L.A. Transformed: From Entertainment Mecca to Eminent Food City

    by Antoinette Bruno and Julia Campbell
    Antoinette Bruno
    June 2014

    It’s been 10 years since StarChefs first came to Los Angeles. We’ve experienced first hand the maturation and ultimate transformation of the city from a destination known primarily as an entertainment industry mecca, into an eminent American food city with soul and swagger. Chefs are building restaurants and reputations in neighborhoods that were once food deserts, injecting life and flavor into less traveled pockets of L.A. And whether you’re picking up a pastry at a bakery or a café, or ordering dessert at a hotel or restaurant, they’re bound to be some of the best sweets in the country. L.A. is continuing to thrive as a pastry city. And quality, classic craft cocktails now have a home and proving ground in the City of Angels, too, with female bartenders leading the way.

    We found good ole Southern comfort has finally wrapped her warm, hospitable arms around the jaded city as well, with many establishments articulating a Southern twang. Pies, biscuits, crab boils, and barbecued oysters now dot the food landscape.            

    Over the course of a year, we left no taco, cocktail, or biscuit unturned, scouring the city for the best accommodations, eateries, and watering holes. And so we offer them up for the taking, in a city less focused on trend and now more than ever on cooking honest. Here’s where to stay, get caffeinated, brunch, lunch, dine casually or finely, drink, dance, and live it up. 


    800 Degrees

    10889 Lindbrook Drive
    Santa Monica
    Los Angeles, CA
    (310) 443-1911
    Hours: Mon-Sun: 11am-2am

    After only a few minutes on line at 2010 StarChefs.com Rising Star Chef Adam Fleischman's 800 Degrees Pizzeria, you’ll have in hand an affordable, superlative, charred, smoky, Neopolitan-style pie cooked with the highest quality ingredients, and 800 Degree addiction that will have you jonesing for this pizza long after you leave.

  • Yucca, Butternut Squash, Caramelized Onions, and Bacon
  • Autostrada: Cured Meats, Caciocavallo, and Spicy Pepper Relish

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    8700 West 3rd Street
    Beverly Hills
    Los Angeles, CA
    (310) 859-9859
    Hours: Mon: 11:30am-10pm; Tue-Fri: 11:30am-11pm; Sat: 10am-11pm; Sun: 10am-10pm

    Part of Suzanne Goin’s growing empire, the new AOC is gorgeous and always happening, with romantic patio outback where guests share large plates with bold Mediterranean flavors at this L.A. institution.

  • Grilled Quail Stuffed with Linguiça, Fennel Purée, and Candied Kumquats
  • Seared Scallops, Butternut-Pancetta Risotto, Fava Tendrils, and Anchovy Butter

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    952 South Broadway
    South Park
    Los Angeles, CA
    (213) 444-0984
    Hours: Tue-Sat: 6pm-9:30pm

    2014 StarChefs.com Rising Star Chef Ari Taymor’s food at Alma is intense and unusual, and his mission is to give Angelinos flavor combinations and dining experiences unlike any other, putting himself on every plate in Downtown L.A.

  • Ember Roasted Chicken Consommé, Trout Roe, and House-made Shallot Crème Fraîche Slaw Roasted Mishima
  • Ranch Beef, Koji-fermented Young Turnips, Truffled Walnuts, Fresh Wasabi, and Mustard Frills

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    435 North Fairfax Avenue
    Los Angeles, CA
    (323) 782-9225
    Hours: Sun-Thu: 6pm-11pm; Fri-Sat: 6pm-12am

    You’ll want to fight the crowds for a piece of the offal-packed action at 2010 Starchefs.com Rising Star Chefs Jon Shook and Vinnie Dotolo's Animal, where guests chow down on 2014 Rising Star Chef de Cuisine Jonathan Whitener’s Rising Star winning American soul food, all to the hum of 90s rhythm and blues.

  • Spretzel with Mustard Dipping Sauce
  • Fried Rabbit Legs, Charleston Gold Rice, Lemon Pepper, Sour Cream Gravy

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    Baco Mercat

    408 South Main Street
    Historic Core
    Los Angeles, CA
    (213) 687-8808
    Hours: Mon-Thu: 11:30am-2:30pm, 6pm-11pm; Fri-Sat: 11:30am-3pm, 5:30pm-12am; Sun: 11:30am-3pm, 5pm-10pm

    Chef Josef Centeno’s Bäco Mercat is located in the historic Old Bank District of Downtown L.A., and this vibrant neighborhood gastropub boasts fabulous pub fare—pure and simple—with French technique and Chef de Cuisine Andy Villaluna in the kitchen.

  • Duck Waffle, Fried Egg, Mangalitsa Pork, and Jerk Sauce
  • Geoduck Salad, Corn Puree, Cucumber, Pea Shoots, and Sunflower Sprouts

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    2121 7th Place
    Arts District
    Los Angeles, CA
    (213) 514-5724
    Hours: Mon-Thu: 6pm-11pm; Fri-Sat: 6pm-12am; Sun: 6pm-11pm

    2014 StarChefs.com Rising Star Chef Ori Menashe’s cuisine isn’t flashy—it’s fine, focused, and just familiar enough to get his guests eating gizzards and lamb hearts, and making his restaurant a beacon for personal, intimate, soulful feasting.

  • Niman Ranch Pork Rib Eye, Vietnamese Style Caramel, Daikon Greens, Chanterelles

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    235 North Canon Drive
    Beverly Hills
    Los Angeles, Napa 90210
    (310) 271-9910
    Hours: Mon-Fri: 11:30am-2:30pm, 5:30pm-10:30pm; Sat-Sun: 11am-2:30pm, 5:30pm-10:30pm

    When looking for perfectly executed French Bistro classics and elegant, timeless ambience with impeccable service, head straight to Thomas Keller’s Beverly Hills outpost of Bouchon, where the team—including 2010 StarChefs.com Rising Star Pastry Chef Chris Ford and 2014 Rising Star Sommelier Rob Harpest—caters to a fashionable crowd (start with bread straight from the boulangerie, like only Keller can do.)

  • Charcuterie board: Chicken Liver Mousse, Pâté de Campagne, Ventreche, Cacao Nib Saucisson, Copa, Loma, and Green Peppercorn Salami
  • Duck Tart: Liberty Farms Duck with Matsutake Mushrooms, Roasted Red Kuri Squash Purée, Black Arkansas Apples, and Jus

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    1819 Ocean Avenue
    Santa Monica
    Los Angeles, CA
    (310) 260-7511
    Hours: Mon: 7am-2:30pm; Tue-Sat: 7am-2:30pm, 6:30pm-10:30pm; Sun: 7am-2:30pm

    Chef Tony Disalvo is using local ingredients to create an international menu at Cast inside the Viceroy Santa Monica, from Dungeness crab to burrata crostini and lamb kefta, this seaside retreat spans the globe.

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    The Church Key

    8730 Sunset Boulevard
    West Hollywood
    Los Angeles, CA
    (424) 249-3700
    Hours: Mon: 9am-5pm, 5:30pm-10pm; Tue-Wed: 5:30pm-10pm; Thu: 5:30pm-11pm; Fri-Sat: 5:30pm-2am; Sun: 10am-3pm, 5:30pm-10pm

    At The Church Key in West Hollywood, Chef Steven Fretz and Bartender Devon Espinosa are leading the modern dim sum craze, employing air hostesses as servers pushing cocktail and food carts full of fun plays on classics.

  • Canned Negroni
  • Adult Otter Pop

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    Cliff's Edge

    3626 West Sunset Boulevard
    Silver Lake
    Los Angeles, CA
    (323) 666-6116
    Hours: Mon-Thu: 6pm-10:30pm; Fri: 6pm-2am; Sat: 11am-3pm, 6pm-2am; Sun: 11am - 3pm

    Chef Vartan Abgaryan is taking traditional Mediterranean dishes and upping the ante with funky flavors and technique, keeping one foot in the old and one in the new world, all dishes are shareable, so, take a group and settle into this neighborhood gem.

  • Barbecued Octopus, Pickled Mustard Seeds, Watermelon Radish, Grapes, Red Onion, and Herbs
  • Duck Fat Parsnips, Fall Herbs and Spices, Crème Fraîche-Date Purée

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    Connie and Ted's

    8171 Santa Monica Boulevard
    West Hollywood
    Los Angeles, CA
    (323) 848-2722
    Hours: Mon-Tue: 5p-11pm; Wed-Sun: 11:30am-11pm

    It’s all seafood all the time at 2004 StarChefs.com Rising Star Chef Michael Cimarusti's Connie and Ted’s, a casual eatery that’s sating Angelenos with simple, expertly executed dishes that draw on the best of what the Pacific has to offer.

  • Poached Oyster Stew with Housemade Oyster Crackers
  • Ed's Portuguese Fish Stew: Hake, Manila Clams, Mussels, and Linguiça

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    Cooks County

    8009 Beverly Boulevard
    West Hollywood
    Los Angeles, CA
    (323) 653-8009
    Hours: Mon-Thu: 11:30am-2:30pm, 6pm-11pm; Fri: 11:30am-2:30pm, 6pm-12am; Sat: 10am-3pm, 6pm-12am; Sun: 10am-3pm, 6pm-10pm

    Roxana Jullapat and Daniel Mattern, the power pair behind Cooks County are serving California rustic, showcasing the best and most fresh of the season at their casual Beverly Hills eatery.

  • Grilled Goat Merguez, French Lentils, Fried Nettles, and Harissa
  • Seared Scallops, Celery Root Puree, English Peas, and Meyer Lemon

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    317 South Broadway
    Grand Central Market
    Los Angeles, CA
    (310) 689-6797
    Hours: Mon-Sun: 8am-4pm

    Behind a black marble counter in Grand Central Market, 2014 StarChefs.com Rising Star Concept Chef Alvin Cailan is serving technique- and ingredient-driven, French fashioned egg sandwiches that will have you eating breakfast three times a day.

  • The Fairfax: Soft Scrambled Eggs, Caramelized Onions, Cheddar Cheese, Sriracha Mayonnaise, and Portuguese Sweet Bun
  • The Slut: Coddled Egg, Potato Purée, Chives, and Grey Salt

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    Father's Office

    1018 Montana Avenue
    Helms Bakery District
    Los Angeles, CA 90403
    (310) 736-2224
    Hours: Mon-Wed: 11:30am-10pm; Thu-Sat: 11:30am-10:30pm; Sun: 11:30am-10:00pm

    Located in the historic Helms Bakery District, Father’s Office is a superlative gastropub with great globally-inspired comfort food, a stellar craft beer selection, and a fabulous burger.

  • Antebellum Grit Cake, Fried Duck Egg, Chanterelles, Duck Giblet Gravy, and Wild Arugula
  • Niman Ranch Pork Rib Eye, Vietnamese-style Caramel, Daikon Greens, and Chanterelles
  • FIG

    101 Wilshire Boulevard
    Santa Monica
    Los Angeles, CA
    (310) 319-3111
    Hours: Sun-Mon: 7am-2pm; Tue-Sat: 7am-2pm, 5pm-10pm

    2010 StarChefs.com Rising Star Chef Ray Garcia’s FIG transcends the hotel that houses it, attracting and delighting both locals and guests of The Fairmont Miramar Hotel with ingredient-driven dishes drawing from the rooftop gardens and an ethos that emphasizes sustainability.

  • Braised Rabbit Melt
  • Mary's Organic Chicken, Wheat Berries, Rainbow Beets, Fresh Turmeric Roots, Romesco, Carrot Mustard-Cream, and Apricot Mostarda

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    Fishing with Dynamite

    1148 Manhattan Avenue
    Manhattan Beach
    Los Angeles, CA 90266
    (310) 893-6299
    Hours: Sun-Wed: 11:30am-10pm; Thu-Sat: 11:30am-10:30pm

    2006 StarChefs.com Rising Star Chef David Lefevre is taking over Manhattan Beach one restaurant at a time, and his latest, this brightly lit and light blue oyster bar and seafood establishment has a fun, fresh vibe offering the best of what the Pacific has to offer.

  • Umi to Daiki "Sea to Land": Koshihikari Rice, Maine Lobster, Blue Crab, Wagyu Beef, Dashi, and Shiso
  • Miso Cod, Japanese Eggplant, Adzuki Beans, Daikon, Pickled Ginger, and Thai Basil

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    11334 Moorpark Street
    Studio City
    Los Angeles, CA
    (818) 924-2323
    Hours: Mon-Wed: 6pm-10pm; Thu-Sat: 6pm-11pm; Sun: 11am-3pm, 6pm-10pm

    At Girasol in Burbank, Chef C.J. Jacobson is serving elegant, rustic California cuisine with creative flourishes and locally foraged ingredients.

  • Rabbit Tabacco Roasted Turnip, Black Truffles, Trumpet Mushrooms, and Squid Ink Sauce
  • Forest Floor Roasted Pears, Burrata, Crispy Lentils, and Basil

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    Gjelina Take Away

    1427 Abbot Kinney Boulevard
    Venice Beach
    Los Angeles, CA
    (310) 392-7575
    Hours: Sun-Wed: 7am-10pm; Thu-Sat: 7am-11pm

    Self taught 2014 StarChefs.com Rising Star Artisan Nicole Rucker is leading the Southern creep to the West Coast at Gjelina Take Away in Venice Beach with a focus on alternative grains, pastries, and championship pie.

  • Pork and Peas Pie
  • Buckwheat Coconut Pecan Tart with Chocolate Ganache, Pomegranate Molasses, Pomegranate Seeds, and Torched Meringue

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    The Gorbals

    501 S Spring Street
    Los Angeles, CA
    (213) 488-3408
    Hours: Mon-Sat: 6pm-12am

    Inside an old hotel in Downtown L.A., Ilan Hall is cooking idiosyncratic small plates with cocktails to match. The Gorbals is little bit country and little rock and roll, with world beats.

  • Nueske's Bacon-wrapped Matzoh Balls
  • Báhn Mì Poutine, Thrice-cooked Fries, and Hoisin Gravy

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    Guerrilla Tacos

    Culver City
    Los Angeles,
    (818) 640-3033
    Hours: Wed: 10am-2pm, 5pm-8pm; Fri: 8am-2pm; Sat-Sun: 9am-1pm

    Out of his truck on the streets of L.A., Wes Avila is using his culinary training to make tacos worthy of white tablecloths, using unexpected and high-end ingredients like uni and romanesco, making Guerilla Tacos the place to hunt down for tacos in L.A.

  • Santa Barbara Special: Stone Crab and Uni Tostada, Pickled Pineapple, Kaffir Lime, Ginger, Chives, Olive Oil, and Habaneros
  • Beef Tongue Taco: Romanesco, Pickled Onions, Árbol Chiles, Cilantro, Burnt Tomato, Charred Chile Purée, Lime, Garlic, and White Vinegar

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    8432 West 3rd Street
    Beverly Hills
    Los Angeles, CA
    (323) 782-1778
    Hours: Mon-Thu: 6pm-11pm; Fri-Sat: 6pm-11:30pm; Sun: 5pm-10pm

    Chef Vic Casanova’s passion for Mediterranean cuisine is evident on every plate at Gusto, where he uses technique to pack flavor into his thoughtful, sumptuous dishes at this cozy, classic Italian restaurant.

  • Grilled Asparagus, Black Truffle Fonduta, and Fried Egg
  • Black Spaghetti, Black Olives, Capers, Tomato, and Chile

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    11043 Santa Monica Boulevard
    Little Osaka
    Los Angeles, CA
    (310) 479-7636
    Hours: Mon-Thu: 11:30am-2:30pm, 5:30pm-10pm; Fri: 11:30am-2:30pm, 5:30pm-10:30pm; Sat: 5:30pm-10:30pm

    From a strip mall off Santa Monica Boulevard, Yoya Takahashi and Wonny Lee are taking their guests on unforgettable odysseys through Japan and Korea, exploring Asian heritage, history, and cuisine through a modern lens.

  • Hassun Mori: Steamed Koubako Gani, Grilled Ankimo, Uni Uragoshi Tofu, Grilled Renkodai, Buri Sashimi, Pickled Gobo Root, Chrysanthemum, Sesame, and Sanma Tataki
  • Big Eye Tuna and Squid Ink Nori Vinaigrette

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    Hart and the Hunter

    7950 Melrose Avenue
    West Hollywood
    Los Angeles, CA
    (323) 424-3055
    Hours: Tue-Sat: 7:30am-3pm, 5pm-10:30pm

    Brian Dunsmoor and Kris Tominaga are bringing Southern swagger and flavor to Melrose at this hipster cafeteria in the Pali Hotel with down-home breakfast, lunch and dinner.

  • Barbequed East Coast Oysters, Chile-Garlic Butter, and Bread Crumbs
  • NOLA-Style Boil: Shrimp, Blue Crab, Corn, Smoked Sausage, and Potato

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    Hinoki & The Bird

    10 Century Drive
    Century City
    Los Angeles, CA 90067
    (310) 552-1200
    Hours: Tue-Thu: 11:30am-2:30pm, 6pm-10pm; Fri: 11:30am-2:30pm, 5:30pm-10pm; Sat: 5:30pm-10pm

    2004 StarChefs.com Rising Star David Myer and 2010 Rising Star Executive Chef Kuniko Yagi are pushing fine dining boundaries at Hinoki and the Bird with obsessive attention to detail, technique, and an originality (all characteristic of a Myer’s restaurant) that makes for subtle, thoughtful, creative Japanese-inspired California cuisine.

  • Seared Scallops, Butternut- Pancetta Risotto, Fava Tendrils, Anchovy Butter
  • Hinoki Scented Black Cod, Sweet Potato, Pistachio`

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    8360 Melrose Avenue
    Beverly Grove
    Los Angeles, CA
    (323) 651-5866
    Hours: Sun-Thu: 6pm-11pm; Fri-Sat: 6pm-12am

    At 2010 StarChefs.com Rising Star Chef Michael Voltaggio’s Ink, 2014 StarChefs.com Rising Star Chef Cole Dickinson is messing with diners’ heads, playing on the familiar and punching it up with the unexpected; and Gabriella Mlynarczyk’s cocktails stand up to the imagination on the plates.

  • Mediterranean Octopus, Kelp Pasta, and Fennel Salad
  • Amaranth, Fried Egg, Goat Butter, and Chicken Crackling

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    The Jonathan Club

    545 South Figueroa Street
    Los Angeles, CA
    (213) 624-0881

    The Jonathan Club is a members-only social club operating since 1905 with refined dining, white-glove service, and an elegant, classic club atmosphere and menu in Downtown L.A.

  • Zucca- Butternut Squash, Caramelized Onions, Bacon, Rosemary Oil
  • Sauteed Branzino, Bouillabaisse Risotto , Rouille

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    Lindy & Grundy

    801 North Fairfax Avenue
    Beverly Grove
    Los Angeles, CA
    (323) 951-0804
    Hours: Tue-Sat: 11am-7:30pm; Sun: 11am-5pm

    Erika Nakamura and Amelia Posada are the 2014 StarChefs.com Rising Star Artisans behind Lindy and Grundy, the destination butcher shop on North Fairfax where you’ll find everything from grass-fed chuck to pork rilletes—all sustainably and ethically sourced.

  • Pork Rilletes
  • Mortadella

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    Littlefork Restaurant and Bar/Dirty Laundry

    1600 Wilcox Avenue
    Los Angeles, CA
    (323) 465-3675
    Hours: Mon-Thu, Sun: 5pm-10pm; Fri-Sat: 5pm-12am; Sat-Sun: 11am-3pm

    Tucked away off Sunset Boulevard, is casual eatery and bar LittleFork of the expanding 2006 StarChefs.com Rising Star Chef Jason Travi’s empire. Here, coastal New England-rustic meets L.A.-chic in atmosphere and on the menu, with craft cocktails to match by Dino Balocchi.

  • Chicagoan: Rittenhouse Rye, Cynar, Punt e Mes, Letherbee's Malört, Angostura Bitters, and Salt
  • Lost Weekend No. 2: Rye, Dry Vermouth, Raspberry Syrup, Grains of Paradise Tincture, and Orange Bitters

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    129 North La Cienega Boulevard
    Beverly Hills
    Los Angeles, CA
    (310) 659-9639
    Hours: Mon-Fri: 12pm-2pm, 6pm-10pm; Sat-Sun: 6pm-10pm

    The first sushi bar from world-renowned Chef Nobu Matsuhisa offers traditional Japanese dishes with twists that have kept diners coming back for more than 25 years, including for the imaginative desserts by 2014 StarChefs.com Rising Star Pastry Chef Kei Hasegawa.

  • The Omakase Menu: the Essence of Chef Nobu Matsuhisa's Cuisine
  • Green Tea Shaved Ice, Sweet Red Beans, Vanilla Ice Cream, Shiratama-Mochi, and Green Tea Syrup

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    MB Post

    1142 Manhattan Avenue
    Manhattan Beach
    Los Angeles, CA 90266
    (310) 545-5405
    Hours: Mon-Wed: 5pm-10pm; Thu: 5pm-10:30pm; Fri: 11:30am-10:30pm; Sat-Sun: 10am-10:30pm

    2006 StarChefs.com Rising Star David Lefevre was a chef pioneer in Manhattan Beach when he opened MB Post in 2010, where the menu reads like a bastion of comfort food, but 2014 Rising Star Chef Atsushi Takatsuki—under the direction of Lefevre—executes the seemingly simplest of dishes with depth and precision, from great house-cured meats to belly satisfying biscuits and pretzels.

  • Pig Tail and Shrimp Dumplings, Black Sesame Paste, Ruby Streaks, and Chile Oil
  • Pomegranate Couscous, Lavender Feta, Marcona Almonds,Grapefruit and Mint

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    3455 Overland Avenue
    Los Angeles, CA
    (310) 836-6252
    Hours: Tues-Sat: 6pm-9pm

    n/naka is the innovative, American version of a classic Japanese kaiseki restaurant on an unassuming corner in Culver City, where 2014 StarChefs.com Rising Star Chef Niki Nakayama presents bold, exquisite, celebratory degustation menus.

  • Shiizakana “The dish not bound by tradition”: Spaghettini, Abalone Liver Sauce, Sliced Monterey Abalone, Burgundy Truffles, and Pickled Cod Roe
  • Diver Scallop, Uni, Strawberry, Yuzu Vinegar, and Nori

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    On Rodeo Bistro & Lounge at the Luxe Hotel

    360 North Rodeo Drive
    Beverly Hills
    Los Angeles, CA 90210
    (310) 691-7612
    Hours: Mon-Sun: 6:30am-4pm, 5pm-10pm

    Executive Chef David Padilla offers a seasonal Californian menu highlighting local, organic ingredients at On Rodeo Bistro and Lounge located inside the Luxe Hotel Rodeo Drive on the strip—this restaurant is a great palce for breakfast and for people watching.

  • Eggs on Potatoes: Two Sunny-side Up Eggs, Potatoes, Onions, Mushrooms, Bell Peppers, Tomatoes, and Herbs
  • Cured Salmon, Baby Radishes, Cucumber, Red Shiso, Orange Segments, and Citrus Vinaigrette

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    Patina Restaurant Group

    1150 South Olive Street
    Los Angeles, CA
    (213) 814-3028

    In the iconic Walt Disney Concert Hall in Downtown L.A., Patina is an elegant, art-deco space with master Chef Joaquim Splichal’s seasonal tasting menu, award-winning wine list, and avant-garde desserts by 2014 StarChefs.com Rising Star Pastry Chef Carlos Enriquez.

  • Blackforest Cake, Caramelia Namelaka, Kirsch Cherries, and Marscapone Gelato
  • Bombo: Empire Apple Bombolinis, Apple Cider Gastrique, Pickled Speckle Apples, and Green Apple Icicle

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    The Penthouse at The Huntley Hotel

    1111 2nd Street
    Santa Monica
    Los Angeles, CA
    (310) 394-5454
    Hours: Mon-Thu: 7am-3pm, 6pm-10pm; Fri: 7am-3pm, 6pm-11pm; Sat: 7am-2:30pm, 6pm-11pm; Sun: 7am-2:30pm, 6pm-10pm

    The Penthouse in the Huntley Hotel is a restaurant and lounge with some of the most dramatic and beautiful views on the coast, and the menu from Chef Seth Greenberg and Pastry Chef Andrea Shirey is as modern and sophisticated as the clientele at this uber hip American fine dining hot spot.

  • Braised Lamb, Ricotta Dumplings, Pea Tendrils, and Salsa Verde
  • Chocolate and Peanut Butter Truffle, Toasted Marshmallow Ice Cream, and Toffee Pretzels

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    Plan Check Kitchen + Bar

    1800 Sawtelle Boulevard
    Little Osaka
    Los Angeles, CA
    (310) 288-6500
    Hours: Sun-Wed: 11:30am-10pm; Thurs: 11:30am-11pm; Fri-Sat: 11:30am-12am

    Ernesto Uchimura has conceived, designed, and composed one of the great burgers at his casual American comfort food kitchen and bar, and it’s available at Plan Check locations throughout L.A., so you’re never far from the perfect burger bite, a beer, and a shot of whiskey—rest easy.

  • Plan Check Burger: Americanized Dashi Cheese, Ketchup Leather, Schmaltz Onions, Mixed Pickles, and Crunch Bun
  • Smokey Fried Chicken: Jidori Chicken, Smoked Milk Gravy, Yam Preserves, and Spicy Pickled Okra

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    Proof Bakery

    3156 Glendale Boulevard
    Echo Park
    Los Angeles, CA
    (323) 664-8633
    Hours: Tue-Sun: 8am-4pm

    This bustling bakery is the Echo Park go-to for java and pastries, and Na Young Ma is the woman behind the cabinets lined with house teas, seasonal cakes, and sweets—look for creative flavor-twists on classics, like the black sesame financier.

  • Kumquat Cheesecake: Fromage Blanc, Marscapone, and Almond

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    5955 Melrose Avenue
    Los Angeles, CA 90038
    (323) 460-4170
    Hours: Mon-Thu: 6pm-10pm; Fri: 12pm-2pm, 6pm-10pm; Sat: 5:30pm-10pm; Sun: 5:30pm-9pm

    Ten years on, 2004 StarChefs.com Rising Star Chef Michael Cimarusti’s Providence remains the definition of fine dining in L.A., where diners feast on his playful, imaginative, intricate seafood compositions followed by 2014 Rising Star Pastry Chef David Rodriguez’s avant-garde desserts at this last bastion of L.A. fine dining. 

  • Dulce Creméux, Spiced Genoise, Candied Sunchoke, Fried Sunchoke, Sunchoke Ice Cream, and Cocoa Nibs
  • Crème Fraîche, Sable Breton Financier, Chestnut Jam, and Vanilla Mousse

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    2214 West Magnolia Boulevard, Unit A
    Los Angeles, CA
    (818) 843-1035
    Hours: Tue-Thu, Sat: 11am-9pm; Fri: 11am-10pm

    Quenelle, the ice cream parlor of former fine-dining chef, John Park, is the shop you wish were in your neighborhood, with surprising, imaginative, downright delicious flavors—only just round the corner if you live in Burbank.

  • Kecap Manis Ice Cream, Mushroom Caramel Ice Cream, and Candied Rice Crispies
  • Apple Pie Ice Cream, Brown Butter-White Chocolate Shell, and Graham Cracker Streusel

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    Ray's and Stark Bar

    5905 Wilshire Boulevard
    Los Angeles, CA
    (323) 857-6180
    Hours: Mon-Tue, Thu-Fri: 12pm-10pm; Sat-Sun: 11:30am-10pm

    The kitchen picks ingredients direct from the outdoor garden to create funky unexpected dishes packed with flavor and texture for diners in the courtyard and art deco dining room inside in the L.A. County Museum of Art.

  • Squid Ink Bucatini, Mint, Calabrian Chile, Squid, and Bottarga
  • Octopus, Burrata, Broccoli di Cicco, Sunflower Seeds, and Salsa Calabrese

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    Red Hill

    1325 Echo Park Avenue
    Echo Park
    Los Angeles, CA
    (213) 482-0886
    Hours: Sun-Thu: 9am-2:30pm, 6pm-10pm; Fri-Sat: 9am-2:30pm, 6pm-11pm

    Step into this mahogany anchored restaurant and find Chef Trevor Rocco busy in the open kitchen churning ice cream, rolling soft pillow-y ricotta gnocchi, or baking bread at this 75-seat California meets Italy gem.

  • Ricotta Gnocchi, Taleggio Fondita, Broccoli Rabe, Pine Nuts, and Jalapeño
  • Lardo, Warm Beignets, and Pickled Mustard Seed

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    Red Medicine

    8400 Wilshire Boulevard
    Beverly Hills
    Los Angeles, CA
    (323) 651-5500
    Hours: Mon-Sun: 6pm-2am

    If food is art then 2010 StarChefs.com Rising Star Jordan Kahn could be Jackson Pollock, and at his late night, intimate Red Medicine the innovative, foraged, architectural dishes are masterpieces, accentuated by cocktails from Bartender Adam Nystrom.

  • Botanical Tart Punch: Hibiscus Powder, Benedictine, and Old Tom Gin
  • Cookie Spices Sour: Housemade Orgeat, Angostura Bitters, and Almond Foam

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    624 South La Brea Avenue
    Hancock Park
    Los Angeles, CA
    (310) 362-6115
    Hours: Mon-Wed: 8am-3pm, 6pm-10pm; Thu-Sat: 8am-3pm, 6pm-11pm

    At 2010 StarChefs.com Rising Star Chef Walter Manzke’s République, 2014 Rising Star Sommelier Taylor Parsons wants you to have the same joyous, invigorating experience with wine that he has when pairing with Manzke’s extensive, French-technique packed bistro menu in the ethereal old-Campanile space.

  • Mary's Organic Rotisserie Chicken, Red Russian Kale, and Roasted Fingerling Potatoes
  • Grass-Fed Beef Tartare, Tarragon Aioli, Pickled Red Onion, and Potato Chips

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    Rustic Canyon Wine Bar

    1119 Wilshire Boulevard
    Santa Monica
    Los Angeles, CA 90401
    (310) 393-7050

    2009 StarChefs.com Rising Star and Michelin-star Chef Jeremy Fox is at the helm of this outside-the-box eatery where dishes are funky, fun, earthy, homey, and down right delicious, drawing on global influences and sustainably sourced ingredients.  

  • Springbook Farms Raclette on Toast, Gribenes, Onion, Sunny Egg, Rich Chicken Broth with Cru Beaujolais, Domaine De la Bonne Tonne, Les Charmes, Morgon, Burgundy, France, 2011
  • Monterey Squid a la Plancha, Tahitian Squash, and Pepitas Romesco with Chenin Blanc, Habit, Jurassic Park Vineyard, Santa Ynez Valley, CA, 2012

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    720 North Virgil Avenue #4
    Echo Park
    Los Angeles, CA
    (323) 284-8147
    Hours: Mon-Fri: 6:30am-4pm; Sat-Sun: 8am-4pm

    2014 StarChefs.com Rising Star Community Chef Jessica Koslow is serving fresh feel good food with a gluten and allergy free focus, invigorating, comforting, and nourishing her neighborhood in Echo Park from her artisanal café.

  • California Aurora: Apertivo, Fresh Sage, Wildflower Honey, California Poppy Oil, and California Lager
  • Khabbouleh: Kale, Brown Rice, Cauliflower, Cucumber, Currants, Aleppo, Sumac, Scallion, and Pomegranate

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    Starry Kitchen

    943 North Broadway Street
    Los Angeles, CA
    (213) 814-1123
    Hours: Wed-Sat: 5pm-9:30pm

    The orange and green neon sign may say Grand Star Jazz Club, but when you enter Starry Kitchen, you’ll hear guilty-pleasure pop music blasting while eating spicy, addictive Southeast Asian soul food.

  • Singaporean Chili Crab and Buttermilk Beignets
  • Vietnamese Minced-beef-tacular with Fried Egg-liciousness

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    Stella Barra Pizzeria /M Street Kitchen

    2000 Main Street
    Santa Monica
    Los Angeles, CA
    (310) 396-9250
    Hours: Mon-Thu: 5pm-12am; Fri: 11am-1am; Sat: 10am-1am; Sun: 10am-11pm

    2014 StarChefs.com Rising Star Restaurateur Jeff Mahin’s pizzerias are unlike any others. He uses bread dough to create a shatteringly crisp crust with soft, bubbly centers that are well worth the 10 minutes they take to cook.(Also, you can have a cocktail or an espresso or a sandwich or a pastry or some fresh pasta while the dough rises and darkens.)

  • White Pizza: Bloomsdale Spinach, Purple Kale, Young Pecorino, Roasted Garlic, Cracked Black Peppercorns, and Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Shaved Mushroom White Pizza: Gruyère, Melted Onions, Black Truffle, Torn Parsley, Fried Rosemary, and Dried Thyme

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    The Strand House

    117 Manhattan Beach Boulevard
    Manhattan Beach
    Los Angeles, CA
    (310) 545-7470
    Hours: Mon: 4:30pm-11:30pm; Tue-Fri: 11:30am-12am; Sat: 10am-1am; Sun: 10am-11:30pm

    For a fine dining experience overlooking the rolling waves of Manhattan Beach head to The Strand House, where the refinement and simplicity of Chef Greg Hozinsky’s Italian influenced, seasonal menu pairs perfectly with a beach sunset.

  • Oxtail Tortelli "En Brodo," Mirepoix Confit, Pecorino Boschetto, and Chervil
  • Day-boat Scallops, Sunchoke, Stinging Nettles, Fava Beans, and Green Garlic Nage

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    Sugarbird Sweets and Tea

    2301 East 7th Street c/o B1 Bakery
    Los Angeles, CA
    (323) 485-0564
    Hours: Thu: 4pm-8pm; Sun: 9am-2pm

    Out of a commissary in Downtown L.A., Kei Okumura is drawing on her travels to create dainty, delicate, and delicious French-Japanese pastry delights which are sold at markets throughout L.A.

  • Scone Slider: Sundried Tomato and Rosemary Scone, Feta, Balsamic, and White Truffle
  • Green Tea Bread, Lemon Cream Cheese, Herbed Cucumber, and Black Tobiko Sandwich

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    Bar Covell

    4628 Hollywood Boulevard
    Los Feliz
    Los Angeles, CA
    (323) 660-4400
    Hours: Sun-Thu: 5pm-12am; Fri-Sat: 5pm-2am

    Wine Director Matthew Kaner will tell you a story rather than present you with a dense list at Bar Covell in order to figure out your perfect pairing for the evening, and with 150 rotating wines in his rolodex-like mind, it’s like spinning a wine-wheel of fortune—and you always win.

  • Spicy Mac and Cheese with Trocken Nake Riesling, Emrich-Schonleber, Menzinger Fruhlingsplatzchen, Germany, 2009
  • Croque Monsieur with Red Burgundy Table Wine, SCE Domaine Ramonet, Chassagne Montrachet, France, 2009

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    8752 Sunset Boulevard
    Sunset Strip
    Los Angeles, CA
    (424) 239-1630
    Hours: Mon: 5pm-1am; Tue-Wed: 5pm-1:30am; Thu-Fri: 5pm-2am; Sat: 10am-2am; Sun: 10am-12am

    On Sunset Boulevard, Eveleigh is the local spot where the glamorous go to sip craft cocktails on the sprawling back deck, and dine on New American fare—but 2014 Starchefs.com Rising Star Community Bartender Kiowa Bryan’s killer cocktails are the main attraction.

  • Bols On Parade: Bols Genever, Fino Sherry, Lemon Juice, House-made Lavender-Pistachio Orgeat, Angostura Bitters, and Egg White
  • Little Mexico: Repasado Tequila, Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth, Cynar, and Miracle Mile Chocolate Chile Bitters

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    G & B Coffee

    324 South Hill Street #C19
    Los Angeles, CA 90013
    (312) 555-5555
    Hours: Mon-Sun: 7am-6pm

    Coffee sommeliers Charles Babinski and Kyle Glanville are sourcing the finest ingredients to make your perfect cup, whether its refreshing sparkling tea with hops or cappuccino with almond-macadamia milk, their dedication to craft is keeping Angelinos caffeinated and craving G&B at Grand Central Market.  

  • Sparkling Tea with Hops
  • Business and Pleasure: Shaken Almond-Macadamia Cappuccino

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    8422 West 3rd Street
    Beverly Hills
    Los Angeles, CA
    (323) 677-2470
    Hours: Mon: 6pm-11pm; Tue-Fri: 11am-3pm, 6pm-11pm; Sat: 10am-3pm, 6pm-11pm; Sun: 10am-3pm, 6pm-10pm

    Goldie’s is a busy and narrow bar humming with the energy of L.A. that offers seasonal, local fare, but the star of the show are cocktails by bartender Brittini Rae Peterson.

  • Battery Park: 100 Proof Rye, Punt e Mes, Maple, Peach Bitters, Peychaud’s Ice
  • California Aurora: Aperol, Fresh Sage, Wildflower Honey, California Poppy Oil, and California Lager

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    Handsome Coffee Roasters

    582 Mateo Street
    Arts District
    Los Angeles, CA
    (213) 621-4194
    Hours: Mon-Fri: 7am-6pm; Sat-Sun: 8am-6pm

    Handsome Coffee Roasters is L.A.’s most dynamic coffee operation, and it’s led by 2014 StarChefs.com Rising Star Artisan and Director of Coffee Charlie Habegger who operates under the belief that Handsome Coffee Roasters is L.A.’s most dynamic coffee operation, and it’s led by 2014 StarChefs.com Rising Star Artisan and Director of Coffee Charlie Habegger who operates under the belief that coffee should be simple, accessible, and amazing.

  • Bayreuth Brewed Coffee

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    Behind 819 South Flower Street
    Los Angeles, CA
    (213) 688-0888
    Hours: Mon-Sun: 8pm-2pm

    From the back alley of the O Hotel, a neon sign shines HoneyCut; descend the stairs and start off by sidling into a black leather booth to sip 2014 StarChefs.com Rising Star Bartender Devon Tarby's craft cocktails, and when you’re done being civilized, hop next door to the disco room for draught cocktails and shots and dance the night away.

  • Four to the Floor: Campo de Encanto Pisco, Giffard Pamplemousse, Verjus Blanc, Dolin Blanc Vermouth
  • The Ensign: Old Weller Antique 107 Proof Straight Bourbon Whiskey, Cynar, Ginger-Birch Syrup, Honey syrup, Lime Juice, and Black Market Hefeweizen

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    La Descarga

    1159 North Western Avenue
    los Angeles, CA
    (323) 466-1324
    Hours: Tue-Sat: 8pm-2am

    A taco stand gives way to a Cuban cocktail haven, just step through the back of a closet, and tread down a spiral staircase and into the world of burlesque, rum, and cigars for a night to remember at La Descarga.

  • Jalisco Prairie Fire: Antiguo Tequila Reposado, Trader Vic's Macadamia Nut Liqueur, Lime Juice, Simple Syrup, and Hickory Smoke
  • Black Magic Woman: Redbreast Irish Whiskey, Coffee Liqueur, Lime and Pineapple Juices, Averna Amaro, Bittermen's Mole Bitters, and Peat Smoke

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    The Varnish

    118 East 6th Street
    Los Angeles, CA
    (213) 622-9999
    Hours: Mon-Sun: 7pm-2am

    In the back of Cole’s in downtown, 2010 StarChefs.com Rising Star Mixologist Eric Alperin’s revered L.A. cocktail temple The Varnish has polished hard wood booths, tall counters, and dapper servers and bartenders providing an old school saloon atmosphere in which to drink superlative craft cocktails.

  • Warm Milk Punch: Rum, Cognac, House-made Oleo-Saccharum, and Milk
  • Cold Santa Ana Punch: Cognac, Medium Sherry, Lemon, House-made Orgeat, and Nutmeg

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    The Fairmont Miramar Hotel

    101 Wilshire Boulevard
    Santa Monica
    Los Angeles, CA
    (310) 576-7777

    Right on the beach with a cascading waterfall and potted foliage throughout, the spectacular Fairmont Miramont Hotel has been accommodating guests with an opulent experience for over a century, with FIG and 2010 StarChefs.com Rising Star Chef Ray Garcia being an integral part of the opulence, using the freshest ingredients harvested from 8 garden beds on the roof.

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    Loews Hollywood Hotel

    1755 North Highland Avenue
    Los Angeles, CA
    (323) 856-1200

    At the foot of the Hollywood hills, a red carpet leads to the Loews Hollywood Hotel, a stone’s throw from the Walk of Fame and Dolby Theatre, complete with an Exhale spa outpost where guests can enjoy spa treatments or soak up the sun by the large outdoor pool.

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    Luxe Rodeo Drive

    360 North Rodeo Drive
    Beverly Hills
    Los Angeles, CA
    (310) 273-0300

    The Luxe Rodeo Drive is sheer, classic elegance on the strip where the Beverly Hills’ elite saunter, with a garden-lounge-bar that provides a respite from shopping at neighboring Gucci and Prada, and just 88 rooms making for an intimate experience at this boutique hotel.

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    Hotel Shangri-La

    1301 Ocean Avenue
    Santa Monica
    Los Angeles, CA
    (310) 394-2791

    With stunning vistas onto the Pacific, the ever-sleek Shangri La Santa Monica is all classic black and white with red flourishes which accent the art deco vibe that carries through to the outdoor spa, the rooftop destination bar Suite 700, and the European inflected and seafood focused restaurant The Dining Room.

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    SLS Hotel

    465 South La Cienega Boulevard
    Beverly Hills
    Los Angeles, CA
    (310) 247-0400

    Theatrically designed with fun accents like billiard tables, SLS is the definition of Modern Hollywood luxury located in the heart of Beverly Hills, and guests are spoiled for choice with immediate access to some of L.A.’s best dining: The Bazaar and Saam and Tres by Jose Andres are just downstairs.

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    Sofitel LA

    8555 Beverly Boulevard
    Los Angeles, CA
    (310) 278-5444

    Overlooking the rolling Hollywood hills, the Sofitel Los Angeles is a taste of the City of Lights in the City of Angels, with the added luxury of a state of the art SoFit fitness center, outdoor heated pool, modern French-Mediterranean Estérel restaurant, and live music at bar Riviera 31.

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    Hotel Viceroy

    1819 Ocean Avenue
    Santa Monica
    Los Angeles, CA
    (310) 260-7500

    Just off the beach in Santa Monica, by the pier, is the fashionable and sophisticated Viceroy Santa Monica, complete with cabanas for pool lounging, Cast restaurant for dining on global cuisine, and Cameo bar letting you hair down and sipping on signature cocktails.

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    The Bazaar by José Andrés

    465 South La Cienega Boulevard
    Los Angeles, CA 90048
    (310) 246-5555
    Hours: Sun-Mon: 5:30pm-10:30pm

    Meant to feel like an outdoor bazaar in Spain, The Bazaar by José Andrés is an eclectic, fun to explore space. Each room has a different theme that influences the design and the menu: Roja is modern, Bianca is traditional, and then there’s a patisserie and a bar. Menu items are executed in true José Andrés fashion so that each dish, whether traditional or modern, has some whimsy. 

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    7450 Beverly Boulavard
    Los Angeles, CA. 90036
    ( 323) 930 9744
    Hours: Sun-Thu: 8am-10pm; Fri-Sat: 8am-11pm

    BLD, which stands for “Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner,” is a warm and lively neighborhood spot full of locals, regulars, and chefs. Every menu item is made with heart and soul and executed at the highest level. Comforting BLD reminds us that simple is almost awlays better.

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    1014 Wilshire Boulevard
    Santa Monica, CA. 90401
    (310) 451-2311
    Hours: Mon-Fri: 8am-8pm; Sat-Sun: 8am-5pm

    Huckleberry is that ideal neighborhood spot everyone wishes they had around the corner. It's comfortable, cozy, and welcoming, due largely to the husband-and-wife duo who run the bakery, 2010 Rising Star Restaurateurs Josh Loeb and Zoe Nathan. Nathan, who also heads up the menu at Huckleberry, included lots of familiar elements to make her dream bakery feel like home: her mother did the art on the walls and the bud vases are just like the ones she grew up with. And it worked—both sets of parents come to the bakery daily and see it as a place to congregate with friends and family. From the warm breakfast dishes to the impeccable baked goods, the food is as wonderful and comforting as the space and keeps customers coming back for more.

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    The Hungry Cat

    1535 North Vine Street
    Los Angeles, CA 90082
    (323) 462-2155
    Hours: Mon-Wed: 12pm-10pm; Thu-Fri: 12pm-11pm; Sat: 11am-11pm; Sun: 11am-10pm

    At The Hungry Cat in Hollywood, cocktails are muddled and mixed with fresh, organic, local produce to create specialty cocktails with oddball flavor combinations frequently inspired by people—both patrons and movie characters alike. 

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    Kogi BBQ

    Click on website for locations
    Los Angeles, CA
    (323) 315-0253

    Although Kogi BBQ Truck is a Los Angeles phenomenon, its influence has been felt across the country. The brainchild of Le Bernadin-trained 2010 Rising Stars Community Chef Roy Choi, Kogi has captivated culinary imaginations, thanks largely in part to the successful application of social media tools like Twitter. The concept of serving Korean tacos out of a truck may not seem mind blowing now, but the effect has been far-reaching, both from a culinary and a community perspective. With four trucks that rove the city—Verde, Roja, Azul, and and Naranja—Kogi serves its urban street food to neighborhoods across L.A., from Hollywood to Orange County. And if you don’t want to hunt down a truck, Alibi Room has Kogi on the menu. Choi makes everything for Kogi from scratch and wants to change the paradigm of how people—especially urban youth—eat. Choi believes that Kogi can make a difference by having the food “speak to them on the same level their skateboards speak to them.”

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    8474 Melrose Avenue
    Los Angeles, CA 90069
    (323) 655-6277
    Hours: Mon:6pm-10pm; Tue-Thu: 12pm-10pm; Fri-Sat: 12pm-10:30pm; Sun: 5pm-10pm

    “Mi casa es su casa” seems to be the underlying philosophy of Lucques. Chef Suzanne Goin serves distinctive Mediterranean comfort food, often with a strong Spanish bent. Her dishes are simple and low-key but incontrovertibly delicious.

    Melisse Restaurant

    1104 Wilshire Boulevard
    Santa Monica, CA 90401
    (310) 395-0881
    Hours: Tue-Thu: 6pm-9:30pm; Fri-Sat: 6pm-10pm

    One of the only restaurants in L.A. to boast two Michelin stars, Chef Josiah Citrin’s acclaimed Melisse is a Santa Monica destination. The fine dining restaurant has a peaceful interior, chic décor, and white tablecloths for an environment that is elegant and upscale without being stuffy. Citrin Chef de Cuisine 2010 StarChefs.com Rising Star Chef Ken Takayama has been with Citrin for more than 10 years (he first showed up on CiItrin’s back door and was turned away three times before finally getting a chance in the kitchen). His dishes are elegant in presentation and flavor, as in Serrano-Wrapped Monkfish with Maitake Mushrooms, Celtuce, and Mustard Sabayon. Takayama is shy and soft-spoken, and his food is similarly delicate with sophisticated touches.

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    11648 West San Vicente Boulevard
    Los Angeles, CA 90049
    (310) 806-6464
    Hours: Sun-Thu: 8am-9:30pm; Fri-Sat: 8am-10:30pm

    Suzanne Goin’s Tavern is modeled after New York’s Balthazar to be a neighborhood bakery and restaurant that people come back to again and again. The space is large with a boulangerie in the front and restaurant in the back. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Tavern is a neighborhood restaurant that is packed day and night. The food is homey, nourishing, and well-executed.


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    Umami Burger

    850 South La Brea Avenue
    Los Angeles, CA 90036
    (323) 931-3000
    Hours: Sun-Thu: 11am-11pm; Fri-Sat: 11am-12am

    2010 Rising Star Concept Award Winner Adam Fleischman started out in wine and owned his own wine business before his entrepreneurial spirit led him to open Umami Burger, which now has locations throughout Califorina, Nevada, New York, and Florida. Inspired by umami—the concept of the fifth sense—Fleishman wanted to introduce the concept to people using common American foods that were already umami-rich, like burgers. He uses modern techniques and applications to get the burgers just right, like adding sodium nitrate to cheese to make the texture like that of American cheese and using C-Vap combi ovens to cook the burgers.

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