Celebrate #AAPIHM at these Advancing Justice-LA Staff-Approved Restaurants
We’re just starting to celebrate Asian American Pacific Islander American Heritage Month (AAPIHM) and there is no better way to celebrate than with food! We asked our staff to recommend restaurants in the greater Los Angeles area and Orange County, and have over 40 AAPI-owned restaurants that you and your foodie friends and family can visit to celebrate AAPIHM and year-round (because we all celebrate our heritage every day!).
We created a Google Map for all of the restaurant recommendations. Each restaurant includes a recommended dish and why it’s a must-have. Get ready to stand up on top of your chair to get that perfect aerial photo of the recommended dishes! Share which restaurants you’ve supported with #HeritageMonthEats.
A few highlights by city and neighborhood:
Dish to try: Twice Cooked Octopus Sinigang, Kesong Puti Dumplings
Why: “I think sinigang is a very nostalgic dish for a lot of Filipinos and Fil-Ams, so to see it still hold its true flavors, but slightly tweaked with LASA’s creativity was a great experience. Those dumplings. WHEW. I don’t know how to properly describe it, but they were just so creamy and soft.”
Little Sister Downtown
Why: “If you’re looking for a special night out, I have to recommend Little Sister. It’s a Viet fusion restaurant that a Vietnamese person actually loves! It’s a real modern twist on dishes that still remind you of the main flavors that make up Viet cooking. It’s fresh yet still so, so comforting. Also, a very hip spot that I find very reasonably priced for its nice and rather fancier aesthetic!”
Spoon By H
Why: “Everything at Spoon By H is to die for. But make sure to go only at weird times, or right when it opens (truly, don’t even go 10 minutes late or you’ll be waiting a full hour). It is tiny + the kitchen is tiny, so it can take a long time for food to come out.”
Dish to try: The Purplie, Ube Horchata
Why: “The Purplie is my favorite because it is like an Ube brownie. It has great texture. And how can you say no to ube + horchata combination?”
Dish to try: Bossam
Why: “It’s been in Ktown for decades now — it’s a Ktown staple. For a long time, it was one of the few restaurants that had bossam (pork belly) and it is delicious there. Now there are more places that make the dish, but theirs is still the best. Although that dish is what it’s known for, Kobawoo’s other dishes are excellent too.”
Beverly Soon Tofu Restaurant
Dish to try: Kimchi Soontofu
Why: “The tofu is super soft and the soup is super flavorful.”
Why: “This restaurant makes its udon noodles from scratch! If you sit by the bar you can actually watch the entire process!”
Crystal Thai-Cambodian Cuisine
Why: “[The] most authentic Cambodian food restaurant in Southern California.”
Why: “Tasty & unique. You can see them making the rice balls after you order, fun for kids or kids at heart.”
Dish to try: Laksa
Why: “I like the Laksa dish because its roots are fairly pan-Asian. Its roots are part Chinese — especially the noodles. But the Chinese migrants that went to Southeast Asian had an array of new ingredients to work that came from throughout South Asia and Southeast Asia: turmeric, coriander, lemongrass, coconut milk, etc. Over centuries, the spicy noodle dish came a staple throughout Southeast Asia.”
Why: “This is a solid teriyaki place with generous portions. I’ve been a patron since I was a kid, and the restaurant is still live with regulars. The family that runs it are wonderful people, and they make you feel at home.”
Pasadena/San Gabriel Valley
Wong Java House
Why: “THE best Indonesian food in SGV. It’s a small family restaurant that it’s easy to overlook on Valley Blvd, but it’s a gem! Fresh ingredients and they make everything in-house as you order, meaning you’ll have to wait quite a bit for your food! But so worth it!!!!!!”
Tokyo Fried Chicken Co.
Why: “They have amazing family-style meals with fun sides like soy glazed yams, dashi braised collard greens, curry creamed corn that complement the fried chicken exquisitely. Their fried chicken also comes with two types of ponzu sauces, one that is extra spicy! I also love the Asian fusion twist on this classically Southern style of food.”
Delicious Food Corner
Why: “Go before 11:30am and get any of the breakfast sets (comes with Hong Kong milk tea or coffee and a bolo bao). I also recommend getting the BBQ pork steamed rice rolls.”
Dish to try: Hainan Chicken
Why: “Chicken rice from Cluck2Go reminds me of home (Penang) where chicken rice was an (almost) weekly ritual on Sundays!”
Dish to try: Crispy Fried Egg Rolls and #25 Pho Tai Nam
Why: “The crispy fried egg roll is so yummy and crunchy with some fresh veggies and herbs. The pho broth is so rich and clean that comes with good quality meat, a perfect meal for cold weather!”
Bồ Đề Tịnh Tâm Chay
Why: “This is one of the best vegetarian Vietnamese places to eat in OC. I see a lot of Buddhist monks come here. Good for families and a large selection.”
Bánh Mì & Chè Cali Bakery
Why: “It’s a Vietnamese sandwich shop that comes Vietnamese-family approved. Lots of locations have expanded to have a lot of other food items too, and they’re all good.
Be sure to check out our interactive restaurant map to see our entire list. We hope you enjoy our staff’s restaurant recommendations. Please be sure to tag us in on your restaurant journey with #HeritageMonthEats!