Los Angeles’ restaurants are NOT holding back, are they? For all the stereotypical images of LA’s calorie-lite meals, wheatgrass shots and endless salads, this city sure likes to EAT. Picking just a handful of addresses from the best restaurants in Los Angeles is bound to overlook some serious contenders. Best then, to think of our Los Angeles food rundown as tastebud-tempting inspo. A little snack to muse on during the plane ride. A day or two’s table bookings to really get you into your foodie stride. Go global, go for those extra sides and, if you can find it, order a Mexican Coke, over a US one. The devil’s in the details in this city.
An all-vegan, gourmet patisserie would be very on brand for LA, if it weren’t for the gazillion calories that are presumably in every bite of Chaumont’s freshly baked, and bizarrely buttery, vegan croissants. There’s real food alchemy at work here. The plant-based creations defy the laws of baking – and are likely to leave you wondering if they’ve snuck just a little dairy in. The secret lies in their cultured butter. Made to a traditional French recipe, it’s a miracle of modern cuisine. Think we’re gushing just a little too much? Head up to their Beverly Hills address and taste for yourselves. Or, if you’d rather breakfast where you are, there’s always Postmates.
Orbzii tip: Just next door, the original bakery that inspired Chaumont Vegan still serves patisserie goodness, if you’re in the market for a little non-plant-based carb action.
The Butcher, The Baker, The Cappuccino Maker
To stand out among the best restaurants in Los Angeles, you gotta have a gimmick. A story true the world over, but in this city, it’s a must. Step forward then, The Butcher, The Baker, The Cappuccino Maker’s colourburst latte. It’s serving you rainbow vibes at brunch that almost looks too good to drink. Seeing that on Insta will get you through the door – and the mouthwatering menu makes it oh so hard to leave. Did we mention the mimosas and all day brunch? Let’s dive a little deeper. We can skip past the eggs benny and avo toast, and land firmly on the skillet baked omelettes. Prawn, salmon and caviar anyone? If that’s a little too fancy, the fully-stuffed burrito more than hits the spot.
Eggs, kale (this IS LA) avo, potatoes, sausage and monterey jack cheese deliver a distinctly Cali take on a Mexican classic. Serve with a side of peach bourbon buttermilk pancakes to really put pressure on your waistband.
The high end – and suited and booted clientele – that pop in to Sushi Tsujita have had to skip past plenty of other Japanese restaurants on the Los Angeles food scene to get here. And, it pays to follow them, provided you look the part. There’s no dress code, but here, style is everything. It flows through the building, right down to the precise platters that pop from the kitchen in a burst of glorious colour and craftsmanship. So, why are you here for lunch? In all honesty, the price tag starts to rise steeply for the evening service. And, if you’ve learned nothing from your years as a sushi eater, it’s a rather pricey move to arrive at a sushi spot famished. Pop in for the assorted nigiri to sample some of the best sushi in the state – and consider booking another table for a dinner if you can’t keep away. Spoiler alert: You’ll fall for this bamboo-clad place, hard.
Cafe on 27
If we told you one of the things to do in Los Angeles was to grab lunch high up in the trees, you’d likely think we’d got our US cities mixed up. But at Cafe on 27, that’s exactly the experience. Admittedly, you’re likely only booking here if you’re heading to Malibu anyway. That’s not to say they don’t serve up a perfectly good lunch. The ingredients are top notch – they make a point to mention that their beef is grass fed, it’s just not quite as globally wowing as the competition in Down Town LA. But then, where is? Treetop views and a pleasing selection of salads, bowls and burgers hit the right notes. The vegan selection is underwhelming – but you’ll hardly go hungry in LA, no matter your diet preferences. The small plates are a welcome sight – even if they have chosen to besmirch their avo toast with whipped feta.
What we have here is a controversial dining experience that drags you out of LA to Culver City. Is the bizarre, two-starred Michelin experience at Vespertine worth it? That all depends on your appetite for drama. If watching Killing Eve while you eat, for example, sets your indigestion right off, this place might not be for you. Your evening starts off pleasantly enough. Who can refuse canapés and cocktails on a roof terrace? Then you move to the dining room, where things get… weird. The dishes arrive over a timeframe that spans hours. Which may leave you wondering if you could actually leave if you wanted to. Yes, you’ll encounter food here that you’ll likely never encounter again. But conceptual dining isn’t to everyone’s taste. So what brings it here? It’s all about the memories. Will you remember every single detail of every meal you have in Los Angeles? Unlikely. A meal at Vespertine? That’s going to stay firmly in your mind for many a meal to come.
Leo’s Taco Truck
Unless you’re at a festival, it feels very wrong to eat anything served out of a truck. In LA? Make an exception for Leo’s Taco Truck. Routinely name dropped as the best tacos in LA, that’s high praise indeed for a city that sometimes seems like it eats little else. From lunchtime until the early hours, you can bag a cheap burrito, torta, quesadilla, tostada and more. And let’s not kid ourselves, this is definitely not haute cuisine. But it is hella tasty. Better still, Leo’s parked his trucks in seven locations across the city. So if you’re sampling a little of the Los Angeles nightlife, this pairs pretty well with your journey back to your accommodation.