The dineL.A. Guide to Hollywood

Pork shank | Photo courtesy of Birch, Facebook

Like a great actor, Hollywood is constantly reinventing itself. At various times, it’s been known as the home of pioneering movie studios, the Academy Awards, Art Deco treasures and a thriving nightlife scene. In recent years, Tinseltown has also become a vital dining destination. From a landmark of Hollywood’s Golden Age to Michelin stars and modernist cuisine, read on for the best restaurants in Hollywood.

25 Degrees - Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel



Burger cravings in the afternoon as well as into the late Hollywood night are quite common, and that’s why 25 Degrees is so advantageously located. Also boasting a full bar, the restaurant is on the ground floor of the historic Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, making it easy access for hotel guests and Hollywood revelers alike. Their breakfast menu is extensive for proper morning nourishment, but no matter what time of day, you won’t want to miss their extra large specialty boozy milkshakes, which are suitable for sharing.

Riz sauté avec Kimchi au Baroo| Instagram par @phil.rosenthal

Baroo



Chef-owner Kwang Uh opened his 16-seat “free-style experimental kitchen” in August 2015 in a nondescript strip mall at Santa Monica and Wilton. Baroo is named for a bowl that Buddhist monks are allowed to own and use for their meals for the rest of their lives. Uh’s modernist cuisine generated early buzz for his use of fermentation in the Korean-influenced dishes, which he makes with local, sustainable and organic ingredients. While the brief menu changes frequently, a few dishes have become breakout hits, like the kimchi fried rice: pineapple fermented kimchi, Amira basmati rice, 63°C sous vide egg, gremolata, pineapple jalapeno salsa, purple potato chip, roasted seaweed, toasted buckwheat and quinoa, and micro greens. Another favorite is the Asian Fever, made with Amira basmati rice, southeast Asian-inspired housemade mix, lemongrass and coconut foam with sake lees, crispy shrimp chip, heirloom cherry tomatoes and lime supreme.

Pork shank | Photo courtesy of Birch, Facebook

Chef Brendan Collins named his sleek Cahuenga Boulevard restaurant Birch as a nod to his hometown of Nottingham, England, where he grew up near a grove of birch trees. At Birch, Collins expands on the meat-focused gastropub repertoire that he honed at Waterloo and City to reflect L.A.’s multicultural diversity. Shareable dishes include starters like hamachi with leche de tigre, kimchi and cilantro; Frog Hollow pears with burrata, crispy prosciutto, honey and toast; and Spanish octopus with blistered shisito peppers and hummus. Larger format options include rabbit baklava with dates, white beans, pistachio and carrots; monkfish tikka masala with quince chutney and lime pickles; and pork shank with palm sugar, coleslaw and za’atar flatbread.

Every Sunday from noon to 4 p.m., Collins serves a family-style Sunday Roast featuring British classics like roast beef and yorkies with gravy and horseradish cream, or whole roasted chicken with sage and onion stuffing and gravy. Sides include Yorkshire pudding, glazed carrots, English peas and roasted potatoes. Other favorites include a proper English breakfast, fish and chips, or bangers and mash. Dessert options include sticky toffee pudding, Eton Mess and lemon curd. For a truly Sunday Funday, there are bottomless Buck's Fizz and shandies.

Assiette Mezze à Cleo | Crédits Photo de Cleo, Facebook

Tucked inside The Redbury Hotel on Vine Street, Cleo showcases the nouveau Middle Eastern cuisine of Executive Chef Danny Elmaleh. The warm interior, designed by Matthew Rolston, marries Old Hollywood with relaxed Mediterranean charm. The small plates menu is ideal for sharing - the convivial atmosphere is enhanced by the open kitchen and communal tables. Traditional favorites include baba ghanoush, labneh with feta, hummus with tahini, and falafel with chickpea fritters, tahini and tabbouleh. Other highlights include Sonoma lamb sliders with feta, harissa aioli and sweet pickled shallots; roast Sonoma lamb with labneh and Israeli couscous; duck bastilla (crispy phyllo filled with glazed duck); day boat scallops with fresh corn polenta, citrus and chiles; and several flatbreads, such as artichoke, Roman (tomato, niçoise olives, aged mozzarella) and eggplant lebaneh.

Photo par Noe Montes, Crédits The Hungry Cat

Chef-owner David Lentz opened The Hungry Cat in the courtyard of the Sunset & Vine Building in Februrary 2005. The sophisticated seafood restaurant has since expanded to locations in Santa Monica and Santa Barbara. Experience the bounty of the sea with a one- or two-tier seafood platter, or go all in with The Hungry Cat: oysters, clams, marinated mussels, peeled shrimp, snow crab legs, lobster and one ounce of golden trout roe. Though the specialty is seafood, Lentz says the variations on “surf and turf” are among his favorites, such as the Chorizo ‘N Clams, featuring Manila clams, house-made chorizo, garbanzo beans, sofrito, charred broccoli, romesco aioli and toast. The Pug Burger, a menu staple from Day One, is “taking a long deserved vacation” (according to Lentz’s Instagram post) and is currently subbed by a bacon cheeseburger with Hook’s cheddar cheese, “special sauce” and a brioche bun.

Since opening his first Loteria Grill at the Original Farmers Market in 2002, Chef Jimmy Shaw has expanded to six locations across L.A. County. The Hollywood location anchors the operation - menu development for all of the Loteria Grill restaurants begins there. Giant versions of the playing cards that give the restaurant group its name line the walls of the airy, spacious interior. A native of Mexico City, Shaw showcases a menu of regional Mexican specialties, such as Cochinita Pibil (Yucatan), Mole Poblano (Puebla), Pozole de Jalisco, and Ceviches de Guerrero. Favorites like the shredded beef taco, enchiladas in tomatillo sauce, and grilled beer-marinated skirt steak continue to win new fans.

Crédit Photo de Mama Shelter Los Angeles, Facebook

Mama Shelter



International boutique hotel group, Mama Shelter opened its first U.S. property in July 2015. The 70-room hotel is located a few blocks from Hollywood Boulevard and features an all-day restaurant on the bottom floor. The funky decor features mismatched chairs, spacious booths and a whimsical ceiling that’s touted as L.A.’s “only Sistine Chapel.” Start the day with coffee, croissants, Danishes and Mama says Rise N’ Shine, a continental breakfast with options to add a Croque Madame, avocado toast or breakfast sandwich. Lunch offers various salads, including the Brussels sprout Caesar or the quinoa tabbouleh with cucumber, radish, bell pepper, lemon and mint. Sandwiches include a fried egg BLT, a chicken sandwich and Le Royale with Cheese - a burger with cheddar, lettuce, tomato and cottage fries. The straightforward dinner menu adds dishes like black mussels with leek and fennel bisque; white seabass with forbidden black rice and corn salsa; and Mama’s baby back ribs with coleslaw and pickles. The cocktail menu runs with the Mama theme; the Mommy Dearest is a traditional Sazerac with Park Cognac, Peychaud's Bitters, superfine sugar and a Herbsaint rinse. Mr. Mom is made with Rittenhouse Rye, Fernet Branca, Yellow Chartreuse and Carpano Antica, while Y Tu Mama Tambien offers a choice of Avion Tequila or Vida Mezcal with fresh lime, cucumber, Hellfire Shrub and almond syrup.

Musso & Frank Grill



The landmark Musso & Frank Grill has anchored the Hollywood scene since 1919, and the famous faces that have passed through its doors reads like a cinematic and literary Who’s Who of the past century. Musso & Frank has been in the same family since 1927, when original proprietors Joseph Musso and Frank Toulet sold the restaurant to John Mosso and his partner Joseph Carrissimi. Today, Musso’s is operated by the third and fourth generations of the Mosso family, a reflection of the pride in ownership and a continuity of service that is unique in Los Angeles. Several members of the wait staff have been at Musso’s for more than 40 years; when regulars make a reservation, they don’t ask for a specific table, they request one in the section of their favorite waiter.

The kitchen is helmed by J.P. Amateau, just the third Executive Chef in the restaurant’s storied history. The famous flannel cakes, a sweet pancake-crêpe hybrid, remain a daytime menu staple. At night, the grill on the Old Room side of the restaurant fires up steaks and chops. The lamb kidneys, Charlie Chaplin’s favorite, have a following as well. The fettucini Alfredo is none other than the original recipe Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford brought back from their honeymoon in Rome. Don’t miss the classic Martini, considered by many to be the best in town and served with a carafe on ice.

The Oinkster - Hollywood



The second location of Andre Guerrero’s "slow fast food" concept showcases burgers, sandwiches and salads. The popular House Pastrami is cured for two weeks, rubbed with “Oinkster secret spices” and smoked with applewood. The Cluckster is another favorite - a buttermilk-fried chicken breast served with house-made ranch dressing, Buffalo sauce, pickles and chopped lettuce on a seeded bun. Pair your food with rotating draft beers, soda, Intelligentsia coffee or shakes. With its two 45-inch flat screen TVs, The Oinkster Hollywood is also one of the best non-sports bars to watch sports in L.A. They’ll take requests if they’re not already showing a game that interests you.

Steak au Papilles Bistro servi avec du mais et des shishitos | Crédits Photo de Papilles, Facebook

Papilles



Inspired by the bistronomique movement in Paris, Papilles serves upscale bistro dishes in a casual setting with a relaxed atmosphere. Meaning “tastebuds” in French, Papilles (pronounced “pah-PEE”) features an ever-changing weekly prix fixe menu of seasonal dishes with produce sourced from local farmers. A recent three-course menu, priced at $36, started with a choice of butternut squash velouté, Maggie’s greens or chicken liver mousse. A foie gras torchon was available as a supplement. Main dish options included flat iron steak with wild mushroom stuffing, roast carrot and cippolini; or scallops with yam, sweet potato and chard. Dessert was a choice of butterscotch pot de crème or pumpkin pie. Owner-wine director Santos Uy curates a concise wine selection that focuses on natural wines from France and other Old World countries.

Pizzeria Mozza

Fennel sausage, panna, mozzarella, red onions, scallions | Photo courtesy of Pizzeria Mozza, Facebook

Pizzeria Mozza



The corner of Melrose and Highland is a mecca for foodies. Home to Pizzeria Mozza, Osteria Mozza and chi SPACCA, this culinary paradise is the brainchild of the superstar trio of chefs Mario Batali, Nancy Silverton and restaurateur Joe Bastianich. It all started with Pizzeria Mozza, which became an instant hit when it opened in November 2006. Widely recognized as one of the best pizzerias in the country, Pizzeria Mozza is known for its seasonal California ingredients and Silverton’s famed crust. Everyone has their favorite dishes, from the fennel sausage pizza to Nancy’s Chopped Salad and the transcendent Butterscotch Budino, a modern classic that was on the opening menu and never left.

 

Lapin avec salsiccia à Osteria Mozza | Crédits Photo de Osteria Mozza, Facebook

Osteria Mozza



Housed in the same building as Pizzeria Mozza, Osteria Mozza showcases the white Carrara marble Mozzarella Bar, where Nancy Silverton composes a long list of small dishes featuring fresh imported mozzarella as well as ricotta and cream-filled burrata. Quite simply, this is cheese as you’ve never had it before. While the cheese has rightfully earned praise, there’s also a variety of handmade pastas and refined, rustic fare such as grilled beef tagliata, rabbit con salsiccia and veal breast stracotto. Be sure to save room for Pastry Chef Dahlia Narvaez’s desserts, such as the addictive rosemary olive oil cakes.

chi SPACCA

Tomahawk Pork Chop at chi SPACCA | Photo by Joshua Lurie

chi SPACCA



Nestled between Mozza2Go and Osteria Mozza, chi SPACCA (“he who cleaves” in Italian) is a temple of meat that boasts the first “dry cure” program in L.A., which allows the team to experiment and perfect Italian charcuterie techniques in-house. Sample the salumeria with two options of the affettati misti - daily selection of cured meats - that serve 2-4 or 4-6 guests. The intimate, candlelit dining room invites diners to tuck into dishes like peppered hanger steak, porcini rubbed beef short ribs, beef and bone marrow pie, milk roasted pork loin, tomahawk pork chop and the incredible bistecca fiorentina, a 50-ounce dry-aged black angus porterhouse.

Providence tasting menu | Instagram de @thirstyinla

Providence



Chef Michael Cimarusti’s acclaimed Michelin-starred restaurant celebrated its ten-year anniversary in June 2015. Widely regarded as one of the best restaurants in the country, Providence is a perennial James Beard Award nominee and has ranked at the top of L.A. Times restaurant critic “Jonathan Gold’s 101 Best Restaurants” for three consecutive years. Providence reopened in May 2014 after a brief renovation that swapped the patio for a larger, brighter dining room and an interior design with deep blues, colorful patterned wallpaper and shimmering lights that evoke the ocean depths. On the Providence website, Cimarusti says, “First and foremost, what guides us here is sustainability. We use only wild-caught, sustainable products, mostly from American waters, and look to highlight their finest qualities.” Diners can experience Cimarusti’s sublime seafood with a four-course Signature & Seasonal Menu, the full Signature & Seasonal Menu and the epic 11-course Providence Chef’s Menu.

Trois Mec | Photo courtesy of Ludo Lefebvre, Facebook

Trois Mec & Petit Trois



Trois Mec is a high-powered collaboration between Chef Ludo Lefebvre and his partners, Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo (Animal, Son of a Gun, Jon & Vinny's). Trois Mec, which loosely translates to “three guys”, opened in June 2013 in the former Raffallo's Pizza at a strip mall off Highland. The old sign is still hanging outside, offering a low-key hint at the fine dining experience that awaits inside. Trois Mec features a constantly changing five-course tasting menu that’s priced at $85 per person. Every other Friday morning at 10 a.m. Pacific, the highly coveted dinner tickets are released for a two-week period that begins 10 days from the release date. Recent dishes include grilled pork loin, cabbage, bok choy and juniper; grilled corn, velouté, king crab, Szechuan pepper and mimolette; and Carolina Gold rice pudding, brown butter and egg yolk. The tasting menu is accompanied by “snacks” such as Clark Street country bread, Santa Barbara spot prawn ceviche with Okinawan sweet potato purée, wild herb tart with pistachio, and miso creme brûlée with cured salmon roe.

For diners that want to skip the ticketing system, head next door to Petit Trois, the trio’s no-reservations bistro that serves classics like French onion soup, steak tartare, Burgundy escargots, bouillabaisse and ribeye steak aux poivres with frites maison. Perhaps the most-talked about dish is the deceptively simple omelette, a remarkably blond creation with Boursin pepper cheese, chives and lightly dressed greens. The full bar offers signature cocktails like the Fleur de Mal (rose petal-infused vodka, ruby grapefruit, lemon), Mule Paresseux (reposado tequila, mezcal, ginger beer) and Bellocq’s Shot, made with rye whiskey, pastis sugar cube and Creole bitters.

Poulet et gaufres | Photo de Marie Buck, Crédits de Wood & Vine

Wood & Vine



Named for the nearby iconic intersection of Hollywood and Vine, Wood & Vine is located on the ground floor of the historic Taft Building. The handsome interior is complemented by an outdoor patio with a wooden deck under twinkling lights. A diverse crowd fills the restaurant for pre-theater meals before shows at the Pantages Theatre, located across the street. The New American menu features market-driven, seasonal shared plates. Starters include chicken liver mousse, beef carpaccio and marrow on toast. Standout main dishes include the signature chicken and waffles, gnocchi stroganoff, and house-made sausage with apple, peanut and sage. Wood & Vine recently launched a Late Night Happy Hour, which starts at 10:30 p.m. every night. The menu includes crowd pleasers like pork rind churros, the deep-fried burger, and pumpkin spice chicken wings with coffee BBQ. Discounted Happy Hour cocktails include the W&V Old Fashioned, Moscow Mule, Tommy's Margarita and the Classic Daiquiri.