LA is about flash and cash. Movie stars, socialites and head honchos being seen on the scene, photographed wearing the latest whatever. There are plenty of places for star spotting, from The Tower Bar—a post-Oscar favorite—to classics like Cecconi’s and The Ivy.
In the ‘80s, LA was a dining destination thanks to places like Spago and Michael’s, but its star faded as other cities began to shine. Over the past few years, it’s seen a culinary renaissance, boasting everything from gastropubs to food trucks to the Hollywood staples of sushi and macrobiotic-organic-vegan cuisine.
The once-seedy downtown Arts District now sees limos pulling up to places like French bistro Church & State. Melrose Avenue is home to plenty of shopping, just like in “Melrose Place” and “90210,” and great places to eat like Hatfield’s, Osteria Mozza, Ink and The Foundry on Melrose. The Cahuenga corridor in the heart of Hollywood is a hot nighttime spot, where diners at places like The Hotel Café can catch live music in an intimate setting.
No matter where you go, you never know which celebrity you’ll run into while grabbing a bite to eat. Now, where’s my fork and knife?
Ink (West Hollywood)
Michael Voltaggio is about pushing boundaries. Think octopus over buttered-popcorn puree.
Chi Spacca, Pizzeria Mozza or Osteria Mozza (West Hollywood)
Any of these places under the Italian empire of Nancy Silverton, Mario Batali and Joseph Bastianich are excellent bets.
Night + Market (West Hollywood)
Tiny kitchen. Badass Thai street food. Get your pork here.
Animal and Son of a Gun (Mid-City West)
Renegade chefs—Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo—know how to cook. Get your meat on at family-style Animal or get your fill of delicious, inexpensive seafood at Son of a Gun. (Try the shrimp toast. You can thank me later.)
Hinoki & the Bird (West LA) or Comme Ça (West Hollywood)
David Myers emphasizes style and elegance at the Japanese-inspired Hinoki & the Bird. Try beef bourguignon, bone marrow and oxtail jam at Comme Ça.
Aaron Williams is a Food Fanatic for US Foods in LA. He’s a proud dad of three kids who hopes they’ll grow up to be adventuresome diners. Follow the Food Fanatic on Twitter @ChefAaronW
Food Fanatics undergo rigorous culinary, communications and consulting training to help chefs and other foodservice professionals meet business goals.