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10 Best Restaurants in Los Angeles

SmarterTravel

L.A.’s fine dining scene has a well-established cast of characters—chefs and restaurateurs who have become celebrities unto themselves. They achieve this star status because of the inspired food they create, the kid-glove hospitality they deliver, and the experiential dining rooms they design.

The Best Restaurants in Los Angeles

To experience their mastery for yourself, book a table at one of these 10 best restaurants in Los Angeles.


Providence

 

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No listing of the best restaurants in Los Angeles would be complete without Providence. Most Angelenos agree that it’s their city’s finest place to eat. Chef Michael Cimarusti, who is James Beard-nominated and Wolfgang Puck-trained, elevates seafood to an art form here: his culinary creations are beautiful and minimalist, and every bite is an experience to savor. Your choice of tasting menus includes highlights like sea urchin, spider crab, and swordfish with a black truffle crust.

This Melrose Avenue establishment is unabashedly pricey, but if you’re willing to pay hundreds to have a two-Michelin-star experience, you won’t soon forget it. Notably, Cimarusti is committed to conservationist ethics and uses only sustainable, responsibly harvested seafood.

Bestia

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Bestia is one of the newest, hottest Los Angeles restaurants to hit the scene. It opened in 2014 to immediate acclaim and popularity, thanks to the simple, slow-cooked Italian food of husband-and-wife chefs Ori Menashe and Genevieve Gergis.

This is casual fine dining, featuring flavor-packed pastas and pizzas, excellent meats, and meticulously crafted cocktails. It’s all presented in an industrial space downtown, with exposed elements, brick walls, and a young, energetic staff. There’s often a month-long wait for reservations, so book as soon as you know you’re going to L.A.

Melisse

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One of the best restaurants in L.A. is in Santa Monica, a few blocks in from the beach. There, Josiah Citrin, a two-Michelin-star chef, crafts fine French cuisine with fresh, colorful ingredients that he procures from the Santa Monica Farmers’ Market, then prepares carefully and plates elegantly.

Choose from a four-, seven-, or 10-course seasonal tasting menu, or order from the luxurious caviar-and-truffle menu. The intimate dining room is formal, modern, and romantic, with cheese and dessert carts that visit each table.

Spago

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Spago is the Meryl Streep of restaurants—it’s famous, it’s beloved, it’s been around for decades, and it always puts on an excellent performance. Wolfgang Puck, who helped define California cuisine in the 1970s, moved his iconic flagship restaurant from Hollywood to Beverly Hills in 1997 and the celebrities kept right on coming—after all, this isn’t just one of the best restaurants in Los Angeles, it’s the preeminent name in Los Angeles fine dining.

The food is French with Asian touches, the service is excellent, and the dining room is beautiful, though there’s a lovely courtyard if you prefer to nibble your amuse bouches alfresco. Order a la carte or go for the California tasting menu to have servers bring you 13 different bits of magic.

N/naka

 

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Chef Niki Nakayama, an L.A. native, was the subject of a Netflix docuseries called Chef’s Table, placing n/naka firmly into the ranks of the most popular Los Angeles restaurants. And deservedly so—Nakayama’s kaiseki-style Japanese cuisine is delectable and gorgeously presented in a refined, spare space. Her sustainable seasonal ingredients—organic vegetables from the eatery’s own garden and no trace of the endangered bluefin tuna—get interpreted into dramatic 13-course tasting menus (including a vegetarian one), available with wine and sake pairing, and brought out with incredibly personalized service.

N/naka is in the Palms area, near Culver City, and accepts reservations up to three months in advance—you’ll want to take them up on their long lead time, since the small dining room is frequently booked solid.

Maude

 

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Maude’s team is a travel-loving crew: This seven-table Beverly Hills restaurant, which opened in 2014, is built around the concept of the chefs heading to a different one of the world’s great wine regions four times per year, exploring it thoroughly, then coming home inspired to build a 10-course tasting experience around the place’s culture, food, and wine.

Chef Curtis Stone named Maude after his grandmother, who was his first cooking teacher—and since this is certainly one of the best restaurants in L.A., it’s an honorable legacy she leaves.

AOC Wine Bar and Restaurant

 

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James Beard-winning chef Suzanne Goin, an L.A. native, runs AOC in a Beverly Grove space so charming that it’s close to magical. Her incredibly tasty California-French menu of seasonal shared plates and platters, many prepared to perfection in a wood oven, is just part of what makes AOC one of the best restaurants in Los Angeles. There’s also the fantastic service, original craft cocktails, and fine lineup of sustainably produced wines.

Osteria Mozza

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Nancy Silverton is the reigning queen of the Los Angeles food scene. At Osteria Mozza, the James Beard-winning, Le Cordon Bleu-trained chef, who also founded La Brea Bakery and several other great Los Angeles restaurants, creates sumptuous Italian food.

Her house-made pastas, well-prepared meats, various vegan options, long wine list, and fresh soft cheeses—especially mozzarella—make this high-end Melrose Avenue eatery a local favorite.

Republique

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Republique serves whatever it is you want: breakfast, lunch, dinner, bakery goods, cocktails at a bar. But don’t let the variety fool you—this French-inspired food is so excellent that Republique is often called one of the best restaurants in L.A. It also offers creative hors d’oeuvres, charcuterie, cheese boards, inspired salads and vegetables, fish and meats, fresh pastas in tasty sauces, and truly incredible desserts.

Its building, on La Brea Avenue in Hancock Park, is a 1928 structure commissioned by Charlie Chaplin, though Republique’s husband-and-wife owners redid the whole thing with brick and tile so that it’s now a strikingly beautiful and memorable space.

Crossroads Kitchen

 

best restaurants los angeles
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A first look at Crossroads and you’d never guess it’s vegan. Its dim interior is as elegant as they come, the service is formal, and the seasonal Mediterranean dishes would appear to fit right in at any of the best restaurants in Los Angeles.

All this makes it a celebrity favorite in West Hollywood, and the cachet of chef Tal Ronnen doesn’t hurt, either—he’s a bestselling cookbook author, a teacher at Le Cordon Bleu, and made Oprah’s food during her 21-day cleanse. His plant-based menu ensures that non-vegetarians will thoroughly enjoy themselves: desserts are fancy, cocktails and wines are always on point, and entrees are colorful and—dare we say it—beefy.

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– Original reporting by Avital Andrews

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