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Oysters and clams on ice at Found Oyster with a red table.
Raw bar selections from Found Oyster.
Wonho Frank Lee

11 Essential East Hollywood Restaurants

From Thai standbys to sparkling seafood and meaty kebabs

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Raw bar selections from Found Oyster.
| Wonho Frank Lee

The compact neighborhood known as East Hollywood — flanked by Western and Hoover on its west and east, and Hollywood and Beverly Boulevards on its north and south, respectively — has seen something of a restaurant boom in recent years, thanks in part to a couple of high-profile openings on Fountain Avenue. This small-but-mighty destination also includes Little Armenia and Thai Town, where some of the most vibrant Thai cooking in Los Angeles is served, as well as a stretch of Virgil Avenue that’s become known as Virgil Village (which has sparked its share of anti-gentrification sentiment) after Sqirl laid down roots in 2012.

Despite its diminutive size, East Hollywood is home to some serious dining heavy-hitters. Here now, from west to east, are the 11 essential East Hollywood restaurants.

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Northern Thai Food Club

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When the tiny 12-seat Amphai Northern Thai Food Club first opened in 2019 in a plaza shared with several other Thai restaurants, it quickly stood out as a refreshing new addition to the neighborhood. Chef-owner “Nancy” Amphai Dunne whips up one of the best khao soi noodles in the city with chicken that practically melts off the bone, and a plethora of specialties like her gaeng hang lae (pork belly curry stewed in a Thai-Burmese curry and tamarind paste) and nam prik ong (fermented ground pork in spicy chile peppers and tomato sauce). A perk for spice lovers is that this restaurant doesn’t shy away from adding heat to its dishes.

Jitlada Restaurant

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Jitlada made its mark on the local food scene when Suthiporn “Tui” Sungkamee and his sister Jazz Singsanong acquired the restaurant in 2006 and introduced a supplemental menu focused on the country’s southern specialties. (Sungkamee passed away in 2017.) The Thai-language southern Thai menu, chock-full of sweat-inducing hits, was eventually translated into English and captured the palates of local and national food media. Every meal at Jitlada should begin with an order of New Zealand mussels swimming in an aromatic lemongrass broth before settling into a crispy catfish or crying tiger salad. The off-menu Jazz burger served on iceberg lettuce never disappoints. 

Marouch Restaurant

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Armenian and Lebanese flavors abound at this classic Little Armenia restaurant filled with mezzes and the invigorating aromas of freshly grilled kebabs. Marouch might not have the marketing power of some other LA kebabs spots, or perhaps the party atmosphere of the likes of Raffi’s Place, but its status as an icon is without question.

A plate of hummus and falafel at Marouch.
A plate of hummus and falafel at Marouch.
Marouch

Found Oyster

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Last Word Hospitality’s subtly nautical jewel box of a restaurant is consistently packed with diners looking for the freshest seafood paired with easy-drinking natural wine. Chef Ari Kolender keeps things pretty straightforward on the menu, letting the fish do the talking, but standouts since the restaurant opened in late 2019, include a yuzu kosho-dressed scallop tostada and a crudo inspired by Swan’s Oyster Depot in San Francisco. The smoked trout dip served with Ritz crackers, and peel-and-eat shrimp are always a good time.

Scallop tostada at Found Oyster in East Hollywood.
Found Oyster’s scallop tostada.
Cathy Chaplin

Saffy's

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While LA’s kebab scene has been mostly steady in recent years, Saffy’s has come to contend as one of the city’s best Levantine restaurants. And it’s no surprise that Bestia/Bavel veterans Ori Menashe and Genevieve Gergis have already filled their East Hollywood restaurant to the gills with eager fans dipping fresh baked bread into glorious hummus and sweet cherry tomato-studded smoked eggplant puree. The grilled lobster skewer, tinted green and covered with a spicy serrano-lime yogurt, packs a flavor punch while the wood-grilled kebabs are truly impressive, seared and dripping with fatty flavor on the plate. Just be ready to spend about twice as much, or more, for the experience compared to other kebabs spots.

A wide shot of five metal skewers of grilled meat, plus bread, on a plate at a restaurant.
Kebabs at Saffy’s.
Wonho Frank Lee

Kismet Rotisserie

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Kismet Rotisserie started as an offshoot of the nearby Kismet Mediterranean restaurant in 2020, but the walk-up window has become something uniquely its own. Chefs Sarah Hymanson and Sara Kramer’s rotisserie chicken plates are a treat, with tender meat, creamy hummus, house-made pickles, and addictive chile oil and garlic sauce. (The ingredients are stellar: The chefs source their free-range and non-GMO chickens from Sonoma County, and vegetables from local farmers markets.) Even though the plates are hefty enough, make sure to save room for Kismet’s schmaltzy potatoes and tahini chocolate chip cookies.

A tray full of roast chicken, hummus, a green salad, and pickled vegetables at Kismet Rotisserie.
A chicken plate at Kismet Rotisserie.
Matthew Kang

Courage Bagels

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On weekends, lines stretch down the block for Courage Bagels’ hole-y creations. Ari Skye and Chris Moss started serving their smallish, crisp, fermented “Montreal and California-style” bagels from a bicycle and built a fast following for not only the carbs, but market-fresh toppings like heirloom tomatoes, cucumbers, and fresh dill. Special touches like wild salmon roe, sardines, and hand-sliced salmon make even the utilitarian bagel feel luxurious. Pro tip: Don’t sleep on the burnt everything.

KinKan LA

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Nan Yimcharoen started KinKan as an invite-only home restaurant during the pandemic; it quickly earned buzz for its roe-studded bento boxes. Since opening her brick-and-mortar in 2021, Yimcharoen continues to earn raves for her Japanese- and Thai-inflected seafood stunners. The restaurant is reservation-only; book early for an a la carte menu of small bites and Japanese draft beers, or opt for a 14-course tasting menu that promises a tour of Thailand’s most important culinary regions.

Voodoo Vin

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Since chef Travis Hayden took the helm of the kitchen earlier this year, this charming natural wine bar has become a destination for his house-made charcuterie and pastas. Must-orders include Hayden’s pistachio-studded mortadella, fresh tagliatelle napped in ‘nduja Bolognese, and beef tartare done up with Caesar-style flavors. Of course, one would be remiss not to try a glass or two of wine from the Old World-leaning list, which offers a lot of rare finds.

A selection of small plates containing mortadella, anchovies, snap peas, charcuterie, and more.
Charcuterie and other snacks at Voodoo Vin.
Liz Barclay

Come into ​​chef Uyên Lê’s fast-casual restaurant for thoughtfully prepared Vietnamese food. While the banh mi sandwiches and popcorn chicken appetizer are sure bets, the house-special caramelized pork and eggs served over rice is as comforting as gets. As a bonus, Lê’s commitment to social justice means that Bé Ù’s staff is paid a living wage, while the menu’s pricing is kept affordable where possible for those who live in the neighborhood. 

Jewel is a charming gem along a busy stretch of Hoover Street, boasting creative all-day vegan fare — from carrot lox toast to spicy “tuna” tostadas made with marinated watermelon — and a robust collection of natural wines. The restaurant’s sunny patio is a burst of happiness with a rainbow mural, woven patio chairs, and potted plants, perfect for long chats with friends while idling the day away.

Northern Thai Food Club

When the tiny 12-seat Amphai Northern Thai Food Club first opened in 2019 in a plaza shared with several other Thai restaurants, it quickly stood out as a refreshing new addition to the neighborhood. Chef-owner “Nancy” Amphai Dunne whips up one of the best khao soi noodles in the city with chicken that practically melts off the bone, and a plethora of specialties like her gaeng hang lae (pork belly curry stewed in a Thai-Burmese curry and tamarind paste) and nam prik ong (fermented ground pork in spicy chile peppers and tomato sauce). A perk for spice lovers is that this restaurant doesn’t shy away from adding heat to its dishes.

Jitlada Restaurant

Jitlada made its mark on the local food scene when Suthiporn “Tui” Sungkamee and his sister Jazz Singsanong acquired the restaurant in 2006 and introduced a supplemental menu focused on the country’s southern specialties. (Sungkamee passed away in 2017.) The Thai-language southern Thai menu, chock-full of sweat-inducing hits, was eventually translated into English and captured the palates of local and national food media. Every meal at Jitlada should begin with an order of New Zealand mussels swimming in an aromatic lemongrass broth before settling into a crispy catfish or crying tiger salad. The off-menu Jazz burger served on iceberg lettuce never disappoints. 

Marouch Restaurant

Armenian and Lebanese flavors abound at this classic Little Armenia restaurant filled with mezzes and the invigorating aromas of freshly grilled kebabs. Marouch might not have the marketing power of some other LA kebabs spots, or perhaps the party atmosphere of the likes of Raffi’s Place, but its status as an icon is without question.

A plate of hummus and falafel at Marouch.
A plate of hummus and falafel at Marouch.
Marouch

Found Oyster

Last Word Hospitality’s subtly nautical jewel box of a restaurant is consistently packed with diners looking for the freshest seafood paired with easy-drinking natural wine. Chef Ari Kolender keeps things pretty straightforward on the menu, letting the fish do the talking, but standouts since the restaurant opened in late 2019, include a yuzu kosho-dressed scallop tostada and a crudo inspired by Swan’s Oyster Depot in San Francisco. The smoked trout dip served with Ritz crackers, and peel-and-eat shrimp are always a good time.

Scallop tostada at Found Oyster in East Hollywood.
Found Oyster’s scallop tostada.
Cathy Chaplin

Saffy's

While LA’s kebab scene has been mostly steady in recent years, Saffy’s has come to contend as one of the city’s best Levantine restaurants. And it’s no surprise that Bestia/Bavel veterans Ori Menashe and Genevieve Gergis have already filled their East Hollywood restaurant to the gills with eager fans dipping fresh baked bread into glorious hummus and sweet cherry tomato-studded smoked eggplant puree. The grilled lobster skewer, tinted green and covered with a spicy serrano-lime yogurt, packs a flavor punch while the wood-grilled kebabs are truly impressive, seared and dripping with fatty flavor on the plate. Just be ready to spend about twice as much, or more, for the experience compared to other kebabs spots.

A wide shot of five metal skewers of grilled meat, plus bread, on a plate at a restaurant.
Kebabs at Saffy’s.
Wonho Frank Lee

Kismet Rotisserie

Kismet Rotisserie started as an offshoot of the nearby Kismet Mediterranean restaurant in 2020, but the walk-up window has become something uniquely its own. Chefs Sarah Hymanson and Sara Kramer’s rotisserie chicken plates are a treat, with tender meat, creamy hummus, house-made pickles, and addictive chile oil and garlic sauce. (The ingredients are stellar: The chefs source their free-range and non-GMO chickens from Sonoma County, and vegetables from local farmers markets.) Even though the plates are hefty enough, make sure to save room for Kismet’s schmaltzy potatoes and tahini chocolate chip cookies.

A tray full of roast chicken, hummus, a green salad, and pickled vegetables at Kismet Rotisserie.
A chicken plate at Kismet Rotisserie.
Matthew Kang

Courage Bagels

On weekends, lines stretch down the block for Courage Bagels’ hole-y creations. Ari Skye and Chris Moss started serving their smallish, crisp, fermented “Montreal and California-style” bagels from a bicycle and built a fast following for not only the carbs, but market-fresh toppings like heirloom tomatoes, cucumbers, and fresh dill. Special touches like wild salmon roe, sardines, and hand-sliced salmon make even the utilitarian bagel feel luxurious. Pro tip: Don’t sleep on the burnt everything.

KinKan LA

Nan Yimcharoen started KinKan as an invite-only home restaurant during the pandemic; it quickly earned buzz for its roe-studded bento boxes. Since opening her brick-and-mortar in 2021, Yimcharoen continues to earn raves for her Japanese- and Thai-inflected seafood stunners. The restaurant is reservation-only; book early for an a la carte menu of small bites and Japanese draft beers, or opt for a 14-course tasting menu that promises a tour of Thailand’s most important culinary regions.

Voodoo Vin

Since chef Travis Hayden took the helm of the kitchen earlier this year, this charming natural wine bar has become a destination for his house-made charcuterie and pastas. Must-orders include Hayden’s pistachio-studded mortadella, fresh tagliatelle napped in ‘nduja Bolognese, and beef tartare done up with Caesar-style flavors. Of course, one would be remiss not to try a glass or two of wine from the Old World-leaning list, which offers a lot of rare finds.

A selection of small plates containing mortadella, anchovies, snap peas, charcuterie, and more.
Charcuterie and other snacks at Voodoo Vin.
Liz Barclay

Bé Ù

Come into ​​chef Uyên Lê’s fast-casual restaurant for thoughtfully prepared Vietnamese food. While the banh mi sandwiches and popcorn chicken appetizer are sure bets, the house-special caramelized pork and eggs served over rice is as comforting as gets. As a bonus, Lê’s commitment to social justice means that Bé Ù’s staff is paid a living wage, while the menu’s pricing is kept affordable where possible for those who live in the neighborhood. 

Jewel

Jewel is a charming gem along a busy stretch of Hoover Street, boasting creative all-day vegan fare — from carrot lox toast to spicy “tuna” tostadas made with marinated watermelon — and a robust collection of natural wines. The restaurant’s sunny patio is a burst of happiness with a rainbow mural, woven patio chairs, and potted plants, perfect for long chats with friends while idling the day away.

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