Interview by Sara Siegel
Edited by Cheyenne Prosper
Justine and Jocelyn Wong found their love for all things food back in 2015 with the creation of Hangry Diary, their blog that documents their food adventures in their second home, LA. Native to Hong Kong, the Wong sisters share their favorite hidden LA food hang outs with their following of over 138K on Instagram. Hangry Diary is the food guide we didn’t know we needed, but can’t live without. Through exciting giveaways, Justine and Jocelyn connect with their audience and invite them to try all their favorite restaurants. When the sisters aren’t on the hunt for the latest culinary hotspot, they’re cultivating their unique shop full of trendy homeware pieces, available on hangrydiary.com this September. We caught up with the jetsetting duo to find out the best LA grub to get our hands on.
When did you start Hangry Diary?
Justine and Jocelyn: We started Hangry Diary in early 2015 as we desired to share our preference of restaurants and in particular, new restaurants, to everyone on Instagram. We called it Hangry Diary because we get angry when we are hungry! We treat it as a diary to write and post about restaurants we enjoy dining at.
What are some up-and-coming LA food trends we should know about?
Justine and Jocelyn: We see more female chefs in the restaurant industry getting recognized. There will also be more famous restaurants originating from outside LA joining the LA food scene, such as Girl and the Goat, from Chicago. There will also be more Asian restaurants as well and there are quite a few who have joined us already, such as Bistro Na’s, a Beijing restaurant that serves court food from Qing Dynasty and Haidilao, a famous hot pot chain in China. We also see a trend of more farm to table restaurants as diners are more concerned about eating healthy.
What LA restaurant do you both love the most?
Justine and Jocelyn: We love restaurants from the Bestia Group, Orsa & Winston, Ma’am Sir, Howlin’ Rays, Din Tai Fung, and Bistro Na’s to name a few. If you are lucky you’ll catch us at one of these restaurants!
Is there a cuisine you both enjoy blogging about the most?
Justine and Jocelyn: We love Asian and Italian cuisine. Asian cuisine is always our comfort food and reminds us of home. With regards to Italian cuisine, we love pasta and especially enjoy handmade pasta.
How does the food in Hong Kong compare to the food scene in LA?
Justine and Jocelyn: Hong Kong has less diverse cuisine compared to LA. However, Hong Kong has the best dim sum spots. Some restaurants are difficult to find, such as Hong Kong style seafood, wonton noodle restaurants, and authentic street food.
How have you balanced staying true to your blog while also promoting other companies?
Justine and Jocelyn: We always state clearly when we are promoting a certain company and we are selective in working with brands. We always make sure we enjoy products and services from a brand before promoting it and only seldom promote brands on our feed. Authenticity is key!
Are there any quintessential LA restaurants you’d recommend to first time visitors?
Justine and Jocelyn: Bavel DTLA, Orsa & Winston, Marugame Monzo, N/Naka, Destroyer, Howlin’ Rays, Joy, Kang Ho Dong Baekjong. Mark these down and start making reservations!
Do you have a favorite fast food restaurant in LA?
Justine and Jocelyn: Howlin’ Rays because who doesn’t love fried chicken?
Is there anything surprising you’ve learned about food blogging since you started Hangry Diary?
Justine and Jocelyn: The story behind the restaurant always enlightens us. Running a restaurant and maintaining the same quality of food is difficult. We always admire the effort, devotion, and endurance of the owners. Even to this day we are still discovering food that we have never tried which is delicious, such as Mediterranean food.