Jeff Miller, Journalist

The history of L.A. in one bite

By Jeff Miller

3 August 2018

Think you know L.A.? Think again.

Few people are as passionate or knowledgable about Los Angeles as Jeff Miller, the founding editor of Thrillist L.A. Writing for Thrillist, the Los Angeles Times, Tasting Table, The Points Guy, and others, he’s covered the best restaurants, bars, and events in the city for over ten years. Outside of the City of Angels, he also reviewed food and activities in nine cities on the Travel Channel’s Trip Testers. Jeff is also the frontman and band leader of the Black Crystal Wolf Kids, an indie-rock tribute band.

Jeff Miller

Jeff gave us a list of favorite places that even many locals don’t know about. One longstanding institution, however, inspired especial praise.


“We should talk about tacos. My favorite is Leo’s Tacos at the corner of La Brea and Venice. The thing they’re most famous for is the al pastor spit. The pineapple juice, as it cooks, drips down onto the pork, and it is just succulent and juicy and perfect.

I think that in many ways, tacos in L.A. are like the great equalizer. When people in New York come visit, they ask, ‘Why isn’t their great pizza in L.A.?’ And I say, ‘Why isn’t there great tacos in New York?’ They’re inexpensive late-night food that hits the spot.

The people who run taco trucks are part of the heartbeat of L.A. There’s a huge Latino community in L.A., a lot of immigrants, and they come here to open businesses. And it’s been like that for decades. They’re not always trucks; sometimes they’re flat-tops set up on a corner.

There was a huge truck craze that started in 2008, and it started in Los Angeles before it went to the rest of the country. That’s when Kogi opened, and it really started a phenomenon. We went from writing about brick-and-mortar restaurants to chasing sushi trucks, taco trucks, all around the city. I think that the new school of taco trucks informed the sort of people that had been looking at it as a food trend that it was part of the lifeblood of the city.”


Baroo. | @baroo_la
The Museum of Jurassic Technology. | @calarts

the best tacos in town
Leo’s Tacos Truck
Mon-Thu: 11:30 a.m.-3:00 a.m.; Fri-Sat: 9:30 a.m.-4:00 a.m.; Sun: 11:30 a.m.-3:00 a.m.

a no-frills hole-in-the-wall serving green bowls with house-fermented ingredients
Tue-Sat: 12:00-3:00 p.m., 5:00-9:00 p.m.

Mediterranean-inspired New American food with a stunning back patio
Mon: 5:00 p.m.-12:00 a.m.; Tue-Fri; 11:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m., 5:00 p.m.-12:00 a.m.; Sat-Sun: 10:00 a.m.-12:00 a.m.

a hidden bar serving classy drinks in a relaxed atmosphere
The Varnish
Mon-Sun: 7:00 a.m.-2:00 a.m.

an offbeat museum with an exhibit on the history of trailer parks and a Russian tearoom
The Museum of Jurassic Technology
Thu: 2:00-8:00 p.m.; Fri-Sun: 12:00-6:00 p.m.

an escape room with a well-executed L.A.-centric storyline
Stash House
Wed-Sun: 12:00 p.m.-12:00 a.m.

a music venue made for true music aficionados
The Teragram Ballroom
1234 W 7th St, Los Angeles, CA


Leo's Tacos Truck (cover image). Image by @leostacostruck
Jeff Miller. Image courtesy of Jeff Miller
Baroo. Image by @baroo_la
The Museum of Jurassic Technology. Image by @calarts