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. Bay Cities Italian Deli

    $ | Santa Monica | Sandwiches

    Part deli, part market, Bay Cities has been home to incredible Italian subs since 1925. This renowned counter-service spot is always crowded...Read More

  • 2. 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

  • 3. Mélisse

    $$$$ | Santa Monica | French

    Chef-owner Josiah Citrin enhances his modern French cooking with seasonal California produce at this Santa Monica institution. The tasting menu...Read More

  • 4. Rustic Canyon

    $$$$ | Santa Monica | Modern American

    A Santa Monica mainstay, the seasonally changing menu at this farm-to-table restaurant consistently upends norms and has even earned a Michelin...Read More

  • 5. Tar and Roses

    $$$ | Santa Monica | Modern American

    This small and dimly lit romantic spot in Santa Monica is full of adventurous global options, like octopus skewers and venison loin. The new...Read More

  • 6. Baran's 2239

    $$ | Contemporary

    This gem of a restaurant, tucked into an unassuming strip mall, has taken Hermosa Beach and L.A. at large by storm; even the foccacia bread...Read More

  • 7. Coach

    $$$ | Santa Monica | American

    Escape busy Santa Monica State Beach to dine at this casual café and bar within the unfussy oceanfront hotel Shutters on the Beach. Head here...Read More

  • 8. Father's Office

    $$ | Santa Monica | American

    Distinguished by its vintage neon sign, this gastropub is famous for handcrafted beers and a brilliant signature burger. Topped with Gruyère...Read More

  • 9. Forma Restaurant and Cheese Bar

    $$$ | Santa Monica | Italian

    Pasta is served here dalla forma, meaning it's cooked, then dipped into a cheese wheel and stirred up until it's coated with melted cheese...Read More

  • 10. Huckleberry Bakery and Cafe

    $$ | American

    Founded by Santa Monica natives, Huckleberry brings together the best ingredients from local farmers and growers to craft diner-style comfort...Read More

  • 11. 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

  • 12. 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

  • 13. Michael's Santa Monica

    $$$ | Santa Monica | Modern American

    Michael’s is a Santa Monica institution, and its new American shared-plates menu runs the gamut from peruviana beans to branzino with pomegranate...Read More

  • 14. Nobu Malibu

    $$$$ | Malibu | Japanese

    At famous chef-restaurateur Nobu Matsuhisa's coastal outpost, super-chic clientele sails in for morsels of the world's finest fish. It’s hard...Read More

  • 15. Reel Inn

    $$ | Malibu | Seafood

    Escape the glitz and glamour at this decades-old, down-home Malibu institution. Long wooden tables and booths are often filled with fish-loving...Read More

  • 16. Rose Cafe

    $$$ | Venice | Modern American

    This indoor-outdoor restaurant has served Venice for decades but constantly reinvents itself, serving mouthwatering California cuisines with...Read More

  • 17. Salt Air

    $$$ | Venice | Seafood

    A white marlin is camouflaged by the stark white walls in this hip Venice seafood spot on trendy Abbot Kinney Boulevard. Groups and daters pop...Read More

  • 18. Santa Monica Seafood

    $$ | Santa Monica | Seafood

    A Southern California favorite that seems like a tourist trap at first blush but decidedly isn't, this Italian seafood haven has been serving...Read More

  • 19. The Cow's End Cafe

    $ | Café

    Stop at this two-story locals' favorite for coffee and pastries, or choose from a long list of sandwiches for something more substantial. Sit...Read More

  • 20. Toscana

    $$$$ | Brentwood | Italian

    This rustic trattoria along San Vicente is a favorite celebrity haunt. Expect elevated sensory offerings, from its cozy atmosphere to its...Read More

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