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The Top Los Angeles Restaurant Standbys of 2019

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Friends of Eater, and Eater editors, discuss their regular spots around town

A blistered, wood-fired pizza from Roberta’s shown from above.
Roberta’s Pizza, Culver City
Brandon Harmon

Welcome to Year in Eater, an annual review of some of the best and notable openings and restaurant news that took place in Los Angeles over the past year. Eater LA asks writers, editors, and food luminaries to pitch in to help summary the incredible year in dining that was 2019. Here now, the top restaurant standbys in LA (with some non-LA contributions as well).

Gary Baum, features writer and restaurant critic for The Hollywood Reporter

Sonoratown, KazuNori, Bavel, Dino’s Chicken, Langer’s, Woon, Pizzeria Mozza, Zankou, San Vicente Bungalows

Kristie Hang, Eater LA contributor

Since I cover San Gabriel Valley a lot, I have to say Tang Gong for dimsum. They’ve been such an underrated, yet great place for innovative dimsum. Mala Town has done surprisingly well in my book. Yang’s Kitchen in Alhambra has been a welcome addition to the neighborhood.

Andy Wang, writer, Food & Wine

Northern Thai Food Club (thanks, Garrett, for showing us the way), HiHo Cheeseburger, Uovo, Smorgasburg (especially Moo’s Craft Barbecue), RiceBox, Sonoratown, Pablito’s Tacos. And it might be weird to call a restaurant as extravagant as Angler a standby, but I was fortunate enough to eat there many times and it was always great.

Hadley Tomicki, LA Times contributor

Darya, Uovo, Kato, Coni’Seafood, Tumbi, Mora Italiano, Tel Aviv Fish Grill, Pacific Coast Food, Baroo, Northern Café, Baltaire, Sichuan Impression, Umi by Hamasaku, Malbec, Mariscos Jalisco, Guerrilla Tacos, A-Frame.

Andrea Chang, LA Times food section deputy editor

Always Shunji, no matter what year. I went to Kato regularly and Gjusta all the time. Ate a lot of Tacos 1986, Republique and Burgers Never Say Die. Around lunchtime you could find me at Tartine Sycamore; in the evening at Dear John’s or Ototo; and, very late at night, at Ruen Pair.

Joshua Lurie, FoodGPS founder

Kebabs and chicken provide regular fuel in-between my rotating diet of global meals.

This year, I kept returning to Tehran Market‘s Santa Monica parking lot for charcoal-grilled Persian-style kebabs on Sundays, particularly beef koobideh, chicken thigh, and salmon.

I’ll also bring home a rotisserie chicken whenever possible, preferably wood-fired Peruvian-style chicken from places like Pollo a la Brasa or Takatis, but also the eight-piece dark meats special (including bonus backbone) from California Chicken Café.

Oren Peleg, LA food writer

I should have a dedicated phone line at the Terroni downtown, I’m there so often. Also, I know I can slip into Oriel any night of the week and have a great meal, or go to Mh Zh for something fun that won’t break the bank.

Euno Lee, Eater LA contributor

Mo Ran Gak, Majordomo, Langer’s, Tasty Noodle House, Bhanu Indian Grocery & Cuisine, Ho Kee Cafe, Spoon By H, Katella Deli, Republique

Bill Esparza, Eater LA contributor

Taqueria Tuétano in National City and Barrio Logan’s Chicano Row have given me reason to stop and grab a bite before crossing the border. Fauna in the Valle de Guadalupe, SUD 777 in Mexico City, and here in LA it has been Antojitos Los Cuates, Northern Thai Food Club (neighborhood favorite), Bavel, and the Guatemalan Night Market. And, I can’t stop going to Mocotó (São Paulo), and Oteque (Rio de Janeiro)—I’m addicted.

Esther Tseng, LA food writer

Pine & Crane / Joy, BBQ+Rice, HomeState, Baroo, Porridge & Puffs, Dune, Tsubaki, All Time, Nightshade

Stephanie Breijo, Time Out LA editor

This year I feel like I practically ran on Sonoratown and HomeState. I can also say with certainty that my most-ordered soup was the BBQ pork wonton noodle soup from Chinatown’s Hop Woo. That’s my comfort soup.

Mona Holmes, Eater LA reporter

Roberta’s in Culver City became a central stop for me. Owner/chef Carlo Mirarchi knows how to make truly delicious food in a welcoming space as The Ramones happily blast through the PA.

Noree Thai, Joy, Antica Pizzeria for that gorgeous patio, and Holbox.

It’s always a joy to swoop into Leimert Park’s Swift Cafe. Chef Kyndra McCrary managed to put together a gorgeous menu that happens to be healthy, especially her coconut chickpea curry, and jerk chicken bowl.

Dining at coffee houses is essential in my line of work, and my go-tos are Go Get Em Tiger for the coffee and absolutely delicious breakfast food. Hilltop Coffee + Kitchen is perfect for this too, plus their droptop sandwiches give me life. But if it’s straight caffeine for a busy day, Highland Park’s intimate Collage Coffee produces the best cup in the city.

Cathy Chaplin, Eater LA associate editor

I returned again and again to the restaurants that consistently delivered on value and comfort, like Monterey Park’s Delicious Food Corner and Highland Park’s Joy.

Farley Elliott, Eater LA Senior Editor

There are few better restaurants for the random weeknight stop-in than Ototo in Echo Park, which packs such a delicious punch in such a small space it’s almost too much to comprehend. I feel similarly about Joy in Highland Park, where the endless bounty of Taiwanese snacks keeps me coming back, and damned if I don’t keep ending up at El Ruso in Boyle Heights for those truly delicious flour tortillas.

Matthew Kang, Eater LA Editor

Love & Salt is my new neighborhood Italian restaurant. My favorite lunch was Ichimiann for its amazing soba. Similar to last year, I frequented Majordomo whenever I could and still make it my go-to destination restaurant. I also tried to get to Kura in West Hollywood as many times as I could until it sadly closed last month. It was my favorite sushi spot in town. Tacos 1986 was my most frequented new restaurant, as well as the remarkable Spoon by H. My sneak visit last week to Eater LA’s restaurant of the year Nightshade was an incredible experience. And of course Joy was the place I craved pretty much every Sunday for lunch. In terms of Korean restaurants, I bounced around between Kobawoo, Seongbukdong, The Corner Place, Sun Nong Dan, and Park’s BBQ.

Top Restaurant

1842 East Colorado Boulevard, , CA 91107 (626) 792-1412 Visit Website

All Time

2040 Hillhurst Avenue, , CA 90027 (323) 660-3868 Visit Website

Porridge & Puffs

2801 Beverly Boulevard, , CA 90057 (213) 908-5313 Visit Website

Dune

3143 Glendale Boulevard, , CA 90039 (323) 486-7073 Visit Website

Burgers Never Say Die

2388 Glendale Boulevard, , CA 90039 (323) 922-6161 Visit Website

Go Get Em Tiger

5916 North Figueroa Street, , CA 90042 (323) 438-8558 Visit Website

Angler

132 The Embarcadero, , CA 94105 (415) 872-9442 Visit Website

Joy

5100 York Boulevard, , CA 90042 (323) 999-7642 Visit Website

Tartine Sycamore

911 North Sycamore Avenue, , CA 90038 (323) 552-6054 Visit Website

Baltaire

11647 San Vicente Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90049 (424) 273-1660 Visit Website

Mariscos Jalisco

801 East 10th Street, , CA 90021 (323) 309-1622

Kura

8162 Sunset Boulevard, , CA 90046 (323) 656-6347 Visit Website

HiHo Cheeseburger

1320 2nd Street, , CA 90401 (310) 469-7250 Visit Website

Coast

1 Pico Boulevard, , CA 90405 (310) 587-1707 Visit Website

Northern Thai Food

5301 Sunset Boulevard, , CA 90027 (323) 474-7212

Collage Coffee

5106 York Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90042 Visit Website

Majordomo

1725 Naud Street, , CA 90012 (323) 545-4880 Visit Website

Spoon By H

7158 Beverly Boulevard, , CA 90036 (323) 930-0789 Visit Website

Mexico City

2121 Hillhurst Avenue, , CA 90027 (323) 661-7227

Umi by Hamasaku

860 South Sepulveda Boulevard, , CA 90245 (310) 524-9980 Visit Website

Antojitos Los Cuates

2323 Rosecrans Avenue, , CA 90221 (562) 469-9944 Visit Website

RiceBox

541 South Spring Street, , CA 90013 (213) 988-7395 Visit Website

Noree Thai

7669 Beverly Boulevard, , CA 90036 (323) 937-3100 Visit Website

Nightshade

923 East 3rd Street, , CA 90013 (213) 626-8888 Visit Website

Pollo A La Brasa

764 South Western Avenue, , CA 90005 (213) 387-1531

Guerrilla Tacos

2000 East 7th Street, , CA 90021 (213) 375-3300 Visit Website

Delicious Food Corner

545 West Las Tunas Drive, , CA 91776 (626) 325-8838 Visit Website

Ichimiann

1618 Cravens Avenue, , CA 90501 (310) 328-1323 Visit Website

Tacos 1986

609 South Spring Street, , CA 90014 (213) 988-7202 Visit Website

Echo Park

, , CA

Sonoratown

208 East 8th Street, , CA 90014 (213) 628-3710 Visit Website

Kato

11925 Santa Monica Boulevard, , CA 90025 (424) 535-3041 Visit Website

A-Frame

12565 West Washington Boulevard, , CA 90066 (310) 398-7700 Visit Website

Tasty Noodle House

8054 West 3rd Street, , CA 90048 (323) 272-3933 Visit Website

Charcoal

425 Washington Boulevard, , CA 90292 (310) 751-6794 Visit Website

UOVO

1320 2nd Street, , CA 90401 (310) 425-0064 Visit Website

Holbox

3655 South Grand Avenue, , CA 90007 (213) 986-9972 Visit Website

Hilltop Coffee + Kitchen (Inglewood)

170 N La Brea Ave, Inglewood, CA 90301 Visit Website

HomeState

1992 Lincoln Avenue, , CA 91103 (323) 982-8600 Visit Website

Tsubaki

1356 Allison Avenue, , CA 90026 (213) 900-4900 Visit Website

Hop Woo

11110 West Olympic Boulevard, , CA 90064 (310) 575-3668 Visit Website

Pizzeria Mozza

641 North Highland Avenue, , CA 90036 (323) 297-0101 Visit Website

Ruen Pair

5257 Hollywood Boulevard, , CA 90027 (323) 466-0153 Visit Website

Sichuan Impression

11057 Santa Monica Boulevard, , CA 90025 (310) 444-7171 Visit Website

Republique

624 South La Brea Avenue, , CA 90036 (310) 362-6115 Visit Website

Gjusta

320 Sunset Avenue, , CA 90291 (310) 314-0320 Visit Website

El Ruso

3140 Sunset Boulevard, , CA 90026 Visit Website

Love & Salt

317 Manhattan Beach Boulevard, , CA 90266 (310) 545-5252 Visit Website

Smorgasburg

777 South Alameda Street, , CA 90021 (718) 928-6603 Visit Website

Bavel

500 Mateo Street, , CA 90013 (213) 232-4966 Visit Website

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