Whether you’re traveling to Los Angeles for the sunshine and coastal living, you’ll want to stay for the cuisine. The different cultures and flavors that abound make its case as one of the most riveting––and delectable––dining scenes in the nation. Read on for all of the can’t-miss dining spots for your next visit to the “City of Angels.”
Walk through a tunnel of reeds beside the Tommie Hotel and you’ll find that suddenly, you’ve stepped out of Hollywood and into a lush “jungle.” Here, diners are perched on hand-woven chairs below basket chandeliers while sipping mezcal-driven cocktails, an assortment of Mexican beers, or wine sourced from Latin American vineyards. Helmed by Chef Wesley Avila, the Alta Californian menu is inspired by the flavors and techniques learned from his frequent trips to the Yucatán Peninsula, as well as his experience as a native Angeleno. Chef Avila is a beloved taquero, but here, his locally-sourced meat and seafood concepts take center stage.
In 1975, a Chinese woman and her Chinese-Peruvian husband opened Chifa in Lima, Peru, bringing Cantonese cuisine to the Peruvian landscape. Over four decades later, Chifa opened once again, now in Eagle Rock. This family-led affair marries quintessential home cooked Cantonese, Taiwanese, and Peruvian dishes that are given a modern twist, all served in the funkiest digs: zebra wallpaper, emerald green velvet booths, wavy marble tables, and brightly-colored chopsticks.
Rock ‘n’ roll, coastal Italian-Australian dishes, and idyllic views of the Hollywood Hills…this unlikely trio provides for an outstanding culinary and nightlife experience any day of the week. The latest venture by Botanical Hospitality Group––behind E.P. & L.P.––a studio bar, restaurant, and rooftop space are all situated in a 15,000-square foot multi-level space in the Vinyl District that was once a former hit-making studio from 1971 to 2016. The restaurant space features a mix of raw industrial materials and fire engine red accents that provide a minimalistic touch, so the culinary showmanship can speak for itself. American & Australian twists on Italian classics are heavily dependent on what’s in-season and available at the nearby Hollywood Farmers’ Market.
“Soko” means “storeroom” in Japanese, which makes sense, as Soko Sushi was built out of a storeroom tucked away within the Fairmont Miramar Santa Monica lobby. This luxurious, intimate 8-seat sushi bar is led by veteran Sushi Chef Masa Shimakawa, who pays homage to the humble origins of sushi by fusing his refined techniques with SoCal sensibilities. Serving up some of the freshest and most authentic sushi in town, this hidden gem offers a simple yet refined menu, but let Chef Shimakawa decide what to serve you for a truly unique experience.
No matter what time you’re able to score a coveted reservation, the night always feels young at Horses. The space was once called Ye Coach & Horses, and most recently was a British pub called The Pikey, a neighborhood mainstay (and, it’s reportedly where Quentin Tarantino met Tim Roth). The three colorful dining rooms are tributes to tenants’ past, with horse accents throughout, naturally. Chefs Liz Johnson and Will Aghajanian serve French-esque seasonal California fare. The endive-based Horses Caesar is a classic, and though it sounds the least interesting, the cheeseburger & fries is consistently a crowd-favorite.
L.A.’s fine dining scene has been on the rise for quite some time, and the opening of Manzke earlier this year has shaken up the scene. From two of the most respected restaurateurs and chefs in the United States, Walter & Margarita Manzke, the eponymous spot above Bicyclette boasts an elegant, hours-long evening filled with ten different courses (and wine pairings for an additional sum). The plates are prepared with fruits and vegetables from the Santa Monica Farmers’ Market, while other luxury ingredients are flown in as-needed (think: wagyu beef from Miyazaki in Japan, abalone from Monterey Bay, and even morel mushrooms from the Himalayas).