BEST OVER-THE-TOP DINING EXPERIENCE
Vespertine (Culver City) Chef Jordan Kahn’s transportive dining experience is akin to performance art, with every sense stimulated from the moment you arrive to memories in the months that follow: You’ll remember the symphony of sounds and tastes for quite some time. Dishes from the multicourse tasting menu are thoughtfully composed from inventive ingredients in an avant-garde fashion. Be prepared to devote the best part of the evening to your meal: It can last up to five hours.
BEST MIDDLE EASTERN FOOD WITH A TWIST
Kismet (Los Feliz) Owners Sarah Hymanson and Sara Kramer have perfected their contemporary spin on Middle Eastern classics, served in a petite, pale-pink and blond wood space on Hollywood Boulevard. The flaky bread for breakfast or lunch is a must-order. Dipped in creamy labneh and served with either preserved honey and lemon or a soft-boiled egg with tomato and spices, the flavors and textures are irresistable.
BEST MEAT-FOCUSED RESTAURANT
Chi SPACCA (Hancock Park) Head to Nancy Silverton’s cozy, dimly lit meat mecca for flavor-packed salami and pates, the unforgettably stretchy and perfectly salted focaccia di Recco, and the hearty beef and bone marrow pie.
BEST DECADENT BREAKFAST
Republique (La Brea) Yes, the lines are long, but the wait is so worth it at Walter and Margarita Manzke’s perpetually packed all-day restaurant. Every meal is special, but breakfast is particularly so due to Margarita’s excellent pastries. Those wanting something heartier will benefit from bites of the burratta toast or the kimchi fried rice with beef short rib and a soft-poached egg.
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