The Best Los Angeles Restaurants for Group Dining

Gather with friends and family for a memorable meal

Group dining at Fogo de Chão Brazilian Steakhouse
Photo: Fogo de Chão Brazilian Steakhouse

Whether it’s the holidays, a family reunion or a gathering of friends, there are occasions that call for more than a quiet corner table. Fortunately, there are restaurants throughout Los Angeles that offer options for shared plates and family-style menus from around the world. Read on for some of the best restaurants in LA to dine out with friends and family.

Dishes at 19 Town in the City of Industry
19 Town in the City of Industry | Instagram: @19town_la

19 Town

Sichuan Impression co-founder and chef Yang Liu opened 19 Town in January 2023, featuring her contemporary take on classic Chinese cuisine. Eschewing traditional Chinese restaurant decor, LA-based designer Jialun Xiong created a theme for the indoor-outdoor space: The Lavishness of Restraint features a modernist design with steel-backed booths and jade-colored chairs.

The 6,600 square-foot restaurant offers numerous customizable options for groups, including the patio, indoor private rooms, a semi-open lounge and seating options.

Start with the Assorted Baskets Combo, which includes Spinach Ball with Black Sesame Paste, Mushroom, Wasabi Edamame, Bean Curd with Pickled Pepper, and Assorted Pickles. For the veg-friendly Cheese Mapo Tofu (roasted peppercorn powder, Chinese chive, baguette) Liu uses Mozzarella instead of ground beef, which she says provides similar flavors and a unique texture to the dish.

Signature mains include the Dry-Aged Fish with Chili Sauce, Lamb Shank Paella, Slow-Cooked Beef Rib (roasted pineapple, Fresno pepper) and Wok-Tossed Lobster Tail on a bed of tree mushrooms, taro, dried chili pepper and garlic.

Group dining at Baar Baar in Downtown LA
Group dining at Baar Baar | Instagram: @baarbaarlosangeles

Baar Baar

Opened in the former Faith & Flower in May 2023, Baar Baar is a stunning showcase for chef Sujan Sarkar's New Indian cuisine. Groups have numerous options, from booths along the Flower Street side of the dining room; to banquettes and a communal table in the bar/lounge area; and a flexible private event space.

The menu offers a wide range of shareable dishes, including starters such as the bite-sized Dahi Puri and birria-style Kashmiri Duck Tacos with cilantro, pickled chili, cheddar and yakhni. Highlights include classics like Chicken Malai Tikka and Butter Chicken; and Beef Short Ribs, Achaari Halibut Osso Bucco and Lamb Shank Roast.

The extensive plant-based options include Sweet Potato Chat (whipped feta, masala corn pakoda, potato shalli), Avocado Bhel (edamame & green chickpea hummus, radish, puffed black rice), Kolkata Jackfruit Cutlet, Tandoori Butternut Squash, Grain & Vegetable Biryani and Mushroom Pepper Fry with sunchoke salad, smoked almond and ramps.

The Party Tray at Bludso's BBQ
The Party Tray | Photo: Bludso's BBQ

Bludso's BBQ - La Brea

On the website for his eponymous restaurants, James Beard Award-winning chef Kevin Bludso says, "Our recipes have been passed down from generation to generation and there ain't no better feeling than sharing them with y'all." With its communal picnic tables and flatscreens tuned to all the games, the flagship Bludso's BBQ on La Brea is ideal for groups to get their smoked meat fix.

Go all in with The Party Tray, which is priced at $360 and serves 15: 1.5 lb Brisket, 1.5 lb Pulled Pork, 1.5 Whole Chicken, 1.5 Rack Pork Ribs, 1 lb Rib Tips and 4 Texas Red Hots; plus Pickles, Cornbread and BBQ Sauce. Choose 3 quarts of Hot or Cold Sides - Mac n' Cheese, Baked Beans, Collard Greens, Potato Salad, Texas Caviar and Coleslaw.

Meatball Madness at DeSano Pizza
Meatball Madness at DeSano Pizza | Instagram: @rojseto

DeSano Pizza Bakery

Located in East Hollywood, DeSano Pizza Bakery features four massive, 10,000-pound ovens named after Italian saints: San Felice, San Paolino, San Gennaro and San Matteo. The wood-fired, 900-degree ovens produce Neapolitan-style pizzas with ingredients like San Marzano D.O.P tomatoes and Mozzarella di Bufala that are sourced from Campania in southern Italy.

The cavernous 7,000 square-foot space offers picnic benches and long communal tables - great for groups to watch the big game or the pizza-making action from the open kitchen.

Specialty pizzas include the San Gennaro (San Marzano tomato sauce, sausage, peppadews, garlic, caramelized onions, scamorza, mozzarella di bufala, pecorino romano) and the namesake DeSano with San Marzano tomato sauce, sausage, pepperoni, garlic, scamorza, mozzarella di bufala and pecorino romano. The sunburst-shaped Meatball Madness is a Carnivale style pizza with ricotta cheese stuffed crust. Pair your pie(s) with a selection of local craft brews or Italian and California red and white wines.


Din Tai Fung dishes
Photo: Din Tai Fung

Din Tai Fung

Founded in Taiwan in 1958 and formally opened in 1972, Din Tai Fung spans more than 170 branches around the world and has earned Michelin stars at several locations, beginning with Hong Kong in 2010.

In November 2023, Din Tai Fung relocated from the Americana at Brand to a spectacular 11,000 square-foot space at the Glendale Galleria. Along with the signature glass-walled kitchen, the striking red and blue interior design - inspired by the Taiwan Blue Magpie - includes an indoor garden and Torrey Pine centerpiece. Additional LA locations include Westfield Century City, The Shops at Santa Anita and the Del Amo Fashion Center.

Din Tai Fung is globally renowned for its xiao long bao (soup dumplings), meticulously prepared with the "Golden Ratio" of 18 folds. The ultra-thin skin is filled with minced Kurobuta pork and savory broth - other XLB options include chicken, crab & pork and the luxe truffle & pork.

Shareable plates include Cucumber Salad, Shrimp & Pork Spicy Wontons, Black Pepper Beef Tenderloin, Pork Chop Fried Rice and Noodles with Diced Beef & Szechuan Peppers.

Vegan dumplings are filled with a mix of bean curd, baby bok choy, shiitake mushrooms, wood ear mushrooms, glass noodles and jicama. The numerous veg-friendly options include Vegan Spicy Wontons, Soy Noodle Salad, String Beans with Garlic, Vegan Shanghai Rice Cakes and Vegetable & Mushroom Fried Rice.

Fiesta Platter for Two at El Cholo
Fiesta Platter | Photo: El Cholo

El Cholo

Celebrating its centennial in 2023, El Cholo opened its flagship Western Avenue location (aka "The Original") in 1927 and has since expanded to Downtown LA, Santa Monica and Orange County. Families and friends have gathered to enjoy El Cholo's traditional Mexican cuisine for generations.

Start with the Fiesta Platter for 2 or 4: Crab & Beef Taquitos, Nachos, Quesadillas, Chimichangas, Guacamole and Sour Cream. Other shareable antojitos include Chicken Chimichangas, Aged Cheese Quesadilla, Taquitos (chicken, beef or crab), Sonora Style Nachos (frijoles, tomato salsa, sour cream, guac) and the interactive Molcajete Style Guacamole, served in an authentic bowl for you to mix and mash.

Bring the El Cholo experience home with the El Cholo Combination Dinner for 20 ($280), which includes Caesar Salad, Cheese Enchiladas (shredded chicken or beef add-on available), Tacos, Refried Beans and Rice. Appetizer and Entree Trays for 10 are also available.

Overhead view of the dining room at Fanny's
Photo: Fanny's


The signature restaurant of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, Fanny’s is a contemporary dining destination that pays homage to Hollywood’s Golden Age. Named for Fanny Brice—the legendary movie, vaudeville, theater and radio star portrayed by Barbra Streisand in her Oscar®-winning role in Funny Girl (1968)—the 10,000 square-foot space offers a vibrant backdrop for lunch, dinner and libations from day to night.

Along with the elegant red booths, private dining options for groups include The Nook, a cozy space that seats 8 guests; The Private Dining Room for 16 ($500 rental fee), and The Corner Room, a semi-private space that can accommodate 40 seated guests or 50 standing ($350 rental).

Executive Chef Jun Bum Oh features shareable plates with movie-inspired names like The Good, The Burrata and The Ugly; Meatballs Named Desire (pomodoro, mozzarella, garlic bread, parmesan, basil) and Cinema Fritto Misto with calamari, shrimp, sauce gribiche and shishito peppers. The theme continues with A Lobster Cobb Odyssey (poached half-lobster, gem hearts, cherry tomato, bleu cheese, avocado, bacon, egg, corn, green beans, tarragon ranch), Some Like It Hot Steak Frites, Full Metal Short Rib, A Clockwork Liver & Onions and Play It Again, Salmon.

Lao Table Set at Farmhouse Kitchen
Lao Table Set | Photo: Farmhouse Kitchen

Farmhouse Kitchen Thai Cuisine

You know you're in for a different kind of Thai dinner experience at Farmhouse Kitchen as soon as you enter the West Adams restaurant - a statue depicts a horse rearing on its hind legs, while a "Hello Gorgeous" pink neon sign hangs on a wall of flowers.

Priced at $179, the Lao Table sampler platter serves four and includes Fresh Rolls with Peanut Sauce, Crispy Rolls, Samosa, Neua Num Tok Rolls, Papaya Salad, Panang Neua Short Ribs, Hat Yai Fried Chicken, Shrimp Fried Rice, Pad Thai Tofu, Fried Egg, Spicy Eggplant, Roti Bread and Blue Rice. Add a one-pound Whole Maine Lobster for $35.

The Single & Ready to Flamingo punch bowl is made with Brut, Sato Unfiltered Wine, Sabe Blanco, Passion Fruit, Lychee and Umami Chili Salt.

Filet Mignon and Truffle-Poached Lobster at Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar
Filet Mignon and Truffle-Poached Lobster | Photo: Fleming's

Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar

With locations in Downtown LA, El Segundo and Pasadena, Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar is ready to host your next upscale group dinner or private holiday party, featuring multi-course lunch and dinner menus (vegetarian and dietary restriction options upon request) and festive décor.

Conveniently located near L.A. LIVE and the Los Angeles Convention Center, the DTLA Fleming's offers Private Dining Rooms that range from the Champagne Room for 10 guests to the Bordeaux Room (66 guests).

Dinner begins with the Chilled Seafood Tower, which serves 4-6 and includes North Atlantic Lobster, Colossal Shrimp, Alaskan Golden King Crab Legs and Kumiai Oysters. Other starters for the group include panko-crusted Onion Rings with smoked jalapeño aioli, Beef Carpaccio and Crispy Maitake Mushroom - lightly breaded and tossed in juniper salt with tarragon aioli and fried basil.

For entrée, choose from eight cuts of Fleming's Signature Steaks, served with a choice of butter: béarnaise, smoked chili, or herbed horseradish. Make it a decadent Surf & Turf and add the Truffle-Poached Lobster in béarnaise sauce, topped with caviar.

Non-steak options include a Double-Thick Pork Rib Chop, Miso-Glazed Chilean Sea Bass and the veg-friendly Roasted Portobello & Cauliflower Steak. Shareable sides include Crispy Brussels Sprouts & Bacon, the seasonal Roasted Sweet Potato, Chipotle Cheddar Mac & Cheese, and the luxurious North Atlantic Lobster Mashed Potatoes.

Group dining at Fogo de Chão Brazilian Steakhouse
Photo: Fogo de Chão Brazilian Steakhouse

Fogo de Chão

The focus at Fogo de Chão is churrasco, the Brazilian art of roasting meats over an open fire. Following its popular location on the famed Restaurant Row along La Cienega, Fogo de Chão has expanded to Downtown LA, El Segundo, Pasadena and Woodland Hills. Group dining options include semi-private and private dining rooms with no rental fees; customizable menus and veg-friendly entree selections.

The Churrasco Experience centers on the carvers, who are signaled with a double-sided disc. The green side tells them to keep delivering a selection of fire-roasted meats that are carved tableside. The red side tells carvers to stand by until you’re ready for more.

Signature cuts include the Picanha (prime cut of top sirloin), Bone-In Beef Ancho (Ribeye), Linguica (Spicy Pork Sausage) and Frango (Chicken). Add an Indulgent Cut (sized to share for four or more) like Wagyu New York Strip, Wagyu Ancho, 36 oz Dry-Aged Tomahawk or 30 oz Wagyu Porterhouse.

Along with the carved meat, dinner includes unlimited trips to the Market Table & Feijoada Bar, featuring fresh seasonal salads, vegetables, imported cheeses and cured meats, seasonal soups, and Fogo feijoada (traditional black bean stew with sausage). Brazilian side dishes such as pão de queijo (cheese bread), crispy polenta, mashed potatoes and caramelized bananas are served tableside.

Queso Fundido at Gracias Madre in West Hollywood
Queso Fundido at Gracias Madre | Instagram: @food_blogz

Gracias Madre

Vegans and omnivores alike have made the weekend brunch at Gracias Madre one of the busiest in LA. After your group is seated on the beautiful patio, start with a pitcher of Purista Margaritas, which serves six and can be made with tequila or mezcal (top shelf options available) and classic or spicy.

For the table, there's Queso Fundido (warm housemade cashew cheese, jalapeño, pico de gallo, cilantro, corn tortilla chips) and the Tower of Spuds - a roasted potato tower with soy chorizo, cashew nacho cheese, guacamole, and pico de gallo. Gluten-free shareable dishes include Esquites (roasted sweet corn, chipotle aioli, cashew mozzarella, onion, cilantro, Brazil nut Cotija, Aleppo pepper), Coliflor (deep-fried cauliflower), Chilaquiles, and Potato Pimento Flautas.

Festival de Moles at Guelaguetza in Koreatown
Festival de Moles | Photo: Guelaguetza

Guelaguetza Restaurant

Whether it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner, the James Beard Award-winning Guelaguetza serves some of the best Oaxacan cuisine in the country. Located on Olympic Boulevard in Koreatown, the expansive restaurant features a family-style section on its menu with dishes that serve three to eight diners.

One of the most popular items is the Festival de Moles, a $40 sampler plate with four individual servings of mole negro, mole rojo, coloradito and estofado - served with shredded chicken, rice and a hand-made tortilla.

Another crowd pleaser is the Botana Oaxaqueña - eight people can dive into the Full Order ($155), a platter laden with chorizo, tasajo, cecina, chile relleno, carnitas, Oaxaca cheese, grilled onions and cactus. Served with guacamole, frijoles de la olla with nopalitos, and 14 memelitas.

Gyu-Kaku in Sherman Oaks
Gyu-Kaku in Sherman Oaks | Instagram: @cp.pham

Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ

Meaning "horn of the bull" in Japanese, Gyu-Kaku showcases authentic Japanese yakiniku (barbecue), where guests share premium cooked meats over a flaming charcoal grill while sipping on sake, shochu and frosty beers. The global chain numbers more than 700 locations around the world - the first U.S. location opened on Pico Boulevard in West LA. Other LA locations include Downtown LA, Sherman Oaks, Burbank, Topanga Canyon and Torrance.

The fun, interactive group dining experience lets guests do their own cooking (with expert assistance from helpful servers) on personal grills with “smokeless” roasters - downdraft systems ensure you don’t smell like the charcoal you’re cooking with. Gyu-Kaku offers a wide range of meats, including the bestselling 21-day aged harami (skirt steak), prime kalbi (short rib) and bistro hanger steak. Other popular items include pork belly, duck breast, chicken basil, garlic shrimp and a veg-friendly menu.

Gyu-Kaku offers three Premium All You Can Eat options, priced from $45 to $65 per guest. AYCE is limited to 90 minutes, and everyone in the group must choose the same option.

Now through Jan. 7, 2024, Gyu-Kaku is offering the Yakiniku Holiday Magic Festival Menu, featuring a greatest hits selection of small plates and meats for groups from 2 to 12 people.

Creekside Patio at Inn of the Seventh Ray
Creekside Patio at Inn of the Seventh Ray  |  Photo: Yuri Hasegawa

Inn of the Seventh Ray

Founded in the early 1970s by Dr. Ralph and Lucile Yaney, the Inn of the Seventh Ray is nestled in the heart of Topanga Canyon adjacent to Topanga Creek, surrounded by a forest of sycamore, oak and pine trees. Whether it's a sunny day or a warm evening, there isn't a bad table on the fairytale patio. Three private gazebos are available for rent to groups: the Elevated Gazebo for 2-6 guests ($100), Large Gazebo (4-9 guests, $150) and Terrace Gazebo (4-9, $150).

A longtime advocate of plant-based cuisine, the restaurant continues to offer guests the benefits of chemical- and additive-free cooking - the chicken and beef are raised naturally and grass fed; fish is wild or line-caught; and sauces are made with minimal use of dairy products. The wine list includes a large selection of organic and biodynamic wines.

Dinner highlights include 8-Hour Black Vinegar Braised Short Rib, Char-Roasted Mary's Free Range Half-Chicken, Pan-Seared Loch Duart Salmon, Gnocchetti Pasta with Sunflower Pesto, and Crispy Half Cauliflower. The lavish Weekend Brunch Buffet offers Traditional or Vegetarian options with a complimentary glass of bubbly.

Dim sum at Lunasia in Alhambra
Dim sum at Lunasia in Alhambra | Photo: @ellensyummylife, Instagram

Lunasia Dim Sum House

Dim sum is traditionally enjoyed with friends and family at breakfast or brunch, but at Lunasia Dim Sum House it's an all-day affair, served daily from open to close. Wait times can be long - especially on weekends - but well worth it for dim sum on par with the best in Hong Kong. (Protip: Lunasia offers reservations for groups of 8 or more, call ahead up to a month in advance.) Instead of traditional push carts, diners fill out menus for made-to-order dim sum. Tea is served in cast iron teapots.

At the original location in Alhambra, groups load up the Lazy Susan with favorites like the massive Jumbo Pork & Shrimp Shumai and Jumbo Har Gow. The Baked BBQ Pork Bun is another standout - the sticky-sweet bun practically melts in your mouth. Other highlights from the 100-item menu include the Pan-Fried Turnip Cake, Macau-style Egg Custard Tarts, and Rice Noodle Rolls - filling options include char siu, beef, shrimp, Chinese donut, brown rice & mushroom, and the luxurious Live Lobster.

Maison Kasai at Level 8 in Downtown LA
Maison Kasai | Photo: Level 8

Maison Kasai

Part of the sprawling Level 8 dining and nightlife complex at the Moxy/AC, Maison Kasai is an elevated teppanyaki concept from Michelin-starred chef Joshua Gil (Mirate). Meaning "House of Fire," the restaurant's name reflects Gil's French-Japanese cuisine. The striking interior features ten teppanyaki grill tops with seven seats each; a standalone bar, and Candice Kaye's wall-size vintage Japanese magazine collage and hand-painted French Art Deco mural.

The prix fixe Teppanyaki Dinner includes a seasonal first course, choice of appetizer and entrée, teppanyaki asparagus, fried rice and seasonal dessert. After an amuse bouche, the experience begins with Black Sesame Tofu, followed by a choice of Shaved Vegetable Salad, Stuffed Heirloom Tomato, Baby Summer Squash or a Caviar supplement.

Main course options and add-ons include USDA Prime Culotte (6 oz), USDA Prime New York (10 oz), USDA Prime Chateaubriand (6 oz), A5 Wagyu Ribeye (Miyazaki, 3 oz) A5 Wagyu Striploin (Kobe, 3 oz), Sonoma Chicken, Potato Scaled Red Snapper and Heirloom Cauliflower Steak.

A la carte selections include Wagyu Dumplings (fresh wasabi, shiitake, consommé) and Bluefin Tartare to start; and entrees like Half Sonoma Chicken (braised leeks, country bread, comté, salted plum), Kanpachi with miso eggplant “bouillabaisse" and flambéed Whole Maine Lobster with corn, kosho custard and miyoga butter.

Tabla Mixta at Malbec Argentinean Cuisine
Tabla Mixta | Photo: Malbec Argentinean Cuisine

Malbec Argentinean Cuisine

With locations in Eagle Rock and Pasadena, Malbec Argentinean Cuisine showcases signature grilled meats and the award-winning Argentine wine that gives the restaurants their names. Large format dishes and hearty portions of appetizers, salads and pastas invite sharing.

The Tabla de Chorizos offers a selection of Argentinean Chorizo, Red Argentinean Chorizo, Thin "Parrillero" Sausage, Morcilla, Salsa Criolla, and Cannellini Bean Salad. Choose a platter for two, three or four people. Veal sweetbreads are available as an add-on.

Steaks from the wood-fired grill are all-natural, hormone-free and wet-aged for 21 days. All steaks are served with three sauces: Chimichurri Norteño, Salsa Criolla and Salsa Mia.

The Tabla Mixta offers a choice of two cuts, which are sliced on a skillet and served family style: Medallones, Entraña a La Parrilla, Ojo de Bife, Lomo, and Bife de Chorizo. Add-ons include any item from the Tabla de Chorizo, grilled shrimp, and sweetbread.

Standout steaks include the 16 oz Ribeye, 16 oz New York, and the showstopper Chuleton - USDA Black Angus Tomahawk. The Caracu offers four pieces of bone marrow, grilled rustic flatbread and salsa verde.

Save room for homemade desserts like Budin de Pan (Argentinean style custard bread pudding) and traditional Flan de Caramelo.

Bar area at Mirate in Los Feliz
Photo: Sierra Prescott, Mirate


The former Rockwell live music venue in Los Feliz has been transformed into Mirate, a spectacular multi-level dining destination helmed by Michelin-starred chef Joshua Gil. Centered on a 40-foot tree in the open-air courtyard, the 7,500 square-foot restaurant offers two main dining areas and two bars. Guests enter Mirate at the top of the stairway that's adjacent to the upstairs mezcaleria / lounge. Private dining options include a 12-seat room on the first floor, the second level lounge for 10, and a 30-seat space on the third floor.

The Alta California inspired menu reflects Gil's upbringing in SoCal and Baja California, along with global influences that reflect LA's diversity. Shareable small plates include Kampachi Aguachile Tatemado (habanero, black lime, tomatillo), Coctel de Mariscos (shrimp, callo de hacha, octopus), Tacos (fried chicken, pork belly, grilled rock cod, beef brisket, spicy oyster mushroom), Cochinita Pibil (Beeler’s Heritage Duroc Pork Shoulder, Mayan spices, pickled onions, tortillas) and Yuccas Sucias - Gil’s take on In-N-Out’s “Animal-Style” Fries with queso de chorizo, grilled green onions and house Thousand Island.

Larger format dishes include Carne Asada con Papas (mesquite grilled koji cured hanger steak, Mexican chimichurri, fries), Wood Oven Roasted Lobster and Whole Fried Snapper.

Veg-friendly options include La Quesadilla filled with huitlacoche (corn mushroom), quesillo, and spicy guacasalsa; Roasted Squash (pipian verde, basil, cotija, spiced seed mix) and Wood Fired Trumpet Mushrooms.

Beverage director Max Reis (previously at Gracias Madre) helms a program that showcases a deep selection of spirits, wines and beer - all sourced from Mexico. For the cocktails, Reis features spins on classics like the El Güero, a Margarita variation with avocado-washed Cascahuin 48 Plata, aguachile, nopales granita and coconut; the Paloma-style Mi Compa (Tromba Blanco, house grapefruit soda, guayabana, salt) and the El Repostero, a reimagined Daiquiri with Cañada Oaxacan Rum, destilado con mango, pasilla mixe and lime cordial.

Overhead view of dishes at Park's BBQ in Koreatown
Park's BBQ | Instagram: @_nutsri_

Parks BBQ

Jenee Kim opened the LA branch of Park's BBQ, originally from Seoul's Chungdam District, in the heart of Koreatown in 2003. It's since become the standard-bearer of Korean barbecue not only in Los Angeles, but in America. It's widely regarded as one of the highest quality KBBQ experiences outside of Korea, with an incredible selection of meat that's unrivaled in the city.

For those in the group that are new to KBBQ, start with the Taste of Park's P1: Park's Galbi, Bulgogi, Beef Brisket, Boneless Beef Short Rib, and the signature Ggot Sal ("Flower Meat") - heavily marbled cuts of USDA prime short rib.

Featured American Wagyu Specials include Brisket Point, Boneless Beef Short Rib, GGot Sal, Ribeye Cap and an A5 Wagyu Special (12-14 oz).

Dishes to share include the sizzling Stone Pot Ribeye Bulgogi with clear noodles; Beef Tartare, and the spicy Kimchi Pancake.

Salmon Filet Kabob at Shamshiri Grill in Persian Square
Salmon Filet Kabob at Shamshiri Grill | Instagram: @pastelfoodiediaries

Shamshiri Grill

In a 2020 interview with Weekend Edition on NPR, Padma Lakshmi said, "I love the kebabs at Shamshiri Grill. I love anything from that Iranian restaurant. It's wonderful if you're ever in Los Angeles. Go to Shamshiri Grill."

Listen to Padma's advice, and on any given night you'll find the bustling dining room filled with families, friends and dates. As chef-owner Hamid Mosavi told Padma on the Persian Square episode of her Taste the Nation series, “Kabob shows love and care, and brings people together.”

Along with the fantastic kabobs, the Shirin Polo is a must: white or brown basmati rice is mixed with slivered almonds, pistachios, and orange peels in a sweet saffron sauce, and served with a choice of chicken or lamb shank. The popular lamb neck is only available as an option on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Another essential dish is Tahchin, available Tuesday through Thursday - baked basmati rice cake layered with chicken or lamb, eggs, yogurt, saffron and topped with sautéed barberries.

Chef Mosavi offers numerous vegan dishes, including Albaloo Polo, Falafel Platter, Kabob, Bamieh (Okra Stew), Curry, and many more.

Tea-Smoked Pork Ribs at Sichuan Impression in West LA
Tea-Smoked Pork Ribs at Sichuan Impression in West LA | Instagram: @eat_saw_telle

Sichuan Impression - West LA

Tucked into the second floor of a strip mall a couple of miles from UCLA, the third location of Sichuan Impression has a lively dining room that's perfect for groups, families and even date night for couples that love the fiery cuisine.

The huge gatefold menu conveniently lists dishes with peppers to gauge diners' spice tolerance, ranging from mild/no peppers, to tongue-tingling and mouth-numbing (1-2 peppers) to the scorching three peppers.

Start with "Impressive" appetizers like Grandma's Pickled Cucumber, Wontons in Chili Oil, Home-Style Fried Rice (available non-spicy), and Street Corner Potato Strips - rated two peppers, but even Sichuan newbies will enjoy noshing on the spicy fries.

Properly warmed up, the table will be ready for specialties like Mapo Tofu, Toothpick Lamb, Boiled Fish with Rattan Pepper, and Sichuan Impression's most popular dish, the famed Tea-Smoked Pork Ribs. For those that can handle the three-pepper Dry Pots, there's Fried Squid, Fried Shrimp and Fresh Bullfrog.

Warner Bros. booth at the Smoke House in Burbank
Warner Bros. booth at the Smoke House | Instagram: @g_ram89

Smoke House Restaurant

Founded in 1946, the Smoke House has been at its current location across from the west gate of Warner Bros. Studios since 1948. The landmark steakhouse continues to attract new generations of fans who enjoy the old school service and charm, "the World's Greatest Garlic Bread," generous portions and live entertainment.

Starters for the table include the must-order garlic bread (get the Full Order, trust us), Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail, Crab-Stuffed Mushrooms, Bacon-Wrapped Scallops, Grilled Artichoke and the Smoke House Salad Sampler (Sirloin Steak Arugula, Betsy's California Salad, Shrimp Caesar Salad).

Served with a Classic Side Dish and fresh veggies, steaks include the Chateaubriand for Two (carved tableside), the signature Smoke House Prime Rib and the Porterhouse Steak - jumbo T-Bone with tender Filet Mignon and savory New York strip.

Choose a two- or three-item BBQ combo for the group: Baby Back Ribs, BBQ Chicken and Tri-Tip Steak. BBQ platters come with barbecued beans and corn on the cob.

The Smoke House also serves an award-winning Sunday brunch that includes a carving station, fresh seafood and salad station, dessert station, pasta station and more.

For larger groups and special events, Private Rooms include The Fireside (up to 40 sit-down guests / 25 buffet-style), The Spencer (75 sit-down / 60 buffet) and The Back Main (100 sit-down / 85 buffet).

Clark Oswald Private Dining Room at Socalo
Clark Oswald Private Dining Room | Photo: Socalo


Opened in December 2019, Socalo is a coastal California canteen and Mexican pub from award-winning chefs/owners Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken.

The restaurant's long communal tables and cozy booths can seat groups large and small. Private and semi-private dining options include Bar Tables (8-18 seated guests), Center Round Table for 8; Cork-Clad Semi-Private Area for 16; Clark Oswald Private Room (up to 42 seated, 50 standing), the outdoor Veranda (60 seated / 80 standing) and the Santa Monica Private Room (125 seated / 160 standing).

Socalo serves conscientiously-sourced, seasonal SoCal Mexican fare with counter service at brunch and lunch; dinner shifts to full-service dining alongside cocktails featuring small-batch spirits, Mexican wines and craft beers on tap.

Veg-friendly small plates include Pato's Spinach Queso Dip, Esquite (cotija, Oaxaca cheese, cilantro, lime, Socalo spices), Milpa (ayocote beans, roasted squash, grilled corn, quelites, hoja santa) and Chilitos Rellenos - tempura shishito peppers stuffed with Mexican cheeses, avocado salsa and macha aioli.

Larger format dishes include Roasted Half-Chicken, 15 oz Ribeye Steak, 32 oz Tomahawk Steak and Tikin Xic Fish (red adobo banana leaf-wrapped cobia, fried plantain, pickled onion).

Prince Charlie Cut of Prime Rib at the Tam O'Shanter
Prince Charlie Cut | Photo: Tam O'Shanter

Tam O'Shanter

One of LA's most iconic restaurants, The Tam O'Shanter was opened in 1922 by Lawrence Frank and Walter Van de Kamp - the brothers-in-law later opened Lawry's The Prime Rib in 1938. The Tam was a hangout for many Hollywood legends, including Walt Disney and his animators - their favorite was Table 31, right by the fireplace and commemorated by a plaque.

Numerous spaces at The Tam are available for Private Events, from the Atrium for 20 guests to the Royal Guards Room (up to 50 guests), Bonnie Prince Charlie Room (70 guests) and the Patio (50 seated guests / 75 cocktail reception).

The menu features classics like Scotch Rarebit, Fish & Chips and Toad in the Hole (Yorkshire pudding filled with diced filet of beef, carrots, onions, kale, Guinness gravy). The Lawry's Prime Rib selections include the popular Tam O'Shanter Cut and the bone-in, extra-thick Prince Charlie Cut. There's also Pan-Seared Scottish Salmon, Shrimp Linguine and the veg-friendly Cauliflower Tikka Masala with coconut milk, basmati rice and scallion oil.

Exotic and Gourmet sausages at Wurstküche
Exotic and Gourmet sausages | Photo: Wurstküche


Opened in 2008, Wurstküche was one of the first restaurants to pave the way for the current red-hot dining scene in the Downtown LA Arts District. A Venice sequel followed in September 2011. Long communal tables make these modern beer halls ideal for groups.

Lines started forming outside the original Wurstküche ("Sausage Kitchen" in German) from the get-go - diners were eager to try "Exotic" sausages like Rattlesnake & Rabbit with Jalapeños, Duck & Bacon with Jalapeños, and Lamb with Mediterranean Spices. More approachable than the Exotics, "Gourmet" offerings include Kielbasa, Filipino Maharlika, and Mango Jalapeño. Plant-based options include a Beyond Meat Veggiewurst, Mexican Chipotle (chipotle, arbol, chiles, garlic, onion) and Smoked Apple Sage (apples, Yukon potatoes, rubbed sage). The Belgian fries are a must - glazed in white truffle oil and served with a choice of dipping sauces.

Sushi Yacht at Yamashiro
Sushi Yacht at Yamashiro | Instagram: @deliboyswag


Boasting panoramic city views, stunning architecture and tranquil gardens, Yamashiro has welcomed generations of guests to its spectacular hilltop setting above Hollywood Boulevard.

Yamashiro offers several private event spaces, from the Koi Dining Room for 30-40 guests to the Skyview Room, Sunset Dining Room and the famed Garden Courtyard.

Set sail aboard the Sushi Yacht, which serves 6-8 guests - chef's selection of sashimi, nigiri, sushi tacos, specialty rolls, and hand rolls. Other Sushi Boats include the Small for 1-2; Large (3-4) and the extravagant Sushi Titanic for 8-10.

The extensive, group-friendly menu includes Wagyu Gyoza, Matcha Soba, Bone-In Tonkatsu, Sakamushi (sake-steamed clams), Miso Chilean Sea Bass and the epic Tomahawk Steak with lobster tail, octopus, shrimp and shiso vinaigrette.