Weekends in a 9 to 5 world are sweet, sweet bliss, and that’s especially true in Los Angeles. The city swells with people looking to have a good time, and restaurants put out their best during these busiest few days. Many restaurants offer dishes reserved especially for the weekend—sometimes because the dishes require hours to cook, other times for tradition, but mostly in the spirit of rest and relaxation with family and friends. We’ve gathered up 17 of LA’s best weekend specials for meals worthy of those precious Saturdays and Sundays.
Numbered establishments on the map correspond to information below for easy reference. Establishments also appear in alphabetical order instead of in order of preference.
1. El Sinaloense
El Sinaloense specializes in food from the coastal Mexican state of Sinaloa. On weekends that means “menudo blanco,” a regional take on the legendary hangover cure loaded with hominy and several cuts of cow: white slices of honeycomb tripe, firm heel (callos), quivering pink tendon (nervio) and double-layered stomach (pansa). Spoon on purple onions, fire-orange chile de arbol powder and cilantro or oregano, then squeeze on lime. -JL
2. Gish Bac
Barbacoa, for those unfamiliar, is pit-roasted meat often served on the weekends because of the long, slow cooking process the meat experiences. While iterations can be found all over Los Angeles, the goat barbacoa served at Gish Bac on Saturdays and Sundays draws a particularly fervent following. The small Mid City restaurant from Oaxaca natives David Padilla and Maria Ramos dishes up plates of Barbacoa Enchilada, tender goat meat swimming in a tomato-based broth, and offers crunchy cabbage, cilantro and fresh, house-made salsas as accompaniments. Think tangy tomatillo avocado with cilantro, roasted tomato, and spicy jalapeno -PM
3. Got Kosher?
The weekend comes early to Beverlywood’s Kosher Corridor, thanks to the Sabbath. Given that, Thursday afternoon and Fridays before nightfall is when you’ll find challah at several bakeries around town, but only Got Kosher? bakes pretzel challah. Chef-owner Alain Cohen’s compelling mash-up is available by the loaf or roll, with judicious interior sweetness and a burnished pretzel-like sheathe. -JL
In a criminally under-decorated space by the corner of Pico and Crescent Heights sits India Sweet House, which dates to 1981. As the name indicates, the spot is most popular for its baked sweets and snacks, which overshadow ISH’s main dishes. However, on weekends, patrons flock for their masala dosa. The thin, crisp, crepe-like pancake wraps around spicy potatoes and is popular in Southern India. The dosa comes with sambar (soupy lentils) and two chutneys for a satisfying variety of flavors. -PM