Chefs Dan Hong and Mitch Orr do Los Angeles and Mexico

Fun times: Chefs Mitch Orr  and Dan Hong.
Fun times: Chefs Mitch Orr and Dan Hong. Photo: Supplied

A grazing tour of Los Angeles and Tulum hits all the bases, writes Mitch Orr of Sydney's ACME.

Chefs don't travel anywhere without squeezing in multiple breakfasts/morning teas/lunches/afternoon teas/dinners/suppers/late night snacks.

Earlier in the year, Dan [Hong] and I travelled to to Mexico, Tulum to be exact, to eat at Noma. We knew we had to take advantage of being on the other side of the world for a short amount of time. There's no better way to do this than by stopping off in LA.

Having our brother Louis Tikaram (former Josephine Pignolet Young Chef of the Year, and head chef at E.P. & L.P. in West Hollywood) being based there is just another perk. Louis had about a week's worth of eating planned for us in a day and a half.

LA's thriving food scene is so diverse and fun. We took a trip around LA, stopping at a few of our old favourites (Ricky's Fish Tacos) and hitting some new spots recommended by Louis (Terroni in West Hollywood, Gjusta in Venice). A solid 14 hours of eating is a good way to see a city.

The next day we had to hit the obligatory In-N-Out Burger for lunch as a form of recovery. Before jumping on the red-eye to Tulum, we hit Bestia, an Italian joint that is one of the best spots to eat in LA right now.

Oysters at Louis Tikaram's E.P. & L.P. in Los Angeles.
Oysters at Louis Tikaram's E.P. & L.P. in Los Angeles.  Photo: Supplied

We had a bit of inside info on which spots to hit in Tulum from the guys working at Noma.

Chamico's is a ceviche bar right on the beach. Lobster ceviche, fried fish, coconuts, feet in the sand, a swim and a bunch of friends from around the world all together makes for a pretty special experience.

After this Hongy and I were fiending for tacos. We pretty much hit every taco spot in town: breakfast tacos at Taqueria Honorio and a late-night crawl including Al Pastor and Taqeria El Nero.


An unexpected highlight was El Pollo Bronco. Hongy mentioned that a friend had recommended it, and with me in the mood for things grilled over flames, we headed there. Marinated barbecued chicken, fluffy flour tortillas, tomato rice and salsa made for a pretty epic lunch.

Noma itself was an amazing, surreal experience. Probably the best restaurant meal of our lives.

It's all this style of food that's influencing what we cook on October 14. Grilling things over flames and coal, light, fresh and tangy flavours, eating with your hands, getting messy, sharing and laughing with your friends. That's what it's about.

Coulourful corn at Noma's Mexico pop-up.
Coulourful corn at Noma's Mexico pop-up. Photo: Supplied

Dan & Mitch Throw a Party

7pm Saturday October 14, Hyde Park Palms, $120

Listen: Dan Hong talks world's best street food on the Flight of Fancy podcast

To subscribe to the podcast Flight of Fancy on iTunes,  click here

Other Sydney Good Food Month events

Date Night When Harry Met Sally

Watch the '80s cult-classic When Harry Met Sally over an Ume Burger and fries, a Gelato Messina custom-made choc-top plus beer and wine.

6.30pm Friday October 13, Hyde Park Palms, $60

Date Night The Wedding Singer

Enjoy the rom-com The Wedding Singer over Ume Burger and fries, a Gelato Messina custom-made choc-top plus beer and wine.

6.30pm Friday October 20, Hyde Park Palms, $60