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