Strip Search

Strip Search: Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake

Photo: Tatiana Arbogast

Sunset Boulevard’s stretch through the hipster bullseye of Silver Lake is a great place for eating, cheap and otherwise. You can spend half your day, and probably even half your life as some people seem to do, over medianoches and cafe con leche at Cafe Tropical and find everything from authentic French bistro food and one of our favorite burgers at Cafe Stella to Ricky’s deservedly well-worshiped fish tacos at Silver Lake Junction. But while those are favored options, they’re not everything the street has to savor. Here’s a look at three awesome eating adventures to be sampled while roaming Sunset Blvd. in Silver Lake.

Pho Cafe

It’s far from the majesty of the pho served at Golden Deli, and yes there might very well be a long line of cooler-than-thous crowding the entrance, but it’s here, it’s got beer, and makes for a dependably good Vietnamese fix, albeit at a slightly higher price. We’d be all too happy to tell you about the popular, properly funky vegetarian mushroom pho, the pho ga, the crisp golden egg rolls, cold noodle bun cha gio tom thit nuong, and lemongrass beef and shrimp gỏi cuốn spring rolls. That is if this dude DJ Monster Jam hadn’t said it best when he writes on Yelp, “Total MONSTER JAM all the way…The noodles RULED HARD and the beef was really TENDER…*Certified Crap Free*.”

Pho Cafe, 2841 W Sunset Blvd. Silver Lake. 213-413-0888

La Playita Siete Mares

If you’ve been filling your gut with small mountains of a-grade asada and chorizo all week at Downtown’s supreme Mexicali Taco and Co., you might want to give your stomach a break and get some Omega-3’s in your system. There are enough options here to fill a gill net, but little is on-point. The fried fish tacos might as well be fish sticks, so stick to Ricky’s. We’ve had a few fishy bite on occasion, but priced at just $1.79, the tostada piled with a mountain of white fish ceviche is a cheap eats lover’s dream-come-true, and there’s a freakn’ drive-thru. Stick to the cocteles and tostadas, both of which have a well-balanced cure, and you’ll be okay.

La Playita Siete Mares, 3131 West Sunset Blvd. Silver Lake. 323-665-0865.

Alegria on Sunset

Bright flavors and inventive, lighter fare dominate this restaurant, whose dishes sometimes straddle the Southwest border and often veer off the typical Mexican culinary camino. There are chimichangas with a side of crab salad and asada plates for your big ‘uns, D.F.-style sincronizadas and sopes for the dude who recently graduated beyond tacos and mistakenly turns his nose up at the great enchiladas suisas, and plenty of options for your vegans. The tacos a la crema simply kick ass. These are just a few of the reasons everyone feels so good on the way out, no matter how you came in. Yes, the aguas frescas and mule mountain scramble have restored us from a few bad hangovers.

Alegria on Sunset, 3510 Sunset Blvd. Silver Lake. 323-913-1422.

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Strip Search: Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake