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visually interesting LA food

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I'm doing a photo project and was hoping you all might be able to help. I'm looking for suggestions of restaurants or other food sellers with particularly interesting looking food that is very "LA" (whatever that means). I've quite a few pictures already, but kind of come up against a wall in coming up with more places to go. Something a little off the wall, something a little off-beat -- even something with interesting packaging would be great.

Drinks, candy, side dishes, main courses, desserts. Anything goes. I've taken pictures in grocery stores, in farmer's markets, in fancy restaurants and in hole-in-the-wall joints. I'll take *any* suggestions that come to mind.

Thank you in advance.

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  1. The oysters four ways at Abode, the hamachi croque madame at Hatfield's, the "junk food" dessert platter at Simon LA, the odd entree at the Foundry, any number of dishes at Ortolan (Chef Eme loves to find interesting items in which to serve food), Providence and Urusawa [the latter, alas, I thus far know solely through the terrific pictures kindly posted by other Hounds].

    1. that cotton candy wrapped around the candle at porterhouse bistro.

      i think an interesting pic might be of white frozen yogurt piled high with a variety of colors of fruits... kiwi, pomegranate, berries, orange wedge, etc... do it at farm boy

      i think natas from nata's pastries are interesting looking

      godfather from bay cities deli

      rosewater ice cream from mashti malone's.

      take a walk around a famer's market, and take pics of the various rarer fruits... dragonfruit comes to mind.

      father's office burger

      1. I think the pastries at Jin Patisserie are very photogenic, same for the stuff at Boule.

        If you want to talk about plating, I think as a general rule, appetizers are presented much more artfully and with more decorative flair than entrees. Some good places to visit that come to mind off the top of my head: Bin8945, Patina, Josie, Ketchup, Blue Velvet, Takami, and Sona.

        The drinks at O-Bar, Trader Vic's and Bahooka might be worth taking a peek at.

        But ultimately I think what makes food visually interesting starts with what's behind the camera (the photographer) and not what's necessarily in front of the camera (the food). I've seen very pedestrian looking food come out looking glamorous after being photographed by some very talented bloggers.

        1 Reply
        1. re: ipsedixit

          i'll second ipsedixit. there are no bad food subjects, just bad photographers. as an aside, check out the light in the dining room at the getty center restaurant. very cool.

        2. Encounter @ LAX used to have a great 3-D dessert which looked somewhat like the outside of the restaurant. They just reopened, so maybe it's back in play.

            1. I think that the lines around taco trucks are very "LA" - the variety of people / backgrounds and the food (especially if they've a salsa bar - or an open grill) - or the line of people at Pinks - or one of the odder creations at the Oki-Dog. How about the pastry cases at Porto's in Burbank? A collage of cupcake places / how they display their goods? Maybe go and wander some of the Asian supermarkets? Watch for street fairs and carnivals, too.

              When I think of LA food, I think of Spago, California Pizza, sushi, taco trucks, frozen yogurt (which I've yet to try), diverse neighborhoods all with their different sounds and scents of food.

              1. -The blue crab soup at El Katracho in Van Nuys
                -Asanebo's live lobster sashimi (Studio City)
                -The Hudade Combo platter at Rahel in Little Wthiopia
                -O Dae San's Hwe Dup bap, Koreatown
                -Chicken Feet in any san Gabriel dim sum palce (YUM!)
                -whilst in San Gabriel, hit any of the supermarkets, planty of interestin display and packaging, from candy to deli!
                -Any of the insect dishes at Typhoon in Santa Monica
                -produce at any farmer's market, but try the Wednesday Santa Monica market on Arizona
                -Chicken and Waffles at Roscoe's. Some people are still shocked by it.

                1. I think the case of mochi in the Mirawa plaza in Little Tokyo (Alameda and 3rd) is very interesting. The new Whole Foods in Pasadena has an array of different foods displayed, from soup to nuts. The Hollywood Farmer's Market on Sundays is also very visually appealing.