1. Fish tacos from Calle Tacos

Calle Tacos’ location on Hollywood Boulevard beckons with its colorful and quirky design — they have an actual food truck inside the restaurant — and Ándale, morena and other Mexican jams are always blaring from the speakers. I used to hate Mexican food, but then I had a moment of truth here when I bit into the soft, fluffy tortilla of a crispy fish taco for the first time. My eyes widened, as though I had just taken whatever drug Lewis Carroll was on when he wrote Alice in Wonderland, and I surrendered to the flavor of fresh vegetables, sour cream and fried fish dancing in my mouth, so full, so juicy, so crunchy and crispy at the same time. You still haunt my dreams, Calle Tacos.

2. Spicy chicken at The Prince

Spicy chicken & dduk

A photo posted by @theminty on

When you enter The Prince, you might be stunned by the posh dining room. It’s lavishly decorated with classical art on the walls and a grand piano on center stage — and the place is just hidden in a tiny corner in Koreatown. I always order the spicy octopus with vegetables, the spicy chicken wings and a Corona to help me handle all the explosive flavor. Holy. Mother. Of. God. Each bite is fire. Perfectly tender, crispy and glazed with the perfect amount of sauce. I always leave the table sweating, heart pounding and determined to come back to LA just for those chicken wings at least one more time before I die.

3. The Fairfax at Eggslut

I wanted to know what all the fuss was about, so I diligently waited for 20 minutes in the winding queue at Eggslut’s counter at Grand Central Market. I ordered the Fairfax with greens on the side. Let me put it this way: I thought no one in the world could beat my grandma’s fluffy eggs, until I met Eggslut. Sorry, Gram! The Fairfax is so brilliant in its simplicity – smooth, scrambled eggs, aromatic chives, melted Brie and the cherry on top — caramelized onions.

4. Drop Acid at Press Brothers

Hugs, not drugs. But seriously, the Drop Acid juice will have you hooked in no time with its refreshing blend of cucumber, apple, arugula and lemon, and just as you think you can handle it — boom! Here comes a kick of habanero pepper right into your nostrils, all the way into your throat. It’s hard to tell whether the Press Brothers are chefs, alchemists or bonafied artists.

5. Hazelnut Burrata pizza at Pitfire

I could’ve gone to a million pizzerias in my quest for doughy goodness, but a certain item on Pitfire’s menu had me really intrigued. The Burrata pie’s thin crust bears a ton of fresh arugula, tomato sauce, cheese and wait for it — hazelnuts. “This could be amazing or a complete disaster,” I thought with a great deal of curiosity and anticipation. An unsuspected and surprisingly delicious combination between the full and creamy Burrata flavor and the crunchy texture of hazelnuts, this place is a must when a pizza craving strikes.

6. Cake donuts at Philippe’s, the Original

If you, like me, bow down in obedience to your sweet tooth, you have to try Philippe’s cake donuts for breakfast. Round, plump and with no extra sugar, this tiny place in Chinatown is the sh*t. Knocking down a few cups of hot, 10-cent coffee, I indulged in 4 au natural, thick, no glaze, dough-y circle of joy for a total of less than $10. If you can’t wake up before 10:30 a.m, go for their French-dipped sandwiches; those are bomb, too.