All about Los Angeles restaurants

LA has a lot to offer. The City of Angels is always on the go and seemingly driven by glitz and glamor. And if you’re willing to fight the traffic, you’ll find some of the best restaurants, shops, and attractions in the world, from studio tours to museums, from beaches to piers.

Los Angeles is the epitome of big, bold, and beautiful, and most of this city’s pastimes revolve around “the scene.” So if you’ve had your share of the beach, head inland for the star-studded Sunset Boulevard or Melrose Avenue and stay tuned! Since restaurants and bars drive the social hustle and bustle, you’d better allow yourself that power nap in the afternoon if you want to keep up with the cool kids.

Remember: the stars come out at night, this is Los Angeles after all. This city seems to sparkle after sunset … you can rock the Sunset Strip or dance in Hollywood. So if you like its cool bars, dry martinis, and delicious restaurants, be sure to have your wallet, your appetite, and your energy for your night out in the Hollywood-style of the city.

Here’s our insider’s guide to some of the best dining and nightlife options. Know this: Fights broke out among our editorial staff when someone foolishly suggested that we limit our JourneyPod Picks in Los Angeles to just 10 restaurants and 10 bars. We had so much fun breaking it down in Tinseltown that we had to go with 15 selections in each category. Of course, another fight ensued when we tried to assign numbers to all of these hot spots, so the cooler heads prevailed and we’ve since removed the rankings.

Rest assured of one thing … all 30 of these places are ridiculously fantastic and require your own A game. Perhaps even after a night on the town, you too will understand why even people in the business think “Entourage” it seems so real …


1. Koi: (West Hollywood) If your goal is to discover the Hollywood A-list of celebrities, make reservations at the most popular Asian fusion restaurant in Los Angeles, where you will see and be seen. Although the service can be rushed at times, who cares? The food is too good. A welcome relief from the hectic Melrose scene, Koi is a haven of feng-shui elements (candles, water, and open patios). Here’s a tip: request one of the horseshoe cabins in the backyard. Located at 730 N. La Cienega Blvd. (between Melrose Ave. and Santa Monica Blvd.).

2. Morton’s The Steakhouse: (West Hollywood) Legendary for its Oscar night parties, celebrity viewers awed by the stars can often catch their favorite actors on a culinary break at this restaurant from the power elite of Tinseltown. Don’t, we repeat, don’t mistake this for Arnie Morton’s of Chicago’s steakhouse chain. And, if you’ve got enough room after you’ve eaten the hearty dry aged steak you came here for, order the Banana Nut Fritters with Vanilla Ice Cream and Caramel Sauce or the melt-in-your-mouth hot chocolate. espresso cake. Morton’s can be found at 8764 Melrose Ave. (and Robertson Blvd.).

3. The Ivy: (West Hollywood) Merchants and dream makers dine in this cabin with a white picket fence (this is where most celebrities go when they really want to be photographed by the always lurking paparazzi). While shabby-chic furniture (think antique French furniture that needs painting) may not be that inspiring, traditional American food is. Just be sure to try the Caesar salad (the most perfect we have ever eaten) before being seduced by the delicious desserts. Take a close look at the sign (it’s hidden in the ivy) as you walk to 113 N. Robertson Blvd. and Alden Dr.

4. Dolce Enoteca: (West Hollywood) Talk about the quintessential celebrity hot spot (Ashton Kutcher, and about half of the cast of “That 70’s Show,” owns it)! Hollywood heavyweights lounge in large booths and enjoy sexy black leather and marble decor. Pica Italian tapas, perfect for sharing. Be sure to try the gorgonzola risotto main course and leave plenty of room for the sumptuous and rich ricotta cream cheese for dessert. Located at 8184 Melrose Ave. and Sweetzer Ave ..

5. Dan Tana’s: (West Hollywood) Who says Los Angeles doesn’t have good Italian food? Walking into this restaurant is like stepping into a time jump dating back to 1950s New York City. The old Hollywood vibe is only matched by the food (simply delicious and loaded with garlic). Hollywood moguls, actors, screenwriters (and hopefuls in the three aforementioned categories) flock to Spaghetti Carbonara and Shrimp Diavolo. Since a reservation here is still one of the hardest to come by in the city, be flexible on the schedule (psst … eating late here is better anyway). Located at 9071 Santa Monica Blvd. on Doheny Dr ..

6. Asia from Cuba: (West Hollywood) Do you want to rub shoulders with the Hollywood elite? Then head over to the place that has been doing Fusion since before “fusion” was its own kind of food category. Asia de Cuba is the entry to the Sunset Strip for Asian-Latin fusion, menu options range from large (to larger) portions to family style (try the tasty calamari salad and good scrumptious coconut cake) . You can choose to sit indoors or outdoors, but keep in mind that the outdoor patio offers spectacular views and is one of the best in Los Angeles. At night, Asia de Cuba transforms into a luxuriously sexy evening. Located within Mondrian at 8440 Sunset Blvd.

7. Mr. Chows: Another place to rub shoulders in Tinseltown. In Beverly Hills, hot spots cool down quickly, but this place has kept its sight and being seen for what seems like forever (Mr. Chows opened in 1973). Their Chinese food is “ripe” and elegant here – Chows offers great dishes that will leave you wanting more (order the green shrimp marinated in a spinach dressing and the grilled filet mignon). Psst … the best nights to spot celebrity stars are Wednesdays and Thursdays. And you will always know the caliber of the celebrities inside by the number of paparazzi reading your fortune cookies along the sidewalk. Mr. Chows is located at 344 N. Camden Dr. (and Wilshire Boulevard).

8. The Little Door: (La Brea / Miracle Mile) Looking for a romantic hideaway amid the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles? The Little Door (house turned restaurant) is your answer, just make sure you find the place. With indoor and outdoor seating, this small venue does not advertise or allow advertising; yeah it’s that good! After passing through the two simple wooden doors, you will find a romantic patio with canopied seating, a garden, sparkling candles and an impeccable menu. The Little Door is located at 8164 W. Third St. (Crescent Heights Blvd.).

9. Sushi Nozawa: (Studio City) Yes, it is in a strip mall (located at 11288 Ventura Blvd.). And yes, the lights are brighter than the mid-afternoon sun. But believe us, what matters is not the decoration, what matters is the sushi. And what a little abuse while you order (it is said on the street that someone was once kicked out for ordering California rolls!), As long as you can eat the best sushi on this side of Tokyo!

10. Angelini Osteria: (La Brea / Miracle Mile) Mama mia – that’s amore! From the paper-thin pizza to the garlic-infused lasagna, everything here is delicious, although you might not guess at first, as you make your way through the simple and often crowded dining room of one of the most famous Italian restaurants in The Angels. Not only will you be welcomed like family, but you will also be offered a menu full of serious selections; don’t forget to pay special attention to the desserts. You may even be aware of Justin Timberlake and his girl, Cameron, dining here (as this place tops your list). Located at 7313 Beverly Blvd. and Poinsettia Ave.

11. Sushi Roku: (West Hollywood) The beautiful interior is as remarkable as the people who flock here; many Hollywood offerings spring up on the innovative and succulent sushi dishes. The “Cali touch” is evident in every dish, and the sake / beer options are limitless. Don’t even think about leaving without trying the scallop dynamite, espresso profiteroles and “Roppongi” (a delicious mix of vodka and sake served with a ginger bar). And don’t bother arriving without a reservation. Located at 8445 W. 3rd St. (between N. La Cienaga Blvd. and S. Croft Ave.).

12. Matsuhisa: (Beverly Hills) If you love sushi and don’t mind adventure, don’t walk, run to this place. With an innovative cuisine, Matsuhisa offers more than 100 dishes. If you let us place your order, we go with the unforgettable omakase tasting menu that begins with the signature cold dishes of master chef Nobu Matsuhisa and ends with a procession of cooked dishes such as Kobe beef and black cod in miso. Although the setting is modest, don’t be fooled! The sushi here is the best. Matsuhisa is located at 129 N. La Cienaga Blvd. (and Wilshire Blvd.).

13. La Terza: (Beverly Hills) Sophisticated – Italian – Simplicity. Attached to the Hotel Orlando (formerly Beverly Plaza), this multi-level, multi-faceted restaurant is impeccable, in its menu selections and design. Tuesdays are “Tavola Italiana” night, when chef Nancy Silverton sets up a table of antipasto options in the middle of the restaurant. Reservations aren’t accepted here, so it’s on a first-come, first-served basis (and it’s definitely worth showing up!). La Terza is located at 8384 W. Third St. (in Orlando).

14. Massimo Ristorante and Bar: (Beverly Hills) Fancy trying Tuscany? Massimo, located just off Rodeo Drive in the heart of Beverly Hills (9513 S. Santa Monica Blvd.) is decked out with celebrities and entertainers who are deep-rooted fans of chef Massimo Ormani’s authentic food. Try the famous beef Bolognese dish. FYI: Massimo has most recently been on the NBC show “Recipe TV” with the best chefs in the world.

15. AOC: (La Brea / Miracle Mile) Maybe not the first tapas restaurant in town, but definitely the trendiest! If grazing is an art form for you, AOC is the place to be … sleek, modern and chic, the gang here is pure Hollywood glamor. Almost everyone here looks and parties like a rock star regardless, and everyone comes for the extensive wine list and Mediterranean-influenced small plates. The menu changes daily, but rest assured that everyone relishes every dish. AOC is located at 8022 W. 3rd St. (and Crescent Heights).

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