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Drago Ristorante at the Petersen Automotive Museum
Drago Ristorante at the Petersen Automotive Museum
[Official Photo]

15 LA Tourist Trap Restaurants That Are Actually Good

Destination dining doesn’t always have to disappoint

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Drago Ristorante at the Petersen Automotive Museum
| [Official Photo]

Los Angeles has its share of tourist traps. However, scratch beneath the surface to find a plethora of dining destinations that attract visitors and locals alike with solid food, memorable service, and an experience that feels quintessentially LA. Here now are 15 tourist trap restaurants that are actually pretty good.

Removed: Sqirl, Genwa, Ludobird, C&O Trattoria, El Cholo, Howlin’ Rays, Water Grill

Added: Michael’s, The Rose Venice, Drago Ristorante

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Din Tai Fung

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177 Caruso Ave
Glendale, CA 91210
(818) 551-5561
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Los Angeles is a city known for outstanding Chinese food, but luckily for tourists unable to make the drive to the San Gabriel Valley, there’s Din Tai Fung in Glendale, a mecca for those juicy pork dumplings, sauteed rice cakes, and other Chinese classics.

2. The Trails Cafe

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2333 Fern Dell Dr
Los Angeles, CA 90068
(323) 871-2102
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Griffith Park is one of the country’s largest urban parks, with miles of hiking and biking trails and open parkland to enjoy. Millions flock to the green space surrounding the Observatory, and then make a run for the cozy confines of Trails Cafe to refuel with simple fare afterwards.

3. Musso & Frank Grill

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6667 Hollywood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90028
(323) 467-7788
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Hollywood icon Musso & Frank’s is still one of the best places in the city for sidling up to the bar and confidently ordering a martini. It helps that the martini is damn good, and the people watching is even better.

4. Mozzaplex

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641 N Highland Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 297-0101
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The Mozzaplex — the Osteria, Pizzeria, 2Go, and Chi Spacca — is operating at an unbelievably high level. Nancy Silverton still walks the floor of every dining room, and on the table is some of the best California-Italian food anywhere in America.

5. 189 by Dominique Ansel

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189 The Grove Dr
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 602-0096
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Dominique Ansel is a certified international phenomenon, opening bakeries across the globe that play to hours-long lines. Now he’s turned to the savory side with 189, his beautiful upstairs restaurant at The Grove. Forget the location and long lines, this is a sit-down restaurant that takes reservations and serves elevated French food with a thoughtfulness not commonly associated with a shopping development.

189 Dominique Ansel
189 by Dominique Ansel
Wonho Frank Lee

6. Pampas Grill Churrascaria

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6333 W 3rd St #618
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 931-1928
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The Original Farmer’s Market is a classic tourist destination and while many of the stalls feature solid fare, this busy Brazilian barbecue might be the best of the bunch. Load up the plate with vegetables and salad before picking out freshly sliced Brazilian grilled meats.

7. Lawry's the Prime Rib

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100 N La Cienega Blvd
Beverly Hills, CA 90211
(310) 652-2827
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LA’s Restaurant Row isn’t quite what it used to be, but that hasn’t stopped Lawry’s from continuing to anchor the La Cienega stretch, offering some of the city’s best service and (of course) prime rib. Despite the well-known name and national appeal, this first-ever location feels just as personal and important to Los Angeles as it always has.

Lawry’s Beef Bowl
Lawry’s
Wonho Frank Lee

8. The Grill on the Alley

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9560 Dayton Way
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
(310) 276-0615
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Most LA tourists are going to hit Beverly Hills at some point in their trip, and while there are a ton of traps that serve middling but expensive fare, The Grill on the Alley has a gorgeous dining room and standout service in a rather hidden space. Order some grilled steaks and finish the meal with the excellent key lime pie.

Grill on the Alley
The Grill on the Alley
Wonho Frank Lee

9. Drago Ristorante

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6060 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 800-2244
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For those in the mood for Italian fare while visiting Mid-Wilshire’s Museum Row, head to Drago Ristorante at the Petersen Automotive Museum. A collaboration between Drago brothers Celestino, Calogero, Tanino, and Giacomino, the eponymously named restaurant serves up dependable pastas, pizzas, and larger proteins like steaks and pork chops for lunch and dinner.

10. Philippe The Original

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1001 North Alameda
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 628-3781
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Now that the Coles versus Philippe’s debate as to the true progenitor of the French dip sandwich has been put to rest, there’s no better time to visit the 1908 institution that invented the jus-soaked specialty.

11. Langer's Delicatessen-Restaurant

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704 S Alvarado St
Los Angeles, CA 90057
(213) 483-8050
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Not only is Langer’s a home for celebrities trying to low-key nosh, it’s also home to what is likely the single best deli pastrami in America. Try some on the chili cheese fries for a gut-busting side.

Langer’s

12. 71Above

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633 W. 5th Street, 71st Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90071
(213) 712-2683
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Perched 71 floors above Downtown LA in the US Bank Tower is a restaurant with 360-degree views. It’s no wonder tourists come to take in unbeatable vistas of the city, with beautifully plated dishes that live up to the ambiance.

71Above
71Above, Downtown LA
Wonho Frank Lee

13. Eggslut

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317 S Broadway
Los Angeles, CA 90013
(213) 625-0292
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Grand Central Market wouldn’t be complete without the winding line for Eggslut. Arrive early or head in late (and avoid weekends altogether) for one of the best morning sandwiches anywhere.

Eggslut
Eggslut
[Official Photo]

14. Michael's

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1147 3rd St
Santa Monica, CA 90403
(310) 451-0843
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This Santa Monica institution keeps getting better and better. Snag a seat on the idyllic patio and settle in for quintessential California cuisine done well. There are oysters and locally-made bread to start, and hearty things like hand-made pastas and a roasted chicken to share. A walk along the shore makes for the perfect post-dinner plan.

15. The Rose Venice

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220 Rose Ave
Venice, CA 90291
(310) 399-0711
Visit Website

Locals and visitors flock to The Rose for chef Jason Neroni’s excellent cooking. The iconic restaurant boasts a massive, multi-faceted space that’s perfect from early until late-night. Stop by in the mornings for baked goods and strong coffee, or in the evenings for the chef’s signature house-made pastas.

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1. Din Tai Fung

177 Caruso Ave, Glendale, CA 91210

Los Angeles is a city known for outstanding Chinese food, but luckily for tourists unable to make the drive to the San Gabriel Valley, there’s Din Tai Fung in Glendale, a mecca for those juicy pork dumplings, sauteed rice cakes, and other Chinese classics.

177 Caruso Ave
Glendale, CA 91210

2. The Trails Cafe

2333 Fern Dell Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90068

Griffith Park is one of the country’s largest urban parks, with miles of hiking and biking trails and open parkland to enjoy. Millions flock to the green space surrounding the Observatory, and then make a run for the cozy confines of Trails Cafe to refuel with simple fare afterwards.

2333 Fern Dell Dr
Los Angeles, CA 90068

3. Musso & Frank Grill

6667 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028

Hollywood icon Musso & Frank’s is still one of the best places in the city for sidling up to the bar and confidently ordering a martini. It helps that the martini is damn good, and the people watching is even better.

6667 Hollywood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90028

4. Mozzaplex

641 N Highland Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036

The Mozzaplex — the Osteria, Pizzeria, 2Go, and Chi Spacca — is operating at an unbelievably high level. Nancy Silverton still walks the floor of every dining room, and on the table is some of the best California-Italian food anywhere in America.

641 N Highland Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90036

5. 189 by Dominique Ansel

189 The Grove Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90036
189 Dominique Ansel
189 by Dominique Ansel
Wonho Frank Lee

Dominique Ansel is a certified international phenomenon, opening bakeries across the globe that play to hours-long lines. Now he’s turned to the savory side with 189, his beautiful upstairs restaurant at The Grove. Forget the location and long lines, this is a sit-down restaurant that takes reservations and serves elevated French food with a thoughtfulness not commonly associated with a shopping development.

189 The Grove Dr
Los Angeles, CA 90036

6. Pampas Grill Churrascaria

6333 W 3rd St #618, Los Angeles, CA 90036

The Original Farmer’s Market is a classic tourist destination and while many of the stalls feature solid fare, this busy Brazilian barbecue might be the best of the bunch. Load up the plate with vegetables and salad before picking out freshly sliced Brazilian grilled meats.

6333 W 3rd St #618
Los Angeles, CA 90036

7. Lawry's the Prime Rib

100 N La Cienega Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90211
Lawry’s Beef Bowl
Lawry’s
Wonho Frank Lee

LA’s Restaurant Row isn’t quite what it used to be, but that hasn’t stopped Lawry’s from continuing to anchor the La Cienega stretch, offering some of the city’s best service and (of course) prime rib. Despite the well-known name and national appeal, this first-ever location feels just as personal and important to Los Angeles as it always has.

100 N La Cienega Blvd
Beverly Hills, CA 90211

8. The Grill on the Alley

9560 Dayton Way, Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Grill on the Alley
The Grill on the Alley
Wonho Frank Lee

Most LA tourists are going to hit Beverly Hills at some point in their trip, and while there are a ton of traps that serve middling but expensive fare, The Grill on the Alley has a gorgeous dining room and standout service in a rather hidden space. Order some grilled steaks and finish the meal with the excellent key lime pie.

9560 Dayton Way
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

9. Drago Ristorante

6060 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036

For those in the mood for Italian fare while visiting Mid-Wilshire’s Museum Row, head to Drago Ristorante at the Petersen Automotive Museum. A collaboration between Drago brothers Celestino, Calogero, Tanino, and Giacomino, the eponymously named restaurant serves up dependable pastas, pizzas, and larger proteins like steaks and pork chops for lunch and dinner.

6060 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036

10. Philippe The Original

1001 North Alameda, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Now that the Coles versus Philippe’s debate as to the true progenitor of the French dip sandwich has been put to rest, there’s no better time to visit the 1908 institution that invented the jus-soaked specialty.

1001 North Alameda
Los Angeles, CA 90012

11. Langer's Delicatessen-Restaurant

704 S Alvarado St, Los Angeles, CA 90057
Langer’s

Not only is Langer’s a home for celebrities trying to low-key nosh, it’s also home to what is likely the single best deli pastrami in America. Try some on the chili cheese fries for a gut-busting side.

704 S Alvarado St
Los Angeles, CA 90057

12. 71Above

633 W. 5th Street, 71st Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90071
71Above
71Above, Downtown LA
Wonho Frank Lee

Perched 71 floors above Downtown LA in the US Bank Tower is a restaurant with 360-degree views. It’s no wonder tourists come to take in unbeatable vistas of the city, with beautifully plated dishes that live up to the ambiance.

633 W. 5th Street, 71st Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90071

13. Eggslut

317 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90013
Eggslut
Eggslut
[Official Photo]

Grand Central Market wouldn’t be complete without the winding line for Eggslut. Arrive early or head in late (and avoid weekends altogether) for one of the best morning sandwiches anywhere.

317 S Broadway
Los Angeles, CA 90013

14. Michael's

1147 3rd St, Santa Monica, CA 90403

This Santa Monica institution keeps getting better and better. Snag a seat on the idyllic patio and settle in for quintessential California cuisine done well. There are oysters and locally-made bread to start, and hearty things like hand-made pastas and a roasted chicken to share. A walk along the shore makes for the perfect post-dinner plan.

1147 3rd St
Santa Monica, CA 90403

15. The Rose Venice

220 Rose Ave, Venice, CA 90291

Locals and visitors flock to The Rose for chef Jason Neroni’s excellent cooking. The iconic restaurant boasts a massive, multi-faceted space that’s perfect from early until late-night. Stop by in the mornings for baked goods and strong coffee, or in the evenings for the chef’s signature house-made pastas.

220 Rose Ave
Venice, CA 90291

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