Where to find the best waffles in Los Angeles

If you know me, you know one of my favorite things in this world is waffles. I love them oh-so-much, that I think everything would taste better if it were waffled… or served on top of a waffle… or sandwiched between two waffles… or includes a character who’s also obsessed with waffles.

Just ask Mike, nothing ruins my day more than a bad waffle. Seriously, there will be tears and a sad George Michael/Charlie Brown walk home afterwards.

Therefore, much like our Deeply Important Avocado Toast Quest, is our Search to Quench Megan’s Ever-Present Waffle Craving.

So here are our top places to go when I wake up and desperately need a waffle in LA…

Sweet Chick

Living right down the street from Sweet Chick place has been a blessing and a curse. Every single day I have to fight the urge to have breakfast, lunch, AND dinner here because they’ve combined my three favorite things: waffles, fried chicken, and cherries. (Yes, they have a dried cherry waffle.) But they also have a TON of different waffle flavors. You must go (and bring me with you)!

The Waffle — Hollywood

No big surprise here — an entire menu of waffles in any style. AND, if you can’t decided which one to get, you can order half orders of two different kinds!

Bru’s Wiffle — Santa Monica & Beverly Hills

One of my life’s goal is to order every waffle on the menu at Bru’s Wiffle. Only then will I be able to die happy.

Hayden — Culver City

Hayden‘s cripsy buckwheat waffles are absolute PERFECTION! You know a waffle is amazing when you take one home, eat it cold and plain and love it as much as you did when it was slathered with yumminess. Hayden has several different waffle flavor pairings to choose from. I’m obsessed with their white-miso butter + stone fruit waffle — hell, I’d love their white-miso butter on any kind of waffle. They also have a great savory waffle with prosciutto di parma, honey butter, and a soft egg.

Shaky Alibi — Fairfax District

If you’re a fan of the “liege waffle” style, then you’re going to flip over Shaky Alibi. These waffles are dense and chewy on the inside, lightly caramelized and crunchy on the outside, and there’s many ways to eat them. My favorite is the one covered in berries, but The Elvis (with peanut butter, crumbled smoked bacon, bananas, and a drizzle of honey) is great too!

Marcel Waffles — Food truck

I once walked a Very Long Distance in the blazing Santa Monica sun, just to find the Marcel Waffles food truck to cheer me up on a stupendously bad day. It worked.

More than Waffles — Encino

Yes, there’s more than waffles at More than Waffles… but why eat anything else? The waffles are perfect! (Fun fact: It’s right down the street from my dentist. So this is how Mike bribes me to get me to actually go to the dentist.)

Fratelli Cafe — Fairfax District

Our favorite neighborhood breakfast place is Fratelli Cafe, and they just happen to make a kick-ass waffle in four different combos: basic, banana and Nutella, berry, and savory (topped with two eggs).

Home Restaurant — Silverlake & Los Feliz

Home has a solid-ass good waffle. Especially when you’re hung over. (Might be speaking from experience.)

Animal — Fairfax Distric

For something a little different, Animal makes a delicious cornmeal waffle.

What are YOUR favorite spots to get waffles in LA?

The best date restaurants in Los Angeles (that even pickiest of eaters will love)

Photos from Mud Hen, Petit Trois, and Pizzeria Mozza -- all on this list and more!
Photos from Mud Hen, Petit Trois, and Pizzeria Mozza — all on this list and more!

Recently, a friend texted me:

I need a few good restaurants for a date in Los Angeles, for $50-$100 for two people, that also have a good vibe.

And, though he just asked for just a few, I sent him my top 8 choices for LA restaurants that, if you order right, give you a lot of bang for your buck — culinarily, aesthetically, or experientially. And they’d make for great date places. (Most of these places are in the Hollywood area, because that’s where we’re based.)

One more thing… the friend that texted me is extremely picky, so I catered a bit to his tastes. Which means that these restaurants are great choices if you don’t really know your date’s food tastes. There’s nothing TOO crazy on this list, but even the most “challenging options” have at least one or two recognizable things on their menu. And, if all else fails, the places themselves are all worth the trip…

1. Mardi

The best restaurant for a date in LA that NO ONE has heard about. Seriously, why isn’t this place more popular? It’s a hidden gem, with a gorgeously decorated outdoor space, and incredible food. Whether it’s for brunch or dinner, Mardi is sure to impress. And, added super-perfect date night bonus: If you get cold, you can wrap yourself up in one of their provided blankets and snuggle up together!

2. La Assiette on Melrose

I feel like this place is made for a fun and easy date night. The restaurant is dark and romantic, and the menu is pretty much only steak and fries. They also do this cool thing where they give you “seconds.” While one order of “Steak Frites” — steak + fries + side salad — is $27, if you split it (and, based on my experience you totally don’t need two orders) they add an extra $10. Which is still super-affordable for steak and fries for two! Finish that dinner up with a walk to the 31 Flavors down the street, and you just won date night.

3. Pizzaria Mozza on Highland

This is part of the “Mozzaplex” which consists of three restaurants so good, that Jonathan Gold included them ALL on his list of the best restaurants in LA. Pizzaria Mozza is the affordable one, but that doesn’t mean it’s less delicious! HOLY SHIT, the pizza is fantastic. Get a pizza and a 250 ml carafe of wine — which is basically a third of a bottle — for $35. (FYI: The wine list may freak you out, but if you want a red, according to this post, you should get the La Mozza Morellino di Scansano “I Perazzi.”)

4. Estrella on Sunset

I’m embarrassed to admit how many times I’ve been to this place, both for brunch and lunches that kind of turned into early dinners, because we end up ordering EVERYTHING on the menu. (I highly highly recommend going for brunch, because there’s the king of all brunch orders: The Rolling Stone. But that’s a post for another day.) There’s also that peanut butter and banana toast that kills me. No wait! The mac n cheese! Gah! No matter when you go, the place has got an amazing vibe, as well as an outdoor fireplace, ooh, and succulents everywhere. If you go for brunch, you can split 3 or 4 things plus a french press coffee to share for $50.

6. Mercado on Cahuenga and on 3rd st

I wish this place had a punch ticket for every visit, I’d have a free meal, or at least a free blood orange margarita, by now! It’s what I call a “hipster mexican” restaurant, but don’t hold that against it! It’s really fucking delicious. I recommend their guacamole, enchiladas, and carne asada — all of those are easily split-able.

5. Jon & Vinny on Fairfax

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Fantastic #meatballs at #jon&vinnys Welcome to the neighborhood!

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This is what became of Damiano’s. Go for brunch, lunch, or dinner — no matter when, the menu is insanely good. Great pizza, great pasta, great salads, great desserts, great EVERYTHING. It’s just a super-solid little joint that’s sure to please everyone.

6. Petit Trois on Highland

It’s a TINY French place, in the same strip mall with a dry cleaner and a Yum Yum donuts. It’s the smaller, cheaper version of one of the fanciest French places in town (right next door under the “Raffalo’s pizza” sign). Petit Trois doesn’t take reservations, and, since the place is so small, the waits can be epic. Either pop in for an early dinner, or put your name in, then go down the street for a drink at Mud Hen while you wait. Even though it’s suuuuper French — escargot et al — their “Big Mec” has been voted the best burger in LA by, like, everyone — including me. Split a burger, fries, and some wine, while you squeeze yourself, side by side, at their counter. It’s pretty cramped, but very romantic.

Okay, fellow Angelenos… what are YOUR favorite restaurants that give you a lot of vibey bang for your buck?

6 dessert mashups that make life worth living

I have a sweet spot for stuff that are two things at the same time — like seaplanes and labradoodles — which means desserts that combine two awesome things absolutely make my life worth living.

If you’re in the LA/OC area, these are the six dessert mashups that you absolutely need to try…

The “Pie scream sandwich”

Play Provisions in Playa del Ray has a dessert that is two pie crusts, filled with bourbon-soaked blackberries, sandwiching vanilla ice cream. I made the same face as that dolphin when I saw it.

The Puffle

The Puffle at Cauldron Ice Cream is a blend of an ice cream cone, puff pastry, and a waffle. AND, when you order the S’more puffle, you add yet one other dessert into the mix!

Cereal-covered Ice Cream Macaroon Sandwich

One of the best/worst things to ever happen to me was moving within walking distance of Milk and their ice cream macaroon sandwiches. When they started covering them with cereal, I started coveting them daily.

Mochilato

Mochilato is gelato-filled mochi, and Mikawaya in Little Tokyo has several flavors of these delightful little balls of awesome. While you’re there, try their pomegranate chip ice cream too.

Warm Brioche Donut Holes


Not brioche, not yet a donut… These are fluffier and airier than regular donut holes. And, paired with La Mill Coffee‘s Madagascar vanilla cream, you’ll just about lose your damn mind.

Sprinkles Sundae

Do you sometimes feel like having a cupcake, but it’s also kind of hot outside, so you feel like having ice cream too? Sprinkles to the freaking rescue with either their Sprinkles sundae — ice cream between a cupcake top and bottom — or their Sprinkles Shake — two scoops of ice cream blended with a cupcake.

Best places to eat in Ouarzazate when you’re sick of hotel (or set) food

All photos by @treatsandgeeks and @whatsmikeeatingnow
All photos by @treatsandgeeks and @whatsmikeeatingnow

We just come off a two and half week stay in Ourrzazate, Morocco, while filming a TV show. Granted, two and a half weeks is a small stay when compared to some people who have had to live in Morocco for months while filming. But, for two people who generally eat out for every meal, a couple of weeks felt like months when your restaurant choices are limited.

We of course ended up eating at a few restaurants several times, and some places only once for reasons. And thus have narrowed down the restaurants that are still in business (some of the “best of” lists are out-dated), and worth your time, and your per diem…

1. Jardins des Aromes

Carmelized Chicken Tagine at Jardin des Aromes
Carmelized Chicken Tagine at Jardin des Aromes

By far our favorite, and the favorite of the entire cast and crew. This restaurant is as classy as it is delicious. The staff was so sweet as to even keep the restaurant open late for us when we all got so comfortable (okay and a little drunk) that we didn’t want to leave. We recommend the briouates, and almost 100% of the cast would recommend the caramelized chicken tagine.

2. Restaurant Douyria

Pigeon pastilla, goat cheese and rosé.
Pigeon pastilla, goat cheese and rosé.

We ate here the second-most. In the evening, it’s walking distance from Berebere Palace, and the views of Ouarzazate from their terrace are always impressive, no matter how many times you go there. We tried a lot of animals there: pigeon pastilla (not surprisingly, the veggie pastilla was the winner in the pastille better), dromedary (camel), and kid (baby goat).

But the winner time and time again was their Moroccan salad and any of their vegetable tagine.

3. Accord Majeur

Steak and potatoes at Accord Majeur.
Steak and potatoes at Accord Majeur.

This place is right across the street from the Berbere Palace AND has great alternatives to all the usual fare (ie. tagines for days). So this was a winner winner chicken and steak dinner for most of the cast and crew, night after night. We recommend the steak and potatoes, and whatever wines the awesome servers recommend — we were always happy with that combo.

4. Habous

Chicken nuggets and fries at Habous.
Chicken nuggets and fries at Habous.

When you want to feel like there are more than just a smattering of people in town, head to Habous — in the middle of a lively town square (at night). And try not to scoff at me when I recommend the chicken nuggets. Yes, these chicken nuggets in Morocco are one of the best things you’ll eat, after you get sick of tagines. And also say hi to the cats — they’re as adorable as they are hungry…

cats at Habous

Hopefully these restaurants in Ouarzazate continue to stay open and serving delicious non-hotel food meals. And if you find more awesome places to eat, please leave ’em in the comments. Shukran!

Where to eat in Cartagena, Colombia

Tuna tartare and a side of water view at Marea by Rausch
Tuna tartare and a side of water view at Marea by Rausch

Stay:

But wherever you pick, make sure it’s inside the old city.

Eat:

Cartagena for amazing ceviche instead

1. La Cevicheria

Order a Small langostino, Ceviche pescado peruano, tortastadas with guacamole.

2. El Gobernador by Rausch

Amazing. The costa negra (Colombian-style black beef) with plantains and coconut rice was one of my favorite things I’ve ever had.

The costa negra!
The costa negra!

3. Pasteleria Milo

For desserts and wifi.

4. Demente in Getsemani

…if you’re already in that neighborhood.

5. La Vitrola

An old Cuban place. Our highlights were the coco de pie and mojitos.

Filete Camaronero at La Mulata
Filete Camaronero at La Mulata

6. La Mulata

A fish place for locals.

7. Marea by Rouch

Solid, but not quite El Gobernador level.

Make sure you try:

Drinking an Oreo granizado is like drinking heaven.
Drinking an Oreo granizado is like drinking heaven.
  • Ceviche — lots of it!
  • Pargo rojo with coconut rice
  • A granizada


Anyone else have any tips on where to eat in Cartagena? Leave ’em in the comments, and help other hungry travelers!

Make sure you try these 7 great restaurants in Bogota, Colombia

Cheers from the amazing restaurant scene in Bogota, Colombia
Cheers from the amazing restaurant scene in Bogota, Colombia

Bogota is an amazing foodie destination, and it’s really underrated. Kind of like New York, with South American flair. Here are the restaurants in Bogota that you NEED to try.

Where to stay:

While we’ve heard great things about Hotel Click Clack and the BOG Hotel. But we stayed at the Embassy Suites in Bogota. It’s a fairly nondescript business hotel, unremarkable, except for its fantastic location in Zona G. The G in “Zona G” is for “gastronomy,” and with good reason — it’s basically three square blocks of great restaurants. It’s also a cute little area to walk around, and the least scary place ever.

Eat at:

Camarones at Astrid y Gaston. Sauce was poured over hot volcanic rock. Like everything I had at this location, and the one in Lima, fantastic.
Camarones at Astrid y Gaston. Sauce was poured over hot volcanic rock. Like everything I had at this location, and the one in Lima, fantastic.

1. Astrid y Gaston

Not quite as good as the one in Lima, but I love Gaston Acurio. We just asked the wait staff to bring us “whatever they wanted” and ended up with an incredible (although a little too much fish) meal.

2. Masa for breakfast

Super-charming, and a great unexpected wifi spot.

3. Capital Cocina y Café in the Candelaria

It’s in the old colonial area that’s fun to walk around, and this restaurant is as adorable as it is delicious.

Perfect steak at Capitol Cocina y Cafe.
Perfect steak at Capitol Cocina y Cafe.

4. Central Cevicheria

5. Crèpes and Waffles

Here’s the thing, we were super-duper stoked about this chain. Crepes and waffles and wifi are my favorite things. But no other place had weirder hours (how is this place not open for breakfast?), spottier wifi, and even spottier service. But the waffles and ice cream are awesome.

6. Version Original, aka. VO

Ask to be seated upstairs and try the tasting menu, it was my favorite meal of the trip!

7. Andres Chia

The other ones are okay, but we’re still dying to go to the great real one outside the city!

Cafe y Jugo de Lulo!
Cafe y Jugo de Lulo!

Make sure you try:

  • Jugo de Lulo — Juice made from lulo, an exotic fruit with a citrus flavor
  • Coffee ice cream — Columbia and coffee, need I say more?
  • Arepa con Queso from a Cartagena street vendor — Delicious, because it’s all butter, mozzarella, and fried dough!