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Fairfax Thai food restaurant Chao Krung
Photograph: Courtesy Chao Krung

Where to eat during Winter dineL.A.

Check out our guide to Winter dineL.A.—you’ll find the best deals, dishes and places worth a reservation

Written by
Stephanie Breijo
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Twice a year, the city’s eateries ramp up for dineL.A.’s week-plus stretch of prix-fixe menus, where diners can check out some of the best restaurants and best dishes in Los Angeles, and, thanks to extra partnerships and elevated experiences, the options feel endless. This citywide feast is offering hundreds of ways to warm up: Over 400 restaurants are participating this time around—some new, some old, some who’ve never participated in the event before. During Winter dineL.A., held from January 17 to 31, 2020, tasty meal deals can be had and dining deals scored. Here are our picks for the best dineL.A. lunch and dinner menus from some of our favorite L.A. restaurants.

RECOMMENDED: Best restaurants in Los Angeles

Where to eat during Winter dineL.A.

  • Restaurants
  • Mexican
  • Culver City

Josef Centeno’s charming latest builds on the hits from his DTLA Tex-Mex mainstay, Bar Amá—and this time, there’s a patio. Go sweet and savory during dineL.A., because Centeno is giving you both during lunch and dinner. The $20 lunch menu includes your choice of kale-and-jicama taco salad bowl; chile relleno rice bowl; and ranchero chicken rice bowl, wiith dessert options of buñuelos or some dulce de leche budin. The $29 dinner adds a course and more options such as Centeno’s famous queso; guacamole; Tejano carne guisada; fried poblano tacos; and chili-dusted sanddab. 

  • Restaurants
  • Patisseries
  • Beverly Grove

José Andrés’s whimsical modern Spanish menu is always worth a visit, even after more than a decade in business. During dineL.A., you can taste your way through the lauded concept’s greatest hits with a $110 dinner-only tasting menu that features some of the world-famous chef’s most iconic dishes: the “Philly cheesesteak” dough puffs draped with wagyu, and the melt-in-your-mouth chicken croquetas, to name a few. You’ll also dine on bagel-and-lox cones, baby Japanese peaches with burrata, some coffee-rubbed wagyu and more, then finish with either traditional Spanish flan or strawberry cheesecake.

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  • Restaurants
  • Contemporary American
  • Burbank

If you haven’t checked out the fully revamped Castaway, this winter dineL.A. menu is a perfect chance. The view is worth the price alone, but considering how the food at this Burbank institution and pseudo-steakhouse can add up, well, the $59 prix-fixe dinner menu is a pretty good deal in and of itself. Appetizers include Hokkaido scallops in brown-butter vinaigrette, not to mention some hand-cut steak tartare. For entrées, choose between the 28-day dry-aged rib eye or a plate of wild-mushroom pappardelle, among others, then close out the night with marsala-tinged tiramisu or some sticky toffee pudding with Tahitian-vanilla ice cream.

  • Restaurants
  • West Hollywood

We’ll never get over how pretty the patio at Cecconi’s is, so any excuse to enjoy a steal of a red-sauce menu there is a-OK by us. During dineL.A. stop by for either lunch or dinner and take advantage of WeHo’s secret-garden–like space. During the $25 lunch, dig into a two-course prix fixe featuring options such as beef carpaccio, burrata, fusilli with kale pesto, and spicy brick chicken, while the $39 dinner offers three courses and the addition of dishes like calamari fritti, salmon carpaccio, cavatelli with lamb ragu, pizza, and saffron risotto with veal cheek—not to mention tiramisu or a lemon-and-berry meringata.

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  • Restaurants
  • Thai
  • Fairfax District

When one of L.A.’s Thai stalwarts wants to give everyone free wine to sip with their spicy meals, who are we to say no? Head to Chao Krung for a $39 three-course feast that includes a glass of cabernet franc or riesling; starters like fish cakes or sour pork sausage; mains such as khao soi curry noodles with duck, or pad Thai crab claws, and Northern Thai pork belly curry; and sticky rice with either custard or coconut ice cream. If you happen to be around Fairfax during the day, snag the $15 lunch, which includes one starter, one main and sticky rice.

  • Restaurants
  • Seafood
  • Manhattan Beach

Josiah Citrin turned his attention to seafood for his new South Bay spot, which also keeps a focus on Italian and Cal-Med flavors. You can explore Citrin’s new Manhattan Beach concept with this $49 three-course menu that runs the gamut: Look for appetizers such as crispy squid with chicory and citrus; meatballs with polenta and marinara; and avocado with seaweed and umeboshi, then move on to entrées such as pork shoulder with charred celery root; paccheri pasta with arrabiata sauce; sea bass with citrus nage; and and prime sirloin with shallot and peppercorn. For dessert? Pine nut sable, chocolate budino or some salted-caramel crème fraîche.

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  • Restaurants
  • Vegan
  • West Hollywood

Canada’s wildly popular vegan chain landed in L.A. with cocktails, organic cold-pressed juices, and fresh, whole-grain dishes from the angelic to the indulgent, and if you’re looking for a vegan dineL.A. deal—or simply an excuse to try one of L.A.’s newest restaurants, Fresh is giving you two menus to play with. Even the $25 lunch includes a drink—alcoholic or not, your choice—with options like the house margarita, a kombucha cocktail and a glass of rosé, plus starters like quinoa onion rings or buffalo cauliflower, and entrées like plant-based protein bowls and a Beyond Meat burger. During the $39 dinner, drinks expand to include Aperol spritzes, chenin blanc and nebbiolo, with entrées including a goddess bowl, and dessert of gelato or cupcake. 

  • Restaurants
  • Steakhouse
  • Westlake

Digging in at Pacific Dining Car is a little like traveling back to the L.A. era of oil barons and landsharks who’d meet over thick steaks and thicker cigar smoke. For dineL.A., both the Santa Monica and Downtown locations will give you a taste of old-world opulence at a discounted rate, and even give you a few new dishes, to boot. Lunch ($25) involves three courses with items like caesar salad, tomato bisque, chicken schnitzel with buttered spaetzle, a rib-eye sandwich, and the house cheesecake. At dinner ($49), things slide further into steakhouse territory: flat-iron steak, wine-braised short rib, shrimp scampi and other dishes are on offer—and lunch and dinner includes sides like cauliflower mash, creamed spinach and baked potato. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Vegan
  • Silver Lake

Every diner who takes part in Charles Olalia’s fun, modern Filipino $39 prix fixe dinner receives not one but two appetizers to start the meal (and yes, options include the great uni-topped lumpia, in addition to the excellent longanisa sandwich, oysters, fried-broccoli salad, and the sizzling sisig). Mains involve salmon tamarind sinigang; crispy pork belly lechon; and the phenomenal “happy birthday” fried chicken, while desserts mean banana bibingka or the house halo-halo. If you’re more of a bruncher, stop by for the $25 menu, which includes a welcome cocktail or a calamansi mimosa, then moves on to ube pancakes, adobo rice bowls, a longanisa breakfast sandwich, hangover fried rice and more, plus fresh breakfast pastries.

  • Restaurants
  • Chinese
  • Culver City

Shirley Chung’s Culver City dumpling shop is giving you a range of options this time around, and some great deals, at that. For lunch, choose between two $15 menus: One nets you Hainan chicken with garlic rice (and your choice of boiled or crispy skin on that chicken), plus a side salad and either hot or cold green tea, while the other menu gives you a dumpling feast—come on, who else is giving you a $15 dumpling feast?—that includes her famous Top Chef-winning cheeseburger dumplings, plus a salad or fried rice, and green tea. At the $39 dinner, you’ll enjoy a Chinese New Year-inspired family-style dinner that even includes a glass of sparkling wine, plus dishes like shrimp dumplings, roasted sea bass, Hainan chicken, sautéed pea shoots, and vanilla ice cream to finish.

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  • Restaurants
  • Steakhouse
  • Downtown

Looking for the steakhouse experience without dropping steakhouse bucks? Nick & Stef’s is offering a fantastic deal at lunch: $25 starts you with creamy mushroom soup or caesar salad, then gives you the choice of grilled salmon, braised short rib or the high-end burger dripping with mushroom and white cheddar. Over on the $59 dinner menu, find all of these with a few upgrades such as oak-grilled baramundi, crispy half Jidori chicken, and your choice of steakhouse sides, as well as dessert (vanilla bean panna cotta with winter citrus).

  • Restaurants
  • Italian
  • Downtown Fashion District

Rossoblu is back with one of our favorite deals around. Chef Steve Samson wants to serve you a free Aperol spritz, and we think you should let him: Rossoblu isn’t launching a dineL.A. lunch menu, but on Sunday, catch a $25 brunch prix fixe that includes a persimmon Aperol spritz or a basil Arnold Palmer, not to mention options like the Bolo Burger (one of our best bites of 2018), heirloom-grain bowls and gelato. During the $49 dinner, enjoy a three-course meal that includes appetizers such as grilled swordfish skewers, and a cured beef tenderloin with truffles. There’s also lobster risotto with coral butter (excuse us?!); grilled lamb chop with braised escarole; and slow-roated beef short rib—which will be perfect on a cold night. Finish with the likes of chocolate hazelnut budino or, one of our Samson favorites, the pistachio semifreddo. 

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  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • Little Tokyo

If you haven’t gotten a chance to visit Yapa—one of our favorite new bars in town—then look at this as an open invitation: The Nikkei cocktail bar with killer food is entering the dineL.A. game with a $29 four-course dinner menu that blends Peruvian and Japanese flavor. Expect veggie tiradito with heirloom tomatoes and white soy; the classic layered Peruvian causa, here made with yellowtail and daikon; pork belly with barley and black mint sauce; and sorbet with acorn crumble. (Don’t forget to order a few cocktails while you’re there.)

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