Every Friday our editors compile a trusty list of recommendations to answer the most pressing of questions: “Where should I eat?“ Here now are four places to check out this weekend in Los Angeles. And if you need some ideas on where to drink, here’s our list of the hottest places to get cocktails in town.

March 17, 2023

For an easy night of conversation, cocktails, and bar snacks: Inkwell Tavern


Burbank’s Inkwell Tavern is built to feel like a writer’s retreat. There are famous authors and pages of books highlighted throughout the warm space, and the leather seats and glassy accents certainly draw people in. But look beyond the low-lit bar to find a neighborhood hangout that offers something more than just a literary tinge. Here the drinks skew classic (yes, there’s a Hemingway daiquiri) and strong, and the wine list is a surprising mix of known Central Coast labels like Fess Parker and brut nature Champagne from 215-year-old French houses. The food is a mix of Brussels sprouts and twice-fried wings and skillet-baked macaroni and cheese, but the beef tallow-cooked waffle fries with roast pork steal the show. There are whiskey flights on Wednesdays and weekly pub trivia nights, a kind of high-low mixture of suburban fun and finesse that feels perfectly Burbank. Stop by the wood-lined getaway soon for a look at what a neighborhood bar can be. 924 S. San Fernando Boulevard, Burbank CA 91502. —Farley Elliott

For oodles of scratch-made noodles: Sunday Gravy

We’re lucky to live in a city with so many excellent options for handmade pasta but most spots tend to require advance reservations on weekends and expect diners to put on something nice. This isn’t the case at Sunday Gravy in Inglewood. The fast-casual den for Italian American cooking is as chill as they come, welcoming sweatpants and Rolexes alike so just come as you are. Start off with some cheesy garlic bread and fried Brussels sprouts before ordering every pasta that sounds remotely good. The porcini number tastes of the earth and herbs, while the vodka sauce adheres beautifully to curly fusilli. The spaghetti with meatballs delivers with its bright sauce and light meatballs. Weekends were made for the kind of communal and casual dining that Sunday Gravy delivers with ease. 1122 Centinela Avenue, Inglewood, CA 90302. —Cathy Chaplin

For hot, crunchy karaage fried chicken: Tokyo Chick in Pasadena


Though Los Angeles has a healthy selection of karaage/Japanese fried chicken establishments throughout the region, it’s always an ideal plan to try one more. Pasadena’s Tokyo Chick opened in late 2022 right next door to Lunasia where they serve boneless tenders and free-range, bone-in chicken wings or drumsticks. Figure out which sauce is the most appealing, whether teriyaki, wasabi, or garlic-soy, and for those who live on the edge, something called “Tokyo spicy.” Bento boxes are also available. The move is to order a combo with fries and soda, sit down immediately, and take a bite while piping hot. 231 E. Colorado Boulevard, Pasadena, CA, 91101. —Mona Holmes

For an extravagant wagyu beef feast in an incredible Downtown LA dining room: Niku X

Venture into the belly of the Intercontinental hotel in Downtown and take the escalator up to one of the most luxurious and over-the-top dinners in Los Angeles right now, thanks to the mind of chef Shin Thompson. While one could classify this as a yakiniku-style steakhouse, the tasting menus and arresting ambiance give it a worldly vibe, like something hidden inside a Singapore or Bangkok high-rise. Inside, well-heeled diners nibble on fresh sashimi or crunchy sea greens, while servers bring out mist-spraying trays with pristine cuts of wagyu from around the world. Servers grill fresh, marinated, and dry-aged meats omakase-style, with a variety of sauces and pickled things to help add savoriness or cut through the richness. In other parts of the room, whole tomahawk steaks are getting flash-grilled with fresh herbs, adding a tremendous sense of theatrics. While the wine list is on the thin side, a bottle of Barolo only adds to the opulence (the sommelier promises a deeper list in the coming months). The Michelin guide recently added Niku X without awarding any stars, but it’s not hard to see that the restaurant is heading toward a star in the next year, so might as well get in before the hype builds. 900 Wilshire Boulevard, Ste. 212, Los Angeles, CA 90017. —Matthew Kang

March 10, 2023

For a fine time with wine and wonder: Lingua Franca

Even in busy Los Angeles, where restaurants are pushed into just about every conceivable corner, location, or already-crowded space, Lingua Franca feels unique. There’s a sense of wonder to the place, in part because of its perch along the cemented edges of the weaving Los Angeles River. Located in Elysian Valley (aka Frogtown), the new restaurant’s primary entrance sits off of a pedestrian and bike path, far from the valet stands and high-end mixed-use developments found in other parts of the city. Here the wine flows as freely as the river, and the light babble of customers inside the small dining room makes the place feel cheery and fun. There’s an overt hominess to Lingua Franca and its comfort New American menu, and the open, close kitchen feels like dining in someone’s suburban home. Stop in soon for a splash of wine, to watch the room work, and to catch a peek of the water flowing just beyond the front door — and absolutely, definitely make sure to order the walnut roasted walnut tart from pastry chef Kirstin “Kiki” Bliss. 2984 Allesandro Street, Los Angeles, CA 90039. —Farley Elliott

For a Spanish feast in a boisterous Brentwood dining room: Telefèric

There’s a clear wave of Spanish cuisine in Los Angeles right now. Between the packed Bar Moruno in Silver Lake to the beloved Gasolina in Woodland Hills, people are loving everything Spain has to offer on the plate right now. Telefèric comes imported from Barcelona, readymade for porrón pours, and beautifully sliced jamón iberico de bellota. The former Vincenti clientele, older but urbane, seems to have returned in droves, taking down gin and tonics, while nibbling on tapas. Servers are eager to exchange banter in Castellano, offering suggestions for crab croquetas and which paella to order. And yes, there are five kinds of paella here including mixed seafood, pork, squid ink, and a luxurious shrimp and lobster number big enough for three to share. 11930 San Vicente Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90049. —Matthew Kang

For Taiwanese comforts that always hit the spot: Joy

As much as I enjoy checking out the splashiest restaurant openings in Los Angeles, there’s something equally special about returning to an old favorite and finding it as lively and delicious as ever. For those in the mood to visit a neighborhood stalwart that continues to deliver time and again, there’s no place like Joy in Highland Park. The selection of cold appetizers — whether it’s snappy lotus root or floppy woodear mushroom — always makes for a great starter. The thousand-layer pancakes filled with egg, cheese, and fresh basil continue to deliver, as do the peanut- and sesame-dusted mochi for dessert. This is Taiwanese comfort fare at its best. 5100 York Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90042. —Cathy Chaplin

For a lazy Cantonese Sunday brunch in SGV without the waits: Ho Kee Cafe

I’ve been a bit obsessed with Hong Kong-style cafes of late, visiting the newer and excellent Tam’s Noodle House and Pearl River Deli, but I decided to go a bit more classic with a lazy Sunday visit to Ho Kee Cafe in Arcadia. I’m always thinking of movies like Chungking Express, of loud noodle shops and busy streets immortalized in Wong Kar-wai films. In contrast, Ho Kee Cafe sports a rather elegant dining room but has enough design details like murals of streetscapes and trolleys to make it feel like I’m in Hong Kong. It’s a nice place to duck away with a book or newspaper on weekends as it lacks the typical busyness of dim sum palaces. Bites like tender roast duck with sweet orange sauce make way for fish filets in black bean sauce. A hefty wonton noodle soup comes with righteous-sized shrimp wontons, the broth a bit thinner but still more satisfying than competitors. Part of the charm of HK cafes is the brutally efficient service, which could come off as brusque, but I appreciate it. If you leave them alone, they’ll mostly leave you alone, which I rather prefer on Sundays. 558 Las Tunas Drive, Arcadia, CA. —Matthew Kang

March 3, 2023

For a weekend among the stars and sea bass souvlaki: Avra

Beverly Hills is, improbably, one of the coolest places to dine right now. From newcomers like Steak 48 to stalwarts like Spago, there’s almost nothing the city can’t pull off right now — including, soon, the first Los Angeles restaurant from Daniel Boulud. But everyone once in a while it’s important to pull back the layers of new shine to reveal some of the not-quite-old gems that still make the area shine, like Greek hangout Avra. Big, airy, heavy on design details, and flashy in its “everyone here has money” way, Avra is a certifiable scene, especially on weekends. But that’s only part of the story.

The restaurant, now in its fifth year, is also steady and reliable. There are classy touches like caviar supplements and shrimp cocktails, that can be found all over the city, but the heart of Avra’s menu is found in dishes like the lightly fried saganaki with kefalograviera cheese and lots of lemon, or the sea bass souvlaki served lightly grilled on skewers with a roasted pepper sauce. Greek food is less prized these days in LA than, say, Spanish food, but that doesn’t stop Avra from turning out reliable Greek dishes that should appeal to just about everyone. Sure, the place is beautiful, boisterous, and filled with occasionally raucous moments; it’s also a quality restaurant that’s worthy of a big night out. 233 N. Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210. —Farley Elliott

For a day trip that involves coastal wine tasting: Riverbench Santa Barbara Tasting Room


It’s chilly but really gorgeous outside these days, so drive with a crew or take Pacific Surfliner for a wine-tasting trip to Santa Barbara. Once there, Santa Maria winery Riverbench has a tasting room in Downtown Santa Barbara that’s only a two-minute walk from the train station. The tasting room offers plenty of cozy indoor and outdoor seats, with $55 wine flights that might include pinot noir, chardonnay, or sparkling options. Be mindful of the 45-minute table limit, but there are plenty of places to visit for a long lunch or dinner afterwards. Take a stroll down Downtown SB and check out Blackbird for elegant American fare and Lokum for Turkish desserts. Or head over to Bettina for some of the region’s best pizza. Just be sure to wear comfortable shoes and book reservations for restaurants and tastings ahead of time. 137 Anacapa Street, Santa Barbara, CA, 93101. —Mona Holmes

For a taste of the South in Southern California: Hatchet Hall

Hatchet Hall in Culver City has always been a dependable destination for great cooking with a Southern bent, even the Michelin Guide recently took notice. Whether one’s schedule allows for a leisurely brunch or a dinner that winds well into the night this weekend, chef Wes Whitsell and his team are here to serve sophisticated takes on comforting fare. It’s perfectly fine to order both the Anson Mills cornbread and the potato rolls to start before making one’s way through grilled carrots and Texas quail. The Eaton Mess acts as a sweet finish. And since it is the weekend, a nightcap at Old Man Bar is always a good idea. 12517 Washington Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90066. —Cathy Chaplin

For an elegant Culver City dinner with French flourishes: Juliet

If there are two places that exude modern Parisian energy in Los Angeles, they’re Mr. T in Hollywood from Guillaume Guedj, and the more grown-up Juliet in Culver City from restaurateur Rohan Talwar (of Margot and Norah). With a boisterous open sidewalk patio and warm interior boasting soft neutral tones, Juliet conjures a suave evening dinner destination — except in the postmodern architectural milieu of Culver City’s Hayden Tract than the more classic City of Light. Angelenos come to Juliet dressed in their latest boutique fashions, itching for intricate folded amberjack crudo slice, crisp endive dappled with blue cheese, and appealing crispy duck confit ‘cigars’.

The menu’s a tad deceiving though, as prices seem to be incongruous with portion size. If you feel like you ordered too much, like sea bream tartare or whipped cod dip with breakfast radish radishes, don’t worry, because you’re still going to be hungry by the time the mains arrive (this is my way of saying you’ll need at least two apps per person). The lamb rib chops, served with a flat circle of chickpea puree, came slightly under-grilled for my taste, but the white soy-glazed roasted eggplant worked as a nice sidekick. And while I felt like I could still eat after, desserts helped quell any residual hunger. Desserts include a molten semi-sweet chocolate espresso cup, which would’ve been a sugary coupe de grace except that it works better as a dip for the freshly baked madeleines, served in fours with a pat of whipped cream. Proust would be smiling ear-to-ear. 8888 Washington Boulevard, Suite 102, Culver City, CA 90232. —Matthew Kang

February 24, 2023

For a welcome return (and new lunch hours) in Downtown: Badmaash


It’s hard to believe what a decade can mean for a restaurant — especially in dense, changing, turnover-prone Downtown LA. Badmaash, the always-cool Indian hangout on 2nd Street, has been thriving since it opened, but that does not mean it has stayed the same. Rather, the restaurant has ebbed and flowed with its age as the Mahendro family has grown, and expanded (to Fairfax and on to La Brea with Burgers 99), gaining followers and fans — like rapper Action Bronson — along the way. After quietly going dark for a few weeks the restaurant is back with a refreshed look and plans for a big 2023, including collaboration dinners. There are new lunch hours too, meaning some signature dishes like the traditional potato and sweet pea samosas, the chicken tikka poutine, and the chili cheese naan can all be had. That’s what some of LA’s best and longest-tenured restaurants are so great at— giving people what they want, as often as possible, for as long as possible. Few people do that better than the Mahendros — they know hospitality, and they know how to throw a party. 108 W. 2nd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012. —Farley Elliott

For soulful Indonesian cooking to-go: Medan Kitchen

It’s gonna be a cold and wet weekend, so heading to Medan Kitchen in Rosemead to stock up on Siu Chen’s pitch-perfect Indonesian cooking is definitely the move. While the exact selection of dishes varies from day to day, Medan Kitchen always stocks a good number of set meals that include turmeric or coconut rice, along with beef rendang, fried chicken, and a spicy egg; the crispy anchovies and peanut garnish is irresistible. Also terrific is the Indonesian-style porridge called bubur ayam cirebon which includes shredded chicken, shrimp chips, Chinese doughnuts, peanuts, and fresh herbs. Everything is reasonably priced and keeps well in the refrigerator, so go wild. There’s no better way to fend off the cold than with bold flavors and a dose of spice. 8518 Valley Boulevard, Unit 102, Rosemead, CA 91770. —Cathy Chaplin

For gooey, hot cobblers: Cobblers Cakes & Kream in Inglewood


It’s cold, it’s rainy, it’s time to get over to Inglewood and explore the display cases at Cobblers Cakes & Kream. While there, ask questions about family recipes for the cupcakes, oatmeal cookies, and sweet potato cheesecake. Though the red velvet cake, pecan pie, and banana pudding are some of the best sellers, the cobblers and Key lime pie are regularly sold out. Big slices of fruit fill the peach cobbler, and the Key lime has an ideal balance of tart, sweet, and citrus. There are individual and shared sizes, and when the weather improves, ice cream is also behind the counter. When taking one of the many cobblers home, turn the oven on to 375 until the crust is the ideal color and the interior is downright bubbling before digging in. 2323 W. Manchester Boulevard, Suite B, Inglewood, CA, 90305. —Mona Holmes

For some of Southern California’s most talked-about bagels: Boil & Bake


It’s a bit reductive to say, simply, that “bagels are having a moment.” Sure, there are some newcomers to the scene of late, including Layla’s in Santa Monica and the ever-busy Courage Bagels in Virgil Village, but it would be much more accurate to say that great bagels have always been here, hiding in plain sight, ready to be eaten. Costa Mesa’s Boil & Bake is among that new breed of neo-California bagels, places that offer a bit more crust and tang, a touch more thought, and a few more topping options perhaps, but is ultimately trying to recreate something timeless and delicious. Because of the group’s dedication down in Orange County — both to the “newness” and the classic baking techniques that great bagels require — they’ve begun to get noticed well beyond the usual boundaries. People in LA and San Diego are asking about Boil & Bake, and some are even making the drive for the O.G. with soft-scrambled eggs and housemade longaniza sausage, or the one with cream cheese, house-cured lox, red onion, and lots of capers, dill, and lemon. Whether or not these bagels are “worth the drive” is a debate best left to others (and entirely dependent on where a person lives, really), but they are simply very good and worthy of every bit of conversation being made about them. And in the constant world of bagel chatter, there’s a lot of talk about Boil & Bake right now. 270 E. Bristol Street, Costa Mesa, CA 92626. —Farley Elliott

February 17, 2023

For a gutsy Korean barbecue with incredible kimchi fried rice: Yangmani


Arrive at Yangmani anytime after 5 p.m. to find a line of a dozen or more people trying to get a table. Yangmani is one of LA’s most underrated Korean barbecue spots. Here, owner Jennifer Choi elevates intestines to the same tier as well-marbled primal cuts, from tubular daechang to smaller tripas-style gopchang. Younger Korean barbecue fans, the ones that are tired of the same old short ribs, love the chewy, almost crispy bits that end up on the sunken tabletop grills — all paired with Choi’s thoughtful banchan including salads and pickled mu (Korean radish). Be sure to round out the meal with an order of the fragrant kimchi gopchang fried rice that’s studded with chewy bits of intestine and crisped on the bottom thanks to the stone plate. This is Korean barbecue, second-generation-style. (There’s also a bustling Rowland Heights location.) 2561 W. Olympic Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA. —Matthew Kang

For a proper return to one of LA’s premier pasta palaces: Angelini Osteria


In the modern LA pasta conversation, Angelini (somehow) is often overlooked, usually in favor of newer or more casual outfits like Pasta Sisters, Jon & Vinny’s, Cento in West Adams, or the upscale rustic Antico Nuovo. The truth is, Angelini is still very much at the heart of LA’s pasta obsession, even some 22-plus years on. Gino Angelini is the godfather of the genre, a star Italian chef who began rising to fame in his teenage years with high-profile cooking stints across Italy’s Emilia Romagna region. He opened Angelini Osteria in October 2001 with a white tablecloth perspective and a lot of passion, and over the years the restaurant has hosted some of the city’s biggest culinary talents like Ori Menashe, who founded Bestia after working as Angelini’s chef de cuisine for four years. Today the Beverly Boulevard restaurant remains a quiet staple (and not just for the neighborhood) for eggplant-laced spaghetti alla Norma, classics like a tagliatelle Bolognese or carbonara, and seasonal rotations like pumpkin tortelli. There are grilled secondi options as well, of course, including salmon filets and dover sole, but the pasta section is the place to remind yourself of just how powerful Angelini Osteria still is. 7313 Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90036. —Farley Elliott

For barbecue on Saturday and smash burgers on Sunday: Priedite

For those heading up to the Central Coast this weekend or planning a trip there soon, be sure to include Priedite on the eating itinerary. Pitmaster Nick Priedite and partner Brendan Dwan operate behind the restaurant Bell’s in Los Alamos on weekend mornings, with Texas-leaning barbecue headlining on Saturday and smash burgers on Sunday. Both meat-heavy options are expertly prepared and not to be missed. Smoked over local oak, the lineup of barbecued proteins usually includes brisket, ribs, sausage, and pulled pork. Everything tastes terrific straight up or tucked inside a flour tortilla. And don’t sleep on the buttermilk pudding for dessert. The Sunday smash burgers bring together a double dose of beef patties and American cheese that go down dangerously easily. Arrive early and stay a while, it’s that kind of a scene. 406 Bell Street, Los Alamos, CA 93440. —Cathy Chaplin

For crunchy, gorgeous fried chicken with a kick: Le Coupe

Barely six months old, Le Coupe owners Craig and Kristen Walker have carved out a cozy slice of Louisiana on the corner of Melrose and Western. Chef Craig’s 24-hour buttermilk marinated fried chicken sandwich is pounded flat. He tosses the chicken thigh in chile-spiced honey, which brings a satisfying crunch that can be felt across county lines. In an act of true generosity, he also graces diners with fried chicken skins. Nab a side dish including blue cornbread made with Anson Mills cornmeal, Southern-style potato salad, mac and cheese, or the corn ribs which are an absolute treat. The ribs are deep-fried and then mixed with lime-mayo and chile seasoning and a sprinkling of queso fresco. Take one or more of Kristen’s chocolate chip cookies on the way out. 709 N. Western Avenue, East Hollywood, CA, 90029. —Mona Holmes

February 10, 2023

For an only-in-LA kind of afternoon over tacos: Sky’s Gourmet Tacos

There is no other place like Sky’s because there is no one like Sky Burrell herself. The longtime owner and namesake of the hit 30-year-old Mid-City restaurant is a force, powerful and happy, determined and eager. Her restaurants speak to a purely Angeleno experience, with tortillas dipped in spice and griddled, then filled with ground turkey, seafood, and shreds of cabbage and cheese. There’s avocado if you want it, shrimp, lobster, and salmon, too, spread across not just tacos but nachos, burritos, bowls, and an entire breakfast menu. There is seemingly no limit to the ingenuity of the place, a Black and Mexican LA crossover just down the street from the newly-closed Roscoe’s on Pico, in one of the city’s most important food neighborhoods. If you haven’t been to Sky’s before, that’s okay; Burrell’s place is likely to be there for another three decades, at least. 5303 W. Pico Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90019. —Farley Elliott

For old- and new-school Vietnamese sandwiches: the Los Angeles Banh Mi Company

For those hankering for a Vietnamese sandwich in and around South LA, head into the Los Angeles Banh Mi Company where Hoang Pham, the shop’s owner, operator, and chef, has been serving the Huntington Park community since 2017. The daytime menu winds through familiar fillings, like lemongrass beef and chicken, and the house-special made with cold cuts and headcheese. On Fridays, the shop serves a special Saigon hot chicken banh mi with fried chicken, sriracha aioli, jalapenos, Korean-style pickles, and more. Whether one’s mood calls for something classic or out-of-the-box, the Los Angeles Banh Mi Company’s got it covered. 2479 E. Florence Avenue, Huntington Park, CA 90255. —Cathy Chaplin

For pure roast beef flavor over a bed of white rice: Red Rock Express

Red Rock has a small takeout operation with a few counter seats featuring its tender roast beef don layered into a mountain on a bed of white rice. This spot has the same quality and variety as the full-sized Red Rock in north Torrance, but with bowls that can be taken to go. The prices have gone up about 50 percent in the past few years, but given the steakhouse-level quality of the meat, the $24 large beef don makes for a hefty lunch. What really makes this bowl though is the sweet demi-glace sauce and the rich yogurt that mixes with beef juices into the rice below. Add $4 to include a delicious cup of dark, roasted onion soup or a tangy green salad on the side. Red Rock Express also has some bento-type boxes with tonkatsu and hamburg steak. 1757 West Carson Street, Unit K, Torrance, CA, 90501. —Matthew Kang

For impossibly fluffy soufflé pancakes: Motto Tea Cafe

To fully enjoy those three-inch tall Japanese soufflé pancakes, one must exercise great patience at Motto Tea Cafe. During weekends, the queue can stretch all the way through to the outdoor dining area, while pancakes could take up to an hour to arrive at the table. These precious creations are worth the wait, so take a friend or a book, order the refreshing Fruit Melody tea, and settle in. If dining with a partner, order contrasting flavors like the okonomiyaki soufflé pancakes with bonito flakes, seaweed, and an umami sauce drizzled on top. For the sweeter variety, opt for the creme brulee pancakes with a slightly crunchy glazed sugar top, then head home immediately to embark on a food nap. 100 W. Green Street, Pasadena CA, 91105. —Mona Holmes

February 3, 2023

For subs that sing and cannolis that rock: Eastside Italian Deli


The weather’s been looking up as of late following an unusually wet start to the year. With mild temps and sunny skies slated for the weekend, now’s the time to hit the trails, the beach, or the park. Grab a picnic blanket and head to Eastside Italian Deli in Los Feliz for food that was made for on-the-go eating. The classic cold cut sandwich comes piled high with four kinds of meat (salami, cappicolla, mortadella, ham) and provolone cheese. The “Italian hot mix” slathered on the bread brings a hum of heat. The house-made cannoli are an absolute must — its crisp shells piped with a just-sweet-enough ricotta filling, while cinnamon, powdered sugar, pistachios, and chocolate chips add the finishing touches. 1761 N. Vermont Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90027. —Cathy Chaplin

For Texas-style barbecue from an LA staple: Ray’s Texas Barbecue

One of LA’s finest barbecue joints started as a small pellet smoker into a bustling spot called Ray’s Texas BBQ. Texas-style barbecue fans have been loyal for years with lines maneuvering out the door. Though its founding chef Ray Ramirez died one year ago, his sons have since taken over operations. Not only is the brisket on point, but so is the burrito featuring some of that brisket, jalapeño cheddar sausage, and a layer of mac and cheese. Though takeout will help avoid the lines, it’s always best to enjoy each bite while piping hot on the cozy patio. 6038 Santa Fe Avenue, Huntington Park, CA 90255. —Mona Holmes

For seafood, sunshine, and proximity to the ocean: the Anchor Venice


The Anchor is a staple Venice restaurant, though it often gets less attention than some of the bigger names nearby. That’s okay; owner Kristin Ciccolella, an East Coaster with a can-do attitude and a hearty laugh, knows that it’s her regulars that have kept her in business all these years, and thanks to a large patio and quality seafood menu, she isn’t planning on going anywhere any time soon. There’s clam chowder and lobster bisque for those feeling the cozy, chilly vibes, and raw oysters, shrimp ceviche, and fried calamari for those trying to reclaim an early bit of sunshine and summer. The star of the show has to be the larger-than-life lobster roll, a behemoth of shellfish meat that is a relative steal at $28, at least compared to many others on the Westside. That’s just the kind of place that the Anchor is — few frills, no fuss, and big on flavor. Ciccolella wouldn’t want it any other way. 235 Main Street, Venice. —Farley Elliott

For a meat-laden feast with no end: H&H Brazilian Barbecue

Churrasco, or Brazilian barbecue, is one of my all-time favorite meals. My parents, who grew up in Brazil, instilled a deep love and appreciation for this unending feast of grilled meats and delicious sides. H&H Brazilian Steakhouse recently expanded to the Beverly Center in the former Farmhouse space, and so far the results are glorious. The pricing, at $69 a person for dinner, seems high but is only by a few dollars more than competitors Fogo de Chao and M Grill, and frankly, the meat quality is even better here. Juicy slices of picanha, ribeye steak, garlic beef, and even whole beef ribs are a delightful way to experience the full extent of churrasco. Though H&H used to claim its meats were grass-fed and organic whenever possible, the menu claims the salad bar is organic. The crisp collards, comforting feijoada, tangy vinaigrette, and crunchy farofa are executed to a high level, making H&H feel like the most impressive overall Brazilian barbecue in town right now. 8500 Beverly Boulevard #113, Los Angeles, CA 90048. —Matthew Kang

January 27, 2023

For comforting Thai cooking that hits the spicy spot: Miya

The restaurateur behind the Sticky Rice mini-chain just opened a new spot nestled in the foothills of Altadena. Whether one lives in and around the area, or just loves checking out LA’s latest and greatest, Miya’s got a whole lot of flavors up its sleeves. The hand-scrawled, home-style menu, which is posted on the restaurant’s front door and available for takeout only, includes starters, noodles, and curries. Begin with an order of the tom yum soup; it dazzles and comforts in equal parts. The pad thai, savory and toothsome, is a far cry from the super-sweet glop that gets served around town. Also, save room for the curry of the day. Miya’s opening hours and service are limited for now, but it’ll be full-service with beer and wine in the coming months. 2470 Lake Avenue, Altadena, CA 91001. —Cathy Chaplin

For incredible gumbo and fried chicken in Venice: Willie Mae’s

I’ve been on the hunt for a great bowl of gumbo for a while now, and with Nola Cajun and Creole announcing a sad hiatus in Montebello, the next best option might be the crab and chicken-filled gumbo at Willie Mae’s in Venice, which occupies a sweet nook along Lincoln Boulevard. The iconic New Orleans restaurant has perfected fried chicken, with a shatteringly crisp crust and a deep, well-seasoned flavor in every bite. The gumbo, served with a small mound of white rice, feels more like a soup that a stew, but it satisfies with a heavy dose of Creole spices. The bowl is big enough to share, but next time, I’m getting my own. 324 Lincoln Boulevard, Venice, CA 90291 —Matthew Kang

For a bar menu and even bigger things to come: Button Mash

Why not spend part of your weekend pressing buttons, toggling joysticks, and hip-bumping pinball machines? At Button Mash it’s very much about the video games, but don’t be fooled or a second into thinking that the beer and bites don’t matter. There’s a reason Button Mash’s owners have brought on Diego Argoti to drop a new restaurant concept Poltergeist next month; they believe that the space is as much (or more) a restaurant as it is a place to hang out and crush someone’s dreams at Mortal Kombat. For now, the arcade bar/restaurant/do-it-all space is running a tight but inviting bar menu by Argoti, which features a well-griddled burger with chile crisp on top, seasoned Parmesan fries, and the best bowl of housemade pasta butter noodles that one can get for $9. There are bigger things in the works for this space very, very soon, but for now just get over to enjoy the Korean-style fried cauliflower (which is vegan, by the way), some beers, and all the games there are to enjoy. 1391 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90026. —Farley Elliott

For cozy vibes and a Korean matzoh ball soup: Yangban Society


The weather says LA can expect more rain this weekend. It’s also downright chilly in the evening hours, which means that soup is likely the best remedy for whatever ails you. Though LA has deeply satisfying soup and stew options for days, get over to Yangban Society in the Arts District. Chef-owners Katianna and John Hong concocted a cool weather-winning dish with their matzoh ball soup using a Korean sujebi-inspired dumpling, schmaltz, and flavorful roasted chicken. It’s pure comfort in a bowl. If that doesn’t sound appealing, dig right into a hot congee pot pie with a hot cup of tea. 712 Santa Fe Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90021. —Mona Holmes

January 20, 2023

For a glittery night out with friends, steak, and tuna tartare: the Hideaway

It’s not that the new Beverly Hills restaurant the Hideaway is actually hiding, per se — it’s more that the semi-subterranean hotspot feels like a getaway. The dim evening room carries its own kind of permanent filter thanks to muted green and pink tones, lots of leafy corners, rustic garden-esque seating, and candles galore, all ideal for tucking into drinks and bites with friends or a date. The Rodeo Drive address is certainly an eye-opener (as are some of the prices) but that’s kind of the point: There’s neon signage here, sure, but the place isn’t pretending to be anything more than a come-as-you-are hangout for anyone who happens to show up. If you believe that you belong at the Hideaway, downing tuna tartare on little wonton crisps, or watching the chef carve a New York wagyu steak tableside, then you do. Bring a group, hang out in a corner, canoodle with someone special, and enjoy the ride. 421 N. Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210. —Farley Elliott

For solid Vietnamese sandwiches outside the SGV: O Banh Mi

In a part of town that’s chock-full of well-branded restaurants — complete with cool logos and design-forward interiors — it was quite a trip to step into O Banh Mi in Los Feliz. With its name scrawled in permanent marker on the glass door and a barebones interior, the restaurant is putting its energy where it counts — and that is in the food. Swing by on Fridays for the popular banh mi stuffed with shredded roast pork and topped with an elongated shard of crispy skin. The sandwich is served alongside a container of rich pork jus. The classic banh mi dac biet filled with pickled vegetables and cold cuts is lovely too, with a creamy and rich pate that ties everything together. O Banh Mi is open seven days a week from noon to 3 p.m. 1997 Hyperion Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90027. —Cathy Chaplin

For a heated patio situation in Venice with tasty lobster pasta: Paloma

These chilly winter nights feel like the perfect reason to actually get out of the house and escape a little bit, and that’s exactly what Paloma in Venice provides. There might not be a more purely coastal European menu in Los Angeles, one that feels untethered to a specific cuisine and more rooted in a Mediterranean lifestyle. Think the second season of White Lotus without the treachery. Paloma’s expansive patio, the one closer to the building, offers some of the warmest heating in town, all the better to enjoy wide plates of sea bass carpaccio, citrus and fennel salad, and lobster spaghetti pasta featuring juicy chunks of the main ingredient. Overall the food here is well executed and predictable, with everything from hummus and meatballs to a terrific branzino grilled over an open wood flame. There are times when a dinner with friends might be aspirational, keeping to a cuisine or a menu concept, but other times everyone just wants something that feels familiar and comforting. Paloma fills that void with style, and plenty of warmth. 600 S. Venice Boulevard, Venice, CA 90291. —Matthew Kang

For perfect kebobs and dreamy hummus: Mini Kabob in Glendale


There’s a lot of reasons to love Mini Kabob. First, it’s a family-run affair by Armen Martirosyan and his parents Ovakim and Alvard, who always have friendly faces. Secondly, it’s in a cozy nook of Glendale with a picnic table out front. And finally, the food is some of the best Middle Eastern in the region. All menu choices are fantastic whether the chicken or beef kebobs, but the clear winner is the Matirosyan’s lule variety. The marinated ground beef is cooked over an open fire with results that are incredibly juicy and served over perfectly cooked rice with roasted tomatoes and jalapeno. Get an extra garlicky toum sauce because there never seems to be enough. Be mindful of ordering times, the spot closes by 6 p.m. and closed on Monday and Tuesday. 313 1/2 Vine Street, Glendale, CA, 91204. —Mona Holmes

January 13, 2023

For a seafood extravaganza in a cozy corner of Echo Park: Lonely Oyster

As an LA resident who enjoys minimal driving on weekends, trekking throughout Northeast LA for food is a joy. It starts by staking out those spots that friends raved about, or an effort from a familiar name in a corner of Echo Park. Lonely Oyster owner Don Andes — who owns the less-than-a-mile-away Little Joy Cocktails — recently brought on chef Dominique Crisp to prepare a menu that includes scallop carpaccio, grilled oysters, and a trio of lobster rolls for dinner. The chef offers wagyu and eggs, seafood Benedict, and smoked salmon tartine at brunch. It’s a safe and excellent bet to accompany any of the aforementioned with a bloody mary anytime from noon to 5 p.m., which is the perfect time to show up for weekend daytime dining. 1320 Echo Park Avenue, Echo Park, CA, 90026. —Mona Holmes

For fun sandwiches with serious size: Monroe Place

The greater Eater LA team has been a fan of Monroe Place, the small Culver City shop serving thick focaccia sandwiches, for quite some time. It’s easy to understand why: The menu is charming, owner Sara Fakhfouri is a personable and warming presence behind the counter, and the sandwiches themselves are stacked and action-packed. Hovering around $15, each sandwich is a meal-plus of quality ingredients and slight surprises like the spicy serrano-cilantro spread on the Serenity Now herbed turkey sandwich, or the dill and mint in the Greek yogurt-laced Dilly Dally chicken salad. There are options for vegetarians and vegans, jamon and manchego for the rest, and each sandwich can be made into a salad on the spot — though missing out on the Bub and Grandma’s focaccia feels like a shame. In truth, there’s no wrong way to enjoy Monroe Place. 8541 Washington Boulevard, Culver City, CA 90232. —Farley Elliott

For a fancy night out with Mexico City vibes: Damian

Just because the holidays and the new year are in our collective rearview doesn’t mean celebratory dining needs to come to a halt. For anyone seeking a fancier night out, head to Damian in the Arts District. The restaurant’s moody lighting, industrial touches, and pops of greenery transport diners to Mexico City for the evening. The bar seats are a sure bet if a last-minute table isn’t available. The tostada topped with fish and furikake makes for a solid start before diving into all things wrapped in warm, corn tortillas. The lobster with luscious pineapple butter is not to be missed, same goes with the chocolate mil hojas and hibiscus meringue for dessert. 2132 E. 7th Place, Los Angeles, CA 90021. —Cathy Chaplin

For a carb-loaded weekend lunch in Santa Monica: Milo & Olive

For some reason on a recent visit, a bunch of neighboring tables were wondering what that incredible aroma was wafting through our area. Oddly enough, a few people hadn’t even heard of the legendary garlic knot at Milo & Olive, a hulking spectacle of allium and dough. The starter is one of many carbohydrate selections at the Rustic Canyon sister restaurant in more inland Santa Monica, where blistered wood-fired pizzas topped with sausage and kale or suave bowls of carbonara reign. Don’t worry, the salads — from the chopped to the arugula and radicchio — work as fresh foils against the carb assault. Could Milo & Olive be one of LA’s most unsung neighborhood restaurants? I wish we had one on our block. 2723 Wilshire Boulevard, Santa Monica, CA 90403. —Matthew Kang

January 6, 2023

For a fiery start to the new year: Mr. T

I managed to sneak in a stellar meal at Mr. T at the tail end of last year and haven’t stopped thinking about it since. For a fiery start to 2023, snag a seat at the winding bar or a more traditional dining room table stretching into a twinkle-lighted patio. Mr. T hums with a happy crowd that’s thrilled to be in good company and treated to a menu of familiar yet dynamic food by chef Alisa Vannah. Take the signature “mac n cheese” for example. The heap of rigatoni arrives under an aerated blanket of Comté cheese that’s blowtorched tableside. It’s the kind of earthy, rich, and satisfying dish everyone craves this time of year. Restaurateur Guillaume Guedj, who relocated from Paris to LA for the venture, is never far away, making sure that smiles abound and a good time is had by all. 953 N. Sycamore Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90038. —Cathy Chaplin

For a do-it-all destination in the heart of the city: Vicky’s All Day

The newest player in West Adams might seem a bit familiar at first. The CIM-backed restaurant Vicky’s All Day is just the latest place on West Adams Boulevard to have chef Danny Elmaleh at the helm (along with Mizlala and Johnny’s West Adams), though in practice the breakfast-to-dinner spot feels rather different than the others. This is a casual hangout for passers-by and the neighborhood at large, meant to serve as a brunch destination, a dinnertime meet-up joint, or a place for a stacked double patty lunch burger or fried chicken sandwiches. Elmaleh’s pan-Middle Eastern touches are still present in roasted cauliflower or a heaping Israeli sabich sandwich, but the menu also sports salads, pizzas, and lots of things roasted with flame. It’s nice to have a spot like Vicky’s All Day around, simply because it’s so handy for so many different people and occasions all at once. 5410 W. Adams Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90016. —Farley Elliott

For well-made French baked goods: Frenchifornia


When a colleague points her enthusiasm to a respected French-owned bakery, it’s bound to be a solid bet. Open since 2017, Frenchifornia imports flour from France to create traditional items like pain au chocolat, baguettes, macarons, palmiers, gateaus, and buttery madeleines. There’s really something for everyone, from chocolate muffins and a blackberry croissant to the spelt and quinoa croissant. If something a little heartier is required, opt for quiche, the smoked salmon eclair, or sandwiches with Comte cheese and ham, or simply build your own. The bakers here even venture into American sweets with chocolate chip cookies and a chocolate chip brownie. This is a full cafe that operates in daytime hours, so the coffee is strong with a choice of every kind of milk. In an annual practice, Frenchifornia also serves king cakes to celebrate the new year. 247 E. Colorado Boulevard, Pasadena, CA, 91101. —Mona Holmes

For a hip, energetic steakhouse vibe in the South Bay: Boa Steakhouse

LA just isn’t the kind of steak town that Vegas or Chicago or New York can boast they are, but Boa Steakhouse has held a high standard of grilled beef for over 20 years in this city. With popular Santa Monica and West Hollywood locations, it made sense for the brand to start expanding to new areas, like a sleek semi-outdoor space in Manhattan Beach sharing the same building as sister restaurant Sushi Roku. Boa just oozes hip energy despite the slightly older crowd (though it’s still family-friendly, as there were tables with small children and even babies). Still, most people are on dates or celebrating special occasions, and nearly everyone is happy to be digging into well-made seafood and chops.

Garlicky, buttery scampi make for a solid start while the signature Caesar salad is tasty, though not as fun when not prepared tableside like it usually is (hopefully that changes in the coming months). Steak options cater to a wide audience, from filet mignon and even Australian wagyu ribeye to dry-aged cuts. I prefer the dry-aged stuff, seared to a very dark brown, but cooked evenly medium rare inside, which Boa can definitely accomplish. Australian wagyu is rich, fatty, and very tender, but lacks that extra funk. Previously the noteworthy steakhouse in Manhattan Beach was the Arthur J closer to the water, but Boa is a solid option more inland and with way more parking. 3110 N. Sepulveda Boulevard, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266. —Matthew Kang

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