Restaurants in California

American food, Cuban cocktails

Frequented by Hollywood power players, this fine-dining landmark is housed inside the Peninsula Beverly Hills hotel. The dining room is classically designed with bronze wall sconces, oversize flower arrangements, white tablecloths, and sage-green banquettes facing the adjacent garden patio.

With its name on the flap of a maize-yellow awning and planters and small tables in front of its plate-glass windows, Zuni Café on Market Street in the Hayes Valley area serves French and Italian fare crafted with sustainable, seasonal, and organic ingredients.

On Oakland’s restaurant row, in the Temescal neighborhood, this tapas bar serves authentic small plates from Catalonia—pa amb tomàquet; patatas bravas—accompanied by an all-Spanish wine list.

Owned by chef Amy Murray, a longtime proponent of the Slow Food movement, this downtown café specializes in seasonal, organic cuisine. Classic jazz music plays in the dining room, which contains small wooden tables, chalkboard menus, and exposed brick walls hung with vintage French posters.

Try the heirloom tomato soup with a trio of grilled cheese sandwiches.

Part of the Landry’s restaurant chain, Oceanaire Seafood Room is one of the city’s classic seafood houses. The restaurant is known for fresh and sustainable foods from the sea in both raw and traditional Euro-American cooking methods.

By no means pretentious, Carnitas Michoacán #3 attracts customers with its bright yellow and red sign reading “Tacos + Over 5 Zillion Sold.” The sign says it all, and Los Angeles natives know that Carnitas Michoacán #3 serves flavorful, affordable Mexican cuisine any hour of the day.

If you’re in the mood for suckling pig or Japanese sea bass, chef Louis Maldonado, formerly of French Laundry, has just joined the 58-seat Café Majestic at the legendary Hotel Majestic, in Lower Pacific Heights.

The Nectar Wine Lounge in Marina serves up ambrosia for the soulwith 800 bottles to choose from. Back-lit honeycomb wine racks give way to red and white walls adorned with brightly colored modern art.

A stone façade constructed in 1886 marks the entrance of this downtown steakhouse, which is located in the original Williams-Kyser building. Greg Cole and Elizabeth Fairbairn opened Cole's in 2000, and are known for their certified-Angus steaks, seafood, and extensive wine list.

Located in the basement of the Frank Gehry-designed Walt Disney Concert Hall, this Michelin-rated restaurant is a downtown favorite for pre-theater dining and special occasions.

Located near the Embarcadero beside its more casual sister restaurant Barbecco, this high-end eatery offers fresh, authentic fare inspired by the Piemonte and Liguria regions of Italy.