These are the 10 best restaurants in Los Angeles, ranked by local expert

From the beach to downtown and everywhere in between, the culinary offerings in Los Angeles are literally endless. You'll find dining choices on almost every block – and food trucks pulled up to the curb, too. It's a city of blended nationalities (with people from 140 countries who speak over 200 different languages at last count), which means every ethnic group is represented. It's the heart of California cuisine, a unique fusion of French, Italian, Mexican, Chinese, Japanese and other gastronomies, with a focus on fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Famed chefs like Spago's Wolfgang Puck and Nobu Malibu's Nobu Matsuhisa call the city home, along with plenty of "Top Chef" and Food Network stars. Southern California is even the birthplace of some of the world's most famous fast-food joints, including McDonald's and In-and-Out. The competition is fierce to be the best here and restaurants come and go like the ocean tide, so to rise to the very top takes a winning combination of exemplary food, cool design, hot buzz and – especially for the ones that make it for the long haul – consistency in all aspects of service and fare.

10

TATEL Beverly Hills

Beverly Hills TATEL Beverly Hills

Photo courtesy of TATEL Beverly Hills

When TATEL Restaurant arrived in Beverly Hills in 2021, it had an impressive pedigree. With two outposts Spain and owners that include sports stars Rafael Nadal and Pau Gasol, TATEL already had a buzz. Add in award-winning Executive Chef Luigi Fineo and TATEL jumped right into L.A.'s Top 10. With a sophisticated vibe, live music and a lively bar scene, there's much to love about TATEL. But mostly it is about the food. The Iberico Ham de Bellota is exquisite, paper-thin slices that melt in your mouth, enhanced with Pan Tumaca for a swooningly good beginning. Try "The Burrata" for an incredible taste of that best cheese ever, served with oranges, tomatoes and a lavender vinaigrette, then dive into a plate of warm eggplant chips, luscious medallions that you dip into a honey sabayon. Main dishes of note include the Grilled Whole Branzino and the signature TATEL Veal Milanese.

Recommended for Best Restaurants because: This Spanish-Mediterranean wonder jumped into the L.A. food scene in the midst of the pandemic and wowed the foodie crowd immediately.

Jenny's expert tip: Be sure to make a reservation, as this is one of the hottest places in town; and park in the city garage a few steps away for a $5 flat fee.

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9

Badmaash

Hollywood Badmaash

Photo courtesy of Badmaash

Badmaash on Fairfax is the second outpost of this Indian-style hipster hangout (the first is on 2nd Street in DTLA) and it seems to be even more popular than its older sibling. The brainchild of Chef Pawan Mahendro and his two sons, Nakul and Arjun, their menu combines traditional Indian dishes (think Tandoori Chicken Tikka, Saag Paneer and Butter Chicken) with all-new takes on Indian cuisine. Bite into the Chicken Tikka Poutine and you may not be sure what world cuisine you're eating (Canada? India?), but you'll know it is something special. Share a selection of the counterintuitive entree combinations and we're sure you'll add Badmaash to your list of must-try L.A. favorite restaurants. And unlike some Indian places around town, you'll find pork dishes on the menu here, along with vegetarian, lamb, chicken, beef and fish.

Recommended for Best Restaurants because: Because the fascinating Indian cuisine you'll try here is going to surprise you, we're certain.

Jenny's expert tip: Ask for the Butter Chicken Burger; it's not on the menu, but you'll be happy you asked.

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8

Guelaguetza

Koreatown

Guelaguetza

Photo courtesy of Ed Kwon

Guelaguetza was recently honored by the James Beard Foundation, which awarded the Oaxacan eatery with its "America's Classic" honorarium. Given to a "restaurant with timeless appeal, beloved in its region for quality food that reflects the character of its community," there's little doubt that the foundation made a good choice with the restaurant that has been operating (somewhat ironically) in Koreatown since 1994. Simply sample one of their traditional Oaxaca entrees like the famed Mole Negro made with juicy chicken or the Costilla de Puerco Enchilada, pork ribs drenched in a spicy sauce, and you'll understand why. Go for breakfast, lunch or dinner; and enjoy live music just about every evening at this lively, family-run place.

Recommended for Best Restaurants because: Constantly cited by local and national experts as one of the best places in town, eating at Guelaguetza lives up to its vaunted reputation.

Jenny's expert tip: Take a tasting flight of the countless Mezcals that line the bar here or order one of the special cocktails made with that heady spirit.

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7

CATCH LA

West Hollywood CATCH LA

Photo courtesy of CATCH LA

CATCH LA is the newest outpost of the popular EMM Group seafood restaurant chain that began in New York and has now expanded to Los Angeles (actually West Hollywood), Aspen and Las Vegas. CATCH LA combines a super-sexy scene � think famous actors, top athletes, Hollywood executives � with some of the most mouthwatering seafood concoctions you have ever tasted. Head upstairs to the indoor-outdoor space with a view of the Pacific Design Center next door, and choose the patio or the indoor section, which on a clear evening will have its roof retracted, revealing a moonlight view. Then try selections from the various menus sections: Raw Bar, Signature Cold, Cold, Skewers, Rolled, Hot and Signature Vegan and it is hard to go wrong. Pick Hamachi Spinach with its amazing ponzu sauce, go for the light Branzino in butter, and don't miss the Truffle Sashimi.

Recommended for Best Restaurants because: A hot social scene combined with world-class seafood and other dishes to be shared puts CATCH LA at the top of the Hollywood heap.

Jenny's expert tip: Order the "Signature Cold" dish of Truffle Sashimi and taste what just may be the most delicious seafood dish on the planet.

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6

Crustacean

Beverly Hills Crustacean

Photo courtesy of Crustacean photo by Ian Bailey

Chef Helene An and her family escaped Vietnam as the Communists Chef Chef Helene An escaped Vietnam as the Communists overran Saigon in 1975 and the rest really is history. She carried along the secret recipes that have made Crustacean one of the top Asian fusion restaurants in Beverly Hills for decades; and she's even got a secret kitchen-within-the-kitchen where only the few in the know are allowed. Her garlic noodles with prawns are legendary, as is her huge Dungeness crab roasted in secret spices. With a recent $10 million redesign, Crustacean has reopened and is better than ever. There are delicious dim sum offerings too, ranging from pho soup dumplings to a langoustine spring roll and a filet mignon beef satay. The new look is open and bright, and the fish tank walkway built into the floor remains the same, thank goodness, for it really wouldn't be Crustacean without that.

Recommended for Best Restaurants because: Crustacean has been a Beverly Hills fixture for over 20 years and remains the place to find the best Asian cuisine in Southern California, hands down.

Jenny's expert tip: You simply must have An's Famous Garlic Noodles and An's Famous Roasted Crab. There's a reason they are famous â€" they are fabulous!

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5

Republique

Miracle Mile/Fairfax District

Republique

Photo courtesy of République, photo by Ryan Tanaka.

Republique took over the spot on La Brea Blvd. that once housed Campanile and proved at once that it is a worthy successor to that Mark Peel/Nancy Silverton effort that lived in the space for over 20 years. Those two famed chefs are divorced, but the Republique pair (chefs Walter and Margarita Manzke) are going strong with this French-with-a-California-tinge bistro. Their French fries are the stuff of legend already, and while it may sound strange, try the Eggs on Toast appetizer, a heady mix of Uni and soft-scrambled eggs. Actually, it is basically impossible to find a less-than-stellar dish at this convivial place, but if house-made charcuterie (terrines, pates and meats) is in your wheelhouse, you will not find better in Los Angeles. Terrific braised short ribs, truffle risotto, and Thai lobster soup prove that you should expect the unexpected at this "French" bistro.

Recommended for Best Restaurants because: From the moment it opened in 2014, Republique has been one of the hottest spots in town.

Jenny's expert tip: Make a reservation to ensure seating during dinner rush hours; and order the fries the moment you sit down. The rest is gravy.

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4

Nobu Malibu

Malibu

Nobu Malibu

Photo courtesy of Nobu Malibu photo by Henry Hargreaves

Los Angeles is where it all began for Nobu Matsuhisa, the acknowledged king of Japanese cuisine, who now has high-end eateries all over the world. His first restaurant, Matsuhisa, is a tiny place on La Cienega Boulevard; Nobu Los Angeles is further north up that same street; and the prettiest of them all, Nobu Malibu, is perched right on the sand on Pacific Coast Highway in the heart of that posh beach community. Malibu gets our vote for the best of three solely on location, for the gorgeous ocean views and sleek restaurant design somehow make Nobu's signature dishes like Black Cod Miso and Yellowtail with Jalapeno seem even more delicious when eaten there (and they are seriously fantastic no matter where you taste them).

Recommended for Best Restaurants because: Nobu Matsuhisa began his restaurant empire here in Los Angeles; there are three places to sample his food in SoCal, but Malibu has the best views.

Jenny's expert tip: Time your visit to Nobu Malibu to see the sun set, for with its beachfront location on Pacific Coast Highway, there's no better view in town.

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3

Melisse

Santa Monica Melisse

Photo courtesy of Mélisse

Ever since Melisse opened its doors in 1999, Chef-Owner Josiah Citrin has pushed for excellence in every element of this fine-dining experience and he has succeeded admirably. His restaurant is the kind of place where patrons dress for dinner, the silver is real and every dish is precisely made to the exacting standards of French haute cuisine. Constantly showered with accolades, Melisse led the way toward seasonal menus sourced via local farmer's markets and continues to innovate with a renovated space that now seats just 14 diners. The chef makes the menu choice during this nine-course meal, so hope that the legendary Dover sole made tableside or the Cote de Boeuf Roti are on the menu. If not, rest assured that every bite will be memorable. Make sure to add wine to your meal, as Melisse has one of the best cellars in the city.

Recommended for Best Restaurants because: One of the few two-starred Michelin restaurants in L.A., this Santa Monica star is the place in L.A. for haute French cuisine.

Jenny's expert tip: Know before you go that there is only one way to eat at Melisse, which is with a nine-course dinner tasting menu.

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2

Providence

Melrose Providence

Photo courtesy of Providence Restaurant

Providence, the award-winning seafood restaurant on the southern edge of Hollywood earns high points for a creative menu and superb quality, which is why consistently has been awarded two Michelin stars, something of a rarity in Los Angeles. Now over 10 years old, the Michael Cimarusti-helmed seafood spot remains one of the city's best. Only the freshest seafood makes its way to Providence's coveted tables. This charming New American spot serves a mixture of excellent hot selections and raw, cold ones, too. Start with an indulgent appetizer of black truffles over risotto before feasting on seasonal dishes like vermilion rockfish with coconut and jalapeno. For an exquisite dining experience with gorgeous presentation in an intimate setting, Providence is one of SoCal's primo spots for dining.

Recommended for Best Restaurants because: One of the city's acknowledged masters of cuisine, Chef Michael Cimarusti hss been proving his talents at Providence for over a decade.

Jenny's expert tip: Go with the Chef's Tasting Menu for a sublime experience.

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1

Spago

Beverly Hills Spago

Photo courtesy of Spago

Sit in an inside booth or out at a garden table, there's not a bad seat in the house at Spago, the jewel in Wolfgang Puck's culinary crown. Now in Beverly Hills, the restaurant began its life in West Hollywood in 1982 and for more than 30 years has delivered consistently delicious, innovative dishes. Puck, a recipient of the James Beard Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award, led the way in creating "California cuisine" –" the fusion of different ethnic foods (Japanese, Chinese, Italian, French, Mexican) all made with fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Be sure to taste the signature dishes: the Spicy Tuna Tartare, the Pizza with House Smoked Smoked Salmon, the Hand Made Agnolotti and the massive Grilled Veal Chop. And be sure to look around, too, for there's likely to be a famous star sitting at a nearby table.

Recommended for Best Restaurants because: Wolfgang Puck started his culinary empire with Spago and it remains the touchstone by which all other L.A. restaurants are judged.

Jenny's expert tip: Park in one of the nearby Beverly Hills parking structures for a reduced price and take a stroll through this posh city's shopping mecca before you arrive to dine at Spago.

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