Healthy Eating

We're championing fresh food that packs a flavour punch, from salads and vegetable-packed bowls to grains and light desserts.

Subscribe to Gourmet

Subscribe to Australian Gourmet Traveller and receive a free salt and pepper set - offer ends 26 March, 2017

Gourmet digital

Subscribe to Gourmet Traveller for your iPad or Android tablet.

The benefits of live yoghurt
23.03.2017

Step away from the “dessert yoghurt", writes Will Studd. The real unadulterated thing is much more rewarding.

All-Star Yum Cha
22.03.2017

What happens the morning after the World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards? We treat the chefs to a world-beating yum cha session, as Dani Valent discovers.

Honey Fingers, Melbourne's inner-city beekeepers
22.03.2017

Single-source honey putting community and sustainability next to sweetness.

Vermouth is having a moment
21.03.2017

More and more adventurous local winemakers are embracing Vermouth's botanicals, writes Max Allen.

Exploring Indonesia's Komodo National Park
21.03.2017

Indonesia's Komodo National Park is home to staggering scenery and biodiversity. Michael Harden sets sail in a handcrafted yacht to explore its remote islands in pared-back luxury.

The new cruises on the horizon in 2017
21.03.2017

Cue the Champagne.

Seven recipes that shaped 1980s fine dining
21.03.2017

Australia saw some bold moves in the ’80s, and we’re not just talking hairstyles. Greater cultural references started peppering the menus of our restaurants, and home-grown ingredients won a new appreciation. The dining scene was coming of age and a new band of pioneers led the charge.

Where Melbourne's finest will take the World's Best Chefs
20.03.2017

Leading chefs descend on Melbourne in April for The World’s 50 Best Restaurants. We asked local hospitality folk who they’d abduct for the day and where they’d take them to show off their city. There may be coffee, there may be culture, but in the end it’s cocktails.

Los Angeles City Guide

GT’s chief restaurant critic eats his way through LA

A sunny, dare I say almost Australian flavour has been infiltrating the United States in recent years and it's most visible, naturally enough, in Los Angeles. Squint your eyes at some of the better breakfast menus in town and you might almost be able to kid yourself that you're in a lesser-known back-street of Bondi, albeit one populated with whiter teeth and more aggressively upbeat service.
 

It's the brave and the bold breakfaster who chooses to hit Sqirl after eight; by then the Silver Lake hordes have descended, clamouring for SoCal-savvy rice bowls and fancy toast of a higher order. For something considerably more off the beaten track, consider a visit to South Central (the Watts Towers are just around the corner, sightseers) and the Los Angeles branch of Locol. It's a budding franchise from restaurateur and taco-truck king Roy Choi and San Francisco chef Daniel Patterson designed to bring good, tasty food to impoverished neighbourhoods. The prices are low, the flavour-factor is high.
 

Driving the resurgence of the Downtown food scene, meanwhile, is the Grand Central Market, home to vendors of note both old and new. Hit G&B  for what might possibly be the best coffee in town, and then wander over to the counter at Wexler's Deli   for a smoked-fish plate to be reckoned with. And then there's Baroo. Set back on a strip mall on Santa Monica Boulevard under a faded old sign which just barely reads "Thai Noodle". Baroo isn't Thai, though, and it doesn't specialise in noodles. What it does can't really be easily categorised; chef Kwang Uh is from Korea, and uses Korean ingredients and ideas, but is just as likely to draw in his experience cooking in Copenhagen (he staged at Noma) or in Italy or Spain as he is Seoul. Take his kimchi fried rice, which Bon Appétit magazine just named its top American dish of the year: kimchi and seaweed are in the mix, but the kimchi is fermented with pineapple, the rice is basmati, purple potato chips and toasted buckwheat bring the crunch, and the whole thing is fragrant with gremolata and pineapple jalapeño salsa. If there are linking themes here, in this humble, inspiring eatery, it's ferments and nourishment. The shelves are stocked with tubs and jars of wild pickled seeds, black garlic, tepache and kombucha (elderflower! rose and passionfruit! lemon verbena and yuzu!), and the vibe is one of discovery and delight.
 

In terms of staging, Broken Spanish is a very different beast: a highly polished operation, beautifully styled, from the superb drinks, organised neatly under headings like "refreshing shaken cocktails", to the brightly painted clay jugs that hold the water. But to assume that Ray Garcia's Los Angeles-Mexican cooking has had the oomph art-directed out of it would be a grave error. That camote, a poached purple potato, might be dressed with verjus, chives, chilli and parsley, but it gets its porky wallop from chopped roasted pig snout and tail. Not in the mood for pig extremities? No problem: there's just as much flavour going on in the perfectly vegetarian tostada topped with carrot escabeche, broad beans and pea salsa verde.
 

Meanwhile, over on Koreatown, another celebration of Angeleno food culture. Pot, a newish venture from Roy Choi, puts the spotlight on American-Korean dining, framing it in a sprawling space off the lobby of a boutique hotel. Hip-hop thumps from the speakers, the drinks are listed on the menu as "dranks", and the menu is peppered with dish names such as "sticky icky" and "that fish cray": it's a scene. As with Broken Spanish, though, the slick setting at The Line doesn't mean the food has surrendered its gutsiness; being offered a bib and a whole roll of kitchen towel when you sit down can only be a good omen. The hotpots seethe with chilli and bean paste, while the "beep beep" translates to a rice bowl crammed with torched sea urchin, mayo and yuzu. Keep it weird, LA - we love you.
 

Go further with American Express Membership Rewards. Get to LA from 44,800 points* from Sydney when flying with Virgin airlines.

 

* Conditions apply: Points amount as at 18 August 2016 and subject to change. T&Cs apply. Points are for one way flights, may vary according to airline and are calculated based on an American Express® Platinum Card on Premium Ascent. Fees, charges and taxes not included.

GT
Signature Collection

Find out more about the Gourmet Traveller Signature Collection by Robert Gordon Australia, including where to buy it in store and online.

Read More
Recipe collections

Looking for ways to make the most out of seasonal produce? Want to find a recipe perfect for a party? Or just after fresh ideas for dessert? Either way, our recipe collections have you covered.

See more
2017 Restaurant Guide

Our 2017 Restaurant Guide is online, covering over 400 restaurants Australia wide. Never wonder where to dine again.

See more

You might also like...

Last seen in the Sepik

Exotic, thrilling, powerful – Papua New Guinea is all these ...

Patagonia: splendid isolation

The awe-inspiring beauty of Patagonia, the fabled South Amer...

Mauritius

With its rich colonial past, Mauritius is an island nation w...

Boutique safaris in Zambia

Jennifer Byrne heads to Zambia for a boutique safari experie...

get the latest news

Sign up to receive the latest food, travel and dining news direct from Gourmet Traveller headquarters.

×