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A5 strip loin grilled and served with potatoes, black garlic, and braised tendon at Kato with plating and sauce.
Kato
Wonho Frank Lee/Eater LA

The 38 Essential Restaurants in Los Angeles

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

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Kato
| Wonho Frank Lee/Eater LA

Every quarter, Eater LA publishes a map of 38 standout restaurants that best represent Los Angeles’s expansive dining scene. In this massive metropolis, there are both new and decades-old street food stands, a cornucopia of cuisines that reflect the city’s diasporic communities, and a bounty of Southern California produce so immense you’ll find it everywhere from fine dining institutions to mom-and-pop operations. An overarching theme of LA’s food and restaurants is that flavors need to stand out — ideally heat, acid, and umami are present in some form across a menu. At its core, the city’s far-flung neighborhoods, cultures, and flavors coalesce into an array of culinary boundary-bending restaurants that make it undeniably the most compelling place to dine in the country. Here now, the 38 essential restaurants in Los Angeles.

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Felix Trattoria

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Evan Funke’s temple to pasta remains one of the most compelling places for upscale Italian food in Los Angeles. The elegant dining room feels like a stylish nonna’s home, while the cuisine ranges among various Italian staples, from the buttery herb-tinted gamberi in bagnetto verde to the blistered pizzas to the crisp ricotta-filled squash blossoms. Of course, the fresh pasta dishes, produced almost exclusively by hand (fatto a mano), are must-orders. —Matthew Kang

A terracotta-colored stone bowl filled with five grilled prawns and a green sauce made from herbs at Felix Trattoria.
Gamberi at Felix Trattoria.
Felix Trattoria

Anajak Thai Cuisine

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The feeling of a bustling dinner party persists nightly at Anajak Thai in its intimate, laid-back dining room lined with bottles of natural European wines. The room brims with the aromas of expertly crafted Thai food from Justin Pichetrungsi and his family, which can be ordered a la carte or in a special tasting menu format (which is nearly impossible to book). Still, there’s something for everyone, from classic pad Thai and sticky fried wings to its inventive Thai Taco Tuesdays, which take over the next-door alley and back parking lot for a natural wine bacchanal. —Farley Elliott

A floral table-top covered with an assortment of Thai street food dishes, including a white plate with meat skewers, peanut sauce, and cucumbers, a black stone bowl filled with curry and sliced chiles, and a banana leaf topped with rice and chile-laden fish sauce.
Dishes from Anajak Thai Cuisine.
Fiona Chandra

Hatchet Hall

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The plates — each one a kind of blending of elegant and old-timey — come fast and furious over dinner at Hatchet Hall, the Culver City institution known for its Southern affectation and boundless energy. Under chef Wes Whitsell the bones of the place remain, from the cornbread to the roasted meats, but there is a lightness to the food, a modern California sensibility that marries well with the usual flavors. A touch of acid, a kick of heat; Hatchet Hall gives a little bit of everything, and on some very nice plates. —Farley Elliott

Cornbread at Hatchet Hall in Culver City on a plate with a huge melted slab of butter.
Cornbread at Hatchet Hall in Culver City.
Hatchet Hall

It’s been more than a decade since chefs Niki Nakayama and Carole Iida-Nakayama first opened two-Michelin star N/Naka on the corner of Overland and Lawler in the Palms neighborhood of Los Angeles. Since then, the kaiseki restaurant has entranced critics and diners alike with its contemporary interpretation of a centuries-old, multicourse Japanese tradition. The 13-course modern kaiseki is priced at $310 per person. The menu changes with the seasons, along with the chef’s whims, while the flow of the meal adheres to Japanese traditions. Reservations are released a month in advance via Tock, so plan accordingly. —Cathy Chaplin

Small tasting dishes on a black stone tray as part of the kaiseki meal at N/Naka in Los Angeles.
Dishes as part of the kaiseki meal at N/Naka in Los Angeles.
Wonho Frank Lee

Sushi Chitose

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Redondo Beach’s Sushi Chitose remains one of the most under-the-radar sushi spots in town, serving an incredible omakase for under $80 a person from chef Hirofumi “Gen” Sakamoto. The price-to-quality ratio is so excellent that most sushi aficionados might not see a reason to spend any more, with stellar cuts of toro, hamachi, and mackerel placed atop modest piles of vinegared rice. —Matthew Kang

A wooden counter with toro nigiri (thinly sliced tuna stop a pat of vinegar rice) at Sushi Chitose in Redondo Beach.
Toro nigiri at Sushi Chitose in Redondo Beach.
Matthew Kang

Rosalind’s

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The heart of Little Ethiopia is at Rosalind’s, the first restaurant to set up shop on Fairfax Avenue in 1989. The restaurant’s owner, Fekere Gebre-Mariam, made it his personal mission to develop the stretch into a vibrant hub full of Ethiopian restaurants and shops — and he absolutely succeeded. Follow Gebre-Mariam’s advice and order the iconic doro wat, a soul-satisfying, ruddy stew fortified with ground chiles and spiked with warming spices. The national dish of Ethiopia, this chicken-and-egg staple has been on the menu since day one. —Cathy Chaplin

A red table-top with doro wat, plantains, and other Ethiopian small plates at Rosalind’s Restaurant.
An Ethiopian feast at Rosalind’s.
Wonho Frank Lee

Jerusalem Chicken

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Finding a restaurant that defines its food as Palestinian is a bit of a challenging endeavor in Los Angeles, where catch-all “Middle Eastern” themes and menus conflate the rich history and cuisine of Palestine with other nations in the region. But Jerusalem Chicken has nailed the fast-casual chicken recipe at this South LA restaurant. Roasted birds are stuffed with rice, beef, and mushroom, or covered with tangy lemon and garlic. Sides might include roasted potatoes, fluffy pita, verdant tabbouleh, and hummus. Los Angeles loves its chicken, but there might not be a more delicious half-chicken in town, dripping with tangy, fatty juices and brimming with heady Palestinian seasonings. —Matthew Kang

A clear plastic container featuring lemon-garlic chicken, fluffy rice, hummus, and Arabic cucumber-tomato salad at Jerusalem Chicken in View Park-Windsor Hills.
Lemon garlic chicken at Jerusalem Chicken in View Park-Windsor Hills.
Mona Holmes

Ronan is the ideal neighborhood restaurant that Angelenos from all over the city call their own. Yes, there are beautifully blistered Neapolitan-style pizzas from co-owner Daniel Cutler, a Sotto alum who tops his red and white pies with everything from house-made guanciale to squash blossoms. But the care that goes into everything else — from the mismatched antique glasses used to serve top-notch cocktails, or market-fresh sides one could make a meal of — is what makes this a truly special spot. Add to that the fact that Cutler and his wife and business partner, Caitlin, have been outspoken advocates for small businesses throughout the pandemic, and it’s easy to see why a lot of people root for Ronan. —Karen Palmer

Sweet cheeks pizza with guanciale, ricotta forte, and cacio e pepe honey
Ronan’s Sweet Cheeks pizza.
Wonho Frank Lee

République

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When Walter and Margarita Manzke took over the iconic Campanile space — once owned by Charlie Chaplin, later converted to one of California’s storied restaurants from the 1980s to the mid-aughts and the birthplace of LA’s La Brea Bakery — they knew the stakes were high. Serving elegant French bistro fare imbued with American and Asian influences (as well as a compelling evening tasting menu that changes seasonally), République has stood the test of time. The daytime pastries and breads, from cookies and tarts to fresh baguettes, are among the best in Los Angeles. —Matthew Kang

Inside the colorful and soaring dining room at French restaurant Republique.
The blue interior of French all-day dining icon, Republique.
Elizabeth Daniels

Musso & Frank Grill

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If driving or walking near Hollywood Boulevard and Cherokee Avenue, look for the green sign that signals your arrival to Musso & Frank Grill. Head to the retro car-filled parking lot before descending into the nearly 104-year-old restaurant. While walking in, take a quick glimpse into the loud kitchen and observe the slightly faded chandeliers, wall light sconces, 1930s art, wood paneling, or even the customers who might be casually dressed or donning a tuxedo before settling into a red leather banquette or the bar. There’s something about the pageantry of uniformed waiters and bartenders wearing white or red jackets, but their skill and dedication are why management embroiders the number of years employed on their shirt cuffs. The staff gracefully move throughout the room with intention. They’re always in a hurry with a goal to make diners feel important while dropping off a glass of pinot noir or baked escargot, crab Louie, filet of sandabs, or a perfectly cooked prime rib. One might overhear a newbie diner complaining about the peeling wallpaper or lack of new dishes, but quell the haters by taking in a stirred-only martini. Musso & Frank is old-school Hollywood charm. —Mona Holmes

Ruben Rueda, bartender at Musso & Frank
Ruben Rueda, a bartender at Musso & Frank.
Musso & Frank

Earle’s on Crenshaw

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South LA’s iconic hot dog restaurant Earle’s, founded by Brooklyn natives Duane and Cary Earle, endures because of the brothers’ deep connection to the neighborhood and wide-ranging menu of chili dogs, burgers, Jamaican-style patties, and filling sides, as well as myriad vegan and gluten-free options. The prices are fast food-level but the friendly counter service and ingredients are premium, which is why the place remains cherished after more than three decades. —Matthew Kang

A hot dog getting dressed at Earle’s On Crenshaw.
A hot dog getting dressed at Earle’s On Crenshaw.
Earle’s On Crenshaw

Gish Bac

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Amid a wealth of excellent Oaxacan restaurants in Los Angeles, Gish Bac might be the best of the best thanks to the work of its chef and owner Maria Ramos, a community advocate and tireless promoter of Oaxacan culture in Southern California. At her classic Mid-City restaurant, she and her family serve a bit of everything from Oaxaca, including razor-thin tlayudas spread with fatty asiente, black bean paste, and quesillo cheese, as well as tortas stuffed with cecina, chorizo, or crispy milanesa de pollo. But the star of the show will always be the goat barbacoa roja, slow-cooked for five hours in guajillo chiles and served with lime, blankety corn tortillas, and cabbage for crunch. —Matthew Kang

White plate holding a stacked torta sandwich with meats, lettuce, and sauce from Gish Bac.
Torta from Gish Bac.
Matthew Kang

Providence

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There’s a reason why the 17-year-old Providence is sold out almost every night. Chef Michael Cimarusti and partner Donato Poto took the care and time to assemble a crew that executes the best tasting menus in Los Angeles. If the timing is right, Cimarusti might offer a glass from his private whiskey collection, procured during a recent trip to Kentucky. But the emphasis here is on the seafood, a rotating menu with eight courses. The catch is as fresh as it gets, and it’s artfully prepared and presented by an experienced server who explains the process. In all, Providence is the definition of fine dining by a team who cares. —Mona Holmes

The “Ugly Bunch” dish from Los Angeles’s Providence restaurant: a gray-beige bowl filled with an artful array of uni, glistening salmon roe, and edible floral garnishes.
The Ugly Bunch dish from Providence, with uni, salmon roe, and garnishes.
Noe Montes

After winning their historic Best Picture accolade, the director and stars of the South Korean film Parasite celebrated into the wee hours of the night at this family-owned restaurant. Soban’s tight menu features a rarity: ganjang gejang — raw marinated flower crab — which tastes like the pinnacle of Korean cuisine with its rich, slightly fermented umami and buttery sweetness (especially over warm rice). Spicy braised black cod and braised short ribs are soulful companions to help complete the experience. —Matthew Kang

A white plate with navy blue trim filled with ganjang gejang (raw crab marinated in soy sauce) and pickled vegetables at Soban in Koreatown.
Ganjang gejang at Soban.
Matthew Kang

Antico Nuovo

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Chad Colby’s enduring Italian restaurant, unexpectedly located in a Larchmont-adjacent strip mall, serves what may be the city’s most polished pastas, grilled meats, and rustic Italian fare through an incisive California lens. The menu includes a robust focaccia (“pane”) section with add-ons like burrata and scallion oil, marinated anchovies, whipped ricotta and pistachio pesto, or duck liver pate; antipasti include seasonal salads and crudo. The windowless room manages to charm well-dressed diners eager to find stellar vintages on its wine list, and every table orders its share of house-churned ice creams. —Matthew Kang

Kuya Lord

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There are pop-ups, and then there is Kuya Lord, the unstoppable Filipino powerhouse that now has a permanent home in LA’s Melrose Hill neighborhood just north of Koreatown. Maynard Llera didn’t create Kuya Lord as a result of the pandemic (he was already cooking his personal Filipino delights like lechon at one-off nights around the city), but the pandemic did move the whole operation into his home garage for a time. There Llera focused on family and flavor, and the results have been nothing short of miraculous. He’s been profiled nationally, written-up and reviewed all over the place, and now has a small and very mighty storefront along Melrose to serve pork belly rice bowls, pancit, supremely delicious grilled prawns, and whatever else he and wife Gigi Llera can think up next. It’s a beautiful thing to behold. —Farley Elliott

Lucenachon tray at Kuya Lord in Melrose Hill.
Lucenachon tray at Kuya Lord in Melrose Hill.
Meghan McCarron

Here’s Looking at You

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Here’s Looking at You, or HLAY, as it’s affectionately known, is a true Los Angeles restaurant in that it defies categorization. When Lien Ta and Jonathan Whitener reopened the corner Koreatown restaurant in 2021 after a long pandemic closure, it felt like something very special — and very unique to LA — had finally returned, ushering a new energy into both the restaurant and its fans. The menu of thoughtfully composed, difficult-to-pin-down small plates spans cuisines and flavors — crispy frog legs are paired with salsa negra, for instance, while a signature uni panna cotta leans more Japanese with tobiko and hijiki. There’s also an ever-changing thematic cocktail menu that doesn’t take itself too seriously but always delivers, much like HLAY itself. —Karen Palmer

Uni panna cotta at Here’s Looking At You in Koreatown.
Uni panna cotta at Here’s Looking At You in Koreatown.
Cathy Chaplin

Ruen Pair

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Ruen Pair’s bold spicing, fast service, and good value offer wide appeal across the board. A papaya salad with raw crab legs makes for an exciting starter with its pleasant snap and well-balanced lime and fish sauce vinaigrette. The roasted duck red curry with pineapples, tomatoes, and loads of fresh Thai basil teeters deliciously between spicy and creamy. Don’t hesitate to order the ever-popular pad Thai, which is executed with funk and precision. —Cathy Chaplin

Papaya salad at Ruen Pair in East Hollywood on a plate.
Papaya salad at Ruen Pair in East Hollywood.
Cathy Chaplin

Marouch Restaurant

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Open since 1982, Marouch is an LA staple. Starting as a small shawarma wrap restaurant, it evolved into one of the city’s most consistent Armenian Lebanese spots, nestled into an East Hollywood strip mall. It’s easy to settle into one of the tables and order lamb, luleh, or chicken kebabs. Every recipe has a family origin, including the hummus and baba ghanoush, which surpass many of their competitors’ versions. The only changes are the new owners, who bought the place a few years back, and the sliding glass window that opens an entire wall to face Santa Monica Boulevard. —Mona Holmes

Soowon Galbi

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This prototypical premium Korean barbecue restaurant tucked into a strip mall hits all the right notes: heaping platters of tender, richly marbled beef, well-executed banchan, and attentive service. While the restaurant’s interior isn’t modern or sharply designed, by any means, that might be exactly what longtime KBBQ fans don’t want from Soowon, with its worn-in seating and smoky environs. Soowon Galbi may not get the love of its peers like Park’s, Chosun, or even Kang Ho Dong Baekjeong, but its reliability and consistency are proof that not everything needs to be shiny to be good. —Matthew Kang

Raw sliced meats on white platters with metal tongs.
Meats from Soowon Galbi in Koreatown.
Matthew Kang

Holbox is a perfect encapsulation of a kind of LA that rarely gets the larger spotlight outside of this city. Here, chef Gilberto Cetina takes care to present unexpected fish varieties in myriad ways, from tacos, of course, to ceviches, cocteles, tostadas, and aguachiles. The provenance of the smoked kanpachi is clear when eating but isn’t hammered over the customer’s head while sitting at the bar inside the airy mercado. No, Cetina isn’t that kind of person. He lets the mariscos do the talking. —Farley Elliott

Colorful uni-topped ceviche tostada on a white plate with colorful tablecloth.
Ceviche tostada from Holbox.
Farley Elliott

Langer’s Delicatessen

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Yes, the No. 19 pastrami sandwich is an amazing sandwich, but this long-standing deli’s pure pastrami on house-baked rye is simplicity at its best. There’s a reason why people make pilgrimages to try Langer’s pastrami and even corned beef: There is no better version anywhere in town. 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. But don’t skip the rest of the classic Jewish deli menu either, from potato pancakes to cheese blintzes — it’s all very well executed in one of the best daytime dining rooms in town. —Matthew Kang

Pastrami sandwich on rye bread with pickle on a diner plate.
Langer’s #19 sandwich
Wonho Frank Lee

Woodspoon

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In the early 2000s, Downtown Los Angeles was widely known as the part of town where commuters left at 5 p.m. sharp. Shift to 2023 and DTLA is still in the midst of significant transformation. Some areas are now competitive dining destinations packed with pedestrians, busy streets, and monied restaurant groups attempting to stake a claim. But there are also chefs like Brazilian-born Natalia Pereira, who opened Woodspoon in 2007. She settled into her 850-square-foot space on Ninth and Main Streets and continues to prepare one of the city’s most soulful menus. Woodspoon’s bright interior and subtle touches are why Pereira endures, from the bright red front door to the hanging lamps and embroidered tablecloths. Her water pitchers always have cinnamon sticks or fruit, a practice that hails from Pereira’s childhood. Woodspoon’s hearty moqueca — a traditional Brazilian stew — is full of aromatics, coconut milk, and seafood. Pereira also prepares croquetas and one of Brazil’s most popular street foods, the teardrop-shaped dumpling coxinha. Order the white or red sangria, and all will be right in the world. —Mona Holmes

Various Brazilian dishes at Woodspoon on decorated plates, sangria, and wine bottles.
Dishes from Woodspoon
Wonho Frank Lee

Kato Restaurant

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Chef Jon Yao and his team have carried the torch of Taiwanese cuisine for almost seven years since its origins at a West LA strip mall. In its now year-old dining room in Downtown LA’s expansive Row project, the new Kato has a menu focused on the subtle, polished flavors served in a handsome but relaxed space. The tasting menu, featuring intricate bites of caviar-studded Dungeness crab with Chinese celery or grilled freshwater eel served over seaweed fried rice, costs about twice what it did in West LA. But the menu boasts a more thoughtful progression of whimsical bites to more substantial explorations of Taiwanese comfort fare, and the service situation is multitudes better than the original Kato. Plus, everything from the wine list to the cocktail menu are close to world-class, with compelling vintage bottles to inventive milk punches and shaken drinks designed by bartender Austin Hennelly. —Matthew Kang

Inside Kato’s new dining room in Downtown LA with low lighting, furnishings, and open kitchen.
Kato’s impressive new dining room in Downtown LA.
Wonho Frank Lee

My Dung Sandwich Shop

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My Dung (pronounced “me yoong”), a teeny tiny market-slash-sandwich-shop on Ord Street, doesn’t offer much in the way of ambience, but that matters little with one bite of its fantastic banh mi. Every sandwich is made to order on a baguette that’s airy yet substantial and toasted to a warm, inviting crisp. It’s hard to go wrong with any of the stuffings, from simple pate to shredded chicken to the house special with cold cuts and head cheese. The next time you’re in the neighborhood and hunger pangs hit, head to the back of My Dung’s cramped quarters, fork over $6, and be prepared for one of the greatest sandwiches in town. —Cathy Chaplin

Split banh mi held in hand with sliced meats and pickled vegetables.
Banh mi from My Dung.
Matthew Kang

Camphor

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At Camphor, two former Alain Ducasse chefs, Max Boonthanakit and Lijo George, join forces in an Arts District open kitchen to create some of LA’s most exciting food, combining their backgrounds, travel, and inventiveness to spark something entirely new. Yes, the duo is classically trained, but there’s a playfulness to their menu. From bar seats, watch the Camphor crew operate with focus and flash while preparing whimsical takes on pommes Anna, topping the layered crispy potatoes with a chutney-tamarind sauce. Or witness them serve delicately cooked lobster with a coral bisque sauce. It’s too easy to categorize Camphor’s menu as classic French, but it actually offers a thrilling bite into something not seen often, or ever. —Mona Holmes

Lobster with coral bisque at Camphor restaurant in Downtown.
Lobster with coral bisque at Camphor in the Arts District.
Wonho Frank Lee

Bridgetown Roti

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Rashida Holmes’s tribute to Caribbean food, inspired by her mother Joy Clarke-Holmes, has wowed Los Angeles 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 without a takeout window in the 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.)

Doubles, cod cakes, sauces, and beef patty from Bridgetown Roti at Smorgasburg laid out in takeout containers.
Doubles, patty, cod cakes, and plaintains from Bridgetown Roti.
Cathy Chaplin

Bestia is the hallmark of rustic Italian located in the heart of the Arts District, in what could be one of LA’s loudest dining rooms. Ori Menashe and Genevieve Gergis cook blistered Neapolitan-style pizzas, inventive fresh pastas, house-cured salumi (a rarity in Los Angeles), and large plates like a whole-grilled branzino with basil, chile, crispy seeds, and lime. Wines and cocktails are on point, and the desserts from Gergis, like the bittersweet chocolate budino tart and buttermilk panna cotta, prove simple but are served with a perfectionist’s attention to detail. —Matthew Kang

Cavatelli alla norcina at Bestia.
Cavatelli alla norcina at Bestia.
Bestia

Mexico City chef Enrique Olvera’s Los Angeles restaurant didn’t land with quite the fanfare of his New York City restaurant Cosme when it opened amid a particularly grim portion of the pandemic in 2020, but soon enough, it found its footing as one of the most intriguing modern Mexican restaurants in Los Angeles. Like Cosme, Damian has a choose-your-own-adventure approach that departs from Olvera’s more celebrated tasting-menu restaurant, Pujol, in CDMX. Ultimately, Damian has made its impact by resonating with Los Angeles flavors, serving everything from duck al pastor and pescado “a la brasa” to hibiscus-infused meringue dessert. Service, from start to meal’s end, is impeccable (your server will predict, not react to, your requests). A restrained dining room and sleek outdoor patio setup further amplify the elegant experience. —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

Moo’s Craft Barbecue

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Moo’s Craft Barbecue’s permanent space in Lincoln Heights has quickly established itself as one of the top Texas-style barbecue joints in the city. Founders Andrew and Michelle Muñoz have captured the spirit of Austin with a walk-up counter, wide list of craft beers, and well-executed array of smoked meats with sides. Favorites include the jiggly smoked brisket with a crackly crust, sausages infused with fire-roasted poblano pepper and queso Oaxaca, and barbecue pork ribs, all best served with an assortment of sides like meaty baked beans, creamy esquites, and mac and cheese topped with crispy breadcrumbs. A menu of rotating specials might give diners the opportunity to dig into sticky Korean chicken wings and “thicc” chili burgers. —Matthew Kang

Sliced barbecue meats with pink onions and chile pepper on butcher paper.
Moo’s Craft Barbecue.
Farley Elliott

Tacos y Birria La Unica

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As one of Los Angeles’ most popular food trucks, Tacos y Birria La Unica operates in two neighborhoods. The family-run business opens at 8:30 a.m. in Boyle Heights, while the Mid-City truck — complete with a temporary seating area — on Venice near Fairfax serves until 6 p.m. The Mendozas stand out in LA’s competitive taco field by using handmade tortillas, as well as birria options that include beef or goat. In addition to the shredded meats, there’s steak, cabeza, lengua, and even chicken. Enveloped in a slightly crispy shell, the quesabirria taco is always a must. —Mona Holmes

A white plate three radishes, a lime, and two birria-soaked quesabirria tacos topped with onions and cilantro.
Tacos y Birria La Unica.
Farley Elliott

Delicias Bakery and Some

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As Mexican bakeries go, Delicias Bakery and Some is an LA gem. Operating since 1990, Delicias produces beautiful pan dulce, egg breads, empanadas, puerquitos, conchas, and the doughnut-like novias. There’s also an entire section dedicated to plant-based pan dulce. Everything at this family-run business is made on-site, where enjoying sandwiches, salads, coffee, and a customized fresh juice is entirely possible in a low-key setting in Highland Park. —Mona Holmes

Conchas from Delicias and Some Bakery on a glass display case.
Conchas from Delicias and Some Bakery in Highland Park.
Mona Holmes

Phnom Penh Noodle Shack

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Long Beach has the largest concentration of Cambodians of any city outside of Cambodia, so it’s no surprise that a crop of restaurants have made their mark on this part of the Southland. In 1985, Phnom Penh Noodle Shack opened as a compact daytime restaurant making savory, soupy, saucy food, especially the No. 1 house special: the Phnom Penh noodles. It’s full of shrimp, along with pork that’s been sliced, ground, and with stomach and liver. There are five noodle styles to choose from, from rice to egg noodles with variations on the size. Ask the staff for guidance and you can’t go wrong. —Mona Holmes