Best restaurants in Los Angeles

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Venice, Marina Del Rey & Playa del Rey

    Rose Café

    This sprawling Venice institution (established 1979) was recently given a major, very welcome makeover. If the new version is less funky (though you'll still find laptop-toting writers, tech geeks and beefcakes from nearby Gold’s Gym), it's also more fun and more sophisticated. Display cases show off lovely salads, prepared dishes and pastries, which you can take to a hedge-framed patio. You can also grab a table where waitstaff will help you order from the eclectic, daily-changing menu, which shows off LA's diversity and agricultural bounty: charcuterie and cheese plates, grills such as pepper-crusted short ribs (with tamarind, baba ghanoush and grapes) and the cauliflower 'T-bone,' plus creations from farmers-market vegetables. Pizzas (the Killer Bee, with pepperoni, mozzarella, pickled chilies, oregano and honey, garners raves) and pastas (such as spaghetti cacio e pepe, with miso, pecorino toscano and cracked black pepper) also grab attention. Another addition: a full bar (hooray!) and a coffee bar that can prepare just about any java permutation imaginable.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Venice, Marina Del Rey & Playa del Rey


    The folks behind the standard-setting Gjelina have opened this very casual, very gourmet, very Venice bakery, cafe and deli behind a nondescript storefront on a hidden side street. The menu changes regularly, but if we say lunches of chicken, cabbage and dumpling soup, house-cured charcuterie and fish (such as gravlax, smoked Wagyu brisket and leg of lamb), does that help? Breakfasts are no slouch either, with an egg sandwich on poppy seed bialy with harissa ketchup and bacon, or a brown-rice mushroom bowl with fermented chili. All that, and it's not above selling coffees and some of the best, fresh-baked croissants, scones and tea cakes around. Order at the counter, then go enjoy it all at a standing-room counter or on picnic tables in the backyard. It's a little chaotic, sure, but nobody minds when the food is this good. And to answer a reasonable question…it's pronounced 'JOO-stah.'

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in West Hollywood & Mid-City

    Catch LA

    An LA-scene extraordinaire. You may well find sidewalk paparazzi stalking celebrity guests and a doorman to check your reservation, but all that's forgotten once you're in this 3rd-floor rooftop restaurant/bar above WeHo. The Pacific Rim–inspired menu features supercreative cocktails and shared dishes such as truffle sashimi, black-cod lettuce wraps, and scallop and cauliflower with tamarind brown butter. Add in multiple dining rooms and a wraparound deck with bang-on views of the Pacific Design Center and rooftops of LA, and you've got a first-class spot to preen and be seen. With these views and clientele, Catch could probably get away with pretension, but staff are friendly and professional.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Santa Monica

    Santa Monica Farmers Markets

    You haven’t really experienced Santa Monica until you’ve explored one of its outdoor farmers markets stocked with organic fruits, vegetables, flowers, baked goods and freshly shucked oysters. The mack daddy is the Wednesday market, around the intersection of 3rd and Arizona – it's the biggest and arguably the best for fresh produce, and is often patrolled by local chefs. The Sunday morning market on Main St (8:30am to 1:30pm) has more of a community scene. There’s live music, pony rides and a half-dozen stalls cooking up omelettes, tamales, crepes and grilled corn. Just hand your bicycle to the valet (um, yes, we know, but it is free) and relax with the locals on the lawn.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Beverly Hills, Bel Air, Brentwood & Westwood

    Eataly LA

    Opened in 2017, LA's branch of this multistory Italian megamarket and restaurant hall is so big that it offers maps at the entrance. Stall after stall sells top-notch Italian delicacies – from coffee to cannoli, fresh pizza to pasta, packaged foods to pastries – and counters proffer gorgeous produce, meats, fish, salumi (cured meats) and cheeses. Grab a glass of wine and stroll around. Among the mix of quick-service counters and sit-down restaurants, La Pizza e la Pasta (mains $16 to $29) nails the classics (pizza chefs come from Naples); Il Pesce Cucina collaborates with local fish maestro Michael Cimarusti of Providence and Connie & Ted's; and there's often a queue for Roman-style Pizza alla Pala. Around La Piazza, stalls sell smaller plates from lasagna to salumi and panigacci – dubbed Italian-style tacos, these are soft, round flatbreads that you fill with your choice of sliced meats, cheeses, fig jam and more. There are plans for a rooftop restaurant. Until then, balcony seating gives great views all the way to the Hollywood Hills. Most products are from Italy, but there's also a decent selection of locally sourced foods and wares. Eataly LA's other green initiatives include wild-caught fish and water recycling.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Downtown Los Angeles & Boyle Heights


    Meaning 'sky' in Japanese, Sora is a rather fitting name for this conveyor-belt sushi spot 69 stories up. It's hard to decide what's more eye-catching: the sushi – artfully garnished with flowers and smoothly gliding by under glass bell jars – or the endless views across the LA Basin from the window-side counter. Sushi bar and table service are also available. A tasty selection of side dishes includes some unusual items such as inari sushi (tofu pouches) stuffed with soba noodles or vegetables instead of the traditional sweetened rice, and a delectable tofu cheesecake dessert with brown sugar syrup – kind of like flan in a bowl, but (maybe?) healthier. Sora has a choice selection of Japanese sake and whiskey, though some prices are as lofty as the views. If that's an issue, head upstairs for after-dinner cocktails at Spire 73, the highest rooftop bar in the Western Hemisphere.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Beverly Hills, Bel Air, Brentwood & Westwood


    It doesn't get much more LA than this. Upscale and buzzy, Hamasaku combines two local obsessions, sushi and the entertainment industry (one-time super-agent Michael Ovitz is an owner), and it's in a strip mall. Japanese chef Yoya Takahashi is as talented as he is (prodigiously) tattooed, bringing in seasonal, sustainable seafood and delectable Japanese side dishes to go with it. The wide-ranging menu includes lots of nigiri and sushi rolls, some named for Hollywood insiders, and popular small plates include miso-glazed black cod, and spicy tuna and avocado over crispy rice. Try an elegant chirashi bowl, an assortment of fish and seafood over rice, or go for omakase (chef's choice) courses: prices ($65/$75 lunch/dinner) are a bargain for the Westside. Artworks on the walls are by some leading contemporary Japanese artists and photographers.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Downtown Los Angeles & Boyle Heights


    In a modernist pavilion beside the Broad is this fun, of-the-moment hot spot helmed by chef Timothy Hollingsworth. Prime ingredients conspire in unexpected ways, from the crunch of wild rice and amaranth in an eye-candy salad of avocado, beets and pomegranate, to octopus with green garlic, black trumpet mushroom and tom kha (Thai coconut broth) to 'large-format' steaks (to $185). It's best to reserve a table around five days in advance if planning to dine here on a Friday or Saturday night. That said, the best seat in the house is at the walk-in bar, where dexterous barkeeps flip, shake and stir extraordinary cocktails such as the PB&J (gin, peanut butter–washed Campari and pomegranate). Don't miss the giant fish-themed mural by Damian Hirst on the building's exterior.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Westlake & Koreatown

    Kang Ho-Dong Baekjong

    Looks can deceive: this informal, youth-filled spot serves some of LA's best Korean barbecue, proven by constant lines out the door. Grill-yourself meats are the star, alongside delectable banchan (side dishes). Grills are set into circular tables, and the dining room is high-ceilinged and industrial like a mechanic's workshop. Besides the usual banchan of kimchi and marinated veggies, we love the unusual egg-cheese-corn mixture that cooks alongside your grills. Sides include veggie pancakes and bubbling stews of bean, kimchi and tofu. Bonus: the restaurant's in the 1929 Spanish Colonial-style Chapman Plaza, an architectural relic said to be LA's first drive-in strip mall, and great for an after-dinner pub crawl.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in West Hollywood & Mid-City

    Gracias Madre

    Gracias Madre shows just how tasty – and chichi – organic, plant-based Mexican cooking can be. Sit on the gracious patio or in the cozy interior and feel good as you eat healthily: sweet-potato flautas, coconut 'bacon,' plantain 'quesadillas,' plus salads and bowls. We're consistently surprised at innovations like cashew 'cheese,' mushroom 'chorizo' and heart-of-palm 'crab cakes.' The cocktails include a list of dozens of tequilas and mezcals to choose from and lovely Micheladas (beer-based cocktails). The entire experience seems made for Instagram, and to make your friends back home jealous. If there's any downside, some of the dishes can be filling, so pace yourself. And parking can be a challenge, so ride sharing is recommended.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in West Hollywood & Mid-City

    Connie & Ted's

    At this modernized version of a New England seafood shack by acclaimed chef Michael Cimarusti, there are always up to a dozen oyster varieties at the raw bar, classics such as fried clams, grilled fish (wild and sustainably raised), lobsters and steamers, lobster rolls served cold with mayo or hot with drawn butter, and shellfish marinara is a sacred thing. For brunch, look for faves such as crab and lobster omelet or the Nor'easter breakfast sandwich with bacon and fried clams, and oyster Bloody Mary shooters (Bloody Mary with a raw oyster inside) that will rock your boat and maybe your world. Pair your choice with a craft beer, Rhode Island coffee milk, or something crisp and dry from the wine list. Valet parking is $8.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in South Bay Beaches

    Standing Room

    New brick-and-mortar incarnation of the gourmet fave, Korean-fusion burger stand that started in Redondo Beach. It's a hipster-cool spot for the Cash burger (shishito pepper, bacon, American and cheddar cheeses, crispy onion strings, Korean aioli, hoisin barbecue), the gooey, massive Napoleon and adventurous plate meals. On Saturdays and Sundays, it does a Hawaiian-inflected brunch – kalua pork omelet, anyone? While the original location has only outdoor seating, this new spot is a full-on restaurant, complete with a full bar, a kids' menu and live entertainment. If you're really into it, the original location has a slightly different menu – more to taste!

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Hollywood

    Petit Trois

    Good things come in small packages…like tiny, no-reservations Petit Trois! Owned by acclaimed TV chef Ludovic Lefebvre, its two long counters (the place is too small for tables) are where food-lovers squeeze in for smashing, honest, Gallic-inspired grub, from a ridiculously light Boursin-stuffed omelette to a showstopping 'Big Mec' double cheeseburger served with a standout foie gras–infused red-wine Bordelaise. Given its size, popularity and no-reservations policy, waits can be long. Your best bet is to head in between 3pm and 6pm or after 9pm. If you do have to wait, affable staff and top-notch cocktails ease the pain. Credit-card payment only.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Downtown Los Angeles & Boyle Heights


    This it-kid inside the Hauser & Wirth arts complex boasts a woody warm, loftlike space and an oft-tweaked menu that beautifully fuses California meats, produce and seafood with smoky Southern accents. Pique the appetite with cream biscuits, barbecued oysters or yellow peach salad with whipped feta and honey vinegar, then lose yourself in mains with herbs from the on-site garden. Servings are generally on the smaller side (perfect for savoring numerous dishes), while the drinks list includes competent, out-of-the-box cocktails such as the Rattlesnake Roundup, a blend of whiskey, house-made Pimms, dates and lemon.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in San Fernando Valley


    Tucked away in an unassuming mini-mall, and stuffed with knickknacks, pasted with posters and staffed by a sunny, sweet owner-operator, this offbeat, home-style Japanese diner offers some of the best (and tastiest) deals on Sushi Row. Fried seaweed tofu gyōza are divine and so are the bowls – especially the negitoro bowl, which puts fatty tuna over rice, lettuce and seaweed. Others go for Japanese fried chicken and fish broiled or cooked nitsuke style in its own broth. Daichan has been serving poki since 1996, way before it became trendy, and the sake menu lets you taste four 50mL samplers for a bargain $15. Valet parking is $5.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Venice, Marina Del Rey & Playa del Rey


    If one restaurant defines the new Venice, it's this. Carve out a spot on the communal table between the hipsters and yuppies, or get your own slab of wood on the elegant stone terrace, and dine on imaginative small plates (raw yellowtail spiced with chili and mint and drenched in olive oil and blood orange) and sensational thin-crust, wood-fired pizza. Many of its pizzas, blackened fish plates, an assortment of deli salads, pork meatball subs and a brisket bahn mi are available at GTA (Gjelina Take Away) next door. Order at the counter and grab a seat on the bench or a milk crate on the stone patio. Seriously. Sit on the damn milk crate!

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Pasadena & the San Gabriel Valley

    Din Tai Fung

    It's a testament to the SGV's ethnic Chinese community that Taiwan's most esteemed dumpling house opened its first US outpost here. The menu of dumplings, greens, noodles, desserts, teas and smoothies is as long as the phone directory at a medium-size corporation, but everyone orders pork xiaolongbao – steamed dumplings juicy with rich broth. Expect long waits – it's worth it. There are other branches at the Westfield Santa Anita, in the Americana at Brand in Glendale and at South Coast Plaza in Orange County.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in San Fernando Valley


    Although it's in a strip mall (welcome to the Valley), Asanebo is a Sushi Row standout thanks to dishes such as halibut sashimi with fresh truffle, and kanpachi with miso and serrano chilies. Chef Tetsuya Nakao was one of the chefs who helped launch the Nobu Japanese restaurant empire at Matsuhisa in Beverly Hills. In that tradition, you're probably looking at upwards of $75 per person for a full meal, but it's also probably a meal you won't forget. Asanebo had a Michelin star back when Michelin published its guides to LA (it stopped back in 2009, for reasons we can't fathom). Valet parking costs $5.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Pasadena & the San Gabriel Valley


    A cheerful, sophisticated energy animates James Beard–nominated chef Bruce Kalman's restaurant, offering California interpretations of northern Italian cuisine. The menu changes daily, but standards include pork meatballs, squid-ink pasta, fish caught from the waters of nearby Santa Barbara and a subtle and delicious olive-oil cake for dessert. Everything's made in-house, from breads to pastas to cheeses. Hard drinks are beer and wine only, and knowledgeable waitstaff suggest pairings from a well-curated wine list that won't break the bank, with most bottles under $65.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in West Hollywood & Mid-City


    A design gem with the gourmet ambition to match. The old interior of LA's dearly departed Campanile is still an atrium restaurant with stone arches, a brightly lit front end scattered with butcher-block tables, and a marble bar peering into an open kitchen. There are tables in the darker, oakier backroom too. The menu changes daily but may include a pumpkin agnolotti, crab risotto, pig's head and lentils, and braised short rib. There's always a delicious bakery, raw bar and a selection of charcuterie. Valet parking costs $9, or street parking is usually available.