Our editor-in-chief recently flew to the land of the stars, and noted these as his new go-to spots.
Certainly, at least once in your LA trip you have to eat at a rooftop restaurant, and Merois is one of the top choices for that experience. It is located on top of the Pendry, a newly opened, luxury hotel and residences with Art Deco-style design by Martin Brudnizki. Merios is by Wolfgang Puck with a menu that highlights the Chef’s eye for southeast Asian, French, and Californian flavors as well as the subtleties of Japanese cuisine.
As this was already my second dinner for the evening, I couldn’t stop myself from eating again. The bluefin tuna ceviche is a must (I love ceviches), and the Maine scallops and oysters are great to satisfy cravings for raw eats. My grilled favorites include chicken meatballs and eel-avocado, and, of course, the Crispy Peking duck is a must order. There is still so much to try in this upscale rooftop restaurant that I must go back on my next visit to LA.
8430 Sunset blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069
This Parisian-inspired restaurant just opened last June, and is the hottest place now in the city of angels. A baby of Republique owners Chefs Walter and Margarita (sister of Ana Lorenzana-De Ocampo) Mazke, Bicyclette evokes the best of French bistro culture. The calm, attentive, professional staff take the time to explain each course well despite the resto being extremely busy. The food I must say is simply wonderful.
The menu is short, well-curated, and inspired by Walter and Margarita’s fave Parisian bistro dishes from their cooking and dining experiences in France. I particularly enjoyed the freshly baked baguette with their duck liver mousse as well as their refreshing summer salad. The caramelized onion tarte tatin was spectacular and the melt-in-your-mouth beef short rib a la bourguignonne exploded with flavors.
9575 W Pico blvd, CA 90035
It has a fun vibe and is known to be a power lunch scene in West Hollywood. Cecconi’s, which serves contemporary Italian classics, and makes use of fine ingredients in its seafood, pizza, and handmade pasta dishes. The bar is also interesting, and is the centerpiece of the lively atmosphere, I wouldn’t mind enjoying some tapas, or cicchetti there while people-watching.
Cecconi’s is originally from London, brought to LA to rival The Ivy. Christopher Ciccone, brother of pop legend Madonna, designed the place and helped make it popular. But, with its good food and fun vibe, it isn’t hard to see why it became so known.
8764 Melrose Avenue, West Hollywood, CA 90069
Completed in 1914, Yamashiro has been an LA landmark for more than a century. Apart from the food, it’s also popular because of its architecture, the tranquil gardens that surround it—apparently the landscaping alone is worth $2 million—and a panoramic city view. It offers a diverse range of Japanese dishes, from sushi, rolls, seafoods and steaks, and has an incredible cocktail menu.
This place has been a favorite of Filipino celebrities and personalities recently because of its Filipino chef, Valerie Castillo-Archer, who also happens to be in this issue. She is the first female executive chef of the restaurant. Must orders are the sushi boat, yamashiro rolls, and their selection of seafood.
199 N Sycamore Ave. Hollywood, CA 90068
A Beverly Hills classic, this Wolfgang Puck’s flagship restaurant has always been revered for giving what many consider as the ultimate dining experience. Its master chef, with his signature farm-to-table philosophy, reinvented the menu. The newly designed restaurant has also received two stars in the Michelin guide–Los Angeles, in 2009 and 2010.
The spicy tuna tartare cones, pizza with shaved French black truffles, carnaroli risotto with fruitti de mare and of course the Grilled New York steak are a must. Of course, you can still order dishes that made this place famous—from the smoke salmon pizza to the inner schnitzel—all served by its friendly and helpful staff. So is Spago still relevant, for me it’s a resounding yes.
176 N Canon Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210
A trip to this city wouldn’t be complete without a visit to this vibrant LA landmark, which is known for celebrity sightings and colorful vases full of fresh flowers. This restaurant is full any day of the week, especially during lunch, and even from Robertson Blvd, you could usually see an overflow of well-dressed people waiting to be seated.
I’ve eaten here three times during my last trip, which is an indicator of how much I enjoy the food. Among my faves are the fresh oysters, quacamole dip, crab cake, calamari, and the lobster pasta.
113 N Robertson Blvd, CA 90048
This Mexican fine dining place is also within walking distance of other popular Beverly Hills restaurants and bars. Offering al fresco dining, it’s a nice spot to observe people going to the difference spots within the area. Founded by Michelin star Chef Joshua Gil and Matthew Egan, the Mirame’s Mexi-Cali menu makes use of locally-sourced ingredients.
My favorites are the Baja Oysters and Uni, beef cheeks al vapor taco, Seared Duck and Panela Asada, Puerto Nuevo Langoustine Tacos, and the Callo de Hacha Uni Truffle Tostada—all served with smashed avocado and salsa trio with handmade tostadas.
419 N Canon Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210
When you chance upon this neighborhood diner-looking spot (recommended to me by foodie friends Rikki and Beng Dee), you wouldn’t right away think that it’s a one Michelin star restaurant. While the place is charming, modest-looking, and unpretentious, the wholly-organic and sustainable food by Chef Kevin Meehan certainly earns it’s acclaim.
Among the dishes that made an impression on me are the black barley risotto with wheatgrass oil, fermented black garlic, and fiscalini cheese crisp, Sea urchin pasta, the duck breast with sweet corn polenta, roasted fig and Brussels sprouts, and the bone in pork chop. For dessert, I tried and loved the meringue, so ordered the meringue gelato with candied egg yolk shavings and it was a perfect end for this exquisite meal.
5722 Melrose Ave., Hollywood, CA 90038
Sugar Fish by Sushi Nozawa
For its quality, consistency, and fresh food, Sugar Fish should be first on your list when it comes to traditional sushi. This restaurant, which has locations in Beverly Hills, Hollywood, and La Brea, is actually great value for money. If you are a sushi lover, just order the omakase options.
Of course for the full experience, either order the ‘Nozawa trust me’ or the ‘Don’t think, Just eat’ omakase. It includes different types of sashimi and sushi from tuna, salmon, albacore, New Zealand sea bream, toro, yellowtail, hirame, Blue and Dungeness crab and the daily special. You will be full after this meal and feel satisfied having the best fish from the market.
There are several locations: Beverly Hills, Hollywood, La Brea are the most central
I will never get tired of this Beverly Hills classic as it is always a delight eating here. Popular with both locals and tourists, the restaurant is known for its contemporary Vietnamese menu and Chef Helene An’s secret kitchen.
Among my other menu favorites are the karate salad, fresh langoustine spring roll, chef Helene An’s’ Signature Crab puffs, steamed shrimp and lobster dumplings, tuna cigars, truffle hamachi, Garlic Noodles and An’s famous garlic roasted dungeness crab.
468 N Bedford Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Banner Photo: Mirame Salmon Skin Chicharron