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Restaurant reviews and recommendations: how we do it

Here’s how we select and rank the very best restaurants in Los Angeles

Scallops at Paley
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman Scallops
By Time Out Los Angeles editors |

For a venue to make Time Out’s EAT List, the food has to be amazing—that’s a given. But we want more than that. We’re looking for a combination of cooking, atmosphere and experience that makes a place truly memorable. Some of these places are established icons of Los Angeles’ dining scene, some are instant classics and others are incredible finds on the cusp of culinary stardom.

We’ve visited every place on the Time Out EAT List in person (in the case of some of them, several times). We like to let places settle in, revisit them and explore the menu. We go incognito, and book, pay and tip like everyone else. We get treated like regular diners—sometimes we even get the worst seat in the house.

We won’t include a place just because it’s innovative, or expensive, or hard to book: It always has to deliver on flavor and value. It’s somewhere you’d tell your friends about; that you can’t wait to go back to.

Prices are based on two people, three courses, drinks and service, and we rate out of five stars:

One star: Avoid!
Two stars: Not that great
Three stars: Good
Four stars: Really good
Five stars: Unmissable

The EAT List is updated regularly, so you can be sure that it is always a picture of the very best of L.A.’s current food scene.