Los Angeles is much more than just Hollywood and beaches. In Los Angeles, restaurants are an attraction too. Some fine dining restaurants end up being the meeting point of celebrities, becoming a trendy spot to meet friends and snap some Insta pics. However, besides fine dining restaurants where you can catch some celebrities, L.A. has the fast casual restaurants or fast food chains that are very appealing as well. L.A. fast food is tasty and has the power to bring different nations together. From tacos and burgers fast food to Creole and Chinese fine cuisine, discover the L.A. food guide that will make your stomach begging for more.
Food unites people and brings joy! A happy satisfied stomach creates good memories and Los Angeles food can contribute to those good and joyful memories. L.A. has restaurants for all tastes, ethnicities, ages or any “pocket size”. If Oscars would be for food, L.A. certainly would have won one! It is really difficult to choose amongst so many delicious restaurants, just one that you should go to. For this reason, whilst I was on holidays in L.A., I decided to come up with this article and help you choose the restaurant to go to, in case you are planning some holidays in L.A. or you live there and you are just curious to get to know more.
I selected a total of 20 restaurants with different cuisines, in which 12 are fine dining and 8 are quick service restaurants (fast casual restaurants known as fast food restaurants). In United States, fast food can be very tasty, much more than in Europe and that’s a big advantage, because it allows you to save some money and not waste it in expensive restaurants. In this way, U.S. awkwardly can be more complete in what matters to food.
Put on the plates, set the cutlery, let’s travel to L.A. and off we go to a yummy destination!
LOS ANGELES FINE DINING RESTAURANTS
The elegant and exquisite Mastro’s Steakhouse restaurant is the right place to enjoy a Kobe Beef or just a Filet, either way here you’re set to have a dish fit for the Gods. They have live jazz music. If you prefer seafood, check their other restaurants on their website.
The centenary and famous hotel and restaurant Chateau Marmont has a unique art deco glamour where many celebrities are often seen. A meal in this emblematic restaurant requires a reservation beforehand. They have a bar suitable for a fancy cocktail with a Hollywood vibe.
I totally recommend you to go to Crustacean restaurant. This Asian fusion restaurant with origin in Vietnamese cuisine is one of the best I ate in my life! The food, the service, the decor, the location, everything it’s 5 star! The exotic menu has special dishes like: An’s Famous Garlic Roasted King Crab, Kagoshima A5 Wagyu Tartare or Mongolian Lamb.
Everyone I met in L.A. that lives there, highly recommends Yamashiro. The Californian-Japanese fusion restaurant, besides having an incredible menu, has a magnificent design with a majestic garden (picture above). Yamashiro means “Mountain Palace” in Japanese. The restaurant has been open since 1914 and it has indoor and outdoor dining service.
Soulmate is a modern Spanish Mediterranean restaurant in West Hollywood. The contemporary decor matches perfectly with the Soulmate Paella or the Soulmate Churros. I didn’t have the chance to go there whilst on holidays, but it was highly recommended, not only because of the delicious menu, but also for its experienced team that delivers a great service.
This restaurant in Venice Beach will take you to the tropical cuisine of Hawaii, with Japanese influence. Enjoy a Teriyaki cheeseburger or a Manofee Tart (a banoffee version with mango) indoors or outdoors. The high-end clientele and cocktails are the right choice for a Californian end of the day, chilled, but glamourous. They have happy hour from Monday to Thursday, between 4 and 6pm.
If you want to know what Hollywood celebrities like to eat, this is the restaurant! Catch Los Angeles is popular to have paparazzi’s outside waiting for the next celebrity to get in or out. Mostly seafood and Japanese inspired menu, the sushi rolls here are absolutely scrumptious. If you are a “sweet tooth” like me, then make sure to have the warm ricotta donuts filled with different sauces like salted caramel and cream cheese frosting.
Maybe not the fanciest restaurant from this fine dining list, but surely the most impressive from all of them. Harold & Belle’s is a family owned restaurant that passed from generation to generation, bringing the best of Creole cuisine. The Fried Oysters along with other dishes such as Louisiana Style Catfish and Jambalaya will take you to the southern spirit of U.S. Make sure to try their Peach Cobbler Pie. It’s so delicious!
Who says ribs aren’t a sophisticated meal! At Lawry’s The Prime Rib Beverly Hills, you get the best A La Carte Prime Ribs from Certified Angus Beef, served with the best Yorkshire Pudding. However, if you are on the search for something else, you can either opt for their Charbroiled Fillet Mignon or the Salmon Rockefeller. As one of the best steakhouses in U.S., the secret for a perfect prime rib is in the stainless cooking steel carts and the cut of the meat. Everything is handled with detail.
After a shopping ride in Rodeo Drive, treat yourself with a meal at 208 Rodeo, which I referred on my last article. The posh Beverly Hills restaurant has a fusion of different tastes from America, Italy, Caribbean or Japan. When I went to 208 Rodeo, the Branzino (picture above) I had was perfectly cooked, the fish was juicy and the skin crispy. One their specialities is the Caribbean Lobster Tail.
Book in advance a table at Nobu Malibu and get the best of Japanese cuisine whilst looking at Malibu Beach. Nobu is a worldwide luxury famous restaurant chain that doesn’t need presentation. At Nobu Malibu, you might be seated next to a celeb, you never know! The eclectic and upscale menu is chosen carefully to serve you an unforgettable time at Los Angeles.
Mr Chow is a very well known high class chain of restaurants, famous by its works of art exposed in the restaurants spread around the world. The Beijing cuisine is brought with elegance and the staff is well trained to contribute for an atmosphere of refinement. Mr Chow Noodles is a dish that I would recommend, although in my opinion the chain of restaurants has gain notoriety by its high elite customers. The food in my opinion could be better, but I admit the design and the service, do make you feel as if you are a celebrity.
QUICK SERVICE RESTAURANTS/
FAST FOOD RESTAURANTS
There isn’t hot dogs like in U.S.! Being a lover of hot dogs as I am, I had to try the ones from Pink’s. Their hot dogs are so popular, that there is always a queue. Some of their hot dogs are named after celebrities, which have inspired the decor of the inside of Pink’s to be filled with celeb photos. The super special topped hot dogs are so creative, that you can even find onion rings on top of one or see a hot dog burger.
Fast food in L.A. is beyond good, it’s mouth-watering! Example of that is Leo’s Tacos Truck. They have the best tacos I had so far, however they have more than tacos in their menu. They have Burritos, Quesadillas, Nachos, etc. They have so many varieties of meat to choose from: chopped beef, braised pork, beef tripe and more. The food truck’s in Europe should learn with Leo’s how to “honour” fast food like they do! They have 8 locations. I went to the one at La Brea Avenue, on the map bellow.
To all the Americans, my husband and I, we asked where to eat the best burger, they all answered: In-N-Out. Verdict: they are delicious! The bun is soft and warm, the cheese tastes like cheese and the burger is tender and tasty. Besides the burgers, they have the best chips/fries I had in a fast food restaurant, and I’m not into chips/fries at all. The ones I got were topped with fried onion, cheese and mayo-ketchup pink sauce, unforgettable! They have 5 locations in Los Angeles. Bellow on the map, it’s the one in Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood.
Another place to relish some tacos is at Tigre’s Fuego. They are described together with Leo’s Tacos Truck, the best tacos in town. I didn’t have the chance to try one, but the good reviews I read, I was sure, I had to include them in this list. They are famous also for their ceviches. There is more to choose from, besides tacos and ceviches, there is as well, burritos, nachos and tortas.
Barbecue is served proudly at Wood’s Bar-B-Que. The quick service restaurant is unique and there isn’t nothing like that in Europe, so I highly recommend you to go there and try the ribs, links (picture above) and sliced beef. The yummy menu has also a dessert that I will never forget and if I could, I would eat it everyday: banana pudding! Everything in their menu is cooked with detail and you can tell, it’s quality meat. It reminds you Barbecue Sunday’s with family and friends. They have 4 locations. Maybe the one I went, in Inglewood, it can be considered a “dodgy” neighborhood, but for me it seemed totally fine, just saying.
The best French Dip Sandwich is at Philippe The Original! Their extraordinary menu will show you what American comfy food is all about. The “juicy” French Dip Sandwich will keep you hooked in a way that sandwiches in Europe will seem “boring” and tasteless. They serve breakfast from 6am, which allows you to try the “divine” french toasts and pancakes.
I chose AMC Dine-in Theather more for the experience of being served food whilst watching a movie on a reclining chair. It’s an amazing sensation! It feels like being home, but with restaurant service at the table. Here you can expect only fast food such as burgers, pizzas or pretzels. Nonetheless everything is delicious.
Last but not the least is Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs. Several people in L.A. said that Pink’s is not the only place to have the best hot dogs. Nathan’s apparently serves not only tasteful hot dogs, but burgers too. Even though Nathan’s is originally from New York, it’s worth trying it once you’re in L.A.
The only thing missing in this L.A. food guide is a pizza restaurant, no one that I spoke with in L.A., mentioned anything about pizza’s, so if you know a good place to have one, leave a comment down bellow and I’ll make sure to go there on my next holidays to L.A.
Regarding fine dining restaurants in L.A., they have a strict dress code, so check it beforehand. Most of them have brunch at the weekends.
Check my previous article about 15 Places to Go in Los Angeles, right bellow:
Wishing you a scrumptious weekend!
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