Sort by

Showing  Places
Photo collage of four dishes from Lorenzo California, Stir Crazy, Murakami, and Nic's on Beverly
The best restaurants to try in L.A. this month include a coffeehouse-turned-wine-bar on Melrose, a Florentine sandwich shop and a sushi bar that’s supporting the WGA strike.
(Collage by Brandon Ly / Los Angeles Times. Photo credits: Stephanie Breijo / Los Angeles Times, Wonho Frank Lee, Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)

The best places to eat and drink in L.A. right now, according to our food writers

Share via

It’s possible that Angelenos have never made the weather as big of a subject as we have this year, when rain greeted us at the start of the year and seemed to continue with little pause through the first quarter, with a stubborn San Francisco-like fog lingering until the solstice ushered us into the height of summer.

Now that sunny skies appear here to stay, we’re taking advantage of the city’s green spaces for grilling and outdoor feasts. Bricia Lopez, restaurateur and co-author of the cookbook “Asada: The Art of Mexican-Style Grilling,” with L.A. Taco editor Javier Cabral, schooled us in her carne asada traditions at Ernest E. Debs Regional Park, inviting L.A. Times Food general manager Laurie Ochoa and other friends to join in the fun, with recipes.

Columnist Jenn Harris introduced us to Armenian-style grilling from the owners of Pasadena’s Garni Meat Market, and staff photographers Jason Armond and Allen Schaben and freelancer Shelby Moore captured the global grilling traditions on view at Kenneth Hahn, Whittier Narrows and Elysian Park. Taking our attention from meat, cooking columnist Ben Mims offers Lukas Volger’s veggie burger recipes. Prefer to order takeout instead of babysitting the grill? Critic Bill Addison shares a refreshed list of the city’s best barbecue spots.

Addison also revealed Gilbert Cetina’s Holbox as The Times 2023 Restaurant of the Year, with Parks BBQ earning the prestigious 2023 Gold Award, an honor created by The Times’ late restaurant critic Jonathan Gold as a way of “honoring culinary excellence and expanding the notion of what Southern California cuisine might be.” Make it a point to visit both restaurants as your summer dining agenda gets underway, as well as the options featured in this list, spanning new tiki bars, Cajun cuisine, a resurgent vegan restaurant and more.

Showing  Places
An overhead photo of three birria tacos, a rotisserie chicken plate and pibil chicken nachos atop a wood tabletop.
(Stephanie Breijo / Los Angeles Times)

Saucy Chick Rotisserie/The Goat Mafia

Beverly Grove Mexican Indian $
Two of Smorgasburg L.A.’s most popular vendors — Saucy Chick Rotisserie and the Goat Mafia — have teamed up to launch a bricks-and-mortar in Beverly Grove. The former is led by husband-and-wife team Marcel Michel and Rhea Patel Michel, serving food that blends Marcel’s Mexican heritage with Rhea’s Gujarati background. The result is pibil- or jeera-marinated rotisserie chicken that’s available whole with sides like whipped pinto beans, turmeric-roasted cauliflower and Fenugreek esquites, over nachos with airy para crackers or in tacos, burritos and bowls. The Goat Mafia is led by Compton native Juan Garcia, who uses a century-old Jalisco-born birria recipe that dates back to his great-great grandfather, served on Kernel of Truth corn tortillas with Mayocoba beans. Critic Bill Addison hails the collaboration in a recent review and recommends ordering tacos from both businesses when you visit. The interior hasn’t changed much since Chica’s Tacos held the location, but is convenient for takeout or dine-in with orders taken at the counter and a few indoor and outdoor tables.
Read about the Indian Mexican rotisserie and birria shop in Beverly Grove.
Route Details
overhead of a bowl of chicken sausage with beans and wine
(Stephanie Breijo / Los Angeles Times)

Baby Bistro

Koreatown European Wine Bars $$
A new, European-minded bistro has popped up at Hotel Normandie, courtesy of Miles Thompson (Michael’s in Santa Monica, Konbi) and wine expert Andy Schwartz, who told reporter Stephanie Breijo that the small menu that’s meant to be ordered in full is a preview of what the two are planning for their forthcoming Echo Park restaurant. Go with a friend or two and try dishes like a zucchini tonnato that substitutes the usual veal for squash and house-made chicken sausage served with lemongrass-fragrant beans. The wine selection focuses on unconventional natural wines and offers bottles with little markup. With only 19 seats and three seatings per night, reservations are required and can be made via Instagram DM.
Read about the charming bistro pop-up at Hotel Normandie.
Route Details
New Venice bar Gin Rummy serves tiki classics as well as new cocktails, large-format drinks, and bites like coconut shrimp.
(Philip Guerette / Gin Rummy)

Gin Rummy

Venice Tiki Bar $$
Tiki themes have transformed the former Nueva bar in Venice Beach, serving frozen cocktails, large-format drinks and bites like wings and tempura calamari in an indoor-outdoor space with over 200 seats and beachy details like wicker-wrapped light fixtures. There are also pinball machines to keep you entertained. The cocktail menu is organized according to whether a drink is frozen, shaken or stirred, with highballs and nonalcoholic options available. Taco Tuesday offers discounted tacos and drinks from 4 to 8 p.m.
Read about the transformed tiki bar near the marina.
Route Details
dish with meat and rice
(Krystian Byrd / Mom’s Haus)

Mom's Haus

Hollywood Creole Cajun cuisine $$
Chef-owner Brandon Baker has expanded his Creole and Cajun restaurant Mom’s Haus from Van Nuys to a new Hollywood location where you can order dishes like Creole eggs Benedict with fried oysters, gumbo, smothered oxtails and po’boys in a New Orleans-inspired environment. Stop by early for Chicory coffee or laissez les bon temps rouler and indulge in the daiquiri bar or custom cocktails like the King Cake with Haus rum, cream, cinnamon syrup and vanilla extract with a purple, green and gold sugar rim.
Read about Hollywood’s New Orleans-inspired restaurant.
Route Details
An overhead photo of a steak bowl from Koreatown's new casual Japanese restaurant, Hibi, garnished with shishitos and lemon
(Stephanie Breijo / Los Angeles Times)


Montebello Japanese $$
The team behind Kabuki has opened a casual Japanese restaurant with modern touches, like 72-hour-marinated steak over a bed of Okinawa purple sweet potato rice and truffle-marinated salmon in a ceviche-inspired mix of masago, avocado and fried wonton chips. Classic sushi and sashimi rolls, rice bowls with a variety of protein options and udon noodle soups round out your options, with fried matcha ice cream served on a sizzling skillet for dessert.
Learn about the modern Japanese restaurant in Koreatown.
Route Details
overhead view of clams
(Silvia Razgova / For The Times)

Dear John's

Culver City Steakhouse $$$
First founded in 1962 and attracting celebrity clientele that included the likes of Frank Sinatra, Dear John’s was reopened by restaurateur Patti Röckenwagner (the Röckenwagner Bakery Group) and chefs Hans Röckenwagner (Röckenwagner Bakery and Café) and Josiah Citrin (Citrin, Mélise, Charcoal) in 2019, once again ascending to become one of the city’s best-regarded steakhouses. The future of the classic restaurant came into question at the end of May when its lease expired, but ardent fans of the historic haunt — including actor Jamie Lee Curtis — petitioned for it to remain open and the three owners were able to extend the lease for another five years. Celebrate with a stiff martini, a Caesar salad prepared tableside or sand dabs bathed in lemon-caper butter.
Read about Dear John’s extended lease.
Route Details
a sub stacked with meat and cheese
(Wonho Frank Lee)

Lorenzo California

Beverly Hills Sandwich Shop $$
After spending a month eating every sandwich they could get their hands on in Florence, Italy, husband-and-wife duo Renato Araujo and Cynthia Raslan returned to L.A. to put that research to use and open their own sandwich shop. The result is Lorenzo California — named after a little boy who the pair met at a Florentine sandwich spot — with sandwiches on light and airy bread that’s similar to foccacia and baked by Bianca co-owner and executive pastry chef Federico Fernandez, including toppings like bresaola, creamy gorgonzola cheese, freshly shaved truffles and Parmigiano sauce. Future plans include expanding into dinner service with pasta and wine.
Read about Beverly Hills’ Florentine sandwich shop.
Route Details
An overhead photo of whole roasted carrots in a pool of bright orange carrot butter sauce at Stir Crazy wine bar on Melrose
(Stephanie Breijo / Los Angeles Times)

Stir Crazy

Hollywood Wine Bars $$
Melrose’s long-running coffee shop has introduced a refreshed menu and focus under new management, featuring California cuisine and global wines that skew natural. The name will remain the same as an ode to the cafe’s successful, almost 30-year run, but instead of pastries and breakfast bites, expect shareable, vegetable-forward dishes like whole roasted carrots in a buttery and bright carrot sauce and anchovies and hazelnuts in an herbaceous oil served with a fresh baguette. The wine list features options by the glass and bottle, with an emphasis on lesser-known grapes.
Read about Melrose’s coffee-shop-turned-wine bar.
Route Details
Drink in a glass reading "the royal Hawaiin" with fruit on top
(Cindy Carcamo / Los Angeles Times)

The Royal Hawaiian

Laguna Beach Hawaiian Tiki Bar $$
After years of uncertainty, including a stint as a muted, tropical-themed restaurant, Laguna Beach’s iconic tiki haunt the Royal Hawaiian has reopened courtesy of Boulevard Hospitality Group (Yamashiro, Kodo, TCL Chinese Theater), with menus and decor that have been painstakingly restored to pay homage to the restaurant’s historic past. That means custom-carved Bumatay sculptures, recovered jade tiles and original pieces from when the restaurant first opened in 1947, in addition to classic, spirit-forward cocktails served in ceramic mugs and dishes that range from iconic Polynesian plates to items that draw from chef Jaehee Lee’s (Yamashiro) Korean American background, like loco moco, crab rangoons and mochiko popcorn chicken with a Korean pepper sauce.
Read about Orange County’s restored tiki restaurant.
Route Details
Tostada Kondo from Loreto restaurant in Frogtown.
(Stephanie Breijo / Los Angeles Times)


Elysian Valley Seafood Mexican $$
Now that the June gloom has dissipated, we can fully embrace the cuisines of summer, with mariscos being at the top of that food pyramid. Opened earlier this year in Frogtown, Loreto stands out with 90% of its menu sourced from Mexico, with the remaining 10% coming from California and Japan. The seafood-focused spot offers aguachile, ceviche and botanas like a prawn taco and esquites with shrimp and lobster mayo, but columnist Jenn Harris hails the tostada kondo with scallops, shaved fennel, green apple, Maui onion, wasabi aioli and uni that’s sourced from Mexico or Santa Barbara, depending on availability. Large plates include zarandeados like octopus and fish of the day, served with black beans, rice, avocado, escabeche, tortillas, quesadillas and salsas. The drink menu stays on theme with margaritas, beer, Mexican and California wines, plus a selection of agave spirits.
Read about Frogtown’s new Baja-inspired seafood spot.
Route Details
overhead view of a plate full of seafood
(Jenn Harris / Los Angeles Times)

El Muelle 8

Downey Seafood Mexican $
For a no-frills mariscos spot, look no further than El Muelle 8, opened in a Downey strip mall in March. Go with a group so you don’t have to decide between the mar y tierra taco that cradles shrimp and tenderloin in the same sturdy tortilla and a stacked taco Gaxiola with a slab of seared marinated tuna under a bed of condiments that includes pico de gallo and guacamole. The campechana is a generous plate with raw and cooked shrimp, octopus, scallops, bass, crab and snail that is so fresh and salty with ocean flavor you might be tempted to make the beach your next stop.
Read about L.A.’s best new mariscos.
Route Details
An overhead photo of the sushi lunch special at Murakami Sushi on Melrose. A hand with chopsticks lifts nigiri from top right
(Stephanie Breijo / Los Angeles Times)


Fairfax Japanese Sushi $$
As the WGA strike continues into its third month, many L.A. restaurants are noticing a decline in revenue as studio catering, business lunches and other related events have dwindled. Even still, many are committed to supporting the striking writers by offering discounted meals to those on the picket lines. Near Paramount Studios on Melrose Avenue, Murakami sushi bar has experienced a severe drop in business since the strike began, with chef Taro Sato estimating a 30% loss of business. The restaurant isn’t letting that hurdle stop them from supporting the cause, and is still giving out California and shrimp tempura rolls in addition to coupons for crispy rice to WGA members. While comedian Drew Carey has agreed to cover WGA member meals (including tip) at Burbank’s Bob’s Big Boy and Swinger’s diner on Beverly Boulevard for the duration of the strike, Murakami’s generosity is coming out of pocket. Make it a point to visit this month and show your support.
Learn about how Murakami is supporting the WGA strike.
Route Details
A bowl of "country"-style braised pork layers atop preserved vegetables from Szechuan Mountain House in L.A.
(Stephanie Breijo / Los Angeles Times)

Szechuan Mountain House

Rowland Heights Szechuan $$
Following the success of two New York locations, Szechuan Mountain House has expanded to an expansive new outpost in Rowland Heights, offering iconic, mouth-tingling dishes from China’s Sichuan province. From culinary director Zhi Min Zhu, signatures at the restaurant include Swing Pork Belly, with strips of pork belly and cucumber draped over a wooden dowel, ready to be dipped in a bowl of garlic paste and chile oil; and La-Zi Chicken, with chicken that’s diced, marinated, deep fried and stir fried in a medley of dried peppers, peppercorn and sesame. Order from the “traditional cuisine” menu if you’re sensitive to spice, such as the “country-style” braised pork with shredded preserved vegetables. With calming features like fish ponds, trees, floral Chinese art, calligraphy and design inspired by Taoism, it’s easy to understand why New York Times restaurant critic Pete Wells named the restaurant one of the top 100 in New York.
Read about Szechuan Mountain House’s expansion to Rowland Heights.
Route Details
A wagyu shawarma, arayas, side of French fries and Israeli juice from Aviad "Avi" Yalin's Avi Cue pop-up in Studio City.
(Stephanie Breijo / Los Angeles Times)

Shawarma by Avi Cue

Studio City Mediterranean $$
Taking over the space formerly occupied by Tacos 1986 on Ventura Boulevard is Aviad “Avi” Yalin’s new Avi Cue pop-up, with seared wagyu used in shawarma and arayes wraps featuring pillowy-fresh pita bread and toppings of tomato, parsley, tahini and amba. Order fries on the side or ask for your shawarma loaded on top. Imported Israeli fruit juice is available as a refreshment. The Avi Cue pop-up has a guaranteed three-week run with the possibility of a permanent extension.
Learn about the new Avi Cue pop-up.
Route Details
A plate of bone-in pieces of Korean fried chicken coated in light soy garlic sauce and peppers from Rice Chicken in Koreatown
(Stephanie Breijo / Los Angeles Times)

Rice Chicken

Koreatown Korean $$
Gluten-free diners and fans of crispy-crackly fried chicken will be thrilled to learn about Rice Chicken, a new Korean fried chicken spot that coats its poultry in rice flour and offers wings, boneless tenders and morsels in orders of six and 12. A plethora of sauces are available on the side for dipping, including galbi, garlic parmesan, honey mustard, buffalo and lemon pepper, or order your chicken drenched with your sauce of choice, like the Cheesy Tiger, which covers the chicken in a cheese powder. Also included on the menu are fried chicken sandwiches, salads, beef bulgogi and sides like fried sausage and corn cheese.
Read about Koreatown’s new fried chicken spot.
Route Details
a salad with peaches, tomatoes and some greens
(Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)

Nic's on Beverly

Beverly Grove Vegan $$
Popular vegan restaurant Nic’s on Beverly was slated to close on June 18, until a united reaction from diners swayed operators to extend the restaurant’s lease on Beverly Boulevard. Founder Nic Adler shared that the restaurant was struggling to repay back rent alongside pandemic loans that have recently come due in addition to a loss of business from the WGA strike, when the landlord requested the restaurant come current on its rent. Adler countered with a proposal to pay rent back gradually while the restaurant increased its profitability, but it was customers who arrived in droves, ordering multiple pizzas and other items with the intention to freeze at home, that convinced the landlord to sit back down with Adler and renegotiate a deal that would allow the plant-based restaurateur to restructure his debt and remain in the space long-term. Make a reservation to dig into American-inspired dishes that range from thick, Detroit-style pizzas to tofu omelets and tempura cauliflower tacos, including a Monday-through-Friday happy hour that discounts select dishes like grilled oyster mushroom asada fries and cocktails to $10.
Read about how Nic’s on Beverly avoided closure.
Route Details
overhead view of six egg tarts
(Jenn Harris / Los Angeles Times)


West Los Angeles Hong Kong Bakery $$
The perfect conclusion to a dim sum feast or a decadent, not-too-sweet anytime snack, dan tat are Hong Kong-style egg tarts that feature pale smooth tops and flaky crusts. Similar, but with scorched tops and crispier, caramelized bottoms are Macau-style tarts, a version of Portugal’s pastéis de nata. You can find both styles of egg tarts, plus cookie egg tarts in buttery cookie shells, at Supita bakery, opened earlier this year by the team behind Alhambra’s Simply Splendid, on Sawtelle Boulevard. There are also egg white tarts if you prefer a less indulgent option.
Read about Sawtelle’s egg tart bakery.
Route Details
Dan tat from Kingdom dim sum in Hollywood.
(Jenn Harris / Los Angeles Times)

Kingdom Dim Sum

Los Feliz Dim Sum $$
Columnist Jenn Harris says the dan tat at Hollywood’s Kingdom Dim Sum are most reminiscent of the ones she enjoyed as a child, with a smooth custard and delicate crust. Opened by mortgage broker Laurence Mo, Mo’s father, Man Mo, who worked in Cantonese dim sum restaurants for over 20 years, is responsible for the egg tarts here, preparing them in small batches every morning. The restaurant also offers popular dim sum items like siu mai and har gow, in case you want to sit down for a more complete meal.
Read about Hollywood’s new dim sum restaurant.
Route Details