Fifty Best Los Angeles Restaurants
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  Cuisine: French  
  Location: Santa Monica  

MÉLISSE


Located in the heart of Santa Monica, this contemporary French-American restaurant brings sophisticated elegance to the laid back West Side. Chef/Owner Josiah Citrin, demonstrates his exquisite skills, perfected from training with such culinary stars as Wolfgang Puck, to bring us dishes so impeccably presented, they deserve admiration. Each visit launches a culinary journey of creative combinations, bold flavors, and colorful masterpieces.

Egg Caviar of poached egg, lemon crème frâiche, and American Osetra Caviar is a good way to start. Entrees include the outstanding Lobster Bolognese with fresh cappelini and black truffles, or the simply divine California Guinea Hen ‘poche-roti’ with haricots vers, fennel and pistachio nut. There's even a superb seasonal Vegetarian tasting menu.

The sommelier provides expert advice for the perfect wine selection from their world class list. No evening would be complete without a spoonful of Sticky Toffee Pudding and mocha malt ice cream. Dining at Mélisse is nothing less than an outstanding visual and sensual gastronomic experience.


1104 Wilshire Blvd      (310) 395-0881

Mélisse

 

  Location: Downtown  

MO-CHICA        Peruvian


Chef Ricardo Zarate, formerly of Zuma, the acclaimed Japanese restaurant in London, brings his native Peruvian pulse to Downtown LA.

The tart and spicy fare of this modern/traditional Peruvian cuisine will stick to your ribs. Relish in specialty dishes such as Aji de Gallina- shredded organic chicken with bread sauce and walnuts, and a strong shot of Ceviche, made with white fish, seaweed, Peruvian sweet corn, and leche de tigre. Chicha morada, a juice made from Peru’s purple sweet corn is worth a try.

The eatery is booming during lunchtime with the local crowds. Don’t miss the once-a-month special evening tasting menu to experience true Peruvian gastronomic flavors and textures. Once you locate this hidden gem, treat yourself to a Pisco Sour, the traditional Peruvian cocktail.


514 W. 7th Street     (213) 622-3744

Mo-Chica

 

  Cuisine: Steakhouse, American  
  Location: Hollywood  

MUSSO and FRANK GRILL


If it was good enough for Hollywood icons Charlie Chaplin, Rudolph Valentino, Humphrey Bogart, Gary Cooper, and Steve McQueen, it’s still good. With a successful run for over 80 years, Musso and Frank Grill is the ‘Oldest Restaurant in Hollywood’.

Exuding old school charm, the chophouse is validated by solid, traditional American cuisine. Expect large, masculine portions of Steaks and Seafood, and the quintessential Spaghetti Bolognese. The Thursday special Chicken Pot Pie is legendary. In addition to the extensive menu, there are specials such as the stick-to-your-ribs Oyster Stew, Corned Beef & Cabbage, and Welsh Rarebit. It’s unfussy, hearty and satisfying food.

The bar and its cocktails are reminiscent of the old-time motion picture era. Practically every major star and writer has had a seat at this bar at one time or another to indulge in perfectly mixed classics. Ask one of the knowledgeable bartenders to shake up the signature ‘Pico Punch’, a favorite of Bing Crosby’s.

Open Saturdays and Sundays till 2 am. Go there late for an old fashioned Shrimp Cocktail, while listening to live music from the 1920’s, 30’s and 40’s. Musso and Frank's is a true original Hollywood experience. Even the highly professional waitstaff have great stories to tell.


6667 Hollywood Blvd      (323) 467-7788

Musso and Frank Grill

 

  Cuisine: Diner-Deli  
  Location: West LA-Beverly Hills  

NATE 'N AL


Nate ‘n Al has been a tradition to the rich and famous, eccentric personalities, and deli-lovers in Beverly Hills for over 65 years.

Known for their satisfying Jewish comfort food favorites, like Corned Beef or Pastrami on rye, Beef Brisket, and Short Ribs. Delicious Matzo Ball Soup, Stuffed Cabbage, rich Chopped Liver, and dense Potato Pancakes are just like momma makes. And why shouldn’t their wild Smoked Nova Salmon be flown in from New York? Strudels and cheesecake are some of the many tempting dessert treats. Don’t miss the Nate ‘n Al Special Hot Dog, which Nora Ephron claimed would be her “last meal on this Earth”. A great option for breakfast, too.

Sweet motherly waitresses in 1950’s attire treat diners with warm smiles, no matter who they are. Nate ‘n Al is a real deli with heart.


414 N Beverly Dr      (310) 274-0101

Nate 'n Al

 

  Cuisine: Asian  
  Location: Mid Wilshire-West Hollywood  

NOBU            Japanese


You can’t blink twice in LA without passing another sushi bar. From local strip mall joints to outlandishly expensive Omakase menus, LA has something to satisfy every raw fish fanatic craving. (They didn’t name it California Roll for nothing.) To experience Japanese cuisine on a whole other level, Nobu is on the top of the LA sushi-lists. The David Rockwell designed space on La Cienega’s Restaurant Row is elegant, sexy, and Asian chic, filled to the brim with a mixed crowd of entertainment execs, show biz agents, celebrities, serious foodies and die hard Nobu-fantatics who refuse to get their Uni fix from anywhere else.

Head chef of the West Hollywood hotspot, Alex Becker has worked in various Nobu locations, including Hawaii and New York. Using the freshest fish from Tokyo, his team creates their signature dishes to perfection. No dinner can proceed without an order of the Rock Shrimp Tempura with creamy spicy sauce. The Miso-glazed Black Cod melts in your mouth like butter, and the Yellowtail Sashimi with jalapeno is as if tasting an ocean jewel. The most exciting dishes are the ones found exclusively on the LA menu which caters to the Angeleno tastes, such as Wagyu or Lobster Sashimi Tacos. Nobu’s Peruvian influences are evident in the fusion specialties such as the fresh and citrusy Lobster Ceviche, and the tasty Ocean Trout Anticucho with wasabi pepper sauce.

The elegant bar/lounge is buzzing with LA locals partaking in the exquisite list of wines and signature cocktails. Nobu is also a top dessert destination in LA. One glance at the dessert menu, and you will understand why. Will it be the Apple Butterscotch Miso with caramelized apples, Sable Breton, sour cream ice cream, or a PB & J Satandagi with warm peanut butter, chocolate satandagi, peanut butter ice cream, and plum wine gelee?


903 North La Cienega Boulevard       (310) 657-5711

Nobu

 

  Cuisine: American  
  Location: West LA-Beverly Hills  

NOOK


Nook is the epitome of a neighborhood bistro-- Communal tables, seasonal rotating menu, warm knowledgeable staff, and food that leaves one more than satisfied. This find is literally in a nook of a mini mall on a busy west LA main drag. Instantly inviting, savvy diners are treated to a friendly atmosphere and creative cuisine.

The chef focuses on seasonal, market-fresh ingredients. Pushing the envelope on American classics, this is comfort food raised to the next level.

Not to be missed is the Nook Burger served with red onion wine jam and Gruyere cheese. The Pork Chop goes above and beyond with Stilton cheese, Asian pears and an apricot vinaigrette.

Shitake Gruyere bread pudding is simultaneously decadent and airy, and serves as a perfect side for the array of braised meats, grilled fish, and a house favorite-- chick pea and butternut squash stew.

An elegant selection of beers are available on tap.


11628 Santa Monica Blvd #9      (310) 207-5160

Nook

 

  Cuisine: Italian  
  Location: Mid Wilshire-West Hollywood  

OSTERIA MOZZA


The best bar in LA is not a cocktail bar, nor a wine bar. The king of all is the Mozzarella Bar in the highly appraised Italian eatery, Osteria Mozza. Leave it to super chefs, Mario Batali and Nancy Silverton, the brains and creative hands behind this delectable dining experience.

Behold the beautifully elegant, yet modern dining room. Get comfortable on one of the grand leather banquettes, or perch at the bar to experience a culinary journey through Italy, igniting all the sights, aromas and flavors that the country has to offer. Savour the creamiest, melt in your mouth Burratas outside of Italy with a Mozarella tasting— and sample the likes of Burrata with bacon, marinated escarole and caramelized shallots. Or the exceedingly popular Burrata with spiced walnuts, artichokes, currants and mint pesto.

The descriptive menu overflows with the freshest pastas, seafood, meats, and veggie creations. Squid Ink Chitatta Fredi with dungenous crab, sea urchin and jalapeno, or the Rabbit con salsiccia, roasted garlic, lemon and rosemary, will leave you utterly speechless. The tantalizing wine list features a comprehensive selection from top Italian producers.


6602 Melrose Avenue      (323) 297-0100

Osteria Mozza

 

  Cuisine: Wine Bar, Eclectic  
  Location: Venice  

PRIMITIVO


Primitivo is the King of the Westside tapas bars. Chef Eddy Shin earned his stripes working with the famed Patina group for seven years. Now his eclectic menu veers towards multiple genres, merging simple sensibility with complex flavors.

Braised Short Ribs, Bacon-wrapped Dates, Four-Cheese Gnocchi, and Tiger Shrimp are a few of the superb dishes served in a candlelit dining room.

A regionally diverse list features over 300 wines, with obscure selections from India, Croatia, China and Canada, alongside the Barolos and Chateauneuf du Pape. The wine descriptions are poetically coherent, and helpfully suggests food pairings.

The garden patio is lovely during warmer nights. A seat at the bar guarantees an oenophile discussion with the locals.


1025 Abbot Kinney Blvd.       (310) 396-5353

Primitivo

 

  Cuisine: Contemporary, Seafood  
  Location: Mid Wilshire-West Hollywood  

PROVIDENCE


Providence caters to those seeking premium wild seafood and shellfish. An ultimate fish lover’s paradise, and unforgettable fine dining experience.

Inspired by nature’s coastal abundance, Executive Chef Michael Cimarusti and owner Donato Poto have created a stimulating menu, combining their experiences at some of the world’s finest restaurants with influences from their childhood.

Start off with an appetizer of Wild Bigeye Tuna from Ecuador, served with kumamoto oysters, and shimeji mushrooms. Or the palate-pleasing Foie Gras Ravioli with Italian black truffles. Move on to the main course with flaky Wild Black Sea Bass from Rhode Island, a tasty Wild John Dory from New Zealand, or the tender Pork Belly. Complete your meal by deciding between the Dulce de Leche-Miso Pana Cotta with huckleberries, yuzu and puffed rice, and the Pumpkin Polenta topped with candied pecans, mascarpone and maple syrup.

Their glass enclosed wine cellar holds over 400 labels from around the globe, selected to complement seafood. Thirty wines are also offered by the glass. Unwind from a hard day’s work by indulging in a fresh cocktail at the chic and elegant white onyx bar.


5955 Melrose Ave      (323) 460-4170

Providence

 

  Cuisine: Latin  
  Location: Downtown  

RIVERA


For seductive, sensual stimulation, there is no other restaurant that adds such spice to an evening than the downtown hotspot, Rivera. Celebrating the spirit of Latin culture, acclaimed Chef John Rivera Sedlar pushes culinary boundaries by creating an innovative pan-Latin experience, abundant with the fragrant aromas of sweet, spicy and earthy foods.

The menu may seem overwhelming at first, as there are four different rooms each representing the various roots of Latin cuisine. The “Conexiones” menu, connects historic Latin roots to the modern Californian table, offering dishes such as the Maize— an heirloom corn posole, foie gras, truffle, and oregano leaf. The “Playa Room” places a spin on Mexican dishes, such as the Cabeza de Oro— foie gras, lobster, scallop, truffle, jamon Iberico and caviar. South America is represented in the Samba Room, with hearty dishes like the Brazilian Feijoida and Peruvian quechua. And the Sangre Room, where it all began, emphasizes the traditional tastes of Spain, with a Gazpacho blanco to die for.

Rivera raises the appreciation of tequila to an art form. Aside from the wide range of premium and seasonal tequilas, there are even custom-made tequila armchairs. If tequila is not your drink, then sample one of mixologist Julian Cox’s inventive artisanal cocktails.

No meal is complete without taking a bite (or two) out of the Xochimilco— an ancho chile chocolate cake with avocado mousse and lime pepper sauce.


1050 S Flower St.       (213) 749-1460

Rivera

 

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