Foods Los Angeles Does Best

L.A. is a town of many tastes. Its famous foods are less defined by available ingredients than by the transplants to the city. Transplants from other parts of America and from all over the world 0 especially Mexico and Asia. The food is as vaired as the diversity of the population. The recipes below try to capture that variety starting with the lowly burger that is not so lowly in LA.


LA is a city in love with the hamburger, with its own cult-status regional burger chain and lots of local options to satisfy any type of eater. If the idea of beef, fat, salt and processed cheese seem out of place in your construction of what an Angeleno's lunch looks like, you need to recalibrate. To-Table honors the burger tradition with a gourmet twist - starting with the meat. See our variety of burger meats here.

Bobby Flays Interpretation of the LA Burger

Food Network Magazine

  1. Bobby's Perfect Patty
  2. Shape 6 ounces of 80 percent lean ground beef chuck (or use one of the To-Table Burger Meats highlighted above) into a uniform patty, no more than 3/4 inch thick (don't overwork the meat). Make a depression in the center with your thumb so the burger won't bulge; the indent will rise as the patty cooks. Preheat a grill or cast-iron grill pan to high. Brush the burger with canola oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill until golden brown and slightly charred, turning once (7 minutes for medium-rare). Avoid pressing with a spatula! Add cheese for the last minute of cooking.
  3. Cheese
  4. Your pick: Monterey Jack is a California favorite, but Bobby loves this burger with cheddar, too.
  5. Avocado Relish
  6. Avocado is one of Bobby's favorite ingredients. He mixes 2 chopped Hass avocados with 1/2 diced small onion, 1 minced jalapeno, the juice of 1 lime, 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro, and salt and pepper.
  7. Watercress
  8. L.A. doesn't do iceberg lettuce, so Bobby tops off the burger with this peppery green instead.
  9. Tomato
  10. One thick, juicy slice takes the place of ketchup.

Huitlacoche Tacos

  • 2 Fresh Poblano Chile

  • 2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil

  • 1 Medium White Onion, finely chopped

  • 4 Cloves Garlic, minced

  • 1 Medium Tomato, diced

  • 2 Cups Huitlacoche, packed, roughly chopped

  • Sea Salt Flakes

  • 3 Cups Fresh Cilantro, chopped

  • 12 Corn Tortillas

Preheat broiler. Place chiles on foil-lined baking sheet and place in oven below broiler. Turn chiles occasionally until blackened all over. Remove from oven, cover with clean kitchen towel and let stand 5 minutes.
Once cool enough to handle, peel chiles, discarding stem and seeds. Cut into small dice.
Heat oil in medium skillet over medium heat. Add onion, and cook, stirring, until lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and cook 2 minutes more.
Add tomatoes to pan, and increase heat to medium-high. Cook until juices have reduced, about 4 minutes.
Add diced poblano chiles and huitlacoche. Bring to a simmer, stirring, until mixture is rather thick. Season to taste with salt. Add chopped cilantro.
Serve with warm corn tortillas to make tacos.


Thai Duck and Grapefruit Salad

  • 1 12-oz. duck breast
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, finely grated
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons grated peeled ginger
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups cilantro sprigs
  • 1 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 2 red or pink grapefruits, peeled and white pith removed, cut into segments

Season duck breast with salt and pepper and cook in a skillet to medium-rare; let rest, then thinly slice.

Whisk garlic, oil, fish sauce, lemon juice, ginger, and sugar in a large bowl; add duck, scallions, cilantro sprigs, mint leaves, and grapefruit segments and toss.



  • 2 lb. Fresh Live  clams, scrubbed clean
  • 1 (4-inch) square kombu
  • 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
  • 1 jalapeño, stemmed and thinly sliced crosswise with seeds
  • 1 Korean or Anaheim chile pepper, stemmed and thinly sliced crosswise with seeds
  • Kosher salt
  • 12 scallion, finely chopped
Place the clams in a large bowl, cover with cold water, and let stand for 1 hour. Gently lift the clams from the water, leaving the grit behind, and discard the soaking water and grit.
In a large saucepan, combine the kombu with 3 cups water and bring to a boil. Cook for 3 minutes then remove and discard the kombu. Add the clams, garlic, jalapeno, and chile pepper, cover the pan, and cook until the clams open, about 4 minutes. If there are still stubborn, closed clams, remove the opened clams to bowls and continue to cook the clams until they open; discard any clams that never open.
Season with salt, then divide the clams and soup among serving bowls and garnish with scallions.

Shrimp Stir Fry Recipe with Garlic & Ginger

Other vegetables that you can easily add to this recipe: snow peas, canned straw mushrooms (halved), canned baby corn (cut small pieces), fresh bean sprouts, red bell pepper (julienned), julienned carrots. If you add more ingredients, increase the amount of seasoning and garlic/ginger/green onion.
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 2 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro minced (optional, but tastey!))
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 pound shrimp peeled and deveined
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil divided
  • 3 green onion chopped (white and light green parts)
  • 2-3 garlic cloves finely minced
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger 
In a small bowl, combine oyster sauce, soy sauce and cilantro and set aside.
Pat the shrimp very dry with paper towels. In a medium bowl, add shrimp and cornstarch and toss to coat.
In a wok or large saute pan over high heat, add half the cooking oil and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. When the wok is very hot, add the shrimp in a single layer and cook partially until one side is nicely seared, about 1 minute. Flip and sear the other side of each shrimp, about one more minute. They don't need to be cooked all the way through yet as you are just searing them. Remove them to a plate and set aside.
Turn the heat down to medium and let wok cool off a bit to prevent the aromatics from burning. Add the remaining cooking oil and add green onion, garlic and ginger and stir fry for a minute until fragrant. [If you are using other vegetables, like snow peas, add them to the wok now and stir fry for a minute or until the vegetables are bright in color and crisp-crunchy]
Pour in the sauce mixture and add the shrimp back into the pan. Stir fry for another minute or so until shrimp is cooked through. Serve immediately.

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