Los Angeles is a city with an abundance of culinary delights, and with so many options, it can be overwhelming to decide where to eat. From French cuisine with a South Asian twist to homestyle West African cooking, and everything in between, there’s something for everyone. In this article, we’ve curated a list of some of the best restaurants in L.A. that you won’t want to miss.
Camphor is a restaurant that’s quickly making a name for itself in the L.A. food scene. Here, you’ll find traditional French cuisine with a creative twist from young chefs Max Boonthanakit and Lijo George. The amuse bouche pays homage to South Asian street snacks, while the anchovies spiced with gunpowder recall the salty fried fish from the Philippines and South Korea. The service and ambiance are equally impeccable.
Tsujita LA Artisan Noodles
For the best ramen in the city, look no further than Tsujita LA Artisan Noodles in Sawtelle. From charsiu to Negi to vegan options, there’s something for every palate here. The wait for a table can be long, but once you smell the rich aroma of the broth and noodles, you’ll know it was worth it.
Ilé Bistro is a West African-inspired restaurant that’s quickly gaining popularity. Nigerian spices are the highlight here, and Chef Tolu “Eros” Erogbogbo aims to bring West African cuisine to the global stage it deserves. Multi-course dinners are the norm, and storytelling is woven into the meal. Currently, Ilé Bistro is open for dinner service from Tuesday through Sunday.
Agnes in Pasadena has everything you could want from a restaurant, including a full dinner menu and a handy lunch bill of fare that can be enjoyed at the bar. Try the braised brisket melt or a platter of cheese with charcuterie alongside a well-shaken cocktail. Co-owner Vanessa Tilaka even hosts cheese-tasting classes.
Jitlada is a must-visit for lovers of Thai cuisine, serving both regional specialties and more Americanized dishes. Don’t miss the crispy morning glory salad or the green mussel curry. Even turmeric chicken wings are a must-try. And for the adventurous, ask your server about the off-menu Jazz Burger.
Rice & Nori
Rice & Nori in Little Tokyo is the perfect spot for onigiri, the ideal portable snack for a warm day in L.A. The second location in South Pasadena offers a similar setup with counter service and Japanese snacks and sweets.
Soban is a cozy restaurant that takes its name from the traditional low-slung tables used for communal dining. The homestyle cooking is bursting with flavor, with buttery, sweet crab marinated in a blend of green chilies, white onion, and soy sauce being a standout dish. The housemade banchan is also excellent, as are the galbi jjim and gochujang stew.
For a truly intimate dining experience, head to Hayato, where chef-owner Brandon Go’s years of training in Japan are reflected in his precision and technique. The steamed abalone, crab meatball soup, and donabe finale are all must-tries, and the handcrafted ceramics and diligent service make for an unforgettable evening.
With so many amazing restaurants to choose from, this list is just the tip of the iceberg. Whether you’re craving ramen or West African cuisine, Los Angeles has something to offer everyone. So next time you’re hungry, try one of these must-visit restaurants and taste the best of what L.A. has to offer.