Los Angeles’ diversity allows for its denizens to dabble in a litany of culinary delicacies. Fortunately for all, there’s a smorgasbord of options.
If you’re tired of Bottega Louie, try: Maccheroni Republic
Location: Downtown L.A.
This vibrant trattoria serves simple salads and a long list of daily house-made pastas. There are no reservations here, and it’s BYOB. Yet people happily wait in line for as long as it takes.
Two Things: Gnocchi with rich meat ragu is simple and delicious. Trippa Dello Chef, a stew of tender tripe with pasta, tomato sauce and parmesan, is great even if you don’t think you like tripe.
If you’re bored with Baby Blue’s, try: Barrel & Ashes
Location: Studio City
Two fine-dining chefs — one from French Laundry, the other from Bouchon — are serving legit Texas barbecue at this Studio City hot spot. Hefty portions of sauce-glazed beef and pork are served alongside hush puppies and Frito pie.
Two things: Frito pie is a decadent old-school treat served in a bag. The pork ribs are juicy and sticky-sweet.
If you’re Tired of The Varnish, try: The bar at Republique
Location: Hancock Park
Set in a 1929 building commissioned by Charlie Chaplin, Republique is a stunning restaurant that provides a gorgeous setting for any meal of the day — or just drinks. The bar features aperitifs, craft cocktails and beer.
Two things: The Celery is a fiery cocktail made with pressed celery juice and Serrano peppers. The refreshing Agricole Daiquiri features rum, lime and cane juice.
If you’re over Umami Burger, try: Cassell’s Hamburgers
An update of the original Cassell’s, this sleek diner has a vintage feel and some really delicious burgers, ground from fresh beef daily. Everything from French fries to soda is made in-house and with attention to detail.
Two things: The tuna melt uses wild-caught albacore slow-poached in pickle juice. The lemon cream cheese pie is perfectly tart and topped with chocolate shavings.
If you’re done with Café Gratitude, try: Azla Vegan
Location: Downtown L.A.
Cuisine: Vegan, Ethiopian
This casual downtown restaurant remakes classic Ethiopian dishes with all-vegan ingredients while taking a cue from farm-to-table California cuisine. Local organic produce is the base for healthy and vibrant vegetable-filled plates and salads.
Two things: Tofu Tibs give tofu a wow factor with caramelized onions and tomato. The kale lemonade is a snappy mix of greens, ginger and lemon.
If you’re jaded by Intelligentsia, try: Tierra Mia
Location: Various throughout Los Angeles
Cuisine: Coffee bar
This Latino-inspired coffee house chain serves single-origin coffee brewed to order and a menu of sweet frappes and signature hot drinks. All pastries are baked locally by Tierra Mia and delivered to each location daily.
Two things: The tres leches muffin is a delicious homage to the traditional cake. The Coco Loco Latte is a must for coconut lovers.
If you’re done waiting in line at Daikokuya, try: Ramen Champ
With his Eggslut quickly becoming an institution, Alvin Cailan brings us Ramen Champ. The Chinatown noodle bar serves three sultry ramen varieties and many rice bowls, plus sides like fried chicken karaage and battered, deep-fried mushrooms.
Two things: Tako Tots are decadent little potato fritters with octopus and salted cod served with spicy mayo. You won’t miss meat if you order the exceptionally flavorful Shitake Shio mushroom ramen.
If you’re into Bay Cities Deli, try: Paninoteca
Location: Beverly Hills
Serving out of the Scarpetta kitchen at the Montage in Beverly Hills, Paninoteca offers Italian-inspired sandwiches made with fresh farmers market produce, plus salads and sides like fingerling potato salad and marinated mushrooms.
Two things: The Padrino Hero is a dream for lovers of Italian subs. The cannoli is house-made and filled with Nutella and hazelnuts.
If you’re bored with Pink’s, try: Vicious Dogs
Location: North Hollywood
Go plain — or just plain go for it at this NoHo wiener joint. Choose from four types of hot dogs and toppings that include classic chili and cheese and not-so-classic peanut butter and jelly.
Two things: Some people just come for the French fries, which are crispy and expertly seasoned. The Slaw Dog is a mouthwatering mix of house-made slaw, shredded cheese, chili and mustard.
If you’re Tired of Connie & Ted’s, try: Knuckle and Claw
Location: Silver Lake
One of the best lobster rolls in town can be found at this casual eatery. Lobster, crab and shrimp are flown in daily from Maine, minimally dressed and served on soft, warm rolls.
Two things: A selection of mini sandwiches allows you to try a variety of rolls. The grilled cheese sandwich is made with buttery Cotswold cheese from Silver Lake Cheese Shop down the street.
If you’re done Brunching at AOC, try: Brunch at Terrine
Location: Beverly Grove
Served from Friday to Sunday, the brunch on the patio at Kris Morningstar’s California brasserie is an indulgent L.A. experience. Luscious sweet and savory dishes make for tough choices, and cocktails are a must.
Two things: Eggs in Purgatory features a baked egg under spicy tomato sauce and melted pecorino cheese. The Italian Soda is a refreshing (and stiff) cocktail made with Campari, Cynar and Pilsner.
If you’re into Red O, try: Gracias Madre
Location: West Hollywood
Cuisine: Vegan, Mexican
The sunny patio of this popular WeHo restaurant is usually filled with a see-and-be-seen crowd, but the food lives up to the scene. Classic Mexican dishes, like flautas and ceviche, are made vegan with fresh organic produce.
Two things: The Totopos con Chile are nacho-like treats made with tortilla chips, cashew crema and salsa arbol. The Contraband mixes house-made gin with Fernet and sweet vermouth.
If you’re Tired of Milk, try: Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams
Location: Los Feliz
Cuisine: Ice cream
A beloved Ohio-based brand, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream brings its inventive flavors to L.A.’s Los Feliz neighborhood. Waffle cones, cookies and whipped cream are all handmade. Signature sundaes are available, along with ice cream sandwiches and floats.
Two things: Lemon buttermilk tart frozen yogurt is infused with lemon curd and big pieces of shortbread. The One Night in Bangkok sundae features peanut ice cream, salty caramel sauce and a banana.
If you’re tired of Gladstone’s, try: Malibu Pier Restaurant & Bar
Set on the historic Malibu Pier, this sunny, beautifully designed restaurant serves a menu built on local produce and sustainable seafood. Small plates of salads and comfort staples share the menu with paella and stuffed crab.
Two things: The deviled eggs are topped with Santa Barbara sea urchin. The wild salmon is simple but spot-on.
—Valentina Silva, Tribune Content Solutions