Sure, every month we tell you LA’s best new openings of the month, but “new” doesn’t always mean “best.” That’s why we’re introducing Eat Seeker, our list of the 20 best restaurants in the city right now (trucks were disqualified), which we’ll update when there’s something worth updating. The spots on it are both old (hellooooo, Providence) and new (hellooooo, Raku); essentially, they’re the ones we recommend over, and over (and over) again when we get texts that are like “where should I go for dinner tonight?” So stop texting, OK?

(Just kidding: you can still text. As long as we get the invite.)

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What you’re getting:
This burger, for sure, and definitely the hamachi tostada. And the BBQ pork belly. And…

Sure, these guys’ newer Italian restaurant Jon & Vinny’s is hot right now, too, and their seafood restaurant Son of a Gun is also a stone-cold classic at this point. But the OG from these dudes still stands out for its delicious creativity; years in, they haven’t let the menu get stale at all, which means you’re gonna be ordering the classics — and then whatever insanity they’ve put on the menu today, since it may not be there again tomorrow.

Arts District
What you’re getting:
The charcuterie platter, and at least one pizza

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: since its opening in 2012, Bestia’s sort of become the definitive LA restaurant, offering a menu that appeals to both eat-anything foodies (pan-roasted chicken gizzards!) and eat-carefully dieters (tomato & plum salad!) in a setting that feels both industrial and homey, with prices that won’t make you feel wallet regret when you wake up in the morning. It’s no surprise it’s still one of the few tough reservations in the city; despite its size, everyone who leaves immediately wants to go back.

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B.S. Taqueria
What you’re getting:
Chorizo & papas tacos. And definitely churros.

The new taqueria from former Fig chef Ray Garcia (and its slightly-more-formal sister restaurant Broken Spanish) is a whimsical-feeling, not-too-traditional ode to Mexico, with every dish a revelation: the homemade tortillas alone are worth the trip, but what’s stuffed in them (or served alongside them) — from clams & lardo to stewed goat — makes it worth return visits. And the crispy-on-the-outside, chewy-on-the-inside churros aren’t just the best on a dessert menu, they belong on a list of the best in SoCal.

Santa Monica
What you’re getting:
Charcuterie fried rice

This collab between the Spice Table guy and the people who run Rustic Canyon has rapidly become the must-try table on the Westside, thanks to unique dishes like a fried rice with Chinese bacon and salted fish and a raw bar with prawns swimming in Vietnamese hot sauce.

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What you’re getting:
Chorizo breakfast burrito, add avocado

It’s pretty astounding how in a few short years James Starr and Jason Bernstein have changed the face of casual food in LA, first with their superlative burger at Golden State, then with superlative BBQ at Bludso’s, and then, this year, with superlative pizza at Prime, and their crowning achievement: the beyond-superlative breakfast burrito at Cofax. Seriously. It’s the best. Not even close.

Studio City
What you’re getting:
Roasted Wagyu beef belly risotto

Anyone who lives in the Valley has bemoaned the lack of top-level local restaurants that aren’t gastropubs or teriyaki/taco shacks, but Firefly — a longtime mainstay — has upped the over-the-hill game by recently hiring a chef that’s done time at French Laundry and Providence. Game on.

Manhattan Beach
What you’re getting:
Seafood tower

Chef David LeFevre essentially owns the South Bay food scene, and you can do no wrong at his steak place, The Arthur J, or with the ambient Americana at MB Post. But Fishing with Dynamite — a tiny, bright ode to the sea right on the main stretch of Manhattan Beach — serves seafood so fresh, you’ll swear it was caught that day. And to be honest, maybe it was.

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What you’re getting:
Korean latke

The dinners at this Top Cheftestant-helmed restaurant are great, but the place has rapidly become known for brunch, and for good reason: on weekends you can sit on the patio, drink a mimosa, and eat kimchi-fried potato pancakes or brown butter pancakes, and does anything sound better than that? It does not

What you’re getting:
So many plates of dim sum

Look, this could have been any of about a thousand dim sum places, and certainly it feels almost sacrilegious to include anything other than Din Tai Fung. But we recently ate at Lunasia, and it was great, and shouldn’t that be enough?

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Maple Block Meat Co.
Culver City
What you’re getting:
Smoked brisket

So. There’s this BBQ guy from Texas — like, his job is to JUST write about BBQ. And he just called this the best BBQ in the state of California. You want to find out if he’s right, don’t you? Yeah, you do.

What you’re getting:
Any seafood, in any broth

Chef Eric Greenspan’s new hidden restaurant (walk through Greenspan’s Grilled Cheese, and voila!) is beautiful, delicious, and inexpensive, all told — a holy trinity that’s somehow not yet packed the house. His mix-and-match seafood and broths are the menu’s centerpiece — and come with chewy noodles, so they’re almost like deconstructed bowls of ramen.

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Culver City
What you’re getting:
The tasting menu

Before she was on the wildly popular Netflix show Chef’s Table, Niki Nakayama’s hole-in-the-wall Culver City spot — where she makes impossibly meticulous Japanese food that seems to hit all your taste buds at once — was already one of the most buzzy restaurants among foodie-type people in LA. But now that the cat’s out of the bag, it’s become nationally famous as well, which means getting in is a struggle — a totally worth-it struggle.

What you’re getting:
Zha jiang noodles

If you feel like you’re seeing an Asian theme on this list, you’re not crazy: LA does so many varieties at so many price points so well it would be very easy for this list to be literally all Asian restaurants, which doesn’t make this ultra-casual, ultra-affordable Taiwanese cafe any less deserving. The food here is consistently delicious, and the order-at-the-tea-bar communal-table feel gives it the air of home — if your home serves the best spicy shrimp wontons you can remember having.

What you’re getting:
The omelet and the burger

The sister restaurant of the way-harder-to-get-into Trois Mec is this bistro, which has the best omelet you’ll ever have in your life (fact), a burger many call the best in LA (we’d argue this, but still, it’s great), and waits that are way quicker than you’d expect for a tiny restaurant helmed by Ludo Lefebvre.

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What you’re getting:
The market menu

It’s 10 years old this year, but despite lots of competition from upstarts, Providence is still LA’s best special occasion restaurant: the service is impeccable, and the seafood Michael Cimarusti cooks is without peer. And if you get the market menu, the dent in your wallet will at least be manageable.

What you’re getting:
Agedashi tofu

This Vegas transplant landed without fanfare last month but has rapidly become a food-world favorite (we know one prominent LA restaurateur that ate there five nights… in a row). Why? Well, the izakaya-style food is phenomenal, A, and it’s open (and serving food) until at least 1am, B. The fact that the service is… let’s say very, very, very slow only adds to its appeal, somehow: once you’re sitting down, there’s no pressure to leave, and you won’t want to. For hours.

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What you’re getting:
Smoked salmon tartine. And a bacon steak.

This stunning, massive restaurant in the legendary Campanile space is hopping for dinner, but the secret weapon is its breakfast, brunch, and lunch: it’s serving morning (and afternoon) food seven days a week, with minor waits and major flavors. Everything from the pastry counter sweets (s’mores bombinos!) to the prepared dishes (burrata-and-bacon toast! KIMCHI FRIED RICE!!!) is next-level; it’s also got free Wi-Fi, which means if you’re a work-from-homer you can start there for one meal and end up there for the next. We know… from experience.

Multiple locations
What you’re getting:
The Nozawa

Wait, another article that says Sugarfish is the best sushi for the price in LA? Yep!

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West Hollywood
What you’re getting:
Half Mary’s Chicken


What you’re getting:

There are so many worthwhile sushi spots in the city, so apologies to Kimagure Ike, and Sushi Park, and Sasabune, and… whatever your favorite is. But we recently had a meal at Q that reminded us how Chef Hiroyuki Naruke spends more time than just about anyone making sure that every grain of rice is perfect — and how each slice of fish knocks you out with flavor, texture, and appearance, all in a space that is absolutely gorgeous.

Source: Thrillist