I love visiting LA – t’s only an hour flight or 6-hour drive away from where I am, some of my closest friends live there, and it’s always a fun opportunity for more glamour and excitement compared to the Bay Area.
Even though I’ve been there a thousand times, I always do tremendous amounts of research on where to eat. So I think that’s something to note about this “guide” – it’s completely food-based. Anytime somebody asks me about LA recs, I’ll be sending this blog post along. I also want to note that I don’t by any means have even a majority of the regions in LA covered, only the places I frequent. Nonetheless, I hope this proves helpful to you!
My Absolute Top Recs
- Felix, Venice Beach – Some of the best Italian food I’ve had. You have to get their focaccia bread, and any of their pastas are all winners. If you want a reservation, you need to book as far in advance as they’ll let you.
- Ahgassi Gopchang (아가씨 곱창), Koreatown – Gopchang is…the innards of a cow BUT even if you can’t handle that, their meats and sides are amazing. My #1 Ktown rec. I heard BTS loves it there too. 😉
More Koreatown (did you know I’m Korean????)
- Ham Ji Park (함지박), Koreatown – Amazing marinated pork ribs. A favorite amongst pretty much all of the Koreans I know. Their gamjatang (감자탕) is really good too.
- Chosun Galbee (조선 갈비), Koreatown – By far the best naengmyun/cold buckwheat noodles (냉면) I’ve had in the States. I actually have gone by myself on several occasions just for a bowl of it.
- Sun Nong Dan (선농단), Koreatown – Do you know galbee jjim/short rib stew? They torch it right in front of you. Their 설렁탕 is good too, but unless you’re going with a group, choose one or the other. Their portions are ginormous.
- Somi Somi, Koreatown – For dessert, you can get ice cream in cute little taiyaki/붕어빵. The ice cream is soft serve.
Elsewhere in LA
- Sushi Sushi, Beverly Hills – Great omakase. It’s quiet and not stuffy.
- Santa Monica Proper, Santa Monica – I recommend several aspects of this hotel. The whole hotel was designed by Kelly Wearstler, an interior designer, so the whole hotel was a design masterpiece. They have a lobby lounge/bar and a rooftop bar (Calabra). I would recommend either for drinks.
- InterContential Spire 73, Downtown LA – Amazing views of LA from this rooftop bar. I think after a certain hour, you have to be a guest of the hotel or pay a steep fee, so I would try to get there on the early side.
- Bestia, Arts District – Fun, lively place with delicious pizzas and a variety of dishes. I would say it’s “modern” Italian/American food.
- République, Central LA – Beautiful French brunch and beautiful dinner. I haven’t been for the dinner, but I know for a fact that the brunch is a favorite amongst all of my LA friends.
- Gjelina, Venice Beach – So I don’t think the food is that amazing, but I list this because if you like celebrities, I know many frequent this place quite a bit. And their pizza is decent.
Places I’ve heard about but haven’t been to yet
- Urth Caffé, Beverly Hills – Celeb hotspot. Cute, very LA cafe.
- Gjusta, Venice Beach – I’ve been dying to go for the apparently amazing sandwiches.
This list is ongoing and everchanging!