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. Rustic Canyon Wine Bar and Seasonal Kitchen

    $$$ | Santa Monica | American

    A Santa Monica mainstay, the seasonally changing menu at this farm-to-table restaurant consistently upends norms. The homey, minimalist space...Read More

  • 2. Spago Beverly Hills

    $$$$ | Beverly Hills | American

    Wolfgang Puck's flagship restaurant is a modern L.A. classic. Spago centers on a buzzing redbrick outdoor courtyard (with retractable roof)...Read More

  • 3. Craft Los Angeles

    $$$$ | Century City | American

    Accommodating Century City's growing legions of agents and lawyers, Craft, around since 2007, is a major film industry hangout. At the helm...Read More

  • 4. Michael's Santa Monica

    $$$ | Santa Monica | American

    Michael’s is a Santa Monica institution, and after a remodel and new chef and menu, its reputation is secure. The new American shared-plates...Read More

  • 5. Petit Trois

    $$$ | Hollywood | American

    Located next door to its sister restaurant Trois Mec, Petit Trois features the same kind of modest, you’ll-hardly-notice-it’s-there exterior...Read More

  • 6. Rose Cafe

    $$ | Venice | American

    This indoor-outdoor restaurant has served Venice for decades but constantly reinvents itself, serving mouthwatering California cuisines with...Read More

  • 7. Tar and Roses

    $$$ | Santa Monica | American

    This small and dimly lit romantic spot in Santa Monica is full of adventurous options, like octopus skewers and venison loin. The new American...Read More

  • 8. The Arbour Pasadena

    $$$ | American

    This new farm-to-table addition to the Pasadena food scene uses all local ingredients to whip up creative cuisine in a chic environment. Upon...Read More

  • 9. The Raymond 1886

    $$$ | American

    The Raymond 1886 is the coolest kid on the Pasadena block. Carved out of an old cottage, the bar and restaurant has an expansive patio with...Read More

  • 10. JiRaffe

    $$$ | American

    This two-story California bistro with ceiling-high windows and polished dark-wood accents is as handsome as the menu is tasteful. Chef-owner...Read More

  • 11. Kate Mantilini

    $$ | American

    Casual but cool, this is a good place to remember for brunch or a late-night snack (it's open until midnight on weekends). The lengthy menu...Read More

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