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What To Eat This Weekend: Vegan Koobideh, Oaxacan ‘Mega Tacos,’ Wagyu Tongue Carpaccio, and Coffee Brewed In Hot Sand

Plus, ooey gooey k'nafeh, a "punk room" at a luxury food and wine festival, chopped cheese in Chatsworth, and Indian-Chinese pork vindaloo dumplings on Melrose. Go out and eat this weekend.

11:18 AM PST on March 1, 2024

    It's the freakin' weekend and we've got a lot of crazy ideas about where you should eat. Come along. Humor us...

    A mini tylauda topped with avocado and cecina
    Mini tlyauda with cecina at Tacos El Tio, via Tacos El Tio

    Oaxacan-style Tacos El Tio is now open in Compton, serving "mega tacos" on handmade tortillas, along with mini-tlayudas, burritos, quesadillas, tortas, barbacoa, and more Tuesdays through Sundays. Breakfast is served on weekends-only.

    6811 Compton Ave. Compton, CA 90001. Closest Metro lines and stop: Bus Lines 55 and 611 - "Compton/68th" or Bus Line 110 - "Compton/70th."

    A pot of coffee being stirred in a large platter of hot sand
    Coffee brewed in hot sand at Korner K'Nafeh, photo Hadley Tomicki

    Korner K'nafeh, which specializes in the customary Arab dessert of syrup-soaked kataifi pastry layered in cheese and other ingredients, is popping up this Sunday in Granada Hills. The business also prepares coffee using hot sand, and plans to debut its special breakfast k'nafeh with a luscious poached egg on top.

    11 AM - Sellout, Balboa and San Fernando Mission, Granada Hills. Closest Metro lines and stop: Bus Lines 236 and 237 - "Balboa/San Fernando Mission."

    A vegan sandwich with Mexican ribs, pickled onions, arugula, mayo on ciabatta
    The Flores with plant-based Mexican ribs, pickled onions, arugula, and mayo on ciabatta, via Maciel's Plant Butcher

    Vegan butcher shop Maciel's Plant Butcher is popping up with a second daytime location this Thursday through the weekend at The Dime on Fairfax. Expect items like plant-based salami, Mexican ribs, bacon, pastrami, and chorizo.

    442 N. Fairfax Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90036. Closest Metro lines and stop: Bus Lines 217 and 218 - "Fairfax/Oakwood", Bus Line 14 - "Beverly/Fairfax", or Bus Line 10 - "Melrose/Fairfax."

    A breakfast torta stacked with carnitas, onions, lettuce, and tomato
    Costilla (ribs) carnitas breakfast sandwich, via Carnitas Los 3 Puerquitos

    Carnitas Los 3 Puerquitos in Historic South Central has a carnitas-filled breakfast torta made with rib meat that we're eyeing like one of those Tex Avery wolves with its eye popping out its head.

    981 E. Vernon Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90011. Closest Metro lines and stop: Bus Lines 53 and 105 - "Vernon/Central."

    Suan cai yu at Taier, via Taier

    Taier is now open in Arcadia, showcasing the Sichuan specialty of suan cai yu, aka sauerkraut fish or hot-and-sour fish with pickled mustard greens. The menu offers other Sichuan classics, as well, like mapo tofu with tendon, spicy chicken feet, dan dan noodles, and beef-and-blood in chile oil.

    400 S. Baldwin Ave. Ste. 2325 Arcadia, CA 91007. Closest Metro lines and stop: Bus Line 179 - "The Shops at Santa Anita" or Bus Line 268 - "Santa Anita Fashion Park."

    Pork vindaloo dumplings in a white bowl
    Pork vindaloo dumplings at Roots Indian Bistro, via Roots Indian Bistro

    Roots Indian Bistro on Melrose has Indian-influenced pork vindaloo Chinese dumplings. Owner Deep Khinda, who was born in Baldwin Park, calls it a nod to his roots in the San Gabriel Valley, writing, "This is an ode to all the mom & pop dim sum spots we’d visit whenever we were in the area."

    7265 Melrose Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90046. Closest Metro lines and stop: Bus Line 10 - "Melrose/Poinsettia" or Bus Line 212 - "La Brea/Melrose."

    A plate of fish koobideh with rice, pita, and charred vegetables
    Fish koobideh, via Olive Pepper

    Olive Pepper, a Mediterranean restaurant in Woodland Hills, is offering a vegan koobideh, forging the Persian kebab of minced meat from potato and offering it on a plant-based "Sarma" plate. This is in addition to making hot dogs, lamb shanks, and an array of different koobideh using beef, turkey, chicken, lamb, and fish-and-potato for the carnivores out there. It also offers a gold leaf-wrapped koobideh for anyone who think that's cool.

    20042 Ventura Blvd. Woodland Hills, CA 91364. Closest Metro lines and stop: Bus Lines 150 and 243 - "Ventura/Winnetka."

    A chopped cheese sandwich being split in two by the chef of CheeseSmack
    The Breakfast Smack, via CheeseSmack

    You're in Chatsworth. You're dying for a chopped cheese. You're strangely very specific about your appetites. So you're linking up with the CheeseSmack pop-up, which lends an L.A. spin to the ground beef-and-cheese N.Y. sandwich, with variations like the "Smack Me Silly," with chopped beef patties, jalapenos, bacon, hot honey, and a bunch of other shit. For traditionalists, there's the new New York Smack.

    Mon-Fri, 11:30 AM-7 PM, 20430 Devonshire St. Chatsworth, CA 91311. Closest Metro lines and stop: Bus Lines 158 and 243 - "Devonshire/Mason."

    Four chefs and owners of EVIL Cooks standing in front of their black van
    Catch the team from Evil Cooks with 89 other chefs and restaurants, via Evil Cooks

    Los Angeles Wine & Food Festival kicks off this Friday and runs through the weekend next to the Santa Monica Pier. Over 90 chefs will be featured making tasting portions and headlining, in addition to DJs, cocktails and spirits, art, cooking demos, a dedicated "punk room" and "candy room," and a partnership with Regarding: Her and Frieze L.A. A few L.A. TACO favorites include Evil Cooks, Guerrilla Tacos, Holbox, Little Sister, Baar Baar, and Govind Armstrong. Tickets here.

    Puffed cruscho peppers with whipped ricotta and flowering rosemary at Stella
    Puffed crusco peppers with whipped ricotta and flowering rosemary, via Stell

    Stella is now open in West Hollywoood from Janet Zuccarini, the owner of Felix in Venice. Chef Rob Gentile's dishes, which span Calabria, Puglia, Sardinia, Marche, Lazio, Genova, Campagna, and Tuscany include bruschetta on Jyaan Issac's bread, dry-aged black cod with chili bergamot, branzino carpaccio, Wagyu tongue carpaccio, strozzapreti pasta cacio e pep with uncinato black truffles, baby octopus pizza, and aged Peking duck in blood orange ragù.

    8899 Beverly Blvd. West Hollywood, CA 90048. Closest Metro lines and stop: Bus Line 617 - "Robertson/3rd", Bus Line 4 - "Santa Monica/Doheny", or Bus Lines 14, 16, and 218 - "San Vicente/Gracie Allen."

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