Across the Table: The trend toward flying plates as diners engage in the 'foodie pass' at restaurants takes away the pleasure of ordering your own choice and not having to share.
Critic's Choice: Smoke is a versatile tool for the savvy chef. Three Los Angeles area restaurants that use it well: Hinoki & the Bird, Barney Greengrass and Horse Thief BBQ.
Critic's Choice: For those who love fresh, sweet corn, creative dishes at Tar & Roses, Gjelina and Cliff's Edge let you savor a summer flavor.
Critic's Choice: Southern California restaurants indulge the fresh tomato mania. Three places to try are Il Grano, Marche Moderne and Lucques.
When craving lobster, three Los Angeles area restaurants know how to do it well: Jar, Hinoki & the Bird and Chinois on Main. All offer lobster dinners that are almost as good as being oceanside in Maine.
Fried, wood-roasted or jidori style, these delicious chicken dishes at Bouchon, Farmshop and Pollo a la Brasa come with diverse flavors and are served in different settings.
Craving a giant iced platter of raw oysters? Try Cliff's Edge, where they're a bargain on Thursday nights; L&E Oyster Bar and its 'daily dozen'; or Church & State downtown.
When cooler weather triggers sausage cravings, three L.A. area restaurants are ready to link you up: Gorge Charcuterie, Wurstküche and BierBeisl.
Gastropubs offer a loose, lively vibe. And often the hours go late. Here are three picks for the L.A. area: Father's Office, Freddy Smalls Bar + Kitchen and Fat Cow.
The seriously good neighborhood spots Proof Bakery in Atwater Village, Sycamore Kitchen on La Brea Avenue and Sweet Butter in Sherman Oaks are destinations unto themselves.
The idea is catching on with restaurants. Here are three to sample: lobster Mondays at Jar, salumi bar Thursdays at Mozza Scuola and focaccia Thursdays at A.O.C.
Pétrossian, Spago and Huckleberry are among the best places in the Los Angeles area to enjoy smoked salmon. But for Spago's smoked salmon pizza, better go soon.
The varieties of dumplings available in the L.A. area, with myriad fillings, textures and ethnic origins, boggle the mind and tempt the taste buds. Here are some favorites.
Stamp your breakfast passport at Little La Lune, Huge Tree Pastry, Flavors of Belize, Uyen Thy, Eatalian Café, Mama Fina, Rollie's Bakery Café, Puro Sabor.
Hatfield's, Mélisse, Patina, Providence, the Royce at the Langham Huntington, Saam at the Bazaar by José Andres and WP24 by Wolfgang Puck for special occasions.