Modern steakhouses, seafood stands, stellar tasting menus and the city’s best pasta—here are 5 of the best restaurants you need to try in Los Angeles!
After nearly 40 years in the restaurant industry, Spago remains at the top of the list. The ever-changing menu makes the restaurant seem altogether fresh and new although it is filled with a long list of famous customers.
The Beverly Hills menu from managing partner and executive chef Lee Hefter, and chef de cuisine Tetsu Yahagi, features contemporary additions such as chirashi boxes of sashimi with a yuzu-jalapeño gel; Spanish octopus in young coconut with charred habanero; and Hong Kong-style striped bass with sweet soy, to name a few. The handmade agnolotti is still outstanding after all these years. Spago has been serving stellar cuisine since the Reagan era, and it continues to thrive in this bustling city.
For serving a city next to the Pacific, Michael Cimarusti’s Providence somehow still manages to surprise and reinterpret seafood. His mostly-aquatic menu deftly showcases the bounty of the West Coast, as well as the globe: Big Island abalone, Santa Barbara spot prawns and steelhead trout from the Quinault River in Washington are among the varied choices, though the menus change seasonally.
Multicourse options include a $95 lunch-only tasting menu, but for the truly adventurous—and deep-pocketed—there’s the 10-plus–course Chef’s Tasting Menu ($240) where luxury fare including caviar, truffles and A5 wagyu beef are the catch of the day.
Many of chef David Schlosser’s dishes require the kind of time, care, delicacy and extreme effort that define kappo cuisine.
This style of Japanese tasting menu or omakase fine-dining might serve bites of prawn ripened and fermented—for months—in their own juices, or slow-smoked salmon that cooks over cherry bark. In an almost hidden dining room in DTLA, Schlosser grinds nubs of fresh wasabi, and steams pork jowl with California-grown rice in a heavy iron pot, and experiments and waits, patiently, to create some of the most intricate flavors that can take weeks to develop. Order à la carte, or, more recommended, go for the omakase, which starts at $75 per guest—you’ll be in excellent hands. Be sure to sit at the bar to see the master at work.
L.A.’s seen its fair share of haute Japanese cuisine, but there’s something special happening in the ROW DTLA. Tucked behind traditional noren that hang over the door, chef-owner Brandon Go artfully tweezers boutique bento boxes by day, and a multicourse, traditional kaiseki dinner by night.
The space is intimate, the ceramics are handcrafted and imported from Japan, and Go’s precision and technique come by way of training under Michelin-starred Japanese chefs. Hayato’s delicate flavors and Go’s humble nature could lead Angelenos to overlook some of the most beautiful cooking happening in the city. Orders for bento require at least 24 hours’ notice, awhile the stunningly artful kaiseki dinners often fill up a month in advance. So, plan ahead.
Beverly Hills is full of high-profile restaurants perfect for an expense-account or date-night splurge, but one of the finest and most memorable is Curtis Stone’s ambitious temple to the tasting menu. Maude first gained buzz for its ingredient-driven concept—swapping menus out every month—but the restaurant flipped to a new and even more enticing format.
Now, the Aussie celebrity chef and his team serve delicate, thoughtful and intricate courses inspired by a different wine region every quarter. You might be sampling traditional house-made boudin on one menu, and potato chips with Aussie beer at another. Meander through Rioja, Burgundy, Western Australia and even the Central Coast—menu depending—with a range of wine-pairing options to take your meal from singular to one of the best dining experiences you’ll have all year.