After living in LA the past 6 months, I feel like I have earned the right to share some of my favorite places to eat. After all, I'm just an east‑coast gal living on the west, documenting her fave spaces & their bites. While I narrow it down to my top 10, the latter 3 are from Santa Barbara, Palm Springs and La Jolla - all must see places that have great food and charm.
When you walk up the stairs of the famous Beverly Hills hotel, there’s a feeling that you get. The secrets of the elite hide behind the walls and the dining space has been an institutional meeting ground for compelling conversation. Whether seated inside or out, there is no angle that doesn’t capture the essence of this palm‑adorned hideaway. Culinary staples include their McCarthy salad, steak tartare and their signature soufflés.
On the corner of Edgemont and Fountain in East Hollywood lies Found Oyster. Completely unpretentious. Its vibe makes you a bit jealous that you might not be so effortless yourself. It’s no reservation policy requires you to snag a table as early as you can. Absolute musts are their oysters (they have holders built in the walls), smoked trout dip and lobster rolls.
Nestled in the Franklin Village, within Hollywood, you will find a charming Americana hotel called The Cara. A beautiful vintage table with a curated book selection and floral arrangement welcomes you. Straightahead is its notable dining space that is linear and surrounds a pool. You can’t go wrong with their prosciutto & burrata, truffle fries and lemon pasta.
Joan’s on Third feels like a rite of passage when coming to LA. You locally baptize yourself by consuming their famous Chinese chicken salad. After this, you can start to adventure onto other things on the menu. Favorites include their ficelle sandwich, pancakes and ready made goodies like their sweet crunchy pickles.
Located on the Sunset strip you’ll find this upscale East Coast eatery. Saltie Girl has successfully made tinned fish a sexy pantry staple. With a daily mix of oysters from around the country, you can’t can’t go wrong with any selection. Notable bites include their caviar dip and bagel & lox.
Noshi is a local gem serving the freshest sushi. Adorned with Japanese art and design, it transports you to the Far East. Sit tucked in a booth or bar‑side for a more intimate experience. Non‑negotiables are their spicy tuna and blue crab rolls.
Mel’s is so iconically ingrained in Hollywood you can see it roll in the opening credits of Entourage. With many locations, each honor the old‑fashioned flare of American diners. Everything on the menu is fantastically red, white and blue ‑ burgers, tomato soup & grilled cheese, all the breakfast items & fixings you could ever ask for, the list goes on…
Up the coast in Santa Barbara you will find it’s most famous seafood spot ‑ hence it’s namesake. Drive on the wharf to get there and it’s first come first served. You must get Santa Barbara’s very own uni (sea urchin), it doesn’t get fresher. Indulge in SBSC’s crab, lobster rolls, and more. It’s seafoodie heaven.
The Ingleside Inn is located in quintessential Palm Springs. It has that mid century modern luxury feel to it. Melvyn’s is the restaurant located inside. There’s a piano that draws everybody in, where its communally decided that a good night is on the menu. Transport yourself back to the 60s with a dirty martini and a shrimp scampi.
In the San Diego beach town of La Jolla, find the Brockton Villa, a 1894 cottage nestled on the Pacific coastline. Famous for their “coast toast” (souffléd French roast), check out their brunch and pair with a mimosa flight while looking at sealions lined on the shore.