PROFILE: L.A. Lunch’er “Matthew Kang”

Christmas has come early for westside ice cream lovers now that a second location of the ultra popular Scoops is open in the Palms area. It’s called Scoops Westside (natch), and in addition to serving 7 flavors of ice cream delivered directly from the original location on Heliotrope (brown brown bread FTW!), they also have Intelligentsia coffee, and you can follow them on Twitter. For this weeks Tuesday Profile we asked owner Matt Kang to give us his recommendations for lunch around his brand new baby (on Overland just south of the 10.)

Name: Matthew

Age: 26

Occupation: Ice cream shop proprietor

Where in L.A. do you Work?: Scoops Westside, Palms

Favorite Kind of Food: Kimchi fried rice, Korean BBQ, durian, tacos al pastor, steak florentine, roast chicken, hakata style ramen, pastrami sandwich, ice cream (naturally), pappardelle bolognese, saffron risotto, Thai boat noodles, banh mi, pozole, goat birria tacos, margherita pizza, burgers

Least Favorite Kind of Food: bread and butter pickles

Favorite Place(s) to Eat Lunch: Simpang Asia (10433 National Boulevard, Palms). The nasi bunkus is great. I honestly want to try everything on the menu because I love Indonesian food. The beef brisket sandwich at Western Smoke House (10640 Woodbine St) is terrific and it’s super convenient because it’s just one door down from my shop. I’ve also had fairly decent pizza at Kristina’s Italian Kitchen across the street but it’s nowhere near a great pizza. Victor’s Deli (10002 National Blvd) has good BBQ beef and BBQ chicken sandwiches at a good price.

“Go-To” Lunch Place You and Your Coworkers Eat at Too Often? I’m very sad that Rio Brazil Cafe closed. I went 5 or 6 times before they did. They would’ve been my default lunch spot. If I have time before I open the shop at Noon I’ll try to get a quick bite in Koreatown. Mapo Restaurant on 6th has awesome traditional Korean dishes, such as the spicy beef soup and stone pot bibimbap. I will probably end up eating the brisket sandwich at Western smokehouse or some lunch special at Simpang Asia about every other day.

Places you heard about through Midtown Lunch (if any): I like to see Midtown Lunch’s opinion on food trucks. I was motivated to run over to Manila Machine after reading about it on Midtown lunch. Their pork belly adobo is fantastic and the ube cupcake might as well be made out of some sort of highly addictive illegal drug (which I’m sure it isn’t, it’s just delicious).

The farthest place you’ll drive for lunch on a normal day? Farthest I would drive for lunch would be south bay for the Japanese food. Soba at Ichi-Mian (2537 Pacific Coast Hwy, Torrence), ramen places galore, etc.

If you could work anywhere (just because of the lunch) where would it be and why? I would love to have an unlimited expense account and work in manhattan. I had lunch at eleven Madison park last spring and after sitting in that beautiful room with the bright sunlight, I thought, I could definitely get used to this. I would also love to work in Tokyo, Jakarta, or Seoul. Japan for sushi, Jakarta for street food, and Seoul for the best Korean food on earth.

Is there anything you’d like to ask the Midtown Lunch readers in L.A.? Where are the best place to get Indian food in LA?

I don’t know about best in L.A. but your hood is pretty damn spectacular for vegetarian Indian food.  India Sweets and Spices is fun, Samosa House East is awesome, and I’ve heard great things about Bawarachi (10408 Venice Blvd).  You should never want for Indian food near Scoops Westside!

Want to be next week’s Profiled: L.A. Lunch’er (or know somebody you’d want to nominate), email me-



  • I’ve also been on a quest for great Indian food. I’ve hit up most of the spots in Culver City now since I can walk to them.

    I find Bawarchi quite good and the people at India Sweets and Spices are friendly (if they happen to be serving jackfruit, you MUST get it!), but I’ve found myself going to Mayura (next door to Bawarchi) quite a bit after the Guru recommended it when I emailed him asking for recommendations. I’ve had hit or miss experiences at Agra in Venice (I don’t think they trust me that I want it made SPICY). I’m still a fan of Jasmine Market for Burmese food (similar to Indian food).

    If you are willing to make it to the South Bay, the Guru suggested Al Watan and Al Noor. I haven’t made it to Al Noor yet, but I’ve been to Al Watan a couple of times and loved it.

    Of course, I hear the best Indian food is in Artesia. I need to make a trip (or several) soon and check it out.

    And Matt, I’ve been really looking forward to checking out Scoops! I’ll probably swing by next week.

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    I’ll second the Al-Watan and Al-Noor suggestions. It’s not straight-up Indian food, but the curries at Al-Noor and sizzling meat plate at Al-Watan are well worth the 15 minutes of drive time it would take you to reach either restaurant.

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