Wolfgang Puck's Beverly Hills institution is the place to be. Like all of the celebrity chef's ventures, the atmosphere at Spago Beverly Hills emphasizes that delicious food can be fun. The luxurious and intimate setting at this restaurant makes it perfect for an intimate meal and especially for special occasions. The wine and cocktail lists are comprehensive and provide the perfect accompaniments to your rich food.
Still commonly known as the "Rainbow Room," this fabled Sunset Strip institution continues to deliver a good time with live rock shows, fun finger food and late-night dining. The roomy interiors consist of a dining room, several bars, upstairs dance floor and patio decorated with kitschy rock 'n' roll memorabilia, Christmas lights, burgundy leather booths and even a vintage arcade game. The food offered is an Italian-American fusion of popular munchies such as pizza, sandwiches, steaks and a diverse vegetarian selection. Keep in mind that it is possible to reserve special seating above the stage.
The flagship of this charming chain looks and feels as good as ever. Designated as a State Point of Historical Interest, this is the first Bob's Big Boy! Take a moment to admire the huge Big Boy statue before you head inside this child-friendly spot. Enjoy classic American diner food that feels like the type of dishes Fonzie would approve of. There is even car-hop service on the weekends. Friday night brings loads of car enthusiasts showing off their hotrods.
Established in 1946, only a well-worn spot could offer such specialties like steak with all the trimmings. Forget the diet, you're eating well tonight. Right across from the Warner Bros Studios, the most famous item on this menu isn't meat related—it's the cheesy garlic bread. Try the early bird specials for a great discount. No matter when you arrive, however, you'll get a great meal that is worth the price.
Located inside the Beverly Hills Hotel, this long-time favorite of the 90210 crowd (the city, not the show) is a great place to people watch. Celebrities and other well-heeled people hang out here and enjoy its rich atmosphere. The room inside is lovely and tasteful, and the outside patio is tree lined and great for smokers who can't do without their fix. Not for the T-shirt set - gentlemen are required to wear jackets.
Do not even drive by without confirmed reservations, this is the most popular Japanese eatery in town. It is considered by many to be the best sushi place in the US, and the best restaurant in the greater city of Los Angeles. Everything is fresh, delicious and very expensive, after all it is the workmanship of Nobu Matsuhisa. Rub elbows with the rich and famous, but leave your autograph book at home.
Consistently regarded as one of the best restaurants in town, this flagship of Joachim Splichal's Pinot-based hot spots is located inside the Walt Disney Concert Hall. It will not disappoint you. It is a favorite of the executives at neighboring Paramount Studios, so chances are good for celebrity sightings. The seasonal roasted white asparagus is wonderful as is the poached Maine lobster with spring peas, young alliums and lemon thyme. Be sure to ask about the special dishes that change nightly. The wine list is outstanding, but if you choose to bring your own, there is a corkage fee.
Cielito Lindo is a famous food stand situated on L.A.'s historic Olvera Street. The spot originally opened in 1934 and ever since then its taquitos have transformed it into a household name. It has been frequented by numerous Hollywood stars through the ages, including Marlon Brando, Orson Wells and Rita Hayworth, and has gained critical acclaim in prestigious magazines. Though no more than a tiny street stall, its excellent reputation exceeds its physical size by leaps and bounds. The beloved menu includes the aforementioned beef taquitos served with avocado sauce, Pork Chile Verde Burritos, and an impressive Chile Relleno. Overall, 'Beautiful Heaven' is one of the best places to eat on Olvera Street.
Celebrity photos and caricatures grace the walls of this classic LA steakhouse on Flower and Olympic, with high ceilings and pleasant lighting completing the classy vibe in this affluent setting. The Palm's location - two blocks away from LA Live, the Staples Center, Nokia Theatre and the LA Convention Center - makes it a great place to splurge on dinner after a day at a trade show or before a game or a concert. The servers are very helpful, amiably attending to your every need and checking with you throughout your meal. New York Steak and Lobster tail top the charts at dinner, while the Crab Salad is a popular lunch item. For those able to save room for dessert, the much-praised key lime pie and flourless chocolate cake may be a good topper to their Palm experience.
Lexus Club is a members-only exclusive club and restaurant, located in the Staples Center inside the huge LA Live complex. The upscale establishment ushers its visitors into a lavish setting, replete with tokens of status and wealth. Here one may enjoy drinks or a leisurely pampered dinner prior or during a game or a concert. The sprawling premises feature plush seating, fetching views from the balcony, multiple buffets – including pasta and carving stations – and of course highly reverential, immaculate service. The liquor selection includes many a rare and precious specimen not found at a regular bar. The restaurant is frequented by celebrities, entertainment executives and other VIP personae. -Jamie Zum
Shibucho is located in the L.A. neighborhood of Rampart Village and though the original owner no longer owns it, former employee turned master chef/restaurateur Shige Kudo handles the art of crafting seafood with ease. The reason why sushi became so popular in the U.S. was because places like Shibucho helped introduce it to the masses. Behind the bar, the fish is always delicately and precisely prepared for each guest. The space is small, however the wine list is impressive. In fact, Shige-san is known for his penchant of pairing wines with his dishes. From Champagne to Rioja, the preparation of dishes that use Monkfish Liver, Geoduck, salmon roe, sea bream or abalone are exquisite with each varietal that comes along for the culinary ride.
Forage goes beyond locally sourcing its food from vendors for its dishes, the owners actually search for ingredients out in the wild woods and pastures around the Los Angeles area. Open for lunch and dinner, the menu would be considered as New American, however the innovative dishes like Salmon Belly Tacos, Roasted Squash Quiche and Korean Brisket Bowl defy description. It's located in the trendy Sunset Junction neighborhood of Silver Lake, so the crowd is usually hipster, but nonetheless the food is remarkable.