The Most Quintessentially LA Restaurants In Los Angeles

Gracias Madre Tamale | © Eric Wolfinger
Gracias Madre Tamale | © Eric Wolfinger
Photo of Mary Pettas
9 February 2017

Los Angeles has been trying to put itself on the culinary map for years in order to compare to the cuisines of New York, Chicago, and Paris. However, L.A.’s culinary scene is very different from these other cities, and that’s what we appreciate the most about it. Here are the restaurants that are distinctly L.A.

Café Gratitude

Even though this restaurant originally popped up in San Francisco, they have closed all their doors and migrated south to where they were a better fit. Café Gratitude’s features an all-vegan menu and makes earnest assertions to only use completely organic, raw ingredients. With locations on Larchmont, Venice, and in the Arts District, they hit the best spots for vegan eats in the most hip neighborhoods around the city.

Café Gratitude – Venice Location | © Courtesy of Cafe Gratitude


This popular sushi spot was created by sushi Chef Nozawa, and it is one of the most sought-after seafood restaurants in the city. There are locations all over the city, but head to the Brentwood location for a relaxed vibe. The fish is ridiculously fresh, so the rolls just melt in your mouth. It is known to be a minimalistic and traditional approach to sushi more in the style that it is eaten in Japan.

Courtesy of Sugarfish, Beverly Hills

Gracias Madre

Restaurant, Bar, Mexican, Vegan, $$$
Map View
Gracias Madre Dishes
Gracias Madre dishes | © Eric Wolfinger / Gracias Madre
This is a restaurant that really embodies the vegan craze, but they do it with lots of flare and flavor…with vegan tacos. It doesn’t get any more L.A. than healthy plus Mexican-inspired fare. Gracias Madre also has delicious craft margaritas with reposado tequila. We’ll cheers to that.


Restaurant, Japanese
Map View
Ramen at Tsujita
Ramen at Tsujita | ©T.Tseng/Flickr
Tsujita is a restaurant that takes the cultural influences abounding in Los Angeles and inspires their cuisine with them. Ramen is all over the place, especially on Sawtelle or Little Tokyo, but Tsujita does it the best. The tsukemen ramen with thick noodles and salty pork on the side with a hard-boiled egg inside doesn’t get any more authentic and delicious.

Urth Caffé

What would L.A. be without a magical land filled with endless brunch options? However, Urth is the definitive go-to organic coffee shop that also does amazing brunch (and lunch and dinner). Everything here is so good, diners can’t go wrong as they sit on the sun-soaked patios in the heart of Beverly Hills.

Spanish Latte and Blueberry Scone at Urth Caffé | © jen/Flickr

Don Antonio’s

A classic taco joint like this one hidden on Pico on the Westside couldn’t get any better. Except with their $1.50 tacos every Wednesday…that’s right: Wednesday, not Taco Tuesday, in order to mix it up. Don Antonio’s has a quaint, enclosed back patio decorated with lights and colorful flags, perfect for sipping margaritas with friends.


Cocktail Bar, Food Truck, Restaurant, Bar, Korean, Asian, 0
Bara Chirashi at Tsujita
Bara Chirashi at Tsujita | © T.Tseng/Flickr
A relatively new Korean restaurant created by none other than the godfather of the L.A. food truck scene, Roy Choi himself, who started out selling his Asian-inspired tacos on a beat-up truck that he called ‘Kogi’. His restaurant Pot is an extension of the endeavor to keep fancy food and high-quality ingredients relatable, accessible, and fun. Add the fact that it’s located in the trendy Line Hotel in downtown Koreatown, and you have the perfect amalgamation of L.A. cool.

Mastro’s Steakhouse

Restaurant, American, $$$
Map View
For an ultra-fancy dinner in the heart of Beverly Hills, head to Mastro’sand order a massive, perfectly cooked steak complete with sides such as lobster gnocchi and gorgonzola mac ‘n’ cheese. This place is meant to be expensive, high-end, and overall amazing in every way. Perfect for celebrations, or you know, the casual celebrity dinner. So L.A.