DIN­ING

Los Angeles Confidential - - Scene -

ALI­MENTO

A soul­ful Ital­ian restau­rant with small and large plates, Ali­mento is also known for its hand­crafted pas­tas and ex­ten­sive wine list. 1710 Sil­ver Lake Blvd., LA, 323-928-2888; al­i­men­tola.com

ANIMAL

Helmed by the fore­run­ners of con­tem­po­rary/min­i­mal­ist LA din­ing, Jon Shook and Vinny Do­tolo, Animal spe­cial­izes in snout-to-tail tapas and ex­otic meats, of­fal, and char­cu­terie in a trendy, sparsely dec­o­rated room. Don’t for­get to check out the fa­mous chicken liver toast, sig­na­ture roasted mar­row­bone, and quirky desserts. 435 N. Fair­fax Ave., LA, 323-7829225; an­i­mal­restau­rant.com

BESTIA

Head down­town to Bestia, a mul­ti­re­gional Ital­ian din­ing des­ti­na­tion helmed by the hus­band-and-wife team of chef Ori Me­nashe and pas­try chef Genevieve Ger­gis. 2121 E. Sev­enth Pl., LA, 213-514-5724; bes­tiala.com

BOUCHON Nes­tled in the heart of Bev­erly Hills, Bouchon of­fers au­then­tic bistro fare and ex­cep­tional ser­vice in a vi­brant yet in­ti­mate set­ting that seems lifted straight out of Paris. Ex­pect French classics, a com­mand­ing raw bar, and a mas­ter­ful (and lo­cal) wine list that would be at home in chef Thomas Keller’s three-Miche­lin-star French Laun­dry. 235 N. Canon Dr., Bev­erly Hills, 310-271-9910; thomaskeller.com

CAFÉ GRAT­I­TUDE

VE­GAN

This ve­gan fa­vorite de­buted its fourth LA lo­ca­tion this spring. With in­ven­tive plant-based dishes and the fa­mous “grat­i­tude mantra” ser­vice from the wait­staff, CG is an only-in-LA ex­pe­ri­ence for the stom­ach—and spirit.

IN­SIDER TIP: Get “boun­ti­ful” with the yummy black­ened tem­peh bolog­nese. 419 N. Canon Dr., Bev­erly Hills, 424-389-1850; 639 N. Larch­mont Blvd., LA, 323-580-6383; 300 S. Santa Fe Ave., LA, 213-929-5580; 512 Rose Ave., Venice, 424-231-8000; cafe­grat­i­tude.com

CECCONI’S

In­ter­na­tion­ally renowned, celeb-fave Cecconi’s serves North­ern Ital­ian dishes in a mod­ern-chic set­ting on the buzzy corner of Mel­rose Av­enue and Robert­son Boule­vard. 8764 Mel­rose Ave., West Hol­ly­wood, 310-432-2000; cec­coniswest­hol­ly­wood.com

CHURCH & STATE

An Arts District gem with in­dus­trial digs and ex­pres­sive cock­tails, Church & State is known for its tra­di­tional French bistro fare, in­clud­ing steak frites, tarte flam­bée, and prof­iteroles with choco­late sauce. Don’t miss the es­car­got—baked in but­ter, herbs, and plenty of gar­lic, and nes­tled in in­di­vid­ual pas­try-topped pots. It’s re­fined bistro cook­ing at its best.

IN­SIDER TIP: The only place to get great cas­soulet in LA! 1850 In­dus­trial St., LA, 213-405-1434; chur­c­hand state­bistro.com

CRAIG’S

Known for its honey-truffle chicken, this ele­gant West Hol­ly­wood eatery is also a hot spot for celebrity sight­ings. 8826 Mel­rose Ave., West Hol­ly­wood, 310-276-1900; craigs.la

CROSS­ROADS KITCHEN

VE­GAN

Celebrity chef Tal Ron­nen serves up un­con­ven­tional Mediter­ranean ve­gan cui­sine in an up­scale set­ting. 8284 Mel­rose Ave., LA, 323-7829245; cross­road­skitchen.com

CUT

True to its name, this Wolf­gang Puck steak house, lo­cated within The Bev­erly Wil­shire, is a cut above. 9500 Wil­shire Blvd., Bev­erly Hills, 310-276-8500; wolf­gang­puck.com

DAN TANA’S

A Hol­ly­wood land­mark, Dan Tana’s serves mega-sized Ital­ian classics amid check­ered table­cloths and red leather booths. 19071 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hol­ly­wood, 310-2759444; dan­tanas­restau­rant.com

FAITH & FLOWER

Crys­tal chan­de­liers, a teem­ing list of ab­sinthes, and tufted nooks set the ro­man­tic, throw­back tone at this vin­tage-in­spired Down­town restau­rant, where chef Michael Hung serves up rus­tic ce­viches, sal­ads, and pas­tas, as well as ad­ven­tur­ous shared plates and fiery (lit­er­ally…) craft cock­tails. 705 W. Ninth St., LA, 213-239-0642; faithand­flow­erla.com

GJELINA

A Venice sta­ple since its 2008 open­ing, this fa­vorite West­side brunch spot fo­cuses on veg­gieloaded farm-to-ta­ble plates. 1429 Ab­bot Kin­ney Blvd., Venice, 310-4501429; gjelina.com

GRA­CIAS MADRE VE­GAN

In­spired by Mex­ico, chef Chan­dra Gil­bert of­fers cus­tomers haute ve­gan cui­sine made with in­gre­di­ents sourced from lo­cal or­ganic farms. 8905 Mel­rose Ave., West Hol­ly­wood, 323978-2170; gra­ci­as­madreweho.com

IL PASTAIO

Snag a ta­ble out­side of Il Pastaio, part of the Drago fam­ily of top-notch Ital­ian restau­rants, for primo peo­ple watch­ing in the heart of Bev­erly Hills. 400 N. Canon Dr., Bev­erly Hills, 310-205-5444; gi­a­comin­odrago.com

THE IVY RESTAU­RANT

With its ivy-cov­ered ter­race and flower-filled din­ing room, plus an ex­ten­sive menu that nods to nu­mer­ous cuisines, The Ivy is the per­fect LA date-night spot. 113 N. Robert­son Blvd., LA, 310-274-8303; theivyrestau­rants.com

JON & VINNY’S

A ca­sual fa­vorite, Jon & Vinny’s treats vis­i­tors to pas­tas and hand-tossed piz­zas in an LA-cool en­vi­ron­ment.

IN­SIDER TIP: Or­der the can’t-miss

meatballs. 412 N. Fair­fax Ave., LA, 323-334-3369; jo­nand­vin­nys.com

LUC­QUES

From award-win­ning chef Suzanne Goin and no­table som­me­lier Caro­line Styne, Luc­ques is the stop for el­e­vated Cal­i­for­nia cui­sine. 8474 Mel­rose Ave., West Hol­ly­wood, 323-655-6277; luc­ques.com

MASTRO’S

Lo­cated in the heart of Bev­erly Hills, celeb-fa­vorite Mastro’s is known for clas­sic steaks, mar­ti­nis, and live mu­sic

(danc­ing en­cour­aged!). 246 N. Canon Dr., Bev­erly Hills, 310-888-8782; mas­tros­restau­rants.com

NEW

MATTHEW KEN­NEY NM VE­GAN

The lat­est ad­di­tion to plant-based pi­o­neer Matthew Ken­ney’s grow­ing food em­pire, this café of­fers vi­brant, fresh fare in a ca­sual at­mos­phere on the third floor of lux­u­ri­ous Neiman Mar­cus, where Ken­ney turns avo­cado toast and heir­loom tomato lasagna into care­fully crafted ve­gan plates.

IN­SIDER TIP: The cook­ies with warm al­mond milk make a per­fect break-from-shop­ping treat. 9700 Wil­shire Blvd.,

Bev­erly Hills, 310-550-5900; matthewken­n­ey­cui­sine.com

MAUDE

Star chef Cur­tis Stone cu­rates a monthly tast­ing menu, us­ing sea­sonal in­gre­di­ents, at the in­ti­mate Maude in the heart of Bev­erly Hills. 212 S. Bev­erly Dr., Bev­erly Hills, 310-859-3418; maud­er­estau­rant.com

NIGHT + MAR­KET

A bustling resto with kitschy digs and spicy fare, Night + Mar­ket is known for its tra­di­tional Thai street foods and co­conut-milk ice cream sand­wiches.

IN­SIDER TIP: Com­ple­ment your meal with chef Kris Yen­bam­roon’s sig­na­ture sticky rice and as­sem­ble a mouth­ful by hand. 9043 Sun­set Blvd., West Hol­ly­wood, 310-275-9724; night­mar­ket­song.com

NOBU MAL­IBU

The view from Nobu Mal­ibu is al­most as ac­claimed as the water­front restau­rant’s sky-high-qual­ity sushi. 22706 Pa­cific Coast Hwy., Mal­ibu, 310-317-9140; nobu­restau­rants.com

OFFICINE BRERA

With its hand­some min­gling of brick, leather, and wood, this Arts District trat­to­ria’s soar­ing, win­dow-lined din­ing room plays host to an ex­ten­sive Ital­ian menu fea­tur­ing spe­cialty in­gre­di­ents—think lardo, veni­son, Gor­gonzola, squid ink, white truf­fles, and prime beef. 1331 E. Sixth St., LA, 213-553-8006; of­ficine­br­era.com

THE POLO LOUNGE

This LA in­sti­tu­tion, nes­tled in­side the his­toric Bev­erly Hills Ho­tel, is an A-list hot spot fa­mous for its McCarthy salad, choco­late souf­flés, and Sun­day jazz brunch. 9641 Sun­set Blvd., Bev­erly Hills, 310-887-2777; dorch­ester­col­lec­tion.com

PROV­I­DENCE

Chef Michael Ci­marusti’s ded­i­ca­tion to sus­tain­abil­ity and fresh in­gre­di­ents makes uber-fancy Prov­i­dence a top LA des­ti­na­tion for seafood lovers. 5955 Mel­rose Ave., LA, 323-4604170; prov­i­dencela.com

REDBIRD

A na­tive An­ge­leno, chef Neal Fraser uses LA’s mul­ti­cul­tur­al­ism as muse for Redbird’s eclec­tic Amer­i­can cui­sine. 114 E. Sec­ond St., LA, 213-788-1191; redbird.la

RÉPUBLIQUE

Com­mu­nal ta­bles, mod­ern French fare, plus a bak­ery and cock­tail bar make République a truly unique bistro. 624 S. La Brea Ave., LA, 310-362-6115; re­publiquela.com

SPAGO BEV­ERLY HILLS

Head to celebrity chef Wolf­gang Puck’s flag­ship restau­rant for high­style farm-to-ta­ble din­ing, in­clud­ing his star dish: Aus­trian Wiener schnitzel. 176 N. Canon Dr., Bev­erly Hills, 310-385-0880; wolf­gang­puck.com

SPICE AF­FAIR

With a posh din­ing room and amal­ga­mated old and new In­dian cui­sine, Spice Af­fair is known for its mar­ket-fresh pro­duce and lav­ish lounge. Start with the tan­doorsmoked pineap­ple quenchers (lamb-stuffed turnovers) and con­tinue with clas­sic cur­ries and birya­nis.

IN­SIDER TIP: Don’t miss week­end brunch, fea­tur­ing bot­tom­less Cham­pagne! 50 N. La Cienega Blvd., Bev­erly Hills, 310-683-4286; spice-af­fair.com

TAST­ING KITCHEN

This hip, up­scale eatery has quickly be­come a Venice sta­ple thanks to its mar­ket-fresh menu of large and small plates, sea­sonal cock­tails, and gen­er­ous ros­ter of per­fectly cooked pas­tas. Its bustling week­end brunch, fea­tur­ing lemon-curd pre­serves and choco­late-al­mond bo­stock, is not to be missed. 1633 Ab­bot Kin­ney Blvd., LA, 310-392-6644; thetast­ingk­itchen.com

TROIS MEC

Hid­den be­hind a non­de­script façade in a High­land Av­enue strip mall, the oh-so-chic Trois Mec of­fers a con­stantly chang­ing five-course tast­ing menu, and op­er­ates on a spe­cial tick­et­ing sys­tem for its hard-to-get reser­va­tions. 716 High­land Ave., LA, 323-468-8915; tro­is­mec.com

UNION

Helmed by chef Bruce Kalman, Union serves tra­di­tional North­ern Ital­ian fare in an up­scale, 50-seat space. 37 E. Union St., Pasadena, 626-795-5841; union­pasadena.com

The John An­son Ford Am­phithe­atre, which was orig­i­nally con­structed al­most a cen­tury ago, is newly re­stored and draw­ing in An­ge­lenos again for dance, the­ater, film, and fam­ily fare in one of LA’s most his­toric (and pub­licly owned!) venues. 2580 Cahuenga Blvd. E., LA, 323-461-3673; fordthe­atres.org

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