It's the holiday season! Which means it's also the season of consumerism. It's likely that you'll find yourself at a mall sometime this month.
But with all the crowds and the potential for fights over Xboxes, you can't let yourself get hangry. So, here are the best restaurants in Los Angeles malls — make a beeline for them if you start to feel peckish while shopping. These spots also all have full bars, so if you need to take the edge off, here's where to do it. (But take Lyft if you do get sloshed!)
Americana at Brand
Tsujita is considered by many to be the best ramen in the city. It's a hotly debated issue, of course, but the many might be the correct in this case. Try the tsukemen: noodles that you dip in the broth to taste.
Westfield Santa Anita
You might opt for Hai Di Lao, the hot pot specialist that offers an impressive variety of soup ingredients to be cooked at the table in the built-in pots. The restaurant serves wine, as well as luzhou laojiao, a Chinese whiskey that does not necessarily go down easy, but you'll sure feel relaxed after a snifter. Or you might go for something much more casual and get a poultry feast at Side Chick. Either way, you'll want to pick up some Japanese cheesecakes at Uncle Tetsu afterward.
Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill specializes in two somewhat incongruous items: sushi and fried chicken. It happens to do both of them really well! Since L.A. is in the middle of a fried chicken mania, that side of the menu here gets more attention, but the fish offerings really aren't shabby, either. And both go well with an icy cocktail, as it happens. Of course, Dominique Ansel just moved in, so you might want to head to his bakery for dessert.
Westfield Century City
The Westfield mall chain clearly is working on increasing the quality of its food offerings — in fact, the comestibles seem to be the focus of all new construction. Eataly opened only a few weeks before the holidays, so it's going to be a madhouse. The Italian emporium has something for everybody and you can buy some groceries, too.
Del Amo Fashion Center
Din Tai Fung's expansion into malls has been a boon to American culture: Anytime dumplings become more mainstream, society improves. That's been shown throughout the ages. The purveyor of xiao long bao is the best option at Del Amo, but you don't need us to tell you that.
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Sherman Oaks Galleria
The Galleria has a P.F. Chang's. Don't act as if you're too good for some lettuce cups. And really, if you're going to be in the most iconic mall in the Valley, the spiritual home of mall culture, you might as well lean all the way in and dine at this most mall-friendly of full-service chain restaurants. The food and drinks are quite sweet — so it's like getting a bonus sugar buzz, too!
A restaurant that has a kind of liquor in its name is telling you you're welcome to party there. XOC Tequila Grill has an Americanized pan-Mexican menu, which means it's not the most interesting Mexican food in L.A.. But a platter of nachos and a blended margarita sounds pretty good after a day of shopping.