Los Angeles Restaurant Standbys
“In Los Angeles, everything is 100% organic, except the people.” Kris Kidd
I’m a foodie and my first choice is to try a new restaurant. There are certain restaurants that I often return to because they are comfortable and consistently delicious. They are always crowded and fun. The list is in no particular order.
Matsuhisa was opened in 1987 by Nobu Matsuhisa. I had been there a few times but I was not much of a fan of raw fish in the eighties. His cooked food was amazing. Many trips to Japan later have really made me appreciate raw fish and his attention to quality and detail. Nobu Matsuhisa was responsible for bringing sushi culture to the forefront in America. The restaurant is always packed and delicious https://matsuhisabeverlyhills.com/
Angelina Osteria feels very authentic. An osteria is a casual eatery similar to a neighborhood tavern where one enjoys rustic Italian food alongside carafes of wine. Chef Gino Angelini understands this. I have never had a meal here that wasn’t cooked to perfection. The sea bass baked in salt is impressive. https://www.angeliniosteria.com/
Charcoal is the newest restaurant from Josiah Citrin, a Westside local best known for his French restaurant Mélisse. It is more casual and near the beach with an open kitchen, craft beer and ambitious cocktails. The best dish might be the charred cabbage with tart yogurt and sumac. The Goldster also loved the vegetable dishes. I have been there a few times and so far it is always spot on. I am a big fan of the peanut butter chocolate cake. https://www.charcoalvenice.com/
Gjelina is on everyone’s favorite restaurant list. No matter what time of day you arrive, it is always packed. People love the pizza but I prefer the small plates and salads. It says on the menu ‘changes & modifications politely declined.” If you are a sauce or dressing on the side person, don’t go. They aren’t kidding.
Tsujita Sushi is the third Tsujita restaurant on Sawtelle Blvd. Ramen fans queue up at the other two noodle bars. I’ve had the omekase dinner a few times and it is interesting and tasty. It is high-end sushi and starts at 120 and up. I prefer the more cost friendly lunch special and often run in and sit at the sushi bar. There are various rice bowls topped with fish. They are artfully presented and contained lovely, fresh and unexpectedly generous pieces of fish. It is my go to lunch place when I am in that area. The Goldster is a fan.
Il Pastaio has become a Beverly Hills landmark. It is always packed. The restaurant has a large menu and pasta is the star which makes sense because the translation is the pasta maker. There are also really delicious and interesting salads, seafood and steak. I consistently have good meals here and would probably eat there more often if it was not always so crowded. http://www.celestinodrago.com/
Republique definitely lives up to the hype. Every dish I had at dinner was some of the best food I have ever tasted in LA. It is one of my favorite places to take out-of-town guests. The food and lighting are very instagram friendly as well. I love it for breakfast and lunch. The salted caramel chocolate cake and the shakshuka are worth the traffic. http://republiquela.com/
Sycamore Kitchen is described as New American cuisine. It is a breakfast and lunch place in the Mid Wilshire area. It is not a brunch place. Breakfast ends at 1130. They have amazing pastries and coffee. The egg tartine is one of my favorite breakfasts and served all day. I like all the salads and sides. The line moves pretty quickly and you don’t have to wait long for a table. http://thesycamorekitchen.com/
Baco Mercat’s food is always fantastic and creative. The restaurant is named after the baco sandwich (on flat bread and served in a bowl ). I like the ‘original” one when I am eating meat. I crave the brussel sprouts (really, they are that good).The owner and chef Josef Centeno has a few restaurants in the old Bank district downtown. They are all amazing. I also love Orsa And Winston. All the foodies in LA will agree with me on this one. (baco sandwich) http://www.bacomercat.com/
Rose Cafe is very new stylish Venice. I love it. It’s a big restaurant, hipster designed with plenty of takeout food and parking. There are interesting healthy breakfast choices eggs with sweet potatoes , avocado and greens, superb pastas at lunch and dinner and elaborate beautiful main courses. It is delicious all day dining and my new neighborhood go to restaurant. http://rosecafevenice.com/