12 Ultimate Comfort-Food Dishes in LA

By Lesley Balla  |  November 25, 2013
Credit: Pete's Cafe

Whether it's the weather, change of seasons or annual holiday gorging, this time of year screams for comfort food, those decadent, rich, cheesy, fried, gooey dishes that remind you of home. Or mom. Or just that it's ok to sate that mac 'n' cheese craving every once in awhile. Here are 12 rib-sticking comfort foods being served around town right now. 

  • Credit: acuna-hansen

    Shepherd's Pie at The Morrison

    The newish Scottish restaurant and bar in Atwater Village has a lot of stick-to-your-ribs dishes, and the dark plaid room is just the place you want to cozy up in during cooler winter months. The shepherd's pie is a decadent feast with black stout-braised short ribs topped with blue cheese, mashed potatoes and crispy onions.

  • Credit: StarChefs

    Oxtail Poutine at Animal

    When it comes to dishes that we just can’t not order anytime we’re at Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo’s original baby, it’s that dang poutine. The fries are perfectly cooked, the braised oxtail always tender and full of rich umami flavor, the sharp cheddar buried underneath it all. Even full, we’ll eat at least half a plate.

  • Mac 'n' Cheese at Pete’s Cafe

    This is mac 'n' cheese escalated to another level. It starts off with cream (and lots of it), four cheeses (mozzarella, sharp cheddar, asiago and goat cheese) - and that one thing you can’t place your finger on… is tarragon. It’s always tarragon. The top is bubbly, and the mac sufficiently cheesy.

  • Chicken and Waffles at Roscoe’s

    Fried chicken. Buttery waffles. Maple syrup. Enough said.

  • After-School Special at Grub

    Just about everything at Betty Fraser and Denise DeCarlo’s hidden Hollywood gem is comfort food to the nth degree, but they really go for it with the decadent grilled cheese - cheddar and swiss on tangy sourdough - and a bowl of the creamy tomato soup.

  • Credit: Public School

    Bacon Cheddar Tots at Public School 310

    These are like stuffed potato skins in tot form. They come with sriracha ketchup, and you’ll need a beer. Or three.

  • Credit: erikneldnerphoto

    Chicken Pot Pie at Muddy Leek

    In a fun twist, the chicken pot pie at the Culver City farm-focused restaurant is baked in a rye-IPA crust and served with braised greens and quince purée.

  • Credit: Lesley Balla

    Big Bowl of Cheese at Bar Ama

    Josef Centeno’s queso is a thing of pure cheesy beauty. Made with several different cheeses, it’s as smooth and creamy and addictive as any queso dip, topped with a spoonful of guacamole and sour cream. Go ahead and get the additional chorizo, you won't be sorry. Dip the thick and crispy tortilla chips in it, or like us, dip everything in it: chicken-fried steak, borracho beans, spicy pork barbacoa tacos or even a finger. Ok, maybe even sopapillas. We know, stop. But it's just that good.

  • Sloppy Joe at Doughboys

    This is no ordinary Manwich. The Sloppy Joe is made with chunky beef, which is ground in-house for just the right texture, a rich tomato sauce and served on slices of grilled jalapeño cheddar bread. Get some melted cheddar or steamed eggs on it for even more comforting decadence.

  • Credit: Daikokuya

    House Ramen at Daikokuya

    The rich, porky opaque broth with springy ramen noodles that this mini chainlet haven serves is exactly what you want on any cold day or any day you have with a cold. Heck, any day, really. The slices of tender pork don’t hurt, either. Little Tokyo is always swamped, but now there’s another outpost on Sawtelle, which is quickly becoming the new ramen row.

  • Vegan Appetizer Platter at Doomie’s Home Cookin’

    For the non-meat eaters out there, this Hollywood spot has your comfort (junk) food cravings covered. The appetizer platter is the way to go - jalapeño poppers stuffed with vegan cheese, “chicken” fingers, fried “shrimp,” mac 'n' cheese, chili cheese fries and onion rings.

  • Credit: Plan Check

    Caramel Latte Donut at Plan Check

    There isn’t a donut we don’t like at Plan Check, especially this one with coffee caramel sauce, roasted coffee bean and sugar dust, whipped cream and pig candy. Because if there are two things to love, it’s bacon and coffee. Come December, it will be even closer to anyone living east - the second location will be opening on Fairfax soon.