Insider Guide: San Fernando Valley, California
Adrienne Borlongan, founder and chef at Wanderlust Creamery, grew up in the San Fernando Valley, where she says she developed “a passion for food and multiculturalism.” We asked for her must-visit spots in the valley.
Sunset’s Insider Guide series highlights seasonal diversions and secret travel tips from local experts. Follow along as we learn where to eat, drink, stay, and shop.
Meet the insider: Adrienne Borlongan, founder and chef at Wanderlust Creamery
Sticky rice and mango. Pandan tres leches. Abuelita malted crunch. These are a few of the ice cream flavors you can order at Wanderlust Creamery, the popular Los Angeles shop that ships pints nationwide. Founder Adrienne Borlongan grew up in the San Fernando Valley, where she says she developed “a passion for food and multiculturalism,” before going on to stints in food manufacturing and mixology. She started Wanderlust to share scoops “inspired by travel and childhood memories.” So, we asked for her must-visit spots in the valley.
WHERE TO EAT:
Go’s Mart was the Borlongan family’s “weekly sushi spot back in the late ’90s when it was a tiny Japanese market/VHS store that had a no-frills sushi counter in the back with a simple menu serving only the basics,” Borlongan says. “Nowadays, it’s the city’s best kept secret. It’s still unassuming and no frills, but meals here will run you $200+ for world-class, Michelin-worthy omakase.” Head to Pasta | Bar and sister restaurant Sushi | Bar to experience buzzy, upscale Michelin-starred concepts.
WHAT TO DO:
Every weekend, Wat Thai Temple in North Hollywood “hosts an outdoor food market that transports you to the night markets of Bangkok,” Borlongan says. “For as little as $5, you can get yourself a heaping plate of hot noodles made start to finish right in front of your face, shiny grilled meats on skewers, the most authentic papaya salad, and my favorite: kanom krok, salty-sweet coconut rice cakes fresh off the griddle with a crispy, lacy bottom and oozy creamy center topped with corn and scallions.”
WHERE TO STAY:
Bill’s Airbnbs include “a number of properties nestled in the mountains of Topanga Canyon just above the San Fernando Valley,” Borlongan says. “They are truly unique and one-of-a-kind experiences including a colorful indoor/outdoor living space with a view to die for, a ‘Topanga Treehouse’ perfect for rustic glamping, or ‘Rainbow Studio,’ a candy colored den/patio that feels like a Y2K teenage sleepover.”
WHERE TO SHOP:
“It’s worth the trek to Hidden Treasures,” Borlongan says, which is “tucked away in a colorful house on the side of the road.” If you’re “down to roll up your sleeves and dig a little deeper for gold,” visit Universal Thrift. “I’ve found Alexander Wang shoes, Prada jackets, and Missoni dresses for (no joke) less than $25.”