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.

Koi

With its sultry, feng-shui-conscious design, flickering candlelight, and crowds of A-listers sipping sake martinis, Koi is perhaps better known for its glitzy scene than it is for its Japanese-inspired food.

This surf-themed establishment resides in far southern Long Beach, near the marina, along Alamitos Bay, and beyond a recessed entrance. Inside, Buster’s has blue floors and stools, wood tables, a central bar, and flat-screen TVs galore, though diners may prefer water views.

On Fridays, cockle-warming abgoost is the daily special: a bowl of hearty lamb, tomato, and bean soup accompanied by sprigs of tarragon and mint, raw onions and radish, warm barbari bread, and a tongue-tingling sour torshi (minced pickle).

For more than half a century, this old-school cafeteria has been serving hearty comfort foods inside a space with redwood forest décor. Clifford Clifton, who established the restaurant in 1935, was inspired by the Santa Cruz Mountains and a desire to bring cheer to Depression-weary downtown.

French-inspired dishes in an atmosphere of understated style mark this Melrose Avenue eatery fast becoming one of Southern California’s top restaurants.

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.

Saladang Song is the sister restaurant to neighboring Saladang, which offers traditional Thai dishes.

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.

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.

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