Meet Zagat’s 30 Under 30 Los Angeles Honorees

We’re honored and excited to be involved with this year’s Zagat 30 Under 30, Los Angeles edition. To celebrate the exceptional talents being honored, we decided to spotlight some of the stars so you can learn a little more about them. If you’re an LA chowhound, there’s a good chance you’ll already be familiar with some of these faces. To see the full list of honorees, click here.


Jonathan Whitener | Chef de Cuisine at Animal

Photo by Ryan Tanaka

Where can we typically find you on your day off?
You can usually find me at my favorite bar – the Tiki Ti in Silver Lake. I love going there to get a few drinks with my lady and friends. Sometimes, I pick up a lechon asado sandwich from El Cochinito down the street before heading over.

What are your top 3 LA go-to spots (restaurants, bars, stores, museums, workouts, etc.)?
-Coffee at Coffee Coffee on Fairfax.
-Swag at Supreme.
-Good eats at Bestia in Downtown LA.

What songs or artists are currently on your playlist?
Jay-Z, The Stooges, Trinadad James, Black Flag, The Cramps, Hall & Oats and Vicente Fernandez. I’m all over the place with music throughout the day. I love variety – Jay-Z brings me up, and Vicente brings me back down at the end of service.

How long have you been using Uber?
A little more than 2 years. I’ve been using it a lot more lately because it’s really convenient when I go out with friends to restaurants, bars and shows.

What’s the most common Uber trip you take?
Going to shows on weekends. I hate looking for parking, worrying about having too much of a good time, and driving home late. It’s definitely convenient to have Uber available.

What’s the best experience you’ve had in an Uber?
Honestly, every experience is the best because I’m a sucker for convenience. I never have to worry about carrying cash to pay for a ride. I can request a car while getting ready for my night out.


Erwin Tjahyadi | Co-Owner/Chef at Komodo

Photo by Ryan Tanaka

Where can we typically find you on your day off?
Fitness and staying active are high priorities for me. To me, being healthy is not just about eating well but also taking care of my body. During my days off, I generally devote a good 2-3 hours at the gym – running, spinning, and weightlifting. My other passion is sports. Whether it’s football, baseball, basketball or soccer – I love it all. You can usually find me at a nearby sports bar or at a friend’s house watching games during the afternoon. If time permits, I also love to attend Dodgers and Clippers games – I love supporting my local teams.

At night, I love to spend time cooking for my family; real, high quality, simple food cooked from the heart. You don’t have to spend tons of time in the kitchen to produce a beautiful meal, and I love preparing great dishes for the people I love.

Lastly, aside from my usual weekend routines, I enjoy quick weekend trips to mix things up – Palm Springs, San Diego, Las Vegas, and Mammoth. Being so central and living in LA is truly a blessing; we’re only a few hours away from great adventures.

What are your top 3 LA go-to spots (restaurants, bars, stores, museums, workouts, etc.)?
-Chiquis Taco Truck (Washington & Arlington): I feel lucky to be in the food business in LA because LA’s late night dining options are so diverse and readily available. From Koreatown to Downtown, there are so many choices and not enough time to enjoy them all. My personal favorite after a long day at work is the Chiquis Taco Truck – an old-school taco truck in Mid City. They have a great selection of Al Pastor-style Mexican dishes – their savory rib eye cap and hanger steak tacos topped with their homemade salsa and jalapenos always hits the spot.

-Old Town Pasadena: Great shopping, people watching and recreational outlets against a picturesque backdrop of vintage storefronts and alleyways. I’m a huge movie buff and you can always find me kicking back in a recliner at iPic Cinema’s boutique movie theaters. They offer gourmet selections of snacks, curated drinks and plush accommodations; once you watch a movie there, you just can’t watch movies anywhere else. In terms of shopping, it’s pretty decked out. From Crown Roots boutique for men to Sur La Table (one of my absolute favorite kitchen shops) – it’s a great neighborhood to walk around and shop.

-Runyon Canyon: Hiking is my favorite outlet when I need time to think, reflect and take a stress-free stroll. Runyon Canyon is one of my favorite places to hit up. It’s not hard to get to, is dog friendly, and the view at the top of the hike is a great payoff.

What songs or artists are currently on your playlist?
The M Machine (awesome electronic beats), Flume (I love his remixes), and Parkway Drive (metal core music)

How long have you been using Uber?
1 year

What’s the most common Uber trip you take?
I love using Uber during my travels and vacations. It’s easy, fast and affordable. On top of it all, you’ll get a quick download on local favorites and city highlights from the driver.

What’s the best experience you’ve had in an Uber?
One of my first Uber rides was in Nashville last summer and I remember how welcoming my driver was. We were able to avoid tourist traps and enjoy the local splendors that our driver recommended.


Brandyn Tepper | Head Bartender at Hinoki & the Bird and Founder/Partner of Cocktail Academy

Photo by Ryan Tanaka

Where can we typically find you on your day off?
It’s been a while since I’ve had a day off between my two jobs, but usually it’s either in Venice or on the couch watching football on a lazy Sunday.

What are your top 3 LA go-to spots (restaurants, bars, stores, museums, workouts, etc.)?
-Blacktop Coffee is my favorite coffee shop in LA. Not so much for the coffee (it’s definitely delicious), but more so for the awesome baristas that work there.
-The Tasting Kitchen in Venice is a go-to restaurant of mine. Chef Casey Lane is always turning out good food, but Justin Pike and his minions (John, Ryan, Tyler and Long) are arguably the most friendly and best bar team in the city.
-Gant Rugger on Abbott Kinney – this brand helps feed my shopping addiction.

What songs or artists are currently on your playlist?
The entire Fleetwood Mac Rumours album.

What’s the most common Uber trip you take?
From the bar to my house.

What’s the best experience you’ve had in an Uber?
I was in San Francisco recently and the driver had packets of strawberry Sour Punch… automatic 5 stars. I would have given 6 stars if I could.


Tristan Aitchison | Chef de Cuisine at Providence

Photo by Ryan Tanaka

Where can we typically find you on your day off?
You can typically find me sleeping, but when I go out, I like going to Dodger games, rolling around in a golf cart for a few hours, and hanging with my bulldogs.

What are your top 3 LA go-to spots (restaurants, bars, stores, museums, workouts, etc.)?
-Necromance, an awesome taxidermy and other oddities store.
-Sassafras Saloon on Vine has great live music and cocktails.
-If you’re in the mood for tequila, El Carmen on 3rd St. is the place to go.

What songs or artists are currently on your playlist?
I’m totally hooked on the soundtrack from the movie Guardians of the Galaxy – some jams I’m listening to include “Hooked on a Feeling” by Blue Swede, and “Come and Get Your Love” by Redbone.

How long have you been using Uber?
I’ve been using Uber for a year or so.

What’s the most common Uber trip you take?
Heading back from a bar usually after a few too many.

What’s the best experience you’ve had in an Uber?
The best Uber experience I’ve had was in New York. I had just gotten off a red eye from LA and a driver met me promptly at the terminal. He was friendly and had water, mints, and a newspaper waiting in the car for me. I felt pretty important at the time.

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