Image courtesy of Clay Hickson
Randy's isn't just a 24-hour drive-in bakery, but also a landmark making frequent appearances in movies and on tv. A giant donut on your roof will do that – although in all fairness, a few other examples of donut gigantism survive throughout the city from its heyday up to the 1950s. But this one, located on the corner of La Cienega and W Manchester Blvd. in Inglewood since 1953, is the most famous one.
Soon tofu is a red, bubbling, almost pudding-like soft tofu stew, and few places do it better than this one on the corner of Vermont and Olympic in Koreatown.
In 1925, a customer waiting for his food at the Sonora Café doodles the figure of a man on the menu. When asked who it is, the man answers: El Cholo – the term for farm labourer given by the old Spanish rancheros in California. The name stuck, and so did the restaurant, which has been called 'the mother of Mexican food in Los Angeles'.
Expect to fork out a few hundred dollars for your food at Vespertine – an avant-garde restaurant in an eye-catching tower of twisted orange steel – but in return you get an experience in culinary deconstructivism unrivalled in LA, lasting several hours and (typically) over a dozen courses. Critics – and customers – are divided, between those who laud the restaurant as refreshingly experimental, and others who find it all more than a bit pretentious.
From Aleppo to Anaheim
All you can eat? Probably a bit more than that...
Image courtesy of Clay Hickson
This Mediterranean/Middle Eastern restaurant in Anaheim serves Syrian, Turkish and Armenian fare, and is famous for its nine types of kibbeh and the secret spice blend for its kebabs. The name is not accidental: the Syrian city of Aleppo – alas, largely destroyed during the Syrian Civil War – was once known as the culinary capital of the Middle East.
Between jobs back in 2012, chef Wes Avila started selling tacos from a cart in Downtown LA's Arts District. That blossomed into Guerrilla Tacos, first a food truck, since July 2018 a brick-and-mortar restaurant a few blocks from where Wes sold the first taco from his cart.
This place brings together a wide variety of food retailers under one roof, as it has done since 1917. You can sample Japanese and Chinese cuisine, but also gobble down a real Berliner currywurst. You can buy bread, cheese and other staples, or just get a burger or grab a pizza.
Following their North Hollywood misadventure, The Dude, Walter and Donny return home.
We are looking into the car through the broken windshield as it rattles down the freeway. Wind whistles through the caved-in windows. The Dude drives, his jaw clenched, staring grimly out at the road. Walter, beside him, and Donny in the back seat, munch on In-N-Out Burgers. Creedence music plays above the bluster of wind.
Neither Camrose Drive nor Radford Avenue, about 6 miles from each other in North Hollywood, has an In-N-Out Burger. The Big Lebowski was filmed in Los Angeles, but the city's cinematic landscape doesn't necessarily mirror its culinary one.
Strange Maps #972
Got a strange map? Let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ready to see the future? Nanotronics CEO Matthew Putman talks innovation and the solutions that are right under our noses.
Innovation in manufacturing has crawled since the 1950s. That's about to speed up.
Evolution doesn't clean up after itself very well.
- An evolutionary biologist got people swapping ideas about our lingering vestigia.
- Basically, this is the stuff that served some evolutionary purpose at some point, but now is kind of, well, extra.
- Here are the six traits that inaugurated the fun.
The plica semilunaris<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8xOTA5NjgwMS9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxMTgyMzg1NX0.ZY8qmhtoZfbRMAqrNnmbgyk7GLabglx_9lBq3PKcy7g/img.png?width=980" id="99882" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="68e8758894b0359c6ef61b2c158832b2" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
The human eye in alarming detail. Image source: Henry Gray / Wikimedia commons<p>At the inner corner of our eyes, closest to the nasal ridge, is that little pink thing, which is probably what most of us call it, called the caruncula. Next to it is the plica semilunairs, and it's what's left of a third eyelid that used to — ready for this? — blink horizontally. It's supposed to have offered protection for our eyes, and some birds, reptiles, and fish have such a thing.</p>
Palmaris longus<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8xOTA5NjgwNy9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzMzQ1NjUwMn0.dVor41tO_NeLkGY9Tx46SwqhSVaA8HZQmQAp532xLxA/img.jpg?width=980" id="879be" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="970e9c15f3c3d846dde05e2b2c6ebf12" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
Palmaris longus muscle. Image source: Wikimedia commons<p> We don't have much need these days, at least most of us, to navigate from tree branch to tree branch. Still, about 86 percent of us still have the wrist muscle that used to help us do it. To see if you have it, place the back of you hand on a flat surface and touch your thumb to your pinkie. If you have a muscle that becomes visible in your wrist, that's the palmaris longus. If you don't, consider yourself more evolved (just joking).</p>
Darwin's tubercle<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8xOTA5NjgxMi9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0ODUyNjA1MX0.8RuU-OSRf92wQpaPPJtvFreOVvicEwn39_jnbegiUOk/img.jpg?width=980" id="687a0" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="b38a957408940673ccc744f0f6828d18" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
Darwin's tubercle. Image source: Wikimedia commons<p> Yes, maybe the shell of you ear does feel like a dried apricot. Maybe not. But there's a ridge in that swirly structure that's a muscle which allowed us, at one point, to move our ears in the direction of interesting sounds. These days, we just turn our heads, but there it is.</p>
Goosebumps<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8xOTA5NzMxNC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyNzEyNTc2Nn0.aVMa5fsKgiabW5vkr7BOvm2pmNKbLJF_50bwvd4aRo4/img.jpg?width=980" id="d8420" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="f735418322b34382dcd882299c9ccc48" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
Goosebumps. Photo credit: Tyler Olson via Shutterstock<p>It's not entirely clear what purpose made goosebumps worth retaining evolutionarily, but there are two circumstances in which they appear: fear and cold. For fear, they may have been a way of making body hair stand up so we'd appear larger to predators, much the way a cat's tail puffs up — numerous creatures exaggerate their size when threatened. In the cold, they may have trapped additional heat for warmth.</p>
Tailbone<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8xOTA5NzMxNi9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxMDMzMDc3N30.p9BEtkf3-PV3EtDSQMUGUeopsimiCHUagx97P4f8IBw/img.jpg?width=980" id="e8ab8" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="0063ce99bdd22fbebe1279244b87935c" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
Coccyx. Image source: decade3d-anatomy online via Shutterstock<p>Way back, we had tails that probably helped us balance upright, and was useful moving through trees. We still have the stump of one when we're embryos, from 4–6 weeks, and then the body mostly dissolves it during Weeks 6–8. What's left is the coccyx.</p>
The palmar grasp reflex<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8xOTA5NzMyMC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzNjY0MDY5NX0.OSwReKLmNZkbAS12-AvRaxgCM7zyukjQUaG4vmhxTtM/img.jpg?width=980" id="8804c" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="45469ca5ee5f43433a782f7d4ac0a440" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
Palmar reflex activated! Photo credit: Raul Luna on Flickr<p> You've probably seen how non-human primate babies grab onto their parents' hands to be carried around. We used to do this, too. So still, if you touch your finger to a baby's palm, or if you touch the sole of their foot, the palmar grasp reflex will cause the hand or foot to try and close around your finger.</p>
Other people's suggestions<p>Amir's followers dove right in, offering both cool and questionable additions to her list. </p>
Fangs?<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Lower mouth plate behind your teeth. Some have protruding bone under the skin which is a throw back to large fangs. Almost like an upsidedown Sabre Tooth.</p>— neil crud (@neilcrud66) <a href="https://twitter.com/neilcrud66/status/1085606005000601600?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">January 16, 2019</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
Hiccups<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Sure: <a href="https://t.co/DjMZB1XidG">https://t.co/DjMZB1XidG</a></p>— Stephen Roughley (@SteBobRoughley) <a href="https://twitter.com/SteBobRoughley/status/1085529239556968448?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">January 16, 2019</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
Hypnic jerk as you fall asleep<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">What about when you “jump” just as you’re drifting off to sleep, I heard that was a reflex to prevent falling from heights.</p>— Bann face (@thebanns) <a href="https://twitter.com/thebanns/status/1085554171879788545?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">January 16, 2019</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p> This thing, often called the "alpha jerk" as you drop into alpha sleep, is properly called the hypnic jerk,. It may actually be a carryover from our arboreal days. The <a href="https://www.livescience.com/39225-why-people-twitch-falling-asleep.html" target="_blank" data-vivaldi-spatnav-clickable="1">hypothesis</a> is that you suddenly jerk awake to avoid falling out of your tree.</p>
Nails screeching on a blackboard response?<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Everyone hate the sound of fingernails on a blackboard. It's _speculated_ that this is a vestigial wiring in our head, because the sound is similar to the shrill warning call of a chimp. <a href="https://t.co/ReyZBy6XNN">https://t.co/ReyZBy6XNN</a></p>— Pet Rock (@eclogiter) <a href="https://twitter.com/eclogiter/status/1085587006258888706?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">January 16, 2019</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
Ear hair<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Ok what is Hair in the ears for? I think cuz as we get older it filters out the BS.</p>— Sarah21 (@mimix3) <a href="https://twitter.com/mimix3/status/1085684393593561088?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">January 16, 2019</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
Nervous laughter<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">You may be onto something. Tooth-bearing with the jaw clenched is generally recognized as a signal of submission or non-threatening in primates. Involuntary smiling or laughing in tense situations might have signaled that you weren’t a threat.</p>— Jager Tusk (@JagerTusk) <a href="https://twitter.com/JagerTusk/status/1085316201104912384?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">January 15, 2019</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
Um, yipes.<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Sometimes it feels like my big toe should be on the side of my foot, was that ever a thing?</p>— B033? K@($ (@whimbrel17) <a href="https://twitter.com/whimbrel17/status/1085559016011563009?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">January 16, 2019</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
President Vladimir Putin announces approval of Russia's coronavirus vaccine but scientists warn it may be unsafe.
A new coronavirus vaccine on display at the Nikolai Gamaleya National Center of Epidemiology and Microbiology in Moscow, Russia.
Credit: Alexander Zemlianichenko Jr/ Russian Direct Investment Fund via AP
Medical workers draw blood from volunteers participating in a trial of a coronavirus vaccine at the Budenko Main Military Hospital outside Moscow, Russia.
Credit: Russian Defense Ministry Press Service via AP
A report from the New York Times raises questions over how the teletherapy startup Talkspace handles user data.
- In the report, several former employees said that "individual users' anonymized conversations were routinely reviewed and mined for insights."
- Talkspace denied using user data for marketing purposes, though it acknowledged that it looks at client transcripts to improve its services.
- It's still unclear whether teletherapy is as effective as traditional therapy.
Talkspace.com<p>Former employees also questioned the legitimacy of certain interventions by the company into client-therapist interactions. For example, after one therapist sent a client a link to an online anxiety worksheet, a company representative instructed her to try to keep clients inside the app.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"I was like, 'How do you know I did that?'" Karissa Brennan, a therapist who worked with Talkspace from 2015 to 2017, told the Times. "They said it was private, but it wasn't."</p><p>Other former employees said the company would pay special attention to its "enterprise partner" clients, who worked at companies like Google. One therapist said Talkspace contacted her for taking too long to respond to Google clients.</p><p>Talkspace responded to the Times with a Medium <a href="https://medium.com/@founders_22883/talkspace-founders-respond-to-a-new-york-times-article-78d6f5c45c59" target="_blank">post</a>, which claimed the Times report contained false and "uninformed assertions."</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Talkspace is a HIPAA/HITECH and SOC2 approved platform, audited annually by external vendors, and has deployed additional technologies to keep its data safe, exceeding all existing regulatory requirements," the post states.</p>