Los Angeles Restaurants

Los Angeles may be known for its beach living and celebrity-infused backdrop, but it was once a farm town. The hillsides were covered in citrus orchards and dairy farms, and agriculture was a major industry. Today, even as L.A. is urbanized, the city's culinary landscape has re-embraced a local, sustainable, and seasonal philosophy at many levels—from fine dining to street snacks.

With a growing interest in farm-to-fork, the city's farmers' market scene has exploded, becoming popular at big-name restaurants and small eateries alike. In Hollywood and Santa Monica you can often find high-profile chefs scouring farm stands for fresh produce.

Yet the status of the celebrity chef continues to carry weight around this town. People follow the culinary zeitgeist with the same fervor as celebrity gossip. You can queue up with the hungry hordes at Mozza or try and snag a reservation to the ever-popular Trois Mec that’s much like getting a golden ticket these days. Elsewhere, the seasonally driven bakery and insanely popular Huckleberry in Santa Monica has been given a Brentwood counterpart with the rustically sweet Milo & Olive created by the same owners. In Culver City, a run-down International House of Pancakes has been turned into the ski chalet–inspired A-Frame Tavern. The Ace Hotel opened an L.A. chapter Downtown, creating a hip haven when you can enjoy cocktails and locally sourced menu items poolside or in the restaurant.

Ethnic eats continue to be a backbone to the L.A. dining scene. People head to the San Gabriel Valley for dim sum, ramen, and unassuming taco lounges; Koreatown for epic Korean cooking and late-night coffeehouses; and West L.A. and "the Valley" for phenomenal sushi. Latin food is well represented in the city, making it tough to choose between Guatemalan eateries, Peruvian restaurants, nouveau Mexican bistros, and Tijuana-style taco trucks. With so many dining options, sometimes the best strategy is simply to drive and explore.

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  • 1. Mélisse

    $$$$ | Santa Monica | French

    Chef-owner Josiah Citrin enhances his modern French cooking with seasonal California produce at this Santa Monica institution. The tasting menu...Read More

  • 2. Republique

    $$$$ | West Hollywood | French

    This stunning expansive space, originally built for Charlie Chaplin back in the 1920s, serves French delicacies for breakfast, lunch, and dinner...Read More

  • 3. Cafe Stella

    $$$$ | Silver Lake | French

    This strange den of eclectic decor and peeling paint feels undoubtedly French. Come for the aperitifs (Kir Royal, perhaps?), but stick around...Read More

  • 4. Jean-Georges Beverly Hills

    $$$$ | Beverly Hills | French

    Fine dining is hard to come by in L.A. (even in Beverly Hills), so when it's actually done well, it's worth applauding. World-famous chef Jean...Read More

  • 5. Le Petit Paris

    $$$$ | Downtown | French

    Housed in the historic El Dorado Building and keeping its original tile, this stunning Cannes transplant has multiple bars, a dog-friendly patio...Read More

  • 6. Papilles Bistro

    $$$ | Hollywood | French

    This underrated French bistro boasting a stunning prix-fixe menu on Franklin Avenue seems a bit out of place in its strip mall location, what...Read More

  • 7. Patina

    $$$$ | Downtown | French

    If you plan on seeing a show at the Walt Disney Music Hall, make it a point of adding a dinner at this fine-dining establishment next door....Read More

  • 8. Taix

    $$ | Echo Park | French

    Serving French cuisine since 1927—and at its current location since 1962—Taix is the opportunity to peek at a time in L.A. that’s mostly disappeared...Read More

  • 9. Tesse

    $$$ | French

    Jaws will drop upon entering this new French hot spot in West Hollywood. The interior design is a marvel with sloping wood ceilings, lush leather...Read More

  • 10. Trois Mec

    $$$$ | Hollywood | French

    What happens when you combine fine dining and a French speakeasy? You get Trois Mec. Nestled at the end of a strip mall with a sign proclaiming...Read More

  • 11. Bouchon Bistro

    $$$ | Beverly Hills | French

    Chef Thomas Keller of Napa Valley's The French Laundry fame is at the head of this majestic bistro in Beverly Hills. Start with the classic...Read More

  • 12. Comme Ça

    $$$$ | West Hollywood | French

    This brasserie from Sona chef David Myers, with polished service and a menu with something for everyone, is styled for those craving a decidedly...Read More

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