Fifty Best Los Angeles Restaurants
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  Cuisine: American  
  Location: Hollywood  

AMMO


Healthy food has never tasted so delicious. Dining at Ammo is like whisking through light and airy fresh vegetable fields, infusing every mineral, vitamin and gastronomic goodness into your LA-conscious body. The ambiance reflects its cuisine– Light, simple and clean.

Favorite local, organic dishes include the Summer Vegetable Cazuela with eggplant, zucchini, roasted tomato, fresh ricotta & breadcrumbs, the Sweet Corn Succotash with basil brown butter, and the Salad of local squid and shrimp with chick peas, cherry tomatoes, pickled chili and mint. Even the desserts will put a guilt-free smile on your face. Picture long, sunny California afternoons picking fruit, whenever you spoon into the Peach Melba with pistachio nougatine and peach sorbet. A handful of wines are served by the glass or in half bottles.

In the serene setting of this popular Hollywood hideaway, expect cheery, attentive waiters to serve you with a smile and quick step. Restaurants may come and go quickly in this city, but Ammo will be around for a long, healthful time to come.


1155 N Highland Avenue       (323) 871-2666

Ammo

 

  Cuisine: American  
  Location: Mid Wilshire-West Hollywood  

ANIMAL


Leaving the adornment and pretension of the “LA scene” outside the door, the exceptionally executed food is the definitive focus at Animal, one of the city’s most highly acclaimed restaurants. Chefs Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo are the masterminds behind this small, low key American eatery.

A crowd of serious foodies, passionate chefs, and curious restaurant critics indulge in the excessive flavours of the pig-happy treats such as Marrow bone served with chimichurri and caramelized onions, Pig ear with chili, lime and fried egg, the Barbeque Pork Belly sandwich, or Quail fry Grits with chard, slab bacon and maple jus. Foie gras fans will be smiling with joy after one taste of the Foie Gras Loco Moco with quail egg, spam and hamburger. If you haven’t guessed, it’s probably best to leave your vegetarian friends at home. Do come with a group, since you will want to share one of every creative concoction on the menu. Don’t even attempt to leave without proudly devouring their decadent Bacon Chocolate Crunch Bar.

There is a small, bustling bar with space for only lucky seven on a first-come basis. Equally bold list of wines offered by the glass. Advance reservations are advised to avoid any gastronomical life changing disappointment.


435 North Fairfax Avenue       (323) 782-9225

Animal

 

  Cuisine: American  
  Location: Mid Wilshire-West Hollywood  

CRAFT


Constellation Blvd is known for it’s large corporate offices, investment banks and bigwig talent agencies. Now a gastronomic haven is making its mark in Century City, offering something you can really sink your teeth into. Acclaimed NY chef Tom Colicchio’s Craft has landed in the sunny City of Angels, bringing along all of his deliciously decadent mastery.

The dining room is a spectacle of modern chic. A seasonal menu focuses on fresh local ingredients cooked to perfection, resulting in masterpieces of contemporary American cuisine. Diners undergo the highest form of indulgence by savoring such dishes as sublime Veal & Ricotta Meatballs, Crispy Pork Belly with blueberries, and a decadent platter of 35 day Dry-aged Sirloin. A Tasting menu boasts unique daily dishes, offering desserts such as a Blueberry Cornbread Pudding with sweet corn ice cream.

The wine list presents a formidable choice of international selections. Beer lovers are not neglected with several Belgians and Californian IPAs. Or maybe the ‘Bees Knees” cocktail will do-- a perfect melange of moonshine white whiskey, chamomile infused Luxardo, honey and lemon.

Craft can also be experienced in true LA style on the beautiful outdoor patio, surrounded by luxury high rises filled with “show me the money” agents looking down in food envy.


10100 Constellation Blvd       (310) 279-4180

Craft

 

  Cuisine: American  
  Location: Venice  

GJELINA


Bare bulbs dangling from the iron grate hanging above the dining room, communal tables, rustic atmosphere and peaceful outdoor patio, define the eclectic, lively space. But it’s ultimately the food and wine that make Gjelina an unforgettable experience.

At the helm of this renowned Venice kitchen is Travis Lett, the young, talented, self-taught chef, confidently focusing on local and seasonal bounty.

Lett’s Mediterranean influence is showcased with the occasional Asian inspiration. A wood-burning oven puts out excellent, thin crust Pizzas topped with delicacies such as garlic confit, lamb sausage, hen of the woods mushrooms, and fromage blanc. Simplicity abounds with an array of roasted and grilled meats, crispy fish dishes, and the freshest produce, all sublimely prepared. Don’t miss their exquisite Sunday brunch, filled with creative and tempting options.

Relaxed and knowledgeable staff. Enjoyable, varied, well-selected wine list.


1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd       (310) 459-9808

Gjelina

 

  Cuisine: American  
  Location: Topanga  

INN OF THE SEVENTH RAY


It must be love when someone takes you to the Inn of the Seventh Ray, a fine dining piece of heaven in the idyllic Santa Monica Mountains. Perhaps the most romantic restaurant in Los Angeles, guaranteed to impress that special someone.

The drive might take a little longer, but the expedition to this creekside restaurant is worth the extra miles. Nestle at a candlelit table surrounded by rocky mountains, a nearby waterfall and the sounds of birds chirping, while savoring the freshest, most delicious foods and wines that California can offer.

Executive Chef Bradley Miller uses organically grown ingredients from local farms, hormone-free meats and free range poultry. His guilt free creations include Shrimp Cocktail 2010 of fresh belize shrimp, olive oil poached tomatoes and rosemary essence, the Grilled Portobello Mushrooms topped with apricot sauce and truffle oil, and Crispy Vegan Duck with herbed soba noodles, baby bok choy, organic carrots and ginger apple cider emulsion.

The supremely salacious dishes pair easily with one of their robust and earthy organic wines, using grapes from local wineries. End the magical night by sweetening the senses with a spoonful of maple cheesecake and fresh mint cream.


128 Old Topanga Canyon Road     (310) 455-1311

Inn of the Seventh Ray

 

  Cuisine: American  
  Location: Mid Wilshire-West Hollywood  

JAR


It is no accident that Suzanne Tracht has been recognized as one of the top female chefs in the Unites States. She has been a revolutionary force in the Los Angeles restaurant scene for over a decade, working with such culinary masters as Chefs Mark Peel from Campanile and Siegbert Wendler. But it's what she has successfully achieved on her own terms that makes Tracht a stand out.

Upon entering into the elegant warm dining room that is Jar, it seems as if you are stepping into another era— one of old-fashioned grace with a perfectly poured martini. The sleek modern design and attention to detail are achieved with effortless brilliance.

Tracht specializes in standard American fare with a graceful, contemporary twist. Grilled and braised meats, seafood, and seasonal farm fresh vegetables adorn the menu. The signature Pot Roast is a must; succulent and homey, served with sweet caramelized onions.

Definitely try one of their signature cocktails, mixed with an expert hand. The outstanding wine list features classics and obscure gems from domestic and international producers.


8225 Beverly Blvd      (323) 655-6566

Jar

 

  Cuisine: French, American  
  Location: Santa Monica  

JIRAFFE


Award winning chef-owner Raphael Lunetta has succeeded at merging the precision and delicacies of fine French cooking with the welcoming and local flavor of California cuisine. The dining experience at JiRaffe is elegant but unpretentious, detailed but approachable. A perfect dining space nestled on a corner in downtown Santa Monica invites romantic meals, celebratory affairs and casual weekday suppers.

While enjoying a seasonal specialty cocktail or a choice from the French and California focused fine wine list, an Amuse-bouche will arrive fresh from the bounty of the nearby farmers market-- preparing your palate for the ever-changing menu.

The roasted Beet Salad with walnuts, dried Bing cherries and goat cheese cream is a signature item. Another favorite is the Roasted Chicken, served with a fresh garden ragout. Caramelized Pork Chop shows off Lunetta’s passion for choosing excellent and well-sourced meats-- the sweet pork perfectly cooked and served with an apple-spiced chutney and wild rice.

JiRaffe demonstrates its creative pursuits with an extraordinary selection of nightly specials and occasional chef’s tasting menus. Mondays are Bistro Night, with a 3-course Prix fixe for $38.


502 Santa Monica Blvd.       (310) 917-6671

JiRaffe

 

  Cuisine: American, Eclectic  
  Location: Downtown  

LAZY OX CANTEEN


This cute and cozy eatery is a favorite for all local gastronomes in the know. Chef Josef Centeno blends his diverse, ethnic heritage with his impressive experience, having worked in such prestigious restaurants as Daniel and La Cote Basque in New York, Charles Nob Hill and Aubergine in California.

The hard to define magical menu is inspired by modern and traditional French, Mexican, Japanese and Catalan dishes. Chef Centeno’s ingredient-driven creativeness conjures up inventive dishes such as Lamb Neck Hash with jidori egg and pickled mint onions, melt in your mouth Ricotta Fritters with saffron honey, Dashi marinaded Yellowtail, and a guilt ridden Crispy Pork Belly sandwich with garlic alioli. The crunchy, salty-sweet Caramelized Cauliflower with pine nuts, chili flakes & mint will create cauliflower converts everywhere.

Bustling and vibrant, the packed bar is filled with foodies taking advice from the friendly bartenders for the perfect libation to match their dishes. A remarkable selection of wines, beers, sakes and shochu. Begin with one of their selections of crisp Belgium Beers, or the lighter Bundaberg ginger beer. Be sure to save room for dessert with the creamiest, most luxurious rice pudding on the planet.


241 S San Pedro St.      (213) 626-5299

Lazy Ox Canteen

 

  Cuisine: American  
  Location: Mid Wilshire-West Hollywood  

LOU


Hidden within an unsightly strip mall lie a secret treasure for the venturing gastronome, Lou the Hollywood restaurant and Wine Bar. Charmed with a soulful ambience throughout its rustic, rectangular candlelit room, Lou is the perfect romantic surprise guaranteed to excite the senses.

The seasonal menu is displayed on a large blackboard and chalk drawn map of the artisanal cheeses and charcuterie, and their origins. A popular choice is the Cheese Plank with well-aged Wisconsin Cheddar, herbed Cowgirl Creamery cheese, a Triple Cream, Goat’s cheese, Sheep’s milk cheese and a Blue cheese such as Rogue Creamery Smoky Blue. Their produce is fresh from local farmers markets, meats are hormone free, and the fish is wild, not farmed.

A trip to culinary heaven continues with sample tapas-style dishes, such as the House made country-style Pate with pistachios, fresh figs, speck, arugula and toasted almonds, or a larger plate of mouthwatering Maine Scallops, corn puddin’, and tomato-avocado relish. Try pairing it perfectly with some Bundaberg ginger beer.

An extensive wine list offers over thirty wines by the glass that changes 3 or 4 times a week, ranging from $6- $16. Look for special Monday suppers, wine tastings and food pairing events occurring weekly. Be aware that there is a no-reservation policy on Friday and Saturday or for groups of 6 or less.


724 Vine Street      (323) 962-6369

Lou

 

  Cuisine: American, Steakhouse  
  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

 



 
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