Gaby’s Guide to Los Angeles, CA

Gaby’s Guide to Los Angeles got a facelift! Oh man was this tough. It was like picking my favorite children… but I’ve narrowed it down to my favorite restaurants of the moment!

We’re rolling out a new guide every week for the foreseeable future thanks to lots of travel recently. Guides + maps coming you way from all over the states and I’m so pumped because it makes all those calories I’ve consumed in the past few weeks TOTALLY worth it. Most maps will include fun places to stay, as you all know I love a good hotel, along with fun things to do while you’re traveling / cool spas to hit up / fun adventures etc. But for LA, we’re focusing on the food scene since I haven’t stayed at any of my local hotels besides one listed below! We are in BUSINESS people. Get ready. Here’s what’s up in LA…

Prefacing this by saying links to all the restaurants are on the map!

Bestia – It’s basically on every LA list for where to eat but it’s true. It’s too hard to get a reservation most nights so we go for at 5pm when they open and grab a table at one of their many bars. Pizza / pasts / sides / salads… you name it. It’s the best pizza in LA.

Don Antonio’s – perhaps my favorite meal of all times and easily the least expensive. Don Antonio’s is a hole in the wall Mexican restaurant close to our home that we frequent at least once a week. We know everyone by name, the skinny margaritas can’t be beat, they have the best spicy salsa and endless amounts of tortilla chips and the Carne Asada Super Burrito is unrivaled. Do it.

Neighborhood – best coffee shop in all the land!! Coffee, Matcha, Tea… you name it! It’s the best in the city.

Milo and Olive – Anytime we order in chances are we’re getting Milo and Olive delivered! They having an incredible garlic knot that will make you droll and their pizzas are wonderful. And their pastry situation… don’t even get me started. It’s legit dangerous to go there.

L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele – MORE PIZZA!! This one comes straight from Naples Italy and it does not disappoint. Plus it’s a super cute atmosphere. Looks like an old house that’s been converted into a ton of indoor/outdoor space with a huge pizza oven!

Mizlala West Adams – some of my fav Israeli food in all of LA!

Dudley Market – if you’re in the Venice / Santa Monica area and need somewhere to grab a drink and a light bite… this is the place! Great oysters, awesome wine program and the shared plates are amazing.

Tartine Bianco – LA finally has one of my favorite places from SF right smack downtown. Tartine is come to some of the most incredible bread and pastries and the brunch cocktails are out of this world.

Cassia – The chickpea flatbread situation going on at Cassia is mind boggling. Best French Asian fusion food in the land!

Gjelina – I’m a fan of Gjelina for lunch and I’ll order as many pizzas as humanly possible and all the side dishes. The best.

Gjusta – You’re gonna need the Smoked Salmon platter for breakfast and a coffee. Get your phones ready – everything is insta-friendly.

Jon & Vinny’s – pizza, pasta and a bar, what more could you ask for. It’s arguably the best pizza in mid-city and their cacio e pepe is out of this world

Kismet – one of my favorite places to LA on the east side!! The Turkish Breakfast is the best.

Felix – more pasta, this time west side! Make a reservation WAY in advance, this place is crazy popular and worth the wait!

Home State – Texas style Breakfast Tacos. The best in the land.

Escuela – Promise me you’ll get the Raja tacos. Oh god, they are incredible. Also they serve a mean guacamole and freshly fried tortilla chips. And the guac. Obsessed.

Rose Cafe – Thomas and I feel very strongly about our breakfast burritos and Rose Cafe delivers! They are also second runner up for best chocolate chip cookie in LA and these are really important things in life.

Sugar Fish – no reservations and no need to even look at the menu. Get the “Trust Me” and an extra Lobster Roll and you’re in business. Sushi heaven.

Bay Cities – A little Italian deli in Santa Monica that I swear we go to at least once a week. Their fresh bread is insane, and they have the best selection of Italian groceries ever – but no matter what else you get… promise me you’ll get the Godmother sandwich. Truly a game changer. And if you’re not feeling the meat situation, get the burrata caprese. Equally as incredible (especially with extra pesto sauce)

Norah – holy moly they make the best cornbread in the entire world. Their pasta is out of this world too as are the cocktails. It’s a fun place for a date night on the weekend for sure!

Maude – is one of my favorite places to go for a special occasion. Each month the menu is made around a specific ingredients which means the menu is ALWAYS changing. The decor is amazing and the staff is incredible.

Parks BBQ – I just recently got on the Korean BBQ train and I’m never getting off. Trust me – Parks is worth every penny.

Lukshon – my favorite place in Culver City and for some reason it’s never that busy. The Southeastern Asian spin on everything is epic.

MB Post – Omg. The Bacon Cheddar Biscuits are everything. Go for brunch – it’s my favorite meal there!

Grand Central – This is a can’t miss stop while you’re in LA! Visit the pupusa stand, grab a falafel sandwich or salad at Madcapra, some pasta at Knead, or a breakfast sandwich at Egg Slut. Although be warned, the Egg Slut line is insanely long at all times and there are so many other incredible options within Grand Central if you don’t want to wait in lines! (because I don’t do lines well)

Bottega Louie – Probably the best chocolate chip cookie in all of Los Angeles. Also it’s super insta-friendly!

Pizzana – right in the heart of Brentwood, this pizza place is epic. It’s exactly where I want to go for a fun weekend night with a glass of wine and a few pizza pies!

Night + Market Song – the OG night + Market with some of the best Thai food in town!

Triple Beam Pizza – if Nancy Silverton opens a new restaurant, you go. Duh. And this one does not disappoint. Pizza for everyone!

majordōmo – David Chang’s first space in LA is pretty damn epic. The large format meals (hello bo ssam) will rock your world!

Bavel – the owners of Bestia can do no wrong. First the most epic Italian place and now a more Middle Eastern / Israeli vibe. With flatbread and shawarma and everything in-between… this place can’t be missed.

Jitlada – super traditional Thai food in a very random strip mall in North Hollywood. 100% worth the drive no matter where you’re coming from. Also SUPER casual – don’t bother getting dressed up.

Viale dei Romani – the restaurant in the new Kimpton La Peer is epic Italian! Plus it has a gorgeous outside patio where you’ll want to park it all night long.

Sushi Park – INCREDIBLE sushi! You don’t even need a menu, just let them guide you on what to order. Best to go if someone else is picking up the tab. Just saying.

ADDED: Where to Stay… Kimpton La Peer Hotel! Omg it’s everything you’ve ever wanted in a hotel plus it’s right off Melrose so you’re close to tons of fun restaurants and walking and shopping!!

Did I miss anything? Shout it out in the comments below so I can go give it a try!! There are too many restaurants and not enough days in the week to try them all. But I’m willing to give it a try!

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31 comments

  1. blaire

    Sadtha is a plant based thai restaurant and it is PHENOMENAL !! Right on Lincoln in SM.

  2. Mackenzie

    Yessss so many great ones!! I’m getting hungry just reading through! Jon and Vinny’s, Son of a Gun and Larchmont Wine & Cheese sandos deserve top spots in my book too 🙂

    • cheesylagirl

      I second Jon and Vinny’s. Now that’s a meatball!

  3. Serena

    Oh Boy, Can’t wait to visit my old neighborhood and try some old fav’s that are on your list and some new ones. You always lead us to great places. You have got to hit Eaglerock and Colorado Blvd….whoa…great places. Cindy’s, Little Beast and CaCao just for starters. Cheers

  4. marla young

    Thanks for sharing your favorite LA restaurants. I am also a fan of Gjulina, but the service has not been great when I visited. For coffee, I love Blue Bottle. Moon Juice is my favorite juice bar. Huckleberry’s gluten-free lemon pistachio muffin is fabulous. Erewhon has a great food bar. I also love their Bullet Proof Smoothie. I plan on trying many of your recommendations. .

  5. Monica

    You should try Road to Soul for Korean BBQ, they have great quality meat and unlimited egg!

  6. Heather Christo

    I love that you did this!! I have a lot of eating to do next time I’m there!

  7. Sommer @aspicyperspective

    A great list! Pinned for later when I plan a trip to LA.

  8. Maria from almostproperly.com

    I have been traveling to LA more and more…and never know where to go!!! I love all of the food you post, so trusting your taste in restaurants seems only logical!! I am the most excited to try some of the Mexican places on the list!! Super awesome Mexican food in Seattle is hard to come by.

  9. Amanda

    Church and State in Downtown is always a hit. I agree, it’s impossible to get a table at Bestia! Also Faith and Flower is fantastic and they have the best wine decanters! Agree with Bottega Louie. They have the best stuffed squash blossoms when they’re in season!

  10. Jim Krasas

    How is a French Dip Sandwich @ Philippe’s not on your list? It is always a must stop for one of L.A.’s iconic dishes that never disappoints.

  11. Denise Wood

    Anyone have suggestions for places to eat in Pasadena?? Heading there on Sunday August 5th and would’ve love some ideas!

    • Gaby

      totally depends on what you want to do while you’re here! I love the Montana Ave area of Santa Monica! Silverlake is really fun too!

  12. Erika Silverman

    Mh Zh, Pine and Crane, and Din Tai Fung are all musts!

  13. Cathy

    Great list, but Kura in West Hollywood and Republique both deserve a mention!

  14. Julia

    I’m from Chicago but I’ve told my husband that we must take a trip to LA just to try Nancy Silverton’s restaurant Osteria Mozza.

    I saw her on a Netflix special and grew an appreciation for her as a chef, and since she’s so dedicated to making perfect bread her restaurant must have the same expectations! I’d be interested to hear if anyone’s eaten there!

  15. Farah Daou

    The Fig at the Fairmont definitely deserves a spot on your list! In my top 3 LA restaurants.

  16. Liz Clocker

    Thanks for this guide! I’m so excited to try some of these places.
    The hotel you suggested is a bit out of my range… can you suggest any other places or parts of town to stay in? I’m not really wanting to rent a car while visiting. Do you think that’s essential?