Restaurants in California

This seafood shack perched on timber pylons offers a dining experience that’s low-key, the ultimate example of a certain kind of meal: unfussy, delicious, relaxed.

Since 1999, James Beard Award winner Gary Danko’s restaurant has been a San Francisco institution. Serving contemporary American cuisine, the Fisherman’s Wharf establishment boasts a 75-seat dining room with light wood shutters, fresh flower arrangements, and white linens.

Husband-and-wife team Charles and Candace Nelson left their investment banking careers for the cupcake industry in 2005, opening this flagship bakery just two blocks from Rodeo Drive.

Guelaguetza was one of the first Oaxacan restaurants to open in Los Angeles, exposing denizens to the glory of the region’s mole and mezcal. They’ve been open since 1994, and each year the team returns to Mexico to source ingredients.

Tokyo native Ken Namba has owned this sushi-oriented restaurant on the edge of Sawtelle Boulevard’s Olympic Collection since the late ‘90s, before the neighborhood earned its unofficial "Little Osaka" moniker.

An array of sophisticated venues occupying one space, the Bazaar by José Andrés is a sprawling "indoor piazza" named one of America’s best new restaurants.

Located in the downtown Omni Los Angeles Hotel, Noé opened in 2003 and offers an ever-changing menu of Neo Bistro cuisine.

The local coffee shop is filled with skaters, surfers, and the odd pair of senior citizens playing checkers.

Begin the day with lobster eggs Benedict at this downtown joint.

Established in 1986, this West L.A. restaurant specialized in authentic Persian cuisine. The dining room, designed with polished granite and etched glass, is brightened by an abundance of potted plants as well as unobtrusive live music.

At El Carmen, the main attraction is, without a doubt, the drinks. This centrally located eatery offers more than 300 varieties of tequila and an extensive selection of margaritas. To complement the beverages, the menu includes an assortment of tacos and flautas, as well as guacamole.

The kitchen serves excellent pastas (pumpkin-filled tortelloni, gnocchi Gorgonzola) to a crowd of professors and local families.

One of Napa’s most recognizable restaurateurs, Cindy Pawlcyn opened this restaurant as an ode to her culinary-inspired globetrotting. Originally built in the 1800’s, the building has served turns as a private residence, bordello, and cooperage.