Top Ten Hidden LA Gems

You may not know his face but his playing cuts across styles and genres as he masterfully executes jazz, rock, and pop. Roth worked alongside a total of nine Grammy winners. He’s performed and recorded with R&B artists the Brothers Johnson and Shuggie Otis to Popstars Annie Lennox and Sophie B Hawkins, Rock legends Ronnie Montrose, Robby Krieger, Keith Emerson, Deep Purple’s Glenn Hughes, Judas Priest’s Rob Halford and Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Chad Smith, to Hip-Hop legend Coolio. He’s also a long-time member of CTA (featuring Rock and Roll Hall of fame drummer Danny Seraphine and two-time Grammy winner Bill Champlin) and recorded with critically acclaimed country acts Turnpike Troubadours and Cody Jinks, and the list goes on. Truly a gifted player his talent shines brightly on Jazzland, his debut album release for Funzalo Records out now.

Today, Los Angeles based Roth shares his Top Ten Hidden Gems for places for eat and drink in the City of Angels.

1. Best Thai Food: (LA is full of great Thai restaurants, and it’s my favorite food, I could only narrow it down to two)

Krua Thai best authentic pad kee mao with ground chicken, pad thai and curry in town, and open late.I found this place by asking the Thai waitresses at another Thai place where they went to eat.

2. Hoy Ka

Don’t let the hipsters eating there fool you, this is the real deal, family owned and operated. Wonderful Thai food sometimes with some twists.

3. Best Place To Hear Live Music & Eat Baked Potatoes

The Baked Potato in Studio City

Where musicians go to hear other musicians. Best of the best playing here in a spot the size of a large living room. There is a reason this place has been there so long.

4. Best Watering Hole

Tinhorn flats in Burbank

Low-key, easy vibe, and a nice outside patio. Decent food, several notches above bar food, and all kinds of booze await behind the saloon doors.

5. Best Upscale Watering Hole

BonaVista Lounge on top of the Bonaventure Hotel

Old school and not cheap but you get what you pay for here, best view around with the rotating lounge. Nice to be on top of the world having adult beverages. Go on weeknights to avoid crowds and get a good table.

6. Best Mexican Food
La Cabanita

Great hang, old school spot with the best Ropa Vieja, Mole, and Chile Verde, as well as the Gringo favorite fajitas.

And of course, great Margaritas.

7. Best Mexican Fast food

Casitas Tacos Al Carbon – Burbank

The carne asada tastes like Mexico, more authentic flavor than I have had anywhere, and I spent 10 years on and off touring Mexico and Central and South America with a Mexican pop star. Comparable to the carne asada at Rancho Viejo Tacos in La Paz, which is saying a lot.

8. Best Thai Fast Food:

Thai Food Barbecue Express (Best down-home Thai)

The food is about as homemade as you’re going to get. Soups, Fried rice, and curries are heavenly. Only 3 tables inside with the stove and grill right in front of you, but food is so good it doesn’t matter.

9. Best Pho

Pho 999

I found this place talking to a Vietnamese gentleman while on jury duty. I’ve had Pho all over the world and it doesn’t get any better than this. Not the fanciest spot, and 1 lonely fish in the tank, but the Pho is stellar.


10. Best Late

Night Diner Coral Café – Open 24 hours in Burbank Home made soups, one of the best, if not the best pork chops in LA, surprisingly good daily specials, great cornbread, and of course great breakfast. Family owned and operated spot.

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