Besha Rodell

Credit: Samanta Helou

Best Wine Shop

Was there ever any doubt that Esters would be a boon for Santa Monica? When the team behind Rustic Canyon, Milo & Olive, Huckleberry and Cassia turned their attention to creating a neighborhood wine bar, it would have been foolish to bet against its greatness. Esters is a partnership between......
Credit: Janel G./Yelp

Best Old-School Burger

The owner of Hawkins House of Burgers, Cynthia Hawkins, knows a newbie when she sees one. "Your first time here?" she asks a couple of women, huddled facing the menu on the wall of this tiny burger shack. The women nod, and Hawkins says, "How did you hear about us?......
Credit: B. Rodell

Best Romanian Restaurant

We can now add Romanian food to Highland Park's ever-growing array of international cuisines. Parsnip, a tiny cafe on York Boulevard, is a great value, even in a part of town with a lot of wonderful, inexpensive food. A $9 bowl of chicken paprikash, a mild and creamy stew served......
Credit: Danny Liao

Best Multipurpose Restaurant

Because the Rose Cafe has such a breezy patio, such a leafy, appealing bar area and the sunniest disposition, it sometimes gets mistaken for a pretty face without much substance. It's true that the atmosphere at the Rose is lovely, but its true talent is its utter usefulness in a......
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Best New Restaurant

Felix, the Venice restaurant from pasta maestro Evan Funke, has it all. The space is wonderful in the way that only restaurants built in old houses can be, outfitted in warm brown leather booths and green botanical wallpaper that feels both modern and vintage. The service is lovely. The cocktails......
Credit: Jacqueline K./Yelp

Best Australian Cafe

Australia, you may have heard, is known for its cafe culture; its cities are full of sunny, casual spots that serve great coffee and creative breakfast and avocado toast by the ton. L.A. now has a cafe culture of its own that borrows a lot in spirit and taste from......
Credit: Anne Fishbein

Best Dinner Without a Reservation or a Wait

If you've ever tried to grab a Saturday afternoon meal at Gjusta, Travis Lett's Venice deli and restaurant, you'll know that it's entirely possible to wait an hour in between taking a number and having that number called so you can place an order. After that comes the seat-hovering game,......
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Best Restaurant

Sometimes I take notes on my phone while dining out, in order to remember later how something tasted or how it made me feel. From my last meal at n/naka, I have only one entry. It reads, "Sushi course: This is what fairies eat. On their birthday." In addition to......
Credit: Anne Fishbein

Best New Alta California Restaurant

Mexican chef Diego Hernández is best known for his restaurant Corazón de Tierra in Baja's Valle de Guadalupe, which has racked up admirers and accolades, including a ranking of No. 39 on The World's 50 Best Restaurants of Latin America. Hernández recently made his much-anticipated L.A. restaurant debut with Verlaine,......