The Best Restaurants in Silver Lake

Kippered Salmon Pancake at Freedman's

Kippered Salmon Pancake at Freedman's

 |  Photo:  Joshua Lurie

From its history as a center for early film studios such as Walt Disney, Silver Lake has developed into a trendsetting, multicultural neighborhood filled with unique shops and nightlife. The Silver Lake dining scene is vibrant, varied and one of the most interesting in the city. Read on to discover 14 of the best spots in Silver Lake.

Pig in a Blanket at Alimento

Pig in a Blanket at Alimento | Photo by Dylan + Jeni, courtesy of Alimento

Alimento



From the start, it seemed clear that Zach Pollack’s brand new Italian spot was destined to be a hit. The space is clean and modern, with little to distract from the food. Instead of the usual Caesar salad and spaghetti, Alimento serves roasted escarole with anchovy, and squid ink radiatori with red wine-stained rings of tender squid. The toothsome tortellini is filled with a robust, meaty broth and finished with Parmesan. A handful of wine bottles are in the 30-something range. They charge $1.50 for water, half of which goes to Silver Lake Reservoirs Conservancy.

Cheeseburger at Burgers Never Say Die

Cheeseburger at Burgers Never Say Die

 |  Photo: Joshua Lurie

Burgers Never Say Die



Chef Shawn Nee built a sensation with the smash burger pop-up he launched with partners in Hollywood and Glendale Tap before going permanent in Silver Lake. Burgers Never Say Die shares a patio with Silverlake Coffee. Inside their white and red shop, a motto encourages customers to “Always Order Two.” Twin patties tout crunchy meat skirts, ketchup, mustard, pickle and raw onions on a soft bun. French fries bathe in scalding beef tallow and Canola oil before BNSD serves them in a white paper bag with packets of Heinz ketchup. They also have a CVT soft serve machine for simple dessert.

Guava cheese pastry at Café Tropical

Guava cheese pastry at Café Tropical | Photo: Leslee Komaiko

Café Tropical



Years before Forbes magazine dubbed Silver Lake the country’s “best hipster neighborhood,” there was this colorful corner café. The eclectic menu features ample croissant breakfast sandwiches, ultra-charged strong coffee - including Cuban-style café con leche - traditional Cuban sandwiches served toasty warm, and Frisbee-sized cookies. But the can’t miss treat here is the guava cheese pastry. Served warm, it’s a layer of rich creamy cheese topped by a thin layer of vibrant red, not-too-sweet guava paste tucked between layers of flaky, buttery pastry. A single slice is big enough for two to share.

Laphet Thoke at Daw Yee Myanmar Corner

Laphet Thoke at Daw Yee Myanmar Corner

 |  Photo: Joshua Lurie

Daw Yee Myanmar Corner



Dellun Chow continues to celebrate the flavors of Myanmar at Daw Yee Myanmar Corner, carrying on traditions from his family’s now-bygone Monterey Park restaurant. The strip mall space features colorful origami animals and wood tables that host live plants and flowers. Laphet thoke is a famed Burmese salad that mixes distinct piles of fermented tea leaves shredded cabbage, steamed corn, diced tomatoes, fried yellow lentils, fried butter beans, fried garlic, roasted peanuts and toasted sesame seeds. Other Chow family favorites include kyae oh noodles tossed in garlic oil with ground pork, tofu, quail egg, fish ball, mustard greens, and chives. Daw Yee also steams regional Kachin-style salmon belly chunks in a banana leaf with cilantro, lemongrass, and chiles.

Sweets at Forage in Silver Lake

Sweets at Forage | Photo by Leslee Komaiko

Forage



Forage serves the sort of food you could eat everyday: perfect rotisserie chicken, buttery quiche and lovely prepared salads like quinoa with white beans and cherry tomatoes. Don’t miss the vibrant green mix of cavolo nero and arugula in the barest of bright lemon-olive oil dressing, finished with salty feta and bread crumbs. As patrons wait in line to order, they're tempted by a display of gorgeous homemade sweets that includes outsized berry hand pies, brown butter hazelnut cake, and glistening caramel colored Florentine cookies flavored with orange peel and shot through with almonds and raisins.

Kippered Salmon Pancake at Freedman's

Kippered Salmon Pancake at Freedman's

 |  Photo: Joshua Lurie

Freedman’s



Toronto native Jonah Freedman and business partner Nicholas Papadatos run a nouveau retro Jewish deli called Freedman’s in an Echo Park strip mall. Fluffy skillet-baked pancakes with crème fraîche star at brunch, whether they’re topped with sweet Barhi date butter or savory kippered salmon. Their standout Reuben stars peppery, applewood-smoked pastrami on double-baked rye bread with Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and thousand island dressing. Dinner delivers even heartier dishes like mutton chops with anchovy and mint jelly, and massive glazed brisket with smoked bone marrow and crunchy pommes Freedman. Guava cheesecake, a nod to previous Cuban tenant La Caridad, tops a Graham cracker crust with cream cheese, mascarpone and guava puree set with agar agar.

Daily Dozen Oysters at L&E Oyster Bar

Daily Dozen | Photo: L&E Oyster Bar

L & E Oyster Bar



At L&E Oyster Bar, there’s a beautiful presentation of beet-cured salmon with buttery toasts and crème fraiche served on a wood plank. And you can get some fine clam chowder made with Nueske’s bacon. But the oysters are a must. A fun route to go is the daily dozen, an assortment of bivalves from the Atlantic and Pacific served on ice with all the necessary accoutrements. Wash them down with a tall glass of pale ale from El Segundo Brewery or a glass of prosecco. Note the menu upstairs is limited, but the balcony is still a popular spot to park.

Crispy Pork Lechon at Ma'am Sir

Crispy Pork Lechon at Ma'am Sir

 |  Photo: Joshua Lurie

Ma’am Sir



Ricebar chef-owner Charles Olalia teamed on Ma’am Sir with Wade McElroy and Russell Malixi. Their modern Filipino gastropub features an airy island vibe, complete with “vine” covered rafters, skylights, and banana leaf wallpaper. Creative riffs on Filipino classics include crispy lumpia filled with shrimp mousse, draped with lardo and sea urchin, and served with potent garlic vinegar; a vivid red pork longganisa burger served on toasted King’s Hawaiian bun with punchy pickled papaya strands and garlic mayo; and butterflied, soy-glazed milkfish served on a sizzling cast-iron skillet.

Whole Branzino at Mh Zh

Whole Branzino at Mh Zh

 |  Photo: Joshua Lurie

Mh Zh



Israeli food is having a moment, and Mh Zh is one of L.A.’s best restaurants to enjoy it. Chef-owner Conor Shemtov reinvigorated a tired Silver Lake corner by opening a restaurant with a mysterious name and high-value food. An impressively focused and share-friendly menu yields gems like whole branzino. The flaky Mediterranean sea bass is stuffed with lemons, dressed with beurre blanc, fried capers, and fresh thyme, baked over coals in a Josper oven, and served with charred lemon. Other highlights include silky hummus “blind blang” dressed with brown butter, golden raisins, and toasted pine nuts; and roasted sweet potato served with nutty tahini and spicy green zhoug.

Fried Chicken at Night + Market Song

Gai tod naeng noi (fried chicken) at Night + Market Song | Photo by Leslee Komaiko

NIGHT + MARKET Song



With its bright orange walls and vintage come-hither poster of Cindy Crawford, Song (which means "two") the little sib to the West Hollywood Night + Market, doesn’t look like the typical L.A. Thai restaurant. And it’s not. The menu features dishes like “Thai strip club fried rice” and catfish tamale. Gai tod naeng noi is perfectly executed juicy fried chicken, cut in strips for easy eating and sharing. It is served with a beguiling garlicky paste made with waterbugs. (The squeamish need not worry. You can’t tell there are bugs.) Sticky rice is served in cute little bamboo canisters.

Spicy peanuts at Pine & Crane

Spicy peanuts at Pine & Crane | Photo by Leslee Komaiko

Pine & Crane



This streamlined, modern Taiwanese café serves spicy peanuts that are a revelation: skin-on peanuts fried to a beautiful burnished gold, irresistibly crunchy, and laden with scallions, garlic chive, tiny slivers of fiery Thai chilies and a hit of vinegar. Vivian Ku, chef and co-owner, recommends eating them with rice, perhaps the satisfying, slightly sweet ground pork with rice on the menu. Veggies like pea shoots and baby bok choy come from Ku’s parents’ Bakersfield farm. And this might be the only place in the neighborhood to get your boba fix. If you prefer your tea hot, there are several loose-leaf tea choices. Whichever you order, it will arrive tableside with a tiny digital timer set to go off when the tea is done steeping.

Thai Dim Sum at Same Same in Silver Lake

Thai Dim Sum at Same Same

 |  Photo: Joshua Lurie

Same Same Thai



Rambutan Thai owners Katy Noochlaor and Annie Daniel teamed with Angus McShane, Holly Zack and Adam Weisblatt of Last Word Hospitality on a traditional Thai restaurant in a modern Silver Lake strip mall setting. The space features “but different” in pink neon, and colorful umbrellas hanging upside down. Culinary highlights include juicy pork and shrimp dumplings called “Thai dim sum,” the spicy coconut curry noodle soup called khao soi featuring a whole chicken drumstick, and coconut flan studded with coconut chunks, drizzled with caramel, and garnished with mint leaves.

Double Decker Potato Tacos at Trois Familia

Double Decker Potato Tacos at Trois Familia

 |  Photo: Joshua Lurie

Trois Familia



Trois Familia is the third collaboration between Ludo Lefebvre, Jon Shook, and Vinny Dotolo, building on the success of Trois Mec and Petit Trois. In Silver Lake, they’ve seamlessly fused French and Mexican classics for daily brunch in a casual strip mall setting. Crispy hash brown chilaquiles riff on the Mexican breakfast classic and feature buttery, crisp-coated hash browns instead of tortilla chips. Each square comes topped with a sunny-side-up egg and savory crumbled cotija cheese in a shallow pool of tangy salsa macha. Beautiful purple beet tartare tostada is another mind-bending dish that features an avocado crema spiral that may cause vertigo. Their double-decker potato taco borrows from Taco Bell and features carrot pico, creme fraiche, and Jack cheese.