L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele
1534 N McCadden Pl., Hollywood
If you haven’t read Eat, Pray, Love here’s a brief recap: L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele. In addition to a life’s journey, a transcontinental catharsis, and so much more, writer Elizabeth Gilbert goes to Naples and eats at da Michele. In no time, the rest of the world falls in love with this place—a hole-in-the-wall pizzeria that basically serves only pizza with cheese, pizza with no cheese, and pizza with extra cheese. For argument’s sake (and also because it’s true), let’s agree that this really is the best pizza in the world. So imagine the thrill that ran through goop HQ when they decided to open their first US outpost in Los Angeles. The first da Michele in America is a galaxy away from the hole-in-the-wall in Naples: There’s an elegant wood patio, luxuriously long bar, and a dining room with greenery, high ceilings, a fireplace, and a polished crowd. The menu is rounded out with Italian appetizer all-stars (we’d suggest the fiori di zucca), the freshest pastas imaginable (we’d suggest the linguine with olives, capers, and tomatoes), and all manner of pizzas (we’d suggest them all). You could eat…
1200 N Highland Ave., Hollywood
The breakout taco stand of 2018 now has a brick-and-mortar spot on the corner of Spring and 6th Streets, and it couldn’t be more well-deserved. Whether you order the mushroom or the adobada tacos, get it “con todos”—the team applies salsa, onions, and other toppings with mixologist-level precision. Victor Delgado and Jorge “Joy” Alvarez-Tostado understand, in the same way a white-tablecloth restaurant does, that the excitement and energy a dish is served with is critical to the dining experience—their version is just way more fun. Head to Tacos 1986 to get the best street taco in LA without having to hang on a street corner all night: The restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to 12 a.m. during the week and to 3 a.m. on the weekends.
4845 Fountain Ave., Hollywood
When in Brooklyn, we make an immediate beeline to Five Leaves for a glass of Pinot Noir, a bucket of French fries, and that we-could-be-in-Paris vibe. The owners realized Los Angeles (and Hollywood) needed a triple dose of that laid-back cool, and headed west. The Greenpoint iteration is pretty in a rustic, wood-and-windows way, but Five Leaves on Fountain Avenue is beautiful. The marble-topped blue bar curves elegantly through the space, banquettes are upholstered in easy-on-the-eyes blush and mustard leathers, and the triple-height ceilings feel expansive and airy. Foodwise, you’ll find all the usual suspects—mussels in coconut broth, the most wonderful burger—and there’s great wine on tap. You’ll find us in the corner booth.
5125 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood
It’s not often a neighborhood bar checks off everything you want in a neighborhood bar. But Tabula Rasa does exactly that (if you’re lucky enough to live in the neighborhood). Far from a blank slate, Tabula Rasa is a friendly wine bar with a fantastic wine list (a mix of both natural wines and classics) and rotating roster of food pop-ups—whether it’s wood-fired pizza or lobster rolls or Japanese fried chicken—all served on the patio. The owners are Bestia alums, so it’s no surprise that the food and wine here are as good as it gets.
7562 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood
If you’re typically sore after workouts—and wished they involved more stretching—this is the studio for you. Totally devoted to optimizing the health of your fascia, GST founder Anna Rahe and instructor Stefanie Bernhard lead classes that range from cardio-focused to sculpt to hourlong sessions designed to increase flexibility and range of motion. They all feel like you’re giving yourself a full-body massage. You can book one-on-one sessions with Rahe, too, which are great for an initial assessment and game plan.
1503 N. Cahuenga Blvd., Hollywood
With full-on wood paneling throughout most of the space, this Hollywood spot has a hip sweat-lodge vibe. You can book the infrared saunas here solo, or with a friend (at a slightly cheaper rate). They also have hot (infrared) yoga classes—at varying levels of intensity.
6500 Selma Ave., Hollywood
LA abounds with rooftop bars, but even Westsiders will make the pilgrimage east for a night at Mama Shelter. There's just something about it. Maybe it's the direct view of the sun setting over the Hollywood sign, maybe it's those rainbow-striped loungers you sink into, or maybe it's the tunes spun nightly by the DJ. Arrive before dusk—especially on particularly balmy LA nights—and take over a corner with a crowd of friends. The barmen are some of the best in town (Y Tu Mama' Tambien is the spicy mezcal cocktail to order), and those panoramic views will keep you spellbound until last call.
718 N. Highland Dr., Hollywood
Tucked into the tail end of a Hollywood strip mall (across the street from Nancy Silverton’s Mozza empire, if you’re lost) is one of the most sublime French bistros outside of France. Chef Ludo Lefebvre has clung on to his Burgundy culinary roots—and his accent—despite more than twenty years in Los Angeles. The dining room, a small, narrow room that seats maybe twenty, has antique mirrors running the length of the wall reflecting the dim lights and open kitchen. Small stools and slivers of table space force diners to sit close; French rap makes the vibe as appealing as the food. A plate of garlicky escargots and half a warm baguette—never sliced, just torn with your hands—the confit-fried chicken, and a carafe of house red is the perfect order. Petit Trois doesn’t take reservations, but a much bigger sister restaurant has opened in the Valley, and honestly, an aperitif at the tiny bar while you wait is half the pleasure.
5706 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood
Next time you drive past one of Los Angeles’s many, often tumbledown, strip malls, look closely. Nestled between the laundromat and the questionable massage parlor might be one of the city’s best restaurants. Petit Trois, Sushi Gen, Jitlada...all in strip malls. Baroo is no different, and for chef Kwang Uh—a Noma alum—the choice of location is deliberate. Affordable rent means more research trips abroad for fresh ideas and new ingredients. The dishes at Baroo are hard to describe: experimental, deeply savory, and Asian-inflected. Pickles take center stage to the point that the only decoration in the otherwise sparse space is jar upon jar of Uh’s fermentation projects. Surrender and roll with the chef’s recommendations, although we’re partial to the Amira basmati rice, coated in a ton of herbs, coconut, dried shrimp, and pickled things. Most of the menu is vegan, it’s all under fifteen dollars, and the house-made kombucha is essential.
1155 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood
Formerly crammed into a tiny space on Santa Monica Boulevard–where it quickly became known for both amazing oatmeal griddle cakes and long waits for brunch—the new Salt’s Cure has found a happier home. A few miles east on Highland, it now has a much larger, more relaxed dining room and really good cocktails. The menu stays true to the restaurant’s original ethos: Animals are bought whole, directly from California farms; seafood is sustainable and caught by local fisherman; produce comes from LA-area farmers’ markets. Make a reservation in advance if you can, for brunch especially. (If you want less fanfare with the best of the morning offerings, stop by Breakfast by Salt’s Cure, which recently opened in the restaurant’s original space.)
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