LA is a gastronomic powerhouse and these restaurants represent some of the extraordinary diversity of southern California and its proximity to the best locally grown and produced foods. If you have a passion to dine out do this list and get your reservations by any means necessary.
Many Thanks to Ron Winters who curated this list. Ron travels the world sampling the best food and restaurants. In his home base of Southern California Ron hits all the Restaurants, Food Trucks, Burger and Taco Stands that are important to the legions of California Foodies.
Pasjolis This French Brasserie is easily the Best Restaurant in LA. Pasjoli dishes up brilliant French food without compromise. This place is populated by LA’s aristocracy so you will need to be comfortable around this set and have a lot of cash or credit to burn. Don’t be chicken to order the Pressed Duck; a historical French gastronomic experience straight from Escoffier. There is nothing like it for thousands and thousands of miles. This dish may become the fine dining trend in 2020.
Hayato A traditional Kaiseki dining experience awaits those lucky enough to snag one of seven seats offered by American Japanese Chef Brandon Hyato Go. This twelve course experience can only be described with two words; supreme and dream. Islam posits that only God is perfect. Wrong. So is Hayato.
Ronan LA has a legion of Italian places and Ronan is a Centurion. It is worth crossing the Downtown Interchange, LA’s Rubicon, to dine here. Chef Daniel Cutler is all non-stop energy and passionate about his craft. He has created a concise menu of really great food. Sophisticated, yet playful and accessible. Everything consumed here was really interesting and note/Insta-worthy.
n/naka The experience: The French Laundry goes Japanese without making you feel you’ve been taken to the cleaners. Chef Nikki Nakayama ‘s 13 course Omakase is worth all the trouble it takes to line up a table.
Angler The open kitchen supports a top tier kitchen crew preparing some of the most brilliant food in the City. The Poached Marbled Flounder and the accompanying flash fried flounder remains bears this out. If LA is truly the food Mecca, this place proves it.
Night Shade. The kitchen is bold, assertive, confident and nothing short of brilliant. Is it Asian Fusion, Szechuan, or maybe Italian? So turn on your Waze and head down to this hard to find sleek DTLA spot. You will find something extraordinary. The Koshihikari Rice Congee, XO Sauce, Crispy Shallots and Pork Floss may be the dish of the decade.
Alimento Futuristic Italian. This is easily one of the best Italian eateries around. Chef Pollack walks the walk as he redefines traditional Italian dishes like Masa Gnocco Fritti, feather light puffs draped with Prosciutto and Truffle Honey Butter, Ricotta Dumplings with Lamb Consomme, Fresh Porcini, Asparagus, and Brown Butter. Help Alimento make the rent and go.
Bestia (a beast) in Italian is aptly named and tucked in an alley in the Warehouse District. The food is bold and basically Italian. Check out the Beef Tartare, Little Gem Salad, Spicy Mussels and Clams, Cavatelli alla Norcina, and Trofie alla Amatriciana. Bestia is one of LA’s Best.
Dear Johns Don’t miss a chance to experience this lovingly curated throwback to Frank Sinatra and the RatPack era. The menu is small and says, “you’ve arrived” especially if you’re still living in the 50’s; Lobster Thermidor anybody? Big juicy Steaks soaking in Bearnaise and Peppercorn Brandy sauces. Original Ceasar Salad made from scratch at the table. Perfectly fried Stuffed Chicken Parm. The Fallen Vegan’s Club can have their monthly meeting here.
Meizhou Dongpo This spot is a bustling, loud, food emporium serving good food to locals who demand quality Chinese cuisine. There are several menus but the main one is a 67 page tome and can be daunting. You’ll be fine as long as you include Roast Duck, Sweet and Sour Fish, A Steamer stack of Meizhou Bao (Pork Buns), and Sole with Scallions. The concept is so popular there are now three locations in the LA area and they are usually packed.