DineL.A. comes but twice a year, and thankfully its warm-weather iteration, Summer Restaurant Week, is finally upon us (July 12–26) with discounted menus and specials from some of the best restaurants around. This year, we're looking forward to 14 days of some of the city's hippest sushi, some of L.A.'s most gorgeous plating, some of the hottest new restaurants and some of the freshest seafood in town—all from prix-fixe menus at low prices.
Because dineL.A. knows it couldn't be summer without avocados, it's once again partnered with the California Avocado Commission, teaming up with chefs at restaurants for special avocado menus and recipes. Want to ball out? DineL.A. is also bringing back its popular Exclusive Series, where some of the city's top restaurants—including Spago, Providence and Baltaire—are serving up $95 menus.
There are more than 300 restaurants participating this time around, and we scouted the best and most exciting deals to be found. If you're looking for a particular spot not on this list, or you simply feel like perusing, you can find the full list of Summer Restaurant Week menus here. (And for a very handy neighborhood breakdown of participating restaurants, step right this way.)
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Where to eat during dineL.A. Summer Restaurant Week
Not that there's ever a terrible time for seafood-in-general, but summer just feels so, so perfect for cool crab, oysters and lobster with a bright squirt of lemon on a hot day. Connie & Ted's knows this, so of course their summer dineL.A. menus are packed with grilled calamari, raw oysters, fish and chips, smoked yellowtail—you get the picture. On the $29 lunch menu, grab a non-alcoholic drink, an app such as clam chowder, salad or oysters, then an entrée like a tuna melt, burger or fish and chips before moving onto a whoopie pie or cookie. At dinner you can really take advantage of the stellar dineL.A. deal, when the $39 menu nets you an appetizer—hey, calamari—plus an entrée such as the lobster roll (regularly priced at $29) or grilled wild fish of the day. Don't forget the included dessert—the blondie or an orange creamsicle—and you can even reel in a special DineLA cocktail for $10 more.
Head toward Beverly Hills and settle in at Culina, the Four Seasons' low-lit, Northern Italian-focused restaurant. It's here you'll find a $49 dinner menu featuring grilled octopus with Italian eggplant, whole branzino, braised short rib over polenta, and of course the restaurant's always-pillowy gnocchi. (That cauliflower tortino with truffle sauce and chives is sort of worth the price of admission alone, if we're being honest.)
Estrella's back with another solid dineL.A. menu, and this one practically screams "patio weather." If you're stopping by for lunch, you'll be greeted by a $20 three-course meal that includes summer hits such as grilled lobster tail with a squash and Marcona almond gazpacho, a sweet-corn farro risotto, grilled hamachi collar, and an heirloom tomato salad, and rounding out the meal is your choice between a peach and blueberry cake or a sobet flight. Come dinnertime and its $39 three-course menu, expect a few of the aforementioned, plus hamachi carpaccio, grilled lamb t-bone with marscapone whipped potatoes, and a roasted sablefish with spaghetti squash and roe. Complete the evening with espresso panna cotta, sorbet or a peach and ricotta tart; nothing not to love.
Katsuya's coming out of this season's dineL.A. gate swinging, offering Master Sushi Chef Katsuya Uechi's acclaimed rolls, Japanese small plates and entrées with three separate menus. Find a $25 three-course lunch at all L.A. Katsuya hubs, where you can expect staples such as Uechi's crispy rice with spicy tuna, his hamachi with jalapeño and specialty rolls, then finish it off with mochi. On the dinner front, the Glendale location's offering a four-course, $39 meal while the Brentwood, L.A. Live and Hollywood spots all offer a $49, three-course menu with some of Uechi's pricier options. All of this is a steal, considering the regular Katsuya two-course prix fixe costs $25 and only includes teriyaki and mochi. Go get some sushi and live your best life.
Steve Samson's buzzy new spot is an ode to both L.A. and Bologna, Italy, and as a result, we all get to enjoy some serious Italian cuisine influenced by our own city's local produce and culinary flare. Each $39 dinner begins with fried bread with pancetta and honey, and from there it seems you're in for a meal of epic choose-your-own-adventure proportions. Will you pick the eggplant with tomato sugo? Maybe the braised pork meatballs with grilled polenta bread? Perhaps the marinated albacore with heirloom beans is more your pace? There's always the summer vegetable salad, and we haven't even gotten to the entrées yet which, by the way, include your choice of cappellacci with ricotta and Swiss chard, or milk-braised pork shoulder, or maltagliati pasta with porcini, and rainbow trout with broccoletti. Whew. But wait, one more tough choice: a trio of seasonal gelato or a bit of ricotta pound cake with berries and spiked crema? Decisions, decisions.
Same Same's dineL.A. $29 dinner menu is a steal, and a delicious one at that: three courses and a glass of wine? Sign us up, especially considering the spread. Start with house-made beef jerky, an apple salad with cashew and cilantro, or a pork and crispy rice salad, then proceed to beef drunken noodles, green curry with chicken, or sausage fried rice, while sipping a glass of cabernet sauvignon or sauvignon blanc all the while. Don't forget the finale: sticky rice with mango or sticky rice with coconut custard. [Insert praise hands emoji here.]
If you missed National Fried Chicken Day, don't sweat it—Sweet Chick is here with some quality meal deals for this summer's dineL.A. Stop by between 10am and 4pm for a two-course, $20 meal that includes a choice of app (mac and cheese or a kale BLT salad, anyone?) and entrée, which you already know is going to feature those famous chicken and waffles. You could also opt for the chicken sandwich (grilled or fried), or get the best of both worlds with a bourbon waffle sandwich. Not feeling fowl? There's pulled pork and meatloaf on the table, too.
Visit one of the city's hottest new restaurants for a four-course, modern-izakaya meal, and do it all for $39. Oh, and there's a drink included. This contemporary Japanese restaurant is offering a killer deal for its first dineL.A., serving your choice of a tofu and kimchi salad, a Tasmanian ocean trout tartare, and Japanese eggplant with grated daikon radish, and that's just to start. When it comes to your second course expect fried chicken with honey vinegar, pork gyoza with riesling vinegar, or forest mushrooms with garlic oil, and by the third, you'll have to choose between buckwheat noodles in curry, grilled cabbage with miso butter, and miso braised pork ribs. As if it couldn't get any better, end the meal with green tea soft serve or a vanilla cream puff. Don't forget about that drink: your choice of Bushido sake or Asahi super dry. You know what, no one go to this one; forget we said anything about this menu, we want it all to ourselves.
Looking for gastropub fare that rises above the rest? The Arts District's Westbound will start your $29 dinner with a bowl of olives marinated in charred lemon and baking spices—side note: could and would eat a meal entirely of these—then move you along to Belcampo lardo toast or some broccolini tempura, then present your choice of French onion burger or shrimp and polenta, and finally sweeten the deal with chocolate chip cookies and cinnamon milk.
Wolf's dineL.A. menu makes us hungry like the... well, you get the picture. The rustic, seasonally inspired menu brings you three courses for $49—score—and includes your choice of snacks (wild rocket salad with peaches, pickled corn and ricotta, or hamachi crudo with pineapple, avocado and yuzu), then leads you to entrées of artichoke risotto, short ribs with horseradish gremolata, and Alaskan salmon with asparagus and fava beans. For dessert, choose between three artful options; honestly the whole meal will be artful and totally Instagrammable, who are we kidding?