Los Angeles is a melting pot of cultures, and its dining scene reflects this diversity. From innovative Thai dishes to fusion cuisines that blend the flavors of the Middle East with Mexican staples, the city’s culinary landscape is vibrant and ever-evolving. As we explore the top 10 must-try restaurants in Los Angeles for 2024, we invite both locals and visitors to embark on a gastronomic journey that promises unforgettable experiences.
1. Holy Basil Atwater Village
Holy Basil has made a name for itself with its bold Thai flavors, and its new outpost in Atwater Village continues this tradition. The restaurant’s ambiance is a blend of modern and traditional, with a cozy interior and a welcoming patio that invites diners to enjoy their meals al fresco. The menu is a testament to the rich culinary heritage of Thailand, featuring a variety of curries, noodles, and rice dishes that are both authentic and innovative.
The seafood specialties are a highlight, offering fresh and flavorful options that showcase the best of Thai cuisine. Diners can expect dishes that are rich in spices and herbs, with a balance of sweet, sour, salty, and spicy flavors that are characteristic of Thai food. The restaurant’s commitment to using high-quality ingredients ensures that each dish is a culinary delight.
Holy Basil Atwater Village is not just a place to eat; it’s an experience that transports diners to the streets of Thailand. The attentive service, combined with the vibrant flavors of the dishes, makes this restaurant a must-visit for anyone looking to explore Thai cuisine in Los Angeles.
2. Highly Likely Highland Park
Highly Likely in Highland Park stands out not only for its stylish interior but also for its stunning outdoor patio, making it a perfect spot for both casual lunches and romantic dinners. The restaurant’s menu is a reflection of chef-partner Kat Turner’s culinary expertise, offering a mix of innovative starters and comforting main courses that draw inspiration from her Midwest upbringing.
The yuzu deviled eggs and chicken liver mousse are perfect examples of the restaurant’s approach to starters – familiar yet elevated with a twist. For the main courses, dishes like fettuccine Alfredo, fried chicken schnitzel, and steak au poivre are reminiscent of home-cooked meals but are executed with a level of sophistication that sets them apart.
Highly Likely is more than just a dining destination; it’s a place where food, art, and community come together. The restaurant’s commitment to creating a welcoming atmosphere, combined with its inventive menu, makes it a standout in Highland Park’s dining scene.
PleasureMed in West Hollywood redefines the dining experience with its unique concept that combines a cannabis consumption lounge with two distinct dining options – the cannabis-free Hind and the smokeable eatery Irie. The innovative menu, crafted by former Hatchet Hall chef Wes Whitsell, features shareable plates that cater to a variety of tastes and preferences.
The dining experience at PleasureMed is designed to be enjoyable regardless of whether diners partake in cannabis. The high-powered ventilation system ensures a smoke-free environment in the dining areas, allowing guests to focus on the flavors of the dishes. The menu is a blend of contemporary and classic, with a focus on fresh, high-quality ingredients that elevate the dining experience.
PleasureMed is not just a restaurant; it’s a destination that offers a new way to experience dining in West Hollywood. With its glamorous ambiance, innovative menu, and unique concept, PleasureMed is a must-visit for those looking for an unforgettable dining experience.
4. MidEast Tacos
MidEast Tacos in Silver Lake is a culinary gem that brings together the best of Mexican and Middle Eastern cuisines. The restaurant’s menu is a celebration of fusion, featuring dishes like falafel tacos and kebab burritos that are both innovative and delicious. The combination of flavors and ingredients from two distinct culinary traditions creates a unique dining experience that is both familiar and new.
The casual atmosphere of MidEast Tacos makes it a great spot for a quick lunch or a relaxed dinner with friends. The focus on high-quality, fresh ingredients ensures that each dish is a flavorful journey. The restaurant’s approach to fusion cuisine is not just about combining different foods but about creating harmony between them, resulting in dishes that are both comforting and exciting.
MidEast Tacos is a testament to the creativity and diversity of Los Angeles’ culinary scene. It’s a place where food lovers can explore new flavors and experience the joy of fusion cuisine in a welcoming and casual setting.
Ètra is an Italian restaurant in Los Angeles that takes a personal and polished approach to dining. The menu reflects the childhood dishes of chef Evan Algorri, offering a nostalgic journey through Italian cuisine with a contemporary twist. The restaurant’s ambiance is elegant yet inviting, creating the perfect backdrop for a memorable dining experience.
The menu at Ètra features a selection of pastas, shareable proteins, and seasonal plates that showcase the best of Italian cooking. The seafood crudo and Italian imported burrata are standout dishes, offering fresh and flavorful options that highlight the quality of the ingredients. The wine list, curated by general manager Andrew Lawson, complements the menu with a focus on French and Italian varietals.
Ètra is more than just an Italian restaurant; it’s a place where diners can experience the warmth and hospitality of Italian dining in a refined setting. The attention to detail in both the food and the service makes Ètra a must-visit for anyone looking to enjoy Italian cuisine in Los Angeles.
Budonoki offers a unique dining experience with its dimly lit izakaya setting and delicious Japanese Thai dishes. Located in Virgil Village, the restaurant transports diners to a sake den reminiscent of Brooklyn or Tokyo, complete with bumping tunes and swift service. The menu, crafted by chef Dan Rabilwongse, is a fusion of Japanese and Thai cuisines, offering dishes that are both innovative and comforting.
The fermented Thai sausage with crispy rice balls and cabbage slaw is a standout dish, showcasing the restaurant’s ability to blend flavors and textures in a way that is both unexpected and delightful. The flame-seared pressed sushi is another highlight, offering a modern take on traditional sushi that is sure to impress.
Budonoki is not just a place to eat; it’s a destination for those looking to explore the intersection of Japanese and Thai cuisines in a vibrant and atmospheric setting. The restaurant’s commitment to quality and innovation makes it a standout in Los Angeles’ dining scene.
Uchi brings the upscale sashimi, rolls, and nigiri of Austin-based sushi restaurant to the bustling streets of West Hollywood. The restaurant’s focus on hospitality and memorable dining experiences sets it apart, with a menu that showcases the pristine quality of its sushi. Chef Tyson Cole’s vision for Uchi is to create a space where the culture of hospitality enhances the culinary offerings, making each visit a memorable one.
The difference at Uchi lies in the attention to detail, from the selection of fish to the presentation of each dish. The restaurant aims to stand on its own in a city known for its sushi, offering a unique take on traditional Japanese cuisine. The ambiance of Uchi complements the dining experience, with a design that is both modern and welcoming.
Uchi is more than just a sushi restaurant; it’s a place where the art of sushi is celebrated and elevated. It’s a must-visit for sushi enthusiasts and those looking to experience the best of Japanese cuisine in Los Angeles.
Amour transforms the iconic Dominick’s space in West Hollywood into a dining destination with sexy Parisian bistro vibes. The restaurant’s ambiance, with its lush garden patio, candlelit dining room, and ornate wallpaper, creates a setting that is both romantic and sophisticated. The menu, crafted by El Bullí-trained chef Dany Bello-Chavez, features Japanese-inflected French fare that is as pretty and polished as the space itself.
The steak au poivre, chawanmushi, and lobster ravioli are standout dishes, offering a blend of classic French cuisine with a modern twist. The attention to detail in both the presentation and the flavors of the dishes makes dining at Amour an unforgettable experience. The restaurant’s sexy Parisian bistro vibes come alive in various flavors, creating an atmosphere that is both inviting and exclusive.
Amour is not just a restaurant; it’s a celebration of French cuisine with a contemporary edge. It’s a place where diners can indulge in the art of fine dining in a setting that is both elegant and vibrant.
9. Little Fish
Little Fish, a cult-favorite seafood pop-up, has found a permanent home in Echo Park, offering a menu that celebrates the best of seafood in a casual and inviting setting. The restaurant’s signature fried fish sandwiches, smoked whitefish, and cured trout tartines are just a few of the dishes that have made Little Fish a must-visit for seafood lovers.
The focus on high-quality, sustainably sourced seafood ensures that each dish is not only delicious but also responsible. The casual atmosphere of Little Fish makes it a great spot for a quick bite or a leisurely meal, with a menu that caters to a variety of tastes and preferences.
Little Fish is more than just a seafood restaurant; it’s a place where the simplicity of seafood is elevated to create dishes that are both flavorful and satisfying. It’s a testament to the creativity and passion of Los Angeles’ culinary scene, making it a standout in the city’s dining landscape.
Jilli brings a modern Korean twist to Koreatown’s drinking scene, offering a minimalist vibe and a snacky a la carte menu that is perfect for pairing with drinks. The spicy Korean chicken wings, curry katsu, chicken nurungi, and kimchi bacon rigatoni are just a few of the dishes that make Jilli a must-visit for those looking to enjoy flavor-packed food with their drinks.
The restaurant’s approach to Korean cuisine is both innovative and respectful, offering dishes that are familiar yet elevated. The minimalist design of Jilli creates a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere, making it a great spot for a casual night out with friends.
Jilli is not just a place to eat; it’s a destination for those looking to explore the flavors of modern Korean cuisine in a setting that is both stylish and comfortable. The restaurant’s commitment to quality and innovation makes it a standout in Koreatown’s vibrant dining scene.
Los Angeles’ dining scene in 2024 is a testament to the city’s diversity and creativity. From the bold flavors of Thai cuisine at Holy Basil Atwater Village to the innovative fusion of Mexican and Middle Eastern cuisines at MidEast Tacos, each restaurant on this list offers a unique dining experience that reflects the spirit of Los Angeles. Whether you’re a local resident or a traveler exploring the City of Angels, these top 10 must-try restaurants promise culinary adventures that are not to be missed.