Located in the Andaz Hotel in West Hollywood, RH transcends the stereotype of a hotel restaurant. The Andaz used to be known as the “Riot House,” a favorite spot for hard-partying rock bands like Led Zeppelin and Motorhead. The stylish, attractive restaurant applies a cohesive farm-to-table philosophy on its extensive menu, with classic California cuisine traditions receiving colorful and innovative twists.
The atmosphere is lively and exciting, with a large open kitchen at the center of the space giving each diner a view of their meal being prepared. Some favorite appetizers on the menu include the French-style shrimp cocktail, the truffle shoestring fries, and the Pata Negra ham with tomato crostini. For entrees, you can’t go wrong with the duck confit or truffle risotto. Prices are a little high, but the quality is top-notch and the place is really something special, perfect for date night.
8401 Sunset Boulevard
West Hollywood, CA 90069
Scratch Bar offers diners a unique experience from start to finish, making it stand out from its neighbors on LA’s infamous “restaurant row.” From the food to the decor, everything here is made from scratch. Inside the cozy space you’ll find handmade furnishings like leather banquettes and hand-carved, woodgrain table tops. The walls are painted tattoo-style by the same artist that inked owner-operator Chef Phillip Frankland Lee. The creativity even continues in the bathroom, where you’ll find chalkboard walls and a basket of chalk for leaving messages.
Scratch’s inventive nature is easily seen in the cuisine. For dinner, start off with a green mussel and sea urchin sake shooter, or share some honey fried stuffed olives or garlic and thyme popcorn across the table. Dinner entrees include crispy skin Pacific salmon and dry aged hanger steak. A chef’s tasting menu, solid wine list, desserts, and late night Mexican fare are also at your disposal.
Taste on Melrose is an exceptional eatery with three locations in the Los Angeles area, all of which are known for high-quality new American cuisine with a gourmet twist. The menu here is heavy on comfort food favorites executed with fresh, seasonal ingredients.
Start your meal with the incredible white truffle oil and mushroom macaroni and cheese, which is a decadent delight. If you’re feeling a little more health-conscious, the Thai chicken cups with crispy rice are exceptional. The salads are fresh and delicious; try the shaved Brussels sprouts with pancetta or the red and yellow beets with arugula and herbed goat cheese. For entrees, regulars rave about the crispy parmesan chicken paillard with roasted garlic potato puree and the grilled cheese sandwich with short ribs. Taste on Melrose also offers a number of gluten-free choices. Prices are fair, and the service is uniformly excellent.
Taste on Melrose
8454 Melrose Avenue
West Hollywood, CA 90069
WeHo Bistro is a neighborhood institution that serves high-quality European-style bistro food at reasonable prices, and legions of West Hollywood locals fill the restaurant's tables on a daily basis.
Breakfast is the most popular meal served here. Most dishes come served with excellent roasted potatoes and fresh greens. Some of the more popular options are the breakfast croissant with eggs, Emmental Swiss cheese and prosciutto, and the corned beef hash topped with two sunny side up eggs. If you have a sweet tooth, the French toast made with croissants is unbelievable. For lunch, be sure to try one of the filling savory crepes; the Milano with eggplant, tomato and parmesan is very good. Dinnertime specialties include the duck breast with cognac and honey sauce, a number of bistro pastas, as well as the filet mignon with peppercorn mushroom sauce.
Take-out and delivery are available if you can’t get a table.
There are literally hundreds of top-tier chefs making their mark on Los Angeles right now, but one who seems to always win raves is Suzanne Goin at Lucques. She apprenticed at some of the best kitchens in the world, including Chez Panisse and L’Arpege before opening her own spot in 1998. Walk through the ivy-covered front of the building and you’ll find yourself transported to a magical land where food is king.
The menu is diverse and constantly changing with the seasons, but some can’t-miss dishes include the incredible braised short ribs, which are cooked agonizingly slowly to bring out the tenderness of the meat, as well as the lobster beignets. The ricotta dumplings with sunchokes, winter squash, and chanterelles are exceptional as well. The wine list is extensive, with the servers happy to recommend pairings for your dishes. Prices are a little steep, but you’re going to get your money’s worth here.
Luca Giorgetti, the owner of Luca on Sunset, is committed to making his casual Italian eatery the best it can possibly be. The menu beautifully fuses the comfort foods of Italy with the fresh produce harvests of California, and regulars rave about the meals here. When you step in, you’ll be immediately charmed by the minimal but welcoming decor. The entire restaurant was built using eco-friendly materials, and growing plants all around the dining room give it a verdant vibe.
Start your meal with the kale salad with almonds and parmesan cheese, or go for the excellent bruschetta. The pizzas are made fresh and expertly topped, and gluten-free dough is available for those with dietary restrictions. Don't skip the smoothies, which are widely regarded to be some of the best in town. Luca on Sunset also brews kombucha in-house; this fizzy fermented drink has quite a following among health buffs, and on weekends it can cause a line to form out the door!
Ben Canter and his brothers had been manning the counter of their deli in Jersey City, New Jersey, for five years—familiarizing faces of regulars and catching their culinary stride—when the stock market plummeted in 1929. Like many, they were forced to scrape together the little they had retained, a mere $500, and head west. Los Angeles in 1931 wasn't a delicatessen owner's dream location, but they opened Canter's Deli nonetheless.
Throughout the next 83 years, three generations of Canters would do their parts to help the displaced deli fit into its Hollywood setting. They moved to their current location at the old Esquire Theatre, added a cocktail lounge named the Kibitz Room, opened a new store in the "O" of the Hollywood sign, and watched their doors open to a who's who of celebrities, including Marilyn Monroe, Jack Benny, Elizabeth Taylor, Wilt Chamberlain, Prince, and the band members from Guns N' Roses.
The Canters overhauled their menu in 2012 to reflect the changing times and West Coast tastes. Among the newcomers are panini-style deli melts (all less than $10) and updated burgers such as the Black and Blue, which comes loaded with thick-cut bacon. The best East Coast staples remain, of course. A good example is the hot corned-beef Reuben served on rye bread that's double-baked in-house and grilled to perfection. Available 24 hours a day, the expansive selection of deli fare and baked goods has garnered an equally expansive amount of press, including the monte cristo’s designation as one of Esquire's Best Sandwiches in America.
As a microcosm of the deli's convenience and culture, the staff validates parking for up to 90 minutes in its parking lot, where muralist Art Mortimer's seven-panel collage-style mural depicts Jewish history in Los Angeles.
Fresh seafood, meats, and fresh produce local to southern California take center stage at The Hungry Cat. The cool, modern decor includes a big raw bar, and the outdoor seating will make you forget you’re in the city.
Here, meats and seafoods are smoked in-house, and wines and local beers rotate regularly. For lunch or dinner, there’s nothing tastier than the oysters on the half shell, and the classic “Pug Burger” always gets big raves with regulars. Another popular time to come is for the weekend brunch.
The Hungry Cat is open Mondays through Fridays for lunch, and every day for dinner.
The Hungry Cat
1535 Vine Street
Hollywood, CA 90028
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.