Restaurants in California
California restaurants range from the four-star to fast-food joints, and everything in-between. Because the state is a melting pot, it’s easy to find a wide range of cuisine. Mexican, South American, Chinese, Japanese, American, French, Ethiopian cuisine – you name it, and you’ll likely be able to find multiple California restaurants that serve it.
The Golden State enjoys an enviable culinary reputation. For instance, French Laundry, located in Napa Valley, isn’t just considered to be one of the best restaurants in California, but is widely regarded as one of the best restaurants in the world. Reservations are hard to come by, but those who manage to get one are in for a treat. Everyday, the Thomas Keller-helmed restaurant delights guests with a nine-course tasting menu made solely from local, fresh ingredients.
On the other side of the coin, restaurants in California include a number of quality fast food joints, most notably In-N-Out Burger, which enjoys something of a cult following with locals and tourists alike.
A string of paper lanterns leads to the entrance of this upscale New American restaurant, housed in a small cottage dating from 1939.
Inventive tapas served in a loud, crowded dining room evoke the spirit of an authentic Spanish café at this West Hollywood eatery.
This kitschy, mock-Danish community of year-round Christmas lights and ebelskiver has never seen anything like Bradley Ogden’s latest venture, a destination restaurant as polished as its gleaming walnut floors.
Hans Rockenwagner brings 30 years of cooking experience in Germany, Switzerland, Chicago, and Los Angeles to this small café and bakery in Venice. Given his background, it’s no surprise that many of the items on the menu derive from Europe before he adds his American twists.
Chef-owner Brenda Buenviaje calls on her New Orleans roots to create refined, Creole-influenced fare at her namesake French soul food restaurant. The beignet, a deep-fried pastry similar to a doughnut, is one of her specialties, with varieties including chocolate, apple, or crawfish.
Housed in an early-20th-century brick building, Parkway Grill serves a dressed-up menu of American cuisine in two dining rooms of soft lighting and live piano music.
This izakaya on Webster Street in the Marina/Cow Hollow district serves sushi and Japanese cuisine with a focus on organic, sustainable ingredients and cage-free eggs.
Le Colonial evokes the atmosphere of French colonial Vietnam through a pressed-tin ceiling, rattan furniture, shuttered windows and an inner courtyard filled with tropical foliage.
Located off Highway 101, Willi’s Wine Bar pairs globally inspired small plates with more than 100 local and international wines.
Using grass-fed beef from local farmers and ranchers who raise their animals humanely, Let’s Be Frank serves up their nitrate- and nitrite-free hot dogs at their shop at 3318 Steiner Street as well as from carts.
Standing 70 feet high, this restaurant and bar overlooks the runways at LAX, making it a destination spot for taking in 360-degreee views. Encounter Restaurant serves classic and modern martinis in a circular space with brightly hued lava lamps and a crater-shaped bar.
This East Los Angeles spot specializes in fish and shrimp tacos and burritos. Tacos are made with fresh, crispy-battered fish or seafood and pico de gallo, and the reasonably priced restaurant offers two tacos with rice, beans, and a drink for less than $5.
Upscale eats in a downscale neighborhood, Jitlada serves the finest in southern Thai cuisine in a cozy and colorful Thai Town joint on Sunset. Despite its less-upscale neighbors (a strip club and a 99-cent store across the way), the restaurant serves high quality food.