Diversity is the key to LA's cuisine. It's also no surprise that LA is the birthplace of the celebrity chef phenomenon, with big names like Wolfgang Puck, Gino Angelini and David Myers at the forefront of the city's premier kitchens. Diners especially enjoy the exquisite (albeit expensive) Italian options at Osteria Mozza in Hollywood. Travelers may also opt for certain restaurants based on who might be sitting at the next table. Those looking for a star-studded meal might try Palm Restaurant or The Ivy in or near Beverly Hills, Fig & Olive in West Hollywood, or The Polo Lounge at The Beverly Hills Hotel on Sunset Boulevard.
Meanwhile, Los Angeles boasts a more than 130-year-old Little Tokyo and has been a sushi town ever since the California roll hit LA restaurants in the 1960s – there's even an area along Ventura Boulevard in Studio City dubbed "Sushi Row." To satisfy a craving for raw fish and rice, many suggest Katsu-ya, Sushi Gen and SUGARFISH by sushi nozawa.
But you can't say you've truly had the Los Angeles food experience until you've consumed your weight in Mexican fare. Try a! Grill on Hollywood Boulevard for rich poblano mole or El Compadre Restaurant for flaming margaritas, enchiladas and live mariachi music nightly. If you're feeling adventurous, order some tacos de lengua (beef tongue tacos) from a taco truck.
Food trucks serving up everything from loaded hot dogs and barbecue to sushi burritos (large sushi rolls eaten like a burrito) and gourmet quinoa bowls are popular in Santa Monica and Venice Beach, perfect for a quick bite before heading back to the sand.
And while Los Angeles may not be the first city that comes to mind when you think of a burgeoning brewery culture, it is certainly home to some top-notch breweries beer lovers will enjoy. Those interested in a swankier scene can head to one of the city's best cocktail bars, including The Varnish and ETA.