Best restaurants in Los Angeles: LA's best kosher restaurants

From Thai and Mexican favorites to sushi joints and gourmet sausage factories, we take a trip to LA's best kosher restaurants.

Photograph: Jakob N. Layman
Big MacKosher at Mexikosher

Think you know kosher food? Go beyond falafel, shish kabob, shawarma and hummus. From the best Thai to best Mexican, the city's wide selection of kosher spots make this Biblical dietary restriction more enjoyable (and a little easier). Here are LA's best kosher restaurants.

RECOMMENDED: Best restaurants in Los Angeles

Mexikosher

Critics' pick

On the Beverlywood strip of kosher diners and the usual red-sauce joints, Mexikosher is a godsend. Run by half-Mexican, half-Japanese chef Katsuji Tanabe, the menu goes beyond the usual Mexican standbys with tacos and burritos filled with beef and duck confit ($13) and beef and lamb ($12.99). Tanabe experiments with a different special every day of the week (save for Shabbat of course), such as fried chicken with waffles, corndogs, goat, the Big Mackosher (his answer to the Big Mac with dairy-free cheese), sweetbreads and birria nachos ($12.99), with braised lamb, jalapeños, guacamole, radishes, beans, cilantro and pico de gallo. Portions are enough to spread over two meals, so come with an appetite. Expect cafeteria-style service in a laid-back atmosphere as you customize your own meal of meats, fixings and sauces.

• Certification: Kehilla

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West L.A.

Pat's Restaurant and Catering

Visit Pat's on a weekday during lunchtime and you’ll feel as if you’ve just walked into a Beverly Hills country club. Frank Sinatra and soft piano music play in the background as retirees discuss politics—we spotted a "Vote for Romney, it's a Mitz-vah!" pin—and tote their darling grandchildren. The restaurant serves up global fare from Italian meatballs ($12) and grilled hamburger ($18) to Chinese chicken salad ($14) and Cajun chicken pasta ($18). We like the chicken Caesar salad ($15) with croutons, pine nuts and so-good-you-won't-believe-it’s-not-dairy dressing. And once your waiter carts over the display-tray desserts, you won't be able to resist treats such as the "cheese" cake with raspberry glaze ($8).

• Certification: Kehilla

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West L.A.

Jeff's Gourmet Kosher Sausage Factory

Open late (until 1am on Saturdays and 11pm on weekdays), this West LA eatery is always bustling with hungry diners from yeshiva boys and meat lovers to families and young couples. Situated in the heart of kosher-food land along Pico Boulevard, Jeff's serves a wide variety of specialty sausages of lamb, beef, chicken and turkey. Go South African style with boerewors topped with BBQ sauce and grilled onions ($7.25) on a hotdog bun or get a taste of Italy with the Beef Italian ($5.25), a spicy sausage on an onion roll topped with deli mustard, sautéed onions and peppers. There’s also an extensive selection of hamburgers and deli sandwiches. A couple of the best options include the crispy chicken wrap with coleslaw, BBQ ranch dressing and fries or salad ($10.95) and the Western Burger ($7.95) loaded with 1/3-lb. beef patty, crispy onion rings and housemade, tangy sauce.

• Certification: Kehilla

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West L.A.

La Gondola

One of LA's premiere names in kosher dining (and catering), La Gondola has been a staple of the kosher community for more than two decades. They've been known to FedEx their signature BBQ beef ribs across the country and be flown to Dubai to cook for royalty. Located on the same Wilshire block as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences building, celebrities of all sorts have been known to dine in with photos hanging along the walls to prove it. And the roster of dishes is just as impressive. The signature BBQ beef ribs ($38)—the two-day process includes brining, marinating and slow-braising—are a must and as the menu says, they "speak for themselves." Those in the mood for chicken can order the pollo marsala with wild mushroom sauce ($23), while chocolate lovers should save room for the chocolate molten cake, spiced with cinnamon and topped with raspberry and mango sauce, parve whipped cream and strawberries ($10).

• Certification: Kehilla

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Delice

Delice is a double threat: It's a bakery full of delicious French desserts, as well as a casual restaurant with enticing dairy options. Try the French toast with whipped cream and strawberries ($5.50) for something sweet and the spinach or salmon eggs benedict with poached eggs or a toasted croissant and Hollandaise sauce ($12.95) for something savory. Then, there are the crepes ($8.95)—they come in all forms including Nutella, bananas foster (bananas, butter, almonds, powdered sugar) and Normande with cinnamon apple, caramel sauce and Chantilly cream. There's seating outside (and shade under umbrellas), where you can sit back and people-watch along Pico Boulevard. If you're ever in a bind and need a parve or dairy dessert, Delice is the way to go.

• Certification: Kehilla

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West L.A.

Real Food Daily

So you’re vegan and you keep kosher? For two very tricky dietary options, Real Food Daily is the answer. But even if you’re not kosher or vegan, you'll still find something on RFD's menu—from salads and sandwiches to rice bowls and rolls—to enjoy. Stop by for Sunday morning brunch—the Santa Monica location, just blocks from the beach, is a better bet—for the French toast platter with tempeh bacon and hash browns or fruit ($13.95). Top with maple syrup for a sweet way to start your day. RFD is a bit pricey, but worth every cent.

• Certification: Rabbi Bukspan, US Kosher Supervision

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West Hollywood

Shanghai Diamond Garden

An excellent date night spot, this Chinese restaurant offers stellar service and standby favorites without all the grease. Order the Kung Pao chicken ($14.50), with peanuts, onions and dried red chili peppers for some kick, while Mongolian beef ($15.50) is a non-spicy alternative, with scallions and onions. The waiters are attentive, and the food here is your best option for kosher Chinese in LA.

• Certification: Kahilla

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West L.A.

Beverly Hills Thai

Kosher. Thai. Food. Going kosher means missing out on certain international foods, and Thai ain’t easy to find. But BHT makes this Southeast Asian cuisine kosher-friendly again. Want to impress your date? Take them to this cozy, mellow restaurant where the loudest things are the flavors. Start with the tom kah coconut soup with chicken or tofu ($7) and segue into chicken ($13) or beef ($16) pad thai with tamarind sauce, eggs and bean sprouts or babe curry ($17) with tender beef, red curry tamarind sauce, potatoes, peanuts and steamed rice.

• Certification: RCC

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Meshuga 4 Sushi

Angelenos were so crazy about Meshuga’s sushi that a second location opened on Pico Boulevardin a former kosher Subway. Must-try specials include the Crunchy Munchy Roll ($8.95) with kani (imitation crab), cucumber and avocado topped with crunch flakes and house sauces, and the Japanese Pizza Roll ($7.95) with crispy rice, spicy tuna, scallions and special house sauce. The guys behind the counter are friendly, the rolls come out quickly and the atmosphere is chill. Prices are comparable to, if not less than, the average non-kosher joint.

• Certification: RCC

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Los Angeles

Got Kosher?

Known for its delicious pretzel challah bread, this family favorite and neighborhood staple serves authentic Tunisian and Moroccan with some American dishes thrown into the mix. Start with the B'stilla ($8), a chicken and almond pastry topped with powdered sugar. For the main course, popular dishes include schnitzel on a pretzel ($11.99) and pulled beef brisket ($13.99)—both come with soup, coleslaw and salad or hand cut fries. We love the couscous maison ($17.99), with braised beef and beef meatballs, and the Shwar-guez ($9.99), a ground beef and merguez-spiced sausage grilled on a shwarma pit. For dessert, pair Tunisian mint tea with a strawberry tart ($4.50), with parve whipped cream and pistachios, or a Belgian chocolate challah bread pudding ($5).

• Certification: RCC

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West L.A.

Comments

5 comments
Habayit R
Habayit R

@DanĀ 

Hi Dan, Do you know Habayit restaurant in West Pico Boulevard, Los Angeles? It is a tiny family owned restaurant and it has a price list which will fit our budget. Food also too good. Try it if you are interested.visit www.habayitrestaurant.com to see the menu with price list.

Benyamin B
Benyamin B

I would say half of the Top makes sense, half doesn't. It doens't because they are either a niche or in a catgory where none deserve to win. Mexikosher is good but it's alone in his category and not fantastic.The Vegan restaurant is not popular: which Jew eats vegan? Not too many. Delice Bakery is good but no kosher bakery in LA is REALLY good; any real good Kosher bakery in France would KILL, litterally KILL Delice Bakery. To me the best bakery is overall Eilat Bakery, while not great though. Also, there is no dairy restaurant in the Top 10, while 26 by Shilo's is THE reference, the only non-fast food dairy place with REAL French/Italian style pizza. Shilo's steakhouse is also missing while, according to many, ahead of La Gondola. Jeff's gourmet can be beaten on the pure burger contest, by Mexikosher or LA Burger bar, but offers more variety of Sandwich, no contest.

Dan
Dan

Great list, but what's with the $ rankings? Every listing has 2 dollar signs. If it's to connote quality, what's the point? If it's to indicate how pricey the restaurant is, it's not accurate.

Sharon
Sharon

Any great restaurants in the SF Valley?