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. Gwen

    $$$$ | Hollywood | Steakhouse

    Upscale carnivores: this is your heaven. A fine-dining restaurant that serves impossibly exquisite dishes in a copper-and-marble setting. Cooking...Read More

  • 2. 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

  • 3. n/naka

    $$$$ | Culver City | Japanese

    Chef’s Table star Niki Nakayama helms this omakase (chef-selected) fine-dining establishment. Small and intimate, any given night will feature...Read More

  • 4. Providence

    $$$$ | Hollywood | Seafood

    This is widely considered one of the best seafood restaurants in the country, and chef-owner Michael Cimarusti elevates sustainably driven fine...Read More

  • 5. 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

  • 6. Firefly

    $$$ | Studio City | American

    One minute you’re in an old library quickly converted into a lounge, the next you’re in the cabana of a modest country club. True, Firefly looks...Read More

  • 7. Hamasaku

    $$$ | West L.A. | Japanese

    A power lunch spot for Hollywood deal makers, this strip mall sushi joint is decorated with fine art and serves up some of the freshest fish...Read More

  • 8. 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

  • 9. KazuNori

    $$ | Downtown | Japanese

    Part of the Sugarfish family (a chain of exceptional sushi restaurants), KazuNori is strictly about hand rolls. Inside, there’s a horseshoe...Read More

  • 10. Maude

    $$$$ | Beverly Hills | International

    Maude is a much-needed addition to the Beverly Hills dining scene as it bucks a traditional tried-and-true menu for a tasting explosion that...Read More

  • 11. Nozawa Bar

    $$$$ | Beverly Hills | Japanese

    Tucked into the back of Sugarfish (a popular sushi chain) in the middle of Beverly Hills, this secret omakase (chef's choice) sushi spot has...Read More

  • 12. Orsa and Winston

    $$$$ | Downtown | Japanese

    Order from the tasting menu at this Japanese/Italian fusion restaurant to explore everything this hybrid cuisine has to offer. The space is...Read More

  • 13. 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

  • 14. 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

  • 15. 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

  • 16. Vespertine

    $$$$ | Culver City | American

    Vespertine isn’t a restaurant. It’s a multisensory event. At least according to Vespertine. This space-age dining experience is nothing short...Read More

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