Answers from Our Experts (4)
When you visit Los Angeles, it's not surprising to see why Wolfgang Puck's popular California cuisine took off in the mid 1980s: His seasonal, produce-focused menu capitalized on the city's year-round growing season and impressive farmers markets. Today you'll still find L.A. rich with restaurants that feature that farm-to-table mentality, including Puck's iconic Spago Beverly Hills and Four-Star Wolfgang Puck at Hotel Bel-Air. If you are looking to taste some of the best in Southern California's produce, make reservations anywhere from Five-Star Mélisse for chef Josiah Citrin's contemporary French tasting menu, to Abbot Kinney's laid-back, Mediterranean-influenced Gjelina.
In the haute cuisine department, you can find the seafood-loving temple Providence, the mind-blowing modernist cuisine at The Bazaar at the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills, and everything in between. Top-notch steakhouses have popped up, as Wolfgang Puck reinvents the plate again with his Richard Meier-designed CUT, as well as scene-setting Dakota and local favorite Jar. And since Matsuhisa's opening in 1987, Los Angeles has been a well-known destination for sushi lovers. Nobu, Sushi Katsu-ya and Restaurant Nishimura are other top spots for fresh cuts of fish.
Of course, this city is a melting pot of cultures and ethnicities: from the large influx of Mexican and Hispanic cultures to the many Asian communities — it's said that L.A. is home to one of the largest Korean populations outside of Seoul — that make up its suburban-like neighborhoods, it's possible to find almost any dish you want in this city. With a Koreatown, Little Tokyo, Mexico-like Olvera street, Thai Town and Chinatown, all you need to do is take a look around to find cheap and delicious ethnic eateries all over town.
And you can't talk about L.A.s food scene without mentioning its influence in the food-truck phenomenon; in fact, the city basically gave birth to the trend with Roy Choi's addictive Korean-style tacos and his Kogi truck. Nowadays Twitter is abuzz with L.A.'s trucks, and you can find everything from a breakfast-focused driver to a grilled-cheese slinger, proving that whether the food is straight from the market, cooked in traditional Japanese-style or on wheels, you can find it in this city.
Los Angeles offers some of the finest dining in the world, and features marquee chefs in preparing every style of cuisine. A more casual dining experience with minimal dress code restrictions is the norm in everything from hip and trendy to established favorite restaurants. It’s not unusual to bump into a celebrity or two as you dodge the paparazzi to enter the latest hot spot.
Los Angeles offers an amazing spectrum of restaurants in all areas of the city and neighborhoods. This makes the restaurants strive to be innovative and cutting edge. Food reality shows bring out new talent and the city and diners benefit from this diversity. A new social dining concept is emerging with the desire to mingle, network and be out on the town to have fun, enjoy food and play. Upscale dining is still represented very strongly, with many famous and award-winning chefs of all cuisines in all parts of the city.
The Los Angeles restaurant scene can best be described as eclectic.