BEST OF L.A: FROM AVOCADO TOAST TO '80S TOY SHOPS

Our 26th annual Best of L.A. Issue is now on newsstands! Here are 13 of the 83 (!) you'll find in the August issue. All items are anonymously, independently researched by our staff.
  1. Best Avocado Toast
    Most breakfast joints serve nature's mayo these days but the version at Sqirl features Clark Street country bread, green garlic creme fraiche, mashed avocados from JJ's Lone Daughter Ranch, spicy, pickled carrots, and a sprinkling of house made za'atar. Worth the hellish parking and long lines. (East Hollywood)
  2. Best Po'Boy
    The Gumbo Mumbo sandwich at Orleans & York Deli has chicken, shrimp, ground sirloin, sliced beef hot links, bell peppers, and onions held together by two hunks of homemade bread--making it an achievement in architecture and marvel of taste. (Windsor Hills)
  3. Best Gallery to See L.A. Artists
    Gallery 825 on La Cienega was founded by the Los Angeles Art Association, which has been supporting local artists since 1934. Curators hail from LACMA, the Getty, and other institutions. (Beverly Grove)
  4. Best Indoor Rock Climbing
    A defunct brewery is now The Stronghold Climbing Gym with a 45-foot high climbing wall with hundreds of routes for beginners and pros. (Lincoln Heights)
  5. Best Coworking Space
    Freelancers! Give up that coffee shop timeshare and join the airy, art-filled creative collective inside the Reef in South L.A. Lots of fashion and design folks to network with. Daily use is $35. Monthly is $650. (South L.A.)
  6. Best Seafood Tower
    Boa Steakhouse goes above and beyond with chilled Maine lobster, saffron- marinated poached shrimp, pickled scallops, and Peruvian-style sea bass ceviche. (West Hollywood)
  7. Best Cheesemongers
    Classic cheddar, farmhouse specialty, or a cheese that's been buried in a pit for months, Cheesemongers of Sherman Oaks will find the fromage for you. The owner even has a Parmesan-Reggiano stamp tattoo. (East Valley)
  8. Best Meal Delivery Service
    Munchery isn't glorified takeout. The ingredients are super fresh and packaged in earth friendly containers. Menu changes daily and edge towards the exotic: Bahamas guava-rum ribs, harissa grilled chicken, udon with mushroom broth. munchery.com
  9. Best Modern Filipino Food
    Belly & Snout is named for the pig parts that make up its signature dish--peanutty braised oxtail chili, sweet loganisa sausage, and vinegary adobo are also standout dishes. (Koreatown)
  10. Best Metaphysical Supplies
    Tarot cards, tea leaf, aura, and palm readings are a few of the New Age elements found at the metaphysical mecca, the House of Intuition. (Echo Park)
  11. Best Scandinavian Housewares
    The name Huset means "house" in Norwegian, and the Abbot Kinney shop is stacked with contemporary Danish, Swedish, and Finnish homeware goods. (Venice)
  12. Best Source for Reclaimed Wood
    Hidden in a Tarzana street is the mother lode of timber: walnut slats, Douglas fir beams, redwood slabs--every piece for sale at The Reclaimer has a story. (Tarzana)
  13. Best Retro Toy Shop
    Simon, Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots, a Mr. Bill doll--your childhood is restored at Big Kid Collectible Toy Mall & Retro Store. (Sherman Oaks)