Los Angeles is one of the best food cities in the United States. It’s home to a diverse culinary pot where it once had a Michelin Guide.
However, Michelin’s tires couldn’t handle the rough Los Angeles city streets. In addition, I don’t think Angelenos even noticed the French food snobs were in town for those few years. Los Angeles has thrive many years before it and after it. I don’t think any real Angelenos cares whether a place has a Michelin star or not.
Los Angeles is a very diverse culinary scene. The culinary scene consists of many different regions of food. It’s a heavily Mexican influence East LA alongside pockets of Asian cuisines in Chinatown, Monterey Park, K-Town, Thai Town, Little Osaka and Little Tokyo. The Central Los Angeles’ soul food runs rapid throughout the area then there’s Little Ethiopia in Mid-Wilshire and Persian Square in Westwood.
It’s a city without any heavy European culinary influences. Of course, that’s with a few exceptions on the list. I wanted to make the list diverse by including all categories and different restaurant classes. Here are my top 10 restaurants in Los Angeles:
- Providence – Providence is another restaurant awarded Michelin Stars. Two to be exact. The seafood based restaurant serves one of the best tasting menus in town. It’s hard not to have Providence on the list with its unforgettable dishes like the Ugly Bunch, A5 Japanese Wagyu, White Truffle Pasta.
- Sushi Zo – The best edomae sushi experience in town. When LA had a Michelin Guide, Sushi Zo was awarded a Michelin star. The restaurant has opened a branch in New York and it has regain its star within the first year. The price point might turn off a lot of people but it’s a lot cheaper than Urasawa.
- Yazawa – Yazawa is the new kid in town. Yazawa is a sister restaurant of Imafuku. Imafuku is the only one Michelin star sukiyaki restaurant in Tokyo. I’ve dined at Imafuku and Yazawa’s technique and flavors are very similar. If not, the same. Yazawa serves an authentic A5 Japanese Wagyu yakiniku experience. It’s easily in my top 5 LA restaurants.
- Bestia – This is probably the hardest reservation to get in the city. It has been that way for years. The hip Italian restaurant serves culinary murals like their Cavatelli alla Norcina, Foie Gras Terrine, Pig Ear’s Salad, and their signature Roasted Bone Marrow.
- Maccheroni Republic – The underrated Italian restaurant. Maccheroni Republic makes their pasta fresh every single day. The perfect technique shows in its unforgettable Cuffie Al Nero Di Sepia (i.e., Squid Ink Pasta with Fish Saffron), the silky Bianchi & Neri with Shrimp, the Agnolotti Di Osso Bucco salsa verde flavors, and tangy tomato based Pappardelle Con Ragu Di Cinghiale.
- Urasawa – The most expensive dinner in Los Angeles. Chef Urasawa is the apprentice of Chef Masa. Chef Masa is the only sushi chef in the United States to hold 3 Michelin Stars and listed on the World’s 50 Best restaurant list. I’m going to tell you a little secret. Urasawa does it better than Masa.
- El Chato Taco Truck – El Chato is the best tacos in Los Angeles. This list would be incomplete if I didn’t include El Chato. The late night taco truck always has a line no matter what time of the night. It’s open late as the crowds line up to view the al pastor cooking in the truck window. The best size tacos along with its robust burritos are absolutely amazing.
- Son of A Gun – The small plates (i.e., tapas) restaurant is one of the great meals to be have in West Los Angeles. The culinary creativity brings robust flavors to the tables as Angelenos scrabble to get a reservation here.
- Santouka – Santouka serves the most comforting bowl of ramen on the West Coast. Everyone raves about Tsujita and I think they’re overrated. Santouka serves the best rich, salty, and oily Spicy Miso Ramen bowl in the United States. I don’t care if they’re a chain.
- Park’s BBQ – I couldn’t leave out Los Angeles’ best Korean BBQ spot. The upscale KBBQ restaurant manages to thrive in a town filled with AYCE KBBQ restaurants. It differentiates itself from the competition by offering high-end American Wagyu beef.
There are so many restaurants in Los Angeles to choose for my list. Unfortunately, I had to narrow it down to 10. It wasn’t hard to do yet it was hard to do. There are a lot of restaurants that aren’t on the list like Maude, Trois Mec, Shunji, Asanebo, Spago, Melisse, CUT, or n/naka. I could go on for days regarding the missing restaurant but I wanted to make the list short and simple. Let me know in the comment section if I missed any restaurants. Safe travels.