Ysabel – from the men of Laurel Hardware, an even more aesthetically pleasing indoor/outdoor situation with not one, but two bars. now you can leave your credit cards at two bars without even leaving dinner.
*Son of a Gun – shrimp toast. uni pasta. lobster roll. fried chicken sandwich. alcohol throughout. love this, S.O.G.
*Craig’s – to know Craig, is too love Craig. he’s responsible for making me cry tears of laughter simultaneously while eating and drinking with reckless abandon since I was 22. he could serve Panda Express and everyone would probably say that gluten-free fried chicken was the best they’ve ever had.
Mastro’s – seafood tower anyone? the butter cake is evil in a Taylor Swift kind of way.
Chateau Marmont – Chateau is neither truly “American” nor “Californian” but rather squarely Angeleno. french fries and bolognese get my vote. brunch is really lovely actually bc Chateau is less packed during the daylight. pro tip: if you like the aroma as much as I do, you can buy their candles at the front desk now.
*Tower Bar at Sunset Tower Hotel – lighting exactly how it should be.martinis exactly as they should be. all-American comfort dishes elevated exactly as they should be. great lobster tacos and lamb chops. plus, individual “make your own” sundae menus.
Jones – a Hollywood staple that’s barely changed in 20 years. great for group dinners.
Spago – I’m partial to the smoked salmon pizza and all their desserts. the reverse happy hour (aka late night happy hour) can be fun too.
Ink. – he’s still doing it well. Michael Voltaggio’s creatively unstoppable Ink. is a well-oiled machine of tattooed 30 somethings that give the rest of the Top Chef winners circle a serious run for their money. Update: Ink has closed and opened Ink.Well.
Laurel Hardware – drinks are the tools of choice here.
Crossroads – this weho restaurant masquerades around like it’s not a vegan restaurant. because it can. it’s delicious. you won’t even notice some things are “missing.”
Connie and Ted’s – from the brilliant folks behind Providence, we have this hanger-like habitat of all things seafood. sit at the bar and familiarize yourself with some Kumamoto oysters.
*Lucques – sit on the patio and throw a dart. it’s all good here.
Cut – what it lacks in ambience or general energy it makes up for in, what else, really f-ing great cuts of steak.