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Our City Guides is from the point of view of the people we interview. A restaurant cannot be listed in our guides unless it is recommended by one of the tastemakers we’ve featured. We don’t want you to see the restaurant world through our eyes, but rather through the eyes of your favorite tastemakers in every industry. Why us? Why not them?

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Animal

Recommended by: Lee Gross (Chef/Founder, M Café), Jessica Alba (Actress), Scott Conant (Judge, Chopped), Marc Vetri (Chef/Owner, Vetri Ristorante), Jim Nelson (Editor-in-Chief, GQ), Elise Rosenberg (Colonie), Anne Burrell (Chef/Host, Worst Cooks in America), Fabio Viviani (Finalist, Top Chef), Dominique Ansel (Chef/Owner, Dominique Ansel Bakery), Camilla Belle (Actress), Jeannie Mai (TV Personality)

As its name suggests, Animal is for meat lovers.  The minimalist interior leaves the focus on the dishes, and the wide variety of “animals” on the menu is sure to surprise you whether you’re a die-hard carnivore or just an adventurous foodie. “I’m a big fan of the Animal guys…I’ll always follow what they’re doing.” Jim [...]

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AOC

Recommended by: Susan Feniger (Contestant, Top Chef Masters), Camilla Belle (Actress), Jenni Kayne (Fashion Designer), Pilar Guzman (Editor-in-Chief, Condé Nast Traveler), Mike Doyle (Actor)

In lieu of appetizers and entrées, AOC offers elegantly curated ‘small plates’ to satisfy any appetite along with an ever-changing cheese and charcuterie selection, wine-by-the-glass, and a few larger ‘platters’ if you must have a bigger portion. The chic spot epitomizes casual elegance. Make a Reservation. “I love the pistolero from AOC.” Jenni Kayne (designer) www.aocwinebar.com

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BLD

Recommended by: Kiernan Shipka (Actress)

This chic restaurant is cheerful and bright, serving a plethora of American staples – best when accompanied by their famed fingerling potatoes. In the AM, a specialty is the blueberry ricotta pancakes, which you can pair with their french press coffee for the perfect start to a day. Make a Reservation. “For brunch I love [...]

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Bludso’s Bar & Que

Recommended by: Mike Doyle (Actor)

This no frills, barbecue joint serves up some of the best Texas-style barbecue Los Angeles has to offer. The heavily guarded, family recipe and traditional cooking techniques produce savory, fall-off-the-bone ribs, juicy pulled pork, and other tender meats. The selection of quintessential Southern side dishes complete this down-home cooking experience.   www.barandque.com

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Bricks and Scones

Recommended by: Hannah Marks (Actress)

Bricks and Scones is a great little cafe on Larchmont. The scones are an obvious but delicious order; ask for an extra large cup of their Lupicia teas. Check out the Study if you’re looking to get work done – it’s a quiet room where you get your own desk and lamp. Highly recommended for [...]

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Canter’s

Recommended by: Dita Von Teese (Burlesque Performer)

For 24-hour authentic deli food outside of New York City, family-owned Canter’s Deli calls itself a “Los Angeles landmark” in its own right.  The late-night hotspot looks and feels like a scene in an old black and white film and has been serving their homemade matzo ball soup recipe for 3 generations. www.cantersdeli.com

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Chi SPACCA

Recommended by: Mike Doyle (Actor), Anthony Carrino (TV Personality)

Chef Chad Colby runs this Italian meat-focused, child of the Nancy Silverton Empire. Colby is known for his impressive house-cured meats, which he deftly prepares in the restaurant’s open kitchen. The impressive charcuterie and inventive dishes are served in a low-lit dining room that exudes an invitingly warm atmosphere. www.chispacca.com

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Cooks County

Recommended by: Kiernan Shipka (Actress)

Cooks County combines comfort food with a Californian sensibility, putting out farm-to-table fare that is effortlessly fantastic. The neighborhood café keeps it rustic with a low-key decor. Don’t miss their brunch or overlook the wine list. “For brunch I love Cooks County.” – Kiernan Shipka (Actress, Mad Men) www.cookscountyrestaurant.com

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El Coyote

Recommended by: Alexandra Daddario (Actress)

This established Mexican eatery is always fun for a big group dinner, and the décor is truly a spectacle. You’ll be served Mexican comfort food by wait staff in traditional Mexican fashions amid the colorful lights strewn across the ceiling and painted murals. Actress Alex Daddario from Parenthood fame tells The New Potato that it’s [...]

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Fig & Olive

Recommended by: Victor Rasuk (Actor)

Fig & Olive serves Mediterranean fare in a light and airy dining room. The menu revolves around their dazzling selection of extra virgin oils, from which one is carefully chosen to be paired with each dish. Make a Reservation. www.figandolive.com

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Fonuts

Recommended by: Camilla Belle (Actress)

Yes, you guessed it, LA has found a way to showcase healthy doughnuts…and they’re actually good! With gluten free and vegan options, as well as an aversion to fryer oil and a penchant for baking and steaming, pastry chefs Waylynn Lucas and Nancy Truman have found a way to make somewhat-guilt-free doughnuts. www.fonuts.com

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Inaka

Recommended by: Alicia Silverstone (Actress)

Inaka is different from many macrobiotic places in LA for a few reasons. One being it’s all Japanese food, and the other being it’s been around for 30 years. The ingredients are local and seasonal and customers can enjoy menu items like seafood yosenabe hot pots and fish noodle soup (that are both delicious and [...]

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Jon & Vinny’s

Recommended by: Lorenza Izzo (Actress)

If anyone was questioning whether Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo can do wrong, the answer can be found at their latest endeavor: Jon and Vinny’s, a new Italian-American spot. The comfort food game is taken to new levels with their #cheatdayworthy pizzas and pastas. Try the spicy fusilli, or really any of the pizzas – [...]

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Mainland Poke

Recommended by: Cassey Ho (Vlogger)

The poke trend is going strong, and this fresh and modern spot in Los Angeles has become a local favorite for a quick, healthy Hawaiian-inspired meal. Pick your fish, sauce, and pile on whatever toppings you desire – the artisanal ingredients from Chef Kayson Chong are fresh and delicious, and mixed to your liking to create [...]

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Paper or Plastik

Recommended by: Shannon Leto (Musician)

Housed in a spacious room constructed exclusively out of recycled materials, this hip cafe is all about locally-sourced, high-quality offerings, which include coffee, tea, and a substantial food menu. www.paperorplastikcafe.com

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Paramount Coffee Project

Recommended by: Nick Mathers (Restaurateur)

This multi-roaster coffee shop brings a taste of Australia to L.A. The long and narrow space brings together a collaboration of remarkable design and enthusiasm for coffee. PCP has an emphasis on the knowledge of coffee, yet also makes sure to focus on delicious food. Plus, there are few places around where one can go [...]