The 10 best restaurants in Los Angeles you need to try

Classic steakhouses, vegan eateries, seafood shacks—we’ve uncovered the best restaurants in Los Angeles

There isn’t a more exciting place to eat right now than Los Angeles. While we’ve built our gastronomic reputation on incredible food trucks and off-the-beaten-path tacos, chefs are now flocking to our fair city to take some serious risks, turning L.A. into a true culinary mecca. At its core, the Los Angeles dining scene thrives on its diverse and welcome blend of internationally inspired and genre-bending cuisines, which creates some of the world’s best omakase restaurants, roaming food trucks and even French-bistro gems tucked into strip malls. Whether you seek a fine-dining experience, a rare-steak fix or the city’s freshest seafood, take your pick of the best restaurants in Los Angeles.

1
Restaurants, Seafood
Providence
icon-chevron-right
For serving a city next to the Pacific, Michael Cimarusti's Providence somehow still manages to surprise and reinterpret seafood. His mostly-aquatic menu deftly showcases the bounty of the West Coast, as well as the globe: Maine lobster, Norwegian cod and king salmon from the Quinault River in Washington are among the menu's varied choices. Cimarusti may not always earn locavore points, but his knack for finding the best product will make you focus only on the perfect bite hanging from your fork, and nothing else. For the truly adventurous—and deep-pocketed—there's the 10-plus–course Chef's Tasting Menu ($240) where luxury fare including caviar, truffles and A5 wagyu beef are the catch of the day.
icon-location-pin Hollywood
2
Photograph: Courtesy NoMad
Hotels
The NoMad Los Angeles
icon-chevron-right
It's hard to imagine dining in a more luxurious setting. Housed in the former Bank of Italy building, L.A.'s own NoMad Hotel finally arrived—and instantly made its corner of DTLA one of the city's most stylish and dramatic dinner destinations. In the mezzanine restaurant, perch above the lobby and lounge among velvet pillows and sleek settees as Michelin-starred chef Daniel Humm and executive chef Chris Flint execute classic French technique with modern sensibility. NoMad's iconic roast chicken—stuffed with brioche, truffle and foie gras—thankfully made its way from NYC to the West Coast, but L.A.'s hyper seasonality results in even more jaw-dropping dishes, some involving Santa Barbara sea urchin, a colorful array of local lettuces and foraged herbs. End with an artful dessert composition or that vibrant baked Alaska layered with Meyer lemon and strawberry.
icon-location-pin Downtown Financial District
Advertising
3
Chirashi sushi at Spago
Restaurants, Californian
Spago of Beverly Hills
icon-chevron-right
Spago is both the old standby and the new kid on the block, thanks to an ever-changing menu that makes the restaurant seem altogether modern and new. Don't worry, you can still ask for the smoked salmon pizza if you crave it, and Spago purists will be pleased to hear that Wolfgang Puck's flagship is still refreshingly old-school when it comes to presentation. The menu from managing partner and executive chef Lee Hefter and chef de cuisine Tetsu Yahagi features contemporary additions such as Spanish octopus in young coconut with charred habanero, and grilled lamb with falafel morsels resembling French macarons. The handmade chestnut agnolotti is particularly outstanding—opt for the truffle version when it’s in season. Spago's been serving stellar cuisine since the Reagan years, proving that age ain't nothing but a number.
icon-location-pin Beverly Hills
4
<p><em>Agnolotti</em> stuffed with braised beef cheeks at Bestia</p>
Restaurants, Italian
Bestia
icon-chevron-right
A few years after opening and Ori Menashe's Bestia continues to turn tables and require weeks-out reservations. It shouldn't be surprising, given this spot's penchant for nailing straightforward but innovative Italian food that arrives hot from that centerpiece of a wood-burning oven. Some of Bestia's menu highlights have become modern icons of L.A.'s dining scene: the Spaghetti Rustichella—a small pyramid of noodles under dungeness crab, citrus, Calabrian chili, Thai basil and onion seed—is synonymous with this hard-to-land reservation, as is the currants-and-pistachios-laden Agnolotti alla Vaccinara, filled with rich braised oxtail. The eclectic and oft-rotated wine list is Italian-inspired but interntionally and broadly sourced, providing new and surprising twists to your meal with every visit, though the food menu may remain the same.
icon-location-pin Downtown Arts District
Advertising
5
Streak frite at Petit Trois
Restaurants, French
Petit Trois
icon-chevron-right
If Ludo Lefebvre’s Trois Mec is the French chef's ode to ingenuity, Petit Trois is his homage to simplicity. To watch him build an omelet—or anything, really—in this stripped-down bistro is a thing of beauty. The menu is a sparse list of classic French dishes—steak frites, mussels marinières, chicken leg—and the playlist is '90s hip hop and classic rock, an unusual mix but one that furthers Lefebvre’s ethos of this being a casual French spot, a place to indulge in simple, good food without pretense. If the Hollywood strip mall exterior doesn’t sell you on this idea, the food certainly will, and it will keep you coming back for more; lines of repeat customers and those aching for Lefebvre’s bubbling French onion soup form at the door just before opening, even on weekdays. Not to be missed is the Big Mec, an absolute tank of a burger that may knock you out for the rest of the day, but are you really going to skip that foie gras bordelaise?
icon-location-pin Hollywood
6
Broken Spanish
Restaurants, Mexican
Broken Spanish
icon-chevron-right
Chef Ray Garcia's Broken Spanish is bright and colorful with tables boasting hand-woven doilies and Mexican pottery, while the food is decidedly down to earth but still ambitious in concept. He may be cooking ingredients like lamb neck and oxtail, but they come wrapped simply, in tamales and quesadillas—hearty and elevated at the same time. A fiery shrimp dish with chili, pequin peppers and pineapple may leave your mouth tingling for a good five minutes, while a tamer, cellophane-shrouded rabbit stew emits the most incredible smell when unwrapped. Garcia perfectly marries tradition with innovation, helping to define what modern Mexican cuisine is and everything it should be.
icon-location-pin Downtown
Advertising
7
Photograph: Courtesy Shibumi
Restaurants, Californian
Shibumi
icon-chevron-right
Many of chef David Schlosser’s dishes require the kind of time, care, delicacy and effort that defines kappo cuisine, a kind of Japanese tasting menu or omakase fine-dining meal. In an almost hidden dining room in DTLA, Schlosser tenderly ferments shrimp, grinds nubs of fresh wasabi, and steams pork jowl with California-grown rice in a heavy iron pot to create some of the most intricate flavors that can take months to develop. Order à la carte, or, more recommended, go for the omakase, which starts at $65 per guest—you'll be in excellent hands. Be sure to sit at the bar to see the master at work.
Photograph: Courtesy Carolina Korman
icon-location-pin Downtown
8
The Poseidon at Mariscos Jalisco
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman
Restaurants, Trucks
Mariscos Jalisco
icon-chevron-right
One of L.A.’s most old-school players is known for its deep-fried shrimp tacos—“TACOS DE CAMARON” is painted on the truck in giant letters, for good reason—but Mariscos Jalisco also serves fresh-to-death ceviches, toastadas and oysters on the half shell. Their signature tacos dorado de camaron live up to the hype, with flavorful and fresh shrimp folded into a corn tortilla that is then fried to a golden brown and topped with thick slices of avocado and a vibrant and complex salsa roja. You’ll also want to save room for their legendary tostadas such as the Poseidon, which comes topped with shrimp ceviche, octopus and a fiery red aguachile of shrimp.
icon-location-pin Boyle Heights
Advertising
9
Chi Spacca
Restaurants, Italian
Chi Spacca
icon-chevron-right
Few restaurants can accomplish what the shoebox setting of chi SPACCA can. With one of the best charcuterie programs in the city and a stunning open kitchen, Nancy Silverton's temple to meat flame-grills tomahawk porkchops, cures fennel salame and dry-ages massive Flannery Beef steaks so big they almost feel like they rock the table when they land. This is the rustic Italian steakhouse that's worth the meat sweats, and it's worth the splurge; you may be spending around $100 on steak, but don't think about skipping the sides of roasted sustainable veggies—nor that Focaccia di Recco, which oozes stracchino cheese.
icon-location-pin Hancock Park
10
Photograph: Courtesy Guelaguetza
Restaurants, Mexican
Guelaguetza
icon-chevron-right
Guelaguetza has served as a culinary institution in L.A. since the Lopez family opened the restaurant in 1994. Named after an Oaxacan dance, the James Beard Award-winning spot is known for its unparalleled moles, which are paired with plates of hearty tacos, rice, meat and vegetables. Family recipes and imported Oaxacan ingredients make this one of the city's strongest and most authentic regional Mexican restaurants in not only Los Angeles but the country. Live music usually accompanies your meal (breakfast, lunch and dinner are available here), and it's not unusual to see diners get up and dance. Want to try and replicate your dish at home? An attached store sells Guelaguetza's mole—red, black and coloradito—along with ingredients to make their fantastic micheladas.
icon-location-pin Koreatown
Advertising
Explore more of L.A.'s best restaurants:
icon-chevron-right
Photograph: Courtesy RiceBar/Eric Shin
Restaurants, Filipino
Filipino
icon-chevron-right
Pinoy food’s rise to prominence is well underway in L.A., from the South Bay to the San Gabriel Valley.
Advertising
101 Coffee Shop
Photograph: Michael Juliano
Restaurants
Diners
icon-chevron-right
Nothing genuinely channels the past like L.A.’s finest retro charmers, serving style with that side of hash browns.
Advertising
Advertising
Advertising
Advertising
Advertising
Advertising
Advertising
Advertising
Advertising
Advertising
Advertising