Located on the west side of Los Angeles, Westwood is a diverse community with many attractions, including the Hammer Museum and Geffen Playhouse. The area also features a multicultural culinary scene – here are the top 10 spots to try.
Founded in 2011, 800 Degrees is an eatery serving up Neapolitan-style pizzas, which have a thin crust and are cooked in a wood-burning oven in about one minute. The culinary team procures the freshest ingredients, which include locally sourced vegetables, and mozzarella and flour from Naples to ensure a top quality pizza. Diners have the option of ordering a specialty pizza or creating their own, and with all the protein, cheese and vegetable toppings available, there are thousands of possible combinations. Mouth-watering highlights to note are the tartufo topped with truffle cheese, mushrooms, roasted garlic and arugula, and the piccante with soppressata, garlic and Calabrian chiles. With gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options, this pizza parlour happily welcomes all types of diners.
800 Degrees, 10889 Lindbrook Dr., Los Angeles, CA, USA, +1 310 443 1911
Emporium Thai Cuisine
Established in 2000 by John Sungkamee, Emporium Thai Cuisine is a family-owned and operated restaurant specialising in authentic Southern Thai fare. Voted as one of the ‘Top 100 Best Thai Restaurants in the USA’, this intimate and welcoming establishment features only the highest quality ingredients, most of which come from the area’s farmers markets, in their flavourful and exotic dishes. Offering guests an impressive menu ensures that everyone will find something to tanatalise their taste buds, and vegetarians will be happy to know that their choices are equally vast. Notable dishes include the southern Thai specialty kua kling, which is a dry curry where meat is infused with curry, chillies, garlic and lemongrass, and crispy pork in a southern curry sauce.
Emporium Thai Cuisine, 1275 Westwood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA, USA, +1 310 478 2838
Fresh Corn Grill
Focusing on dishes that are equally healthy and satisfying, Fresh Corn Grill offers delicious innovative California cuisine in a lively and comfortable atmosphere. Established in 2006, this fast-casual eatery creates flavourful items with quality ingredients that will appeal to vegetarians and meat-lovers alike. With its variety of dishes, Fresh Corn Grill guests have a variety of options ranging from fresh corn chowder, turkey meatloaf and the fresh corn vegetable bowl with grilled vegetables atop basmati rice with Asian BBQ or ginger curry sauce. For an additional cost, a choice of protein can be added to any vegetarian dish.
Fresh Corn Grill, 1510 Westwood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA, USA, +1 310 470 0414
Established in 2011, Fundamental LA is a friendly eatery featuring New American cuisine inspired by seasonal California flavours. Open for lunch and dinner, guests can take delight in creative dishes highlighting the freshest farmers market ingredients all within a chic and minimalistic interior. The menus change frequently to reflect in-season products but, in general, include sandwiches, soups and salads for lunch. As for night time dining, recent highlights include butternut squash soup with crème fraîche and Parmesan churro; parsnip gnocchi served with a poached egg, purslane and roasted parsnip; and organic chicken accompanied by potatoes, artichoke, broccoli and jus. They also offer natural wines produced by farmers and wine-makers to complement the meals.
Fundamental LA, 1303 Westwood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA, USA, +1 310 444 7581
A recipient of the Ospitalità Italiana and part of Los Angeles’ culinary scene since 1984, La Bruschetta is a classic favourite for Italian-lovers. Having generated a welcoming neighbourhood venue where everyone is treated like family, owner Angelo Peloni offers a warm and comfortable space where diners can feast upon a host of home-style dishes. Highlights sure to tickle guests’ taste buds include risotto with porcini mushrooms and peas, lasagna with Bolognese sauce, and large prawns in a spicy tomato sauce atop a bed of linguini. Between the culinary offerings, friendly service, and extensive wine collection — handpicked by the owner himself — it’s easy to see why people return again and again to this Los Angeles treasure.
La Bruschetta, 1621 Westwood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA, USA, +1 310 477 1052
Mary and Robbs’ Westwood Cafe
Starting out as a small soda shop counter in the 1950s, Mary and Robbs’ Westwood Cafe has grown into a full-service restaurant featuring tasty American cuisine. At its current location since 1977, this comfortable and family-friendly neighbourhood coffee shop serves breakfast all day plus lunch and dinner Monday through Friday and breakfast and lunch on Saturday. Procuring the highest quality ingredients, diners take delight in meals such as the chilli omelet supreme with all-meat chilli; the spinach melt with mushrooms, fire roasted red peppers, basil, tomatoes and provolone; and the Cajun filet mignon. This café also offers a selection of wine and beer and tantalising desserts, including a three-layer chocolate cake, sure to please anyone’s sweet tooth.
Mary and Robbs’ Westwood Cafe, 1453 Westwood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA, USA, +1 310 478 3822
Serving local residents mouth-watering Persian cuisine since 1982, Shamshiri Grill is a flavourful eatery located in the heart of the Westwood. With a large menu that will appeal to both meat-lovers and vegans, this eatery is a casual lunch venue during the day, yet transforms to a romantic hot spot during the evening hours. Notable dishes to mention are zereshk polo or sour barberries and saffron in basmati or brown rice served with a choice of chicken or lamb shank; vegan baghali polo, which is lima beans and dill, baked with basmati rice and accompanied by a vegetable kabob; and the shirin polo or basmati rice with a delightful combination of saffron, orange peels, pistachios and almond.
Shamshiri Grill, 1712 Westwood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA, USA, +1 310 474 1410
People seeking out French and French-Canadian cuisine in Westwood can visit Soleil, a lovely bistro owned by Executive Chef Luc Alarie. In business for over 10 years, this inviting café serves up mouth-watering cuisine for lunch and dinner Tuesday through Sunday, plus a weekend brunch. Guests will find delicious pastas, including pumpkin ravioli with mushrooms in a creamy sage sauce, alongside French classic dishes, such as beef bourguignon or beef stewed in red wine with mushrooms, onion, carrots and peas, plus several tantalising desserts, including crème brûlée topped with raspberries. Be sure to visit the adjacent P’tit Soleil for the tasty Canadian specialty known as poutine; there are several innovative options, including poutine Christine — French fries topped with cheese curds and a cognac peppercorn sauce.
Soleil, 1386 Westwood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA, USA, +1 310 441 5384
Sunnin Lebanese Cafe
Sunnin Lebanese Cafe is a lively restaurant specialising in, as the name suggests, authentic Lebanese cuisine. A popular place for the entire family, this welcoming café has been providing mouth-watering dishes to carnivores and vegetarians alike for over 20 years. Offering guests a large menu with everything from appetisers to entrées to decadent desserts, Sunnin is sure to appeal to a wide range of tastes. Diners can begin their meal with shanklish or spicy Lebanese cheese topped with onions, tomatoes, and olive oil followed by beef schwarma, which is marinated beef cooked on a vertical broiler accompanied by salad, rice, tahini sauce and pita, or falafel for those seeking something meat-free. For a full Sunnin experience, desert is a must, especially the house-made white pudding infused with orange blossom water.
Sunnin Lebanese Cafe, 1776 Westwood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA, USA, +1 310 475 3358
Born out of a food truck, TLT Food is a vibrant fast-casual eatery featuring an eclectic menu peppered with international flavours. With the goal of ‘pleasing the palate’, the culinary team at this restaurant procures the best quality ingredients from local sources to use in their made-from-scratch flavourful fare. Offering lunch and dinner daily plus a weekend brunch with a host of delectable edibles, everyone is sure to find something to tantalise their taste buds. Highlights to note are the PBAT sandwich with cured pork belly, arugula, tomato, red onion and aioli on parmesan crusted bread, and blackened tofu nachos with wonton chips, jalapeño aioli, Thai slaw, cashews, sesame seeds and marinated tofu. They also offer a wine list plus a seasonal beer menu.
TLT Food, 1116 Westwood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA, USA, +1 310 443 4433