Los Angeles is one of the big-two major metropolitan centers in the US alongside New York City, so it only stands to reason that it would be one of the top culinary destinations in the country. When you think Los Angeles, you think beach, you think Hollywood, you think Lakers, and if you really know what LA culture is about, you think food. We are here to help you wade through the sprawling metropolis that is the “City of Angels” and locate the best dining establishments that Los Angeles has to offer.
No restaurant better epitomizes Los Angeles fine dining than James Beard Foundation “Best New Restaurant” nominee Providence on Melrose Avenue. The coastal-influenced Providence aesthetic is built on presenting the freshest wild seafood in its most natural form, with an emphasis on bringing out the natural flavors of the finest ingredients available, rather than overpowering sub-par ingredients with a garish onslaught of unsophisticated flavor. This is what really sets Providence apart as possibly the best restaurant in LA. Chaya Brasserie, featuring So Cal locations in Beverly Hills, Venice, and Downtown LA, is another top option in the city, featuring a gourmet fusion of French and Japanese cuisine, as is the Penthouse located in prestigious Santa Monica hotel the Huntley, featuring a breathtaking 18th floor view of the Pacific Ocean and mouthwatering cuisine to match.
Considering that Los Angeles had an almost 50% Hispanic population as of the 2010 census, it is clear that it may be quite literally the best city in the US for Latin food, particularly of the Mexican variety. La Huasteca is known as one of the best Mexican restaurants in LA, featuring some of the most authentic Mexican cuisine you will find north of the border. Birrieria Apatzingan, Martin Cruz’ locals-favorite establishment specializing in the cuisine of Apatzingán in Michoacán, and La Casita Mexicana, brainchild of Ramiro Arvizu and Jaime Martin del Campo are other top Latin options in the city. For a true Los Angeles Mexican culinary classic, visit Yuca’s, a family-run establishment open since 1976 serving up regional Yucatán cuisine that has kept patrons coming for over 30 years. A trip to Yuca’s will not only fill your stomach with some of the best Mexican food LA has to offer, but it is a truly touching and heartwarming experience overall as Yuca’s epitomizes a family-run operation built on the love of food and the people who eat it.
When it comes to Italian cuisine in Los Angeles, there are so many great options that it’s honestly hard to know where to start. You are definitely going to want to consider Valentino in Santa Monica, specializing in Nicola Chessa’s unique brand of Sardinian-style fare. Despite the culinary excellence of Valentino, they offer a very fairly-priced tasting menu at just over $50 without wine pairings, and around $100 with, making for a truly comprehensive Italian fine dining experience that is affordable to the common man. Chef Gino Angelini’s Angelini Osteria is another great choice, specializing in the cuisine of the Italian countryside, while Osteria Mamma, offering up culinary masterpieces native to the Veneto region of Italy is sure not to disappoint even the most discerning of Italian food enthusiasts. Other excellent Italian options include Piccolo in Venice, Il Ristorante di Giorgio Baldi in Santa Monica, and Madeo in West Hollywood.
It is well-known that Los Angeles is home to one of the largest Asian populations in the country, and this makes it a mecca for authentic and delicious Asian cuisine. If you want to enjoy a truly unique Asian dining experience you would not find in less diverse cities, consider a visit to Tibet Nepal House, specializing in the exotic cuisine of the Himalayas. For Asian-inspired fine-dining in LA, try the ever-present Wolfgang Puck’s Chinois on Main, which has been open since 1983 and pretty much set the standard for the popular Asian-French-American gourmet fusion cuisine which has since taken the culinary landscape of the country by storm. Consider Golden Deli if Vietnamese noodle soup Pho tickles your taste buds, or Crustacean for the best in Asian-inspired seafood fare with a European twist.
Los Angeles is home to some of the wealthiest, most high-profile individuals in the country, so of course it would be a major hub for gourmet fine dining. It is also home to large Hispanic and Asian populations, and is one of the most diverse cities overall in the country, meaning that ethnic and traditional fare abounds. LA is in a rarefied air when it comes to food, so culinary enthusiasts of all shapes and sizes are sure to leave the city with their appetites satiated and their taste buds thoroughly satisfied.