Top Restaurants – Los Angeles
|Urasawa||Location||218 N. Rodeo Drive, Hollywood, CA310-247-8939|
|Website URL Link|
|Review/Description||Excellent dining experience.Pros:
– Food is truly sublime. Excellent Kagoshima wagyu and fatty toro. Delicately balanced flavors in a beautiful environment. Hard to pick a favorite bite in a meal with consistently outstanding components. I also enjoyed n/naka tremendously (a five-star meal) but felt that Urasawa is on a whole other level.- I enjoyed the instructions with respect to enjoying the food, e.g., eating the sushi within 10 seconds, eating certain dishes in one bite, etc. Sure you can construe this as a “sushi Nazi” vibe, but Chef Urasawa knows exponentially more than I do when it comes to enjoying the food he has been making for years, so I was thankful for the pointers and I felt that it enhanced my experience. Different strokes for different folks, I guess.
– Very convenient $5 validated valet parking under the Two Rodeo Drive building, entrance on Dayton, next to the Breguet boutique.
– Dinner for two, incl. water and green tea but excl. alcohol, was $1,050 out the door ($899 + $150 tip).
|Michael’s on Naples Ristorante||Location||5620 E Second Street, Long Beach, CA562-439-7080|
|Website URL Link||Michaelsonnaples.com|
|Review/Description||I made a reservation for two earlier in the day. But due to the windy conditions of Southern California, we were not able to sit on the rooftop patio. This was a blessing in disguise. We started off at the cocktail table and were introduced to a very lively and charismatic bartender by the name of Pete.After the bar cleared up of patrons waiting for a table of 12 we were able to go to the bar, where Pete was training a young, handsome new bartender by the name of Jeffery. We felt immediately at home, the atmosphere was great, and the conversation with both Pete and Jeff was thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining. I started off with one of the specialty cocktails: Pepe Rosa, which had a great flavor of Gin, fresh lime juice, and a mixture of crushed pink peppercorns and a simple syrup. The drink was both delicious and beautifully presented.
Pete recommended a dish that was not on the menu, a salty, savory brined rabbit leg, lightly fried and coated in a sweet and spicy sauce. I have to say, I am a chicken wing enthusiast and by far the most succulent and delicious fried meal I’ve had is this “Rabbit Wing”. The meat was tender, the outside was crispy and crunchy, and the sauce is so good that words “offensive” and “stupid” we’re applied in the competent way of course. Spicy and sweet and perfectly seasoned this is an appetizer you have to ask for on a day to day basis(not on the regular menu).
Next we started with a duck egg poached on a brioche toasted piece of bread. Once the duck egg was broken the yolk marinated the whole dish with a flavor that is something to be marveled at.
To finish the night and go 3 for 3 with Pete’s recommendation we went with the braised oxtail and gnocchi entree. The gnocchi had a nice outer crunch and smooth buttery inside added to the fact that the oxtail was fork tender and full of flavor I couldn’t ask for a better way to end a night at a great restaurant.
The customer service was there, the creativity of the drinks were there, and the preparation of the meals was spot on. I highly recommend this restaurant for a night out to have great food, classical drinks and a good laugh to get you through a hard week of work
|Asanebo||Location||11941 Ventura Blvd., Studio City, CA 818-760-3348|
|Website URL Link||Asanebo-restaurant.com|
|Review/Description||My FAVORITE sushi bar in the Valley. Must seat at the sushi bar and ask your chef for recommendation for the day.
Sayori sashimi was so fresh. I like how he made deep fried bone to eat the rest.
Uni risotto was … OMG… heaven.
Everything is good, fresh and not overly salted or sauced.
It is very small place, so go early evening.
Usually cost $100+ per person, so don’t be surprised when you get a check.
|Sushi Zo||Location||9824 National Blvd., Los Angeles, CA310-842-3977|
|Cuisine||Japanese, Sushi Bars|
|Website URL Link|
|Review/Description||One of the best sushi experiences I’ve had in my life and one of the priciest for sure.I’ve always wanted to try this place and heard so many good things from hardcore, avid sushi lovers. Unknown to many, but also known so well by sushi lovers. What makes this place so different about other places is that they don’t offer a la carte items– this is a strict, omakase-only joint. You sit at either a table or at the sushi bar and the chef prepares about 20-30 delicate pieces of fish for you and hands you a plate one by one. This place doesn’t concentrate too much on aesthetics– a lot of other high- end sushi chefs add on gold flakes or caviar or other embellishments that heighten the flavor and make the dish look pretty.. But this place is strictly about the fish. Some fish have sauce on it, some don’t. The chefs execute the art of sushi perfectly– the perfect cuts, perfect amount of sauce, the perfect variety. I sat right in front of our sushi chef and he had a partner next to him who took such care in adding the right amount of green onions and sauce to the fish. The chef tells you which fish to dip in soy and which don’t need any soy. All the fish with some sauce or topping, such as green onion, ginger, or coarse salt, tasted perfect– they know exactly how much to put on each fish.
Some may say that the cuts of fish are substantially smaller than cuts at other sushi places. I completely agree but I don’t see it as a negativity– if the pieces were any bigger, you wouldn’t have the stomach to enjoy a full omakase meal. You would be too full halfway and not be able to enjoy the rest of the omakase.
Every dish from start to finish was outstanding. They had fish I have never heard of and the timing of each dish was perfect. A few dishes worth mentioning are:
Ika- squid looks like pasta and is in a creamy uni paste
Butterfish- served warm with a delicious sweet sauce on top
Kumamoto oyster- so creamy and full of flavor, complemented with some ponzu and scallions
Golden eye snapper- I love red and black snapper but this snapper has a different taste and texture.
Abalone- it’s not soft like all the other dishes served. Has a nice crunch texture to it.
The full omakase was: oyster, tuna sashimi, abalone, ika in uni sauce, halibut, albacore, mackerel, scallop, yellowtail, toro, pompano, amberjack, golden eye snapper, skipjack, butterfish, black snapper, perch, salmon, giant clam, ikura, uni, unagi, blue crab hand roll, yuzu juice dessert
Service was polite and professional. They’re definitely not there to become friends or talk about life– they are strictly there to serve your meal. Our sushi chef was pretty nice though. He had recently moved to Los Angeles after being scouted by the main chef at Sushi Zo. I could see why he was scouted– he was so meticulous and concentrated on what he was doing and seemed to really enjoy his job.
The decor and location could be nicer but it didn’t really bother me. I wasn’t there for a special date or to have drinks– I was there to enjoy my meal and I liked the professionalism of the place.
The omakase is $150 per person but could come out to more since the chef asks if you want to repeat any of the dishes at the end. With alcohol and tip and tax and whatnot, I believe it comes out to about $180 per person or so. Will come back again. Maybe I’ll try the DTLA location though, since I live closer to it.
|Piccolo||Location||5 Dudley Ave., Venice, CA310-314-3222|
|Website URL Link||Piccolovenice.com|
EVERYTHING on the Blackboard Eats Prix Fixe menu (5 course for $45).
From the bread basket all the way to dessert, an incredible meal.Also had an order of the scallops separately (not on the prix fixe). BEST SCALLOP I’VE EVER HAD. I’d mainline the truffle sauce if I could.
|Echigo||Location||12217 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 310-820-9787|
|Cuisine||Sushi Bars, Japanese|
|Website URL Link|
|Review/Description||Best sushi, hands down!It’s true, there is no ambience, so if you’re looking for a romantic candle lit restaurant, Echigo is not for you.
But if you’re looking for the best sushi outside of Jiro’s subway in Tokyo, this is the spot!
I come here as much as possible, the fish is always delicious!
The crab hand roll here knocks the sock off Sugarfish’s crab hand roll! The albacore is ALWAYS incredible! We often get the omakase at the sushi bar. All the sushi tastes best coming straight from the chef, especially the hand rolls! I do recommend eating the sushi as prepared by the chef, no soy sauce or wasabi added. It’s perfect as prepared!!
I highly recommend this place if you are interested in great sushi and could care less about ambience. Plus their staff is very friendly and always helpful!
|Matsuhisa||Location||129 N. La Cienega Blvd., Beverly Hills 310-659-9639|
|Cuisine||Sushi Bars, Japanese|
|Website URL Link||http://nobumatsuhisa.com/|
|Review/Description||Nobu’s first restaurant.Have eaten here many times and even had the opportunity to meet the master…. Each experience has been different but the common thread has been world class sushi, and all the trimmings, including presentation, texture and the whole experience.
Our last visit was in February 2014 and it was as memorable as ever. The creative juices were flowing because we had some dishes which I had not seen before.
|Melisse||Location||1104 Wilshire Blvd.; 310-395-0881Santa Monica,|
|Website URL Link||http://melisse.com/|
|Review/Description||focus on Tasting Menus
devoured the ten-course tasting menu for dinner and wasn’t even bloated for the beach the following day. Melisse really gets me!
The food was delicious, beautifully presented and comprised of clean ingredients.
Being a gastronome and having a decent body sometimes don’t mix. Thank you, Melisse, for an amazing meal that still allowed me to prance around without looking like a repugnant beached whale.
|Angelini Osteria||Location||7313 Beverly Blvd, Los Angles, CA|
|Website URL Link||http://angeliniosteria.com/|
|Review/Description||Now this is a pasta of transcendent proportions–I will be back time and time again for as long as Angelini Osteria offers their spaghetti chitarra alla norcina during summer truffle season.It holds all you could ever hope for in a hearty Italian pasta dish. The perfect balance is struck in a powerful way between a deceptively simple array of ingredients. Fresh spaghetti cooked to a flawless al dente (in what could only be water from the fountain of youth!)? Yes. A mystifying richly indulgent, yet light-as-air cream sauce interspersed with a savory house-made sausage (that is unconstrained by any sort of casing!)? Absolutely!–and best of all: a generous shaving of fragrant summer white truffles that brought life SO beautifully to the mild creaminess of the rest of the dish.
Every bite will take you through spectacular aromatic adventures of earthy, fungal deliciousness. The overwhelming mind-body-soul consensus after the first bite is indisputably umami–shameless, gaily unbridled umami with hands on hips and chest puffed out. Every bite was heightened to levels of otherworldly bliss with the addition of the truffle. It took every fiber of restraint in my being not to order a second, third, fourth plate.
Also, for dessert, there is only one logical follow-up: the mascarpone amaretti glass. The amaretti cookies cut through the silkiness of the mascarpone with a sweet, satisfying crunch. Before you know it, the glass will be empty and you’ll be summoning your waiter for a second serving.
“Once on the lips, forever on the hips” has never tasted so good.
|Baco Mercat||Location||408 S Main St, Los Angeles, CA|
|Cuisine||Spanish, Sandwiches, French|
|Website URL Link||http://bacomercat.com/home.html|
|Review/Description||one of the reasons Downtown is becoming a place to goMake a reservation unless you’re one or two and can sit at the bar.
Oxtail sandwich is a perfect burger with flavors new to me.
So excited we were talking and sharing tastes with the lone gal next to us at the bar, who recommended her brussel sprouts salad and pork sandwich and chocolate mousse.
Best surprise: the pistachio cheesecake, served in a small cup, crustless, but magnificent and subtle but strong in flavor. Texture was dense but still relatively fluffy. Perfection all around.
|Ink||Location||8360 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA West Hollywood|
|Website URL Link||http://mvink.com/food/|
|Review/Description||Ambience: loud but trendy 4
Service: 5 (I really liked that when we asked for a recommendation from our waiter, he didn’t immediately give us a one word answer but instead said “it depends” because of the other dishes we had in mind so he could help us better pair the tastes. Also helps that he’s handsome but really, enjoyed his service, attitude, and helpfulness in our book signing
|Bestia||Location||2121 E. 7th Pl., Arts District, Los Angeles, CA, 213-514-5724|
|Website URL Link||http://bestiala.com/|
|Review/Description||The Must-Have Dishes: Cavatelli alla norcina: ricotta dumplings, housemade pork sausage, black truffles, grana padano; Uni spaghetti, pizza alla‘nduja; butterscotch coconut tart.|
|Trois Mec||Location||Hollywood. 716 N. Highland Ave., Hancock Park, Los Angeles, CA|
|Website URL Link||https://www.troismec.com/|
|Review/Description||Mec it is only 26 seats, you have to order off their website, and it’s quite the coup to get in.The Must-Have Dishes: The menu is set by the chef each night, but often includes the potato pulp with browned butter and bonito flakes.
|Fishing with Dynamite||Location||1148 Manhattan Ave, Manhattan Beach, CA|
|Cuisine||Seafood, American (New)|
|Website URL Link||http://www.eatfwd.com/|
|Review/Description||Manhattan Beach Best clam chowder in Los Angeles.|
|Ladies Gunboat Society at Flores||Location||2024 Sawtelle Blvd, Los Angeles, CA424-273-6469|
|Cuisine||American (New), Southern|
|Website URL Link||http://www.floreslosangeles.com|
|Review/Description||Wow what a pleasant surprise. When I first walked in this restaurant which has great outdoor dining the plates and table setting looked familiar which I loved but didn’t know of the connections to the chefs other restaurant which I loved and was sorry when it closed, Wolf in Sheeps clothing, a pop up restaurant that was on Abbott Kinney a few years ago. We ordered and when the food arrived we were blown away by the flavors, ingredients and presentation.
Ordered the grits,soft shell crabs and mussels. Really fit for a super foodie.
Staff was very friendly and efficient and had worked for the chef at his other restaurants.
The chef was also responsible for a West Hollywood place called the Hart and the Hunter, which I hadn’t been to but heard was great.
I would for sure come back.
|Smoke Oil Salt||Location||7274 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA West Hollywood|
|Cuisine||Spanish, Wine Bars|
|Website URL Link||http://www.smokeoilsalt.com/|
|Review/Description||Wow. Where do I begin with this review? For starters, the spot itself was located in a great little spot on Melrose. The decor and ambiance made for a great Friday night dinner spot. Here are some highlights from the meal:Pros:
– FLORI-COL AMB ALLETS. The garlic and chili paired well the the caramelized cauliflower and broccoli dish. A bit on the salty side, but a perfect pairing with the rest of our meal.
– BRAVES TRENCADES. My favorite dish of the night. The chorizo and Serrano ham was absolutely divine along with the egg and potatoes. This hit the spot.
– pluma iberica. Wow. The pork was cooked to perfection and all the sauce and spices knocked this one out of the park.
– They had a special cheesecake dessert that was pure bliss. It wasn’t too sweet and was the perfect way to finish off the meal before a night of dancing.
– Great wine and beer selection.The only pro I would have is he fact that they don’t have a full bar.
Overall smoke.oil.salt. was the perfect dinner spot. The ambiance, service and people were beyond great. For only being open for three weeks, this place truly left me with a memorable experience that I won’t forget. I’ll be back soon for sure!
|Hinoki & the Bird||Location||10 Century Dr., Century City, Los Angeles, 310-552-1200|
|Website URL Link||hinokiandthebird.com|
|Review/Description||The Must-Have Dishes: Black cod beneath a sliver of still-smoldering Hinoki wood; barbecued pork neck; pumpkin on toast.|
|Crossroads||Location||8284 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood, 323-782-9245|
|Cuisine||Vegan, Mediterranean, Tapas/Small Plates|
|Website URL Link||crossroadskitchen.com|
|Review/Description||The Must-Have Dishes: Artichoke oysters.|
|Chi Spacca||Location||6610 Melrose Ave., Hancock Park, Los Angeles, CA, 323-297-1133|
|Web URL Link||chispacca.com|
|Review/Description||The Must-Have Dishes: Whole Muscles lardo with grissini capocollo, and all of the house-cured meats, pancetta-wrapped sweetbreads, lamb shoulder chop.|
|The Hart and the Hunter||Location||7950 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood, 323-424-3055|
|Website URL Link||thehartandthehunter.com|
|Review/Description||The Must-Have Dishes: The biscuits.|
|Girasol||Location||11334 Moorpark St., Studio City North Hollywood CA, 818-924-2323|
|Website URL Link||girasolrestaurant.com|
|Review/Description||The Must-Have Dishes: Burrata, crispy lentils, and stone fruit; lovage butter; pork chop, butternut squash, grilled pears, sweet clover; buttermilk donuts|
|Bucato||Location||3280 Helms Ave., Culver City, 310-876-0286|
|Website URL Link||bucato.la|
|Review/Description||The Must-Have Dishes: Fluffy foccacia; all of the pasta.|
|Bar Ama||Location||118 W. 4th St., Downtown, Los Angeles, CA, 213-687-8002|
|Cuisine||Tex-Mex, Cocktail Bars|
|Website URL Link||bar-ama.com|
|Review/Description||The Must-Have Dishes: Grilled corazon; queso; Frito pie.|
|Allumette||Location||1320 Echo Park Ave., Echo Park, Los Angeles, CA 213-935-8787,|
|Website URL Link||allumettela.com|
|Review/Description||The Must-Have Dishes: Potatoes a la plancha; Dungeness crab custard; dark chocolate ganache.|