Merrill Shindler - Senior Zagat Editor

Merrill Shindler

L.A. Senior Zagat Editor

"San Francisco's reputation is as the only center of civilized eating west of the Mississippi. Now, Los Angeles is putting up a stiff challenge for the honors..." --From The Great Restaurants of America, published 1960


I'll say!


Back then, the sort of civilized eating this virtually prehistoric guidebook was talking about meant Haute Continental, the sort of food that elegantly dressed swells ate at places like Chasen's, Perino's and Scandia in Los Angeles, and the Blue Fox and Ernie's in San Francisco.


But these days, what began as the chrysalis of a possibility in the late Seventies and early Eighties, at places like Michael's, Trumps and Valentino, has blossomed into a butterfly of awesome proportions.


In fact, in an age of selective memory lapses, many in the inner sanctums of obsessive foodiedom have no doubt forgotten what things used to be like, just a few years ago. Allow me a moment to jog your collective memories for a moment: Until about a decade ago, the way things used to be was that people in Los Angeles would fly up to San Francisco for a good weekend of wining and dining, and no one in San Francisco would ever consider an act as wholly ludicrous as flying to LA to eat -- what, after all, was the point? Why would one possibly journey from the land of Chez Panisse, Narsai's and the Tadich Grill to this vale of aging celebrity hangouts.


Cuisine in Los Angeles, like a dust beetle trapped in amber, was a thing stuck in time. Thanks to the Biz, restaurants remained places to be seen; the food was besides the point. And for New Yorkers, forced by the vicissitudes of industry to briefly give up their reservations at Lutece, the Four Seasons and La Cote Basque, the idea of eating in the Big Orange was wholly beneath contempt. Many would carry all their meals with them, bagsful of provisions from the Carnegie Deli and Zabar's, a small taste of manna brought to the wilderness.


Then, in the late Seventies and early Eighties, something (in the words of Joseph Heller) happened. There was a period of sudden and cataclysmic restaurant growth in Los Angeles, leaving the starved denizens feeling like kids set loose in a toy shop, or perhaps more appropriately, like a sailor with a three-day pass in Storyville. Suddenly, the names on every lip were Ma Maison, Michael's, Spago, Chinois on Main, St. Estephe, Trumps, the Ivy, Valentino, Primi, La Toque, City and the Parkway Grill. Suddenly, we were in the age of the Foodie Ethic, which is important to define to understand where we are today.

WHAT'S THE WEATHER LIKE IN LOS ANGELES

 
9646 Little Santa Monica
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
(310) 205-­8990 See the location of Crustacean  on a map Map
Cuisine: Asian, EuroAsian
Services: Authentic, Dinner, Private Dining, Catering, Reservations
8764 Melrose Avenue
West Hollywood, CA 90069
(310) 432-­2000 See the location of Cecconi's - West Hollywood on a map Map
Cuisine: Italian, Pizza, Pasta
Services: Authentic, Family Style, Hip, Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Private Dining, Outdoor Seating, Takeout, Reservations
12950 Ventura Blvd.
Studio City, CA 91604
(818) 501-­0202 See the location of Bistro Garden on a map Map
Cuisine: Continental
Services: Brunch, Private Dining, Catering, Takeout, Reservations
1100 South Flower Street
Los Angeles, CA 90015
(213) 763-­4600 See the location of The Palm - Downtown Los Angeles on a map Map
Cuisine: Steakhouse, Seafood, American
Services: Dinner, Private Dining, Catering, Reservations
110 Navy Street
Venice, CA 90291
(310) 396-­1179 See the location of Chaya Venice on a map Map
Cuisine: Japanese, Sushi, Japanese & Sushi, Sushi Bar, American, Seafood, Steaks
Services: Hip, Private Dining, Reservations
445 N. Canon Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
(310) 385-­0640 See the location of Wolfgang's Steakhouse By Wolfgang Zwiener on a map Map
Cuisine: Steak
Services: Entertainment, Family Style, Hip, Live Music, Private Dining, Catering, Takeout, Reservations
1810 Ocean Avenue
Santa Monica, CA 90401
(310) 394-­5550 See the location of Capo on a map Map
Cuisine: Italian, Pasta
Services: Authentic, Reservations
9001 Santa Monica Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90069
(310) 550-­8811 See the location of The Palm - West Hollywood on a map Map
Cuisine: Steakhouse, Seafood, American
Services: Brunch, Private Dining, Catering, Takeout, Reservations
246 N Canon Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
(310) 888-­8782 See the location of Mastro's Steakhouse - Beverly Hills on a map Map
Cuisine: Classic American Steak Houses
Services: Private Dining, Reservations
 
8478 Melrose Avenue
West Hollywood, CA 90069
(323) 655-­6333 See the location of Ago on a map Map
Cuisine: Italian
Services: Outdoor Seating, Lunch, Dinner, Private Dining, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
7313 Beverly Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 297-­0070 See the location of Angelini Osteria on a map Map
Cuisine: Italian, Pasta
Services: Outdoor Seating, Lunch, Dinner, Private Dining, Outdoor Seating, Catering, Reservations
435 N Fairfax Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90048
(323) 782-­9225 See the location of Animal on a map Map
Cuisine: American, Steakhouse
Services: Hip, Dinner, Reservations
7450 Beverly Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 930-­9744 See the location of BLD on a map Map
Cuisine: American, American & Californian
Services: Hip, Private Dining, Catering, Takeout, Reservations
4100 Cahuenga Blvd.
Toluca Lake, CA 91602
(818) 985-­4669 See the location of Ca' Del Sole on a map Map
Cuisine: Italian
Services: Brunch, Private Dining, Catering, Takeout, Reservations
8741 Alden Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90048
(310) 859-­8833 See the location of Chaya Brasserie Beverly Hills on a map Map
Cuisine: Eurasian
Services: Authentic, Outdoor Seating, Lunch, Dinner, Private Dining, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
525 S. Flower Street
Los Angeles, CA 90071
(213) 236-­9577 See the location of Chaya Downtown on a map Map
Cuisine: French
Services: Hip, Outdoor Seating, Lunch, Dinner, Private Dining, Reservations
1850 Industrial Street
Los Angeles, CA 90021
(213) 405-­1434 See the location of Church & State on a map Map
Cuisine: French
Services: Authentic, Outdoor Seating, Lunch, Dinner, Private Dining, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
525 S. Flower St., Ste. 120
Los Angeles, CA 90071
(213) 228-­8998 See the location of Drago Centro on a map Map
Cuisine: Italian, Pizza, Pasta
Services: Authentic, Outdoor Seating, Lunch, Dinner, Private Dining, Outdoor Seating, Takeout, Reservations
5115 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 549-­0760 See the location of Genwa Korean BBQ on a map Map
Cuisine: Korean, Korean BBQ, BBQ
Services: Authentic, Lunch, Dinner, Private Dining, Catering, Takeout, Reservations
27400 PCH
Malibu, CA 90265
(310) 457-­1519 See the location of Geoffrey's Malibu on a map Map
Cuisine: American & Californian
Services: Outdoor Seating, Waterfront View, Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Private Dining, Outdoor Seating, Takeout, Reservations
6703 Melrose Ave.
Hollywood, CA 90038
(323) 935-­2977 See the location of Hatfield's on a map Map
Cuisine: French
Services: Outdoor Seating, Dinner, Private Dining, Reservations
9018 Burton Way
Beverly Hills, CA 90211
(310) 276-­9990 See the location of Il Cielo on a map Map
Cuisine: Italian, Pasta
Services: Outdoor Seating, Lunch, Dinner, Private Dining, Outdoor Seating, Catering, Takeout, Reservations
13705 Ventura Blvd
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
(818) 986-­2640 See the location of Il Tiramisu on a map Map
Cuisine: Italian
Services: Brunch, Private Dining, Catering, Takeout, Delivery, Reservations
8225 Beverly Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90048
(323) 655-­6566 See the location of Jar on a map Map
Cuisine: Steakhouse, Steak House, Steaks, American
Services: Brunch, Dinner, Private Dining, Catering, Takeout, Reservations
502 Santa Monica Boulevard
Santa Monica, CA 90401
(310) 917-­6671 See the location of JiRaffe Restaurant on a map Map
Cuisine: American & Californian, Californian, French
Services: Dinner, Private Dining, Catering, Takeout, Reservations
100 N. La Cienega Blvd.
Beverly Hills, CA 90211
(310) 652-­2827 See the location of Lawry's The Prime Rib on a map Map
Cuisine: Prime Rib, British,American
Services: Private Dining, Catering, Reservations
129 N. La Cienega Blvd.
Beverly Hills, CA 90211
(310) 659-­9639 See the location of Matsuhisa on a map Map
Cuisine: Japanese, Sushi, Japanese & Sushi, Sushi Bar
Services: Authentic, Outdoor Seating, Lunch, Dinner, Private Dining, Reservations
1104 Wilshire Boulevard
Santa Monica, CA 90401
(310) 395-­0881 See the location of Melisse on a map Map
Cuisine: French
Services: Authentic, Dinner, Private Dining, Catering, Reservations
903 N. La Cienega Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90069
(310) 657-­5711 See the location of Nobu Los Angeles on a map Map
Cuisine: Japanese, Sushi, Japanese & Sushi, Sushi Bar, New Year's Eve Menu
Services: Authentic, Dinner, Private Dining, Takeout, Reservations
6602 Melrose Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90038
(323) 297-­0100 See the location of Osteria Mozza on a map Map
Cuisine: Italian, Mediterranean
Services: Dinner, Private Dining, Reservations
510 S. Arroyo Parkway
Pasadena, CA 91105
(626) 795-­1001 See the location of Parkway Grill on a map Map
Cuisine: American & Californian, Seafood & Steaks
Services: Entertainment, Lunch, Dinner, Private Dining, Catering, Takeout, Reservations
5 Dudley Ave
Venice, CA 90291
(310) 314-­3222 See the location of Piccolo on a map Map
Cuisine: Italian, Pasta
Services: Authentic, Outdoor Seating, Lunch, Dinner, Private Dining, Outdoor Seating, Takeout, Reservations
641 N Highland Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 297-­0101 See the location of Pizzeria Mozza on a map Map
Cuisine: Italian, Pizza, Pasta
Services: Authentic, Lunch, Dinner, Private Dining, Takeout, Reservations
5955 Melrose Ave.
Hollywood, CA 90038
(323) 460-­4170 See the location of Providence on a map Map
Cuisine: American, Seafood, Asian Fusion
Services: Lunch, Dinner, Private Dining, Reservations
120 Manhattan Beach Blvd
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
(310) 379-­9900 See the location of Rock'N Fish - Manhattan Beach on a map Map
Cuisine: Seafood, Steaks
Services: Authentic, Hip, Outdoor Seating, Waterfront View, Lunch, Dinner, Private Dining, Takeout, Reservations
61 North Raymond Avenue
Pasadena, CA 91103
(626) 765-­9700 See the location of Slater's 50/50 - Pasadena on a map Map
Cuisine: Burgers by Design, Comfort Food,Craft Beer Burgers by Design, Comfort Food,Craft Beer
Services: Authentic, Hip, Lunch, Dinner, Takeout, Sports
9882 Little Santa Monica Blvd.
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
(310) 788-­2306 See the location of The Belvedere - Peninsula Hotel on a map Map
Cuisine: American, Modern California Cuisine
Services: Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Private Dining, Reservations
9560 Dayton Way
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
(310) 276-­0615 See the location of The Grill On The Alley - Beverly Hills on a map Map
Cuisine: American Cuisine , Steak House
Services: Lunch, Dinner, Private Dining, Takeout, Reservations
6801 Hollywood Blvd.
Hollywood, CA 90028
(323) 856-­5530 See the location of The Grill On The Alley - Hollywood on a map Map
Cuisine: Steakhouse, Steak House, Steaks, American
Services: Outdoor Seating, Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Private Dining, Outdoor Seating, Takeout, Reservations
120 E. Promenade Way
Thousand Oaks, CA 91362
(805) 418-­1760 See the location of The Grill On The Alley - Westlake Village on a map Map
Cuisine: American Cuisine , Steak House
Services: Brunch, Private Dining, Outdoor Seating, Catering, Takeout, Reservations
55 N. La Cienega Blvd
Bevery Hills, CA 90211
(310) 652-­7673 See the location of The Stinking Rose on a map Map
Cuisine: Garlic, Italian
Services: Private Dining, Reservations
3115 Pico Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90405
(310) 829-­4313 See the location of Valentino - Santa Monica on a map Map
Cuisine: Italian, Pasta
Services: Authentic, Lunch, Dinner, Private Dining, Reservations
2930 Beverly Glen Circle
Bel Air, CA 90077
(310) 474-­9400 See the location of Vibrato on a map Map
Cuisine: American & Californian,Seafood, Steakhouse,
Services: Entertainment, Live Music, Dinner, Private Dining, Reservations
544 South Grand
Los Angeles, CA 90071
(213) 891-­0900 See the location of Water Grill on a map Map
Cuisine: Seafood, American
Services: Lunch, Dinner, Private Dining, Takeout, Reservations
189 The Grove Dr. Y-80
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 937-­6800 See the location of Wood Ranch BBQ & Grill - The Grove on a map Map
Cuisine: Award Winning Barbecue, Steaks, Seafood, New American Cuisine Award Winning Barbecue, Steaks, Seafood, New American Cuisine
Services: Authentic, Online Take Out , Outdoor Seating, Lunch, Dinner, Outdoor Seating, Takeout, Reservations
11941 Ventura Blvd.
Studio City, CA 91604
(818) 760-­3348 See the location of Asanebo on a map Map
Cuisine: Japanese, Sushi
Services: Authentic, Lunch, Dinner, Private Dining, Reservations
2717 W Olympic Blvd Ste 108 Los Angeles, CA 90006 (213) 380-1113
Los Angeles, CA 90006
(213) 380-­1113 See the location of Beverly Soon Tofu Restaurant on a map Map
Cuisine: Korean
Services: Authentic, Lunch, Dinner, Takeout, Reservations
345 N. Pass Ave
Burbank, CA 91505
(818) 840-­9050 See the location of Bistro Provence on a map Map
Cuisine: French, French Bistro
Services: Authentic, Lunch, Dinner, Private Dining, Takeout, Reservations
30315 Canwood St.
Agoura Hills, CA 91301
(818) 991-­9560 See the location of Cafe 14 on a map Map
Cuisine: Continental
Services: Dinner, Private Dining, Outdoor Seating, Catering, Takeout, Reservations
317 Manhattan Beach Blvd.
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
(310) 545-­5252 See the location of Cafe Piere on a map Map
Cuisine: French
624 S. La Brea Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 938-­1447 See the location of Campanile on a map Map
Cuisine: Italian
2838 Rowena Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90039
(323) 666-­2000 See the location of Edendale Grill on a map Map
Cuisine: American
Services: Brunch, Dinner, Private Dining
9411 Culver Blvd
Culver City, CA 90232
(310) 839-­6800 See the location of Fraiche on a map Map
Cuisine: Mediterranean, French, Italian
752 Lindero Canyon Rd.
Oak Park, CA 91377
(818) 707-­6939 See the location of Leila's Restaurant on a map Map
Cuisine: American, American & Californian
Services: Authentic, Dinner, Private Dining, Outdoor Seating, Takeout, Reservations
8897 Beverly Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90048
(310) 859-­0242 See the location of Madeo on a map Map
Cuisine: Italian
Services: Dinner, Reservations
2771 West Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90006
(323) 737-­2970 See the location of Papa Cristo's on a map Map
Cuisine: Greek, Mediterranean
Services: Authentic, Outdoor Seating, Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Private Dining, Outdoor Seating, Catering, Takeout
422 E. 2nd St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 617-­0552 See the location of Sushi Gen on a map Map
Cuisine: Japanese, Sushi
Services: Authentic, Takeout
9824 National Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90034
(310) 842-­3977 See the location of Sushi Zo on a map Map
Cuisine: Japanese & Sushi, Sushi
Services: Hip, Lunch, Dinner
11656 San Vicente Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90049
(310) 207-­8636 See the location of Takao on a map Map
Cuisine: Japanese
Services: Authentic, Lunch, Dinner, Private Dining, Catering, Takeout, Reservations
840 S Spring St.
Los Angeles, CA 90015
(213) 225-­2400 See the location of The Parish on a map Map
Cuisine: Pub, Gastropub
Services: Authentic, Outdoor Seating, Breakfast, Dinner, Private Dining, Outdoor Seating, Takeout, Reservations
218 N Rodeo Dr.
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
(310) 247-­8939 See the location of Urasawa on a map Map
Cuisine: Japanese, Sushi, Japanese & Sushi, Sushi Bar
Services: Lunch, Dinner, Private Dining, Reservations