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What To Eat In LA: First Timer’s Guide To Los Angeles (2022) 

Last Updated on July 24, 2022 by Lauren Beck

Los Angeles is one of the busiest cities in the world, with some of the most innovative and incredible dining scenes. 

If you reside in Los Angeles, you might have heard relatives and friends request a list of the “top eats” in the city. Well, you’re in luck — consider this the most comprehensive list of everything to eat in LA.

Here’s everything you have to eat in LA if you’re simply visiting. Of course, you can’t call yourself a tried-and-true Angeleno if you haven’t tried any of these.

7 LA Neighborhoods and Suburbs (Places To Eat)

Los Angeles is a wonderful metropolis that houses decades-old restaurants alongside brand new kids on the block. 

One thing’s for sure, though — this list holds the city’s most convenient, nostalgic, and exciting culinary destinations, from downtown LA to Hollywood. 

You aren’t a true-blue Angeleno if you haven’t been to any of these restaurants — and we at Kitsune Restaurant are excited for you to jumpstart your foodie journey.

1. Beverly Hills

Tatel

Located in the heart of Beverly Hills, Tatel is a luxe location serving the finest, most Haute Spanish cuisine. This restaurant is representative of the charming and playful spirit that sets most Spanish restaurants apart from the others. 

Aside from traditional Spanish cuisine that they’ve revamped with an international twist, the place also has live music every day and an exclusive bar that serves both traditional cocktails and trendy creations. 

Nate ‘n Al

Nate ‘n Al has been serving just good food you’d love to share with friends over the past 70 years. The restaurant was founded by (you guessed it!) Nate Rimer and Al Mendelson, who dreamed of bringing classic deli favorites to younger generations. 

They choose only the freshest quality ingredients for their comfort food. Eating here makes us think of small towns and drizzly afternoons. 

Kazan 

Kazan is a Michelin restaurant and the number one upscale ramen restaurant in Beverly Hills. Its head chef is Ryu Isobe, who has over ten years of experience creating and perfecting traditional Japanese noodles. 

Ryu grew up in Tokyo, so he knows what true Japanese ramen should look, feel, and taste like. You also have him to thank for the name “Kazan,” which translates to the word volcano — you can expect explosive, innovative ramen dishes that are a far cry from their humble beginnings. 

Spago 

Spago is the flagship restaurant of the Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group. 

You’ll frequently catch celebrity sightings here (definitely a plus if you’re a fan of Hollywood), but you’ll probably be more interested in the great food this 40-year-old restaurant offers. 

It embraces both the old and new at the same time, thanks to the ever-changing menu that showcases classic favorites and the fleeting hyper-seasonal specials. If you’re a first-timer, you probably should start with the classics. 

Tommy’s

Tommy’s by Chef Vartan Abgaryan mainly serves a California-inspired menu, influenced by a bit of Italian from his roots. 

Most of the restaurant’s patrons laud their artful presentation of the dishes and excellent service, and one of the coolest things about the place is there is also live music in their main dining room, courtesy of local talents. 

2. Chinatown 

Phở 87

Pho 87 is an unpretentious family-owned restaurant offering delicious bowls of pho at just around $10! 

It has some of the most authentic Vietnamese dishes with a small-town feel. This one-stop shop for all your Vietnamese cravings offers large serving sizes. 

Stars like Brad Pitt come here occasionally to satiate their Vietnamese cravings. [1] 

Jade Wok

If Pho 87 serves authentic Vietnamese, Jade Wok is all about serving delicious Chinese food. Patrons praise their insistence on using the freshest quality ingredients on classic dishes revamped with a modern twist. 

Our personal favorite is the Chow Mein paired with Home Made Ginger Chicken. [2] 

Majordomo

Majordomo serves a plethora of major cuisines, whether that’s Chinese, Japanese, or Korean. You could say that they have a little bit of everything. 

According to their website, their diverse menu is inspired by the various food cultures dominating Los Angeles alongside natural Southern California products. 

Nick’s Cafe

Nick’s Cafe offers the all-American classic diner menu to the city locales — it’s a great place to stop by if you’re looking for bare-bones eats. 

From the quintessential omelets to classic burgers and traditional soups and chili, this cafe is a must-visit if you want to experience an all-American dining experience. 

Yang Chow 

With a name like Yang Chow, you know they serve only authentic Chinese cuisine. 

This Chinese restaurant specializes in Mandarin and Szechuan foods, which are all about spices and chilis. 

Their best-selling dish is the Slippery Shrimp: wok-fried shellfish coated in a deliciously sticky-sweet sauce. 

3. Downtown

Damian

The art community highly regarded the Damian Restaurant in Los Angeles’s Arts District as serving the best Mexican cuisine combined with contemporary Californian produce. 

This place has the most scrumptious Truffle Quesadilla that’ll keep you coming back. Aside from their lunch and dinner menu, the place also serves Mexican-inspired desserts and cocktail drinks. [3] 

Camphor

Camphor is an upscale French restaurant led by co-executive chefs Max Boonthanakit and Lijo George. 

This modern bistro is all about celebrating casual and easy eats while still taking your breath away with its gorgeous French flavors and culinary techniques. 

They also have a wide range of curated wines and cocktails to pair with your meats. 

Bestia

Located at the heart of the Arts District, Bestia is all about bringing rustic Italian dishes to Angelenos. 

The place will surely give you a memorable gastronomic experience with Neapolitan-style pizzas, pasta with out-of-this-world flavor combinations, homemade salumi, and the meatiest pork chops. 

Their dessert and cocktail menus are more delicate to balance their big and boisterous entrees. 

Grand Central Market

The Grand Central Market gives you a whole smorgasbord of the best Los Angeles-style eats. 

Established in 1927, this is a whole emporium hosting local food vendors, whether that’s Asian, Italian, Greek, or Japanese. The place also hosts game events, contests and challenges, and movie nights. 

Bavel

When it comes to Middle Eastern cuisine, many people automatically assume that most of it are just falafel and hummus. 

Well, at Bavel, founded by Chefs Ori Menashe and Genevieve Gergis, they’re happy to prove you wrong by serving dishes with highly developed flavors ranging from turmeric to sumac. 

4. Hollywood

Los Angeles: Traffic on Hollywood Boulevard

Horses

Interestingly named Horses, this modern bistro mixes classic French and contemporary California cuisine. 

Walking in here feels just like taking a trip down memory lane when our ancestors from the Wild West would park their horses outside for a beer (the restaurant was previously named Ye Coach and Horses).  

Mother Wolf

Mother Wolf pays homage to the Eternal City cuisine thanks to Chef Evan Funke. This restaurant is renowned for its handmade pizzas, pasta, and a themed menu of shepherds, popes, farmers, and artisans. 

Many liken Chef Funke’s cooking to the rich and soulful mosaic of the ancient, pastoral, and urban culinary heritage of la Cucina Romana. 

Providence

Providence in Hollywood is 17 years strong in the business — but it continues to “shell out” every night (pun intended — get it?). 

The place has the best seafood in all of Hollywood, sourced from regional coasts and international waters. Their seafood menu is a rotating eight course and so beautifully prepared that you could liken them to works of art. 

El Compadre

Judging by the name itself, El Compadre specializes in serving the finest foods from Mexico. They bank on serving family recipes passed down through generations, incorporating fresh, innovative flavors. 

El Compadre is also home to the legendary Flaming Margarita, served in their full-bar area, alongside various beers and creative cocktails. 

Musso & Frank Grill

Musso and Frank Grill has a reputation for serving only Hollywood elites, with their constant patrons the likes of Charlie Chaplin and Marilyn Monroe. 

This place serves fine steaks and other filling dishes, courtesy of French Chef Jean Rue, whom you must thank for most of their menu items today. 

5. LAX

The Kitchen

Of course, the LA restaurant scene doesn’t just cater to the bourgeois and fine dining. 

The Kitchen at LAX is a homey, relaxed space that looks like your run-of-the-mill family-owned restaurant. 

They carry comfort foods like BLT, Fried Chicken, and Grilled cheeseburgers, and while their core menu doesn’t change much, they also like experimenting with new trends (which is why you’ll see seasonal dishes once in a while!). 

Breeze

Breeze is one of the most highly-rated restaurants near LAX and highly popular among the vegan and vegetarian community. 

This hotel restaurant has a fun design-your-own menu, which gives you the liberty to choose which protein, veggies, and sides you want in your order. 

Their seafood, wine selection, and cocktails are amazing, too. 

Slapfish

Slapfish is a modern seafood shack serving a contemporary twist on fresh beachside fare. 

They offer everything seafood-related — chowder fries, lobster rolls, and fish and chips! Service is also quick, so you better bring your seafood-loving friend if you decide to visit this place! 

Cole’s

You have Cole’s to thank for the legendary French Dip sandwich that dates back to 1908 — and you can’t consider yourself an Angeleno if you haven’t had one. 

It is also LA’s oldest bar and has cemented itself as a museum in LA’s historic downtown. 

Earthbar

If you’re a health nut, you’ll definitely enjoy a trip to Earthbar at DTLA. 

The place serves some of the best acai bowls and fruit smoothies to kickstart your energy. Other menu items include gluten-free toast and paleo waffles if you want something more filling. 

6. Longbeach

Jongewaard’s Bake N Broil

The Bake N Broil restaurant in Longbeach serves the most comforting comfort food that’ll take you back to your childhood. They look and taste like something your mother would whip up in the kitchen to cheer you up after you broke your kite while out playing. 

This place serves the quintessential pot roast, chicken fried steak, and hot pot pie. 

Edna’s Filipino Cuisine

If you’re driving to Longbeach, you had better stop by Edna’s Filipino Cuisine. This restaurant serves authentic Filipino dishes that are both comforting and warm. 

Our favorite is the Sinigang, with its lip-smackingly sour broth that is easily one of the most flavorful soups we’ve had. [4] 

Robert Earl’s BBQ

Judging by the name itself, you know that the barbecue in Robert Earl’s BBQ is something you should try out. Their smokey sweet brisket has won multiple awards in various food competitions, so you should sample this one first. 

The place also serves homemade sides, like macaroni and cheese and coleslaw, to make for a truly unforgettable meal you’ll surely return to. 

La Esperanza Restaurant

The La Esperanza Restaurant in Longbeach is a family-owned space that serves authentic Guatemalan and Salvadorian food. 

In case you don’t know what those cuisines carry, think pupusas, a flatbread (similar to that of a tortilla) filled to the brim with toppings of your choice, and a carne asada plate made of beef, chicken, black beans, Mexican rice, tomatoes, and avocados, with tortillas on the side. 

Little Coyote

Little Coyote might look like your average pizza place, but it’s anything but. 

The place boasts of making the best New York-style pizza the old-school way (think: hand-rolled pizza crust and large brick ovens). They make authentic, feel-good food, and they have a great wine selection to boot. 

7. West Hollywood

Ardor

Ardor is the brainchild of world-renowned Chef John Fraser, winner of Star Chef’s New York Rising Star Award in 2008. 

This place’s menu consists mostly of vegetable-forward California cuisine mixed with local flavors and ingredients. 

It boasts of using simple preparations, focusing on the food’s essence instead for a contemporary culinary journey unlike any other. 

Jones Hollywood

The Jones Hollywood Cafe is one of the best go-tos if you’re looking for cheap eats without sacrificing quality. 

This place is a hip hangout spot serving all-American plates and Italian pasta, with live music a few times a week. 

The wine selection is pretty limited, but we have to say we liked their cocktail menu, and the serving sizes are massive. 

Night + Market

The Night + Market at West Hollywood is what every child envisions their room to look like: cool posters along the walls, neon signages, and bright walls. 

This results from the head chef taking over his parents’ fancy Thai restaurant and making it more his personality. The place serves some of the best crispy rice salads and pad thais in the area. 

Pizzana

Pizzana is the best place to go to if you want to experience the new “pizza revolution.” The head chef is Daniele Uditi, who has quickly become as famous as the food he’s creating. 

His cacio e pepe pie is quirkily named yet completely remarkable, and who can forget the Tricolore salads and wood-fired meatballs you have to get with each pizza order? 

Dan Tana’s

Dan Tana’s has been serving the best Italian food for the past 50 years. 

They attribute their healthy business to treating customers like family, no matter what social standing they belong to and whether or not it’s their first or 50th time dining. 

Our favorites include the Fettuccine and Linguine, and, of course, you’ve got to leave room for Tiramisu. 

FAQs 

What food is Los Angeles famous for?

Los Angeles is famous for the French dip sandwich — it’s said that the recipe originated in the city. 

LA is also famous for Mexican food like tamales, tortillas, enchiladas, and tostadas, and Central American food, like pupusas, tacos, and ceviche. 

What area of LA has the best food?

We have to say that West Hollywood has the best eats, with Chinatown at a close second. We love dining at unique cuisines, so we are biased on these two areas.

What dessert is Los Angeles known for?

Los Angeles serves some of the fluffiest donuts and the most chocolatey hot fudge sundaes. If you’re in the area, you should definitely check out the city’s ice cream parlors and dessert salons. 

Final Thoughts

Los Angeles might be more famous for its celebrity sightings, but they’ve also got some of the best eats. 

A visit around the city could satisfy your cravings for various cuisines, whether that’s French, Italian, Chinese, Filipino, or Thai. 

What do you think? Did we include your favorite restaurant in the list? Let us know your thoughts by sounding off below. 

References: 

  1.  https://www.britannica.com/place/Vietnam/Health-and-welfare#ref52715
  2.  https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/16289/chow-mein-noodle-casserole/
  3.  https://www.food.com/recipe/truffled-mushroom-quesadilla-464195
  4.  https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/204958/pork-sinigang/
Lauren Beck

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