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Grand Central Market
Grand Central Market

Food & Drink

A star critic's restaurant guide to Los Angeles

Pulitzer Prize-winning critic Jonathan Gold urges Angelenos to explore every corner of their culturally mosaic city through their experience with food.

A.O.C.

The Zuni Chicken is delicious. The bowl of wood-oven clams in sherry and garlic is good, and everybody gets the bacon wrapped dates, their most famous dish. Their small vegetable plates, including English peas and sugar snaps with saffron butter, are lovely. Outside, there is a really nice Moorish patio.

A.O.C.

8700 West 3rd Street, Los Angeles

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Night Market

When Noma chef René Redzepi came to LA, I took him to the Thai restaurant Night Market. It is run by a filmmaker Chef Kris, who opened a place next door to his parent's restaurant on Sunset. The better one is actually Night Market Song. His menu is a mixture of local Thai food and hardcore versions of village cooking from Northern Thailand, where his family comes from. He has an absurdly good list of natural wines and it's always a happy place to wander into.

Night Market

9043 Sunset Boulevard, West Hollywood

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Grand Central Market

Grand Central Market should be on the to-see list of every visitor to Los Angeles. It has transformed itself from a tired, half-empty collection of stalls, into an essential food center. Eggsslut is a popular breakfast place. Belcampo serves what is arguably the best hamburger in town, and you will surely appreciate that it is made with grass-fed meat.

Grand Central Market

317 S. Broadway, Los Angeles

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Animal

Attractive restaurant, American cuisine. Chefs Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo's cooking is really solid. They know how to make a pigtail delicious, and they sling out quivering veal brains with vadouvan, lakes of cheese melted with chorizo and fried rabbit with cream gravy. Right now, it's a good place to know.

Animal

435 N. Fairfax Avenue, Los Angeles

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Photo: Trois Mec

Trois Mec

The insanely talented Ludo Lefebvre's cooking is primarily French, thanks to his nationality. His tasting menus are different almost every day of the week. The food is novel, light and delicious, and he will make things like a cabbage leaf steak that's as nourishing and attractive as a meat one.

Trois Mec

716 Highland Avenue, Los Angeles

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Chengdu Taste

The best Sichuan restaurant in the country. The food is spicy, but the ingredients are dead-on and their cooking is imaginative. They have things like water-boiled fish in green chili with citron peppercorns, the ones that make your mouth feel numb. They are spectacular. They also coat lamb with Hunan chili, stick it with toothpicks, and then stir-fry it, until it becomes a little bit caramelized on the outside. They also do these beautiful, ethereal wontons.

Chengdu Taste

828 W. Valley Blvd, Alhambra

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Shibumi

This is a place I love right now. LA resident David Schlosser has spent a long time studying and mastering Japanese cuisine. He was the only American employee of the famous Sushi chef Masa Takayama. He makes things that have ancient recipes from the 1870s, and even though you're always slightly unsettled by a meal there, it's always delicious. The bar is really cute too.

Shibumi

815 Hill St, Los Angeles

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Taco Maria

The young chef Carlos Salgado grew up in a Mexican family of restaurateurs. It's more of a tasting menu restaurant, that uses Mexican flavors and local ingredients.

Taco Maria

3313 Hyland Avenue Ste C21, Costa Mesa

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Last edited: August 28, 2018

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