There are tons of places in West Hollywood to see and be seen, but one that locals unanimously recommend is Craig’s on Melrose. Owner Craig Susser was the long-time manager of Dan Tana’s, one of Tinseltown’s most notorious celebrity hangouts. When that place was sold, he set out on his own in 2011 and the end result is Craig’s.
Here, the menu is upscale American comfort food that uses clever ingredients to produce large, tasty plates. Some of the most popular appetizers include the fried calamari and oysters on the half shell, but just about everything is good. For entrees, the baby back ribs with crisp shoestring fries win raves, as does the Big Al’s cheeseburger on a Portugese bun with spicy mayo, cheddar, bacon and pickles. The signature dish is probably the Meldman’s honey truffle chicken, fried to perfection and served with mashed potatoes and sautéed spinach.
Prices are a little high, but the glitterati that frequent the place don’t care.
A French restaurant that opened in September 2012, Gorge is owned by two chefs with serious pedigrees. Elia Aboumrad was a finalist on Top Chef and worked under Joel Robuchon in Paris, becoming the first woman to ever advance to the position of sous chef. Uyen Nguyen studied pastry in France and worked with Guy Savoy among other top-rated chefs.
The chef's collaboration for Gorge is spectacular, with a focus on high-end charcuterie. The head cheese here will make you rethink everything you know about the cut, made with pork heads simmered in broth for six hours and then set and spread across a fresh baguette. The smoked oyster mousse is also great, as are the poached endives in vanilla bean sauce. Don’t miss the autumn pear St. Honore dessert.
Off Vine is a hidden gem that captures the charm of old Hollywood near Park La Brea. Housed in a turn-of-the-century craftsman-style bungalow, this Los Angeles restaurant invites you to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and seek refuge for your taste buds. Off Vine’s outdoor dining area provides a retreat with lush greens and flowers in a vine-wrapped garden equipped with heat lamps to keep things cozy when the weather is cool. Follow your nose to the ballroom-like staircase inside, and you’ll find a romantic fireplace and the succulent scents of California-inspired comfort food.
In its a simple elegance, Off Vine serves lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch. With bottomless mimosas, banana or pumpkin bread, and awesome egg and griddle options (among others), it’s no wonder Off Vine’s a popular brunch spot. For dinner, regulars recommend the chicken pot pie and the Maple Leaf Farm duck breast, a tender and tasty cut enhanced by a bing cherry Grand Marnier sauce. The menu also features grilled meats, pasta, seafood, and even vegan options.
Visit Off Vine's website to learn more!
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There are all kinds of Thai restaurants in Los Angeles, from authentic strip mall dives to high-end fusion spots. West Hollywood’s Night + Market leans more toward the second side of that spectrum, but don’t be fooled; the food here can go toe-to-toe with the best. Chef Kris Yenbamroong has built the restaurant from the ground up to deliver a stylish, delicious sample of Bangkok street food. Since opening the restaurant, he’s won raves from the press and the public alike.
Start your meal here with the incredible nuoc mam chicken wings with spicy rooster sauce or the grilled fatty hog collar with chili dip, made in the Northern style. For entrees, some favorites include the rich, delicious slow-braised pork hock and the salt-crusted whole fish, stuffed with herbs and grilled. The kitchen’s a bit small so service can be a little slow, but it’s well worth the wait for food this good.
Night + Market
9041 W. Sunset Boulevard
West Hollywood, CA 90069
Cruzer Pizza and Pasta serves fine vegan Italian fare. Even though Cruzer Pizza uses no animal products in its menu, substitute toppings include a variety options that taste just like the real thing. Cruzer’s uses dairy free Daiya cheese in all its items, a staple in vegan cooking for its likeness to real cheese products. Expect all the pizza shop favorites, with starter items like potato skins, vegetarian meatballs, and cheese topped breadsticks. Sausages include vegan selections of classic items like cheese steak, sausage, and meatball. You can customize your pizza with Cruzer’s great selection of animal free toppings. Imitation sausage and pepperoni go great with crisp veggies and gooey vegan cheese. Even the most ardent meat lover can agree that Cruzer’s offers the best meat and dairy free pizza in town.
Cruzer Pizza and Pasta
4449 Prospect Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Fast food is also good food at Tender Greens, a "farm-to-plate" concept restaurant in Hollywood. Here, most of the produce used is picked fresh every day from a local farm in Oxnard, but Tender Greens also partners with other farms and suppliers in the area.
You'll appreciate the modern ambiance, which is decorated with many recycled materials. The menu items are called “slow food, done fast.” You'll always encounter delicious house-made soups, big salads, sandwiches, and entrees. The Backyard Steak is a good bet, as is the Salt and Pepper Chicken.
Open seven days a week, from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., Tender Greens lets you eat healthy without feeling hungry.
An authentic churrascaria (a Brazilian term for barbecue), Fogo de Chao is all about the meat. At Fogo de Chao's Beverly Hills location, you'll be greeted by a blue tiled tower that houses an authentic fogo de chao, the fire pit over which your meal is cooked.
Inside, the vibe is casual yet refined. Upon sitting down, you'll be given a two-sided round card that you'll use to communicate with the wait staff. Flip your card to the green side to wordlessly request more meat, which by the way, is carved tableside and includes 16 different varieties. Turn the card to the red side to signal that you're still working on the plate in front of you.
Let's not forget the salad bar: offering over 30 different gourmet selections, from salads and fresh veggies to aged cheeses, cured meats, and bread, Fogo de Chao's salad bar, decorated in flowers and greenery, is a focal point of the dining room. If you can, try to leave room for dessert, which includes flan, chocolate cake, and the restaurant's signature papaya cream.
Fogo de Chao's Beverly Hills location is open seven days a week, and charges a flat rate for meals, depending on whether you're joining the restaurant for lunch, dinner, or just the salad bar. Kids six and under eat free, and an expansive selection of South American wines is available to complement your meal.
Fogo de Chao
133 N. La Cienega Boulevard
Beverly Hills, CA 90211
Photo courtesy of Fogo de Chao Beverly Hills
Regulars rave about Salsa and Beer’s amazing selection of top-notch Mexican dishes made with only the finest ingredients available. The prices here are super reasonable for the large portion sizes, as well as the quality of the food. Diners are served complimentary chips and salsa from Salsa and Beer’s very own salsa bar. Small plates are great for kicking off any meal. These include quesadillas with a variety of fillings, spicy wings, and chicken flautas. Fish specialties feature fresh catches seasoned with Salsa and Beer’s signature sauces. Spicy chipotle sauce comes together with perfectly-cooked fish to create Fish a La Diabla. Fajitas come in a variety of preparations, with your choice of meat and a ton of fresh veggies and sauces. Enchiladas are homemade and feature such fillings as charbroiled chicken, steak, shrimp, and succulent pork.
Salsa and Beer
11669 Sherman Way
North Hollywood, CA 91607
Those looking for a swanky atmosphere capped off by superior food and drink have met their match in The Federal Bar. This ultra-cool space is the place for North Hollywood revelers to feed all their senses. Beer enthusiasts will love the great selection of craft brews. Draft beer flights are a great way to sample The Federal Bar’s great selection, while beer floats are a high octane twist on a childhood treat.
The Federal Bar also features a daily happy hour and a Sunday brunch. The Breakfast Burger is a juicy patty topped with egg and kale pesto, while the Red Velvet Waffle features orange-tinged butter and berries. Small plates include Short Rib Poutine, Grilled Artichoke, and an Ahi Tuna Crudo. More substantial items include Fried Chicken and Sage-Seasoned Waffles and a Pulled Pork Sandwich served on a brioche bun.
The Federal Bar
5303 Lankershim Boulevard
North Hollywood, CA 91601
Republic of Pie offers San Fernando Valley diners the very best of everything, from its scrumptious pies and baked goods to its fresh brewed coffee. Both sweet and savory pies are served here; expect a variety of quiches, plus turkey chili and pot pies that incorporate decadent favorites like Mac 'n Cheese.
Sweet selections include classic concoctions such as apple and coconut meringue, strawberry rhubarb and chocolate banana bread pudding. Specialty tea drinks and coffee are also served here.
Republic of Pie
11118 Magnolia Boulevard
San Fernando Valley, CA 91601