LA birthday: The FOOD edition

Last year when I came out to LA for the week, my friends hosted a house party for my birthday. It got crazy, got loud, got late, and everyone had a great time. I knew I had to return.

This year, just as I promised myself, I returned to LA with a one way ticket just a few weeks before my birthday- settled into my new home for the next two years in Pomona. Because I was so busy settling in, I didn’t have too much time to plan my birthday. Nonetheless, it was another incredible weekend. Instead of boring you about what I did- I decided I will show you some of the food that I ate.

And if you live in LA, you better check these restaurants out ASAP. By the end of this post, I promise you’ll be drooling wishing you could hop in an Uber and go eat there now.

Kabuki Japanese Restaurant (Hollywood, CA) 

Located a quick walk from Arclight Cinemas in Hollywood, Kabuki doesn’t disappoint. Sapporo draft was just a few dollars, the perfect combination along with all of the delicious mouth watering food we got. It’s a little on the pricy end, but it’s totally worth it. Everything is going to look so good you’ll want to order a ton, but rest assure, you probably won’t be able to finish it- so if you’re smart- I’d recommend ordering less and if you’re still hungry- then go for more!

(1) Shishito Peppers
(2) Spicy Tuna on Crispy Rice
(3) Lotus on Fire Roll
(4) Hamachi Sake Box Sushi
(5) Albacore Crunch Roll

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The day before my birthday, my friends took me out to a Pop up brunch location in Downtown LA. After being lead through what seems like a normal restaurant, we arrived to the back area of The Gorbals (DTLA) where many are brunch-ing with endless Mimosas, the only way to do brunch.

The Gorbals (Downtown Los Angeles)  

Every dish was uniquely created by Chef Kris Morningstar. Again, It may be a bit more on the pricy side, but if you’re looking to splurge on a once-in-a-lifetime brunch experience- make sure you check out The Gorbals. I know I’ll definitely be going back in the future.

(1) Shrimp & Corn Pancake (OMG) That is all I have to say. It’s like scallion pancakes, except with shrimp & corn.
(2) Breakfast Ramen – don’t be fooled by the ordinary name. This could possibly be the best breakfast Ramen you’ll ever have had….

(3) French toast that is to die for.
(4) Gravlax – salmon, and other condiments to accompany the salmon on toast. Wonderful and light.


The Perch (DTLA) 

On the day of my birthday- after a night of drinking, my boyfriend took me to a wonderful rooftop restaurant for brunch. The first time we went to Perch was for the 20s themed halloween party. What an experience that was! But this time, although we still had to make a reservation, it was not quite as crowded. We got the perfect seat outdoors by the fireplace with a beautiful view surrounded by sky scrapers. (Side note: It still doesn’t compare to any Hong Kong sky scrapers… but it’s the closest I can get to feeling like home!) Nonetheless, it was so wonderful.

(1) Shrimp Scampi – who knew this could be a brunch dish? Delicious.
(2) Smoked Salmon Benedict – this cannot ever, ever, go wrong. We love salmon.


Quickly (Chinatown, LA) 

Finally, I went to Chinatown for a taste of home. Fishballs, Tea eggs, Taiwanese sausage rice bowl. It may not be everyone’s favorite but it was an important moment of my birthday. A friend asked me the night before, “what would I have done if I was celebrating my birthday in Hong Kong?”

That’s a good question, but for one, I know that I’ll be indulging in a whole lot of food while soaking in the beautiful place I call home.


I am drooling already recapping everything I ate on my birthday, I guess it’s time for me to get some dinner. But seriously though, go check out these places in and around Los Angeles. They are worth a visit.

Published by Joanne Lam

📍 Toronto | STRONG w Joanne 💪 MovNat ACE & Agatsu Kettlebell Certified 🎯 Commit Confidence Consistency

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