For a city spanning 469 square miles, the Los Angeles food scene is overwhelming at best. Granted, a lot of that distance is serviced by a series of never-ending highways and intersections, but as the saying goes, every road leads to somewhere. And judging by the sheer scale of bitumen frantically darting from one edge of the horizon to the other from a Hollywood Hills vantage point, there’s a lot of somewheres to be found.

Unfortunately it’s absolutely  impossible to try every single somewhere (or restaurant in this case) on a single street let alone the Greater Lost Angeles area, but it is possible to name the top 4 LA restaurants I like to visit when I’m in town.  Voila:

Bestia
2121 E 7th Pl
Los Angeles, CA 90021

“To describe Bestia as a brick bunker isn’t intended to insult. The wide open restaurant, defined by walls of exposed brick with an unfinished ceiling—a raw, urban aesthetic that’s de rigeur at the moment—feels alive in a way that most dining destinations in Los Angeles do not. (The restaurant may be slightly loud but that hasn’t stopped anyone.) And Bestia is perhaps one of the city’s best examples of a dining destination—tucked away off a side street in Downtown’s Arts District surrounded by factory spaces, many of which sit vacant.

Don’t let the hip and the cool here fool you. Bestia is a serious restaurant turning out excellent, ingredient-driven Italian fare at a moderate price point and poised to make waves in Los Angeles.”

Bestia Los Angeles 6

Bestia Los Angeles

Gjelina
1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd
Venice, CA 90291

“This farm-to-table favourite in Venice delivers superb seasonal small plates, divine pizzas and a butterscotch pudding that absolutely steals the show. If you can stomach the crazy-loud dining room packed with the cool crowd and a little bit of a wait for food, this hotspot won’t disappoint.”

Gracias Madre
8905 Melrose Ave
West Hollywood, CA 90069

“It should be said that Gracias Madre is beautiful. A cross between Mexican chic and Palm Springs casual, the restaurant is decorated with festive cushions and tiles, a gorgeous courtyard and, inside, high ceilings and a comfortable bar. Wherever you choose to sit, order the guacamole—it, too, is fantastic; “some of the best I’ve ever had,” asserted my dinner companion. For a Mexican restaurant (and a vegan one at that) to screw up guac would be enough to call it quits, but combined with their truly addictive house made chips, it is an exceptional start.”

Malibu Farm 
23000 Pacific Coast Hwy
Malibu, CA 90265

“A drive down  along the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu is a must for any traveller. With it’s views of the Pacific Ocean, sandy beaches, and proximity to million dollar homes, this highway takes you on an uniquely Southern California journey.

The Malibu Pier, located along Malibu Lagoon State Beach (“Surfrider Beach”), is a popular stop for surfers, fisherman and now foodies who flock to Malibu Farm Cafe, the newest addition to this local hotspot. Inside the restaurant, customers filled the farmhouse tables, drinking fresh juice from mason jars and gazing at the priceless view of the Pacific Ocean. There are booths, a large communal table, and several smaller tables located outside with a view of the surfers and beach goers nearby.

“Fresh. Organic. Local” is the restaurant’s motto and it certainly lives up to those words. All of the produce used at the Cafe is provided by local farms — Larry Thorne Family Farm, Maggie’s Farm, 1 Gun Ranch, and Malibu Farm.”

Malibu Farm Los Angeles

Malibu Farm 7

Malibu Farm 6

TRIP NOTES

Getting To LA

United Airlines flies daily direct from Melbourne to Los Angeles on their new Dreamliner 787-9 aircraft. United also flies daily direct from Sydney to Los Angeles on its B777 aircraft.

Staying in LA

The Intercontinental Hotel Los Angeles Century City Beverly Hills is conveniently located 20 minutes by car from Grand Central Markets, and minutes away from Fox Studio. Rooms start from $350USD. See Intercontinental Century City Los Angeles.

More Information

For more information on discovering LA, head to the Los Angeles Tourism website.

AMW xx

~~
Stefanie Acworth was a guest of United Airlines and Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board in November 2014.

Bestia excerpt via Timeout LA
Gjelina excerpt via Zagat
Gracias Madre excerpt via Timeout LA
Malibu Farm excerpt via Our Body Book

Cover Image courtesy of Gracias Madre restaurant, taken by Eric Wolfinger  
Bestia images courtesy of restaurant
Malibu Farm image 3 courtesy of restaurant