Last week Eater offered up a pair of tickets to a shmancy $500 dinner taking place later this week at Pebble Beach Food & Wine up north. To win the seats, we asked readers to share their best kept restaurant secrets, and rather than keep these gems to ourselves, we've decided to spread the love to you, dear readers. Below, some of the city's best restaurant secrets, as determined by readers. Got another undisclosed tip? Feel free to add in the comments.
1) "My best restaurant secret? Bottega Louie's VIP (reservation) concierge: 213-802-1490"
2) "The Egg Huck McMuffin--Off-Menu at Huckleberry. Maple bacon biscuit + Eggs + Bacon + Maple Syrup = Greatest Breakfast EVER! In fact, having written this, I will have to go tomorrow to get another one!"
3) "At M Café, you can request an off-menu 'Loaded Burger.' The Loaded Burger is a guilty pleasure for vegans, without, you know, all that unnecessary guilt. It's made with tempeh bacon and avocado (and all the hot sauce you can muster) and is accompanied by 'chili cheese fries' (i.e., sliced organic potatoes with Daiya cheese, chili beans and fresh parsley)."
4) "A 'hidden gem' restaurant worth driving all the way from Playa del Rey to North Hollywood is Hayat's Kitchen. Hands down the best Lebanese restaurant I have ever tried. They have the best French fries in LA - their Potato Harra is fries tossed with garlic, lemon juice, cilantro and red pepper flakes. Dip them in the thick garlic sauce they are served with and you will reach garlic heaven. They are amazing!"
5) "My best restaurant secret involves my girlfriend and her father's restaurant. The place is called Aroma Restaurant, it's in Silverlake, and what makes it so special is he was a chef at Valentino for about 15 years. The restaurant is tucked into a little strip mall and the prices are much more affordable than Valentino, but the food is totally on par. The menu is great, but I'd recommend just ordering anything from the specials, as he's always ordering fresh items and making new things. He will also do tasting menus if asked. They also have a very solid selection of Italian wines as well. There's a strong following of regulars that keep the very tiny place packed, but it's truly a hidden gem and I'm not just saying that because I'm dating the chef's daughter! My favorite secret spot in LA."
6) "I'd like to share that as I've lived here over a decade, it always boggled MY mind that Mistral in Studio City is such a kept secret among dining enthusiasts (with only 78 reviews on Yelp, vs. hundreds for Spago, Mastro's, etc.) Old school excellent service, delicious food (hello, steak frites?!) and a fantastic wine list - not to mention a romantic, classy setting - tops waiting for a reservation at Cut any day for me. It says so much when a restaurant becomes a true establishment in L.A., right? And that Dave Grohl seems to be a fan (he was one table over from me during my last dining experience there.)"
7) "My best restaurant secret: the delicious (and off-menu) tiramisu at Cecconi's. "
8) "Hollywood Pies (Los Angeles) - Pizza (no signs outside, you have to call them to come out); The Trails (Los Angeles) - Avocado Sandwich; Il Capriccio on Vermont (Los Angeles) - Tiramisu; Cha Cha Chili (Los Angeles) - Tacos; The Pie Hole (Los Angeles) - Pie; Guisados (Los Angeles) - tacos; 101 Noodle Express (Alhambra) - Beef Roll; Nickel Diner (Los Angeles)"