When it comes to restaurant recommendations, I am your go to girl! Ask anyone who knows me and they’ll all say I am obsessed with food. So instead of getting numerous text messages, calls, DM’s every time someone is in town and wants to know the best places to go, everyone can come here and find my recommendations. My list changes as some new restaurants continue to pop up, but here is a list of some of my favorite staple spots! I’ve broken them down by meal and location (and included my must order dishes). Hope you all enjoy and please leave comments below on any restaurants you’d recommend as I am always on the hunt for new places to try!
Happy Scrolling! Don't mind me, I'm already drooling thinking of all the food at these amazing places haha
Brunch: because let’s face it - when you live in LA most people don’t go out for breakfast because who the heck wakes up that early and leaves their house???...Not me, that's for sure. So here we have it...get your brunch on!
Republique (Hancock Park) - I live for this place. Don’t be intimidated by the line, it moves quickly! Order the Kimchi Fried Rice, you won’t regret it. Have a sweet tooth? I’ll tip my hat to their Brioche French Toast with a side of berries (and whipped cream of course).
Sqirl (East Hollywood) - Realizing I must have a thing for rice, but please do yourself a favor and order the Crispy Rice Salad (I like the Disco style), get the Famed Ricotta Toast with Seasonal Jam. Lots of vegan options here as well, and I really enjoy their Horchoffee!
Botanica Restaurant & Market (Silver Lake) - Their menu changes seasonally, but I thoroughly enjoy their Summer Scramble, all of their teas and their Chicken Rice Porridge with a soft boiled egg! Don’t be shy and treat yourself to the Garlicky Toast, their fresh bread is amazing. Drooling now, lord help me get through this list without leaving to walk to my fridge.
Norah’s (West Hollywood) - I came here to celebrate the purchase of my first home, so it holds a special place in my heart. Bonus: their brunch on Sunday’s have a live band! Lastly, Carbs don’t count on weekends, so CARB OUT with the Skillet Cornbread, Monkey Bread (if they have it), Biscuit Benedict and Passion Fruit Margarita (you deserve it).
Poppy & Rose (DTLA) - One of the best fried chicken sandwiches I have ever consumed. My mom ordered it and thank goodness she never finishes her food, cause I was more than delighted to help her out ;) Amazing farm style decor, with lots of healthy, tasty options. But if you want a lighter lunch split the sandwich and get a salad - I personally love their Brassica.
Sugarfish (Multiple Locations) - Some people hate on this place, but it’s simple, consistent, quality sushi every.single.time! Crab Hand Roll is a must and I love their Sweet Shrimp, Albacore Belly, Uni and Bay Scallops. They sometimes have a Monkfish Liver Pate drizzled with a miso glaze which is sooooo rich and creamy! Yum Yum!
Din Tai Fung (Glendale/Century City) - Xiao Long Baos for the win! Wish they had a little more soup like Joe’s Shanghai in NYC but they’re still really good! Pork XLB, Spicy Braised Noodle Soup, Pork Chop Fried Rice and their Steamed Kale. If you love Boba, the quality tea is fantastic. Add boba, sea cream and take it to go!
Pho 87 (DTLA) - Whenever I’m feeling under the weather, this is the place I crave. Their Oxtail Pho is SO GOOD! They give you so much meat, and the owner always makes a special dipping sauce for it. Their Egg Rolls are also quite delicious! Just wrap them up in lettuce, add some carrots, radish, mint - give them a dip in the fish sauce and enjoy.
Kazunori (DTLA) - Sugarfish’ sister restaurant - the mecca of hand rolls. Mimicking the minimalist, fresh style of its counterpart it’s a nice place to stop for lunch. I love their bay scallop, uni and crab handroll. Simple, consistent and quick.
This meal of the day is tricky for me, and my list varies based on who I’m going out with, the occasion, and the expectation - are we looking for a place with nice ambiance, good music, something more intimate? Case point with this list, is that I would recommend the to anyone! Friends in town, couples, parents...all of these places are great options that are overall well rounded.
Élephante (Santa Monica) - From the decor to the location, ambiance and menu is hands down one of my favorite restaurants in LA. I love to come here for early dinners to watch the sunset, but be prepared and make reservations! They might have a few spots open at the bar, but you shouldn’t risk it. The Whipped Eggplant is ridiculously good, Soppressata Pizza (aka Bee Sting from Roberta’s), Gulf Shrimp and the Élephante signature drink are musts.
Otoño (Highland Park) - WOW! This tapas place just popped up in my neighborhood and it is deliciously dangerous to be so close to something so good. Take all my money Otoño, you deserve it. First time I came here, I sat next to an old couple from Spain...they asked about the paella and I said it was the best I’d ever had! He even admitted that the paella in Spain was not the best in the world. Sad, but true. Come here instead. Standouts for me: Setas en Escabeche, Calamares en su Tinta, Boquerones, Mariscos Fideua. All their dishes are good, but branch out and try some new items!
Margot (Culver City) - Another place, where every item did not disappoint. Ever been to Norah’s? This market-driven restaurant is by the same owners, so you can count on them for quality consistency. Ambiance, drinks, dishes and servers! Extremely well rounded. Be prepared to drop a pretty penny. Kampachi - refreshing spin compared to every other one in LA, Charred Broccoli, Yellowtail Collar (specialty item), and Cappelini for you fellow truffle lovers. Beverage of choice - Poma. Dessert wise, get the Churros!
Everson Royce Bar (DTLA) - Funny story, came here on a date and ran into him as I was leaving the bathroom to head to the table. ‘I think I just saw you...’, “Oh really?” *Waiter, bring me a drink STAT!* Boilermakers...haven’t ever tried one? Radler & Mezcal, a real zinger but it takes the edge off. Sharing is caring so try the Flaky Buttermilk Biscuits, “Token” Frenchie Salad, Steamed Buns and [Crack] Burger. WOW! Tag me in a picture of your face after eating this burger because I need to know if it’s just as good as I remember.
Ma’am Sir (Silverlake) - If you have any Filipino friends and have been to their parent’s house or have visited the Philippines, you’ll get the name! Favorites were Uni Lumpia, Crispy Lechon, Milkfish Inihaw, and Oxtail Kari Kari. Interesting cocktails as well.
Bestia (DTLA) - This place should be no surprise if you’re an LA local, but I love bringing friends in town here. Amazing Italian food, at a leisure pace so it’s the perfect place to catch up over some good food. I always recommend the: Roasted Bone Marrow, Cavatelli alla Norcina and the Slow Roasted Lamb Neck! For dessert, don’t pass on the Bar Au Chocolat Budino Tart.
Little Sister (DTLA) - A hip restaurant that bumps hip-hop music. Little Sister puts a twist on Vietnamese dishes. Been here plenty of times and really enjoy the Bo La Lot, Bo Kho, Viet Coconut Braised Pork, Salt & Pepper Lobster. *PS* If you’re in OC, go to LSXO (it’s a Speakeasy, sister restaurant and they have a full bar.! SOLD)
Dinner at Margot in Culver City. Photos by Ashley Streff