ask Todd about
hole in the wall • korean food • thai food • fine dining • viewpoints • value for money • comfort food
What do you do and why do you do it?
I am an entrepreneur, travel vlogger, restaurateur, videographer, photographer, inventor, travel agent, and tour guide. I am always working in one way or another, if it's not on one of my businesses, it's travel vlogging, planning my next trip, or editing footage from the latest trip. I'm most passionate about traveling, finding the best local spots to visit and to eat, and meet the people who love their hometowns.
You’re broken hearted - what tracks does your heartbreak playlist consist of?
Whitney Houston - I Will Always Love You, on repeat
What are the best TV shows of all time?
Breaking Bad, Seinfeld, How I Met Your Mother, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Arrested Development
Name some spots in Los Angeles that are good for a Tinder date.
Some cool bars in Downtown LA are the rooftop bar at Perch or The Standard. Also the Skybar in Hollywood is a great place for a drink.
Who’s your hero and where in Los Angeles would you take them out for a serious hang?
Anthony Bourdain. Tough question, I would have to take him to Dok Dok Chicken in K-Town for the best Korean Wings, my restaurant Island Eats Hale Aina in Torrance for some great authentic Hawaiian food, Howlin' Ray's in Chinatown for their amazing chicken sandwich, and Fa-Sai Thai in Garden Grove for Khao Soi and Pra Ka Pow that's just as good as in Chiang Mai.
What’s the thing you LOVE to do in your city that you never get to do?
I love the beach, but rarely ever go anymore. Mostly if someone is visiting but not really to relax on the beach, but to sightsee and eat. When I lived close to the beach, I would go every day, walk my dog on the boardwalk, just hang out and enjoy the ocean breeze.
Is there a hidden bar / hole in the wall in Los Angeles that you particularly like?
Enter a secret door at the back of Cole's in Downtown LA, you'll find The Varnish, a speakeasy with some great but expensive craft drinks.
What restaurant in Los Angeles looks crap, but the food’s amazing?
Del Rae in Pico Rivera. It's about 12 miles from Downtown LA in a not so nice part of town, doesn't look like much from the outside, but does have valet parking. Once you go inside it looks like you've been transported to Las Vegas in the old days, very cool old school vibe with a great bar and live lounge music. The Prime Rib is the best I've had anywhere on the West Coast and the table side Caesar Salad and Bananas Flambe are incredible.
What are the Los Angeles spots a first-time visitor can’t miss?
I take a lot of photographers and videographers around when they come to LA, we always go to Venice Beach. It's a street photographer's dream, so gritty and so much going on there to photograph. There's some good restaurants around there, just avoid the ones on the beach that are just overpriced and not that great. Hollywood Blvd is another spot that everyone wants to see, also sunset at the Griffith Observatory is the best view of LA from up above. Downtown LA has some great restaurants and bars, Bestia is great if you can get a reservation.
Tomorrow’s your last day in Los Angeles. How do you spend it?
If I was leaving LA and never coming back, I would eat at all of my favorite places, so many to list. Dok Dok Chicken, Howlin' Ray's, Gwang Jang Korean BBQ, Del Rae, Fa-Sai Thai, Pho 79, In-N-Out Burger, Big Wok Mongolian BBQ, Kitakata Ramen Ban Nai.
What’s your favorite vacation city in the world and why?
My favorite city in the world to visit is Tokyo. Mainly because the food is incredible, I've had the best Michelin rated ramen on my last trip. Plus the best Tonkatsu, Katsu Curry, and so much more, the list goes on and on. I also like how efficient everything is, and how clean and safe the city is. I've been there four times, and can't wait to go back soon!