Los Angeles Restaurants
13447 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks
If the complimentary sparkling cocktail you were handed upon arrival didn’t clue you in, Sushi Note is more than a neighborhood sushi joint. It’s also a wine bar. And a great one at that (co-owner Dave Gibbs is the discerning palate behind Augustine Wine Bar and Mirabelle). What sets it apart: It takes your traditional omakase tasting menu and one-ups it with sommelier-curated wine pairings from the best vineyards in Burgundy. And we haven’t even gotten to the sushi yet. Yuzu-and-truffle-drenched scallops, peppered albacore, and simple, salt-dusted sea bass that might be the single greatest bite within miles, and then there are the precisely sliced, perfectly seasoned cuts of nigiri that defy description. It’s only after you leave that you realize the sushi was so spectacular, you didn’t even drizzle it with soy sauce. Our advice: Snag a seat at the bar, go for the tasting menu, and watch the chefs work their magic.
Fresh on Sunset
8768 Sunset Boulevard, West Hollywood
Your vegan lifestyle is energizing and life-affirming and wants for nothing—until you have your first craving for mozzarella sticks or anything with buffalo sauce. Fresh on Sunset understands this. Yes, the Toronto-based family of restaurants makes a mean hummus, a satisfying tempeh wrap, and plenty of cold-pressed juices, but where Fresh flourishes is with its vegan nonvegan food.
1128 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica
Jennifer Jewett makes the chore of preparing meals obsolete. Jewett—the founder and executive chef of Citizen Sprout and a mama herself—and her team whip up fresh, inventive, healthy lunches and dinners from scratch for kids and adults every day. They make it easy: You can drop by their bright Santa Monica location for ready-made salads, smoothies, soups, bowls, and the like, or you can order ahead online. (The Buffalo Cauliflower Salad and the Braised Chicken and Spinach Meatballs are goop-staffer favorites for lunch or an easy weeknight dinner.) Jewett also delivers to select schools throughout Los Angeles, offering littles a rotating, seasonal menu of lunches made with hormone- and antibiotic-free proteins and local and organic produce.
425 Rose Ave., Venice, CA 90291
Horseshoe bar, check. Complexion-enhancing lighting, deep emerald walls and dark wood, check. House martinis made with bayleaf-infused vodka, plus aged Flannery steaks, and design by the cool kids at folklor? Next-level Venice dining, unlocked.
Cassia Rice & Noodle Kitchen
1314 7th St., Santa Monica
Cassia’s chef Bryant Ng and his wife and partner, Kim Luu-Ng, are at it again, but this time with a new rice and noodle concept—or as they like to say, a kitchen within a kitchen—exclusively for delivery and takeout. It’s run by the same culinary team as Cassia and uses the same high-quality ingredients we’ve come to except and love, but the Rice & Noodle Kitchen churns out dishes—as the name suggests—that revolve around rice and noodles. If you’re a meat eater, don’t miss the grilled BBQ pork rice, where the pickled Chinese cabbage and jasmine rice balance the rich and spicy pork to delicious results. And if you’re looking for a filling vegetarian-friendly option, the spicy dry noodles should be first in your cart. Everything is made to travel well (during R&D, Bryant let dishes sit out for hours just to make sure) and comes at delivery-friendly prices.
1820 N. Vermont Ave., Los Feliz
If team goop were ever stuck on a deserted island, the dish staffers would dream of is an In-N-Out burger. The soft bun, the warm melty cheese, the sweet Thousand Island–style special sauce…we could go on. But there's no reason to be so dramatic, because now we can have a meatless version of our favorite fast burger with incredible sauce and eat it, too, at Honeybee Burgers. The plant-based menu at this petite sidewalk diner rivals that of the famous chain—and is far better for us (and the planet). You can have a meatless burger on a soft bun schmeared with a vegan house sauce that will win the heart of any meat lover. You can munch on crinkle sweet potato fries and crispy tater tots dipped in house-made plant-based buttermilk ranch and tangy ketchup. And if you’re really going for it (and we recommend you do), you can top it off with the Daisy—a coconut-milk-and-orange-blossom "milkshake" that tastes like a Creamsicle.
1048 S La Brea Ave., Mid-City
Danny Trejo has built an LA-wide empire that reaches from Hollywood to Woodland Hills. Hit up any of the locations for an extensive menu that includes all the hits, served all day (including vegan options)—or head straight to happy hour for street tacos and drinks on the cheap. On top of supplying LA with carne asada and jackfruit with avocado cream, Trejo’s holds court at the Original Farmers Market on 3rd Street. We’d expect nothing less from the boxer-actor-seventy-something well of energy: The man has starred in over 250 films, and his life story is documentary material. He’s the kind of entrepreneur you expect to throw a curveball, and here it is: Trejo’s Coffee & Donuts in Hollywood, with flavors that include nacho, lemon papí, and dulce de leche.
1538 Sunset Blvd., Echo Park
Our favorite new but not-so-new Eastside bar. Lowboy is actually one half of the former LA institution the Lost Knight. (The other half is now the fantastic Adamae.) If you're familiar with the location, you'll likely have some nostalgia for its former occupant. But once you enter, you'll be happy to see the space's new life. Lowboy is everything you crave in a bar: It's moody and softly lit, it has cozy booths and a generous beer list, and the bartenders can whip up a perfectly tart Paloma or a breezy and sweet mai tai in less time than it will take you to decide on your bar snack. (The popcorn sprinkled with Old Bay is a real crowd-pleaser.)
740 N Fairfax Ave., West Hollywood
Genghis Cohen has been a staple for good Chinese in Los Angeles for more than three decades. And since Marc Rose and Med Abrous, the restaurant partners behind Winsome and the Spare Room, took over ownership several years ago, it's gotten even better. The interiors are dark and moody. The food, umami-rich and satisfying. Go for the New York Style Eggrolls (never greasy, always crispy), vegetarian pot stickers, crackerjack shrimp, and cashew chicken, which is unexpectedly smoky and sweet.
4939 York Blvd., Highland Park
There’s no shortage of plant-based food options in LA, but we had to pause when we heard about an all-vegan German beer garden on a busy strip of York Boulevard. Even though it sounds like the most LA thing you could imagine, the imported-beer menu and the long picnic tables make it worth spending a sunny afternoon on the front patio. And we’ll happily help ourselves to currywurst and vegan schnitzel and soft pretzels with mustard.
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