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Spread at Anajak, Sherman Oaks
Dishes from Anajak Thai Cuisine in Sherman Oaks.
Fiona Chandra

38 Essential Restaurants in Los Angeles

LA’s definitive restaurants across an array of cuisines, neighborhoods, and price points 

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Dishes from Anajak Thai Cuisine in Sherman Oaks.
| Fiona Chandra

Every quarter, Eater LA publishes a map of 38 standout restaurants that best represents Los Angeles’s incredible dining scene. In this massive metropolis, there are both new and decades-old street food stands, a cornucopia of international cuisines, and restaurants of every scale and size that use the best of the region’s unrivaled produce. An overarching theme of Los Angeles’s food is that flavors need to stand out — ideally heat, acid, and umami are present, in some form, in every dish.

At its core, the city’s far-flung neighborhoods, cultures, and flavors coalesce into an array of culinary boundary-bending restaurants that make it the most compelling place to dine in America. Here now, the 38 essential restaurants in Los Angeles.

Added: Lasita, Antico Nuovo, Majordomo, Chao Krung, Botanica, Union, Cupid’s, Sushi Chitose, Anajak Thai, La Azteca Tortilleria, Baja Subs Market

Removed: Broad Street Oyster, Mírame, Ribtown BBQ, Madre, Morihiro, Rossoblu, Holy Basil DTLA, Big Boi, Delicious Food Corner, Asanebo, Petite Peso

Restaurants are located in geographic order, from west to east.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Cupid's Hot Dogs

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20030 Vanowen St
Winnetka, CA 91306
(818) 347-1344
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This staple Valley hot dog stand in Winnetka survived the pandemic in part by converting to a rollerskating carhop setup on select nights. Now the family-run restaurant is back to rolling at full steam, turning out what may be the best hot dogs in all of Los Angeles from a simple corner stand. —Farley Elliott

An overhead shot of a box of hot dogs, including a fully dressed Chicago option.
Hot Dogs from Cupid’s.
Farley Elliott

2. Baja Subs Market & Deli

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8801 Reseda Blvd Suite A
Northridge, CA 91324
(818) 993-7064

Don’t like the sign be misleading; Northridge’s Baja Subs is a Sri Lankan specialist that offers some of the most fulfilling food in all of Los Angeles. Rich fish curries, chicken biryani, patties, noodles, lamprais, and string hopper meals… it’s all possible here form one of the most surprising (and delicious) places deep in the Valley. —Farley Elliott

Spread of Sri Lankan dishes from Baja Subs in Northridge.
Sri Lankan dishes from Baja Subs in Northridge.
Wonho Frank Lee

3. Pasjoli

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2732 Main St
Santa Monica, CA 90405
(424) 330-0020
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Dave Beran’s Santa Monica French restaurant has developed into one of the Westside’s most impressive fancy restaurants, with stellar renditions of Parisian bistro dishes with a California mentality. Though Beran’s ambitious tasting menu restaurant Dialogue had to close due to the pandemic, the team’s efforts at Pasjoli show an extra level of creativity and execution, from gorgeous chicken liver-stuffed brioche to dry-aged ribeye with roasted fingerling potatoes. —Matthew Kang

Sliced pressed duck at Pasjoli in Santa Monica on a white porcelain plate.
Sliced pressed duck at Pasjoli in Santa Monica.
Matthew Kang

4. Anajak Thai Cuisine

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14704 Ventura Blvd
Sherman Oaks, CA 91403
(818) 501-4201
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It’s always a party at Anajak Thai, the coolest restaurant in Sherman Oaks. And better still, there’s something for everyone from the Thai food classicists to the hip new kids looking to take down bottles of natural wine and party in the back alley for Thai taco Tuesday. Stop in for one-off chef collaborations and a party, or grab some take out on the way home.

Spread at Anajak, Sherman Oaks
Dishes from Anajak Thai Cuisine.
Fiona Chandra

5. Tel Aviv Kosher Grill

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12450b Burbank Blvd
Valley Village, CA 91607
(818) 774-9400
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With multiple locations across the greater Valley, Tel Aviv Grill is a staple Israeli dining experience that speaks to generations of expats from across the Middle Eastern diaspora. From shawarma to schnitzel to falafel this place does it all, but first-timers should definitely head for the sabich. —Farley Elliott

Tel Aviv Grill
Tel Aviv Kosher Grill
Farley Elliott

6. Sushi Chitose

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402 S Pacific Coast Hwy
Redondo Beach, CA 90277
(310) 316-6268
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Redondo Beach’s Sushi Chitose remains one of the most unsung sushi spots in town. serving a stellar omakase for under $70 a person from chef Hirofumi Sakamoto, who goes by Gen. With a traditional, if a bit run down, dining room but friendly service, this is arguably the best bang for your sushi buck in LA. —Matthew Kang

Toro nigiri at Sushi Chitose in Redondo Beach
Toro nigiri at Sushi Chitose in Redondo Beach.
Matthew Kang

7. Angler

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8500 Beverly Blvd Suite 117
Los Angeles, CA 90048
(424) 332-4082
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San Francisco import Angler doesn’t change the recipe too much from the Bay Area original, except that the gorgeous Bay Bridge view has been replaced by a more insulated location inside the Beverly Center. However, the service and food are unparalleled in LA, with Joshua Skenes’s immaculate attention to detail and commitment to the best ingredients on the planet evident on each plate. —Matthew Kang

Dining room, dimly lit, with fish tanks and decor, at Angler, Los Angeles, California.
Angler, Los Angeles
Wonho Frank Lee

8. Crossroads Kitchen

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8284 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90046
(323) 782-9245
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Tal Ronnen debuted Crossroads Kitchen in 2013, where his plant-based menu served on white tablecloths and accompanying wine list made quite the splash. The Melrose restaurant simply doesn’t feel like a vegan restaurant with the dim lights, cocktails at the bar, and carbonara complete with a runny tomato-based “egg” yolk. The dish is a huge step forward in plant-based cuisine, as fresh pasta usually requires the use of eggs. There’s plenty to appreciate about Ronnen, who co-founded Kite Hill Foods in 2014, and introduced vegan cheeses that simply taste better. Vegan cuisine has evolved considerably thanks to Ronnen, along with Plant Food and Wine by Matthew Kenney in Venice. —Mona Holmes

Vegan carbonara with ‘egg yolk’ at Crossroads on a dark bowl.
Vegan carbonara with ‘egg yolk’ at Crossroads.
Crossroads Kitchen

9. Rosalind's

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1044 S Fairfax Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90019
(323) 936-2486
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There are many terrific restaurants lining Fairfax Avenue in Little Ethiopia, but Rosalind’s is the one that started it all. Take owner Fekere Gebre-Mariam’s advice and order the iconic doro wat — a soul-satisfying, deeply ruddy stew fortified with ground chiles and spiked with warming spices. This chicken-and-egg staple has been on the menu since day one and is even considered the national dish of Ethiopia. —Cathy Chaplin

An Ethiopian feast at Rosalind’s Restaurant.
An Ethiopian feast at Rosalind’s
Wonho Frank Lee

10. Chao Krung Thai Restaurant

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111 N Fairfax Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 939-8361
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There’s amazing Thai food in nearly every neighborhood in LA, but Chao Krung, one of the city’s oldest and longest running, could be one of its most underrated. The green curry alone is a destination, with intense flavors of galangal, ginger, lemongrass, and Thai basil carrying the aromatic and comforting solid ingredients. Noodle dishes and other familiar classics make this a fantastic takeout spot or low-key weekday dinner. —Matthew Kang

Chao Krung
Green curry at Chao Krung on Fairfax.
Wonho Frank Lee

11. Dulan's Soul Food Kitchen

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202 E Manchester Blvd
Inglewood, CA 90301
(310) 671-3345
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Dulan’s is a soul food mainstay for Los Angeles, as is its amiable owner Gregory Dulan. The 22-year-old Inglewood spot is Dulan’s most famous restaurant to date, but his father Adolf Dulan spent decades running restaurants throughout LA’s Westside and South LA region. The locations on Century and Manchester are open, while Crenshaw is closed for renovations (the Dulanville food truck is parked out front). The cafeteria-style setup doesn’t skimp on happy service or big portions, particularly with sides like mac & cheese, green beans, and corn bread. The gigantic Sunday dinner specials even come with iced tea. —Farley Elliott

Steam table counter at Dulan’s Soul Food Kitchen in Inglewood, California.
Dulan’s Soul Food Kitchen
Dulan’s [Official photo]

12. Angelini Osteria

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7313 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 297-0070
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Gino Angelini opened LA’s beloved Angelini Osteria in 2001, with an ease and charm that keeps longtime diners returning and newcomers arriving to see what all the fuss is about. That fuss is partly due to Angelini’s pasta skill, along with his signature lasagna verde or the salt-encrusted branzino, but there’s something special about sitting in this Fairfax District restaurant. There’s a lot to appreciate at Angelini Osteria from the low light, the emphasis on service, wines from all over the globe, all done in tandem with the chef’s confident and joyful presence that keeps this classic thriving. —Mona Holmes

Lasagna at Angelini Osteria
Lasagna at Angelini Osteria
Ryan Tanaka

13. Republique

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624 South La Brea Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(310) 362-6115
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When Walter and Margarita Manzke took over the iconic Campanile space, they knew the stakes were high. And who in LA would have thought they would’ve succeeded this much, offering a breakfast-to-dinner menu with a French point of view? Throw in some pockets of new American and Asian influences, and the bill of fare will likely appeal to everyone. The desserts, breads, and pastries by Margarita are as good as one can expect, while the charcuterie board is sure to stun anyone. —Matthew Kang

Inside the colorful and soaring dining room at French restaurant Republique. Elizabeth Daniels

14. Hotville Chicken

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4070 Marlton Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90008
(323) 792-4835
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Kim Prince, one of the descendants of the famous Prince’s Hot Chicken from Nashville, the originator of the dish, has established her family’s hot chicken legacy in the heart of Baldwin Hills, frying up superb spicy fried chicken with an array of sides. —Matthew Kang

Hotville chicken on a tray with checkered paper and pickles.
Hotville chicken
Matthew Kang

15. Earle's On Crenshaw

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3864 Crenshaw Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90008
(323) 299-2867
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South LA’s iconic hot dog spot Earle’s founded by Duane and Cary Earle endures because of their deep connection to the neighborhood and approachable menu of chili dogs, burgers, and more, with plenty of veggie and other ingredient options. The prices are fast food-level, but the service, attention to detail, and ingredients are premium, which is why the place remains beloved after more than three decades. —Matthew Kang

Chili dog from Earle’s On Crenshaw.
Earle’s on Crenshaw
Farley Elliott

16. Gish Bac

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4163 W Washington Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90018
(323) 737-5050
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There are a bevy of excellent Oaxacan restaurants in Los Angeles thanks to influx of settlers from the 1990s, and Gish Bac might be the best of the bunch thanks to the work of chef and owner Maria Ramos. This Mid-City classic serves a bit of everything from Oaxaca, including a great tlayuda and delicious torta, but the star of the show is the goat barbacoa enchilada, slow cooked for five hours in guajillo chiles. Truly one of LA’s best regional Mexican restaurants. —Matthew Kang

Torta from Gish Bac.
Torta from Gish Bac
Matthew Kang

17. Soban

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4001 W Olympic Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90019
(323) 936-9106
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Bong Joon Ho made it a point to celebrate here after winning Best Picture for Parasite. The Koreatown restaurant specializes in ganjang gejang, raw marinated flower crab that tastes like the pinnacle of Korean cuisine with its rich, slightly fermented umami and buttery sweetness (especially over warm rice). The spicy braised black cod and braised short ribs for the complete experience. —Matthew Kang

Ganjang gejang at Soban in Koreatown.
Ganjang gejang at Soban
Matthew Kang

18. Antico Nuovo

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4653 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90004
(323) 510-3093
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Chad Colby’s enduring Italian restaurant navigated through the pandemic with takeaway pizza and ice cream. Now that dining rooms have returns with full capacity, Colby and his team are currently producing some of the finest pastas and grilled dishes through a Californian lens, with an excellent wine list to match. —Matthew Kang

antico
Antico Nuovo.
Wonho Frank Lee

19. Found Oyster

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4880 Fountain Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90029
(323) 486-7920
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Ari Kolender’s ode to East Coast seafood has struck a chord with East Hollywood locals, serving pristine oysters and fresh clams at the bar with chilled glasses of wine. The menu isn’t particularly wide or ambitious, but everything is on the level of what you’d expect from a great clam bar, like chowder and lobster roll that stand up to the city’s best. The wedge salad, artichoke brandade, and scallop tostada are worth ordering too. —Matthew Kang

Oysters and clams on ice at Found Oyster in LA.
Oysters and clams on ice at Found Oyster in LA.
Wonho Frank Lee

20. Park's Barbeque

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955 S Vermont Ave G
Los Angeles, CA 90006
(213) 380-1717
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This is the Korean barbecue to end all arguments, with some of the highest quality meat and banchan one can find in Los Angeles, one of the world’s epicenters for Korean cuisine. Order prime American short ribs and eat with the restaurant’s well-aged kimchi and fresh lettuce wraps. Also the stews are sneaky good here, from the braised black cod to the kimchi jjigae. —Matthew Kang

Park’s BBQ
Thinly sliced short rib at Park’s BBQ
Matthew Kang

21. Langer's Delicatessen

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704 S Alvarado St
Los Angeles, CA 90057
(213) 483-8050
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Yes, the No. 19 pastrami sandwich is an amazing sandwich, but the pure pastrami on house-baked rye is simplicity at its best. There's a reason why people make pilgrimages to try this place’s pastrami and even corned beef: There is no better version anywhere in town. Pro tip: Try the No. 44, served on griddled rye bread with hand-sliced pastrami, nippy cheese, and sauerkraut, for a decadent take on a Reuben sandwich. And don't skip the rest of the classic Jewish deli menu — it's all very well executed in one of the best daytime dining rooms in town. —Matthew Kang

Langer’s #19 sandwich
Wonho Frank Lee

22. All Day Baby

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3200 Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90026
(323) 741-0082
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Now that All Day Baby is living up to its all-day promise — swing in for some of Los Angeles’s most comforting cooking and thoughtful hospitality from morning until late night. Highlights from the daytime menu includes a breakfast burrito stuffed with longaniza sausage, fried eggs, and gooey cheese, and an irresistible selection of pastries from chef Thessa Diadem — the cinnamon rolls and banana cream pies are particularly fetching. Chef Jonathan Whitener takes the reins at dinnertime, and his deviled eggs, queso fundido, and oyster pot pie are the stuff of legends. There’s never a bad time to dine at All Day Baby. —Cathy Chaplin

Wide angle of interior of All Day Baby
Interior of All Day Baby in Silver Lake.
Wonho Frank Lee/Eater LA

23. Botanica Restaurant and Market

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1620 Silver Lake Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90026
(323) 522-6106
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Silver Lake’s casual daytime and evening Mediterranean restaurant has developed and grown into a beloved neighborhood favorite, serving polished and seasonal fare in a wonderful indoor-outdoor space. The cooking is polished but never too serious, with highlights including roasted Japanese sweet potatoes and grilled shawarma-style chicken thighs served alongside crisp natural wines. —Matthew Kang

Botanica Restaurant and Market
Botanica Restaurant and Market in Silver Lake.
Farley Elliott

24. Sonoratown

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208 E 8th St
Los Angeles, CA 90014
(213) 628-3710
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Regarded as one of LA’s most impressive taco restaurants, this tiny Downtown LA spot prepares Sonoran-style tacos and quesadillas with grilled meats and flour tortillas. Don’t forget to order the chivichanga, a burrito with cheese and shredded chicken or machaca beef. It’s all really affordable too, though parking can be tough in this part of Downtown. —Matthew Kang

Sonoratown’s flour tortilla taco with guacamole salsa on top.
Taco from Sonoratown
Farley Elliott

25. Otium

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222 S Hope St
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 935-8500
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Timothy Hollingsworth is a bona fide culinary star with a fine dining pedigree and TV accolades galore. It’s no surprise, then, that the Downtown LA restaurant he runs has become one of the best places to find an upscale meal in all of Los Angeles. The menu offers options from truffle butter to chicken liver mousse to caviar supplements, but the real winners are often the vegetables, from honeynut squash with ricotta to sweet potato agnolotti to ash-baked beets. For more animalistic diners, fatty fish collar, braised lamb neck, and Snake River Farms ribeyes should do the trick. —Farley Elliott

Otium, Downtown
Otium, Downtown
Wonho Frank Lee

26. Pardis

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738 N Glendale Ave
Glendale, CA 91206
(818) 484-8470
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Glendale has a wealth of amazing Persian restaurants serving excellent kebabs and all other classic dishes, but Pardis has the equation nailed down from the service to the dining spaces and even to the wine selections. Start with sides like shirazi salad, panir-o-sabzi, and kashk bademjoon for a snacky first course with the restaurant’s signature baked flat bread. Then venture to grilled kebabs like koobideh that work great flavored pilafs. —Matthew Kang

Kebabs and rice with bread at Pardis in Glendale.
Kebabs and rice with bread at Pardis in Glendale.
Wonho Frank Lee

27. Lasita

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727 N Broadway #120
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 443-6163
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For color and community and some really great Filipino food, best to get to Chinatown’s Lasita. The evening restaurant has become a hub for natural wine and big, homey flavors, served in an upscale casual strip mall environment by some of the most heartfelt folks in the business. Stop in for big, boisterous plates of lechon with friends, or to cozy up into a small table for a low-lit date night. —Farley Elliott

A plate of whole rotisserie chicken with sides and a bottle of wine.
Rotisserie chicken and sides with wine at Lasita.
Lasita

28. Angry Egret Dinette

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970 N Broadway Suite 114
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 278-0987
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Wes Avila’s Chinatown window is pushing out some of LA’s most inventive modern Mexican fare like farmer’s market pull-apart quesadillas, beautiful crisp wild Mexican shrimp tacos, and an incredible uni hamachi tostada inspired by Ensenada’s La Guerrerense street cart. Avila’s regular dishes of chilaquiles, burritos, and tortas are still excellent, but the daily specials are a reason to see why Angry Egret Dinette is potentially one of LA’s most underrated places to eat. —Matthew Kang

Uni hamachi tostada at Angry Egret Dinette.
Uni hamachi tostada at Angry Egret Dinette.
Matthew Kang

29. Bridgetown Roti

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672 S Santa Fe Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90021
(747) 221-9026
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Rashida Holmes’ tribute to Caribbean food, inspired by her mother Joy Clarke-Holmes, has wowed LA diners with incredible red pepper goat and chicken curry rotis, wonderfully crisp cod cakes, hearty oxtail-stuffed patties, and saucy, puffy doubles. Bridgetown pops up on weekends in Arts District and on Sundays at Smorgasburg. —Matthew Kang (Note: Eater LA reporter Mona Holmes is related to Rashida Holmes and was not involved in the writing of this entry)

Caribbean cooking from Bridgetown Roti at Smorgasburg.
Doubles, patty, cod cakes, and plaintains from Bridgetown Roti.
Cathy Chaplin/Eater LA

30. Bestia

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2121 E 7th Pl
Los Angeles, CA 90021
(213) 514-5724
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Bestia is the hallmark of seasonal, meat-driven rustic Italian located in the heart of the Arts District. Ori Menashe and Genevieve Gergis cook fantastic Neapolitan-style pizzas, inventive pastas, house made salumi (a rarity in LA), and large plates like a great pork chop. Wines and cocktails are top rate, and the desserts from Gergis are simple, but prepared with a perfectionist’s attention to detail. —Matthew Kang

Bestia
Bestia, Arts District
Sierra Prescott

31. Damian

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2132 E 7th Pl
Los Angeles, CA 90021
(213) 270-0178
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Mexico City chef Enrique Olvera’s LA restaurant didn’t quite land with the fanfare of his New York City restaurant Cosme, with its similarities of a la carte offerings inspired by his upscale approach to modern Mexican cuisine. But Damian has found a stride by resonating with Los Angeles flavors and staying the course with stellar service, a restrained dining room and outdoor patio, as well as top notch execution. —Matthew Kang

Fish tartare, avocado, furikake at Damian in Los Angeles on a plate with a slice of lime.
Fish tartare at Damian.
Araceli Paz

32. Majordomo

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1725 Naud St
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(323) 545-4880
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Though it remained mostly closed during the pandemic, Majordomo is now fully back under the guidance of chef Jude Parra-Sickels, who has been leading the kitchen since its opening. With big tableside smoked meats like pork shoulder “bossam” and plate short ribs, plus all of the classic starters of stuffed jalapenos and bing bread, Majordomo remains one of LA’s most reliable and well-executed modern Asian restaurants. —Matthew Kang

Majordomo, Chinatown
Majordomo, Los Angeles.
Wonho Frank Lee

33. Moo's Craft Barbecue

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2118 N Broadway
Los Angeles, CA 90031
(323) 379-3635
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Longtime LA operation Moo’s Craft Barbecue found a permanent home in Lincoln Heights and has quickly established itself as one of the top Texas-style barbecues in the city. Founders Andrew and Michelle Muñoz have done a great job of capturing the spirit of Austin with a walk-up counter, wide list of craft beers, and well-executed array of smoked meats with sides. Anyone who says LA doesn’t have good barbecue will be pretty quiet after taking a few bites at Moo’s. —Matthew Kang

Moo’s craft barbecue sits on a pink paper tray.
Moo’s Craft Barbecue.
Farley Elliott

34. La Azteca Tortilleria

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4538 E Cesar E Chavez Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90022
(323) 262-5977

This classic East LA spot makes their flour tortillas every day, using the wide, pliable discs to envelope some of the best burritos in the city. The signature version, with a whole chile relleno, is best with another protein thrown in for a substantial daytime meal. One of the best bites in town for around $10. —Matthew Kang

La Azteca Tortilleria
La Azteca Tortilleria.
GastronomyBlog

35. Gusto Bread

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2710 E 4th St
Long Beach, CA 90814
(562) 343-1881
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Gusto Bread is a Long Beach success story, the kind of place that can start in a living room and become a citywide sensation, thanks entirely to local support. The popular 4th Street bakery, owned and operated by Arturo Enciso and Ana Salatino, makes some of the finest baked good anywhere in Southern California, and continues to innovate with collaborations, ancient grains, and recipes all their own. —Farley Elliott

A dark loaf of bread fresh from the oven.
Gusto Bread
Wonho Frank Lee

36. Tamales Elena Y Antojitos

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8101 Garfield Ave
Bell Gardens, CA 90201
(562) 674-3043
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Tamales Elena has been a mainstay of South LA for well over a decade, serving out of a truck in Watts. The family recently located to a drive-thru location for early morning tamales, pozoles, and guisados from Afro-Mexican cuisine that makes it one of the most impressive regional Mexican restaurants in the city. —Matthew Kang

Banana leaf tamales from Tamales Elena.
Tamales Elena
Wonho Frank Lee

37. Union Restaurant

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37 Union St
Pasadena, CA 91103
(626) 795-5841
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In a city as Italian food obsessed as Los Angeles, few people do it better than Union. The Pasadena staple leans into traditional Italian-American flavors (think spaghetti and meatballs, for one) while still providing a California backbone with larger mains, salads, and plenty of coastal wines. —Farley Elliott

Plate of well-sauced spaghetti.
Spaghetti alla chitarra at Union.
Wonho Frank Lee

38. Golden Deli Restaurant

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815 W Las Tunas Dr
San Gabriel, CA 91776
(626) 308-0803
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Find Southern-style Vietnamese food at this perpetually busy, efficiently run, and solid-as-can-be restaurant. Come for the blistered chả giò stuffed with ground pork and wood ear mushrooms, and served with herbs and greens for garnishing and wrapping, respectively. Then, settle in for a bowl of pho (rare beef, brisket, and tripe are the holy trinity of beef noodle soup), a platter of broken rice topped with a sunny side egg (the one with grilled pork, shredded pork, and steamed pork loaf won’t disappoint), or a bowl of cool vermicelli noodles. The nước chấm (fish sauce vinaigrette) here is top notch, so spoon it on liberally or better yet, just dump the whole thing onto rice or noodles. —Cathy Chaplin

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1. Cupid's Hot Dogs

20030 Vanowen St, Winnetka, CA 91306
An overhead shot of a box of hot dogs, including a fully dressed Chicago option.
Hot Dogs from Cupid’s.
Farley Elliott

This staple Valley hot dog stand in Winnetka survived the pandemic in part by converting to a rollerskating carhop setup on select nights. Now the family-run restaurant is back to rolling at full steam, turning out what may be the best hot dogs in all of Los Angeles from a simple corner stand. —Farley Elliott

20030 Vanowen St
Winnetka, CA 91306

2. Baja Subs Market & Deli

8801 Reseda Blvd Suite A, Northridge, CA 91324
Spread of Sri Lankan dishes from Baja Subs in Northridge.
Sri Lankan dishes from Baja Subs in Northridge.
Wonho Frank Lee

Don’t like the sign be misleading; Northridge’s Baja Subs is a Sri Lankan specialist that offers some of the most fulfilling food in all of Los Angeles. Rich fish curries, chicken biryani, patties, noodles, lamprais, and string hopper meals… it’s all possible here form one of the most surprising (and delicious) places deep in the Valley. —Farley Elliott

8801 Reseda Blvd Suite A
Northridge, CA 91324

3. Pasjoli

2732 Main St, Santa Monica, CA 90405
Sliced pressed duck at Pasjoli in Santa Monica on a white porcelain plate.
Sliced pressed duck at Pasjoli in Santa Monica.
Matthew Kang

Dave Beran’s Santa Monica French restaurant has developed into one of the Westside’s most impressive fancy restaurants, with stellar renditions of Parisian bistro dishes with a California mentality. Though Beran’s ambitious tasting menu restaurant Dialogue had to close due to the pandemic, the team’s efforts at Pasjoli show an extra level of creativity and execution, from gorgeous chicken liver-stuffed brioche to dry-aged ribeye with roasted fingerling potatoes. —Matthew Kang

2732 Main St
Santa Monica, CA 90405

4. Anajak Thai Cuisine

14704 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks, CA 91403
Spread at Anajak, Sherman Oaks
Dishes from Anajak Thai Cuisine.
Fiona Chandra

It’s always a party at Anajak Thai, the coolest restaurant in Sherman Oaks. And better still, there’s something for everyone from the Thai food classicists to the hip new kids looking to take down bottles of natural wine and party in the back alley for Thai taco Tuesday. Stop in for one-off chef collaborations and a party, or grab some take out on the way home.

14704 Ventura Blvd
Sherman Oaks, CA 91403

5. Tel Aviv Kosher Grill

12450b Burbank Blvd, Valley Village, CA 91607
Tel Aviv Grill
Tel Aviv Kosher Grill
Farley Elliott

With multiple locations across the greater Valley, Tel Aviv Grill is a staple Israeli dining experience that speaks to generations of expats from across the Middle Eastern diaspora. From shawarma to schnitzel to falafel this place does it all, but first-timers should definitely head for the sabich. —Farley Elliott

12450b Burbank Blvd
Valley Village, CA 91607

6. Sushi Chitose

402 S Pacific Coast Hwy, Redondo Beach, CA 90277