Around the World in 13 dineL.A. Restaurants

No passport needed to enjoy global cuisines during the 10th Anniversary dineL.A.

Badmaash in Downtown L.A. | Instagram by @badmaashla

The rich cultural diversity of Los Angeles has produced a melting pot of cuisines from across the globe. In fact, if you were to pinpoint restaurants throughout the city serving international cuisine, you could take a "trip around the world." Start your travels with our list of dineL.A. eateries spanning Asia, Southeast Asia, South America, Mexico and Europe. It's only the first step of what could be the beginning of a long, delicious culinary journey in your own backyard.

 

Argentinian: Malbec



The flavors of Argentina come alive at this stylish restaurant group with locations in Toluca Lake, Santa Monica, and Pasadena. Named after the country's most recognizable wine, all three locations of Malbec are represented by warm, sophisticated and contemporary dining rooms. House-made salads, empanadas, chimichurri sauce, and soups are made daily. Signature grilled dishes, like Pacific sole and Bistec al Malbec (grilled prime flat iron steak) are available on the three-course dineL.A. lunch ($20) and dinner menu ($39). Not included in dineL.A., but worth checking out is Malbec Market in Eagle Rock, an Argentinean marketplace/delicatessen with an array of South American specialties.

Brazilian: M Grill



Make sure you bring a large appetite and wear stretchy pants to this Brazilian churrasqueira located in Koreatown. It’s an AYCE (all-you-can-eat) affair as gaucho clad servers bring a selection of barbecue meat, sausage, and chicken choices tableside on swords until you cry mercy. The lunch ($25) and dinner ($49) menus both include Maminha (rump steak), a special Brazilian beef cut that's exclusive to dineL.A. Help yourself to a full gourmet salad bar and hot buffet featuring an array of international choices, including tuna poke, smoked salmon, caprese salad, mashed yucca, and fried plantains. Beverages aren’t included in the dineL.A. menus, but there are daily specials.

Chinese: Chang’an



Take a journey on the Silk Road with a modern twist when you dine at this most distinct Chinese restaurant located on the third floor of Hilton Plaza in San Gabriel. The eclectic menu features a cross-section of cultural dishes from Sichuan to Cantonese and Japanese, combined with European influenced ingredients and plating. The stylish interior combines brick, wood, and Edison bulbs in an industrial space with a long bar. The winter dineL.A. menus feature a three-course lunch ($20) and a five-course dinner ($39), offering an eclectic range of appetizers, grilled meats, and soups. Desserts are suitably different—sweet white fungus soup with lotus seeds, and rice balls in a sweet rice wine with osmanthus flowers.

Filipino: LASA



From their 42-seat eatery located on the first floor of Chinatown’s Far East Plaza, Filipino-American brothers Chad and Chase Valencia are changing the face of Filipino cuisine, using seasonal California ingredients and a combination of crisp vegetables, pork and seafood, accented with exciting umami flavors. Fittingly, LASA means “taste” in Tagalog. What started as a pop-up turned into a permanent residence last spring. The green-hued walls are covered with personal family portraits and home-style accessories to create a warm, lively vibe. There's also a quick service lunch window. For dineL.A. they are offering a three-course dinner menu ($29) that includes vegetarian options and an entree choice of Crispy Duck Arroz Caldo or Lumpia Sariwa.

Far East Plaza has become a culinary destination with a slew of international eats, including Chego!, Ramen Champ, and Howlin' Ray's.

Photo: Melisse, Facebook

French: Mélisse



After nearly 19 years, Mélisse is still considered one of Los Angeles’ most elegant restaurants, complete with white linens, crystal chandeliers, and French-style trained servers. Executive chef/owner Josiah Citrin, who received two Michelin stars for his French-New American restaurant, is offering a refined five-course tasting menu for $99 as part of the dineL.A. Exclusive Series. Start off with a quail egg and smoked trout followed by a choice of potato leek soup with smoked bacon and onion, or yuzu-scented wild New Zealand snapper with Fuyu persimmon and uni. Next, charcoal grilled Santa Barbara rockfish, or go decadent with wild mushroom risotto with mascarpone with shaved black truffles ($50 supplement). Choose Mishima American wagyu or Millbrook Farms venison for the main course. End on a sophisticated sweet note with blood orange, kiwi and white chocolate.

Hawaiian fried rice for dineL.A. lunch entree at Canoe House | Instagram by @canoehouse

Hawaiian: Canoe House



Escape to the tropics at this family-friendly restaurant in South Pasadena that's designed like a Hawaiian plantation house. The two-course dineL.A. lunch menu ($15) is available until 4 p.m. daily and includes an extra choice of key lime pie or pineapple upside down cake. Begin with a choice of gazpacho soup, spicy tuna on crispy rice, lemongrass coconut cream soup, or the Island House Salad. For the entrée, choose from six options including the bacon bleu burger, seared ahi sandwich, quinoa salad bowl, blackened swordfish tacos, Hawaiian fried rice, or Thai chicken salad. The three-course dinner ($29) starts at 4 p.m. and includes entrees like Short Rib Loco Moco, North Shore Shrimp, Hawaiian style BBQ spare ribs, blackened salmon, and Seven Seas Pasta. Signature dessert options include Warm Chocolate Lava Cake.

Badmaash in Downtown L.A. | Instagram by @badmaashla

Indian: Badmaash



India and Canada merge in a culinary mash-up at this two-level Downtown L.A. restaurant owned by brothers Nakul and Arjun Mahendro and their father, Executive Chef Pawan Mahendro. Badmaash means "naughty" in Hindi, so with this Indian gastropub it’s about stepping beyond boundaries to create a unique eatery in terms of food and design. The family’s Canadian influence pops up in a crossover chicken tikka poutine and masala fries, and other twists like chili cheese naan and Bombay grilled cheese. The space has a hipster vibe with B movie posters, chalkboards, and Warhol-esque images of Gandhi in colored shades.

For dineL.A. they are offering a two-course lunch ($20) and three-course dinner ($29) featuring dishes with whimsical names like Good Ol' Saag Paneer, punjabi-style onion fritters, and Parle-G Ice Cream Sammiches.

Italian: Rossoblu



Chef/owner Steve Samson's new culinary endeavor is a grand homage to Italy - specifically the Bologna and Emilia Romagna regions, where he spent family summers. His stunning Downtown L.A. restaurant, Rossoblu opened at City Market South last May inside a former warehouse space. The contemporary design includes a 120-seat interior set amidst expansive windows, sky-high ceiling, elaborate wall mural, marble bar, open-hearth kitchen, and a large patio for al fresco dining with room for 60. Pizza is the star at Samson's acclaimed restaurant Sotto, but there's no pizza at Rossoblu. Instead, the emphasis is on handmade pasta, coal-roasted vegetables, in-house butchery, salumi, grilled meats, and seafood.

If you haven't visited Rossoblu yet, now is the time with a three-course dineL.A. dinner ($39). Begin with a choice of warm calamari and clam salad with lentils; chopped winter vegetable with faro; or heirloom bean and maltagliati soup. For entree, select from lasagna Bolognese prepared with crescenza risotto; roasted lamb shoulder with Tuscan kale herb salad; or crisp brown cod with butter caper sauce, potato puree, and wilted spinach. For the finale, choose gelato or zuppa inglese.

Japanese: Dojo Sushi



Located in a Sherman Oaks strip mall at Van Nuys and Ventura, this sushi restaurant offers an extensive menu including “Build Your Own Bento Box,” no-rice rolls, specialty sashimi dishes, and a slew of premium rolls. For dineL.A., the three-course lunch menu ($15) starts with a complimentary small hot sake or miso soup. Next, a choice of six-piece sashimi or six-piece sushi; California cut roll or spicy tuna cut roll; and baked snow crab or blue crab hand roll. The four-course dinner menu ($39) adds a complimentary small hot sake or Kirin draft beer, miso soup, and seaweed salad; choice of crispy rice with spicy tuna or crab to start; as well as 8-piece cut rolls and 8-piece premium rolls instead of hand rolls.

Hanjip Korean BBQ | Photo by Joshua Lurie

Korean: Hanjip Korean BBQ



Westsiders don’t have to travel to Koreatown when AYCE (all-you-can-eat) BBQ is offered at this modern designed restaurant in Culver City owned by two esteemed restaurateurs: Chris Oh (Seoul Sausage Co) and Stephane Bombet (The Ponte). Begin your dineL.A. extravaganza at lunch ($15) or dinner ($29) with a choice of Spam kimchi fried rice or fried chicken, followed by AYCE banchan (small dishes) and grilled meat, chicken, and fish. Along with the food menu (but not part of dineL.A.) is a special drink offer—$15.99 will get you all-you-can-drink soju cocktails and Korean beer. If you choose to add the latter, better make sure to use a ride-sharing service!

Chicken tinga taco at Loteria Grill

 |  Photo: Jakob Layman

Mexican: Loteria Grill – Hollywood



Regional Mexican cuisine with a creative twist is the calling card at Loteria Grill, where Mexico City born and raised executive chef/owner Jimmy Shaw puts a spin on recipes handed down through generations. Shaw first gave Angelenos a taste of his homemade tortillas and original recipes at his taqueria in the Original Farmers Market at Third and Fairfax nearly 16 years ago, and then expanded his culinary game to full service restaurants. Once touted as “L.A.’s Best Mexican Chef” by Bon Appetit Magazine among other accolades, Shaw and his famous mole were also featured on Food Network’s The Best Thing I Ever Ate.

For dineL.A., Shaw is offering three-course menus for lunch ($20) and dinner ($29) at his Hollywood Boulevard location in celebration of Cirque du Soleil Luzia, which revels in the "faces, places, and sounds of Mexico." Shaw adds "taste" to the festivities with an imaginative menu appealing to all the senses.

Taiwanese: Little Fatty



Taiwanese soul food is a comforting treat at this narrow, minimalist Mar Vista restaurant. A first generation Angeleno, owner David Kuo first opened Status Kuo in this space in 2014, but rebranded it into a new concept in 2016, with a focus on his favorite childhood dishes, incorporating European influences. The name Little Fatty comes from an affectionate childhood nickname. The two-course dineL.A. lunch menu ($15) and three-course dinner menu ($29 including "snack") includes familiar dishes such as orange chicken, egg rolls, and walnut shrimp, but prepared with a twist. For drinks, take it next door to Accomplice, also owned by Kuo.

Vietnamese: We Have Noodles



We Have Noodles chef/owner, Darren Sayphraraj was named one of Zagat's 30 Under 30 in 2016 and most recently was a champion on the Food Network's Beat Bobby Flay. Sayphraraj opened his first brick and mortar in Silver Lake last spring after serving up his noodle creations to the crowds at Smorgasburg in Downtown L.A. A Los Angeles native and the son of Chinese, Vietnamese, and Laotian immigrants, Chef Saypharaj is a French Culinary Institute grad with Michelin cred, having worked at starred restaurants in New York. At his counter-order eatery he combines Asian-style street dishes with fine dining technique, resulting in unique Asian fusion dishes.

Both the two-course dineL.A. lunch ($15) and three-course dinner ($29) offer vegetarian/vegan and regular menu options and start with banchan, kimchi, and pickles, with menus that include noodles (of course), tempura, and chicken karaage. Dinner includes a beer or glass of wine.