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. Osteria Mozza

    $$$ | Hollywood | Italian

    How close do you think you can get to divinity? At chef Nancy Silverton’s passion project–slash–culinary masterpiece, you’ll come pretty damn...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. Asanebo

    $$$ | Studio City | Japanese

    Asanebo is one of L.A.'s finest sushi restaurants. Once strictly a sashimi bar, this inviting, no-frills establishment introduced top-quality...Read More

  • 7. Cleo

    $$$ | West Hollywood | Mediterranean

    A Mediterranean wave is sweeping through L.A. and one of the better spots for small plates of hummus, baba ghanoush, and skillet halloumi ...Read More

  • 8. CUT

    $$$$ | Beverly Hills | Steakhouse

    In a true collision of artistic titans, celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck presents his take on steak houses in a space designed by Getty Center architect...Read More

  • 9. 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

  • 10. Miro

    $$$ | Downtown | Mediterranean

    What looks like a museum in the heart of Downtown, this Spanish/North African/Italian hybrid is sating workers on lunch breaks during the day...Read More

  • 11. 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

  • 12. 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

  • 13. 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

  • 14. 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

  • 15. Allumette

    $$ | Echo Park | Eclectic

    This critically acclaimed restaurant is led by young Chef Miles Thompson, who has worked in the kitchens of L.A.'s best and brightest. Thompson...Read More

  • 16. Barney Greengrass

    $$ | Deli

    Unlike your corner lox-and-bagel joint, this haute deli on the fifth floor of Barneys department store has an appropriately runway-ready aesthetic...Read More

  • 17. 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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