Favorite or Best Los Angeles Restaurants

good idea, Leslie! I’ll start with a couple I can contribute to.

I am a huuuge fan of Osteria Latini in Brentwood, off Wilshire, just west of 405 fwy. Their osso bucco is to die for, as is their panna cotta (easily … I mean EASILY, the best panna cotta I have ever had). The first time I dined there, I knew it was going to be good when I looked around the restaurant and saw almost only Italian folks eating there … my suspicion grew stronger when I could only understand about half the words that came out of my waiter’s mouth … my suspicion was confirmed, re-confirmed, and re-confirmed again as the courses rolled-out. I love that place. Corkage is $18, iirc, and recommended. BYOGlassware also recommended.

Grace, in Beverly Hills (or is it still L.A. there?) is another favorite of mine; the allustrious Jeff Pf0h1 introduced me to this joint: I’ve been twice since that introduction.

The Restaurant at the Getty is also very good: you wouldn’t think a restaurant at a museum would actually be any good, would you? Well, I didn’t at least; I was wrong. Consistently good food; it’s been too long since I was there last. I don’t think I’ve brought my own wine here, as we usually peruse the museum before dining.

Fraiche in Culver City has never wronged me – the best steak tartare I’ve ever had. Can’t recall corkage amount exactly, but it’s in the $15-$20 range, with a 2 bottle/table max., iirc.

Akasha in Culver City has impressed the two times I’ve been — I think their wine list is half-off on Wednesday, and i’m pretty sure they don’t charge corkage on Sunday! [dance-clap.gif]

Here’s where I’m eating in the greater Los Angeles area (Los Feliz/Silverlake/Hollywood/downtown).

I went last Friday to Mo Chica. The food was awesome. It’s not a high end place but the food is elevated here. Highly recommend it. mo-chica.com

Canele: good mod priced Mediterranean, $10 corkage with Reidel Os. No resv. http://www.canele-la.com

Viet Noodle Bar: Vietnamese. No sign. Amazing, well prepared, with excellent ingredients. BYOB-no corkage (bring stems). http://www.vietnoodlebar.com

Tacos Villa Corona : IMHO, best breakfast burrito.

Hugo’s Tacos: well made burritos, tortas, etc… Vegan options are great. No inside seating. http://www.hugostacos.com

Marouch: Some of the best Lebanese/Armenia food in the city. $10 corkage. Poor stems. http://www.marouchrestaurant.com

Ruen Pair: Very good Thai food, with some Issan specialties. I think they got a beer/wine license so not sure about corkage.

Jitlada: Amazing southern Thai. $10 corkage.

Cha Cha Cha: One word here, Chilaquiles! Like taking a min trip to the Caribbean. http://www.theoriginalchachacha.com

Parks BBQ: One of the best of the Korean BBQs. Very clean with excellent quality. http://www.parksbbq.com/menu.html

Soot Bull Jeep: One of the original charcoal BBQs in Koreatown.

Pure Luck: Vegan. Really good and I’m not vegan. Great selection of beers, about 10 drafts and some bottles.

Scoops: Amazing ice cream across the street from Pure Luck. Flavors change all the time. Had Guinness Stout, peanut and caramel once-OMFG!!! http://www.yelp.com/biz/scoops-los-angeles

Lou: A restaurant/wine bar with a focus on organic, natural wines and obscure varieties and viticulture areas. The food is dame good. Lou is a good friend. www.louonvine.com

I’ll update this as I realize additional entries.

Chruch & State has to be my current favorite in L.A., not that I get up there that often.

Great atmosphere as well. I can’t wait for the outside table to get going in the warmer weather.

Bazaar - the most molecular restaurant in California and quite fun.
Urasawa - the BEST sushi in the country.
Shin-Sen-Gumi - a first-stop for me whenever I head south; incomparable yakitori.

Hi Phil -

Walter Manzke, who was the chef responsible for the kitchen turning out the great food, has left C&S. Early reports indicate a decline in the food, which is why I left it off my list. Walter is plannig on opening his own place-so keep an eye out. C&S does have a well thought out wine list and the Sunday prix fix is a nice deal.

I rarely get out to restaurants these days, but if I could I would go to some of my favorites:

Josie Restaurant: impeccable food and service; more of a special occasion place for me. The also have free corkage on Mondays and a very reasonable Farmer’s Market prix-fixe on Wednesday. http://www.josierestaurant.com

Mariscos Chente: Some of the best Mexican seafood in town with a location on Centinela and another one in Inglewood. They serve unreal marlin tacos, a myriad of ceviche and shrimp dishes and the coup de gras, the “pescado zarandeado”. A whole,marinated, butterflied grilled fish that is truly sublime and outright delicious.

Monte Alban: My go-to Oaxacan joint for unreal, authentic moles. If you don’t know it, you should.

Delis - Langer’s for pastrami and Bay Cities for Italian.

Wilshire Restaurant: Looks can be deceiving; the beautiful back patio can be slammed with hipsters, but beneath the scene you’ll find outstanding food. http://www.wilshirerestaurant.com

Suzanne Goin: AOC is still the quintessential LA wine bar and always delivers; eat at the bar (or cheese bar), make friends with the staff and you’ll have a blast tasting through their list along with the killer tapas. Lucques exudes class and excellence in food and the newer Taverna does a fine job in doing it all i.e. larder, breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner.

Burgers: In the fast food category, In-n-Out reigns supreme for the standard fare burger and the original Tommy’s rules the chili cheese burger (rampart location is the best). Going towards the glam burgers, I’m a big fan of Rustic Canyon (http://www.rusticcanyonwinebar.com) and naysayers be damned, the legendary Father’s Office (Montana location preferred) burger is an amazing creation with solid wines and great Belgian beers to wash down all of the killer grinds.

Sushi: One of LA’s greatest offerings is our sushi restaurants and there are so many good ones. It’s become something that I rarely eat these days, but if an occasion came up I would head to Sushi Dokoro Ki Ra La if I wanted a high end experience. For something more reasonable, I’d go to Sushi Masu where the fresh fish is prepared by one of the original master LA sushi chefs. Kiriko also serves amazing food (not just sushi), but I have a hard time recommending it because service is atrocious.

Ortolan: My wife and I celebrated an anniversary at Ortolan and it ranks as one our of best meals ever. Chef Eme is uber cool and his food is delicious and creative; we were blown away. Not cheap by any means, but they will eagerly put on a culinary show for the occasion you’re celebrating. http://www.ortolanrestaurant.com

Tlapazola: They meld classic Oaxacan flavors with modern California/French cuisine and the result is fantastic and very reasonably priced. To top it off, their tequila and mezcal selection is stellar and they make some of the best margies in the city. The bartender, Edwin, will gladly give you tastes of tequila so you’re sure to be happy. http://www.tlapazolagrill.com

Angelini Osteria: Unreal, authentic Italian; I still have memories of the table-side, carved porchetta and the perfectly prepared pastas. Easily one of the best Italian joints in the city. http://www.angeliniosteria.com/

Clementine: The perfect neighborhood gourmet deli. Delicious sandwiches, salads, desserts/baked goods and homemade prepared foods. http://www.clementineonline.com/

So many more restaurants, taco trucks, hole in the walls and outlaw taco operations, but these are off of the cuff.

Sushi Zo was my best sushi experience outside of Japan (haven’t been to Urasawa yet).

I know it’s trendy, but we have enjoyed Pizzeria Mozza.

A few standards for me:

Lucques – a classic for me
Tre Venezie – small, but outstanding restaurant in Pasadena
Din Tai Fung – Best dumplings around

Akbar. Multiple locations from Pasadena to Marina del Rey to Hermosa.

Great food. Awesome wines. Atool Kapoor and his brother (forgot his name) run some great restaurants and even have awesome wines, though limited in selection, are great quality.

Good call! I especially like the MdR location.

Monte Alban: My go-to Oaxacan joint for unreal, authentic moles. If you don’t know it, you should.


Here are a few of mine:

Hugo’s Tacos (Studio City & Atwater Village) - The honey-chipotle salsa here is killer, it works very well with their soy chorizo filling for burritos. They also make one of the best veggie burgers in town.

Gio Cucina Napoletana (Encino) - Small, authentic Italian joint that makes everything from scratch. The soups, the pastas, risottos, and pizzas are all so fresh and delicious. Very friendly staff that will accommodate anything you need. An excellent value. $7 corkage.

Woodlands (Chatsworth) - The best Southern Indian place in town. All vegetarian, but some of the best flavors around. The dosas are fantastic. Don’t miss the Gobi Manchurian (Dry) – probably the best cauliflower dish I’ve ever eaten.

Vinh Loi Tofu (Reseda) - All vegan Vietnamese food. Great flavors, with tofu made on the premises. They make a lot of “chicken” and “beef” dishes that are made from tofu. Funny enough, the “meats” seem too much like the real things for Aaron and me. I’ve heard that carnivores love it though. We like the more straight-forward veggie and tofu soups and noodle dishes instead.

Piccolo Paradiso (Beverly Hills) - Part of the Drago chain. Amazing Italian food. I often dream about their Gnocchi Paradiso (Gnocchi filled with mushrooms in a truffle fondue).

Melisse - My favorite top-end restaurant in town. Their truffled egg has to be in my top 5 dishes of all time.

I am DYING to go to this place. As cheesy as it sounds I was watching “The Best Thing I Ever Ate” on the Food Network awhile back and Giada was raving about the Lasagna Verde. It just looked amazing. Been trying to get up there to go ever since, but haven’t found the right time yet.

I was not terribly impressed with Ortolan, although their classic scrambled eggs and caviar dish is divine. Love Providence, Pizzeria Mozza, Palate Food + Wine, and Gjelina.

Avi is Atool’s brother. Akbar is one of my favorites, along with LOU, Pizzeria Mozza, Piccolo (Venice), Ruen Pair, Angelini Osteria, and Father’s Office(Santa Monica).


You NEED to eat at Angelini!



No love for Patina on here?

I thought Ortolan kicked some serious ass, but that’s not to say it won’t have off nights. On our visit, the experience was just perfect; top notch service, comfortable, plush booth and amazing food. The foie terrine, scallops, squab pastilla and duck breast were phenomenal. Geek that I am, I found some of my notes on the squab and duck entrees:

Highlights were the duck and the squab. The crisp skin on the duck was a rare treat and a fun added bonus were the thin “cigarillos” of puff pastry filled with duck confit.

Squab, which I typically dislike since it’s so hard to eat, was a revelation. Done in a pastilla style (thankfully without the traditional Moroccan spices), choice cuts of squab breast were layered with tomato confit, a razor thin slice of preserved lemon, summer truffle and all wrapped up with a thin sheet of phyllo in the shape of a cube.

The cheese cart was also very impressive; just slightly below the next-level quality at Providence. Speaking of Providence, we did a tasting menu there about two years ago and it was good, but it fell short for the price. I think I was most impressed with a lamb dish and the cheese cart. However, they did an arctic char (slow cooked in a plate warmer) course that was incredible.

Palate and Gjelina are on my go-to list; heard nothing but raves for both.

we should set something up!

I’ve never been either. I’d love to go!