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What To Eat In L.A. This Weekend: Wet-Aged Korean Pork Belly, Mushroom Wellington, and Stretchy Turkish Ice Cream

Plus, Slutty Vegan burgers arrive from Atlanta, mini mapo tofu bowls, an ice cream party, and a South Bay cafe staffed by adults with developmental disabilities.

A pastry-encrusted mushroom Wellington

Mushroom Wellington at Boa

In which L.A. TACO's Hadley Tomicki fills you in on the most exciting new restaurants, pop-ups, and events cracking in and around Los Angeles...


A huge tray of baklava
Baklava. Photo via Syed F Hashemi/Unsplash.

A treasure trove of Turkish sweets awaits you at Galata Ice Cream & Desserts, which just opened alongside the owners' Turkish grill and neighboring home decor shop in Belmont Shore, Long Beach.

The stars of the show involve over 25 flavors of dondurma, a Turkish ice cream made with cow-and-goat milk, infused with a powder made from an orchid tuber that gives it a stretchier, firmer texture, which is scooped up with great showmanship inside of the darling store.

Flavors include blue dream, black mulberry, mastic gum, chestnut, mango, and melon, along with your chocolate, coffee, vanilla, and the like.

Other offerings include sultac rice pudding, a wide array of baklava and Turkish delight, Turkish coffee, and pistachio rolls.

5201 E. 2nd St. Long Beach, CA 90803. Closest transit lines and stop: Long Beach Transit Lines 121 and 131 - "2nd/Nieto."


Two large pieces of pork on a grill at a Korean barbecue restaurant
Wet-aged pork is the specialty of Sookdal. Photo via Sookdal.

Specializing in wet-aged pork, South Korea's SookDal is now open in Koreatown's Cosmos Village mini-mall. The grilled pork is served in a variety of styles, including sauceless, with Andes salt or wasabi, topped with garlic oil or alongside grilled cheese, or wrapped in myeongyi or pickled vegetable. Additional dishes include a creamy risotto, kimchi-jjigae, kimchi cold noodles, and premium beef. SookDal has existing locations in several countries and one in Garden Grove. 

356 S. Western Ave. Ste 201 Los Angeles, CA 90020. Closest Metro lines and stop: Bus Lines 16, 207, and 210 - "Western/3rd" or Metro D Line and Bus Lines 18, 20, 66, and 720 - "Wilshire/Western Station." 

Santa Monica ~ West Hollywood ~ Manhattan Beach

Grilled lambchops with pomegranate and labneh.
Grilled Gundaji lamb lollipops served with spiced labneh and pomegranate molasses. Photo via Boa.

Chef Brendan Collins (previously of Melisse, Waterloo & City, Birch, and Fia) is now leading the kitchens at BOA Steakhouse. The Michelin-starred British chef has endowed the restaurants with several new dishes, including numerous options for plant-based diets and a selection of pastas.

You'll now find a vegetarian mushroom Wellington with spinach and beurre rouge, plus smoked steak tartare, king crab ceviche with passionfruit leche de tigre and pickled chile,  dry-aged branzino with lipstick peppers, grilled Gundaji lamb lollipops served with spiced labneh and pomegranate molasses, and pastas such as tagliatelle of asparagus with pistachio, basil, and whipped goat cheese, and lobster bolognese with hand-cut spaghetti. Along with all the Hokkaido snow beef and 40-day aged strip steaks you could want.

101 Santa Monica Blvd. Santa Monica, CA 90401. Closest Metro lines and stop: Bus Lines 4 and 33 - "Broadway/Ocean", Bus Line 720 - "Santa Monica/4th", or Metro E Line - "Downtown Santa Monica Station."

9200 Sunset Blvd. West Hollywood, CA 90069. Closest Metro lines and stop: Bus Line 2 - "Sunset/Doheny" or Bus Line 105 - "San Vicente/Sunset."

3110 Sepulveda Blvd. Manhattan Beach, CA 90266. Closest Metro lines and stop: Bus Line 232 - "Sepulveda/30th" or Bus Line 125 - "Rosecrans/Village."


Mapo tofu, orange chicken, and pepper pork mini-bowls
Mapo tofu, orange chicken, and pepper pork mini-bowls at Tigawok. Photo via Tigawok/Instagram.

Tigawok soft-opens at 11 AM today on Sawtelle Boulevard. The concept takes classic, family-style Chinese dishes and turns them into mini bowls. You can get yours with orange peel chicken, steamed soup dumplings, pepper pork, map tofu, dry-pot Brussels sprouts or sweet tomato-and-scrambled eggs. 

2224 Sawtelle Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90064. Closest Metro lines and stop: Metro E Line or Bus Line 761 - "Expo/Sepulveda Station."


A plate of shredded carnitas with rice, beans, and two corn tortillas.
A carnitas plate at Bad Hombre Spot. Photo via Bad Hombre Spot/Instagram.

The Bad Hombre Spot is now open in Hawthorne. The tight menu includes carnitas, birria de res, and asada plates, along with sopes, tortas, tacos, and burritos with a choice of five meats, plus fish and shrimp. A short mariscos section features mojarra frita, camarones empanizados, and two ceviches, and loaded fries and nachos are also available.

14225 S. Inglewood Ave. Hawthorne, CA 90250. Closest Metro lines and stop: Bus Line 125 - "Rosecrans/Inglewood" or Bus Line 40 - "Hawthorne/Rosecrans."

Redondo Beach

Two women stand before a set table.
A table set at Mychal's Cafe. Photo via Mychal's Cafe.

Mychal's Cafe will celebrate its grand-opening in Redondo Beach on June 6 at 4:00 PM. The cafe has a unique model, employing adults with developmental disabilities in all roles of the restaurant's operation, both to provide jobs to a frequently unemployed demographic and to provide the public an opportunity to see their talents in action, in connection to Mychal's Learning Place. In addition to freshly brewed coffee, pastries, and tea, the menu features breakfast and lunch dishes.

2302 Artesia Blvd. Redondo Beach, CA 90278. Closest transit lines and stop: Torrance Transit Lines 8 and 13 or Beach Cities Transit Line 102 - "Artesia/MacKay."


A cup of ice cream being thrown in the air by an open hand
Sticky rice and mango ice cream. Photo via Wanderlust Creamery.

L.A.'s Wanderlust Creamery, the international-inspired ice cream shop that got its start at Smorgasburg, is releasing a cookbook on June 6. Founder Adrienne Borlogon's "Wanderlust Creamery Presents: The World of Ice Cream" will make its debut at Now Serving in Chinatown, with a discussion between Borgolon and Regarding Her founder Dina Samson, with a meet-and-greet, signing, and ice cream to follow. Tickets here.

In addition, on June 4, all Wanderlust Creamery locations will offer a free scoop of ice cream to anyone who buys the cookbook in-store or via pre-order, with valid receipt. 

June 6th, 7 PM, Now Serving ~ 727 N. Broadway #133 Los Angeles, CA 90012. Closest Metro lines and stop: Bus Lines 81, 90, 94, and 96 - "Hill/Ord", Bus Line 45 - "Broadway/Ord", or Metro A Line - "Chinatown Station."

Leimert Park

A trio of vegan buirgers backed by fries and sodas
Burgers and fries at Slutty Vegan. Photo via Slutty Vegan.

Vegan chef Pinky Cole-Hayes is bringing her Slutty Vegan restaurant from Atlanta to Leimert Park for one day this Sunday afternoon as part of a "Gettin' Slutty" tour. 

Burgers available at the stop will include the "Dancehall Queen," with a plant-based patty, sweet jerk plantains, vegan cheese, and ting on a vegan Hawaiian bun, and the "Hollywood Hoooker," a vegan variation on a chopped Philly with jalapenos and vegan provolone on a hoagie roll.

June 2, 2-8 PM, 4326 Crenshaw Blvd. Los Angeles, California 90006. Closest Metro lines and stop: Metro K Line - "Leimert Park Station" or Bus Lines 40, 102, 105, and 210 - "Crenshaw/43rd."

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