Over the last seven years, Suzanne Goin has been nominated six times as an outstanding chef in the national James Beard Awards. She has yet to win — usually the award goes to someone a little flashier, a little more of the moment. But that's what we love about Goin, her restaurants and her food. They are not of the moment, and they don't represent the trends we're all following right this second. Instead, they're timeless, showcasing what is constant and beautiful about Euro-California cooking. Which isn't to say they feel dated in any way — there is perhaps no place in town more vibrant and exciting to eat than A.O.C., where the merriment spills out onto the leafy patio, and groups of happy diners chow down on focaccia with house-made lamb bacon and platters of wood oven–roasted lobster with cornbread pudding. And there's definitely no place more cozy and romantic than Lucques, where the roaring fireplace is upstaged only by the elegant, thoughtful food. There are certainly flashier meals to be had in L.A., ones that might wow in a more in-your-face way. But for consistency, excellence and a true picture of what's outstanding about eating in Los Angeles, Goin's our gal. —Besha Rodell

LA Weekly