The 18 best Los Angeles restaurants you need to try



Despite everything that has happened throughout the pandemic, the best Los Angeles restaurants continue to be home to one of the nation’s most inventive, interesting, and diverse food scenes. In a city whose reputation is founded as much on off-the-beaten-path tacos and pop-ups as it is on fine dining-trained chefs making rapid work of farmers’ market produce and mainline access to the top-notch Pacific seafood, you can find delicious food no matter the form.

At its heart, Los Angeles’ restaurant culture thrives on diversity, giving rise to genre-defying formats and cuisines that have given rise to some of the top omakase restaurants, fine dining establishments, and hidden treasures in strip malls in the nation. Our specialists search the city for delicious food and useful insider knowledge. Fun, flavor, freshness, and value at every price point are things we appreciate. We routinely update our list to reflect changes to menu selections, service methods, new venues, and the ever-shifting state of the city’s culinary scene. In our opinion, if it’s on the list, it must be fantastic and worth the wait, the money, and the anticipation. We bet you will agree.

September 2022:

We just reranked our Best Restaurant picks after many visits and careful consideration, including a few familiar but new names: Damian, Dulan’s Soul Food Kitchen, Sushi Gen, Luv2Eat Thai Bistro, Maude, and Nozawa Bar. We’ve added prices to our tasting menu listings in order to increase transparency in the face of rising inflation and enable you to make the best possible eating choices (and your pocketbook).

To better reflect the overall influence of these chefs on the current dining scene, we’ve also highlighted the sister establishments of République (Bicyclette and Manzke), the relatively new Mother Wolf (instead of Felix, our previous choice), Pizzeria Mozza (Osteria Mozza and Chi Spacca), and Bestia/Bavel (Saffy’s on Fountain) in their listings.

Even though indoor vaccination and mask requirements were eliminated by both L.A. County and the City of L.A., we preserved our list of outside dining establishments and takeout-friendly callouts.

L.A.’s 34 best restaurants, ranked

1. Bestia

Outdoor dining is available.

What is it? A sophisticated, multi-regional journey through Italy via the eyes of one of Los Angeles’ top chefs. Bestia still needs reservations ten years after its glitzy inauguration in 2012, and for good reason—it’s always in style and always packed with trendy and fashionable patrons.

Why we love it: Even after numerous orders, chef and co-owner Ori Menashe’s menu highlights never fail to impress. For instance, the spaghetti rustichella is astonishingly straightforward yet shockingly delicious. It consists of a little pyramid of noodles topped with Dungeness crab, lemon, Calabrian pepper, Thai basil, and onion seed.

2. République

Currently closed for repairs, République is scheduled to reopen at the end of September. There are outdoor eating and takeout options.

What is it? Where old meets new in the history of Los Angeles dining. It is nearly hard to leave unsatisfied at this all-day café and more upmarket dinner venue. Where the excitement of delighted diners is palpable from morning till night.

Why we love it: The fresh pastries in the case from Margarita Manzke are some of the best in Los Angeles, and Walter Manzke’s international French cuisine

3. Hayato

What is it? A two-Michelin-star, beautiful kaiseki supper that costs $310 per person feels more like a meditative experience than a meal.

Why we love it: The setting is intimate, and the ceramics are handcrafted and imported from Japan. The staff is kind and diligent. And chef and restaurant owner Brandon Go has years of training in Japan under his belt, which contributes to his precision and expertise. There is something almost criminally modest about this dish. Because of Hayato’s delicate flavors, Angelenos can overlook some of the city’s most exquisite dining. We really hope not. They wouldn’t be able to enjoy steamed abalone with a decadent liver sauce;

4. Orsa & Winston

What is it? The Japanese-Italian restaurant with a Michelin star headed by Chef Josef Centeno is known for its tasting menu ($125). But it’s also well-known for its casual à la carte katsu sandwiches and grain bowls in the Before Times (which we hope will return someday).

Why we love it: In one of Centeno’s hyper-creative, genre-defying dishes. You might find scallops and uni in a rice porridge decorated with flowers or some abalone topped with tempura-like fried shiso leaves. These meals make every meal pleasurable. Because they are infused with L.A. love, a global perspective, and a keen sense of balance. Even with the mandated service fee and tip, it’s still one of the less attractive options.

5. Damian

Available for dining outside.

What is it? Enrique Olvera, a well-known chef best known for his work at Cosme in New York City and Pujol in Mexico City, has a fine-dining Mexican restaurant in the Arts District. Detroit is a more laid-back daytime taqueria.

Why we love it: Damian’s menu prices may put the restaurant firmly in the fine dining category. But the painstakingly sourced, well-prepared seafood, meat, and vegetable dishes. The house-made drinks, including non-alcoholic versions, have elevated it to one of the city’s top Mexican eateries. It is modest but fashionable.

6. n/naka

What is it? Niki Nakayama is the chef-owner of a two-Michelin-star kaiseki restaurant in Palms and a student of the great Morihiro Onodera. Who also appeared in the Netflix documentary Chef’s Table, is a protégé of Onodera (2011).

Why we love it: Nakayama honed her skills in the traditional Japanese cooking method known as kaiseki. Which specifies a particular development of textures, temperatures, tastes, and seasonal ingredients. When every dish is this wonderful, we can live without the a la carte choice. A 13-course tasting menu with a vegetarian option is regularly available at n/naka for $310 along with wine and sake pairings.


7. Jitlada

What is it? One of the city’s cult favorites, chef-owner Jazz Singsanong’s Thai Town restaurant serves Angelenos in honor of her brother, L.A. Thai culinary icon Tui Sungkamee, and has a large menu and lots of spice.

Why we love it: Jitlada excels at all cuisines, whether they are regional specialties or more Americanized dishes. The fragrant Crispy Morning Glory Salad, which combines crunchy, deep-fried Chinese watercress with plump prawns, is a must. Northern and southern Thai curry delicacies like Green Mussels Curry and Jungle Curry may set your mouth on fire. Even American favorites like the Turmeric Chicken Wings must be tried.

8. Mariscos Jalisco

Takeout is offered.

What is it? Four trucks (in Boyle Heights, Downtown, Pomona, and La Cienega) distribute fish prepared in the Jalisco style around the Southland. One of L.A.’s oldest taco establishments, Mariscos Jalisco, is famous for its deep-fried shrimp tacos . But it also offers tostadas, oysters on the half shell, and ceviches that are made with only the freshest seafood.

Why we love it: In essence, everything is good. When tasty and fresh shrimp are folded into a corn tortilla and then cooked to a golden brown, they make their distinctive tacos dorado de camarón, which live up to the hype.

9. Bavel

Available for dining outside.

What is it? The chefs of Bestia, Ori Menashe, and Genevieve Gergis, take diners on a savory culinary tour of Israel, Egypt, Morocco, and Turkey. The menu includes fire-roasted meats, homemade couscous, possibly the best pita in all of Los Angeles, and fantastic desserts, just like the Italian equivalent.

Why we love it: Bestia redefined modern Italian cuisine, but this is even more intimate. Bavel’s Menashe and Gergis make some of the best hummus by combining their knowledge of current cooking techniques with their familial and cultural background.

10. Petit Trois

Available for dining outside.

It is what? With his Los Angeles interpretation of a Parisian bistro, Ludo Lefebvre pays attention to simplicity. Whether at his first sparsely furnished strip-mall establishment in Hollywood or the bigger, grander sibling location in Sherman Oaks.

Why we love it: Steak fries, mussels marinières, and chicken legs are all on the menu. But the hip-hop and classic rock music on the playlist further Lefebvre’s idea that this is a casual and really cool French restaurant. where you can indulge in extremely technical food but enjoy it without pretense.

Time Out tip: Get the Big Mec. Although the burger is a complete tank and can leave you groggy for the rest of the day, are you really going to pass up the greatest bordelaise sauce in town?

11. Dulan’s Soul Food Kitchen

There are takeout and outdoor dining options.

What is it? With three locations (Inglewood, Crenshaw, and Westmont), this Black-owned South L.A. institution has been a mainstay for more than 20 years. It serves some of the best platters of Southern comfort food in the city. Including fried chicken, smothered pork chops, and a variety of sides, including outstanding cornbread.

Why we love it: The restaurant’s substantial homestyle meals. The no-frills atmosphere provides a nice contrast to the more ostentatious restaurants in the area. Whether you select Dulan’s beloved macaroni and cheese or any other dish on a choose-your-own plate, every element counts.

12. Luv2Eat Thai Bistro

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Available for delivery and takeout.

What is it? A funky, laid-back Hollywood eatery managed by two Thai American immigrants offering up family recipes and a heavy dose of Southeast Asian heat (with a second location in Beverly Grove called Noree Thai).

Why we love it: The hot crab curry made in the style of Phuket and other chef’s specialties at Luv2Eat Thai serves as the foundation of a dinner that is truly exceptional. Fern Kewathatip and Noree Pla offer all the traditional takeout options. Try their beautiful jade noodles topped with fish balls for those who can handle capsaicin less well.

13. Leo’s Taco Truck

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Takeout is accessible.

What is it?  a group of seven taco trucks in Los Angeles that only accept cash and offer some of the greatest al pastor tacos in the area. Although they also serve burritos, mulitas, huaraches, and other traditional Mexican street food dishes. The trompo, a rotating spit of tender, marinated al pastor topped with a shaved, juicy pineapple chunk, is likely to attract your attention.

Why we love it: late-night tacos! In the afternoon, tacos! Although the going-out crowd makes up the majority of the customers at Leo’s on weekends, this isn’t your typical dive. Operating

14. Pearl River Deli

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What is it? A casual dining establishment serving Cantonese cuisine run by one of Los Angeles’ top Chinese BBQ chefs, with wok-fried noodles, tender grilled meats, and daily specials. The PRD now offers lunch and supper, with hours of 11:30 am to 8:30 pm Wednesday through Saturday and 10 am to 3 pm on Sundays.

Why we love it: Some of the city’s most amazing Chinese food is produced by Johnny Lee thanks to his unwavering attention to detail and respect for tradition. A must-order Hainan chicken and rice plate, exquisitely lacquered char siu, and even tenshindon, a Chinese-Japanese omurice wrapped in a light sauce, can be found on PRD’s menu, which often varies. Everything

15. Jon & Vinny’s

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Outdoor eating, takeout, and delivery are all options.

What is it? With branches in Fairfax, Brentwood, and South Los Angeles. This contemporary all-day red sauce restaurant by chefs Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo serves up premium, high-quality variations on traditional pizza, spaghetti, and Italian American sweets.


Why we love it: The hot vodka fettuccine. the sauce bolognese. The top-tier cheesecake is made in New York style. There is a reason that Jon & Vinny’s sells out of its full menu weeks in advance for primetime dinner reservations. A supper at Jon’s was paired with carefully selected, unusual wines from their wine shop.

16. Shiku

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Outdoor eating, takeout, and delivery are all options.

What is it? Kwang Uh and Mina Park, the chefs behind the lauded, fermentation-obsessed Baroo, has written a love letter to the homestyle Korean food found inside Grand Central Market (now closed).

Why we love it: With three types of house-made banchan and a choice of L.A.-style galbi, kimchi-braised pork belly, or doenjang-marinated chicken, Shiku’s Osirak (Korean lunch boxes) are beautifully designed, perfectly portioned lunches. They also produce fried shiitake mushrooms, which are also vegan. along with

17. Mother Wolf

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What is it? The flashier, more glitzy successor to the Felix Trattoria in Venice. Evan Funke’s tribute to hyper-regional Roman food is located in the center of Hollywood and is a favorite of celebrities.

Why we love it: Mother Wolf excels because of Funke’s simple mentality of “F*ck your pasta machine” (his words, not ours). The involuntary groan-inducing pizzas and handmade pasta from Felix are still available. But the opulent old-school dining area has a little more space and you can choose from a sparkling amaro cart.

Time Out tip: It is practically necessary to make reservations. Which are made available on Resy at midnight seven days in advance. Instead, go to Felix for a pan-Italian menu that never fails to satisfy a meal that has less of a high-ticket flair.

18. Park’s BBQ

Available for dining outside.

What is it? The best Korean BBQ in the city, serving prime and American Wagyu beef in a stylish, time-tested setting that takes meat more seriously than others.

Why we love it: While there may be disagreements among Angelenos on their preferred Korean BBQ, Park’s appears to be the one constant. At least on special occasions. That’s because quality is what ultimately matters: Since the meat is of the highest quality, you may discover exquisite cuts of beef and hog that are grilled at your table in addition to the traditional kimchi pancakes, tofu stews, and banchan in abundance—

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