Welcome to EAT THIS CITY, your tour of the best restaurants in one of our favorite cities, as chosen by a world-class chef, celebrity, or local hero.
This week, join us in Tinseltown — where we’ll be running right past the stars of the stage and screen, in favor of celebrating the stars of the plate and bars. Our guide to the best the neighborhood has to offer is Hollywood’s beloved Chef Valerie Gordon, owner of the renowned Valerie Confections. Since 2004, Chef Gordon has been supplying Los Angeles with sweets decadent enough to make Vianne Rocher jealous — her chocolates are rich and glossy, her cakes are splashed with champagne and dusted with gold, and her mignardises are bedecked in flower petals. This is dessert as an art form.
Today, with three brick and mortar locations and an online market to boot, Valerie Confections has only picked up steam since opening day, winning accolades from Vogue, In Style, Bon Appetit, and Food & Wine, while Valerie herself has twice appeared as a guest judge on Top Chef: Just Desserts. Have a sweet tooth? Then you owe it to yourself to check out the chocolates voted the best in Los Angeles, the petit fours featured on The Best Thing I Ever Ate, and the cakes lovingly recreated to honor the pastries of Hollywood’s bygone era (the Brown Derby’s Grapefruit Cake? Chasen’s Banana Shortcake? Sign us up!)
Ready to grab a bite? Let’s check out Chef Valerie’s favorite restaurants in Hollywood!
DeSano’s. I’m a huge fan of DeSano’s . It’s on Alexandria and Santa Monica. What I love about them is that their pizza is uncomplicated. It is not “gourmet” pizza. It’s PIZZA. It’s in a super casual, family friendly setting. It’s delicious. When you think in your head about what pizza should taste like, it tastes like the pizza from DeSano’s.
Guisados on Sunset Boulevard in Echo Park. They have really, really luscious tacos. They’re sort of small to medium-sized. If you get two you have an incredible meal. Their use of spice is very aggressive. So good.