My Favorite Los Angeles Restaurants

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Whether you're looking for a place to spot celebrities, soak up some sun while at the beach or enjoy spectacular city views, Los Angeles has you covered. There are so many great place to chose from in the city, so many that picking the right ones can be very stressful. I hope that this list relieves some of that stress and gives you the basis for a solid dining plan.

Fine Dining

n/naka is a fine dining experience that offers a tasting menu of Japanese dishes. The food is art at this 2 Michelin Star eatery.

When heading to Los Angeles, if you're looking for an unsurpassed dining experience, then Patina should be on your list. The French inspired offerings are served in either a tasting menu, a three course meal, or a Vegetarian menu (3 course or 6 course.) Menu items could include: bean cassoulet, John Dory, pasture raised Colorado lamb, and sweetbreads.

Spago, another restaurant by Wolfgang Puck, is a fixture in Beverly Hills. The market-driven menu provides guests the choice of a la carte or a tasting menu, for lunch or dinner. Try selections like white corn soup, Bellwether Farm's ricotta gnocchi or grilled prime rib eye cap steak.


Family Dining

C & O Cucina
If you're in the mood for Italian food, this is your spot. It's a family friendly environment that offers patio seating. Dig into some capellini Roma, linguine mare, fettucine alfredo or rigatoni sausage. Seriously good food!

Doma Kitchen
The restaurant focuses on global cuisine, inspired by European and central Asian flavors. You can try the schnitzel and chicken kiev, or the Plov (a Uzbek style braised rice.) The restaurant is located in Marina Del Rey, just a short walk from the beach.

Duke's Malibu
Duke's could have very easily been included in the "Best View" section, as it sits right on the beach in Malibu. Here, you'll enjoy the Aloha spirit as you dine on authentic Hawaii cuisine. The offerings include fish tacos, Seafood Hot Pot, banana leaf steamed fish, lilikoi glazed tofu and roasted huli chicken.

Lemon Tree Kids & Family Restaurant
Are you traveling with young ones (under 10)? Then this should make the list. Lemon Tree has a huge 2,000 square foot play space for the kids to burn off some energy before eating. The menu offers selections from Italian and Korean cuisine, which makes it a little easier to satisfy picky eaters. Welcome to a fun, shoe-free environment!

Home is, well, a taste of home. The restaurant takes comfort food classics and elevates. Here, bacon mac and cheese has mushrooms, fontina, gruyere, cheddar and smoked parmesan. Talk about a punch of flavor! Other dishes include short-rib pot pie, tequila lime pasta, and BBQ baby back ribs.


Dining with a View

Terrazza Lounge
Located in the Hotel Casa Del Mar in Santa Monica, this restaurant is a wonderful option for any occasion. The views are beyond compare, the large pillars rising to the tall ceilings will impress, and the food is worth a second visit. The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and has small plates in the evening. The dishes served in the evening include a grass-fed burger, 8oz. filet, several pizza options and soups and salads.

If you want to nail the location and view, then this is my choice. Nobu, a Japanese focused global chain, is right on the beach in Malibu. There's a large deck when you can enjoy a cocktail and listen to the waves. For dinner, try one of the following options: black cod with miso or rosemary panko crusted New Zealand lamb chop. Not only will you have a spectacular meal, but you'll have the opportunity to run into a celebrity here.

The Penthouse
Located on the top of the Huntley Hotel in Santa Monica, the Penthouse offers some of the best views in the city. From the 18th floor rooftop hot spot, you can enjoy breakfast, lunch, brunch or dinner. The elegant décor and wall of windows make this is a special dining experience. The food is American focused with dishes like roasted chicken with potatoes two ways, Colorado lamb chops, catch of the day or beet raviolini

Gladstone's is located right off the Pacific Coast Highway just north of Santa Monica. It's a family friendly laid back environment that serves seafood forward menu. It's open from brunch, lunch and dinner, and provides meals like: spice crusted ahi, coconut shrimp, crab legs, fish and chips, and lobster mac and cheese… to name a few. You can also grab a burger or a roasted chicken if you're not into seafood. After dinner, take a stroll on the beach right in front of the restaurant.

La Boucherie on 71
High above the city, on the 71st floor of the InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown, a dinner at the La Boucherie on 71 is a memorable experience. The elegant ambience at this American steakhouse is a intimate option for a special evening, such as a date night or anniversary. The dinner menu includes: Mottainai lamb wagyu rack, halibut, tomahawk cut steak, pheasant and more!

Perch offers an outdoor (or indoor) dining experience 15 floors above street level. The French plates are enjoyed while looking out over the city lights and listening to the live music. The offerings include: steak frites, scallops, chicken over truffle polenta and bouillabaisse.

WP24 by Wolfgang Puck
World acclaimed chef Wolfgang Puck's restaurant celebrates Asian ingredients on top of the Ritz Carlton hotel in downtown. On the 24th floor, you'll be surrounded by the city lights while you settle into the cozy environment. The dishes served include: crispy skin suckling pig and slow cooked beef short ribs. The restaurant offers a vegan menu (featuring meals like Hong Kong style salmon) as well as a gluten free menu (with dishes like market vegetable summer roll and wok fried vegetable chow fun).

Castaway is a remarkable steakhouse located in Burbank that offers endless views of Los Angeles and the valley below. The hilltop restaurant has indoor and outdoor seating, where you can sit by a firepit.


Unique Dining

Dinner Cruise
Cruising along the California coast while dining with friends and family is a trip highlight. When you board the dinner cruise by the Hornblower Company, you're in for perfection. Imagine, you're sitting topside, with the sun setting on the horizon to your left and the coastline covered in an orange glow to your right. It'll be hard to imagine more of a homerun than this. The 2.5 hour cruise includes a 4-course meal and dancing to the music played by the DJ. This is a great option for family fun!

Ready to spot some celebs!? Head to Ago for a good chance at running into a star. Even if you don't see your favorite Oscar winner that night, you'll still have the prize of dining at one of the best restaurants in the city. The authentic Italian cuisine is some of the best food in the City, and is co-owned by Robert De Niro.

Château Marmont
Another wonderful option for celeb spotting. Here, you'll be able to sit in an intimate indoor setting or enjoy the Cali sun on the garden terrace. You'll be treated to menu options such as the chateau burger, a Bolognese, or roasted free range chicken.

The Stinking Rose
If you're looking for unique, then this is the place for you. The restaurant embraces all things garlic in a dining room with red walls, set in Beverly Hills. A kids menu is provided.

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