Some of our favorite spots around your favorite towns for dining out in L.A.
A-Frame restaurant, housed in a former iHop, is another success by Chef Roy Choi, of food truck trend fame. Many of the entrees are signature aloha fare but have his creative flare. Must-tries when dining out in L.A. include the Furikake Kettle Corn, served, literally dumped on parchment paper on the table. Another favorite is Loco Moco, which is steamed rice topped with a hambagu steak, brown gravy and a sunnyside egg. Even more, “all you can eat” pancakes come with a choice of toppings like lilikoi butter, buttermilk chicken and more.
12565 W. Washington Boulevard
Culver City, CA 90066
NOI DUE TRATTORIA
Antonio De Cicco, who first entered the hospitality industry in 1986 at LeCirque in New York under famed chef Daniel Boulud, owns and operates this new Italian restaurant. Just prior to opening Noi Due, DeCicco managed Toscanova restaurant in Calabasas, a recognizable fixture there. Noi Due’s menu stays true to its Italian chef’s roots. The thin-crust pizza is a favorite. Entrees like braised short ribs are also game changers. Hence, while there is plenty of parking rezzies are hard to come by, so plan a meal here well in advance.
29020 Agoura Road
Agoura Hills, CA 91301
Onyx, is located within the Four Seasons Westlake Village property. The spot, known for its delish food and upscale setting recently underwent a remodel. Chef Masa Shimakawa reintroduced a Japanese dining experience that has culinary aficionados dining out in L.A. lined up to visit. With an emphasis on Japanese classics, the seasoned menu, made from the highest quality ingredients, features Nigiri sushi and sashimi made to order at the guest-facing sushi bar, traditional hot menu items and a robust sake selection. The casual yet refined design of the restaurant reflects Japan’s unending quest for harmony with nature.
2 Dole Drive
Westlake Village, CA 91362
For starters, it began as a Tijuana-style taco stand, quickly gained cult-following popularity and is now a permanent fixture in DTLA. Sure, Tacos 1986 may be a standing-only spot, but that does not deter its loyal fans and new customers. The menu is simple, offering four varieties—carne, adobada, chicken and mushroom. These come in tacos, quesadillas, mulitas and vampiros all served up by one of Tacos 1986’s always happy partners, Jorge “El Joy” Alvarez-Tostado. Finally, the handmade corn and flour tortillas hold hefty portions of meat (or mushrooms, a vegetarian option), onions, cilantro and guacamole.
609 S. Spring Street
Los Angeles, CA 90014
TARANTULA HILL BREWING COMPANY
There’s a new craft beer place in town—and you’ve got to try it. Aside from a menu of craft beers on tap, they serve ales, ciders and a selection of wines. Perfectly matched to the libations are wood-fired organic craft pizzas, wings and salads (more to come). And just wait for the rockin’ atmosphere yet to hit with planned beer dinners, live music and entertainment, can releases of limited beers and more. (Right now they are in a soft opening but hard to tell as they seem like they’ve really hit their stride!)
244 Thousand Oaks Boulevard
Thousand Oaks, CA 91360
The sister restaurant of Empty Bowl Gourmet Noodle Bar at Santa Barbara’s Public Market, this Thai spot demonstrates the culinary prowess of Chef Nui. Khao Kaeng translates to curry on rice and takes its menu beyond the noodle bar. Furthermore, it stays true to Nui’s Bangkok culture and his coveted family recipes from there. Khao Kaeng also has a stocked wine cellar with more than 300 bottles that pair perfectly with the spicy and savory Thai menu.
1187 Coast Village Road, Suite 9
Santa Barbara, CA 93108
Just five blocks from the Pacific in Santa Monica, this new hot spot for dining out in L.A. is now opened for lunch and dinner. Here at this pasta-only trattoria, traditional flavors of Italy mesh with innovative cooking techniques. In addition, the use of sustainable cuisine is key. As a result, inspiration from farmers market influence dishes by freshness, variety and seasonality. In addition to gluten-free casarecce options, some pasta plates to try include red beet ravioli in a brown butter poppy seed sauce and ricotta gnocchi with wild arugula, sweet cherry tomatoes and almonds.
1241 5th Street
Santa Monica, CA 90401
MUSSO & FRANK GRILL
How deliciously ironic that the story of Musso & Frank Grill—the cultural landmark is currently marking its 100th anniversary—is as compelling as any of the movies, television shows and novels that have been celebrated within its legendary walls. It’s epic tale is the story of one of Hollywood’s oldest dining establishments. Two family dynasties and female entrepreneurs rising to the top of a male-dominated industry. A cast of characters that range from the likes of Charlie Chaplin to Keith Richards. Take in the red leather booths, mahogany bar and the city’s first phone booth and you’re transported to another time. Most noteworthy, the menu selections range from steaks to fettuccini alfredo and homemade chicken pot pie. Then there is the eponymous martini—stirred not shaken. It is a true classic that’s delighted patrons since the days of Calvin Coolidge and Herbert Hoover.
6667 Hollywood Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90028