Four Restaurants to Try This Weekend in Los Angeles

Four Restaurants to Try This Weekend in Los Angeles

Every Friday, Eater editors share their suggestions

You probably think of the same question every weekend: where should I eat? Well, every week Eater LA will compile a handy dandy set of recommendations right here to answer that very question. Here now, five places to try this weekend in Los Angeles. (And if you need some ideas on where to drink, check out the weekend bar guide):

May 26, 2017

For the party you deserve to be invited to: Kismet

 Wonho Frank Lee
Kismet, Los Feliz

You know you’ve found LA’s hot new restaurant when the two most likely people to be sitting next to you are a celebrity and a chef. That’s the case with Kismet, where everyone from Nancy Silverton to Natalie Portman have dined in the past week. It helps of course that the food is amazing, the design is stellar, and owners Sarah Hymanson and Sara Kramer are beloved parts of the local landscape. Just make sure you can get a seat. 4648 Hollywood Blvd., Los Feliz. — Farley Elliott

For a street stand with a growing line: Dave’s Hot Chicken

 Farley Elliott

Better to get to Dave’s Hot Chicken now, because the East Hollywood Nashville hot chicken street food stand is blowing up. The lines already stretch well down the block and the Howlin’ Ray’s team just went out last night to show their own love and give their stamp of approval, so things are gonna keep getting big for a while. That makes this longer weekend a perfect chance to try those spicy tenders now, so you can tell your grandkids that you were there way back at the beginning of it all. 5115 Hollywood Blvd., Thai Town. — Farley Elliott

For the ideal place to introduce an LA friend to the city’s scene: Gjusta


It’s hard to say just how fantastic it is to have a place like Gjusta in LA. It’s the grocery store deli counter, perfected. Everything (virtually) from the pastries to the bread to the cured fish to the rotisserie, is prepared in house. It’s a celebration of great product and the kind of attention to detail you don’t normally see in the “neighborhood bakery/cafe.” The place can get chaotic on weekends, so beware. But the food is mostly all spot-on from an execution standpoint. I recently had the cured fish sampler, falafel platter, and banh mi “americano,” and they were all supremely delicious. The only tiny misfire was the size of the banh mi, which seemed about half its normal size. I didn’t complain much because of how tasty it was. 320 Sunset Ave, Venice, CA 90291 —Matthew Kang

For affordable kebabs with tons of flexibility: U Pick Cafe


Looking for affordable kebabs in Highland Park? Look for the nook at the corner of a strip mall along York Blvd. The beef lule and chicken kebabs are about as good as one can expect, and the best part of the meal is how easy it is to customize the plates, with a choice of spread, yogurt cucumber, rice, muttabal (which is great), and grilled vegetables. For the health conscious, it’s a fantastic place to accommodate any dietary restrictions. For the omnivores, it’s the ideal combination of delicious and wallet-friendly. 4682 York Blvd, Los Angeles. —Matthew Kang

May 19, 2017

For pub grub you’ll actually want to eat, and beers to match the mood:

Kings Row Gastropub

If you don’t spend much time in Pasadena, you may not be aware of Kings Row Gastropub. The locals are probably just fine with that, considering the patio is packed most nights with or without you. It’s possible you’re missing out though, because the unassuming Old Pasadena location holds some of the best craft beers around, and offers quality simple eats, from wings to fries on down, that you’ll absolutely want to devour with your next drink. 20 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena. — Farley Elliott

For a Downtown stunner with Japanese appeal: Kai Japanese Roots

Kai Japanese Roots

The long-gestating Spring Arcade has a new tenant to know about, and its name is Kai Japanese Roots. The soaring corner destination is long on sunlight and sushi options, but also carries a wide collection of other casual Japanese favorites worth munching on. Most importantly though, their sake collection makes for a rather lovely way to sink into your weekend — straight from the Downtown office. 542 S. Broadway, Downtown. — Farley Elliott

For the South Bay’s finest Indian and Pakastani favorites: Al-Noor

 Crystal Coser

Looking for a pre- or post- airport meal? Al-Noor is a convenient 10-minute drive from LAX, making it quite the spot to refuel after a day of traveling. This Lawndale strip mall gem offers great takes on all the favorites, but ask any one of the family members that run the small operation for a recommendation, and they might steer you to something you haven’t tried, like Pakastani nehrani. The braised beef shank sits in a savory gravy that is a nice counterpoint to creamier curries, and is best enjoyed topped with fresh julienned ginger and jalapeno and a side of wheat flour paratha. 15112 S Inglewood Ave, Lawndale —Crystal Coser

For a classy Italian experience in the deep South Bay: Primo


This dark, romantic restaurant in the very southern part of Torrance, and virtually on the border of Rolling Hills, offers something you can’t always find in the South Bay: ambiance. The fare is mostly solid, with house made pastas and familiar entrees like chicken parm and branzino. It’s a useful weekday restaurant, with a full bar and even TVs for sports fans, but on weekends the place becomes a ritzy supper club, with live music. The food itself is on the pricey side, and the execution of the entrees isn’t as tight as it should be. But the pastas are tasty, and cocktails are probably the best in the area. 24590 Hawthorne Blvd, Torrance — Matthew Kang

For a great plate of chicken and waffles on Fairfax: Sweet Chick

 Sweet Chick
Sweet Chick

Nas’ fried chicken concept Sweet Chick drew lines when it first opened, but these days it’s a little more relaxed. The expansive former Rosewood Tavern digs have been transformed into a bright, casual spot serving fried chicken and other soul food favorites. The chicken’s slightly dry when it comes out, but the flavors are great. The waffles are the thicker Belgian variety, which I prefer over the thinner kind at Roscoe’s. You’ll pay $17 for a plate, but you’ll smile all the way through. 448 N Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles — Matthew Kang

May 12, 2017

For a Silver Lake candlelit night out: Maré

Maré Charms Silver Lake With Low Lighting and Late Nights

Eric Greenspan’s charming new Maré in Silver Lake hits all the right notes. The menu is just as comfortable as what you’ve had at their (now defunct) Santa Monica and Melrose locations, but the airy space is much more inviting. Linger, lounge, and laugh with friends over wine (or drink from the full bar), and watch as one of the hippest parts of Los Angeles rolls by out the big open windows. 2609 Hyperion Ave., Silver Lake. — Farley Elliott

For pasta in all the right places: Spartina

 Wonho Frank Lee

Melrose Italian hub Spartina probably doesn’t get the recognition it deserves. Chef Stephen Kalt has been around plenty of blocks and knows well how to manage a team to success. You’ll still find him frequently working the pass, dropping plates and making sure the housemade pastas are on point. And indeed they are, as is the collection of starter plates that become practically mandatory when snacking around with friends inside or out on the large open patio. 7505 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles. — Farley Elliott

For a Westwood sweet tooth’s dream: Stan’s Donuts

Stan’s Donuts

Los Angeles is flush with doughnut shops, but there are few that rise to the level of supremacy that Stan’s Donuts enjoys. Despite the unassuming decor from this UCLA-adjacent hotspot, lines form early for the AM treats. It’s all part of the ritual: Wait a bit, eye the case before you order, and step up to the plate when it’s your turn to swing. If you’re unsure, just get an apple fritter: It’s a home run. 10948 Weyburn Ave., Westwood. — Farley Elliott

For a terrific low-key yakitori experience: Torihei

The South Bay has plenty of great izakayas from which to choose, but few of them do so with the quality and consistency of Torihei, which occupies a smallish space in an expansive strip mall in Torrance. Sure, you could do luxe at Otafuku or Musha, but Torihei is your no-fuss weekend spot (just make a reservation or go early because it gets packed during prime hours). Beer’s cheap, the skewers are super reasonable, and the flavors are spot on. Exactly what an izakaya is supposed to be. Pro tip that I learned: order a parade of grilled chicken skewers and eat with the chopped cabbage salad covered with sesame sauce. It’s a textural contrast that also fills you up along the way. 1757 W Carson St, Torrance, CA 90501 —Matthew Kang

For a Smorgasburg-like feel late into the evening: Food Bowl Night Market at Grand Park

 Matthew Kang
Food Bowl Night Market in Downtown LA’s Grand Park

The Food Bowl has been a pretty expansive month-long event with everything from panels and special dinners to the roving food festival. Night Market is arguably the biggest event of the month, with a huge street food bonanza that takes over the grounds of Grand Park in Downtown LA. The way they laid it all out is pretty great: it’s gorgeous and relaxing, with food options seemingly on every corner. I enjoyed the Chori-Man’s chorizo-in-a-bun and tried the semi-ridiculous (but delicious) gelato burger from Gelato Messina.

 Matthew Kang
Chori-Man chorizo dog

The truffle-laden pasta from Louise’s was surprisingly good too. Entrance is free to most of the Night Market, with the exception of one section that costs $10 to get in. It’s a good deal since you can try Kato, Hanjip, and Chengdu Taste as well as that gelato burger. Parking’s a challenge: either try the Music Center’s $9 lot or take the Metro (there’s literally a stop in the middle of it all). The events run Friday to Sunday. 200 N Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012 —Matthew Kang

May 5, 2017:

For the sceniest weekend dinner in town: Beauty & Essex

Beauty & Essex HollywoodWonho Frank Lee

Come in on a weekend, hell any night of the week, and take in all the beauty that is the so aptly named Beauty & Essex. The stunning bi-level space featuring a soaring ceiling and packed bars has exactly the cool vibes you would expect, with all the glitz and glam that encapsulates the archetype of a Hollywood restaurant. Who knows, you might even have Beyoncé herself ponderously ordering from a menu next to you. 1615 Cahuenga Blvd, Los Angeles —Crystal Coser

For a new neighborhood cornerstone: Mh Zh

 Farley Elliott

New places, particularly ones with barely-functioning websites and a down and dirty DIY approach, should not be this good. Yet here is Mh Zh (pronounced ‘mah zeh’) in Silver Lake, a newcomer that burst onto the Sunset Boulevard scene with almost all outdoor sidewalk seating, a truly open kitchen, and cardboard plates for their salads. Nothing about the restaurant should work, but it all really, really does. There’s the oven-finished potatoes made perfect after a squeeze of lemon, the rustic Israeli salads and sides that finish out a meal, and the aggressively inexpensive prices. Go, go, go to Mz Zh — everyone else already is. 3536 Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake —Farley Elliott

For Downtown brunchtime decadence: Le Petit Paris

Behold the Stunning Interior at Le Petit Paris, Downtown's New Grand Dame RestaurantWonho Frank Lee

The soaring Le Petit Paris is almost comically opulent, in the way that ballrooms on the Titanic might have been. The gigantic, glittering space features multiple bars, an endless outdoor patio, and prime center seating for catching all the action inside the redone Parisian gem — and that’s before we even talk about the brunch. Lines snake through the dining area for their massive weekend offerings, which runs a cool $50 a head, includes egg and meat carving stations, and has add-on options for bottomless booze at just $15 a pop. Time to go down with the ship. 420 S. Spring St., Downtown. —Farley Elliott

For a delightful Southern extragavanza on the Westside: Hatchet Hall

Hatchet Hall, a Culver City RestaurantWonho Frank Lee

I try to make it a point to try Hatchet Hall every year because the food is some of the most soulful, and thoughtful, in Los Angeles on any given night. The patio is terrific as the weather warms up, and chef Brian Dunsmore brings out the bet produce of the season. I had a ramps toast recently that was incredible, plus a fatty pork chop covered with this extra-delicious mushroom “powder” of sorts. I even though the strawberry rhubarb galette was fantastic (much improved from the earlier desserts here). Hatchet Hall remains one of the most reliable places for dinner, but do make a reservation as even this expansive space fills to the brim. 12517 W Washington Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90066 —Matthew Kang

For an improved doner kebab experience, Berlin-style: Spitz

My friends and I are always on the lookout for an easy-going Eastside brunch spot on Sundays, and this place, with an expanded patio and refined menu, is a much better place than it was years ago. The wraps are closer to what you’d find at competitors Berlins or Spireworks, with a taut roll and fresh vege to keep it all intact. The epic doner fries are worth sharing too, with mounds of feta cheese, cabbage, aioli, and shaved meat. 2506 Colorado Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90041 —Matthew Kang

April 28, 2017:

For a glamorous night out in proper Hollywood style: Tao

 Wonho Frank Lee
Tao Asian Bistro Hollywood

Step into the first LA branch of the tentpole of the Tao Group complex, and you’ll likely have your breath taken away. Even if you’ve seen photos of the glitzy new clubstaurant, the sheer scale and magnitude of luxury that oozes from every corner is rather appalling. Make a late night reservation or just hang around the bar—this is a place where cool-kid vibes rule. 6421 Selma Ave, Los Angeles —Crystal Coser

For a fun time on the Sunset Strip: The Church Key

 Wonho Frank Lee
The Church Key

You’ll surely remember The Church Key, that big, deep party spot just west of tony Sunset Plaza. It’s been around a few years but hasn’t lost any of its luster, which means locals still trickle in from the hills and newcomers still find their eyes widening at the dim sum service cart that rolls around with snacks. The place is as upscale casual as ever, with loud music pumping through the system, plenty of bar seating, and just the right amount of weekend people watching. 8730 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood. — Farley Elliott

For a sunny Sunday brunch: Fig

Santa Monica’s Fig restaurant has quite the culinary past, having for years operated under the thumb of chef Ray Garcia. Now chef Yousef Ghalaini is on site, working a more modern Middle Eastern menu filled with delicious vegetables and a much-hyped bit of freshly warmed pita (yep, people talk about the pita here). But don’t skip on brunch either, particularly when Ghalaini’s team is firing on all cylinders and the weather is this nice. 101 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica. — Farley Elliott

For some of LA’s best pizzas right now: Pizzana

 Wonho Frank Lee
Pizzana, Brentwood

It’s still pretty early on for Brentwood’s Pizzana, but the pizzas are already some of the best that I’ve had in Los Angeles in a long time. First, Brentwood doesn’t have a lot of openings, so something fun and casual like this is a welcome sight for the Westside neighborhood. Second, expect to sit among some celebrities (Jim Belushi was sitting across from us; Chris O’Donnell is a co-owner). Third, the apps aren’t great yet, but the salads are quite good (our Caesar salad was textbook).

But mostly, you’re here because pizza is in the damn name of the restaurant. The wood-fired Neapolitan-style pies are structurally amazing: crisp on the edges with just enough pillowy-ness to make each bite interesting. Our Amatriciana was loaded up with dense fior di latte, with a nice textural contrast between crunchy, cracker-like prosciutto, red onions, and the relatively dry San Marzano sauce (the chef is quick to tell you he procures the Italian tomatoes straight from a single farm). Another nice detail: the pizzas come on a little elevated rack, which means your slices are wonderful (as in, non-soggy) until the last bite. 11712 San Vicente Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90049 —Matthew Kang

For a ritzy weekend meal in Beverly Hills: Ocean Prime

 Elizabeth Daniels
Ocean Prime, Beverly Hills

Beverly Hills might be LA’s premier steak destination, with Mastro’s, CUT, The Palm, and Wolfgang’s Steakhouse all within a solid baseball’s throw of each other (assuming you throw a ball like Yasiel Puig). Ocean Prime looks and feels and sure as heck acts like a steakhouse, but it’s a got mean seafood game. I highly recommend the seafood tower, which has a gimmicky (but Instagram-friendly) construction billowing with dry ice “smoke” at the top. The aged steaks are actually pretty darn delicious, exuding a higher level of funk that most patrons would put up with, but I actually love. And the prices of the prime aged, well seared steaks are seemingly more reasonable than its nearby competitors, too. 9595 Wilshire Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90212 —Matthew Kang

April 21, 2017:

For a modern Mexican meal, cocktails and all: Verlaine

 Wonho Frank Lee

The recently opened Verlaine on Beverly makes for a great weekend getaway. The patio spot is just as charming as it was during the Dominick’s days, and the cozy corner bar is now manned by cocktail maestro Aaron Melendrez. Chef Diego Hernandez’s food is thoughtful while still being fun, and adds to the greater conversation about Mexican chefs bringing their attitudes and ingredients north. 8715 Beverly Blvd., West Hollywood. — Farley Elliott

For a puffy taco weekend excursion: Arturo’s Puffy Taco

 Farley Elliott
Arturo’s Puffy Taco

Whittier is known these days for having some strong local restaurants, most of them in some way touched by chef Ricardo Diaz. There is another longstanding spot that has retained its prominence for years as a local institution, without the helpful PR push of a revitalized downtown Whittier: Arturo’s Puffy Taco. The simple stand serves Tex Mex puffy tacos and a slew of other little-seen regional favorites, and makes for a quirky, fun ride from Los Angeles if you’ve got some time to kill. 15693 Leffingwell Road. — Farley Elliott

For late-night Westside dining: Scopa

 Elizabeth Daniels
Scopa Italian Roots

There are just a small handful of really nice places to eat on the Westside after 10 p.m., but Scopa is perhaps the easiest one that comes to mind. The long bar area and the dark environs make for the perfect nightcap for anyone looking to relax to some well-curated tunes. The food, which has become increasingly substantial (like the immense lasanga), is great for soaking up some booze, or filling a hungry belly after a long weekend. While prime mealtimes make for a bustling ambiance, I’m a fan of the late night vibe here. 2905 W Washington Blvd., Venice. —Matthew Kang

For quality Indian fare in Beverly Hills: Bombay Palace

Bombay Palace

People have long bemoaned the lack of quality Indian cuisine in Los Angeles, and outfits like Badmaash have shown that there’s a demand for well-thought curry. Bombay Palace seems a bit staid in comparison, but there’s good stuff coming from the kitchen, to the layered and rich lentils to the butter chicken. The lamb vindaloo had a nice kick but I almost wish it were even spicier. The super thin garlic naan stole the show though, with a crackly texture that worked well with the curries. 8690 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills. —Matthew Kang

For affordable chirashi that doesn’t sacrifice quality: Murakami


It isn’t always easy to break out of the Sugarfish mold when it comes to finding the best quality-to-price ratio at a sushi restaurant. My newest go-to is Melrose’s Murakami, where I can get surprisingly full off a sub-$25 customizable bowl of fish and accoutrements that rival any $$$ restaurant. $15 lunch deals are the real steal, but I’m happy to splurge when you have the option of adding pristine uni to your bowl without breaking the bank. 7160 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles —Crystal Coser

April 7, 2017:

For a whimsical meal that’s as good as ever: The Bazaar by José Andrés

 The SLS

When it first opened, José Andrés’ The Bazaar was without question the hottest ticket in town. Eight years later and the restaurant is still going strong. That’s largely thanks to chef Holly Jivin who maintains Andrés’ vision in both the signature dishes and new additions to the menu. The cotton candy foie gras is still as magical as the first time you ate it, but now there are steamed uni buns and stuffed Dungeness crab making it all feel very new. And you can’t, of course, skip the dedicated dessert room full of whimsical treats, including a limited Beauty and the Beast-themed chocolate rose that’s a must order before the special is just a tale as old as time. SLS Hotel, 465 S La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles —Crystal Coser

For your next hotdog hankering: Sumo Dog

 Wonho Frank Lee
Sumo Dog

Next time you’re scrolling through Yelp on your phone, trying to find a decent hotdog somewhere in this city, consider Koreatown’s Sumo Dog. The place takes some Japanese liberties with their food, dishing out flavors like miso and teriyaki with a strong hand. It’s a casual, fun, filling meal that won’t break the bank — but might make you a little sleepy. 516 S. Western Ave., Koreatown — Farley Elliott

For deep Valley coffee shop vibes: Nat’s Cafe West

Nat’s Cafe West

If you’ve got friends or family buried deep in the Valley, make this the weekend you give ’em a ring. You could even suggest an AM breakfast session at Nat’s Cafe West in Canoga Park, where the eggs come out perfect every time and the coffee is just as good/bad as you want it to be. After all, who doesn’t love a good weekend diner? 8336 Topanga Canyon Blvd., Canoga Park. — Farley Elliott

For a Midnight Diner: Tokyo Stories experience in the South Bay: Asa Ramen

 Matthew Kang

If you haven’t watched Tokyo Stories on Netflix, it’s one of the most underrated shows on the streaming service. When I think of a place that evokes that diner, it’s Asa Ramen in Gardena, which feels like you travel through a wormhole into a Tokyo backalley despite its South Bay strip mall housing. They serve every evening until 1 a.m., which draws in local night owls. You can still hear folks singing karaoke in the rooms next door, where you can order sochu or beer and perhaps an order of takoyaki. The ramen here isn’t fantastic, but it’s also relatively clean and unadulterated. It’s not so fatty that you’ll feel swollen the next morning. The pork-rich kotteri is fine but the soy-based assari ramen is probably the best one of the menu, more balanced with bonito and broth, with chewier alkaline noodles. The pan-fried gyoza is fantastic but the takoyaki are on the gooier side, if that’s what you prefer. But to me, it’s the vibe, the weird lighting, the waft of frying dumplings, the man standing in the corner of the kitchen furiously flipping over every orb of takoyaki for about 10 minutes straight at a time. Just like Netflix’s Midnight Diner, there’s something unspoken, endearing, and lovely about a portal to Japanese late night culture in Asa Ramen that I just can’t resist. W 182nd St, Gardena —Matthew Kang

For a sweltering lunch in Culver City: Taj Tandoori

 Matthew Kang

I haven’t made it to the Indian subcontinent, but I’m dying to go. I love the flavors, the spices, and even the heat. Yes, the immense sweltering heat where someone literally needs spices in their food to sweat it out. Taj Tandoori feel like an eatery in Islamabad or Mumbai, with an appropriate soundtrack coming off the old TV in the corner. Taj Tandoori handles Pakistani-slanted meat dishes quite well, though the vegetarian curries are also fantastic, especially for the price. The $10 lunch special comes with plush naan, three kinds of curry (pre-selected each day), a samosa, and a pile of pillowy rice. The chicken karahi is excellent, with tender, flavorful chicken swimming in an addictively spicy curry. I’m wiping my brow every other bite, and I’m loving it. 10823 Venice Blvd, Los Angeles —Matthew Kang

March 31, 2017:

For a Westside standby that’s always a safe bet: Milo & Olive

 Emily Hart Roth

Pop in to Milo & Olive on any day of the week, and the neighborhood eatery by Josh Loeb and Zoe Nathan is consistently packed. It’s no surprise, as the restaurant is turning out the kind of dishes you could eat every day, from its signature roasted garlic knot to a slew of crowd-pleasing pastas and pizzas. Be sure to finish your meal with a variety of treats from the talented pastry department, with an impressive selection of seasonal pastries like the vibrant winter citrus tart. 2723 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica —Crystal Coser

For an OC Filipino food excursion: Irenia


Chef Ryan Garlitos is up to something delicious in Santa Ana. The Irenia chef and former Taco Maria cook is turning up Filipino flavors at his new brick and mortar spot just off bustling 4th Street, with a raucous weekend dining room that’s perfect for big parties looking to eat well. Explore the flavors of the Philippines while sipping on drinks and spotting Garlitos himself from the big kitchen window — it’s a journey worth making. 400 N. Broadway, Santa Ana —Farley Elliott

For a Valley bagel institution with lots of history: Western Bagel

 Wonho Frank Lee

Step back in time at Western Bagel in Van Nuys, as the round-the-clock storefront — seriously, they never, ever close — attached to the company’s main factory is just as charmingly timeless as ever. Open since 1958, the place still makes their bagels in the back, and you can order up a sandwich (breakfast or otherwise) or a straight dozen roundies to take home for the family. After all, you deserve a bagel or two in your life. 7814 Sepulveda Blvd., Van Nuys —Farley Elliott

For delicious Italian-American fare in a gorgeous Hollywood scene: The Nice Guy

The Nice Guy

h.wood Group has slowly been making the transition from a nightlife-heavy outlet to one that’s more balanced, with destination-worthy dinner menus to go alongside the drinks. Earlier this week I popped in and the place was jammed even at 10:30 p.m. at night, packed with attractive people looking to have a good time. And while we might’ve been the only ones ordering a full dinner there (they serve until midnight every evening, with pizzas available afterwards until 2 a.m.), we were more than happy to enjoy the ambiance.

The lobster pizza and octopus carpaccio were almost as delicious from something at Jon & Vinny’s, and the penne vodka and bucatini carbonara were easily on par. I was honestly shocked by how much everything’s improved with the new menu. The only misfire might’ve been the chicken marsala, which was a tad sweeter than I’d want normally. But still, for the kind of place it is, which is a scene-y, loud spot for celebrities (and faux celebrities), The Nice Guy more than delivers on the food front. And that’s why I’m at spots like this. Reservations required. 401 N. La Cienega Blvd. —Matthew Kang

For some of the city’s most delicious, and spiciest Thai food: Luv2eat Thai Bistro

 Wonho Frank Lee

I’m embarrassed to say that it took me nearly three years to come here considering my love of Thai food. But I was blown away by literally everything here. The Thai sausage, deep fried and served with crisp accoutrements was a nice start. The now iconic Phuket crab curry is absolutely delicious and blisteringly spicy even at “medium.” The khao soi rivaled anything I had in Chiang Mai recently. Just note that anything ordered “medium” will be about an 8 on a scale of 10 for most people. If you order mild, that’s probably sufficient for most folks. If you order spicy, you’re in for some serious pain (for days).

The food at Luv2eat is legitimately great right now, and I’m shocked there aren’t lines of a few dozen people battling to get in for every meal service (it’s still quite busy, thankfully). LA lost a wonderful Thai restaurant in Pok Pok earlier this month, but we still have other great spots like Luv2eat, Night + Market, Ruen Pair, and Sapp Coffee Shop (AND Crying Tiger). 6660 W. Sunset Blvd. Hollywood —Matthew Kang

March 24, 2017:

For the most glamorous meal in K-Town: Terra Cotta

 Wonho Frank Lee
Terra Cotta

Terra Cotta is a sight to be seen. The cavernous space is dotted with what must be the most expensive cluster of glass chandeliers in all of Los Angeles, not to mention some seriously impressive booths. The food by Nobu alum Danny Ye seems very fitting of all the glitz and glam, while taking cue from the restaurant’s Koreatown locale. Start off with luxurious plates of uni toast and scallop crudo adored with black bean vinaigrette before feasting on the show-stopping galbi toban, a sizzling plate of the Korean marinated meat that rivals some of LA’s best Korean barbecue. 3760 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles. — Crystal Coser

For a rebirth of the Westside’s best carb-loading spot: Lodge Bread Co.

 Matthew Kang
Lodge Bread Co’s New Look

Lodge Bread Co.’s original space was like an indie band’s EP. Six songs, tight, tasty, and a preview of more that was to come. The expanded restaurant is like Lodge’s LP, a complete album of bites like pizza, hummus, grilled vegetables, and even beer and wine (though the license was still pending as of the middle of this week). Still, the environs are much improved, with a welcome center entrance that opens up into a bright outdoor dining space with a groovy interior that feeds off the fire of the pizza oven.

The pies themselves are doughy, hefty, and charred, something that a true carb lover might enjoy but one that prefers a more balanced Neapolitan pie might have to get used to. They’re probably the most interesting pizzas in this part of town right now, so if you can brave the weekend lines it’s worth trekking over to Culver City. The hummus, however, might give Hummus Yummy a run for its best-in-city status, if you can endure the toasted pine nuts covering the garbanzo spread. I’m more than fine with a load of pine nuts. 11918 Washington Blvd, Los Angeles. — Matthew Kang

For some of the most interesting food in Culver City right now: Bacoshop

 Wonho Frank Lee

Josef Centeno finally came out of his Downtown cloister and brought over a compelling concept to Culver City, a fast-casual version of his popular restaurant called Bacoshop. The idea is a little novel for the area that’s already packed with fast casual concepts: a thick pita-like bread wrapped around thoughtful vegetables, sauces, and meats at around $8-9 a pop. I really like the chile shrimp version, while the cheese laden baco stuffed with meat could be your perfect Taco Bell substitute. To balance out the heavier bacos, grab a side salad like the crunchy spring pea snaps. Wash it down with the Bacopop soda or finish with the sweet soft serve of the day. 9552 Washington Blvd, Culver City . — Matthew Kang

For an eggy midday hideaway: Tuck Hotel

 Farley Elliott
Tuck Hotel

One of Downtown’s newer boutique hotels doubles as a sunny all-day eatery. Operating under the Tuck Hotel banner, the open lobby restaurant essentially does a dialed-in daily brunch from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., with a simple menu that includes lots of sandwiches with eggs on them. Not a bad way to spend your weekend. 820 S. Spring St., Downtown. — Farley Elliott

For a busy weekend deli: Izzy’s Deli

Izzy’s Deli

Santa Monica stalwart Izzy’s Deli is as classic as they come. You and some friends can sink into the big booths, watch the traffic roll by, and nosh on pickle spears and sandwiches until your heart’s content, just like thousands of other customers (many of them quietly famous, hanging out in a dim corner) before you at this 24 hour haunt. 1433 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica. — Farley Elliott

Four Restaurants to Try This Weekend in Los Angeles.” Eater LA – All.

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