I’m a big fan of lists and in the spirit of that I’ve decided to create a list of my favorite spots in LA. This is by no means an exhaustive list and I plan to add to it as much as I can. Enjoy!
Legend: B– Breakfast | BR – Brunch | L – Lunch | D – Dinner
S – Sweets/Dessert | C – Coffee/Tea | LN – Late Night
Superba Snack Bar (B/BR) – I’ve only really been for Breakfast and Brunch so I can’t speak for the lunch or dinner but in a word, Omgoodness. They have pretty much my favorite bacon in the world. It’s a thick cut strip but it has the texture of pulled pork. That sort of soft and tender, cut with a fork, gentleness about it; plus it’s seasoned just right. They have great egg dishes, and have a great cold brew coffee and some fun cocktails if you’re brunching it up with the girls.
Bestia (D/LN) This is great small plates Italian restaurant just outside of Downtown LA. When I was there last, I challenged the bartender to make me something with Vodka and fruity — say what you will — but me-oh-my did he rise to the occasion. Off he went adding some egg whites, a pinch of this, a splash of that. It didn’t have a name, but I could drink those smooth ladies down until I forgot my own. Not only can this place deliver on the libations but they come through with the delicious eats. The bread is made in house and has a perfect crust with a supple inside and the pasta was just out of this world. I cannot say enough good things about it. Just go, thank me later.
BLD (B/BR/L/D) Went here for brunch with some friends. It’s on the boarder of West Los Angeles It’s a seemingly French inspired menu with some international flair. I had a Spanish Scramble that was amazing! Lots of fresh pastries as well.
Cafe Noir (B/BR) Formally Madame Chou Chou, this lovely place is a French Bistro on Main St in Santa Monica. The server and owner from what I can tell are actually French and take their food seriously, which works because its always tasty.
Upper West (L/D) This trendy American style restaurant has amazing burgers. Additionally they kill it with thier Mac-n-cheese as well. I don’t think that I’ve had something bad here, it’s one of my go-tos. They also play old movies on the wall, which is a nice touch.
Sweet Lady Jane (S/C) I was floored when I first walked into this place, which as close as I think I can get to heaven on earth. They have a vast selection of cakes that you can chose to get a slice of and enjoy. They also do cakes for different occasions. The slices are pretty much as big as your face, dieters beware.
La Sandia (L/D) Located atop the newly build Santa Monica Mall this place has amazing guacamole, which they make at your table. They pride themselves on having fresh ingredients and it shows. There’s multiple locations but I can only vouch for the one in SM.
Sweet Rose Creamery (S) This small-batch ice cream shop has a variety of fun fresh flavors to chose from. Plus, it’s made from organic ingredients. My favorite is their salted caramel.
Mercedes Grill (L/D) This restaurant is located right on the Venice/ Marina Del Rey boarder and is cooking up some AMAZING Cuban food. I’m partial to Hispanic food and this place rocked my taste-buds. They have a traditional Cuban menu in addition to a more general hispanic menu.
Groundworks Coffee (C) This 100% organic roasted is based out of LA has deeelish coffee. It has a nice strong but smooth flavor and they also have loose tea.
Tar & Roses (L/D) This new eatery just opened up a few months ago and is always busy. They have a menu of American fare that can be done either tapas style or as your traditional dining style of appetizer and main. The ribs were AMAZING, so tender and boneless (my favorite). They also had a meyer lemon risotto that accompanied a Branzino which was such a sweet and tasty combo. (Update: Everything I’ve eaten here is delicious, you cannot go wrong.)
Gjelina (BR/L) In Venice on Abbot Kinney sits this trendy eatery which I love for it’s tasty food and good jams. (I don’t know who makes their play list but it makes me want dance as I eat, which may or may not happen at some stage.) They have a really great brunch menu; amazing blueberry scones and lemonade. (You get a whole small carafe of lemonade when you order.) The pizzas look as good as they taste, and the fried egg sandwich is worth the little bit of mess it makes on your plate. Downside, they don’t do any substitutions at all, what so ever. I read an article where they wouldn’t even do it for Victoria Beckham when she was eating with Gordon Ramsay, crazy!
Huckleberry (B/BR/L/S) This place is always packed, so keep that in mind, but it’s so worth the wait. They have some of the best donuts I’ve had. (It was funny they actually got featured on an recent episode of Bones for these donuts, I’m a dork, I know.) The real highlight for me though was the Sauteed Spinach & Wieser Farm Roasted Potatoes. It was everything I was hoping for and more. It just really hit the spot.
Cholada (L/D) If you like Thai food you really need to check this place out. It has a beach side vibe with Thai food, two things that you wouldn’t suspect would go together so well. The Pad Se Ew is rich and the noodles were perfect, and the cashew chicken was seasoned just right. It’s also totally reasonably priced. (This if off the PCH in Malibu.)
ChaCha Chicken (L/D) This little beachside eatery is amazing through and through from the food to the decor. They do a Caribbean fusion style and I highly recommend their Jerk Chicken Enchiladas or the Coconut Fried Chicken. Whatever you end up ordering will be sure to not disappoint. They’re BYOB but they also serve amazing Agua Frescas if you’re looking for a non-alcoholic option.
Fritto Misto (L/D) This great little Italian restaurant is both great on the taste buds and on the pocketbook. It’s locally owned and was created to build an experience and in memory of the family nights out that the owner, Robert Kerr, used to have in Napa with his family. They have some great dishes already curated for your tasting enjoyment but they also have a build your own pasta experience complete with gluten free options. I highly recommend this place for a great budget conscious night out.