Travel

Silver Lake Restaurants

Establishment neighborhood
L & E Oyster Bar
1637 Silver Lake Blvd., Silver Lake
We're going to go ahead and say it: L & E Oyster Bar serves one of the three best breakfasts in LA (the other two being at Sqirl and Jon & Vinny's). Sit outside and watch the flocks of cool locals who patrol West Silver Lake Boulevard on weekends. Kick off with a dozen oysters, a glass of fizz, and a breakfast of everything but eggs—smoked trout toast with pickled shallots, the cured salmon plate, a few servings of cornmeal pancakes, and the sugar-dusted beignets. And if brunch runs late, move upstairs to the raw bar balcony for stunning views of the surrounding hills.
Jewel
654 N. Hoover St., Silver Lake
Rather than adopting one specific credo (vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free), Silver Lake’s Jewel simply characterizes itself as plant-based. Everything’s good here, but we’re especially big fans of the pizza, which uses Jewel’s own house-made gluten-free activated-charcoal crust. Our favorite pie is the Black + Gold, topped with squash blossoms, basil pesto, almond milk ricotta, and Fresno chili. And the cozy leather booths and subway-tiled bar give it a chic modern diner vibe.
Botanica
1620 Silver Lake Blvd., Silver Lake
Botanica sits on a stretch of Silver Lake that feels like a real neighborhood (a rarity in LA). It’s both a restaurant and a market—pop in to re-up on local eggs, fruit, vegetables, and house-made specials like the Aleppo-Urfa butter and thick labneh. There are few prettier spots for a healthy breakfast of Mediterranean-inspired dishes, the freshest orange juice, and really good espresso. We go for the soft scramble (creamy soft-scrambled eggs with a side of lemony greens); the crunchy, garlicky bread; and the entire pastry case. (Bear in mind that portions are on the light side, so order with abandon.) Whether you're alone, with a friend, or coming with kids, the space is comfortable and inviting, with high ceilings and airy décor. Sit on the terrace out back and work your way through the biodynamic wine list (we’ve moved on to lunch now), and snack on one of the epic seasonal vegetable boards. The selection of wine and cookbooks is a godsend for last-minute gifts.
Alimento
1710 Silver Lake Blvd., Silver Lake
LA local Zach Pollack split his culinary education between Italy—he fell in love with Italian food while studying (architecture) abroad—and the west coast, eventually teaming up with Chef Steve Samson to open the Italian restaurant Sotto in LA. And then in 2014, Pollack opened his own: Alimento in Silver Lake, which serves outstanding pastas (including a most notable tortellini), good wine, and a chopped salad that GP loves. It is small—and busy—so make a reservation or go early/late to avoid a long wait.
Blossom Silver Lake
4019 W. Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake
Owner Duc Pham, who was born in Vietnam but raised in Anaheim, obsesses over the quality of every detail in his restaurants, from the Scandinavian-inspired furniture to wine list to the bread on his banh mi, which is baked fresh daily. While the classic dishes are excellent at all three locations—anything on the menu with pork belly is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser—we love the Silver Lake location, which has a secret wine bar downstairs. They also have locations in Downtown and Chinatown.
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