YouTube Star ‘LA Try Guy’ Shares His Favorite Burgers, Smoothies, and More

Alex Cottrell dishes on his favorite… dishes.

7 minutos de lectura

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Alex Cottrell, aka LA Try Guy, is known for his hilarious YouTube and TikTok food reviews alongside his cousin Cam (and sometimes with celebrities), specializing in restaurants in neighborhoods south of the 10 freeway. After closing his ice cream shop in Arkansas, he moved out to LA in 2020 for a tech sales job (and to pursue a career in entertainment). “Me and my cousin were always looking for the best spots to eat back in Arkansas, now we just have a camera,” he tells us of his leap to social media. His channel features a little bit of everything with a range of cuisines, but he especially loves smashburgers. Alex will often solicit recommendations from his viewers as well, especially when headed to a new city. Here, he shares some of his favorite spots in LA from Studio City all the way down to Compton.

What are your favorite burger places in LA?

For a smashburger, For the Win in East Hollywood has always been my favorite. It’s hot, cheesy, fatty and delicious. I love Burgers Never Say Die as well in Silver Lake but they don’t have bacon (haha). For a thick, juicy style burger, I’m going to go for Phat Daddy’s in Leimert Park. I love their turkey burger with special sauce on a toasted bun paired with their chili cheese fries.

Best spots for Southern food in LA?

My original intention with my channel was to find food I grew up eating in the South. For Southern food here I love Annie’s Soul Delicious. The owner, Annalisa, she's a great lady. I know she had to get rid of her actual brick and mortar and she had a ghost kitchen for a while. I love her fried catfish, the oxtail plate and the fried chicken, everything’s fire there.

What’s your go-to weeknight order?

I’ll order a lot of things but my no brainer is a Whopper with bacon and cheese from Burger King. I generally eat a lot of fast food.

Favorite neighborhood spots?

In the morning, I always feel like I need to detox. So from Kreation, I always get the Radiance smoothie, it’s pretty fire. There’s a ton of greens in it. If you go in, the staff is pretty knowledgeable about everything on the shelf and they can walk you through it. I also love Mizlala for Middle Eastern food. That’s one of my go-to neighborhood spots. I also love Hawaiian barbecue from Aloha Catering. They have pork and grilled chicken and beef and they serve it with white rice and mac salad. They have a lot of those staple comfort foods from Hawaii that I love like spam musubi. 

What about wings?

You have to go outside LA to get really good wings in my opinion. Where I’m from there’s a wing joint on every corner. But if I’m getting them in LA, I usually just go to Wingstop, but you have to know how to order. You gotta get all flats, extra well done, half Korean barbecue (sauce), and half whatever else you want. I also love Dave’s Hot Chicken for hot chicken sandwiches (The Reaper is the spiciest but is not for the weak, haha)!

What do you order when you’re hungover?

There’s a place here in Koreatown called Shin Chon Seoulnongtang — the soup there is magnificent. They have different kinds, but I usually get a spicy beef soup. It’s bone broth with all types of beef or ox feet soup. Or if not that, I’ll get Hangari — they have the best chicken noodle soup I’ve ever had. The noodles are handmade and the broth is thick and creamy.

What are your favorite tacos in LA?

I mostly eat from little street stands all over LA but when I'm ordering, Guerilla Tacos is always solid. I love the pork carnitas and the lomo saltado tacos from there.

I just moved to LA, what are the must trys?

Definitely have to put everybody on to the smashburger at For the Win. You gotta get some pastrami when you come here too. Langer’s is my favorite spot for pastrami. Norm (the owner) is a great guy. I love the thick cut pastrami, not the thin one. Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles is legit — everybody tries that when they come here. I love donuts too and there’s so many spots here. I love mom and pop shops and the bigger fluffier donuts like the style at California Donuts. Any flavor, but that’s my kind of donut.

What’s your ideal day of eating in LA?

We’ll start off with my favorite pancakes in LA, the famous hotcakes at Du-Par’s. I was a waffle guy and they converted me to pancakes. I take a lot of people to get tacos, usually it’s a stand near Frogtown. There’s another couple I like in Alhambra, Guadalupe, they work really hard. I take people to places like that. I’d have to sneak a burger in there (the ones mentioned above). 

What are your favorite spots for New Orleans food?

Gumbo Boys downtown is great. When you talk to the guys there it sounds like they just came here from New Orleans yesterday, so you know it’s good. I also think Stevie’s Creole Cafe on Pico has some good cajun/creole cuisine.

What's your weekday sandwich spot?

Mike’s Deli is a go-to — they’ve very well known and very popular. The Zu Zu special is so delicious. It has fried chicken, Cajun turkey, American cheese, lettuce, tomato, red onion, jalapeños, pickles, cucumber, avocado, honey mustard and Cajun mayo on toasted sourdough bread. I also love the po’ boy from Orleans and York Deli. Get the one with the fried shrimp and the sausage. I might go get one now, haha.

PHOTO CREDIT: courtesy Alex Cottrell