Rick Lox, LA Food Reviewer, Shares His Favorite Restaurants

Lox, who grew up in Los Angeles, shares his go-to spots.

9 min read

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Native Angeleno Rick Lox started food blogging for fun and to share his love and passion for food during the pandemic, alongside his day job of running a marketing agency (Bloggers Who Brunch) with his wife. His namesake TikTok channel, which features food reviews of predominantly LA restaurants, soon took off and he amassed a following of over 245,000 people by 2024. His “Lox Level” rating system (rating dishes 0-10) clearly struck a chord with the TikTok audience. “I’m a Valley guy, lived in LA my whole life, grew up going to restaurants with my parents, and have always loved food,” says Lox of his upbringing and subsequent passion for the LA food scene. Below, he shares some of his favorite spots in LA for Italian food, bagels, game-day wings, and more. Note: These picks reflect Rick’s preferences that are available on DoorDash.

What are your favorite sandwiches in LA?

I’m a big pastrami guy, and arguably the most iconic sandwich in LA is the Langer’s Deli #19 (pastrami, swiss, cole slaw, Russian dressing on rye), one of my favorite sandwiches in the world. At the related concept, Daughter’s Deli, they make what’s called the Papa Sandwich which is similar to the #19 with the exact same ingredients. This is a little controversial but I think the Papa Sandwich is even better than the Langer’s #19 (by a very slight margin). Daughter’s Deli in WeHo is more of a walk-up-style dining experience versus sit-down like Langer’s.

I also love the newer Ghost Sando Shop on Melrose (actually they have a few locations). My favorite sandwich there is The Melrose which features ham, bacon, turkey, American cheese, slaw, and signature sauce on their amazing Dutch Crunch bread which is hard to find in LA. Any sandwich from Ghost is really good though. 

OUI Melrose has a really diverse menu, from a ribeye cheesesteak to burgers to laffa wraps to chicken parm sandwiches to hot fish sandwiches. I love everything there. It’s one of those small little spots you’d miss unless you knew about it.

Best spots for bagels?

I’m a fan of the Yeastie Boys truck. I like the Lox Deluxe (smoked salmon, scallion cream cheese, tomato, red onion capers on a sesame bagel) and the Reubenstein (pastrami, swiss, kraut, Russian dressing on an everything bagel) there. I’m also a fan of Bagel Broker, right by The Grove, which is a very traditional bagel shop, where you line up and pick your bagel and customize it. Maury’s Bagel in Silver Lake is also solid. My go-to bagel order is an everything bagel with lox, capers, and cream cheese. At Maury’s, I also get smoked trout on a bagel that is very good as well.

What do you order after a whole day of shooting food and need something healthy?

Calif Chicken Cafe is one of my regular spots for something healthyish. They have a number of good wraps but arguably my favorite item there is the chicken pasta salad (which is a side technically). It’s drenched in Thousand Island dressing, actually maybe it’s not the healthiest! I also think their California Chicken Salad is a great salad option.

When eating healthy, I also like to order from Fresh Corn Grill. I like getting their protein plates with chicken or steak and sides like sweet potatoes and different veggies if I want a simple protein meal. 

Favorite neighborhood spots?

Maison Matho is a newer, French-inspired spot which has great sandwiches and really good pastries as well. I get the jambon beurre, and sometimes the prosciutto sandwich. They also have a delicious omelette sandwich which has trout roe, and a cool grapefruit dish which is both sweet and savory. 

Joan’s on Third is a classic spot. Anything from pancakes to breakfast burritos to their classic Chinese chicken salads are great. It’s one of my favorite salads in LA, and one of the rare salads where I'd have it as my entire meal and be very content.

Best breakfast burritos?

Cerveteca’s breakfast burrito is very big, hearty, and heavy (egg, cheese, tater tots, black beans, protein of choice). The Rooster, which is known for their breakfast burrito, is great too (eggs, bacon, tater tots, avocado, cheddar and cotija cheese in a flour tortilla, served with a side of molcajete salsa and cilantro crema). Cofax in Fairfax has a very good breakfast burrito too. I love to see pastrami in a breakfast burrito (pastrami, tater tots, fried egg, cheese, pickled jalapeños, deli mustard).

What are your 5 favorite burgers in LA?

I'm a big fan of Burgers Never Say Die in Silver Lake, easily in my Top 3 of LA burgers (with In N Out being the KING of course). For the Win in Hollywood is also amazing for a delicious, classic smashburger. Goldburger (multiple locations) I love as well. The Win-Dow is always very solid, that's probably the best bang for your buck at under $8. OUI Melrose has a House Double Burger (two beef patties, American cheese, special sauce, dill pickles, onions, lettuce, house baked bun) that’s delicious too. 

What are the LA essentials for a first timer?

Langer’s or Daughter’s Deli pastrami sandwich (as mentioned above), an LA smashburger like Burgers Never Say Die or For the Win. Holbox would be an amazing option for fish tacos and Mexican seafood or Tacos Y Birria La Unica, for a classic street birria-style taco.

What would you order for a big game?

I’m a traditional pizza and wings kind of guy for games. It may be basic, but I love Wingstop’s wings and fries and they have the best honey mustard of all time. Their ranch is really good too. 

Go-to pizza order?

Pizzana is my favorite spot for quality and delicious pizza. I love everything chef Daniele Uditi does (and that goes beyond pizza as well). My favorite pizzas are the Cacio E Pepe which he is famous for; the Corbarina which has squash blossoms, cherry tomatoes, and burrata and is a very beautiful looking pizza; and the Diavola which is sweet and savory with spicy salami, walnut romesco sauce, and honey. All the pizzas are great though, you can’t go wrong anything there!

Favorite Italian spots and dishes?

I’m a big fan of Jon & Vinny’s. I like their White Lightning and Little Nats pizzas, the little gem lettuce salad, and their garlic bread with a ton of cheese on top. They're known for their spicy fusilli which is great, but I think the most underrated dish is the chicken cutlet. I think they might also have the best cheesecake in LA. Their cookies are pretty good too.

I also like Jemma Hollywood which is a bit newer and comes from the team behind Ospi and Jame (Jackson Kalb). Their pizzas are really good, but the crispy provolone which is their circular version of a mozzarella stick is the iconic dish. Their spicy rigatoni is also one of my favorite vodka sauce pastas. I love the eggplant parm, the amazing kale salad. Their cannolis are top tier as well.

PHOTO CREDIT: Courtesy of Rick Lox