Fifty Best Los Angeles Restaurants
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  Cuisine: Latin  


Angelenos know better than to write a restaurant off because of its shabby or odd location. Many a mini-mall in LA houses the occasional culinary treasure, and one of them is Alegria, an Oaxacan-influenced restaurant in Silver Lake.

Brightly printed oilcloth covered tables against a brick wall evoke a charming neighborhood spot. Within seconds of being seated, a tangy fresh pico de gallo arrives at your table accompanied by a basket of toasty tortilla chips. The daily special’s board usually outdoes itself, boasting a wide variety of fish, meat and vegetables cooked with care in homemade sauces derived from secret recipes handed down through the generations.

Alegria is all about fresh, keeping with tradition yet staying simple and delicious; never compromising on quality. The hearty Pollo Mole has a depth of flavor that might encourage addiction. Carnitas made from the best cuts of meat that melt in the mouth, are served with frijoles de la olla and fresh tortillas.

Made to order Aguas frescas, or their famous cinnamon coffee are the beverages of choice. If you want beer, wine or some rum to pour into your fresh watermelon juice, remember to bring your own.

3510 W Sunset Blvd       (323) 913-1422



  Cuisine: Latin  
  Location: Hollywood  

THE BAZAAR        Spanish

Award winning Chef Jose Andres is known as an International culinary innovator, and may be responsible for creating the Spanish food boom in America. With the success of his highly acclaimed Washington D.C restaurants, the innovative Bazaar is developing a new following of Angelenos. Andres fuses a mix of Spanish tradition and modern techniques to create an “anything but average style of dining experience”.

Designed by Phillip Starck, the Spanish themed decor is composed of two immaculate spaces-- Bar Rojo and Bar Blanca. Each with intimate seating, ethereal woods, white leather banquets and deep reds. Bar Rojo is distinguished by a long Spanish Tapas bar, where the chefs can be seen in action.

Captivating lists of Traditional and Modern Spanish Tapas brighten up the menu. Expect many of the classic Spanish appetizers and regional Cheeses, such as Manchego, La Serena, and Valdeon, served with crispy bread, quince jam and marcona almonds. Succulent Jamón Ibérico de Bellota (acorn fed free-range Iberian ham) sliced on a traditional Jamonero is divine. For entrées, sample the sharing-sized tapas with a modern twist, such as Tortilla de Patatas ‘new way’, with potato foam, egg 63, and caramelized onions. Bunuelos are perfectly crunchy codfish fritters, served with honey and alioli. ‘Not your everyday Caprese’ is an explosion of flavors with cherry tomatoes and liquid mozzarella. Foie Gras makes a star appearance, showing off with the Cotton Candy Foie Gras Cone, and the Foie Gras floating Island soup.

Even the cocktails are a feast for the eyes. Behold the Magic Mojito, strained over cotton candy, and the LN Squared Caipirinha with Brazilian cachaca, fresh lime and liquid nitrogen infused sugar. The wide range of Spanish, International, sparkling and rare vintage wines are exceptional. Come to The Bazaar to impress and be impressed.

544 S. Grand Ave. at the SLS Hotel     (310) 246-5567

The Bazaar


  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: Latin  
  Location: Hollywood  

LOTERIA GRILL            Mexican

There is stiff competition in the City of Los Angeles, when it comes to claiming the top spot for Best Mexican Restaurant. Everyone has their own special eatery to chow down their choice of Taco. But Loteria is a cut above the rest. Consistent, fresh, and reasonably priced, serving traditional and creative takes on standard Mexican dishes. A favorite not just for the food, but the fun, Latin ambience.

Business is booming at their multiple locations, but on Hollywood Blvd, amongst the colourful Mexican artwork, you can indulge in vibrant dishes such as Enchilada de Mole Poblano, Chicharron de Queso, Cochinita Pibil and Huachinago a la Veracruzana- Pan seared red snapper, prepared the Mexican way. Come in a group and enjoy the Taco Sampler, featuring 12 mini hand-made tortillas filled with a variety of creative fillings.

Drinks are plentiful, with a large variety of ice cold Mexican Beers, and fresh, seasonal fruit juices. The Watermelon Agua Fresca, is perfect on a warm LA evening. A great place to get your Arroz y Frijoles fix!

6627 Hollywood Blvd      (323) 465-2500



  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



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