The 38 Essential Los Angeles Restaurants, January 2015

Spanning Westside to Eastside, with eateries clustered around the best dining neighborhoods, this collection of elite restaurants aims to answer the question, “Can you recommend a place?” Eater will continue to update restaurants every few months, adding in eligible places that have been open for at least six months. There’s no particular order, except that the first 33 restaurants are listed alphabetically.

In this early 2015 edition, we swap in Night + Market for its newer sister in Silver Lake, Night + Market Song. Bar Ama joins the ranks while both Cliff’s Edge and Faith & Flower finally make the cut. Meanwhile, Hinoki & the Bird leaves the list after chef Kuniko Yagi steps away from the kitchen. Long time 38 residents AOC, Kang Ho Dong Baekjeong, and Osteria Mozza come off to make way for Roy Choi’s POT. Finally, Ludo Lefebvre’s terrific Petit Trois is finally eligible, adding a fine French bistro to the list.

2 Animal

Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo captured a certain idea that’s remained at the prime spot of restaurant culture in L.A. Minimal, pure, on-point yet adventurous, controversial yet comforting. Shook and Dotolo’s Fairfax restaurant doesn’t feel bad about serving offal meat or unusual animals. Many have attempted to copy their approach, but few have succeeded.

435 N Fairfax Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90048
(323) 782-9225

8 Gjelina

Travis Lett’s enduring Abbot Kinney restaurant still attracts a steady clientele with a compelling mix of vegetable-driven small plates and well executed fare. Other than Axe, perhaps the most “Venice” restaurant in Venice.

1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd.
Venice, CA 90291
(310) 450-1429

15 Orsa & Winston

Josef Centeno decided to come back to fine dining with a bang, this time taking over a 40 seat spot right next to his other two restaurants in Downtown. This sort-of Japanese and Italian high end restaurant offering medium and larger tasting menus that appeal to the international diner who’s used to counting Michelin stars, to the local foodist who knows his or her salt. Either way, the meals here are immediately gratifying and more than reasonably priced for this level of quality. Remember that for January and February, Centeno is turning Orsa & Winston into a yakitori pop-up before returning to the tasting menu format in March.

122 W 4th St
Los Angeles, CA 90013
(213) 687-0300

16 Providence

Michael Cimarusti’s ode to seafood-centric fine dining has gotten a much needed revamp in Hancock Park, with a nautical theme to reinforce the kind of preparations happening on the plate. The tasting menu-focused eatery is an easy choice for a celebration or special occasion.

5955 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90038
(323) 460-4170

33 Bar Ama

Josef Centeno’s ode to Tex Mex might be the busiest restaurant on the block, which says a lot considering he owns three other places on the corner of 4th and Main. With a steady staple of comfort fare, pitted with solid execution, Bar Ama is one crowd pleasing restaurant that’s not slowing down any time soon. Try the burrito during lunch, or take on all of those massive breakfast tacos.

118 W 4th St
Los Angeles, CA 90013
(213) 687-8002
Source: LA Eater