10 LOS ANGELES RESTAURANTS TO CHECK OUT RIGHT NOW!
The name says it all! Bestia is the best. I've now been back twice (and I've only been to LA three times). What's so special about this restaurant is that the chefs taste each dish before it comes out, and if they don't like it, they will offer you a comp'd dish while you wait, and then perfect the dish you ordered. Talk about service! You can't go wrong with one of their pizzas, pastas or entrees. We loved the gnocchi, kohlrabi & apple salad, calamari and the rib eye (which is sometimes off the menu, but they have it!). Think we got all of the desserts, which were amazing, but make sure you get the donuts!
Gust go! This place is an experience. I do like their sister restaurant Gjelina, but IMO, Gjusta is better. It's a trendy deli where you take a number and wait for your turn to order. They have everything from pizzas, to sandwiches, to breakfast dishes to salad plates. We got the Turkey Reuben, Margarita pizza and a trio of salads (subtly in the background). Best part, there is an outdoor patio packed with picnic tables. Great for a weekend outing or not so quick weekday lunch meeting.
You already know my thoughts on Bestia, Bavel's sister restaurant, so let me tell you about Bavel. When we got there it was poppin'. Like Bestia, there's an open kitchen, so you can see what everyone is ordering. This butternut squash flatbread was incredible. We ordered two! We also got a bunch of Middle Eastern apps and my husband loved the Lamb! It's also a great spot for celeb sighting. We saw Kristen Schaal from Flight of the Concords.
This place was on my list for a while. We were supposed to go for dinner, but there was not enough time, so I decided to go for a "lunch meeting". For lunch you can't make reservations, and have to order at the counter and then they bring the food to your table. On a Tuesday afternoon it was packed. So many delicious options on the menu, but I got the Chicken with Brussels and the girl I was with got an omelette, which she loved. We also sat next to Kyle Mooney! Another great spot for celeb sightings.
I probably wouldn't have trekked to Pasadena if my brother-in-law and sister-in-law didn't live there, but they do and I am so glad we did. The entire town is super charming, but modern in a sense that they have everything from restaurants, to shops, country clubs and the best hiking (not that hiking is modern, but you get what I am saying!). They took me to lunch at The Langham Hotel, and everything we had was excellent. Especially this Chicken Bahn Mi Sandwich. I wish I had more time to actually hang out and explore the hotel and the rest of Pasadena. We'll be back!
#2 JON & VINNYS
Where do we even start! This was our first time at J & V, and 10 friends joined us for my 30th bday. We went to the new Brentwood location and ordered everything! Ricotta Toast (one of the best things ever), pizzas, pastas, mozz sticks, all of the salads and of course, chicken parm. They also have a pretty lengthy wine list and while you wait for your table they offer you tastings. The frozen yogurt is also really good! Please come to NYC soon?
#4 JEAN-GEORGES BEVERLY HILLS
I kid you not, one morning we stumbled upon Jean-Georges' restaurant at the Waldorf Astoria in Beverly Hills. It was raining and we were in workout clothes (everyone else at the restaurant was not). After looking at the menu, I remembered reading somewhere that this Avocado Carpaccio pizza was famous (you can only get it at his LA spot!). It was one of the best dishes I've ever had. I was craving Avocado Toast for breakfast, but this was next level and a must next time you're in Los Angeles.
Right now Margot is one of the most buzzed about, Instagramable restaurants in Los Angeles. It's located in Culver City's new shopping center called Platform, which is surrounded by adorable boutiques, Blue Bottle Coffee, Roberta's (yes from Brooklyn) and Soul Cycle. This Truffle Pasta was delicious and if I could, I would go to Soul Cycle everyday followed by this dish. Only negative, my friends highly allergic to nuts and this was one of the only dishes she could eat, so don't go there with someone who has allergies.
I am usually skeptical of hotel restaurants. They are usually subpar. We stayed at the Avalon the first few nights of our trip and the night we arrived to LA were exhausted, so we tried out Viviane in the hotel. The reviews on Yelp were average, but we were really impressed and would definitely go back. We sat at an exclusive table by the pool, which was super intimate. Would love to eat there again during the daytime. Get the avocado salad, butternut squash ravioli and burger. They have a great drink list too!
#10 HOME RESTAURANT
After not wanting to wait on the hour long line at Sqirl, our Uber driver recommended that we go to Home (the restaurant in Los Feliz). This place was super homey (pun intended). You're greeted by an adorable outdoor patio with a pretty large fish pond, and there were two seats waiting for us so we can stalk the little fishies. We were starving at this point, so got the Mac & Cheese and Southwest Spring Rolls, followed by a Chicken Caesar Salad. Guess how much of the salad I ate? We then walked it all off on our way to the Griffith Observatory, which is not as close as it looks, but in the grand scheme of things it's like we never ate this Mac & Cheese right? Wrong. I will never forget this dish. Definitely check out Home Restaurant!