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. Alimento

    $$$ | Silver Lake | Italian

    There’s little surprise that Chef Zach Pollack’s soulful Italian masterpiece in Silver Lake features a lot of influences and inspirations; the...Read More

  • 2. Good Measure

    $$ | Atwater Village | Contemporary

    Good Measure’s proprietors decided to mix their love of travel with their passion for wine and start their own space offering a by-the-glass...Read More

  • 3. 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

  • 4. 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

  • 5. 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

  • 6. Union

    $$$ | Pasadena | Italian

    There’s a Michelin-quality Italian restaurant hiding in plain sight in Pasadena. The small and homey space is typically filled to the brim as...Read More

  • 7. 71Above

    $$$$ | Downtown | Eclectic

    As its name suggests, this sky-high dining den sits on the 71st floor, 950 feet above ground level. With that elevation come the most stunning...Read More

  • 8. 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

  • 9. Forma Restaurant and Cheese Bar

    $$ | Santa Monica | Italian

    Pasta is served here dalla forma, meaning it's cooked, then dipped into a cheese wheel and stirred up before serving. Catering to a higher...Read More

  • 10. Little Dom's

    $$ | Los Feliz | Italian

    With a vintage bar and dapper barkeep who mixes up seasonally inspired retro cocktails, an attached Italian deli where you can pick up a pork...Read More

  • 11. Mastro's Ocean Club

    $$$$ | Malibu | Steakhouse

    This steak house not only features the best views of the beach, it's also a great place to scope out A-listers. You may be paying for the ambience...Read More

  • 12. 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

  • 13. Nobu Malibu

    $$$$ | Malibu | Japanese

    At famous chef-restaurateur Nobu Matsuhisa's coastal outpost, super-chic clientele sails in for morsels of the world's finest fish. It’s hard...Read More

  • 14. 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

  • 15. 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

  • 16. Sawyer

    $$$ | Silver Lake | Seafood

    Simply put, Sawyer is a stunner with its restored brick wall, beautiful hardwood floor, and tiled patio, flourished with mid-century modern...Read More

  • 17. 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

  • 18. 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

  • 19. Vibrato

    $$$$ | Bel Air | American

    Co-owned by trumpeter Herb Albert, Vibrato takes a high-road approach to a jazz club: this is a stylish, acoustically perfect venue where every...Read More

  • 20. Josie

    $$$ | American

    Done in understated hues and featuring warm wood floors and generously spaced tables, this cosmopolitan establishment feels like it belongs...Read More

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