101 L&L APPROVED RESTAURANTS IN LA
There are T O N S of restaurants in LA. So, it can be near impossible to stay on top of what’s actually good and worth your time. However, no need to fret or feel overwhelmed my friend, that’s why I’m here! I have spent about 50% of my time in Los Angeles dining, the other 50% has been spent in the gym just in case you were wondering, and this my go-to list of “Love & Loathing LA Approved” restaurants. They’re in no particular order and the list will change from time to time so be sure to check back in!
101 L&L APPROVED RESTAURANTS IN LA
Gjelina – breakfast, lunch, AND dinner. Abbot Kinney, an LA classic.
Tasting Kitchen – brunch, hip, Abbot Kinney.
Scopa Italian Roots – brunch, dinner, gorgeous spacious interior, secret bar.
Gjusta – little sister to Gjelina, possibly more beloved by the locals, casual, breakfast/lunch.
Felix Trattoria – pasta. Some of the best in the city period.
Great White – trendy breakfast/coffee/brunch, great location – my favorite breakfast burrito in town
Nueva – brunch, cocktails, great outdoor patio, Mexican meets Middle Eastern
Caravan Swim Club – actually near LAX, close enough, located at the Hotel June, gorgeous Tulum inspired patio overlooking the pool, for Mezcal lovers, Cali meets Mexican fare
La Cabaña – a classic LA institution, ultra-traditional Mexican food, open since 1963, great patio
Elephante – trendy, great “rooftop” views, open all day, great food & craft cocktails
Cassia – upscale, French-Asian, beautiful and spacious design.
Tar + Roses – cozy, moody, Americana.
Upper West – neighborhood joint, loftlike, Americana, great happy hour.
Michael’s – classic, upscale Californian cuisine, “artsy” if you will.
Milo + Olive – all-day menu, wood-fired pizzas, casual cool.
Rustic Canyon – upscale yet approachable, Californian, highly regarded, incredible wine list.
Tallula’s – “beachy Mexican cantina”, fun, colorful.
FIG – inside the Fairmont hotel, Southern California cuisine, beautiful interior.
Birdie G’s – casual, fun, eclectic, industrial-chic space, beloved local chef.
Fia – epic and ideal decor and patio, large menu, wonderful cocktail program.
Pasjoli – recently opened, and one of the best Parisian bistro-inspired meals you can get in LA.
Father’s Office – gastropub, home of one of LA’ best burgers
Roberta’s – wood-fired pizza’s, patio seating, hip
Pasta Sisters – pasta, outdoor seating
Lodge Bread Co – casual local bakery, cafe, breakfast, pizzas
Dear John’s – old school old Hollywood haunt, recently reconceptualized menu, steak & cocktails
Vespertine – one of LA’s best “fine dining” restaurants where art is edible, celeb chef, memorable beyond belief
Alta – modern soul food, vibrant and stylish space
Mizlala – casual Middle Eastern fare, cozy patio
Manhattan Beach Post – creative farm-to-table fare, all-day eats, casual bar scene
The Arthur J – chic, retro mid-century modern steakhouse, classic with a modern twist
Fishing With Dynamite – cozy seafood-centric spot with a modern nautical design
Love + Salt – refined beachside Italian, loved by locals, housemade pizza & pasta
Hamasaku – modern upscale sushi
Fellow – upscale, fancy but not stuffy, great food and cocktails (dont skip dessert)
Doughroom – neighborhood pizzeria, industrial-chic design, beer
N/Naka – upscale Japanese, tasting menus, one of LA’s finest
Butchers Dog – cozy and casual restaurant/bar, British Pub inspired eats, great for game watching
Kato – upscale omakase in an unassuming space in a strip mall. So you know it’s good.
Tsujita (Artisan Noodle, & Annex) – known for having some of the best Ramen in LA
Toscana (and Bar Toscana) – old school Italian eatery, rustic Tuscan fare
Pizzana – Naples inspired pizzas and more inspired by California cuisine
Tavern – upscale American fare, posh decor inside a glass atrium design
Baltaire – stunning upscale modern steakhouse
Bicyclette – bistro-style French, brought to you by the incredible team at Republique, cozy, warm, unbelievable food
Hinoki + The Bird – upscale American fare made with Japanese techniques and ingredients
Apple Pan – classic American diner, open since 1947, known for their burgers & pie
Hollywood Pies – the best deep dish pizza you can get in LA period.
Bootleg Pizza – the best square pie in town – and they offer by the slice!
Terra at Eataly – one of the best rooftops in the city, great for dinner/drinks/brunch
SOMEWHERE IN THE MIDDLE
Providence – upscale fine dining, seafood-centric tasting menu, award-winning across the board
Salt’s Cure – sleek, modern, hip, great for drinks, dinner and weekend brunch
El Compadre – OG Mexican food, an LA staple, open since 1975
Mama Shelter – (rooftop) trendy, incredible views, great cocktails, Mediterranean / Middle Eastern-inspired fare
Jitlada – modest in appearance, top-notch in high-quality Thai dishes (a favorite of the late Jonathan Gold)
Gwen – polished, meat-centric, butcher shop meets upscale restaurant, owned and run by Curtis & Luke Stone
L’Antica Pizzeria Da Michele – the West Coast sister of famous Neapolitan restaurant Da Michele, gorgeous space & patio, my favorite pizza in LA
Fingers Crossed – Evan Funke, inspired by all things “Rome”, great pizza, for lovers of Negroni’s and fine design
Soulmate. – trendy, Spanish inspired cuisine, incredible bar program, massive dining room(s)
Sushi Park – some of LA’s best sushi
Norah – chic and stunning space, eclectic American inspired fare, glam
Dan Tana’s – OG old school upscale Italian dining
Night + Market Weho – traditional style Thai street food served in a vibrant, young, and lively space
Olivetta – one of my fav chefs, gorgeous A+ ambiance, “see and be seen” kinda spot
The Izaka-ya by Katsuya – casual yet high-quality sushi and Japanese dishes. A personal favorite haunt of mine.
AOC – cozy and romantic indoor/outdoor space, true Californian cuisine, contemporary, farm to table
Joan’s On Third – trendy gourmet marketplace, cafe/takeaway, “homemade” meals, beloved by locals
Slab – badass causal BBQ
El Coyote – Historic Mexican restaurant, open since 1931, still serving classic Mexican dishes and great margaritas
Sugarfish (tons of locations all over LA) – just about every Angeleno’s favorite sushi spot. Easy ordering, high quality, modern design, fair menu prices.
The Fountain Coffee Room – landmark coffee shop located inside the Beverly Hills Hotel, open since 1949, great for breakfast, burgers, baked goods and pies
Spago – famous Wolfgang Puck restaurant, upscale California cuisine
Maude – helmed by celeb chef Curtis Stone, features a monthly tasting menu, very cozy
Polo Lounge – another Beverly Hills Hotel eatery, their flagship more upscale dining concept, California cuisine
Crustacean – upscale Vietnamese, recently renovated chic interior
The Honor Bar – intimate, as casual or as dressed up as you want, part of Hillstone group, order the fried chicken sandwich
Mirame – upscale Mexican cuisine, gorgeous and uber-chic space, best cocktail program in BH
Sweet Chick – a hip take on Southern Comfort food, cute and casual interior, fun cocktails
Bludsos BBQ – some of the best Texas BBQ in LA (some might argue the best), great cocktails, casual seating
Terroni – cozy, buzzy, known for their Southern Italian fare
Jon + Vinny’s – modern “all day” type diner, known for their pizza and pasta, young/hip and everlastingly popular
Angeleni Osteria – one of LA’s most beloved and classic Italian restaurants
Park’s BBQ – incredibly popular upscale Korean BBQ, grill-it-yourself, known for their Kobe beef options and short ribs
Cassell’s Hamburgers – classic 50’s style diner known for their burgers and shakes
Guelaguetza – Oaxacan style Mexican, an LA institution, casual, hip, massive indoor/outdoor dining, family-owned and operated,
Kang Ho Dong Backjeong – more casual Korean BBQ, open from lunch until late night
Republique – something straight out of a movie set, gorgeous interior, modern French fare, open all day (casual breakfast/lunch, more traditional style dinner)
Mozzaplex – Pizzeria Mozza (pizza), Chi Spacca (meat focused), or Osteria Mozza (upscale Italian inspired) – either way you slice it, all of these Nancy Silverton establishments will blow you away.
Met Her At A Bar – breakfast/brunch, local favorite
Kali – minimalist-chic space, beautifully plated dishes, seasonal and contemporary California cuisine
Osteria La Buca – great date spot, Italian, perfect balance of casual and “nice”
Osteria Mamma – neighborhood joint with great Italian
Langer’s Deli – old fashioned deli, open since 1947, known for their famous “original #19” pastrami sandwich
Manuela – probably my personal favorite restaurant in DTLA – ambiance, quality food/ingredients, A+ cocktails… it can’t be beat
Girl and the Goat LA – sister West Coast outpost of famed Girl & the Goat in Chicago, celeb Top Chef, in my top favorite restaurant opening of 2021
Bestia – trendy Italian restaurant helmed by husband and wife duo, beautiful warehouse-like space, continually creative dishes
Bavel – follow up restaurant to Bestia by chef Ori Menashe and Genevieve Gergis, Middle Eastern-inspired, beautiful and spacious interior, won “best new restaurant in LA” and “restaurant design of the year” in 2018
Kazunori (with a few other locations) – the first restaurant of its kind serving mainly Japanese style hand rolls, great for dining solo or with one other person, casual bar-style seating only
Bottega Louie – big, bright, beautiful dining space, known for their pizzas, pasta, beautiful French macaroons, and their very Instagram-worthy pastry bar
Peking Tavern – stylish Chinese eatery, located completely underground (a bit of a hidden gem), great bar, known for their hand-pulled noodles and handmade dumplings
Wurstkuche – hip and modern “beer hall” serving a variety of sausages and beers (there is a Venice Beach location as well)
The Factory Kitchen – reclaimed factory space yet still very warm and cozy, known for their beautiful Italian food and handmade pasta dishes
Rossoblu – gorgeous open space in a 100-year-old building, helmed by beloved LA chef Steve Samson. bolognese-inspired menu, handmade pasta
Dama – stylish, vintage tropical-inspired design serving fun and inventive Latin fare and beautiful craft cocktails
Cole’s – open since 1908, known for their famous French Dip and cocktail program, cozy interior, great happy hour
BAR Amá – DTLA “cantina”, Tex Mex inspired cuisine, fun and casual vibe
Pilot DTLA – my personal favorite rooftop in DTLA – atop the Hoxton Hotel – great views/food/cocktails
Sibling Rival – breakfast/brunch/lunch, also inside the Hoxton Hotel, get the pancake and the burger
Majordōmo – industrial-chic space, run by celeb chef David Chang, fun and inventive California cuisine
Lasa – Filipino cuisine with California flair, cozy dining room, modern, casual
Philippe’s – historic deli, known for their famous French Dip, casual communal-style seating
Howlin’ Rays – counter only Nashville style hot fried chicken with a cult-like following and a never-ending line
Pine + Crane – casual, minimalist chic, Tawainese style restaurant open for lunch through dinner
Sqirl – minimalist and very small local cafe, known for their globally inspired breakfast fare and housemade jams
Alimento – Italian inspired bistro with a minimal and modern design
Botanica – hip, vegetable/fresh ingredient centric, cocktails/natural wines
Eszett – for the foodies, chef-driven, fun
L & E Oyster Bar – oyster bar (and more) as advertised, super cute and cozy neighborhood spot
Little Pine – I don’t always dine at strictly vegan restaurants… but when I do… (Mediterranean, plant-based cuisine owned by Moby!)
All Day Baby – casual breakfast and lunch local joint, modern diner appeal, the follow-up restaurant to Here’s Looking At You
Cosa Buona – casual/cool, Italian inspired pizzas + more
Freedman’s – Jewish American inspired fare, hip Eastside feel, old school classics with modern twists
Ostrich Farm – simple, quaint, chic, American fare
Guisados (several locations) – casual and locally beloved “OG” taco joint
Salazar – colorful and casual outdoor eatery known for their beautiful patio, tacos with fresh housemade tortillas, and other Mexican/BBQ’d fare
The Morrison – Scottish pub known for their upscale burgers, selection of beers, whiskey, and other pub-style eats
Tam O’Shanter – old school Scottish pub located in a Tudor-style building, open since 1922, known for their prime rib and cocktails
The Oinkster – retro fast-casual eatery known for their gourmet burgers and specialty sandwiches
Little Beast – quaint neighborhood-style bungalow known for their beautiful patio and New American style cuisine
Kismet – buzzy minimalist chic restaurant known for their all-day Mediterranean fare
Little Dom’s – cozy, old school (yet still very hip) local Italian American restaurant known for their great breakfast/brunch, all the way through to dinner
Home – one of my first favs in LA, cute patio, open all day
Figaro Bistrot – vintage-inspired chic French-style bistro with sidewalk seating and classic bistro fare
Atrium – expansive and impressive brick-clad space with indoor and outdoor alley seating with a fun menu and great cocktails
STUDIO CITY / SHERMAN OAKS
The Bellwether – cozy yet sleek design concept, New American cuisine, classic cocktails with a twist
Sushi Note – somewhat the first of its kind, it’s a sushi wine bar concept offering, you guessed it, absolutely beautiful sushi and wine
Petit Trois – an expansion on the original Petit Trois bistro in Hollywood, run by celeb chef Ludo Lefebvre and the Trois Mec team, known for their classic French fare
The Front Yard – solid “all day” restaurant with a great patio, located at the Garland Hotel
Casa Vega – 1950’s classic Mexican restaurant, iconic LA, super fun, great food
Checker Hall – vintage-inspired cocktail bar and Mediterranean bistro
Triple Beam Pizza – Nancy Silverton & Matt Molina’s Roman-style casual pizzeria where you can choose the size of your slice
Hippo – casual yet thoughtful Italian American cuisine with a casual-chic vibe
HomeState – casual cafe known for their tacos and other Tex Mex offerings
Union – cozy, casual-chic restaurant known for their Italian meets Californian farm-to-table style fare
Pie n’ Burger – old fashioned diner known for their burgers, pies, and shakes, an LA institution as it has been open since 1963
Agnes Restaurant & Cheesery – “inspired by food grandma used to make”, gorgeous open air space, cheese & wine & more
U Street Pizza – Union’s new NY style pizza concept, casual, cool, for the foodies
*Yes – I have personally been to ALL of these. No these are not ALL of the best restaurants in LA, these just happen to by my (keyword my) personal favorites!*