The first thing I do when planning a vacation is check out the city’s food scene. So I thought it might be nice for me to help out those who may be planning a visit to the City of Angels. Below is a list of my favorite L.A. restaurants. The list is broken down by breakfast/brunch and dinner.
Charcoal Venice – from Michelin-starred Chef and Owner Josiah Citrin , this neighborhood spot is one of my favorite places for brunch in Los Angeles. Chef de Cuisine, Joseph Johnson, rocks it in the kitchen. His Smoked Short Rib Sandwich and Blueberry Dutch Boy are to die for. Chef Johnson was recently named Chopped: Grill Master Champion and StarChefs Rising Star.
425 Washington Blvd., Venice, CA 90292 Phone: 310-751-6794
The Bellwether – the brunch menu at this “New American” Studio City restaurant is diverse and delicious. Ted Hopson cooks up a mean eggs “in Purgatory” as well as a fluffy dutch baby with Meyer lemon marmalade and powdered sugar. If you go, do not miss Mama Betty’s Bloody Mary, made with house infused Habanero vodka, bacon salt, and a mini BLT on a skewer.
13251 Ventura Blvd. Suite A, Studio City, CA 91604 Phone: 818-285-8184
Tavern – This restaurant is a great place for a brunch celebration. My family and I have spent many holidays here. The food is great and the service is excellent. This restaurant is also a great place for celebrity spotting.
11648 San Vicente Boulevard, Brentwood, CA 90049 Phone: 310-806-6464
Huckleberry Cafe – If you happen to be in Santa Monica this is a great place for breakfast. You can eat as healthy as you want or indulge in their decadent pastries. You may even decide to purchase a copy of their cookbook “Huckleberry – stories, secrets and recipes from our kitchen”. This is an “order at the counter” cafe.
1014 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica CA 90401 Phone: 310-451-2311
Dinner is a much harder list to narrow down. There are so many good restaurants in Los Angeles. I determine where to eat dinner by what I am doing – example: staying local (to avoid traffic), going downtown for a play, going to Hollywood for a movie, etc. Traffic in Los Angeles is a huge factor when determining where to eat.
My two favorite restaurants in Los Angeles are Providence and Spago Beverly Hills, but I have many go-to restaurants.
Spago, Beverly Hills – is my all around favorite restaurant in Los Angeles. Yes it has a celebrity chef in Wolfgang Puck, yes it is in Beverly Hills and yes celebrities abound. But Spago is so much more than that. It is a warm, comfortable restaurant where the staff makes you feel at home. When Wolfgang Puck is in the restaurant he mingles with diners, shakes hands and poses for photos. And yes, the food is delicious! Make sure you start your meal with Ahi tuna cones
176 North Canon Drive Beverly Hills, CA 90210 Phone: 310-385-0880
Providence – is my quintessential “special occasion” restaurant. This Michelin two star restaurant is worth emptying your pockets for. Each dish is perfectly executed. The “Seasonal Tasting” menu is $185 ($270 with wine pairings), the “Chefs Tasting” $220 ($325 with wine pairings), and the “Providence Tasting” $120 ($165 with wine pairings).
5955 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90038 Phone: 323-460-4170
Mastro’s Steakhouse – If you are looking for a damn good steak or a delicious seafood tower then head over Mastro’s. There are six outposts in Southern California, as well as one in Palm Desert. Make sure you order their famous Mastro’s Signature Warm Butter Cake for dessert.
246 N Canon Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210 Phone: 310-888-8782
Otium – If you are headed downtown for a play, opera, concert or even a Lakers game – this is a great place to eat. There is nothing formal about this restaurant and the food, by Chef Timothy Hollingsworth (of Barrel and Ashes), is top notch.
222 South Hope Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012 Phone: 213-935-8500
Mikkeller Bar DTLA – If you like beer, really good beer, house smoked sausages and flatbreads, then look no further than Mikkeller Bar DTLA. Having visited the Mikkeller bar in Copenhagen, I could not wait for this bar to open. It did not disappoint. Mikkeller is located a short distance from the Staple’s Center. Did I mention that they have really, really good beer?
330 W Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90015 Phone: 213-596-9005
Bone Kettle – in Old Town Pasadena, is a Southeast Asian kitchen and bar that became an instant favorite. Start with a spicy papaya salad or perhaps Oxtail dumplings. Then choose a protein to be added to a bone broth that has been cooked with traditional Southeast Asian ingredients and spices for 36 hours. Protein choices include fatty brisket, top sirloin and chicken breast. What a treat.
67 North Raymond Ave, Pasadena, CA 91103 Phone: 626-795-5702
Beauty & Essex – is the place to go if you are headed to Hollywood. Enter a “pawn” shop, go to an unmarked door and enter a beautiful restaurant. All plates are meant to be shared and the food is delicious. This is a great place to eat if you are headed to the Pantages Theatre or to a movie at Arclight Hollywood.
1615 Cahuenga Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028 Phone: 323-676-8880
Other favorites worth checking out are:
Pizzeria Mozza – http://la.pizzeriamozza.com/
Angelini Osteria – https://www.angeliniosteria.com/
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