Best Restaurants in LA, Paradis Maison LA Food Guide
Having lived in LA for a little over 2 years I have had the opportunity to do some serious eating.
When I first moved here it was a treasure hunt to find the best places to eat in Los Angeles.
This is my tried and tested list of LA Favorites- hope they will become some of your favorites too!
I've broken the list into affordable eats & those for special occasions. I personally love a great meal that doesn't make the wallet bleed so I'll put those first on the list.
Casual & Affordable LA Restaurants
Irori Sushi, Marina del Rey
This place doesn't just serve sushi. They have these fabulous little bento boxes with a variety of cooked dishes, teriyaki, tempura etc. which really hit the spot. I recommend the combination special at the back of the menu because it is fantastic value & you get a selection of all your favorites. It is cheaper to go there at lunch time as there is a lunch special too for a better price. They also have my favorite salad dressing & miso soup here ;-).
If you are going for dinner always make a reservation- the place is always packed in the evening. At lunch you are probably fine just turning up.
Also keep in mind that you will be asked to remove your shoes prior to dining. So if you are on a hot little date make sure you have clean socks on with no holes.
Irori Japanese Restaurant, 4371 Glencoe Ave B4, Marina Del Rey, CA 90292
Versailles Cuban, Culver City (there are other locations too)
Their roasted chicken with plaintains is very satisfying as are their starters of deep fried potato balls with meat filling. The garlic sauce has a wonderful flavor!
I also love their complementary garlic bread which is drenched in mouth watering butter & the sangria here is very drinkable too!
During the week it is a very convenient place to dine and there is usually no problem getting a car park out the front or to the side of the restaurant in their carpark.
This place is great value for money.
Versailles Cuban Restaurant, 10319 Venice Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90034
Mayura Indian Restaurant, Culver City
We are regulars at this delightful & flavorful restaurant, it is one of my favorite go tos. During the week it is usually not a problem to get a table here so no booking necessary. The family that runs this place are soo warm & gorgeous.
I highly recommend the masala dosai (this is like a large savory semi-crunchy crepe filled with spiced potatoes which come with a side of coconut & chutney sauces). If you are new to Indian food it is a good dish to try as it is not too spicy yet something different to what you would have tried before. The Butter Chicken is great, but if you prefer a lighter option the Kerala Chicken can't be beaten (it has a coconut milk base which is divine). I love their Chana Masala with Poori Bread too- if you are a vegetarian it is super satisfying. These guys also make my favorite samosas in LA with the proper pastry (none of this filo pastry business like in other places).
Mayura Indian Restaurant, 10406 Venice Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232
Sapp Coffee Shop (Thai Restaurant), Hollywood
This is a cheap eats place that is SUPER. Generally I find the Thai food in LA (especially the West Side) completely awful and downright unedible. Coming from Sydney where great Thai food abounds, it has been a quest to find good Thai food here. Sapp is a pretty ordinary (if not sketchy) looking place in a strip mall- definitely no bells and whistles in terms of decor. However what it lacks in presentation it makes up for in food fabulousness. The Pad Thai, Fried Rice & Curries are all Fantastic. You Really can't go wrong with anything you order here. You can thank me later.
Sapp Coffee Shop, 5183 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027
Mid Range LA Restaurants to Fancy
Solidarity (Polish Restaurant), Santa Monica
This is a lovely place for date night because it is warm & intimate and never loud inside. There is also an outdoor area for pre or post-dinner cocktails in their beer garden to the rear. They also sometimes have live music in the garden too!
Order the Pieorgi selection of all flavors. Their pierogi are to die for (you may never be the same!)
Order the Duck for the Main- it is like a meal fit for King Henry the 8th. The raspberry coulis & apple sauce on the side are heavenly. I usually dislike sweet with my savory but this is my one exception!
Their apple tart is also most nostalgic as it tastes just like the one my Polish mother baked me as a child!
Be careful with parking though as the marked parking beside the restaurant does not belong to the restaurant. Park on the metered parking on Lincoln instead.
Solidarity Restaurant, 1414 Lincoln Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401
Traktir (Russian & Ukrainian Restaurant), West Hollywood
Their filet mignon medallions (3 small ones on a plate) are like butter melting in the mouth- definitely my favorite thing on the menu
I love the dill salad with sour cream/yoghurt dressing as a side and the dumplings are great too
Don't forget to try their delicious home made vodkas in all different flavors- they even have a horseradish vodka for those who are feeling adventurous!
Traktir Restaurant, 8151 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90046
Pizzeria Mozza, (Nancy Silverton)
This is by far the best pizza I have had in LA and I am going to be controversial and say it is better than all the pizza I've had in Italy too. It is more expensive than your average pizza but it is worth every penny!
Booking is absolutely essential here so phone ahead.
Pizzeria Mozza, 641 N Highland Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036
The Rose Cafe, Venice
This place is quite local favorite for me and a place we take a lot of LA Visitors too as it has a cool Venice vibe but special for a night out. It is lovely to sit alfresco on Summer nights.
My favorite thing on the menu is actually their melted lard accompanied fresh bread. Ahhh the fatty fatty bread. I could sit there all night long with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc and just that divine warm bread dipped in lard drippings. That's all I really want & crave but I'd feel like a jerk unless I ordered a real dish too.
They have designed most of the menu for sharing, there are lots of lovely little plates of tasties. Their fish is wonderful too as is the hangar steak.
Rose Cafe, 220 Rose Ave, Venice, CA 90291
Lunasia Dim Sum House (Chines), Pasadena
Best Chinese EVA! You can't really book ahead unless you have a large party of 4 or more. This place has a long queue on a Sunday, so get there just before the lunch rush and you'll be peachy.
My favorite things on the menu are their crispy fried noodles, fried rice, walnut shrimp (this is like a dessert it is soo rich & satisfying) & shrimp steamed dumplings.
The servings are extremely generous here so you'll have leftovers to go for dinner and lunch for a few days after!
Lunasia Dim Sum House, 239 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91101
Fancy Shmancy LA Restaurant Favs
Make sure to book 10 years ahead, or show up on the day and pray for a cancellation (or kidnap someone in the parking lot & take their reservation)
I had to book at least 4 months in advance to get a table here and it wasn't even for a Saturday night.
The best thing on the menu is the wild boar pasta and don't you dare leave here without ordering the olive oil chocolate tart. This is one of my favorite desserts of all time.
I actually recommend you eat 2 desserts while you are there- the snickers bar ice cream is wonderful. You're Welcome in Advance.
2121 E 7th Pl, Los Angeles, CA 90021
Tasting Kitchen, Abbott Kinney Venice
I have 3 words for you: Post Pasta Depression
I went here for an anniversary dinner & tending to be a little fussy with fancy food I chose what I thought was the safe but cop out dish and ordered a penne bolognese. I HAVE NEVER HAD A BETTER PASTA IN MY LIFE and probably never will again, hence the post pasta depression. I believe that the chef channeled Jesus Christ himself in the making of this dish. I felt unworthy of such a pasta miracle.
My only gripe would be that this is not an ideal place for an anniversary dinner- it is very loud & if you are a recluse you will not feel comfortable here. The tables are close together and you can hear everyone's conversations. It can be a little claustrophobic at peak times.
1633 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291
Spice Affair, Beverly Hills
Best Butter Chicken in LA!
However- the cocktails here are like dish detergent so stick with the wine if you are drinking. Both times I have been here the cocktails were awful (undrinkable awful). They are also very fancy about serving the food onto your plate at the table which some fancy people might love but I really don't care for it. When a waiter plates a couple spoons of rice onto my empty plate and then a spoon of chicken it makes me mental. It feels like my plate organization and compartmentalization has been violated.
Perhaps I want the butter chicken directly on top of my bed of rice rather than to the side...yes- I am that person.
Leave the dishes on the table and back away please....
Soo definitely order the butter chicken, garlic naan bread & the aubergine/eggplant dish.
50 N La Cienega Blvd #120, Beverly Hills, CA 90211
This little gem on Abbott Kinney also deserves an honorable mention for its killer French Toast & Chicken Burger (this is not just any old burger- it is a mountain of tasty slaw salad & crispy Southern style fried chicken). This the perfect brunch & lunch date spot.
My one gripe was that both times I have been here the service was not soo great. The wait staff are a little surly and either bring the bill before you even have a chance to look at a dessert menu (which really gets my goat) or they disappear into thin air so you have to get up and go hunting for them to order your post lunch coffee.
Tips for Cheap Eats Los Angeles
Best Doughnuts in LA (& Best Pastry)
Warning- you may need therapy to overcome addiction once you savor this nectar of the Gods.
This is my sweet dirty little secret which I am going to share with you. Your Life will Never be the Same.
There is magical secret little mini bakery that looks most unremarkable & I would be very surprised if you have already heard of it. Located in the Mitsuwa Japanese Strip Mall Food Court, there is a bakery that makes all my binge dreams come true. Their Boston Cream Doughnut is to die for. Their Cornets are just as soul elevating- they come in different flavors such as mango & strawberry cheesecake. They are like eating a cheesecake wrapped in a perfectly crunchy fresh croissant. They taste exactly how a French Pastry would taste in Paris. I have had soo many pastry disappointments in my life where they looked soo great but were not worth the calories. Every time I have purchased something from this little place, it has been fresh & truly satisfying. It really took me by surprise that such a small unassuming little bakery could be the best I have had in LA.
They also have a cold chicken & cilantro roll which is a very tasty, cheap alternative for lunch on the go!
3760 S Centinela Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90066
Best Quiche Lorraine in Los Angeles/the World
Desserts by Patrick, Redondo Beach
This is a small establishment that could very easily be missed walking by as it is tucked away next to a coffee shop. The gelato is wonderful, as are the fresh eclairs but my favorite treat was the delicious Quiche Lorraine (just make sure it is heated properly). This Quiche is truly French, fluffy & delightful. The best I have had anywhere including Paris!
The shop owner is also super friendly and the staff are as delightful as the Quiche!
1820 S Catalina Ave, Redondo Beach, CA 90277