NFT Los Angeles Restaurants


Los Angeles / Restaurants

When it's feedin' time, Los Angeles is a city of many juxtapositions. Hence, some genius invented "fusion" to please every palate and satisfy the giant melting pot that makes up this town. LA is also where "Californian" cuisine was born, and it involves a lot more than avocado, trust. The city borrows many of its flavors from the neighbors. With Mexico next door, sliding-scale "authentic" south-of-the-border dishes are served up in hundreds of restaurants citywide. The Pacific lapping at our sandy shores brings with it a strong Asian influence. Dim sum palaces, Korean barbecue joints, and hidden Thai gems are daily adventures here. And the sushi--it's the best in (dare we say) the world. In addition, California's abundant agriculture provides us with loads of fresh produce year-round from local purveyors. Many restaurants have made their name on having the freshest and localest. Not to worry, there's plenty of meat. Angelenos don't eat? Please. Ever heard of bacon?

Eating Old
Taix (Map 5) on Sunset in Echo Park has been serving up French country cuisine at peasant prices since 1927; now with hipster background music. Down the road is Langer's (Map 8), putting New York pastrami to shame since 1947. Philippe the Original (Map 9) still serves its famous French dip sandwiches at long tables on a sawdust-covered dining room floor. During the inevitable exodus from a Staples Center event, don't pass up the Original Pantry Café (Map 9), a 24-hour diner that claims to have never closed its doors since opening more than 80 years ago, a feat that includes changing locations. Musso & Frank Grill (Map 3) has been operating since Hollywood was a thumb-sucking infant (1919), serving some of the city's best martinis--the food's no good, but you're there to Bukowski it up. The paper-hatted staff behind the counter at Apple Pan (Map 23) has been dishing out hickory burgers and pie since 1947. The Galley (Map 18) is supposedly Santa Monica's oldest restaurant, serving steaks and seafood since 1934. Legend has it that Orson Welles once ate 18 hot dogs in one sitting at Pink's (Map 2) on La Brea--it's not true, but hundreds line up daily to challenge the portly auteur's record.

Eating Cheap
Why make the drive down south when there are so many independent taquerias throughout LA? Many starving actors quell the hunger pangs at a number of hole-in-the-wall restaurants. Some of our favorite eats are the ¡Loteria! Grill (Map 2) and Poquito Mas (Maps 49, 50). If neither of these do it for you, just drive around for a while, peeling your eyes for the ubiquitous taco truck. There are blogs dedicated to tracking these mobile coches saborosos, and you won't find a cheaper meal north of the border. If you are so stuffed that you think you're not seeing the bill correctly following a filling, yet inexpensive meal, you're most likely at one of the several Versailles (Maps 6, 24, 27, 53) restaurants serving up authentic Cuban food: go pork or go home. Still, our hands-down favorite for cheap eats is Zankou Chicken (Maps 4, 47, 51), an Armenian mini-chain with the most delectable poultry you will ever taste served with garlic sauce and pita, fast.

Eating Hip
If any city does hip, it's Los Angeles, though unfortunately the style sometimes seems to weaken the food. Recommended here are restaurants that are both hip and delicious. Head to Lazy Ox (Map 9) Downtown to enjoy scrumptious and hearty food from around the world, on plates both small and large. Barbrix (Map 5) in Silver Lake has so many tiny menu items to sample (along with a large selection of unusual wines by the glass) that you may have to be carried to your Prius. Bouchon (Map 1) in Beverly Hills is for those who've already arrived, or who are pretending very well. If you're still on your way, West Hollywood's Lucques (Map 2) is an excellent compromise. Animal (Map 2) has rock stars in the kitchen and the dining room, and brunch on the outdoor patio at Malo (Map 4) is quite cool. Also still fashionable and delicious is Pizzeria Mozza (Map 3), a hive of fabulosity and actual eating of carbs. If you're down Beach Cities way, MB Post is the place to be (Map 27).

Eating Late
In a city that needs its beauty sleep, only a few of LA's restaurants stay open for the late-night pangs. Fred 62 (Map 4) on Vermont serves starving hipsters burgers, Asian noodles, gooey desserts, and damned good coffee 24 hours a day. For a late-night diner experience, head to the pop-art-fabulous Swingers (Map 2) on Beverly Boulevard or the historic Canter's Deli (Map 2) on Fairfax, and bag some cheesecake for the morning after. If you've just returned from Paris and are used to eating bistro-style at midnight, drive over the hill to Studio City's Firefly (Map 56) for très magnifique, if pricey, food and a lovely outdoor seating area.

Eating Ethnic
Often, but not always, the best ethnic restaurants are situated in the corresponding ethnic neighborhoods. A wealth of Ethiopian restaurants line Fairfax, just south of Olympic Boulevard; our favorite is Nyala Ethiopian Cuisine (Map 6), wherein dishes like doro wat and injera can be sampled for less than $7 during the daily lunch buffet. The affordable four-course dinner at Armenian restaurant Carousel (Map 51) in East Hollywood is not to be missed. South Los Angeles is home to some of the city's best soul and Cajun food; for gumbo try Harold & Belle's (Map 11) on Jefferson. Our tummies rumble just thinking about Koreatown. For an interactive and highly satisfying group dining experience, try one of the many Korean barbecue restaurants--we like Soot Bull Jeep (Map 8) on the cheap side and Dong Il Jang (Map 8) on the posh end. Don't worry if you can't read Korean; the menus have pictures that you can point to for ordering ease. In Little Tokyo, Sushi-Gen (Map 9) can't be beat.

Eating Meat
From duck to filet mignon, from free-range chicken to, like we said, bacon, we love to eat meat in the US of A. And California is an absolute hotbed of it: foie gras may technically be illegal, but we absolutely still know where to find it (but you'll have to find out for yourself). For beef, try old-school Taylor's (Map 8) in Koreatown, schmoozy Mastro (Map 1) in Beverly Hills, or over-the-top British Tam O'Shanter (Map 5) in Atwater for prime rib. For strictly German-style brats, give the Red Lion Tavern (Map 5) in Silver Lake a try, or go to Wurstkuche (Map 9) downtown if fillings like rattlesnake and apple are more your speed. Let's not forget fish: Downtown's Water Grill (Map 9) is an upscale seafood destination, as is Crustacean (Map 1) in Beverly Hills. And for some pork, Asian-style? Get pork broth ramen, with a side of pork, at Santouka (multiple locations).

Eating Meatless
With an abundance of fresh vegetables and fruits in California, we like to go meatless once in a while. For this crunchy dining experience we'll head to Real Food Daily (Map 2), a chain of organic, vegan restaurants serving a huge menu of tempeh, tofu, and stunning weekly specials. A Votre Sante (Map 16) in Brentwood has been dishing up vegetarian specialties since the 1980s, and they've managed to plump up their menu without resorting to imitation meat. To really own your veggie roots at Home (Map 4) in Los Feliz, order the yogurt, fruit, and granola concoction titled "My Sister the Tree Hugger." For the culturally adventurous yank, Paru's (Map 4) is a bounty of all-veggie Indian fare.

Editor's Favorites
When it's feedin' time, Los Angeles is a city of many juxtapositions. Hence, some genius invented "fusion" to please every palate and satisfy the giant melting pot that makes up this town. LA is also where "Californian" cuisine was born, and it involves a lot more than avocado, trust. The city borrows many of its flavors from the neighbors. With Mexico next door, sliding-scale "authentic" south-of-the-border dishes are served up in hundreds of restaurants citywide. The Pacific lapping at our sandy shores brings with it a strong Asian influence. Dim sum palaces, Korean barbecue joints, and hidden Thai gems are daily adventures here. And the sushi--it's the best in (dare we say) the world. In addition, California's abundant agriculture provides us with loads of fresh produce year-round from local purveyors. Many restaurants have made their name on having the freshest and localest. Not to worry, there's plenty of meat. Angelenos don't eat? Please. Ever heard of bacon?



On Our Radar:

Posted By:  Alisha Miranda
Photo:  Alisha Miranda

Umami Burger
Umami stands for the fifth taste bud. Apparently, the Japanese invented a flavor that is savory, sweet, sour, and bitter all at the same time. The burgers created here are an art form, a true testament to modern man coming a long way from learning to use a grill. Biting into an Umami burger (or if you want to prove yourself, order the Manly Burger with bacon lard and fried onion straws) is an outer body experience filled with confusion, lust, and pleasure. You won't have any idea what you've just tasted but you know you'll want more.



Posted By:  Emerson Dameron
Photo:  Emerson Dameron

Uncle Bill's Pancake House
I love breakfast. I love eggs, coffee, and carbohydrates. I love it for lunch, for dinner, for dessert, and as my mysterious Fourth Meal. I also love the beach. Like most Angelenos, I have a particular affection for Manhattan Beach, the purdy seaside community where the Beach Boys first saw people surfing. If you're going to hit MB on a warm weekend, you'll face a Hobbesian parking situation and you'll need to get up extraordinarily early. If you can beat the rush, why not celebrate with pancakes? Personally, I love it best on weekdays, when it's off-season and grey and the existential reverb is exquisite. I can usually force myself out of bed in time for Happy Hour, and I can usually make it to Bill's before it closes at 3 pm. (If you're still around when they're cleaning up, tip generously.) What makes this joint special? It's not the food, which is hearty but standard-issue diner fare. It's not that it's any kind of a secret--if you miss the weekend sweet spot by seconds, you may have to wait for hours. But, come on: It's breakfast at the beach. It's the view and the people and the smell of suntan lotion. More than that, it's the oddball decor and character, the sense that you're part of a small-town inside joke. That's worth another lathering of syrup.



Posted By:  Bon Vivant
Photo:  Bon Vivant

Ssing Ssing
SSing Ssing is supposedly the sound (in Korean) that one's skis make whilst skiing. Why this restaurant is named after a skiing onomatopoeia I’ll never know. But I do know that Ssing Ssing makes better food than a mini-mall restaurant has the right to serve. What I like about this fave lunch spot is that you can play it safe and order bulgogi with a side of the ubiquitous California Roll (ok, it's not Korean but Koreans make really good Japanese food) or you can go a little wild (by US standards) and order fish egg rice bowl or combo doenjang jigae (vegetable and tofu stew with fermented soy bean paste) and roasted fish with skin, bones, and all. A good compromise is the sashimi bowl with ice cold raw fish, veggies, and hot rice all mixed together with Korean sweet chili paste. Did I mention that the panchan (little vegetable dishes) are some of the best in LA? Even though this restaurant is located on the uber-busy corner of 7th and Vermont, you can always find parking in the lot or on the street close by.



Posted By:  Emerson Dameron
Photo:  Emerson Dameron

NY&C Pizza
It's billed as Atlantic Coast and Lake Michigan pizza under the same roof, which makes it pretty in-demand for this city of chagrined transplants. But you can only get the extra-wide NYC thin-crust by the slice; the Chicago-style deep-dish (which, to be just, is hard to find this good even in Chicago itself) comes only by the pie. And there are other peculiarities. Show up in the slow hours, and your pizza shows up quickly, almost abruptly, with a big, friendly acknowledgement. Show up when it's busy, or cop a hostile stance, or act "special," and your order could take the better part of an hour. It's open late. The food is solid. With East-Coast-quality pizza, they should almost charge extra for the bitchy, arbitrary service--a keeping-it-real tax. If you need to relive your memories of trudging through the snow for a perfect slice, this place will give you the indignity and the gratification.



Posted By:  Emerson Dameron
Photo:  Emerson Dameron

Casa Bianca
It's the pizza place you've heard about! The Eagle Rock neighborhood legend! With an atmosphere cool and unique, cozy enough for a date and friendly enough for the family! The pizza is straight-up NYC-style thin crust! (If you want deep dish, go elsewhere, and good luck, in this town!) With toppings just piled on! Heaps of them! This is greasy stuff, people! If you can't handle some grease, you'd better soak it up with a napkin before you dig in! And when you do, be prepared for some pretty damned good pizza! I mean, it's not the world standard, but there's a word for people who don't like a solid, unpretentious pizza pie: haters! You'll get full here! It's hard to get decent pizza in LA, and people surely appreciate it! There's often a line out the door, and, on weekends, you may have to wait 45 minutes or more! This pizza is reserved for the bold! It goes well with a solid, unpretentious red wine--tasty!

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Alcove Cafe & Bakery
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Astro Burger
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Bread Bar
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Burger Continental
Café 50's
Café Brasil
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Canter's Deli
Carousel
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Casa Vega
Casablanca
Casbah Café
Charlie's
Chez Melange
Chili John's
Claim Jumper Restaurant
Clifton's Cafeteria
Cole's French Dip
Colombo's
Conservatory for Coffee, Tea & Cocoa
Coral Café
Créme de la Crepe
Dan's Super Subs
Daphne's Greek Café
Dave's Chillin-n-Grillin
Diddy Riese Cookies
Diner on Main
Don Antonio's
Dong Il Jang
East LA Pizza Company
Eastside Market Italian Deli
Eclectic Wine Bar & Grille
Edendale Grill
El Atacor
El Compadre
El Conquistador
El Tepeyac Cafe
Engine Co. No. 28
Ernie's
Falafel Arax
Falafel King
Father Nature's Lavash Wraps
Fish Grill
Flossie's
Follow Your Heart
Four 'N 20
Foxy's Restaurant
Gelato Bar
Good Microbrew & Grill
Harold & Belle's
Hodori
House of Pies
Huarache Azteca
India Sweets and Spices
Juanita Cafe
Julienne
La Cabana Restaurant
La Sosta Enoteca
Label's Table Deli
Lazy Daisy Cafe
Le Oriental Bistro
Le Pain Quotidien
Little Belize
Los Tacos
M&M Soul Food
Magnolia
Magnolia House
Malo
Mama D's
Mama's Hot Tamales
Mambo's
Marix Tex Mex Café
Mastro's Steakhouse
MB Post
More Than Waffles
Nickel Diner
Noodle World
Oliverio
Original Pantry Café
Original Thai BBQ
Osteria Mozza
Pann's
Pasadena Sandwich Company
Patrick's Roadhouse
Philadelphia Sandwiches
Philippe the Original
Pho 999
Pig 'n Whistle
Pizza Moon
Pizzeria Mozza
Plum Tree Inn
Porto's Bakery & Café
Priscilla's
Pure Luck Restaurant
Que Rico Tacos
Red Lion Tavern
Reddi Chick
Rick's Drive In & Out
Rosalind's
Rose Garden Tea Room & Cafe
Salinas Churros
Santouka
Scoops
Señor Fish
Son of a Gun
Spitz
Square One
Sushi Dan
Tamales Lilianas
The Apple Pan
The Bigg Chill
The Bull Pen
The Cellar
The Coffee Table
The Counter
The French Crepe Co.
The Golden State
The Gumbo Pot
The Hat
The Stand
The Warehouse
Traxx
Tribal Café
Uncle Bill's Pancake House
Vegan Plate
Vertical Wine Bistro
Village Pizzeria
Vito's Pizza
Wurstkuche
Xi'an
Yummy Cupcakes
Zankou Chicken