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. Bavel

    $$$$ | Downtown | Middle Eastern

    Fans of Bestia have been lining up for stellar Mediterranean cuisine at this Arts District hot spot, which is owned by the same restaurateurs...Read More

  • 2. Broken Spanish

    $$$$ | Downtown | Mexican

    Prepare for a taste explosion at this modern Mexican restaurant. Every dish on the menu is packed with flavor in ways you wouldn't think are...Read More

  • 3. Cole's French Dip

    $ | Downtown | American

    There’s a fight in Los Angeles over who created the French dip sandwich. The first contender is Cole’s, whose sign on the door says it's the...Read More

  • 4. Grand Central Market

    $ | Downtown | Eclectic

    In continuous operation since 1917, Grand Central Market has always been a hub for ethnic eats from Jewish delis and Asian fishmongers to Italian...Read More

  • 5. Guerrilla Tacos

    $ | Downtown | Mexican

    What started as a food truck serving gourmet tacos has turned into a brick-and-mortar space that also has an excellent (and cheap) bar. Chefs...Read More

  • 6. Hayato

    $$$$ | Downtown | Japanese

    There's a very good reason that Michelin decided to award this elegant, peaceful restaurant one star, and it starts with chef Brandon Hayato...Read More

  • 7. Howlin' Ray's

    $$ | Downtown | American

    Don’t let the hour-long waits deter you—if you want the best Nashville fried chicken in L.A., Howlin’ Ray's is worth the effort. Right in the...Read More

  • 8. Langer's Delicatessen-Restaurant

    $ | Downtown | Sandwiches

    This James Beard Award winner not only has the look and feel of a no-frills Jewish deli from New York, it also has the food to match. The draw...Read More

  • 9. Majordomo

    $$$$ | Downtown | Eclectic

    You would never just stumble upon this out-of-the-way spot in Chinatown, but world-famous celeb chef David Chang likes it that way. The beautifully...Read More

  • 10. Philippe the Original

    $ | Downtown | American

    First opened in 1908, Philippe's is one of L.A.'s oldest restaurants and claims to be the originator of the French dip sandwich. While the debate...Read More

  • 11. 71Above

    $$$$ | Downtown | Eclectic

    As its name suggests, this sky-high dining den sits on the 71st floor, 950 feet above ground level. With that elevation comes the most stunning...Read More

  • 12. Badmaash

    $$ | Downtown | Indian

    This laid-back Indian gastro-pub is beloved for its boundary-pushing menu, irreverent posters of Gandhi, and Bollywood movies projected onto...Read More

  • 13. 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

  • 14. Bottega Louie

    $$$ | Downtown | Italian

    A Downtown dining staple, this lively Italian restaurant and gourmet market features open spaces, stark white walls, and majestic floor-to-ceiling...Read More

  • 15. KazuNori

    $$ | Downtown | Japanese

    Part of the Sugarfish family (a chain of exceptional sushi restaurants), KazuNori is strictly about hand rolls. Inside, there’s a horseshoe...Read More

  • 16. Le Petit Paris

    $$$$ | Downtown | French

    Housed in the historic El Dorado Building and keeping its original tile, this stunning Cannes transplant has multiple bars, a dog-friendly patio...Read More

  • 17. 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

  • 18. Original Pantry Cafe

    $$ | Downtown | American

    Opened in 1924 by Dewey Logan, this classic diner claims to have never closed in the entirety of its run (COVID-19 aside) and is currently owned...Read More

  • 19. Orsa and Winston

    $$$$ | Downtown | Japanese

    Order from the tasting menu at this Japanese/Italian fusion restaurant to explore everything this hybrid cuisine has to offer. The space is...Read More

  • 20. Patina

    $$$$ | Downtown | French

    If you plan on seeing a show at the Walt Disney Music Hall, make it a point of adding a dinner at this fine-dining establishment next door....Read More

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