Los Angeles

Restaurants in Los Angeles

Look at all the fit people jogging along the beach and you’ll wonder how they stay so thin. After all, Los Angeles restaurants feature a dazzling mix of celebrity chefs, locavore bistros, classic diners, great taquerias and any other global cuisine you can imagine. Dine at some of the best restaurants in Los Angeles:

The A.O.C.’s name stands for Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée—the French system regulating the quality of local wines and cheeses—and this Los Angeles restaurant is a magnet for foodies and oenophiles. Highlights include pork rillettes served with pickled onions, and arroz negro with squid arrives with a big dollop of garlicky saffron aioli. Even if you don’t stay at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel and Bungalows in Santa Monica, its restaurant, Fig, is worth a stop for its renowned farm-to-table menu, with ingredients from the Santa Monica Farmers Market. It’s upscale but not stuffy: features include the charcuterie and cheese bar, and a taco bar at the Sunday brunch. If craft beer is a food group, check out Beer Belly, a gastropub in Koreatown, which also does great brats and ribs. You could eat round the clock in their neighborhood, which even has a few 24/7 restaurants such as Myung Dong Kyoja, known for its noodle soups, dumplings and kimchi.

Santa Monica native Josiah Citrin opened Mélisse in 1999, and it remains one of the city’s last bastions for fine dining. The space is decorated wtih violet and white walls, a central chandelier with a black-linen shade, and hand-blown crystal sculptures from France.

Round red lanterns floating above the street guide visitors to the sidewalk patio of this Vietnamese café in Chinatown’s Central Plaza.

Stefan Richter was everyone’s favorite villain—and eclectic Finnish/German chef—on Season 5. Even though he didn’t win (he finished a finalist), Richter still contends that “everyone knows” it was really his season.

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.

Situated in the lobby of the historic Roosevelt Hotel, this 24-hour haunt adds a little punk to Hollywood Boulevard. Black-and-chrome tiles line the bar shelves and surrounding wall, while red leather upholstery covers bar stools and rounded booths.

AK

The restaurant is hidden beside a Crown Escrow outlet in a derelict mini-mall. Despite the lack of signage, the long, narrow room is jammed from noon to night with Silver Lake and Echo Park hipsters, each of them nursing an outsize bowl of Vietnam’s beloved, breathtakingly fragrant noodle soup.

Affable chef-owner Eric Greenspan is passionate about both food and music, which he brings together at his trendy yet intimate restaurant in the heart of the Melrose Avenue shopping district.

Cut

Wolfgang Puck opened CUT in 2006 inside the Beverly Wilshire hotel. Architect Richard Meier, who designed the Getty Center, crafted the bright, white-walled space, which includes tiered seating, a glass-front kitchen, and floor-to-ceiling windows.

Located at the upscale Shutters at the Beach hotel, this restaurant is noted for its proximity to Santa Monica's pier and beach, both of which are visible from large windows throughout the dining room.

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.

Enoteca Drago is Sicily native Celestino Drago’s wine-focused restaurant and bar, which debuted in downtown Beverly Hills in 2004. Drago and managing partner Steven Piano feature Italian wine, though the Enoteca also sources bottles from other nations.