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An overhead shot of Big Boi food, Filipino classics with roast meat and rice and drinks.
Big Boi Filipino
Wonho Frank Lee

13 Great Places to Wine and Dine in West LA

For all 405-adjacent dining needs in (and around) Sawtelle and Westwood

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Big Boi Filipino
| Wonho Frank Lee

West LA hasn’t always been considered the most vibrant dining neighborhood in the city, but that’s okay. These days Japanese cuisine of all sorts thrives on Sawtelle and longstanding stars in ‘Tehrangeles’ offer some of the best Persian food — to say nothing of the area’s Michelin-level feasts, enduring breakfasts, and quality Thai food. Frankly, there’s maybe never been a better time to dine adjacent to the 405. Here now, the 13 essential West LA restaurants from West to East.

Added: Emporium Thai, Javan, John O’Groats, Shamshiri Grill, Sonoritas Prime Tacos, Tacos Tu Madre

Removed: Audrey At The Hammer (closed), Jon & Vinny’s Brentwood, Killer Noodle, Mala Town, Masakazu, Nanbankan, Pizzana Brentwood, Red Rock, Vincenti Ristorante

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Kato

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11925 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA
(424) 535-3041
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Jon Yao’s Michelin-starred tasting menu restaurant gleans flavors and ingredients from across Asia, especially Japan and Taiwan, making it a hidden strip mall gem. The tasting menu isn’t cheap, but the quality comes through on the plate. Kato continues to prepare some of LA’s most innovative food despite not offering any alcoholic beverages.

Outdoor dining patio at Kato in West Los Angeles, California.
Kato
Matthew Kang

2. Javan Restaurant

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11500 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025
(424) 900-8573
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Longstanding Persian spot Javan’s had quite a ride over the last three years. In 2018, the space turned into Safir for a year, but Javan returned in 2019 to resume the same quality Persian they’ve been doing for years. The portion sizes are huge and the quality is great, especially when eating the $18 combination platter with chicken koobideh and beef koobideh with cucumber salad and rice. They’ve even incorporated Beyond Meat koobideh and into the menu, or ash joe, the more traditional garbanzo bean stew.

3. Sichuan Impression

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11057 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025
(310) 444-7171
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Alhambra’s Sichuan Impression cooks up a wide menu of classics at its West LA outpost, from the saucy spaghetti-like special noodles to the heavily spiced mapo tofu to cold steamed chicken swimming in a chili sauce. Bullfrog, toothpick cumin mutton, and rabbit show up on the menu too.

Sichuan Impression
Sichuan Impression
Bill Addison

4. Sonoritas Prime Tacos

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2004 Sawtelle Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025
(310) 444-9100
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Sonoritas Prime Tacos keeps it simple. The taqueria is influenced by Mexico’s carne asada and meat capital, Sonora, where staff prepare filet mignon and ribeye tacos on a mesquite grill with handmade tortillas. Salsas are also made from scratch, naturally.

5. Hamasaku

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11043 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA
(310) 479-7636
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Yes, there are plenty of rolls popular with the celebrity set, but the real star at this West LA gem is the omakase by chef Yoya Takahashi. Making the experience even better is the $80 price tag, which is very competitive for the quality delivered in this part of town. 

Hamasaku’s sushi boxes
Hamasaku
Hamasaku

6. Big Boi

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2027 Sawtelle Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025
(424) 832-7199
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Big Boi comes from B Sweet Dessert Bar founder Barb Batiste, whose best known for her Filipino-inspired desserts. With Big Boi, Batiste is trading in ube cakes and halo halo for a range of Filipino comfort fare, like excellent sisig, fanfastic lumpia, and more.

Big Boi combo plate
Big Boi
Matthew Kang

7. Emporium Thai

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1275 Westwood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90024
(310) 478-2838
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Westwood’s stalwart Thai restaurant Emporium draws deep roots from Southern Thailand from owner John Sungkamee and chef Gina Sungkamee. The menu draws from across Thailand, though of course the spicy southern dishes are the highlights here. The curry-laced Phuket wings, crying beef salad, and Jitlada-style green curry mussels are must-orders.

A white bowl showing a yellow curry sauce noodle dish.
Emporium Thai
Emporium Thai

8. Attari Sandwich Shop

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1388 Westwood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA
(310) 441-5488
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Westwood’s sandwich game is strong thanks to Persian staple Attari, where the tongue sandwich reigns supreme, and pleasant afternoons can be spent on the sunny patio while taking comfort in homey bowls of osh.

9. Shamshiri Grill

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1712 Westwood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90024
(310) 474-1410
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What’s not to love about Shamshiri Grill? Founder and chef Hamid Shamshiri opened the original restaurant in 1981, where stews like ghormeh sabzi or fesenjan are prepared vegan, unless adding baked chicken, lamb shank, or lamb neck. If sitting indoors, food preparation takes place right in front of Shamshiri’s massive grill. It’s impressive to watch.

10. Tacos Tu Madre Westwood

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1945 Westwood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025

It’s a refreshing sight to see Tacos Tu Madre colorful Westwood Boulevard spot. Joshua Pourgol and Oliver Mateen’s first opened their Westwood storefront in 2015, with additional locations in West Hollywood, Larchmont, and Los Feliz. The approach is hardly traditional Mexican, with vegan Korean barbecue tacos or barbacoa tacos. They’re open early and stay that way until midnight.

Tacos Tu Madre in Westwood, California.
Tacos Tu Madre
Wonho Frank Lee

11. Taste of Tehran

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1915 Westwood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA
(310) 470-0022
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A meal at West LA staple Taste of Tehran is as close as it gets to a meal at a Persian grandma’s home. The ghormeh sabzi stew is as nourishing and soul-warming as restaurant food comes, and the kebab plates adorned with grilled tomato is exactly what on-the-go locals need for daily lunchtime needs.

12. The Apple Pan

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10801 W Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA
(310) 475-3585
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This LA icon has been serving classic diner fare since 1947. Little has changed, save for adding credit card payments and to-go items during the pandemic. That means there’s a standout patty melt and old-fashioned slices of pie, but the thing on everyone’s mind is the Hickory Burger dressed in the enduring restaurant’s proprietary barbecue sauce.

Hickory burger from Apple Pan.
Apple Pan
Matthew Kang

13. John O'Groats

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10516 W Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90064
(310) 204-0692
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John O’Groats is one of those longstanding LA stories to love. Robert and Angelica Jacoby opened John O’Groats in 1982. But only during daytime hours so the Jacobys could care for their sons. Robert passed away in 2018, but they’re still making those beloved biscuits, pancakes, eggs, and sandwiches that keep people coming in.

John O’Groats
John O’Groats
John O’Groats

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1. Kato

11925 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA
Outdoor dining patio at Kato in West Los Angeles, California.
Kato
Matthew Kang

Jon Yao’s Michelin-starred tasting menu restaurant gleans flavors and ingredients from across Asia, especially Japan and Taiwan, making it a hidden strip mall gem. The tasting menu isn’t cheap, but the quality comes through on the plate. Kato continues to prepare some of LA’s most innovative food despite not offering any alcoholic beverages.

11925 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA

2. Javan Restaurant

11500 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025

Longstanding Persian spot Javan’s had quite a ride over the last three years. In 2018, the space turned into Safir for a year, but Javan returned in 2019 to resume the same quality Persian they’ve been doing for years. The portion sizes are huge and the quality is great, especially when eating the $18 combination platter with chicken koobideh and beef koobideh with cucumber salad and rice. They’ve even incorporated Beyond Meat koobideh and into the menu, or ash joe, the more traditional garbanzo bean stew.

11500 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025

3. Sichuan Impression

11057 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025
Sichuan Impression
Sichuan Impression
Bill Addison

Alhambra’s Sichuan Impression cooks up a wide menu of classics at its West LA outpost, from the saucy spaghetti-like special noodles to the heavily spiced mapo tofu to cold steamed chicken swimming in a chili sauce. Bullfrog, toothpick cumin mutton, and rabbit show up on the menu too.

11057 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025

4. Sonoritas Prime Tacos

2004 Sawtelle Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025

Sonoritas Prime Tacos keeps it simple. The taqueria is influenced by Mexico’s carne asada and meat capital, Sonora, where staff prepare filet mignon and ribeye tacos on a mesquite grill with handmade tortillas. Salsas are also made from scratch, naturally.

2004 Sawtelle Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025

5. Hamasaku

11043 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA
Hamasaku’s sushi boxes
Hamasaku
Hamasaku

Yes, there are plenty of rolls popular with the celebrity set, but the real star at this West LA gem is the omakase by chef Yoya Takahashi. Making the experience even better is the $80 price tag, which is very competitive for the quality delivered in this part of town. 

11043 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA

6. Big Boi

2027 Sawtelle Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025
Big Boi combo plate
Big Boi
Matthew Kang

Big Boi comes from B Sweet Dessert Bar founder Barb Batiste, whose best known for her Filipino-inspired desserts. With Big Boi, Batiste is trading in ube cakes and halo halo for a range of Filipino comfort fare, like excellent sisig, fanfastic lumpia, and more.

2027 Sawtelle Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025

7. Emporium Thai

1275 Westwood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90024
A white bowl showing a yellow curry sauce noodle dish.
Emporium Thai
Emporium Thai

Westwood’s stalwart Thai restaurant Emporium draws deep roots from Southern Thailand from owner John Sungkamee and chef Gina Sungkamee. The menu draws from across Thailand, though of course the spicy southern dishes are the highlights here. The curry-laced Phuket wings, crying beef salad, and Jitlada-style green curry mussels are must-orders.

1275 Westwood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90024

8. Attari Sandwich Shop

1388 Westwood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

Westwood’s sandwich game is strong thanks to Persian staple Attari, where the tongue sandwich reigns supreme, and pleasant afternoons can be spent on the sunny patio while taking comfort in homey bowls of osh.

1388 Westwood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA

9. Shamshiri Grill

1712 Westwood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90024

What’s not to love about Shamshiri Grill? Founder and chef Hamid Shamshiri opened the original restaurant in 1981, where stews like ghormeh sabzi or fesenjan are prepared vegan, unless adding baked chicken, lamb shank, or lamb neck. If sitting indoors, food preparation takes place right in front of Shamshiri’s massive grill. It’s impressive to watch.

1712 Westwood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90024

10. Tacos Tu Madre Westwood

1945 Westwood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025
Tacos Tu Madre in Westwood, California.
Tacos Tu Madre
Wonho Frank Lee

It’s a refreshing sight to see Tacos Tu Madre colorful Westwood Boulevard spot. Joshua Pourgol and Oliver Mateen’s first opened their Westwood storefront in 2015, with additional locations in West Hollywood, Larchmont, and Los Feliz. The approach is hardly traditional Mexican, with vegan Korean barbecue tacos or barbacoa tacos. They’re open early and stay that way until midnight.

1945 Westwood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025

11. Taste of Tehran

1915 Westwood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

A meal at West LA staple Taste of Tehran is as close as it gets to a meal at a Persian grandma’s home. The ghormeh sabzi stew is as nourishing and soul-warming as restaurant food comes, and the kebab plates adorned with grilled tomato is exactly what on-the-go locals need for daily lunchtime needs.

1915 Westwood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA

12. The Apple Pan

10801 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA
Hickory burger from Apple Pan.
Apple Pan
Matthew Kang

This LA icon has been serving classic diner fare since 1947. Little has changed, save for adding credit card payments and to-go items during the pandemic. That means there’s a standout patty melt and old-fashioned slices of pie, but the thing on everyone’s mind is the Hickory Burger dressed in the enduring restaurant’s proprietary barbecue sauce.

10801 W Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA

13. John O'Groats

10516 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064
John O’Groats
John O’Groats
John O’Groats

John O’Groats is one of those longstanding LA stories to love. Robert and Angelica Jacoby opened John O’Groats in 1982. But only during daytime hours so the Jacobys could care for their sons. Robert passed away in 2018, but they’re still making those beloved biscuits, pancakes, eggs, and sandwiches that keep people coming in.

10516 W Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90064

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