Los Angeles

Restaurants in Los Angeles

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.

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.


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.


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.

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.

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.