101 L&L APPROVED RESTAURANTS IN LA

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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

 

WESTSIDE EATS

 

 

VENICE

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

 

 

SANTA MONICA

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.

 

 

CULVER CITY

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

 

 

WEST ADAMS

Alta – modern soul food, vibrant and stylish space

Mizlala – casual Middle Eastern fare, cozy patio

 

 

MANHATTAN BEACH

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

 

 

WESTWOOD

Hamasaku – modern upscale sushi

Fellow – upscale, fancy but not stuffy, great food and cocktails (dont skip dessert)

 

PALMS

Doughroom – neighborhood pizzeria, industrial-chic design, beer

N/Naka – upscale Japanese, tasting menus, one of LA’s finest

 

 

SAWTELLE

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

 

 

BRENTWOOD 

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

 

 

CENTURY CITY/MID-CITY

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

 

 

HOLLYWOOD

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

 

 

WEST HOLLYWOOD

Gracias Madre – trendy, gorgeous outdoor dining area, vegan, Mexican inspired, epic happy hour

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

 

 

BEVERLY GROVE

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

 

 

BEVERLY HILLS

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

 

 

FAIRFAX

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

 

 

KOREATOWN

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

 

 

HANCOCK PARK

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

 

 

LARCHMONT

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

 

 

WESTLAKE

Langer’s Deli – old fashioned deli, open since 1947, known for their famous “original #19” pastrami sandwich

 

 

 

EASTSIDE/DOWNTOWN EATS

 

 

DOWNTOWN

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

 

 

CHINATOWN

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

 

 

SILVER LAKE

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

 

 

ECHO PARK

 

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

 

 

FROGTOWN

Salazar – colorful and casual outdoor eatery known for their beautiful patio, tacos with fresh housemade tortillas, and other Mexican/BBQ’d fare

 

 

ATWATER VILLAGE

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

 

 

EAGLE ROCK

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

 

 

LOS FELIZ

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

 

 

HIGHLAND PARK

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

 

 

PASADENA

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!*