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Bavel

The follow-up restaurant to L.A.’s perennially popular Bestia, Downtown’s Bavel has a stylish, airy dining room with a hanging garden, where it serves exquisite Middle Eastern cuisine.
Editors' Picks
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Capo

Capo is beloved for its Italian classics like calamari, burrata caprese, rigatoni with truffle meat sauce and venison steak with Fuji apples.
Dinning Area at Cassia, Los Angeles, California - Courtesy John Linden

Cassia

The atmosphere at this Santa Monica restaurant resembles a French brasserie, while the menu leans toward Southeast Asian cuisine. Housed in a 1937 Art Deco building, Cassia is the latest project from Santa Monica restaurant power couple Josh Loeb and Zoe Nathan (of Rustic Canyon and Milo and Olive) in partnership with rising star chef Bryant Ng. The high-ceilinged, 5,000-square-foot dining room is sparsely decorated, with polished concrete walls and floors, and white marble top tables and copper pendant lamps lend warmth to the space. Start with a round of cocktails such as bartender Lava Flow Pina Colada, and move on to Vietnamese prawns, chickpea curry, jellyfish salad and finally, Vietnamese coffee pudding.

Dante menus and cocktails and a wood-fired pizza with mushrooms and egg

Dante Beverly Hills

Dante Beverly Hills is a destination to dine late into the night, enjoying live music, stellar martinis and the glittering LA skyline.

Food at Farmshop, Angeles, California

Farmshop

“Why do these tomatoes, which are totally not in season right now taste better than any tomatoes we eat in New York in mid-summer?” my husband asked when presented with a beautiful plate of plump yellow and red heirlooms, tossed in delectable oil. The same question could be asked of nearly every plate of food that comes out of this special restaurant, part of the upscale Brentwood Country Mart.

Diners sit at rustic wooden tables on one side of the airy, bright space, while the other is taken up by a makeshift farmer’s market, with a bakery, charcuterie and butcher. It’s all a bit orchestrated (as much “farmshop” as Eataly, in New York, is Italian), but the super-seasonal menu and expertly prepared dishes are not to be mocked. Beet-cured ocean trout; grilled Burgundy snails with wild fennel; crisp pork belly with squash and Brussels sprout slaw; roasted pumpkin hummus: everything is locally sourced and simply prepared. Many of the dinner dishes are served family-style, contributing to the homey ambience. It’s also a great spot for breakfast or lunch when staying or touring in the area.

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Felix

Headed by chef Evan Funke, the Italian classics on the menu include antipasti, pizza and entrées like braised beef, but pasta is the star.
Editors' Picks
Bar at Fig, Los Angeles, California

Fig

Fig, the hip restaurant in the Fairmont Miramar hotel, proudly declares itself a seasonal bistro. The L.A. Times has called it “a raging success” and the attractive crowds that gather nightly are testament to that. The chef focuses on what is in season, cooking with only the freshest organic ingredients from local purveyors to create simple delicious dishes. Appetizers include market salads and soups (roasted tomato or onion are favorites) and entrées may be vegetable curry, fish tacos, brick-grilled chicken with cherry tomato panzanella, tuna tartine and open-faced meatloaf with mashed potato aioli and Bermuda onion rings. To underscore the seasonal focus the menu includes a list at the bottom of vegetables and fruit “Just Arrived”, “In Peak Season” and “Coming Soon”. FIG is the perfect spot for food lovers who want a casual experience or who are dining alone but want a memorable meal. Solo visitors can dine at the pewter bar or the communal table and chat with the expert cheese sommelier. His cheese menu reflects the gourmet depth and the lack of pretension of the restaurant with categories such as Cow, Ewe, Goat, Blue-Veined and Stinky showcasing selections from France, Italy, Vermont and Wisconsin. Reservations recommended and can be made online.

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Forma

Named for formaggio, the menu’s chief ingredient, Forma is a buzzy and sophisticated restaurant in Santa Monica.

Gjelina

Chef Travis Lett’s Mediterranean menu includes small plates, ultra-fresh vegetables (wood-roasted sunchokes) and the house specialty: pizza.
Editors' Picks

Gjusta

Following in the footsteps of older siblings Gjelina and GTA (Gjelina Take Away), this bakery-cum-deli has a high cool quotient. Patrons nosh on sandwiches such as a porchetta melt and classic banh mi, and regulars know to end a meal with one of the superb baklava croissants. Milk crates double as seating, but we recommend taking your food to go for an impromptu beach picnic.

Editors' Picks
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Gracias Madre

Gracias Madre is a trendy cantina in West Hollywood serves plant-based, meatless Mexican cuisine. Read Indagare's review.
Exterior View - Hamasaku, Berlin, Germany

Hamasaku

Everyone has a favorite neighborhood sushi place, and this small, handsome spot, filled with lovely orchids, is mine. I don’t care that onetime Hollywood powerhouse Michael Ovitz owns it, or that there are entire regiments of reserved tables for a couple of dozen stars. It is located in a nondescript strip mall with valet parking, and the real star is the sushi.

Food at Hinoki & the Bird, Los Angeles, California

Hinoki & the Bird

This bold Japanese spot in Century City is almost impossible to find and therefore a real insider secret. Inspired by the Silk Road, Hinoki & the Bird is sleek and modern, and features a lobster roll that has people talking.

Jon and Vinny's

Despite its friendly, casual vibe, this Italian eatery is far from the average neighborhood pizzeria. Named after owners Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo (creators of LA staples Animal, Son of a Gun and Trois Mec, 716 N Highland Ave), this pint-sized restaurant serves scrumptious pastas and perfectly charred pizzas using simple but sublime ingredients. The interior is wrapped in white oak (the architect, Jeff Guga, previously worked for Frank Gehry), with artist-designed pizza boxes stacked along the walls. There’s also an on-site wine shop, Helen’s, which boasts an impeccable selection.

Note: A Brentwood location serves the same menu at a much more convenient location for travelers staying in Santa Monica or visiting The Getty.

KIWAMI by KATSU-YA

From the same owners as Katsu-ya comes Kiwami, another high-quality sushi restaurant that is a little more under the radar but beloved by locals for its great staff. The menu is a mix of classics and creative rolls, and there are gluten-free accommodations.

Recommended by an Indagare community insider

plates of food on a wooden table

Majordomo

An outpost of David Chang's, Majoromo serves a colorful mix of cuisines in a simple and airy space with a vibrant wall mural.
Editors' Picks
cafe patio at the end of a pier

Malibu Farm Pier Cafe

Malibu Farm cafe and restaurant in Los Angeles serves organic, farm-to-table food in a gorgeous setting on the pier. Indagare Review

pier over the ocean

Malibu Farm Restaurant at the Pier

This popular spot for breakfast, lunch and dinner serves organic, farm-to-table food in a gorgeous setting on the pier. Watch surfers tackle the waves and bask in the ocean breeze while dining on delicious seafood and healthy specialties like zucchini crust pizza. Don't miss the charcoal ice cream for dessert.

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Mélisse

This upscale French favorite has long been one of L.A.’s most acclaimed restaurants, as evidenced by its two Michelin stars. An all-around excellent choice, traditionalists and those looking for a big night out will thoroughly enjoy the contemporary spot, which offers an anniversary tasting menu.

Osteria Mozza

For foodies—or anyone really—no trip to LA is complete without a dinner at Osteria Mozza. The team behind the popular Pizzeria Mozza (next door) followed up with a marvelous Italian restaurant that’s wildly, and deservedly, popular. The large interior has an upscale bistro ambience, centered—physically and spiritually—on the huge mozzarella bar. As you peruse the menu, banish thoughts of salad and proceed directly to the über-fresh cheeses. There are more than a dozen picks, each big enough to share, so order several. The incredibly tender and creamy burricotti, for instance, is served on two crostini and topped with roasted radicchio, crisp spiced walnuts, a drizzle of honey and fried rosemary. Or consider burrata with bacon, ricotta with hazelnuts, or bufala mozzarella with pesto. Of course, there are fabulous pastas (even a pasta tasting menu), and entrées like gnocchi with duck ragu or cedar-smoked wild salmon. Be sure to try the desserts. Osteria Mozza is the kind of place where, before the meal is even over, you are already planning your next visit. Is tomorrow too soon? Reservations several weeks in advance are absolutely essential.

Editors' Picks

Pizzeria Mozza

Nancy Silverton, the talent behind the bonanza of La Brea Bakery, opened this stylish gourmet pizza joint, which serves pies topped with either wild nettles or eggs, plus any combination of guanciale, radicchio and bagna cauda. Salads and desserts are solid too. It took off the minute it opened, so don’t plan on coming without a reservation unless you don’t mind standing around waiting for a seat at the too-cramped bar. Don’t miss sister restaurant Osteria Mozza, which has a more upscale menu and a mozzarella bar. On busy nights, the restaurant can be quite loud.

Providence

Diners in search of a big night out focusing on food, not people watching, will love this place, whose superb seafood has made it one of the West Coast’s most acclaimed restaurants. The five-course tasting menu (plus several amuse-bouches) will delight your senses and expand your culinary bounds.

Editors' Picks

Republique

The French cuisine at this bakery-cum-bistro includes dishes like the white prawns with persimmon, pistachio and chili.
Editors' Picks

Sushi Park

This hole in the wall, on the second story of a non-descript mini-mall in West Hollywood, serves some of the city’s best sushi. Come to sit at the counter and order omakase (Japanese for “I’ll leave it to you”) where the chef serves what he’s dreamed up for that day. You may well rub elbows with one of the many celebrities who swear by this place. Sushi Park is tiny, so reservations are a must.

Food at Sushi Sasabune, Los Angeles, California

Sushi Sasabune

Consistently ranked among LA's top sushi spots, this relaxed but refined restaurant is best for authentic omakase-style Japanese cuisine. It also has a sister restaurant on New York's Upper East Side.

Editors' Picks
Dinning Area at Tavern, Los Angeles, California

Tavern

This chic Brentwood restaurant is headed by James Beard award-winning chef Suzanne Goin and partner Caroline Styne (the duo behind AOC). Designed by Jeffrey Alan Marks in a soothing color scheme of celadon, silver, ice blue and cream, the space is gorgeous. Up front, there’s an airy café with camel-colored couches where you can linger over cappuccino and stock up on prepared foods, homemade granola and exquisite cupcakes.

The main restaurant (which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner) is divided into two rooms: a beautiful bar (a scene at night) and a glorious, light-filled atrium with soaring ceilings, big skylights, exposed brick, and leather button-back couches in place of banquettes. Goin excels at elevating homey lunch classics with superb ingredients: a BLT with heirloom tomatoes and avocado, a Niman Ranch burger with fontina, a Cobb salad with Point Reyes blue. Even the kids’ menu is well thought out, including a cornbread muffin with honey butter. This is a lovely spot for a ladies’ lunch or a leisurely breakfast.

Bar at The Tasting Kitchen, Los Angeles, California

The Tasting Kitchen

Temporarily Closed.

The weekend brunch is famous at this Venice Beach restaurant, which was selected by food critic Alan Richman as one of the U.S.’s best in 2010. The menu is eclectic New American, with some Italian and French tossed in for good measure. If you don’t want to sit at the communal dining table, make a reservation for a table (though most enjoy being part of the Venice scene, which is chic, hip and fun).

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