Never really known for its culinary scene, Westwood mostly caters to a captured audience of UCLA students, faculty, and staff, as well as the small number of corporate offices around the intersection of Westwood and Wilshire Boulevard. In addition, the neighborhood of Tehrangeles, a historic area of Persian restaurants, hits the southern edge of Westwood with a few kebab and dessert shops. However, this map mainly focuses on walkable eating establishments for anyone in Westwood Village or venturing from the UCLA campus (though, expect long walks for anyone going all the way to Wilshire Boulevard). Here now, are the 15 essential restaurants to try in Westwood Village and environs.Read More
15 Essential Restaurants in Westwood Near UCLA
The bustling area has a few gems worth checking out
This longtime steakhouse serves heaping dry-aged and wagyu chops alongside ample, butter-laden sides in a sleek dining room. Word on the street is that STK will be moving into a new location in Westwood Village, but until then, this location will operate inside the W Hotel. The prices here are pretty astronomical from a student’s perspective, so make it more of a celebration meal or a place to have the parents pick up the check.
A student’s affordable snack paradise, this classic ice cream cookie spot serves custom build-an-ice-cream-sandwich for a few bucks until around midnight most nights. Expect long lines for these crumbly cookies.
Another affordable favorite for budget-conscious students, Falafel Inc. has a mission to use its profits for social enterprises, serving $4 falafel pita sandwiches, $5 bowls, and $4 seasoned za’atar fries in a quick-service model. Don’t expect world-class execution, but for the price, it’s hard to get a tastier meal in Westwood.
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Primo's Donuts Westwood Village
The former Stan’s Doughnuts, a neighborhood institution, has been taken over by West LA’s Primo’s Donuts, keeping an affordable, local fritter shop in Westwood Village. The buttermilk doughnuts are Primos’ famous flavor, with a cake-like interior and ample, golden brown glazed exterior.
Northern Cafe Dumpling House
Northern Cafe was one of the first San Gabriel Valley restaurants to expand this far west, serving noodles, dumplings, and cumin lamb plates that pack a flavorful punch at reasonable prices.
The Boiling Crab
Though chain Cajun seafood boil restaurants aren’t utterly unique, the Westwood branch of the Boiling Crab spans a huge corner space and satisfies the craving with heaping plastic bags of shrimp, crawfish, potatoes, corn, and more in varying levels of spice. Bring a crew and dig in with your fingers.
Lamonica's NY Pizza
Opened for over 40 years, this classic Westwood pizzeria serves some of the most authentic New York City-style pizza in Los Angeles with pies and slices ready to be reheated for a crisp, cheesy bite.
One of Westwood’s true hidden gems, this classic French bistro serves a tight menu of classics, including steak frites, seared duck, and chocolate-covered profiteroles. The adorable back patio is the place to be when the weather is nice, and the front bar works great for solo diners looking to get to know a few locals. Opened for just over three years, Violet’s charm makes it Westwood’s real date night destination.
This beloved espresso shop in Westwood has been an unsung Hollywood hero, hosting segments of everything from Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee with Jerry Seinfeld to Curb Your Enthusiasm with Larry David. The coffee, powered by Seattle’s traditional bold roasted Espresso Vivace, hews to a mid-aughts, Italian-influenced style.
Elysee Bakery & Cafe
Opened for decades in Westwood, this charming French bakery and cafe serves beautiful pastries, light salads, and easy sandwiches for the student and faculty crowd. Elysee works as a decent place for a study break, coffee date, or sweet afternoon snack.
The famed Chez Panisse chef Alice Waters brought on longtime collaborator and chef David Tanis to helm the kitchen at her first foray into Los Angeles. Lulu’s menu reads similar to her Berkeley original, with elemental, seasonal produce served without too much in the way of adornment inside one of Los Angeles’s most underrated art museums, the Hammer.
Tulsi Indian Eatery (Westwood)
Tulsi is a fast-casual Indian spot where most dishes are under $10 and the menu’s worth a thousand words. The dishes represent a range of Indian cuisines across Southern, Northern, and Western India, including arguably the best Gujarati food Los Angeles has to offer. Try the undhiyu, a 10-vegetable medley with sweet potatoes, potatoes, eggplant, yam, coconut, and more. It’s a Gujarati staple that is at once bitter, sweet, salty, and savory, and it’s not easily found in LA.
Operated by one of the members of the family that also runs Jitlada in Hollywood’s Thai Town, Emporium is one of West LA’s most respected Thai restaurants, serving stellar saucy wings, yellow or green curries, and of course, wok-fried noodle dishes like pad see ew and pad Thai.
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Attari Sandwich Shop
While the koobideh and chicken kebab sandwiches are invariably popular at this classic Iranian sandwich shop, the beef tongue sandwich is the hidden gem of the menu, with crunchy lettuce and plump tomato slices surrounded by a plush baguette.
Saffron & Rose Ice Cream
Floral Persian ice creams are perfumed with saffron, rosewater, pistachio, and other traditional flavors at this longtime Westwood dessert shop.
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