Los Angeles is a very spread out city that can be intimidating at first glance. Instead of having a traditional city center, there are lots of different city centers located throughout the region. To get around quickly (or slowly), you pretty much have to rent a car. Public transportation exists, but it’s incredibly slow, especially the buses. There is a subway which is great if your origin and destination happen to be along the lines where it travels, but since it only serves a small part of LA it’s not especially useful outside of those areas.
We highly encourage you to explore the city, so we’ve created a list of some of our favorite places to go. And of course, there’s always Disneyland.
|The Little (Next) Door|
The Little Door is a French & Moroccan restaurant where Francine and I had our first pretty romantic date. The food and wine are excellent, and on Sundays they have a Moroccan prix fixe menu available.
8164 W 3rd Street, Los Angeles, CA
(323) 951-1210 · thelittledoor.com
|Taste on Melrose|
Taste is a fairly casual restaurant serving modern American fare. Francine calls it upscale comfort food. We go here frequently, most often for brunch but also for happy hour and dinner, too!
8454 Melrose Avenue, West Hollywood, CA
(323) 852-6888 · ilovetaste.com
Urth Caffe is a small Los Angeles chain. They serve excellent coffee, as well as sandwiches and salads. Very vegetarian and vegan friendly, but not exclusively so. Evan likes the chicken pesto panini, and Francine usually goes for the Urth Salad and a soup.
There are 4 locations including Santa Monica, West Hollywood, Downtown, and Beverly Hills
67 South Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills, CA
(310) 205-9311 · urthcaffe.com
Momed serves inexpensive and awesome Mediterranean food. Evan likes the Lamb Burger, while Francine goes for the Fig & Halloumi Pide
If Taste is busy, Comme Ça is a great alternative. It's a bit pricier, and Frenchier, but the cocktails are outstanding and you can never go wrong with a good steak frites.
8479 Melrose Avenue, West Hollywood, CA
(323) 782-1104 · commecarestaurant.com
La Provence is our favorite local cafe and patisserie. It's walking distance from our apartment, and a regular lunch spot when we're spending the day at home. Evan likes the Beef Steak Panini, and Francine likes the Artichoke & Goat Cheese Panini. Make sure to get dessert.
8950 West Olympic Boulevard #110, Beverly Hills, CA
(310) 888-8833 · laprovencecafe.com
|M Street Kitchen|
M Street Kitchen serves good American/Californian fare, and is a nice place to get lunch away from the crowds on 3rd Street Promenade. The pretzel croissants are to die for. Yes, that's right: Pretzel Croissants.
Evan likes the green chili burger, and Francine likes the veggie tacos.
2000 Main Street, Santa Monica, CA
(310) 396-9145 · mstreetkitchen.com
The Library Alehouse is a great location in the thick of things on Main Street in Santa Monica. The food is solid, and of course there's beer. Great for lunch, sometimes crowded for dinner. If there's a line, there are lots of other places nearby.
2911 Main Street, Santa Monica, CA
(310) 314-4855 · libraryalehouse.com
|Milo & Olive|
One of the best pizzas you'll ever have. The other best pizza you'll have is at Pitfire Pizza. Either place is truly excellent. Milo & Olive is owned by the same people who operate one of Evan's regular Santa Monica haunts, Huckleberry.
If you go with a few people, get the Garlic Knot, and peek over the counter while they make it.
2723 Wilshire Boulevard, Santa Monica, CA
(310) 453-6776 · miloandolive.com
This is Evan's favorite lunch spot in Santa Monica. Lines can be long if you go right at lunch, but it's really very good. The free range turkey sandwich is Evan's favorite, along with the fried egg sandwich.
1014 Wilshire Boulevard, Santa Monica, CA
(310) 451-2311 · huckleberrycafe.com
Veggie Grill is one of Francine's favorite meatless restaurants. And surprisingly, Evan likes it, too! We recommend the kale salad, and the chipotle burger.
There are a bunch of locations including this one in Santa Monica, The Grove, Sunset Blvd at Crescent Heights, and several more...
2025 Wilshire Boulevard, Santa Monica, CA
(310) 829-1155 · veggiegrill.com
Pitfire is one of the best pizzas you'll eat, and is neck and neck with Milo & Olive. Evan really likes the Merguez Sausage pizza, and Francine likes the Burrata pizza or the chopped salad
Multiple locations include Westwood, Culver City, Fairfax at Santa Monica, and Downtown
2018 Westwood Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA
(310) 481-9860 · pitfirepizza.com
If you find yourself in the Valley, check out Laurel Tavern. The beer selection is great, the ambience is casual and lively, and there's pretty good food if you get hungry
11938 Ventura Boulevard, Studio City, CA
(818) 506-0777 · laureltavern.net
|Artisan Cheese Gallery|
Artisan Cheese Gallery is our favorite lunch spot in the Valley. Aside from having really nice cheeses, they serve really good salads and sandwiches that make use of their cheese selection. Evan likes the Garlic Roasted Lamb panini, and Francine likes the Aged Gouda Salad
12023 Ventura Boulevard, Studio City, CA
(818) 505-0207 · artisancheesegallery.com
Border Grill is an upscale Mexican restaurant in a very casual environment near the 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica. It's owned by Susan Fenniger, who also runs another restaurant we like called Street. The menu changes frequently, but you can't go wrong with any of it.
1445 4th Street, Santa Monica, CA
(310) 451-1655 · bordergrill.com
Red O is Rick Bayless' LA restaurant. It's a pretty trendy place serving gourmet Mexican food and great margaritas. There's so much to try here, but definitely go for the sopes appetizer. Reservations recommended.
8155 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, CA
(323) 655-5009 · redorestaurant.com
Don't be fooled by its location in the middle of not much else, or by its small size. Sky's Tacos is a great choice for cheap, excellent Mexican fare, even for vegetarians.
408 West Pico Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA
(323) 932-6253 · skysgourmettacos.com
There are more places to get sushi in LA than you could ever list on a map. From Sugarfish and Sushi Roku to Sasabune and Iwata, there is no shortage of amazing Japanese food in this city. Sushi King is not as trendy as any of those places, but the quality of its fish is very high, and the fish to rice ratio is very much in your favor
1330 Wilshire Boulevard, Santa Monica, CA
(310) 395-0120 · sushikingmenu.info
Tavern and the attached Larder serve excellent French-inspired Californian fare. It's on the high end of things, especially for dinner, but for a really nice meal you can't go wrong here. They also serve a great Sunday brunch, and there's a cafe attached if you don't want a full sitdown meal.
11648 San Vicente Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA
(310) 806-6464 · tavernla.com
|Coral Tree Cafe|
Coral Tree Cafe is a good place for a quick brunch and coffee. If you're in the mood for dessert for breakfast, try the chocolate chip pancakes.
11645 San Vicente Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA
(310) 979-8733 · coraltreecafe.com