Best Of Food & Drink

  • Best Restaurant

    Maude

    It seems almost sacrilegious to name such a newcomer as Best Restaurant in Los Angeles when there are so many long-standing amazing eateries to choose from. And yet, over the last year, no place has walked the line between thrilling creativity and technical brilliance as well as Curtis Stone's Maude...

  • Best New Restaurant

    Terrine

    Chefs have long been playing in the fun space between California cooking and the grand French brasserie, but with Terrine it feels as though Kris Morningstar has finally hit on something solid, something more than playtime. His take on the French classics is stunning: The French onion soup is as...

  • Best Chef

    Ludo Lefebvre

    Here's the thing about Ludovic Lefebvre: On the one hand, he's capable of turning out some of the city's most impressive avant-garde food at Trois Mec, and on the other, he gives us French food so classic at Petit Trois that it's better than the subject material it draws from...

  • Best Service

    Providence

    Here's a confession: The last three times I've been to Providence, my credit card has been declined. Once, the card had expired three days earlier; on another occasion, the waiter swept up my husband's card before he had time to furiously transfer funds on his phone's banking app. A third...

  • Best Sommelier

    Taylor Parsons of République

    When République opened, you could often see Taylor Parsons ducking in and out of the cellar room, tasting and swirling wines, then rushing out to tables to exclaim upon what he had found in the glass. No one was more enthusiastic, more excited to share his love for wine than...

  • Best Wine List

    Mélisse

    There’s a lot about Mélisse that’s a bit intimidating. The room is quiet and exceedingly luxurious. The service is formal. The menu is littered with ingredients such as truffles and caviar, with prices to match. But one thing about the place that isn’t nearly as daunting as you might imagine...

  • Best Wine Bar

    Augustine

    Sherman Oaks' newly opened Augustine Wine Bar is an incredible evolution in the world of wine bars, an oddity and a gamble. Here's the premise: Owners Dustin Lancaster and Matthew Kaner (who also are responsible for Bar Covell, the wine bar in Los Feliz), along with Dave Gibbs (the singer-songwriter...

  • Best Bread Course

    Maré

    Set sail for Melrose, where chef Eric Greenspan has created a garden party–like seafood oasis, Maré, behind Greenspan's Grilled Cheese (you actually have to walk through the grilled cheese shop and into its office to find Maré's unmarked door). The chef isn't known for restraint, and he goes big with...

  • Best Restaurant Trend

    The Return of the Old-School Steak House

    Who was it that said fine dining was dead? Were we supposed to believe no one wanted to spend tons of money on dinner anymore? If that's the case, then what's up with the return of the old-school steak house? A great steak house is a reason to get dressed...

  • Best Al Fresco Dining

    Redbird

    Vibiana, the now-deconsecrated cathedral of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles and one of the city's oldest buildings, has long been used as an events space. Now chef Neal Fraser, his wife and business partner, Amy Knoll Fraser, and restaurateur Bill Chait have built Redbird in what was the...

  • Best Vegetarian Tasting Menu

    Le Comptoir

    The purest expression of chef Gary Menes' vision comes early in a meal at Le Comptoir, the new, permanent iteration of what had been his transient pop-up restaurant. Following a small amuse, perhaps a blistered shishito pepper over a tablespoon or so of crispy rice, and after a silky soup...

  • Best Vegan Options

    Kitchen Mouse

    Despite L.A.'s healthy leanings, most restaurants still miss the mark when it comes to meat-free menu options. Kitchen Mouse forgoes not only the meat but also gluten and refined sugar — and what it lacks in fat and carbs, it makes up for in creativity and flavor. Inside the adorable,...

  • Best Mexican Vegetarian Restaurant

    Leonor's Restaurant

    It's never been easy for vegetarians and especially vegans to find good Mexican food. The most authentic Mexican restaurants tend to be meat-heavy and sometimes still use lard, and even vegetarian-friendly establishments prefer to slather everything with a lot of cheese and other dairy products. While a growing number of...

  • Best Oaxacan

    Rocio's Mexican Kitchen

    Rocio's Mexican Kitchen, in Bell Gardens, may not have the huge menu and breadth of options of more established and well-known Oaxacan places, but owner and chef Rocio Camacho brings something equally as desirable to this tiny little restaurant. Her moles are paragons of the form, the dark mole Oaxaqueño...

  • Best Cochinita Pibil

    El Faisan y El Venado

    We are blessed to have a few options in town for fantastic cochinita pibil. Longtime favorite Chichén Itzá is hard to argue with, and newcomer Rocio's Mexican Kitchen does a pretty sweet version as well. But the one we've been craving most recently is the giant plate of juicy shredded...

  • Best Cuban Fried Rice

    El Cochinito

    A 19th-century Cuban labor shortage introduced Chinese workers to the island, and the Cubans and Chinese soon discovered a mutual love for the combination of rice and delicious pig parts. Soon thereafter, a unique take on fried rice was born. Flash forward to present-day L.A. — long after the era...

  • Best Place for a Cuban Night Out

    El Floridita

    On Monday, Friday and Saturday nights, El Floridita erupts into hot, sweaty, drunken chaos. That's when the dimly lit Cuban restaurant named for a Havana Hemingway hangout hosts a salsa band from 9:30 p.m. to 1 a.m., preceded by an 8 p.m. salsa lesson you can take while waiting for...

  • Best Empanadas on the Go

    Rincon Chileno

    Angelenos have been flocking to Hel-Mel for years for its quirky shops, counterculture ethos and community-oriented vibe. But one of the best destinations at the gritty-hip East Hollywood intersection of Heliotrope and Melrose is easily overlooked. Rincon Chileno is one of the rare places where vegetarians and meat lovers can...

  • Best North African Tacos

    Revolutionario

    At first, the tacos at Revolutionario near USC look as if they could be just another one of L.A.'s modernist Mexican offerings: The barbacoa is cooked with tomatillos, the chicken is flecked with cilantro and the vegetables are coated in an aromatic red spice. But then you take a bite...

  • Best Street Quesadillas

    Alejandra's Quesadillas

    Alejandra's Quesadillas are colorful delicacies that stand out like bright purple flowers among the competition of hot dogs and tacos. She takes hunks of purple masa and pounds them into tortillas on her flat-top grill, makes sure it's sizzling just right, then piles it with one of six delicious fillings:...

  • Best Food Truck Experience

    Dollar Hits Truck

    Three Filipino aunties serve offal and meat on sticks, pre-marinated so you can cook it yourself on the makeshift grills that are set up right next to the truck. It's a festive affair, with bright lights and popping Top 40 blasting out of the speakers. True to its name, Dollar...

  • Best Party Dinner

    Tokyo Delve's

    Have you aged out of Chuck E. Cheese's? If so, join the 21-and-over crowd at their own party restaurant: the raucous, drunken Tokyo Delve's, where sake bombs drop like skee balls and your prizes include embarrassing photos and a hangover. Tokyo Delve's is giddily cornball. No matter how cool your...

  • Best Themed Restaurant

    Jurassic Restaurant

    Jurassic Restaurant is a sight to behold for its sheer oddity: Walls are plastered (rather convincingly) to resemble prehistoric caves, green rainforest flora drapes from the ceiling and, most noticeably, a truck-sized T-rex skeleton rises from the center of the room. Should someone be paying Universal Studios royalties? The place...

  • Best Floating Restaurant

    Chowder Barge

    Want to make your next meal an adventure? The Chowder Barge, Los Angeles' only floating restaurant, is located over some train tracks, down a flight of stairs and alongside the Wilmington docks. You'd best figure out well in advance how to get here, because this gem of a spot is...

  • Best Place to Eat Near the Airport

    Coni'Seafood

    If you're like us, you somehow inexplicably spend half your life driving to and from LAX. Perhaps you're a world traveler, or you have so many visiting friends that you're just an unofficial shuttle service. But either way, you're going to need somewhere to stop for food on the way...

  • Best Cheap Prix Fixe Menu

    Little Dom's

    In a town where high-value Sunday night prix fixe specials abound, it's hard to stand out. But nothing beats the bargain at Los Feliz's favorite neighborhood haunt, Little Dom's, where Monday is the new Sunday. Chef-owner Brandon Boudet uses seasonal produce from the Hollywood Farmers Market to create a three-course...

  • Best Georgian Food

    Old Village

    As a microcosm of Southeastern Europe, Glendale is perhaps unsurprisingly home to a restaurant specializing in the cuisine of Georgia. The tiny Caucasus country is squeezed between Russia and the Middle East, and its food reflects its location. The staple is the khinkali, Georgian dumplings formed from much thicker skin...

  • Best Persian Cookout

    Tehran Market

    Soheil Salimit's Tehran Market is a delight of smells and offerings. There are fresh vegetables Salimit picks up at 2 a.m. every morning. There are four kinds of pistachios and four kinds of olives. There are 20-pound sacks of basmati rice and, for dessert, a saffron ice cream sandwich. But...

  • Best Mediterranean

    Hy Mart Sandwiches

    "When we see customers happy, we get happy," Hy Mart owners George and Mariam Eshoei chant in unison. As if on cue, lunch seekers file into the Mediterranean-fusion sandwich shop, beaming as they exchange pleasantries with the middle-aged married couple who seem to know them all by name. Hy Mart...

  • Best Falafel

    Dune

    This year, L.A. has been the beneficiary of a falafel explosion of sorts, and it shows no sign of slowing. Bestia's Ori Menashe has a falafel project in the works, and ex–Brooklyn chefs Sara Kramer and Sarah Hymanson have won hearts and mouths at Grand Central Market with their falafel...

  • Best Greek Yogurt

    Go Greek Yogurteria

    Too much trouble (and currency anxiety) to fly to Greece for a bit of island sun and a generous helping of its world-famous yogurt? Instead, spend your dollars at Go Greek in Beverly Hills. Here, you'll experience the creamy delight whose taste not only elicits images of a Santorini breakfast...

  • Best Southern

    Hatchet Hall

    When you think of Southern food, what do you think of? Grits and fried chicken and pimento cheese? Hatchet Hall offers a far more nuanced take on the cuisine. People say of chef and Georgia native Brian Dunsmoor that he’s now bringing a Southern Californian sensibility to his Southern style,...

  • Best Use of a Churro

    The Churro Borough

    When the Churro Borough opened five months ago, its signature offering, the churro ice cream sandwich, was crowned, by some, as the dessert trend de jour. But 33-year-old, Santa Monica–born Sylvia Yoo, an interior designer who got laid off in the great recession and studied under a French pastry chef,...

  • Best Doughnut

    Donut Man

    You only have one reason to go to Glendora, but it's a good enough reason to warrant both the 30-mile drive (if you're coming from city center) and the untold number of minutes you'll stand in line. For Donut Man doughnuts, it's worth it. If you've heard of the Donut...

  • Best Mac and Cheese

    Swingers

    For a while there, every restaurant's mac and cheese appeared to be minimally concerned with its two main ingredients. Chefs seemed hell-bent on adding gobs of bacon, lobster, truffle oil and whatever other decadent mix-ins they could get their hands on. But what about those of us who simply want...

  • Best Po' Boys

    The Little Jewel of New Orleans

    One of the most mistreated of Louisiana's foods is the po' boy, which in the rest of the country could be any old fried shrimp or oyster sandwich. The bread rarely has the soft/crackle magic of the bread baked in Louisiana specifically for po' boy purposes. The sandwich is rarely...

  • Best Caribbean Food

    Who's Hungry Food Solutions

    Stuart Eubanks is behind this oddly named, innovative Caribbean food stand, which doles out flatbread sandwiches known as Trinidadian doubles (stuffed with the likes of curried chickpeas) and goat curry with sweet plantains. There are vegan options, too. Eubanks is a classically trained chef who's worked for Roy Choi and...

  • Best Brunch

    A.O.C.

    Anyone can cook eggs. But eggs baked in a wood oven with chickpeas, cavolo nero, tomato confit, feta and sumac? That you can only get at A.O.C., and it gives you an idea of the extra care and flavor that goes into Suzanne Goin’s brunch menu at her lovely West...

  • Best Burger

    Petit Trois

    Though the idea of putting the visceral experience of eating a steak dinner between two buns has been tried before, nothing we've had in the past succeeds the way the Big Mec at Petit Trois does. The burger is a mash-up of cultures, taking inspiration from the classic American cheeseburger...

  • Best New Pizzeria

    Jon & Vinny's

    Just when you think you've tried all the different possible permutations of chef-y pizza in town, along come Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo to totally flip your world. The secret to their pizzas at the sleek new Jon & Vinny's lies in the dough — which rests for 48 hours...

  • Best Pies

    Gjusta

    It's probably prudent to give thanks to Nicole Rucker for the insanely delicious pies at Gjusta, the new Venice food hall opened by the Gjelina folks. Rucker was the opening pastry chef at Gjusta, and though she's since left the business, the quality of her pies lives on. Whether you're...

  • Best Lox

    Wexler's Deli

    At Wexler's Deli in Grand Central Market, chef Micah Wexler is smoking all his own fish to great success. He also makes his own pastrami, has bread and bagels baked to his specifications and generally obsesses about every aspect of his small deli operation. But what has us completely smitten...

  • Best Breakfast Burrito

    Cofax

    There comes a point in life at which we must acknowledge the contentious relationship between good and bad breakfast burritos. You might feel nostalgia for the hungover Sundays of youth, when you could wolf down a toddler-sized breakfast burrito with impunity, but it's time to admit it — nostalgia never...

  • Best Lunch

    Wild at Canelé

    Three days a week at Atwater mainstay Canelé, Wild at Canelé presents lunch service as a separate entity, with its own chefs — Ria and Matt Wilson — and personality. If you were to stick to the central dishes on Wild's regular menu, you'd likely end up with a lovely...

  • Best Hangover Soup

    Aro Latin Restaurant

    Menudo isn't the only Mexican hangover remedy. The next time you have a cruda, head for Aro Latin in South Pasadena and ask for salmon-belly soup. It's a surefire cure from Apatzingán, Michoacán, hometown of Grecia Gomez and Teresa Tinoco, the Aro chefs who worked out the recipe. In Apatzingán,...

  • Best Hot Pot

    Mokkoji

    Hot pot is, well, hot in Los Angeles — in part because of how convenient and healthy it is. It's a DIY affair, where patrons boil their own ingredients in a pot tableside. Mokkoji, with locations in Arcadia and Irvine, sets itself apart from the crowd with its high-quality selection...

  • Best Traditional Sichuan

    Chengdu Taste

    Chengdu Taste altered the Chinese food scene in Los Angeles by making Sichuan food hip. Shortly after it opened in 2013, a slew of copycats sprang up around town in an attempt to capitalize on Taste's popularity — as did two additional Chengdu Tastes, in Rosemead (2014) and Rowland Heights...

  • Best Chinese Hole-In-The-Wall

    Ahgoo Kitchen

    With its massive green-onion pancakes and one of the best versions of Taiwanese beef noodle soup in town, Ahgoo Kitchen is easy to adore. Chef Thomas Yeh has been cooking since he was 16 years old, and there's a lot of love that goes into the fare. His menu is...

  • Best Chinese Sausages

    Quang Tran

    You'd think a place that sells nothing but Chinese sausages, closes by 4 p.m. and is cash-only would have rather limited appeal. Yet Saturdays at Quang Tran, in a Rosemead mini-mall, can be a chaotic scene. The crowds don't descend on Quang Tran for variety; the place sells just three...

  • Best Whole Roasted Pig

    Eva's Lechon

    Many folks today would say that we've reached Peak Bacon — that our love of swine has become a cliché. Those are the petty, trend-chasing folks who've never sunk their teeth into the crackly, burnished-amber skin of a Filipino whole roasted pig (aka lechon baboy) from Eva's. Since 1980 —...

  • Best Charcuterie Platter

    Cassia

    Charcuterie is grounded in French and Italian culinary tradition, but Bryant Ng redirects such meaty matters toward Asia. At Cassia, the Santa Monica restaurant he runs with wife Kim Luu-Ng, Josh Loeb and Zoe Nathan, the charcuterie platters ($18 to $36) riff on Singaporean bak kwa, and the results are...

  • Best Butcher

    Belcampo Meat Company

    It's a grandly ambitious experiment that Belcampo has undertaken: to create a meat supply chain wholly controlled by one company. On a farm in far Northern California, animals are born; raised naturally; slaughtered at Belcampo's nearby slaughterhouse; transported to Belcampo's retail stores and restaurants; and sold to you. Launching the...

  • Best Retail Sashimi and Sushi

    Yama Seafood Market

    Using the word "bargain" in conjunction with sushi or sashimi usually isn't a good thing. The concepts generally don't belong together, except when it comes to Yama Seafood Market in San Gabriel. A narrow market dominated by a display case of fish on one side and a wall of Japanese...

  • Best Affordable Sushi

    Sushi Gen

    There are many reasons to stand outside Sushi Gen and wait your turn for a table or a spot at the sushi bar. In a city full of sushi — rarefied sushi, expensive sushi, crappy sushi — Sushi Gen bridges the gap between quality and affordability. And it's a pretty...

  • Best Kid-Friendly Beer Bar

    Golden Road Brewing

    Parenting is hard work, so you moms and dads are entitled to the occasional cold one. But you can't always get a sitter, and in most bars your fellow patrons make you and your rugrats feel about as welcome as Donald Trump at a Los Tigres del Norte concert. Fortunately,...

  • Best Beer-Tasting Spot for Sour Lovers

    Phantom Carriage

    If you keep up with the SoCal beer scene, you've probably heard about sours. They're the region's newest beer trend, yet somehow they're nowhere in sight. That's not for lack of effort. Lots of breweries are making sours, but they take longer than most other beers to age and get...

  • Best Craft-Beer Michelada

    Colonia Publica

    The michelada, the original beer cocktail, is ubiquitous in Mexican restaurants and dive bars across L.A. Though a few shtick-y gastropubs have attempted to swap out the michelada's light Mexican lager for something more small-batch, it wasn't until Colonia Publica opened in Uptown Whittier that the full range of craft-beer...

  • Best New Brewery

    Three Weavers

    Like coffee shops and dive bars, small breweries are sprouting up in just about every neighborhood. Three Weavers, which opened in Inglewood last October, is the most promising of them. Brewmaster Alexandra Nowell has the precision of a surgeon, and her clean, crisp beers — from the flagship Deep Roots...

  • Best Place to Get a Growler Full of Coffee

    Lo/Cal

    We knew it was only a matter of time after cold-brewed coffee started being poured from beer taps that shops would start selling growlers of java. You can now get your coffee growlers at places including Caffe Vita, Alfred and Stumptown. But even though Stumptown, from beer-centric Portland, Oregon, invented...

  • Best Coffee Shop for Working

    Fix Coffee

    Fix Coffee is a godsend: Its coffee, its booze, its menu, its baked goods and the many (many) electrical outlets it provides, along with free Wi-Fi, for us sun-starved writers who set up camp for the entire day while nursing a single cup of yerba maté (More hot water, please?)...

  • Best Mocktails at a Jewish Community Center

    72 Virgins

    72 Virgins is a series of four-week workshops that teach the art of making nonalcoholic cocktails as pretty as they are delicious. Founded by Howard Seth Cohen and Saba Mirza, fellows with Jewish-Muslim partnership NewGround, the workshops aim not only to showcase the art of alcohol-free mixology but also to...

  • Best New Cocktail Bar

    Normandie Club

    Los Angeles, as it was destined to do, has turned the cocktail revolution into a theme park of ridiculous costumes and drinks that cost as much as a good meal. Single-spirit venues compete for celebrity press with gimmicky "speakeasies" and with bars where the staff is downright theatrical about shaking,...

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