A Day of Underground Eats With One of LA’s Best Chefs

Where the 71Above Chef Vartan Abgaryan eats on his off days

August 16, 2016 9:00 am

On any given day, we’re going to be doing a lot of eating. Likely some drinking too.

Lots of meals, lots of choices. In a town as sprawling as ours, ruts will inevitably be carved (looking at you, turkey and cheddar wrap at Soda Pops). Which is why it pays to follow someone else’s grooves from time to time.

Like: Vartan Abgaryan, the toque whose new restaurant, 71Above, serves inventive food with our city’s best views.

Here, Abgaryan shares his favorite places to eat when he’s not manning the Viking.

Breakfast/Coffee: At the kitchen counter at 71Above

“Breakfast is an iced coffee with 4 shots of espresso, protein powder and milk. If that doesn’t wake me up and start my day off right, the view from the counter, 950 feet above L.A. will!”

Lunch: Pine and Crane

“I love the food, and I love the people. I walked in on opening day for lunch, and I fell in love with the flavors and concept. I think I had lunch there almost every day after that while I was still at Cliff’s Edge. Their commitment to good food is inspiring, and the Spicy Shrimp Wontons are completely addictive.”

Drinks: The Walker Inn

“I am not a fan of loud places, so when I went to Walker Inn, I was immediately drawn to the space and how small and quiet it was. The drinks are a whole other conversation. Proprietors LLC, who developed the cocktail program at 71Above did the drinks here, and it shows in the attention to great product and recipes. On one of my many visits, I sampled the whole menu! Good thing there were two of us.”

Dinner: Broken Spanish

“I have eaten here so many times that I cannot even keep count. Everything is incredible, especially the chicharron. The taste and the vibe is great. And Ray Garcia and Jacob Shure are great friends, so I’m always assured a warm welcome.”

Snacks: McConnell’s Ice Cream

“I don’t really snack other than on my couch when I watch bad TV. But if I were snacking…it would be ice cream. McConnell’s from Grand Central Market in DTLA!”

Brunch: Cliff’s Edge

“On weekends, I wholeheartedly believe in brunch, and Cliff’s Edge is my perfect spot. Not only because I worked there, with some lovely people, but I really love the space and ambiance. Still one of the most beautiful patios in LA.”


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