Los Angeles is home to some of the most exciting restaurants in the entire nation and is a foodie's paradise, so long as you know to avoid the tourist traps. The eateries in this vast sprawl of a city range from pop-ups, food trucks, street food, sit-down casual restaurants, ethnic food, and fine-dining institutions are nothing short of off the hook. Check out the 10 best restaurants in Los Angeles that are not tourist traps. These are the places where locals in the foodie scene love to eat and that will offer the best in ethnic, upscale, and casual dining in LA.

    1

    Republique

    Try Californian fusion crossed with a bistro experience

    Republique offers an experience that can only be described as a bistro crossed with true Californian cuisine, with menu offerings ranging from roast chicken to kimchi. The restaurant is a café, so the pastries are a must-try—be sure to save some room after dinner. The Gothic facade of the structure speaks to its historic past, as the building once housed the film studio of Charlie Chaplain as well as Mark Peel's and Nancy Silverton's Campanile. One thing to remember when you visit here: Come in early because the pastries and baked goods are made once per day, and once they're gone, they're gone until tomorrow. It's located in the diverse community along La Brea Avenue.

    Location: 624 South La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036, USA

    Open: Daily from 8 am to 2 pm and 6 pm to 9 pm

    Phone: +1 310-362-6115

    Map

    photo by T.Tseng (CC BY 2.0) modified

    2

    Bestia

    Experience classic Italian with a twist

    Bestia offers classic Italian cuisine as presented through the lens of one of LA's most celebrated chefs, along with the chance to catch a glimpse of someone famous. The restaurant is constantly in vogue amongst the food scene in the city, and the clientele is as stylish as the cuisine. You'll need a reservation to get a table, and it's located in the city centre Arts District. Amongst the more famous menu highlights is the Spaghetti Rustichella, which tops the noodles with Dungeness crab, Calabrian chilli, citrus, onion seed, and Thai basil, and shows off just how gourmet something so simple can be. Make sure to save some time for dessert; the sweets are to die for.

    Location: 2121 E 7th Pl, Los Angeles, CA 90021, USA

    Open: Wednesday–Sunday from 3.30 pm to 7 pm (closed Monday–Tuesday)

    Phone: +1 213-514-5724

    Map

    photo by T.Tseng (CC BY 2.0) modified

    3

    Orsa & Winston

    Discover a fusion blend of Japanese and Italian

    Orsa & Winston is a contemporary Asian fusion restaurant that creates unusual dishes from a blend of Japanese and Italian traditions and is famed for its tasting menu. While the food is eclectic, including a la carte items, katsu sandwiches, grain bowls, and the like, the atmosphere is casual, laid back, and fun. It's located right in the City centre Historic Core. The menu here is all about taking unique risks. You might have uni and scallops mixed in rice porridge, or you might choose wagyu and cauliflower in broth. The sky's the limit here, which is why the tasting menu is so important. The restaurant offers both on-site and to-go menus.

    Location: 122 W 4th St, Los Angeles, CA 90013, USA

    Phone: +1 213-687-0300

    Map

    photo by T.Tseng (CC BY 2.0) modified

    4

    Mariscos Jalisco

    Sit down for some Jalisco-style Mexican

    Mariscos Jalisco is a food-truck eatery that slings classic Mexican Jalisco-style seafood dishes and is known for one of the most classic fish taco offerings in the city. In addition to the tacos, the trucks offer ceviches, oysters on the half shell, and tostadas. The signature dish, however, is the tacos dorado de camaron, which consists of a fried shrimp tortilla topped with avocado and salsa roja. The lorry is located in the Boyle Heights area and is cash-only, so be sure to stop at a cash machine before visiting. You can also choose to have the tacos loaded up on the lorry or have the components separate so you can assemble yourself at home.

    Location: 3040 E Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90023, USA

    Open: Daily from 9 am to 6 pm

    Phone: +1 323-528-6701

    Map

    photo by T.Tseng (CC BY 2.0) modified

    5

    Hayato

    Get the full Japanese experience

    Hayato is a Japanese restaurant that offers an ethnic cuisine experience that walks you right into a world of Japanese culture with all the aesthetics to match. This intimate space is decorated with handcrafted ceramics from Japan, and the food offers the kind of precise technique that can only come with classical culinary training. The flavour palate here is understated, delicate, and possibly some of the most balanced in the city. Try the crab meatball soup, steamed abalone with liver sauce, and, for dessert, the fresh fruit in sake jam. The lunch-only bento meals need to be ordered well in advance, as they are in limited quantities and sell out almost every month, and dinner is by reservation only.

    Location: 1320 E 7th St #126, Los Angeles, CA 90021, USA

    Phone: +1 213-395-0607

    Map

    photo by T.Tseng (CC BY 2.0) modified

    6

    Spago of Beverly Hills

    Try the legendary meals of Wolfgang Puck

    Spago of Beverly Hills is the flagship restaurant of world-famous chef Wolfgang Puck and offers power lunches, celebrity sightings, and haute eats that will stay with you. This LA establishment has been a staple of the local food scene for 4 decades and features a constantly changing and evolving menu that keeps things fresh. The presentation is decidedly—and proudly—old school, but with a touch of modern flourish. The restaurant's tasting menu includes iconic Spago classics like smoked salmon pizza, but the seasonal specials are really where it's at. This upscale-casual establishment lies in the heart of Beverly Hills.

    Location: 176 N Canon Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210, USA

    Open: Wednesday–Thursday from 5.30 pm to 10 pm, Friday–Saturday from 5.30 pm to 11 pm, Sunday from 5 pm to 10 pm (closed Monday–Tuesday)

    Phone: +1 310-385-0880

    Map
    7

    Broad Street Oyster Company

    Satisfy your craving for lobster rolls

    The Broad Street Oyster Company began as a pop-up and today is about as iconic an LA seafood shack as one could ask for, famed for its lobster rolls. Try them cold, New-England style, or get one warm and buttered. You can even get them loaded up with unusual add-ons like caviar. Of course, it's not all about the lobster rolls; you can get steamed mussels, fried clam strips, uni, oysters, and all the fried seafood staples. The beer and wine selection combined with daily specials add a touch of excitement and fun to this restaurant located in a Malibu strip mall.

    Location: 23359 CA-1 #3874A, Malibu, CA 90265, USA

    Open: Daily from 11.30 am to 8 pm

    Phone: +1 424-644-0131

    Map
    8

    Bavel

    Go on a culinary journey through the Near and Middle East

    Bavel takes you on a cultural and culinary journey through Turkey, Morocco, Egypt, and Israel with couscous, fire-roasted meats, fantastic desserts, and outstanding pitas. It's the sister restaurant of LA Italian staple Bestia and has all of the culinary delights of its sister but with a completely different cultural background. The dishes here combine traditional family recipes with modern culinary arts to bring fantastic hummus and speciality dishes like spiced ice cream. Walk-ins are welcome, but reservations are encouraged to ensure you can get a seat at this City centre Arts District establishment.

    Location: 500 Mateo St, Los Angeles, CA 90013, USA

    Open: Wednesday–Sunday from 3.30 pm to 7 pm (closed Monday–Tuesday)

    Phone: +1 213-232-4966

    Map

    photo by T.Tseng (CC BY 2.0) modified

    9

    Sonoratown

    Grab a taco, quesadilla, or chimichanga

    Sonoratown is a Northern Mexican eatery with casual surroundings and specialises in tacos, quesadillas, chimichangas, and other Sonora-style cuisines. The family-friendly digs are a cornerstone of the City centre Fashion District food scene, and the staff members go out of their way to make it feel like home. Here, you'll find a diverse crowd enjoying delicious, chargrilled meats tucked into award-winning handmade tortillas that are brightened up by garnishes of cabbage and house salsa with spring onions on top. You can even buy the tortillas to take home, and that's highly recommended.

    Location: 208 E 8th St, Los Angeles, CA 90014, USA

    Open: Sunday–Thursday from 11 am to 9 pm, Friday–Saturday from 11 am to 10 pm

    Phone: +1 213-628-3710

    Map
    10

    Gjusta

    Walk the rows of a classic public market

    Gjusta is an Italian eatery that offers California-farmers-market casual dining in a bakery/deli/café combo operating out of an old warehouse in the Venice area. Here, locals and visitors alike flock to the public-market-style digs for sweet treats and savoury dishes like croissants, soups and salad, meats and fish, and picnic-style meals ideal for a beach spread. As you walk the aisles here, be sure to stop for some homemade jams and pickled goods, seeded honey, kumquat jam, and other fresh foods, and then grab some smoked chicken and flatbreads for lunch. You can spend hours going between take-home goods, fresh produce, and prepared foods in this quirky and fun establishment.

    Location: 320 Sunset Ave, Venice, CA 90291, USA

    Open: Daily from 7 am to 9 pm

    Phone: +1 310-314-0320

    Map

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