In Los Angeles, it seems like everyone who's anyone already knows someone who knows something about how to get into this place or that place you really need to know about.
But if you don't... you're in luck: Our digital series Going Off the Menu rounds up just that kind of intel on some of the most inspired, hidden, and totally insider dining experiences you absolutely have to try in Los Angeles.
1. A secret Moroccan supper club
Chef Monique Benabou transforms various different locations around Los Angeles every few months to create an opulent, indulgent Moroccan-style dinner party. Want to get in? Follow Moroccan Supper Club on Facebook and keep watch for updates.
2. The freshest uni in town, served right on the beach
Looking for what is literally the freshest uni in the city? Diver Matt Hew, who goes by @venicebeachbum on Insta, harvests sea urchin from the ocean, and then hosts casual and spontaneous uni parties right on the beach. Go for uni served up as a simple hand roll with nothing more than nori, rice, and some slices of avocado for absolute perfection.
3. A deli behind a hidden door
If you know where to look (and pro tip: you can find out here), you can use the secret password at a liquor store to access a hidden gourmet deli in the back. At Tinfoil Liquor & Grocery, go for next-level (and enormous) sandwiches... not to mention a very Instagrammable installation made of nickels.
4. Parking-lot crabs
Yes, the jokes practically write themselves — but you can get the desirable kind of crabs in a parking lot if you are willing to go on a little adventure: Track down chef Nguyen Tran's Singapore crab with Thai chili sauce by following @starrykitchen on Instagram... and chasing down his secret pop-up in such sketchy places as a DIY car wash — where the chef pops out of trunk to provide your super-spicy meal!
5. A craft-brew pub with an underground following
If you're all about discovering L.A.'s underground drinking scene, you're going to want to know about Dope and Dank pop-up craft brew pubs. Brought to you by an Instagram account called @dopeanddank, find locations like a barber shop turned into the insider pubs. Co-founder Teo Hunter says he's all about trying to bring the African American community into the craft beer movement — generally the province of hipsters. "Being the only brother in the beer room, that’s where it started," he says in Going Off the Menu. "Straight to the point, let’s start a conversation: We wear premium kicks, we drink premium spirits, we make premium music, but we drink bulls*** beer.”
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