Traveling Table: Los Angeles

Where to catch an unexpected sugar high in L.A.
Traveling Table: Los Angeles

Los Angeles has a sweet tooth.

A worthy food destination in its own right, the city is also a prime place to explore the many uses of sugar. These days, chefs here are plumbing the sweeter traditions of the savory cooking in tropical climes and applying them to the bar, the plate and beyond.

Sunny Spot: Kogi chef Roy Choi is focused more on the beach than the streets of L.A. at his new Caribbean-inspired restaurant. But he hasn't forgotten his roots: Sunny Spot's short ribs, rubbed with brown sugar and incendiary Scotch bonnet peppers, are grilled rather than braised, à la Korean barbecue. Make them at home with easier-to-find jalapeños (click here to see the recipe).

Night + Market: Fish sauce and palm sugar are as integral to Thai cooking as salt and pepper. At chef Kris Yenbamroong's West Hollywood restaurant, he relies heavily on both in the pork stew Hanglay Hang Moo Teen Moo. The Chieng Rai-style stew is a heady mix of pork tails and trotters simmered in a funky sweet stock spiced with pickled garlic, shallots and lots of tamarind.

The Spice Table: Milk and cookies isn't what you'd expect to eat for dessert at a restaurant dedicated to the cuisines of Malaysian and Vietnam. However, in the palm-sugar-sweetened milk, thickened and spiced with ginger, and chewy coconut cookies, this updated take on a classic piece of Americana represents the diaspora in a fitting and delicious manner.

The Tasting Kitchen: The Japanese citrus yuzu is strongly aligned with the savory side of the kitchen. So it follows that Justin Pike matches a syrup made from California-grown yuzu with mezcal, that salty, earthy Oaxacan spirit.

  • Traveling Table LA: Sunny Spot

    Rococo touches are interwoven with modern glamour at the new Venice restaurant, Sunny Spot.

  • Traveling Table LA: Sunny Spot

    Heavily spiced diablo prawns are balanced with a sticky-sweet rum glaze.

  • Traveling Table LA: Night + Market

    The relaxed environs of this restaurant annex lay the scene for some of Los Angeles's most delicious Thai food.

  • Traveling Table LA: Night + Market

    The sai uah is a star of the pork-centric menu: made in the Chieng Rai style and loaded with herbs and spices, it packs a powerful punch.

  • Traveling Table LA: Night + Market

    The slowly braised pork hock is the epitome of richness.

  • Traveling Table LA: Spice Table

    By daylight, this spot slings sandwiches as a Vietnamese deli; by night it becomes a full-service restaurant that reflects the Singaporean and Vietnamese backgrounds of its husband-and-wife owners.

  • Traveling Table LA: Spice Table

    Rice noodles and laksa leaf float in a sea of seafood-coconut-milk gravy.

  • Traveling Table LA: Spice Table

    Cleanse the palate with the milk-tea soft serve ice cream.

  • Traveling Table LA: Tasting Kitchen

    It's hard to decide which we like better about this handsome place: the food or the cocktails. Try the El Camino cocktail, with mezcal, lime, yuzu syrup, pear syrup and grapefruit peel twist.



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Sunny Spot 822 W. Washington Blvd Marina Del Ray CA 90292 310-448-8884 Night + Market 9041 Sunset Blvd. Los Angeles CA 90069 310-275-9724 The Spice Table 114 S. Central Ave. Los Angeles CA 90012 213-620-1840 The Tasting Kitchen 1633 Abbot Kinney Blvd. Los Angeles CA 90291 310-392-6644
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