A Culinary Tour of Los Angeles: Top 40 Must-Visit Restaurants in 2024

Discover LA’s Best Eateries

Los Angeles is a paradise for food lovers. You have endless choices, from trendy new spots to time-honored classics. Let’s dive into some of the must-visit restaurants in LA that should be on your radar this year.

Experience Exquisite Japanese Cuisine

  • n/naka, Palms – Chef Niki Nakayama’s two Michelin-starred n/naka specializes in kaiseki, a traditional Japanese multi-course meal. Each dish is a celebration of seasonal flavors and exquisite presentation, making it a must-visit for lovers of fine dining.
  • Hayato, Downtown Arts District – At Hayato, Chef Brandon Go provides a refined kaiseki experience in an intimate setting. Focusing on traditional Japanese techniques and fresh ingredients, this restaurant is a hidden gem in the heart of LA.
  • Sushi Sonagi, South Bay – This standout omakase spot in South Bay marries traditional sushi techniques with unique touches. It’s a favorite for those seeking a top-tier sushi experience.
  • Sushi Kaneyoshi, Little Tokyo – A hidden gem in Little Tokyo, Sushi Kaneyoshi is celebrated for its luxurious and intimate omakase experience, focusing on seasonal seafood and impeccable craftsmanship.
  • Sushi Gen, Little Tokyo – Since 1980, Sushi Gen has been a go-to for high-quality, affordable sushi and sashimi, particularly popular for its lunchtime sashimi special.

Innovative Fusion Flavors

  • Kato, Downtown Arts District – Blending Taiwanese and Californian influences, Kato offers an innovative tasting menu by Chef Jon Yao. This spot explores heritage through a modern culinary lens, featuring bold and creative dishes.
  • Bavel, Downtown Arts District – Chefs Ori Menashe and Genevieve Gergis deliver vibrant Middle Eastern flavors at Bavel. Enjoy fire-roasted meats, handmade couscous, and more in a lively, beautifully designed space.
  • Damian, Downtown Arts District – Chef Enrique Olvera brings his renowned approach to Mexican cuisine at Damian. The restaurant features high-end dishes that merge traditional Mexican flavors with local ingredients in a chic, contemporary setting.
  • Camphor, Downtown Arts District – This French-Asian fusion restaurant excels in creating delicate dishes with bold flavors, providing a modern dining experience that blends culinary traditions beautifully.
  • Yangban, Downtown Arts District – This Korean-American restaurant creatively fuses traditional Korean flavors with modern culinary techniques, offering a unique and eclectic menu.

Seafood and Sustainability

  • Providence, Hollywood – Known for its dedication to sustainability and quality, Providence offers an exquisite seafood-centric fine dining experience. The menu highlights the best of California’s coastal ingredients, making every meal a memorable one.
  • Holbox, South LA – Part of the Mercado La Paloma, Holbox by Chef Gilberto Cetina Jr. focuses on Yucatecan seafood. Here, you can savor fresh, Mexican coastal flavors with dishes like ceviche and fish tacos.
  • Mariscos Jalisco, Boyle Heights – A legendary food truck known for its shrimp tacos dorado and vibrant seafood dishes, reflecting the flavors of Jalisco, Mexico.
  • Broad Street Oyster Company, Malibu – A modern seafood shack known for its exceptional lobster rolls and laid-back, beachy vibe, perfect for casual yet upscale dining.
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A Journey Through French and Italian Cuisine

  • République, La Brea – Set in a historic building, République offers a dynamic menu that ranges from Parisian-inspired pastries in the morning to sophisticated bistro fare by night. This spot is a must-visit for those who appreciate French cuisine.
  • Petit Trois, Hollywood – Chef Ludo Lefebvre’s bistro serves classic French cuisine with a modern twist, emphasizing high-quality ingredients and masterful cooking in a lively setting.
  • Bestia, Downtown Arts District – A powerhouse in LA’s Italian dining scene, Bestia delivers a rustic yet refined menu filled with inventive pastas, wood-fired pizzas, and an impressive wine list in an industrial-chic space.
  • Funke, Beverly Hills – Located in the heart of Beverly Hills, Funke specializes in handcrafted pastas and Italian dishes, reflecting Chef Evan Funke’s passion for authentic Italian cuisine.

Mexican Flavors Elevated

  • Guelaguetza, Koreatown – An award-winning Oaxacan restaurant, Guelaguetza thrives on its rich moles and lively atmosphere, making it a cornerstone of Mexican cuisine in LA.
  • Leo’s Taco Truck, Mid City – Known for its al pastor tacos served from a rotating spit, Leo’s Taco Truck is a beloved institution offering delicious, affordable street food around LA.
  • Tacos Los Cholos, Huntington Park – Renowned for its exceptional mesquite-grilled meats, Tacos Los Cholos provides a genuine taste of Southern California taco culture in a vibrant street food atmosphere.
  • Taste of Tehran, Westwood – Offering some of the best Persian kebabs and stews in Westwood, this spot is known for its authentic flavors and casual dining experience.

Authentic Asian Delights

  • Jitlada, East Hollywood – Known for its spicy Southern Thai dishes, Jitlada is a destination for authentic Thai flavors. Its lively, colorful setting makes it a staple of LA’s Thai Town.
  • Soban, Koreatown – Celebrated for its Korean home cooking, Soban offers dishes like soy-marinated crab and an array of banchan, providing a taste of Korea’s culinary diversity in a modest setting.
  • Lunasia, Alhambra – A dim sum haven that serves both traditional and innovative dishes, known for its luxurious approach to the classic Cantonese brunch.
  • Chengdu Taste, Alhambra – A hotspot for Sichuan cuisine, famous for its spicy and numbing dishes that showcase the bold flavors of southwestern China.
  • Yang’s Kitchen, Alhambra – A modern Chinese-American restaurant that serves farm-to-table dishes inspired by classic Chinese cooking, known for its fresh ingredients and innovative recipes.
  • Park’s BBQ, Koreatown – A premier destination for Korean BBQ in LA, Park’s BBQ is famed for its high-quality meats and authentic Korean flavors, served in a sleek, contemporary space.
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Comfort Food and Casual Dining

  • Dulan’s Soul Food Kitchen, Inglewood – A staple for Southern comfort food, Dulan’s offers generous portions of classics like fried chicken and mac and cheese in a warm, welcoming environment.
  • Langer’s Deli, Westlake – This historic deli is famous for serving what many consider the best pastrami sandwich in the city, particularly the iconic #19, in a classic diner setting.
  • Mini Kabob, Glendale – A family-run Armenian kabob shop that offers succulent grilled meats and Mediterranean sides in a small, unassuming location known for its big flavors.
  • Pijja Palace, Silver Lake – This Indian-inspired pizza joint combines traditional Indian spices with classic pizza-making, resulting in a unique and playful dining experience.

Unique Dining Experiences

  • Birdie G’s, Santa Monica – Birdie G’s mixes regional American and Jewish influences, creating a menu that’s both comforting and inventive, set in a space that feels both nostalgic and contemporary.
  • Pizzeria Sei, Westside – Renowned for its Tokyo-style Neapolitan pizza, Pizzeria Sei offers exceptionally crafted pies with a focus on quality ingredients and delicate flavors.
  • Kuya Lord, Hollywood – A casual yet innovative Filipino spot where Chef Maynard Llera transforms traditional Filipino dishes into contemporary culinary delights.

Iconic LA Institutions

  • Spago of Beverly Hills – Wolfgang Puck’s iconic restaurant remains a staple of fine dining in Beverly Hills, offering innovative dishes in a chic, contemporary setting.
  • Langer’s Deli, Westlake – An LA classic, Langer’s Deli serves up some of the city’s best deli sandwiches, with pastrami as a standout, in an old-school diner environment.
  • Guelaguetza, Koreatown – This beloved Oaxacan restaurant is a cultural and culinary landmark in LA, celebrated for its authentic dishes and festive atmosphere.

Conclusion

Los Angeles’ culinary scene is a rich tapestry of flavors and experiences. Whether you’re a local foodie or a visitor looking to explore, these top 40 restaurants offer something for everyone. From exquisite Japanese kaiseki to bold Middle Eastern flavors, LA’s dining destinations are ready to take you on a gastronomic adventure you won’t forget. So grab your fork and knife, and start your culinary tour of LA today!

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