Top 5 restaurants this Quarterly
720 N Virgil Ave #4, Los Angeles, CA 90029, USA
This Silverlake eatery always has a queue and for good reason. I loved the well-known sorrel pesto bowl with avocado, kale, feta and crispy bacon. You also have to go the whole hog and have chef Jessica Koslow’s brioche toast with whipped ricotta and homemade jam. And then there's the rice bowls that will knock your socks off! This restaurant has shaped much of the Los Angeles food scene and has inspired many chefs
The Dusty Knuckle Bakery
Abbot St, London E8 3DP
Dusty Knuckle is one of the first spots that I found when I moved to East London. I instantly fell in love with the whole feel of this place from the LA industrial interiors to the open-plan bakery with working chefs in the background. It reminds me a of an incredible Venice Beach haunt in LA called Gjusta where freshly baked bread is also at the centre of everything. They supply their loaves to various restaurants in the area, and I recommend grabbing a sourdough for the weekend or if you have a dinner party. From roast leeks, chilli and eggs to broad beans and buffalo mozzarella ciabatta, the blackboard menu is seasonal and changes every week. They have a large rustic outside seating area which is a reliable sun trap. It's amazing value and they play a whole range of music.
Tina We Salut You!
47 King Henry's Walk, Mildmay Ward, London N1 4NH and 2 Olympic Park Ave, London E20 1FX
Anyone that follows me on Instagram will know that I go to Tina’s all the time. I am always raving about their coffee and it really is that first class! They do an excellent oat milk cappuccino (my usual order). It’s strong but in a good way. I also love the feel of the café with it’s unfussy interiors of white walls, school classroom wooden tables and chairs. People often go here to work during the week and then its a no-laptops policy at the weekend. I love how laid-back it is and you can often find people hanging solo and reading a book in the outside seating catching the sun. Aside from the hot drinks, the food is also worth mentioning and this simple smoked salmon and eggs was up there! I go to the one in Canonbury but they have a sister branch in E20. Tina, I always bloody salute you!
Taberna da Rua das Flores
Rua das Flores 103, 1200-213 Lisboa, Portugal
I found this in a Nuno Mendes guide to Lisbon and I think its still up there with one of my favourite restaurant experiences to date. You have to go at 6pm to put your name on the list otherwise you miss grabbing one of the 12 tables. The space has a romantic atmosphere with pink marble tables, garlic hanging on the white walls and jazz playing in the background. The waiting staff are knowledgeable about the menu and everyday it is written on a blackboard. The surroundings might look like any old taberna but the food is anything but traditional. The chef is constantly travelling and being inspired by world cuisine which is why this place is so special. We had mackerel tartare, udon noodles with prawns and croaker fish with Asian dressing and black nigella seeds. There were all these incredible Asian flavours but using the high quality Portuguese seafood - totally delicious! If you’re in Lisbon this place is a total must!
Av. Alm. Reis nº1 - H, 1150-007 Lisboa, Portugal
I was blown away by this famous seafood restaurant! I had heard that there is usually a 30-minute to one hour queue for a table, but it was only about 10 minutes when I was there, so you can get lucky. But it is totally worth any wait and offers a spectacular selection of local shellfish bursting with flavour. I had the sweetest prawns of my life, dunked into a simple mayonnaise, and feasted on lobster, garlic clams and a whole crab. The decor is not fancy and the restaurant is always packed with locals. Ramiro has been going since the Fifties, and with good reason!
Many thanks to our restaurant contributor this Quarter Nina Parker, the author of ‘Nina Capri’ and ‘Nina St Tropez’; all of which are available at all good book shops!