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. Baltaire Restaurant

    $$$$ | Steakhouse

    The chicest and buzziest nighttime spot in the neighborhood, Baltaire attracts both well-heeled Brentwood denizens on dressed-up dates and single...Read More

  • 2. Crossroads

    $$$ | West Hollywood | Vegetarian

    From its famous Impossible Burger (you can’t believe it’s not meat) to its spicy meatball pizza (again, not meat), Crossroads's level of plant...Read More

  • 3. Gjelina

    $$ | Venice | American

    This spot comes alive the moment you walk through the rustic wooden door and into a softly lit dining room with long communal tables. The menu...Read More

  • 4. Gucci Osteria da Massimo Bottura

    $$$$ | Italian

    Legendary Italian chef Massimo Bottura opened this spot, his first L.A. eatery, to loads of fanfare and celebrity sightings. The restaurant...Read More

  • 5. République

    $$$$ | Beverly–La Brea | French

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

  • 6. Union

    $$$ | Pasadena | Italian

    There’s a Michelin-quality Italian restaurant hiding in plain sight in Pasadena. The small and homey space where Northern Italy meets California...Read More

  • 7. Animal

    $$$ | Fairfax District | American

    Owned by Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo of Iron Chef fame, this oft-packed James Beard Award–winning restaurant offers shareable plates with a...Read More

  • 8. Bestia

    $$$$ | Downtown | Italian

    One of the most exciting and popular Italian restaurants in L.A. is housed inside a converted warehouse in the Arts District Downtown. Exposed...Read More

  • 9. BOA Steakhouse

    $$$$ | Steakhouse

    The ultimate in steak-house dining, this sceney spot on the border of West Hollywood and Beverly Hills is an indoor/outdoor gem with perfectly...Read More

  • 10. Cafe Birdie

    $$ | Highland Park | Mediterranean

    This spacious 1920s-style spot along a quickly revitalizing stretch of Figueroa has established itself as a neighborhood bistro frequented by...Read More

  • 11. Café Gratitude

    $$ | Hollywood | Vegetarian

    Of L.A.’s long list of vegan restaurants, this is among the best, with luscious dishes that are also social media worthy. But it’s more than...Read More

  • 12. Catch LA

    $$$$ | Asian

    Boasting the best see-and-be-seen crowd in West Hollywood, this rooftop restaurant also has some of the best views. As you enter through a pergola...Read More

  • 13. Craig's

    $$$$ | West Hollywood | American

    Behind the unremarkable facade is an übertrendy—yet decidedly old-school—den of American cuisine that doubles as a safe haven for the movie...Read More

  • 14. Dan Tana's

    $$$$ | West Hollywood | Italian

    If you're looking for an Italian vibe straight out of Goodfellas, your search ends here. Checkered tablecloths cover the tightly packed tables...Read More

  • 15. Katsuya

    $$$$ | Brentwood | Japanese

    Highly regarded sushi chef Katsuya Uechi turns out spicy tuna atop crispy rice, whimsical wonton cones filled with scoops of silky crab and...Read More

  • 16. 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

  • 17. Polo Lounge

    $$$$ | Beverly Hills | American

    Nothing says Beverly Hills quite like the Polo Lounge inside the Beverly Hills Hotel. This classic, monied spot is home to Hollywood royalty...Read More

  • 18. Tesse

    $$$$ | West Hollywood | French

    Jaws drop upon entering this French hot spot in West Hollywood, thanks to the marvelous interior design with sloping wood ceilings, lush leather...Read More

  • 19. The Bazaar by José Andrés

    $$$$ | Beverly Hills | Spanish

    Spanish celebrity chef José Andrés has conquered L.A. with this colorful and opulent Beverly Hills spot, which features a bar stocked with liquid...Read More

  • 20. The Nice Guy

    $$$ | Italian

    This dark and brooding Italian restaurant sits discretely on La Cienega Boulevard and hides one of the cooler scenes in L.A. A favorite among...Read More

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