Food // Los Angeles


Button Mash

One of my favorite discoveries of senior year, the barcade Button Mash offers fusion food best categorized as Asian but honestly, it touches a lot of different regions but the one commonality? Flavor! Just like the cuisine, Button Mash is a fusion restaurant/bar/arcade, combining the best aspects of all of the forms. If you’re under 21, you can have dinner and play at the arcade before 9pm. If you’re a college student under 21, you’ll likely be able to stay longer if you enter before 9. Go from dinner to the arcade and it’s a super fun night. As for the food? Oh BOY. Button Mash offers vegetables unparalleled in the city. The Orange Bang Cauliflower and Brussels Sprouts explode with flavor and rank very high on my Flavor Per Capita scale (flavor units per dollar spent). The Crispy Tofu Balls might sound off-putting but they’re the specialty of the restaurant, whose chef hit the jackpot after more than 50 iterations. The Mac and Cheese? Delightful. Although the meat dishes sound tempting, I honestly think you’re better off sticking with the vegetarian options, both for price and flavor. Absolute must-hit spot in Echo Park and equally good for a night out or just a tasty dinner. Recommendation: Orange Bang Cauliflower, Crispy Tofu Balls, Mac and Cheese

(1391 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026, USA)



A tasty Asian-Mexican fusion fast casual restaurant, Komodo has inventive and delicious burritos, tacos, and other creative plates that pack a lot of flavor into one dish. However, the prices are a bit steep for the portion size so while I loved the flavors, I think you can get better values elsewhere. If the prices ($10-14 for a few tacos or a burrito or a plate) are acceptable for you, it’s still worth a try. Vegetarian options are sparse. Recommendation: Banh mi chicken taco

(8809 West Pico Blvd Los Angeles, CA, 90035)

Kogi Taqueria

(3500 Overland Ave #100, Los Angeles, CA 90034, USA)

Chinese / Taiwanese

Pine & Crane

An affordable but still relatively upscale Taiwanese restaurant in Silverlake, Pine & Crane makes me crave their dishes even when I actually live in Taiwan. It’s that good. They boast authentic takes on Taiwanese favorites like beef noodle soup, zha-jiang noodles, scallion pancakes, and various forms of dumplings. They also offer more contemporary takes on dishes like sweet potato fries but overall, the dishes are all ones you would find in Taiwan and they are all done quite well. The braised pork over rice will conjure up happy memories for some while others will prefer to reminisce about time in Taiwan with the beef roll. Vegetarians should flock here, as the vegetarian dumplings, meat-less mapo dofu and dan dan noodles are strong menu options tempting even to the most rabid carnivore. Recommendation: Mapo Tofu (vegetarian or regular), an order of dumplings or buns (just choose one, you can’t go wrong), and the dan-dan noodles.


Marisco’s Jalisco

Chichen Itza

Guerilla Tacos

Taco Window


El Cholo



Kogi Taqueria

Italian (Pasta)

Pasta Sisters

Maccheroni Republic

Jon & Vinny’s

Italian (Pizza)


Night + Market Song



Howlin’ Rays





Silver Lake Ramen


Himalayan House

23rd St. Cafe






Mohawk Bend