Fifty Best Los Angeles Restaurants
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  Cuisine: Latin  
  Location: Downtown  

BORDER GRILL            Mexican

Award winning restaurateur, cookbook author and Top Chef Masters star, Susan Feniger, has added some magic into modern Mexican cuisine at this upscale yet relaxed cantina. The Downtown LA office crowd congregates for quick lunch snacks such as Carne Asada Tacos or Poblano Manchego Tamales— a tasty combination of manchego cheese, poblano chile and tomatillo avocado salsa. During Happy Hour, a packed stylish bar serves up gourmet $3 Ceviche Tostaditas and Plantain Empanadas. Cocktails are like works of art. Sample the signature Border Margarita, a refreshing Cucumber & Elder Flower Margarita, or for something with a little more spice, the Margarita de Jalapeno. There is also an impressive list of Mexican beers, as well as fruity sangria.

Border Grill is best experienced at dinner, where pre-theater diners and Downtown dwellers savour the flavours of authentic Mexican fare, without the guilt. The menu is created with the belief that modern Mexican food should be healthy and light. traditional yet innovative.

For the Plato Especial, choose from Yucatan Pork— achiote pork roasted in banana leaves with caramelized onion, orange, cinnamon, toasted plantains and guacamole; or the Chorizo Crusted Ono with white bean and roasted jalapeno puree, sautéed spinach, chorizo salsa and wild mushroom ceviche. Border Grill is friendly, festive, colourful, with great Mexican food, too.

445 South Figueroa Street      (213) 486-5171

Border Grill


  Cuisine: French  
  Location: Downtown  

CHURCH & STATE     French Bistro

On an obscure corner of Industrial Street in Downtown LA, beneath a sign for “National Biscuit Company” is where you will find Church & State, a restaurant brimming with Old World character. Among the French bistro style setting of tightly packed tables, mismatched chairs, exposed pipes, high ceilings and windows is where diners can enjoy an intimate, casual dining experience.

Chef Tony Esnault demonstrates his expertise to French classics such as Escargots, Bouillabaisse, Steak Frites, Cassoulet, and Foie Gras Parfait spread on a crispy baguette. For some true indulgence, try the Roasted Bone Marrow and for dessert, a Pot de Crème.

The wine list of predominantly French Burgandies pairs well with the enticing menu. Church & State is a destination spot well worth travelling to. Ooo, la la.

1850 Industrial Street      (213) 405-1434

Church & State


  Cuisine: American, Eclectic  
  Location: Downtown  


This cute and cozy eatery is a favorite for all local gastronomes in the know. Chef Josef Centeno blends his diverse, ethnic heritage with his impressive experience, having worked in such prestigious restaurants as Daniel and La Cote Basque in New York, Charles Nob Hill and Aubergine in California.

The hard to define magical menu is inspired by modern and traditional French, Mexican, Japanese and Catalan dishes. Chef Centeno’s ingredient-driven creativeness conjures up inventive dishes such as Lamb Neck Hash with jidori egg and pickled mint onions, melt in your mouth Ricotta Fritters with saffron honey, Dashi marinaded Yellowtail, and a guilt ridden Crispy Pork Belly sandwich with garlic alioli. The crunchy, salty-sweet Caramelized Cauliflower with pine nuts, chili flakes & mint will create cauliflower converts everywhere.

Bustling and vibrant, the packed bar is filled with foodies taking advice from the friendly bartenders for the perfect libation to match their dishes. A remarkable selection of wines, beers, sakes and shochu. Begin with one of their selections of crisp Belgium Beers, or the lighter Bundaberg ginger beer. Be sure to save room for dessert with the creamiest, most luxurious rice pudding on the planet.

241 S San Pedro St.      (213) 626-5299

Lazy Ox Canteen


  Location: Downtown  

MO-CHICA        Peruvian

Chef Ricardo Zarate, formerly of Zuma, the acclaimed Japanese restaurant in London, brings his native Peruvian pulse to Downtown LA.

The tart and spicy fare of this modern/traditional Peruvian cuisine will stick to your ribs. Relish in specialty dishes such as Aji de Gallina- shredded organic chicken with bread sauce and walnuts, and a strong shot of Ceviche, made with white fish, seaweed, Peruvian sweet corn, and leche de tigre. Chicha morada, a juice made from Peru’s purple sweet corn is worth a try.

The eatery is booming during lunchtime with the local crowds. Don’t miss the once-a-month special evening tasting menu to experience true Peruvian gastronomic flavors and textures. Once you locate this hidden gem, treat yourself to a Pisco Sour, the traditional Peruvian cocktail.

514 W. 7th Street     (213) 622-3744



  Cuisine: Latin  
  Location: Downtown  


For seductive, sensual stimulation, there is no other restaurant that adds such spice to an evening than the downtown hotspot, Rivera. Celebrating the spirit of Latin culture, acclaimed Chef John Rivera Sedlar pushes culinary boundaries by creating an innovative pan-Latin experience, abundant with the fragrant aromas of sweet, spicy and earthy foods.

The menu may seem overwhelming at first, as there are four different rooms each representing the various roots of Latin cuisine. The “Conexiones” menu, connects historic Latin roots to the modern Californian table, offering dishes such as the Maize— an heirloom corn posole, foie gras, truffle, and oregano leaf. The “Playa Room” places a spin on Mexican dishes, such as the Cabeza de Oro— foie gras, lobster, scallop, truffle, jamon Iberico and caviar. South America is represented in the Samba Room, with hearty dishes like the Brazilian Feijoida and Peruvian quechua. And the Sangre Room, where it all began, emphasizes the traditional tastes of Spain, with a Gazpacho blanco to die for.

Rivera raises the appreciation of tequila to an art form. Aside from the wide range of premium and seasonal tequilas, there are even custom-made tequila armchairs. If tequila is not your drink, then sample one of mixologist Julian Cox’s inventive artisanal cocktails.

No meal is complete without taking a bite (or two) out of the Xochimilco— an ancho chile chocolate cake with avocado mousse and lime pepper sauce.

1050 S Flower St.       (213) 749-1460



  Cuisine: Asian  
  Location: Downtown  

WP24        Asian Fusion

High above the downtown skyscrapers in the Ritz-Carlton Hotel is home to one of the most dynamic additions to the LA Culinary scene, WP24. An ultra-modern, sexy and sophisticated dining room, surrounded by floor to ceiling glass windows showcasing spectacular panoramic views of the city. Here is where superstar chef Wolfgang Puck reflects on his travels to the Far East, as he enlivens our palates with a symphony of Asian flavors and ingredients.

The signature Asian small plates include Crispy Shrimp & Crab hand cut sushi rolls, Sichuan Chicken “Dan Dan” Dumplings with ground peanuts and chili oil, Baby Bao Buns with sautéed Duck Liver, and Thai Basil and Sweet Prawn Wontons. Chinese dishes make an appearance with a modern artisanal flair, such as Crispy Suckling Pig with black plum puree and wild flower-licorice honey, a 1000 year old traditional Chinese Hot Pot with Kobe Beef Cheek, and Roasted Duckling “Peking Style”. An adequate but elegant list of international and domestic wines, Asian beers, and sakes.

Between the conceptual cuisine, spectacular views and excellent service, WP24 is a sensational LA dining experience well deserved of praise.

900 W Olympic Blvd at the Ritz-Carlton, Los Angeles
(213) 743-8800



  Cuisine: German  
  Location: Downtown  


LA may have its fair share of 'dogs', but for the true sausage lover there is only one place to go to. Located in the downtown Historic Arts District is Wurstküche, the Belgium/German "Purveyor of exotic grilled sausages". Simple and clean, but with a unique gritty edge, living up to LA's quintessential relaxed, laid back vibe. The communal tables encourage a friendly community atmosphere, as foodies and wurst fanatics bite into the juiciest sausages in the city, gulped down with cold crisp beers.

The selection is overwhelming— with sausages for a variety of food types all served on a freshly baked roll. For the traditionalists, there is nothing better than the savoury grilled Bratwurst with mustard and chioice of two toppings. For vegetarians, the Mexican Chipotle will make fellow meat-eaters envious. For the gourmet, the apricot & ginger Chicken & Turkey sausage in a lamb casing is beyond sensational. And for those with daring exotic tastes, how about Rattlesnake and Rabbit with jalapeño peppers, or perhaps Alligator and Pork smoked andouille sausage? The crispy Belgian fries are outstanding, and even more satisfying with one of the homemade dipping sauces such as blue cheese, walnut & bacon or white truffle oil glaze.

Beer is a perfect combination with this hearty fare, and the bar pours a nice selection of mostly Belgian and German drafts and bottles. Don’t be discouraged by the line, it will be worth the wait.

800 E. 3rd Street       (213) 687-4444



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