West LA Restaurants

Establishment neighborhood
Yamakase (Closed)
11678 W. Olympic Blvd., West LA
Once you've made the cut (apply online), you'll receive directions to an unmarked location where the door is not only closed, it's locked. Knock and they'll verify your identity and finally lead you into Chef Yama's 15 seat domain. He's behind the bar using his mad knife skills to immerse you in an omakase/Japanese small dish excursion of Olympic proportions. In around four hours, there are 24 courses to sample—all delicious: Some recognizable, some not, but it's worth being adventurous (Chef Yama famously went down a few years back for serving whale). It's BYOB so bring sake to share between your crew and Chef Yama.
10610 W. Pico Blvd., West LA
LA's secret Japanese beef restaurant, Totoraku, isn't so much a secret anymore. But it's still incredibly difficult to get into. You either have to know chef-owner Kaz Oyama or know someone who has dined at Totoraku before and knows him. (The ultimate seal of approval as a guest of Totoraku is getting a business card at the end of your meal with the private number used for reservations.) Nothing about the look of Totoraku is impressive. It's marked from the outside by a sign for "The Teriyaki House Pico," a failed restaurant of Oyama's. Inside the tiny space, there is little to no decor to speak of. And there's no wine menu—interestingly, Totoraku is BYOB. But there's probably no better place for beef—of all kinds, served raw, cooked, and grilled right at your table.
Nong La
2055 Sawtelle Blvd., West LA
Considering Nong La’s immense popularity, it’s easy to forget that it’s actually a small, family-run operation. It started with brother-and-sister duo, Elaine and Victor Phuong, and their mom Khanh Phan, who sourced family recipes and adapted them into a perfect menu of Vietnamese banh mi, egg-topped fried rice, and a light, flavorful pho that you can customize to your liking. The new La Brea location is just a smidge fancier than the Sawtelle original but the menu is for the most part identical. Tip: Treat yourself to a glass of the homemade passion fruit iced tea—it’s delicious and just sweet enough to constitute as dessert. A new location just opened on La Brea.
Plan Check
1800 Sawtelle Blvd., West LA
COVID-19 Update: Open for pickup. Plan Check is primarily known for the Plan Check Burger (PCB), which pairs a juicy patty with their signature ketchup leather (it’s like ketchup-flavored fruit leather). With the burger hogging the spotlight, it’s easy to overlook the fact that the restaurant also serves what’s arguably one of the best fried chicken sandwiches in the city. The secret is that they cold smoke and brine the chicken before it’s fried—the perfectly crispy, flavorful result is served with pimento cheese, duck breast ham, and crunchy pickles. There are two other locations, on Fairfax and Downtown. COVID-19 Disclaimer: We are working hard to keep our listings as up to date as possible (deliveries, outdoor dining, etc.), but given the evolving nature of local COVID-19 restrictions, we recommend double-checking the information in this guide with any business you plan on visiting. Also, please note that we have not vetted any businesses listed within our guides for their compliance with applicable safety regulations.