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Posted on May 20, 2013 | 9 comments

Eat Like a Local in Los Angeles, California

Eat Like a Local in Los Angeles, California

One of our favorite things when we travel is to be able to eat like a local. We love finding the little hole in the walls that all the locals eat at, as well as the place they would go for a special occasion. We feel it gives us an even balance of what an area has to offer in reference to making our taste buds and tummies happy. This week we bring you, Eat Like a Local in Los Angeles.

As soon as we got off the plane and had our rental car, we headed straight to Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles in Long Beach. We’d taken an early morning flight and we were more than ready for breakfast. Although, chicken and waffles is good any time of the day! Especially, as late night eats.

Eat Like a Local in Los Angeles

Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles

Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles

Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles, of world renowned fame, is a Long Beach, California-based soul food restaurant chain founded by Herb Hudson, in 1975. It is best known for serving chicken and waffles, both together and separately. As well as, many other soul food and breakfast food items. The Los Angeles Times referred to Roscoe’s as “such an L.A. institution that people don’t even question the strange combo anymore.” The New York Times referred to it as a “beloved soul food chain.” we like to refer to it as yummy in our mouths and tummies.

The servings at Roscoe’s are more than huge. Because of this, we opted to share a Herb’s Special with 2 waffles and half a chicken. Can you even imagine one person eating all of that alone? On the side we had their famous and voted best in Los Angeles mac & cheese. Even sharing a plate of food, we both left stuffed, but happy.  Everything was perfectly cooked and greatly satisfying. Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles is one Los Angeles staple that you won’t want to miss.

Eat Like a Local in Los Angeles

Baja Fish Tacos

Baja Tacos Ensenada

 Baja Tacos Ensenada is another locals favorite. We discovered it a few years back on a previous trip to Los Angeles when I had a hankering for fish tacos and decided to seek out the best in the area. Baja Tacos in no way steered us wrong. It may be in East L.A. and you will certainly doubt where you are driving to, but once you are there, you will be so glad you stuck it out. Baja Tacos is truly the best fish tacos we’ve ever had. Who would have ever guessed East L.A. would have such unbelievably tasty fish tacos.

Obviously, the fish tacos are the way to go! The shrimp tacos are a close second. Both are perfectly washed down with their horchata. You’ll want to make sure to grab some of their roasted yellow chillies, lightly sprinkled with red chilli powder from their salsa bar to go with everything. Locals love the yellow chillies so much they fill up bags with them to take home. We love those chilli peppers, fish tacos, and horchata so much we never miss a chance to eat at Tacos Baja Ensenada whenever we are in the area. This is a must to add to your list of places to eat in Los Angeles.

Eat Like a Local in Los Angeles

Tiki Ti in West Hollywood; where we were engaged.

Tiki Bars of Los Angeles

Our number one pick for places to eat like a local in Los Angeles is at all of their tiki bars. Ok, maybe you can’t eat at all of them, but some people like to drink their meals. Either way, Los Angeles tiki bars are not to be missed.

Trader Vic’s, Don the Beachcombers, Tiki Ti, The Tonga Hut, and Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar, to name a few, are all great tiki bars in the Los Angeles area. All of them provide escape to an enchanted, relaxing, dark ,yet colorful, world decorated with bamboo, glowing fugu lights, glass fishing floats, and tiki mugs filled with rums from around the world and complex syrups garnished with pineapples, mint, drink umbrellas and live tropical flowers.  Tiki bars give you a place you can gather with friends, sit back, relax and forget about your everyday life just outside the doors. They give you an easy way to escape to paradise without ever stepping outside of Los Angeles.

The birth of the tiki bar originally took place in Los Angeles in the 1930s. They ruled Los Angeles’ social scene in its time and never completely disappeared from Southern California culture when others were shunning the tiki bar.  Bars such as Tiki Ti have kept on since the day they opened and still have lines to get in. Others like, Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar are new on the scene, but are already blazing their own trail and showing they have what it takes to make it. Tiki bars are a locals favorite you will want to make sure you devote plenty of time to visiting.

Eat Like a Local in Los Angeles

Ray’s Mistake at Tiki Ti

These our only our top suggestions for Eat Like a Local Los Angeles. There are so many great places that locals line up to eat that we could have done a whole week of posts just on this topic alone. This reflects only a few of our favorites. Enjoy, every bite.

All photography by Kimmy Hayes © 2013

Carnival of Drifter Bites

About Kimmy Hayes

Kimmy Hayes is the founder and editor-in-chief of AfterGlobe; a site on becoming debt free and traveling the world as a married couple. In 2012, she planned and coordinated her own do-it-yourself destination wedding on the beautiful island of Maui while serving as a moderator for the on-line community, The Knot. She is passionate about traveling to experience new cultures, snorkeling the waters of the world and reading with her toes in the sand.


    • Keryn, thank you and welcome to AfterGlobe. Those tacos are wonderful. Don’t miss them next time you are in the Los Angeles area.

    • Jessica, I know chicken and waffles together sounds off. I promise you they go together perfectly. They are the perfect salty sweet combination. Give them a try and let me know what you think
      Kimmy recently posted…5 Things to Do When You Land on MauiMy Profile

    • Danielle, thank you for visiting AfterGlobe. Trader Vic’s is lots of fun! We’ve been a few times. In fast, we went there for dinner the night we got engaged, before the engagement. I recommend when you go, do not go on a game night. It’s crazy busy then.
      Kimmy recently posted…Prepare to Travel with Gotta Keep Movin’My Profile


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