I am relocating to LA for a few months and am simply wondering where the best places to eat are. I want to indulge! Thanks in advance.
at least it's not just us?
Be more specific...where in LA?
LA is pretty vast, and your dining options vary greatly depending on if you live downtown, westside, south bay, etc.
Are you willing to drive an hour through traffic to get a good meal, or do you want to stay local?
More generally, try LAMag.com and their Eat / Shop / Do lists.
I'll be around for at least a few months and plan on eating out a lot, so I am pretty open to drive through traffic and what not.
Have you driven in LA traffic yet? You might end up changing your mind after a couple times.
It really sucks driving around searching for food in the traffic here but the one place I would recommend is Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles.
Paco's Tacos also worth a visit.
I'd be happy to put together a South Bay list if the OP will be down that way.
Critters in Hermosa/Manhattan Beach area used to have beer specials during televised car chases.
Critters is now called North End Bar & Grill. Still the same divey but endearing hole. Don't know if there are still car chase specials - it's been a while since we had a good one.
One of my great college buddies grew up in that area and we visited once or twice a year. His grandparents owned a house right on the strand and I can say without doubt that it is the best place to be in the country for the 4th of July.
You are correct sir.
I've lived in Michigan, both coasts, and London. And Hermosa Beach (and Manhattan and Redondo) is pretty damn wonderful.
Funny story, my first 4th there I ended up in a random house party looking for a rest room. End up in a kitchen and check out the pictures on the fridge to find Shaq, Kobe and several other Lakers. I was at a Laker girl's place and ended up on her team for some drinking games.
I also saw Bruce Willis, Dan Akroyd and John Popper perform together at the House of Blues on that same trip. I was standing at the bar after getting a drink and I look to my left and Dan Akroyd is just standing next to me. I say, "Great show. I am big fan of yours." He says, "Thanks kid" slaps me on the back and disappears. Only in freakin L.A. I would guess everyone that lives there has similar stories.
If you haven't tried a Brazilian (Churrascaria) steakhouse, I highly recommend it. There are several in LA.
+1, if you have never had beef coma you go to a Churrascaria. Fogo de Chao is a pretty famous one is LA. If you are down in Orange County, Agora is very nice and close to John Wayne Airport.
yummy burgers and shakes.
I like El Pollo Loco as well, I can't seem to find them in the midwest.
3 X 3 animal style with animal style fries.
I had a business trip out to Nevada a couple years back, it was the first time in a long time I was out that way. I got so excited when I saw a In-N-Out near the hotel, I dragged the other guy with me to eat there. It was as good as I remembered.
The Kogi Truck. Korean taco truck!
take western all the way to venice beach and eat at C&O trattoria. 1/2 portions there feed 2-3 people. also, i can't remember the name but there's this awesome restaurant up along the PCH out on the way to malibu. great for sunset dining. if you want to rub elbows with famous people there's lots of good places around UCLA (westwood) and santa monica.
You're probably talking about Duke's Malibu - that's right at the water's edge.
There's also Geoffrey's a little further out, up on a bluff overlooking the pacific.
...On Washington blvd. all the way to Venice/Marina Del Rey. Western runs North/South into Downtown and ending in Los Feliz.
Maybe the Malibu place is Geoffreys? They have an incredible view of the ocean in Malbu, but there are quite a few places on the PCH so it could be something else.
got my w's mixed up. been gone too long.
The never ending garlic bread balls that they bring you at C&O before and during your mail are definitely worth the trip. they are so addictive.
Check out the March issue of Saveur magazine - it's all about LA. With that said, here are some suggestions. I travel out there a lot for work.
Campanile and the adjacent La Brea bakery on La Brea
La Sereneta de Garibaldi in Boyle Heights for great Mexican, or there's one in Santa Monica
Border Grill - great Mexican in Santa Monica
Versailles for Cuban
Any restaurant where Suzannes Goines is chef (Lucques or AOC)
Capo in Santa Monica ($$$$ but great)
The Reel Inn, a divey seafood place near Malibu on Pacific Coast Highway
Apple Pan for burgers
Falafel King for falafel (There's one in Westwood, and one on the Promenade in Santa Monica)
In n Out Burger
As for tacos, there are so many great taco stands - get recommendations once you get there. Pink's is supposed to be great for hot dogs. I love going to the Farmers Market on Third and Fairfax. There are little food stalls and you can get great cheap Mexican, and other stuff, there. For Chinese, I like the Mandarette, on Beverly, but Chinese is really subjective. Anyway, enjoy!
Curse you for reminding me of the taco stands. I miss them dearly.
This great taco hunt blog is highly recommended reading. Remember that the seedier the neighborhood, the better the tacos.
I always wanted to try Mozza, but I called for a reservation and they were booked for weeks on weekends.
Pink's is pretty good with lots of interesting selections. If you don't get there at the right time, the line can be very long.
Right off the boardwalk, get the La Minature (which is their tasting menu), its really great. The place is a little more upscale. If you just want a nice vibe casual restaurant, BJ's brewhouse is very good. They have great pizza, they brew their own beer (although they have other beers on the menu). BJ's are all over LA, and I believe the Southwest too. If you really want to slum it, you can't go wrong with Dell Taco, open 24hrs, on every other block in Los Angeles, makes Taco bell look gourmet, but boy does it go nicely with a beer buzz.
My wife and I had a great meal at Lucques Restaurant on Melrose a couple years ago (we were living in So Cal at the time). It is one of the trendy WeHo spots where everyone in the place is more beautiful and thin then you are.
But the food was awfully good. http://www.lucques.com/
And definitely go to In-N-Out. Often. And learn about the "secret" menu, so you can feel like a local.
Double burger, animal style. You have to at least try it.
On the cheap side:
Pink's and In-N-Out (if you aren't from the West Coast).
LA has so much great stuff that you'd have to be pretty specific to get good recommendations. What type of food and price are you looking for?
If you're willing to pay, Cut (Wolfgang Puck's steakhouse) is excellent. They have a steak tasting that is just unreal.
Just went to Philippe's yesterday and I always recommend it to visitors/newcomers. They invented the French dip sandwich, they've been around for decades, and have a cool everyday Angeleno crowd/atmosphere. Great place to go before hitting up a Dodger game, too.
I'd endorse the recommendations of the North End and Roscoe's. Tons of great Thai, Korean, and Mexican places (just ask locals from each group and you should get steered in the right direction). Canter's is a good bet for late night pastrami (they even have a bar attached).
Best. Mustard. Ever.
They make it themselves, same way for a hundred years. It's literally the best mustard I've ever had.
Roscoes Chicken an Waffles was a good recomendation and is a must.
If you are willing to travel east a little there is:
Clearmans Nothwoods Inn. They have great steaks and shimp or lobster. It's a dim lit place where you can throw penut shells on the floor and has the best salad and cheesebread in the world.
Panda Inn. great chinese food for reasonable prices.
Greendfeilds Brazilian BBQ. I believe they have 26 different kinds of meat that they bring around on skewers. All you can eat.
Tulipano's. Amazing nothern italian food at reasonable prices. Under 20$ a person.
In-N-Out is a must. Get yourself some animal style fries (they aren't on the menu)
Hit up any hole in the wall mexican joint. Anything with a B rating is preferable.
If you give me a specific location or a price range I could probably help a bit more.
Not dropping a ton of money, just looking for good solid places to eat. The type of food doesn't really matter to me either. I plan on traveling around also so the whole city is at my disposal really.
LA is replete with exceptional hamburger options. From the revered In-n-Out to Fatburger to Tommy's to Carl's Jr, if you like burgers, you can try a new burger joint every day of the week.
I'm partial to Carl's Jr's Six Dollar Jalapeno Burger, as well as the In-n-Out Double Double Animal Style.
If you want to indulge, then go to Sona and get the tasting menu. The chef is David Myers and he is amazing. I have only been once, but it was by far the best (and most expensive) meal I have ever had. It is on La Cienega just north of Beverly Blvd and you will not be disappointed.
--Umami Burger (few different locations in Hollywood. quite possibly the best burger in town, if not the hippest)
--Lucques does a sunday night tasting menu called "Sunday supper" which is $45 a person. It's a different menu each week and is a pretty good deal for high-end gourmet food that tastes great. Check their website midweek for a0
--Il Pastaio--Beverly Hills staple that just makes damn good Italian food. The risotto nero (squid-ink) looks like a pile of rice with motor oil on it, but it one my favorite dishes in town.
but I used to LOVE this place, up in Topanga Canyon.
I ate there the last time I was in LA. My brother-in-law's best friend was the head chef there for a couple years and we were treated to an incredible meal. The atmosphere was amazing and I would recommend it to anyone in the area.
ticket for a great date night- hit some of the seaside joints at the bottom of the canyon (basically Malibu) late afternoon for appies and cocktails, then enjoy the twisty canyon road enroute to the Inn for a late dinner under the stars.
A buddy of mine grew up in LA and recommended this place to me on a recent business trip. A no-frills walk up hamburger joint, but definitely cheap and legit.
I also second Phillipe's (I actually like the breakfast there).
Follow their recruits, they only go to the best, ask any booster.
You guys are awesome. I wrote down every restaurant mentioned here. Unlikely I'll get to all of them lol but I definitely have my work cut out for me now.
For Mexican food, King Taco is a must. Get either the carne asada tacos or burrito.
Phillipes and In-N-Out have been mentioned are great places to grub.
I also recommend finding a good Vietnamese spot in your area and try a Pho noodle soup.
is also a must
but this looks like it might not be a bad place to start:
Pacific Dining Car (locations near downtown and santa monica) $$$$ but great old school steak dining;
Mastro's - Beverly Hills $$$$
Wurstkuche - bratworst and sausages; euro beer in beer hall setting in the Arts District $
Barney Beanery Santa Monica - huge menu for anything you are in the mood for; $
Pink's Taco - Westport shopping area in Century City; $$
Coles (claims to be the inventor of the French Dip sandwhich); $$
The Galley - between Santa Monica and Venice $$$
And here is a good thread on burgers in the LA area which generally comports with my experience.
And it is located right at the end of Sunset where it runs into the Pacific Coast Highway. So it is always a nice drive going there, no matter where you are.
Riviera Country Club, the Rose Bowl and Gladstone's are my three favorite places in the LA area.
The Alcove in Los Feliz. Off Hillhurst, north of Franklin.
For coffee go to Intelligensia in Silver Lake.
Diddy Riese in Westwood just across from UCLA. Not for a meal but for a snack or dessert. It is cheap and awesome.
Also, if it appeals to you go to the Big Boy in Burbank sometime. As I recall the original closed long ago but this is the second. The food is the same as at any other Big Boy but it's a cool place to check out.
Damn...Tito's tacos was a good call!
So was Barney's Beanery. I was gonna mention that and The Yardhouse as great places to go for some good food, a cold beer and catch a game. The Yardhouse has over 100 beers on tap and you can get a glass a yard tall, but if you get it, be careful drinking the last 1/3, it might go rushing down your face!