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Post & Beam’s catfish in Crenshaw, California.
Post & Beam
Post & Beam

17 LA Restaurants Offering Healthy Foods With Plenty of Flavor

Where to find a vegetable-focused Mediterranean feast, staple jerk catfish, traditional gambas with plenty of garlic, and more

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Post & Beam
| Post & Beam

After a year of consuming comfort foods to help keep 2020 at bay, some folks are ready to move to a healthier menu for a little while. After all, this is Southern California, where eating less fatty, less processed foods does not mean a lack of flavor or experience. The region’s combination of locally-grown produce, livestock, and seafood (plus LA’s many innovative chefs) means a healthy meal doesn’t need to feel like a sacrifice here.

For your summer convenience, here are 17 sit-down restaurants with delicious food that just happens to be healthy, presented north to south.

Added: Avra Beverly Hills Estiatorio, Gasolina Cafe, Heritage Long Beach, Post & Beam, Qusqo Bistro, Shiku, Surawon Tofu House, Swift Cafe

Removed: Crossroads Kitchen, Green Temple Vegetarian Restaurant, Han Bat Sul Lung Tang, Kitchen Mouse, Seabirds, Sqirl, Sun Cafe Organic

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Eater maps are curated by editors and aim to reflect a diversity of neighborhoods, cuisines, and prices. Learn more about our editorial process. If you buy something or book a reservation from an Eater link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics policy.

Gasolina cafe

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Chef Sandra Cordero’s Gasolina Cafe is quite the spot, thanks to her Spanish menu that includes grilled asparagus, striped sea bass with a salsa verde, or traditional gambas with plenty of garlic.

California Chicken Cafe

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Whether one prefers rotisserie chicken on a plate, in a tasty wrap, or on a bed of crunchy greens, local micro-chain California Chicken Café has endless ways to create a delicious meal.

It’s a vegetable-focused Mediterranean feast at Kismet, where the dinnertime menu varies from lamb meatballs to Morrocan-spiced carrots, or the fresh squid a la plancha. Chefs Sara Kramer and Sarah Hymanson make sure to put flavor and detail at the heart of everything they and their team make.

Kismet’s Turkish-ish Breakfast
Kismet
Bill Addison

Tocaya Organica

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If it seems like there’s a Tocaya Organica everywhere, that’s because the company’s been expanding at a rapid rate throughout the Southland. The chain has hit a comfortable stride by serving organic tacos, burritos, bowls, and salads, with just the right amount of flexibility for differing diners.

Tocaya Organica
Tocaya Organica Hollywood
Emilynn Rose

Take a tray and choose from the many healthy options at Forage, including its signature market lettuce salad with radish and shallot. Or go for the salmon bowl with brown rice, pickled radish, egg, and garlic.

Botanica Restaurant and Market

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Part celebrity magnet, part healthy dining destination, Botanica has cemented itself into an all-day Silver Lake fixture that offers a takeaway marketplace to boot. The rotating menu clearly wants vegans to feel comfortable with a roasted cauliflower and other hearty mains, but meat eaters as well by offering grilled proteins like spice-brined chicken, and a green curry cod.

Botanica Restaurant and Market
Botanica Restaurant and Market
Farley Elliott

M Café

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M Café touts macrobiotic cuisine, translating to food without refined sugars, eggs, dairy, red meat, or poultry. That means fish is still on the table, with plenty of delicious options from sushi to grain bowls to please just about everyone.

The M chopped salad at M Cafe in Los Angeles
The M chopped salad at M Cafe
M Cafe website

Avra Beverly Hills Estiatorio

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Beverly Hills’ Avra not only has one of the more spacious and well-lit dining rooms in the city, it’s also got some of the city’s freshest fish, much of it prepared on a charcoal grill. The raw bar is front and center along with New York strip steaks and oven-baked sea bass, just keep in mind that this is Beverly Hills, and you’ll likely be spending accordingly

Avra Beverly Hills
Avra
Justin Levy

Surawon Tofu House

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Surawon, like many soondubu jjigae restaurants, amplifies the flavor of its tofu by producing its own silken version on the premises, then flavoring it with rich spicy broth and ingredients like mushrooms and seafood. Every order comes with an array of pickled and seasoned banchan that will provide a nutritious meal.

Soontdubu and fried mackerel combo at Surawon in Koreatown.
Surawon Tofu House
Matthew Kang

Former Baroo chef Kwang Uh and his wife/chef partner Mina Park know the backbone of a great Korean meal is banchan, the seasoned and often pickled or fermented vegetables that are essential for every meal. Uh and Park’s stand at Grand Central Market boasts some of the finest banchan in LA for takeaway, though you get banchan with some of the dosirak too, including vegan fried temple mushrooms.

Qusqo Bistro and Gallery

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Qusqo’s chef/owner Lucy Haro developed a menu with traditional Peruvian dishes that can easily be customized with meat or to simply add more vegetables. Try the beefy and saucy lomo saltado, fried plantains, and ceviche.

Flower Child

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The work of True Food Kitchen’s Sam Fox, Flower Child boasts naturally-raised proteins and local produce in farmer's market-inspired digs. The expansive space — that’s also kid-friendly — offers plenty of salads, bowls, plates, and wraps with such proteins as grass-fed steak, sustainable salmon, and organic tofu.

Salad from Flower Child in Santa Monica, California.
Flower Child
Flower Child

Post & Beam

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Post & Beam’s menu is an ideal choice for produce, seafood, and meats like the staple jerk catfish, espresso-rubbed hangar steak, or the grilled vegetable skewer with romesco.

Post & Beam’s catfish in Crenshaw, California.
Jerk catfish from Post & Beam
Post & Beam

Swift Cafe

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Chef Kyndra McCrary worked with a nutritionist before opening up Swift Cafe in 2019, and she brings that experience to her daytime menu. Her protein-filled bowls are one of the many stars on Swift’s menu, but her jerk chicken and salmon gremolata with mixed greens are also standouts. Always check her instagram to see if she’s making the seafood pasta or gumbo, too.

Gumbo from Swift Cafe in Leimert Park.
Gumbo from Swift Cafe
[Official Photo]

The Butcher's Daughter

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Originating in New York, Butcher’s Daughter found a spot on Abbot Kinney, and built a menu that locals favor. They start early, where lattes, juices, smoothies, and pancakes are available, while others prefer the later menu that prioritizes burgers, stone-oven pizzas, and a solid wine list.

The Butcher’s Daughter
The Butcher’s Daughter
Tony B. via Yelp

Coni' Seafood

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Inglewood’s longtime staple Coni’seafood is still as popular as ever, with expansions in the LAFC stadium, and in Del Rey. That means more of the city can sample owner Coni’s mariscos menu, including fresh grilled fish, ceviches, and aguachiles.

Coni’ Seafood restaurant’s grilled fish
Pescado zarandeado at Coni’ Seafood
Crystal Coser

Heritage

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Chef Philip Pretty’s second Long Beach restaurant — his Heritage Sandwich Shop operates on the other side of the same building — will always have his selections from local farmers markets including Pasture bird poultry to scallops or smoked pork belly. Depending on the harvest, some vegetables and herbs come straight from Petty’s on-site garden.

Heritage Long Beach
Heritage in Long Beach
Courtesy of Heritage

Gasolina cafe

Chef Sandra Cordero’s Gasolina Cafe is quite the spot, thanks to her Spanish menu that includes grilled asparagus, striped sea bass with a salsa verde, or traditional gambas with plenty of garlic.

California Chicken Cafe

Whether one prefers rotisserie chicken on a plate, in a tasty wrap, or on a bed of crunchy greens, local micro-chain California Chicken Café has endless ways to create a delicious meal.

Kismet

It’s a vegetable-focused Mediterranean feast at Kismet, where the dinnertime menu varies from lamb meatballs to Morrocan-spiced carrots, or the fresh squid a la plancha. Chefs Sara Kramer and Sarah Hymanson make sure to put flavor and detail at the heart of everything they and their team make.

Kismet’s Turkish-ish Breakfast
Kismet
Bill Addison

Tocaya Organica

If it seems like there’s a Tocaya Organica everywhere, that’s because the company’s been expanding at a rapid rate throughout the Southland. The chain has hit a comfortable stride by serving organic tacos, burritos, bowls, and salads, with just the right amount of flexibility for differing diners.

Tocaya Organica
Tocaya Organica Hollywood
Emilynn Rose

Forage

Take a tray and choose from the many healthy options at Forage, including its signature market lettuce salad with radish and shallot. Or go for the salmon bowl with brown rice, pickled radish, egg, and garlic.

Botanica Restaurant and Market

Part celebrity magnet, part healthy dining destination, Botanica has cemented itself into an all-day Silver Lake fixture that offers a takeaway marketplace to boot. The rotating menu clearly wants vegans to feel comfortable with a roasted cauliflower and other hearty mains, but meat eaters as well by offering grilled proteins like spice-brined chicken, and a green curry cod.

Botanica Restaurant and Market
Botanica Restaurant and Market
Farley Elliott

M Café

M Café touts macrobiotic cuisine, translating to food without refined sugars, eggs, dairy, red meat, or poultry. That means fish is still on the table, with plenty of delicious options from sushi to grain bowls to please just about everyone.

The M chopped salad at M Cafe in Los Angeles
The M chopped salad at M Cafe
M Cafe website

Avra Beverly Hills Estiatorio

Beverly Hills’ Avra not only has one of the more spacious and well-lit dining rooms in the city, it’s also got some of the city’s freshest fish, much of it prepared on a charcoal grill. The raw bar is front and center along with New York strip steaks and oven-baked sea bass, just keep in mind that this is Beverly Hills, and you’ll likely be spending accordingly

Avra Beverly Hills
Avra
Justin Levy

Surawon Tofu House

Surawon, like many soondubu jjigae restaurants, amplifies the flavor of its tofu by producing its own silken version on the premises, then flavoring it with rich spicy broth and ingredients like mushrooms and seafood. Every order comes with an array of pickled and seasoned banchan that will provide a nutritious meal.

Soontdubu and fried mackerel combo at Surawon in Koreatown.
Surawon Tofu House
Matthew Kang

Shiku

Former Baroo chef Kwang Uh and his wife/chef partner Mina Park know the backbone of a great Korean meal is banchan, the seasoned and often pickled or fermented vegetables that are essential for every meal. Uh and Park’s stand at Grand Central Market boasts some of the finest banchan in LA for takeaway, though you get banchan with some of the dosirak too, including vegan fried temple mushrooms.

Qusqo Bistro and Gallery

Qusqo’s chef/owner Lucy Haro developed a menu with traditional Peruvian dishes that can easily be customized with meat or to simply add more vegetables. Try the beefy and saucy lomo saltado, fried plantains, and ceviche.

Flower Child

The work of True Food Kitchen’s Sam Fox, Flower Child boasts naturally-raised proteins and local produce in farmer's market-inspired digs. The expansive space — that’s also kid-friendly — offers plenty of salads, bowls, plates, and wraps with such proteins as grass-fed steak, sustainable salmon, and organic tofu.

Salad from Flower Child in Santa Monica, California.
Flower Child
Flower Child

Post & Beam

Post & Beam’s menu is an ideal choice for produce, seafood, and meats like the staple jerk catfish, espresso-rubbed hangar steak, or the grilled vegetable skewer with romesco.

Post & Beam’s catfish in Crenshaw, California.
Jerk catfish from Post & Beam
Post & Beam

Swift Cafe

Chef Kyndra McCrary worked with a nutritionist before opening up Swift Cafe in 2019, and she brings that experience to her daytime menu. Her protein-filled bowls are one of the many stars on Swift’s menu, but her jerk chicken and salmon gremolata with mixed greens are also standouts. Always check her instagram to see if she’s making the seafood pasta or gumbo, too.

Gumbo from Swift Cafe in Leimert Park.
Gumbo from Swift Cafe
[Official Photo]

The Butcher's Daughter

Originating in New York, Butcher’s Daughter found a spot on Abbot Kinney, and built a menu that locals favor. They start early, where lattes, juices, smoothies, and pancakes are available, while others prefer the later menu that prioritizes burgers, stone-oven pizzas, and a solid wine list.

The Butcher’s Daughter
The Butcher’s Daughter
Tony B. via Yelp

Related Maps

Coni' Seafood

Inglewood’s longtime staple Coni’seafood is still as popular as ever, with expansions in the LAFC stadium, and in Del Rey. That means more of the city can sample owner Coni’s mariscos menu, including fresh grilled fish, ceviches, and aguachiles.

Coni’ Seafood restaurant’s grilled fish
Pescado zarandeado at Coni’ Seafood
Crystal Coser

Heritage

Chef Philip Pretty’s second Long Beach restaurant — his Heritage Sandwich Shop operates on the other side of the same building — will always have his selections from local farmers markets including Pasture bird poultry to scallops or smoked pork belly. Depending on the harvest, some vegetables and herbs come straight from Petty’s on-site garden.

Heritage Long Beach
Heritage in Long Beach
Courtesy of Heritage

Related Maps