Summer is coming, and as the heat of the approaching season settles in, we look to music to soundtrack our way through the coming months — tracks that capture the listlessness of youth with the teeming energy the sun provides us. LA’s Talk Time accomplishes such a feat on their latest single “Year of Self.” Born out of the depths of a Lincoln Heights warehouse, the crew manages to pull off that anthem-like quality akin to Future Islands’ synth pop, while infusing that unmistakable California glow — a special light somewhere between neon and the soft pink on the horizon. In other words, it can be a dance floor staple, or a chilled out car jam. Either way, it’s a sonic and rhythmic delight and certainly worth keeping in high rotation.
Listen to “Year of Self” below and read on for the band’s quick fire LA food picks from food trucks and ramen to avocado toast and coffee. Be sure to catch them at the Bootleg for their single release party, June 24.
Food Truck: Ricky’s Fish Tacos, Atwater
A friend once told me he’s never seen my face light up more then talking about how much better Ricky’s is than any other fish taco in LA.
Secret Runner Up: Roberta’s Pizza: I’m going to cheat a little bit here and say Roberta’s Pizza. This is a major insider secret. They are out of NY & only come to LA during the holidays and set up show at The Platform in Culver City, but it is hands down the best pizza you’ve ever eaten. Next time they are in LA is in December from Wed-Sundays.
Korean BBQ: Cha Cha Chili, Lincoln Heights
Lincoln Heights represent. Our studio is down the street from this amazing Korean Taco and Burger joint, get some Kimchee Quesadillas, Short Rib tacos, or The Korean Angus Burger. Or clear the rest of your day and get the Korean Philly Cheese steak. Giving Roy Choi’s Kogi truck a run for his money. This placed has fueled many a night of music making.
Spicy Margarita: Blind Barber, Culver City
Not really sure about the margarita, spicy or otherwise, but they do great cocktails.
Ramen: Daikokuya, Little Tokyo
The wait is ridiculous, but so is the taste of handmade noodles served in a variety of exquisite broths.
Cup of Coffee (caffeine): MatchaBar, Silver Lake
Matcha 4lyfe. Shit gets you hiiiiiiiigh.
For coffee, The Boy & The Bear: Their first location was in Redondo Beach and with a 2nd new one just opened in Culver City. Andres, the owner, is Colombian and brings beans directly over from farmers he knows from home.
Late Night Diner: Fred 62, Los Feliz
LA isn’t full of late night diners but Fred’s does the trick in Los Feliz.
Fancy Dinner: Badmaash, DTLA
Not super fancy but I gotta give a shout to this Indian gastropub that has masala fries that I would like to be buried in a pile of. One of my all time favorites in DTLA. This place was started by an Indian family from Canada and they bring a modern touch to Indian favorites such as Chicken Tikka Poutine and a Spicy Indian Fried Chicken. Really can’t go wrong with anything on the menu but recommend the Spiced Mango Pork Belly, Saag Paneer, and of course the Masala fries. On top of that, they just opened up a new location on Fairfax. Wow I should really start a new career as a food writer.
Runner Up: 71 Above. This fancy joint is on the 71st floor of the US Bank building, a huge skyscraper in the heart of downtown LA. The view is spectacular, as you have a vista of the entire city from (very) high up, which is unique in LA. The food was a fusion of so many different types of delicious, we almost didn’t mind being handed the (very) large bill. Seriously though, worth it.
Avocado Toast: Lodge Bread, Culver City
Lodge Bread makes their own bread in house, you can even watch them as their beating and rolling dough. Thus it’s amazing, bc anything they put on bread or in a sandwich is extra thick and hearty.
Brunch: Pollen, Echo Park
Pancakes are never, ever my jam. They are at this place though.
Craft Ice Cream: The Coolhaus Shop, Culver City
They have flavors like Avocado sea salt, beer & pretzels, & coconut negroni. Need I say more?
Favorite Vendor in Grand Central: Sarita’s Pupuseria
About 3 years ago I started noticing all the pupuseria places around LA and I thought, “what the F#%k is a pupusa?” I seriously didn’t know and then I started getting them and realized they’re amazing when done right, this place does them right.
Best Tacos: King Torta, Lincoln Heights
(For cheap and home field advantage). This place and their tacos are a staple of my dietary consumption. The hard shell tacos at this place are simply the best. Fresh crunchy hardshell stuffed with their awesome shredded beef, veggies and guacamole. For less than 2 bucks. Duuuude.
Guerrilla Tacos, Downtown (for not cheap & amazing). Chef Wes Avila has figured out how to do every ingredient of the taco right, whether it’s oxtail or sweet potato.
Wine bar: Ester’s, Santa Monica
Great wines and delicious snacks like lavender almonds. And oh, our drummer made their bar cart.
Restaurant/bar with live music: Rockwell Table & Stage, Los Feliz
Yoshi’s in Oakland. I grew up in the Bay Area and Yoshi’s is the most incredible place – live jazz and fantastic Japanese cuisine. I’m yet to find any place that’s a contender in LA, which is surprising to me with our population and dedicated art scene. But if we are picking an LA spot I’d say Rockwell Table & Stage – Jeff Goldblum plays a piano night there sometimes, which is generally a pretty great time!