Off-The-Menu: A Guide to LA’s Secret Foodie Gems

Feb. 10, 2017

If you don’t know, now you know: LA’s most secret foodie gems.

Who wouldn’t want to be an LA foodie-insider (or at least feel like you’re tight with the chef?)  From downtown to the beach – and, yes, even in the Valley – those “in-the-know” have exclusive access to secret menu items. Luckily, we’re willing to share–but keep it between us!

DTLA:

Off-the-Menu Ahi Tuna Tower @ Patina at The Walt Disney Concert Hall, Photo Credit: Patina Restaurant Group

Patina (Walt Disney Concert Hall): The legendary Chef Joachim Splichal first served The Tuna Tower in 2003. Now, 14 years later, the iconic dish is an off-menu favorite. Thin slices of tuna are layered with avocado, oven-roasted tomato and cooked onion, prepared in a soy sauce with stock and ginger. “It’s very simple and elegant, with classic Japanese flavors. I’m not surprised that our regular guests get nostalgic for it,” says Splichal.

Off-Menu Farinata @ Officine BRERA, Photo Credit: Jesus Banuelos

Officine BRERA: It’s not surprising that this eatery dedicated to an authentic, Northern-Italian heritage experience has an off-menu signature item straight from the streets of Liguria. Executive Chef Angelo Auriana and restaurateur Matteo Ferdinandi share farinata, a simple yet flavorful baked snack made from chickpea flour, water, olive oil, and salt.

 

Silverlake:

Off-Menu Rogue One Pizza @ Kettle Black, Photo Credit: Wonho Frank Lee

Kettle Black: At this former bank – complete with the original metal vault! – Chef Sydney C. Hunter III has three “secret” pizzas for guests in-the-know: the “Chef’s Special” with San Marzano sauce, Soppressata, cremini mushrooms, and chopped peperoncini; the Rogue One, topped with Yukon potatoes, n’duja (a spicy spreadable pork salumi), pancetta, egg, fontina and taleggio cheeses, a lightly dressed arugula salad, and pickled fresno chilis, served with crème fraîche; and Italian in Paradise with pineapple, large Soppressata, pancetta, provolone, and pickled Fresno chilis.

Fairfax:

Off-Menu Truffle Mushroom Swiss @ Plan Check Kitchen + Bar Courtesy of Plan Check Kitchen + Bar

Plan Check Kitchen + Bar: All four locations (DTLA, Fairfax, Sawtelle, Santa Monica) have several off-menu options, depending on availability. Ask for the Truffle Mushroom Swiss, a beef patty with housemade truffle cheese, truffle aioli, soy truffle baste, grilled portabella mushrooms and watercress served on a panko-crusted crunch bun or Grilled Cheese with two kinds of cheese and pickles, also served on a panko-crusted crunch bun.

 

WeHo:

LP Rooftop (at EP & LP): Looking for late night eats? Chef Louis Tikaram’s off-menu Habanero Crispy Chicken Sandwich is served on the rooftop nightly from 9 p.m. to close. Join Hollywood’s party crowd for crisp, fried chicken breast with romaine and spicy mayo.

 

Encino:

Off Menu Caviar Grilled Cheese @ Scratch/Bar & Kitchen, Photo Credit: Yasmin Alishav

Scratch/Bar & Kitchen: Rockstar chef Phillip Frankland Lee and dessert specialist Margarita Lee pack a one-two secret menu punch at this Valley foodie experience with Caviar Grilled Cheese, fresh brioche stuffed with homemade nine-month, cloth-bound cheddar, griddled in housemade butter, topped with Coho salmon caviar and chives.

Off-Menu Charcoal Ice Cream Cone @ Scratch/Bar & Kitchen, Photo Credit: Yasmin Alishav

Then cap it off with the Charcoal Ice Cream Cone, charcoal ice cream on a charcoal brioche cone with rainbow sprinkles that are colored with fruits and veggies.

 

Santa Monica:

Sushi Roku: The Santa Monica and Pasadena outposts have several off-menu options from sister restaurant Katana. Order the White Lotus Roll of shrimp tempura, avocado, asparagus, albacore and crispy onions which pairs perfectly with off-menu truffle soy sauce. Truffle lovers can also ask for the hush hush Black Truffle Hand Roll, complete with black truffles, avocado tempura, cucumber, and truffle soy sauce, wrapped in rice paper.

 

Just think how impressed your date or your friends will be when you order off-the-menu — but don’t tell them we told you!