Our 99 Essential Restaurants in Los Angeles issue is out this week, and this Sunday we're throwing our biggest food party of the year to celebrate. There will be so many amazing things to eat from more than 50 of the restaurants that appear on the list (you can see everyone who's going to be there here), but here are five highlights you won't want to miss.
The line for Bestia is always one of the longest at the Essentials, just as the wait for a reservation at the restaurant is one of the toughest to score in town. This year Bestia will be serving lobster crudo with squid ink aoili, sourdough bread, citrus, chilies and basil.
4. Cacao Mexicatessen
Ummmm....sea urchin and pork belly tacos? Need we say more?
3. Chi Spacca
Who can you count on to bring the veal tongue to a party? Chi Spacca, that's who. This year the restaurant will be serving a veal tongue crostini with salsa rustica and fresh horseradish at the Essentials.
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2. Burritos La Palma
If you've never experienced the small, tightly wrapped, perfectly crisped burritos from Burritos La Palma, you've missed out on one of L.A.'s most satisfying — and yes, essential — dishes. At the Essentials this year the restaurant will be serving its birria burritos.
1. Love & Salt
New to the 99 this year and making its first appearance at the Essentials is Love & Salt, a restaurant that has made dining in Manhattan Beach so much more fun in recent years. Chef Michael Fiorelli isn't messing around, bringing English peas with burrata, radish, lemon and mint.
Honestly, this is just the tippy tip of the iceberg. Mélisse is bringing scallops with whipped sea urchin! Michael Cimarusti and crew will have an oyster bar working! Szechuan Impression promises something called "impressive sausages." C'mon. You know you want impressive sausages.
If you don't have tickets yet, there may be some available at the door but they'll be more expensive than if you buy ahead online. So get on that! I'll see you there.