Food & Drink

15 Awesome Meals and Deals to Hit During dineL.A. Restaurant Week

Most of which you can enjoy in person!

Photo courtesy of Redbird

It’s been more than a month since California’s stay-at-home order was lifted, and we’re happy to report that a good amount of restaurants around the city (all of which have had a very, very tough year of simply trying to survive) have reopened for outdoor dining at limited capacity. If you’re ready to get back to onsite dining and take advantage of some of the best patio setups the LA restaurant scene has to offer, or if you just want to continue to support your neighborhood favorites with takeout and delivery, now is the time. The first-ever dineL.A. Restaurant Week (which is actually two weeks) to take place in the spring kicks off March 1, and will offer an array of menus starting at $15 for lunch deals, and $25 and up for multi-course dinners. Whether you’re looking for pizza and wings, a sit-down steak dinner, a full-blown omakase experience, or tacos and margaritas, dineL.A. will not disappoint. To help get you started on your quest, here’s our guide of 15 spots from Long Beach to the Valley to help you spread the love.

Note: Restaurant Week will take place March 1-14 and menus are still being added. Keep an eye on the dineL.A. site for the latest options.

Poppy + Rose
Photo courtesy of Poppy + Rose

If you’re craving some real-deal comfort food, this Historic Core cafĂ© is just the ticket, with menu items like buttermilk biscuits with honey butter, shrimp and grits, and a brown butter waffle fried chicken sandwich. Plus, if you visit Poppy + Rose during dineLA, you can add a $10 donation to the South LA CafĂ© Grocery Giveaway Initiative to your bill while you’re there. A win-win. 
The deal: $35 for a three-course lunch 
What to order: Buttermilk biscuit, shrimp and grits, steak frites, and espresso chocolate mousse

 

Chef/owner Mario Christerna, a Boyle Heights native, blends classic New York-style pizza with his Chicano roots at his new neighborhood joint centered around a woodfired oven with both traditional pies and his own inventions. He’s got a way with loaded fries and wings too, both of which, thankfully, come standard with the dineL.A. deals so you won’t have to make any tough decisions. 
The deal: $25 for a three-course lunch of pizza, wings, and french fries / $35 for a four-course dinner including dessert plus choice of wine, beer, or cocktail
What to order: Mole pizza, Flaming Hot Cheetos wings, Chicano gravy french fries 

 

Casa Vega
Photo courtesy of Casa Vega

Casa Vega

Sherman Oaks

The old school Valley fixture for magnificent Mexican fare sadly lost its patriarch, founder Ray Vega, at age 86 in January but daughter Christy is carrying on the family business, which recently added outdoor dining for the first time in its history when it turned its parking lot into a tented patio. Time to return for tacos, enchiladas, burritos, and, of course, those famous margs.
The deal: $20 for a three-course lunch / $35 for a three-course dinner with a margarita
What to order: Tres tacos plate, albondigas soup, churros

Pikunico Fried Chicken
Photo by Jakob Layman for Pikunico

As you already know, there’s never a bad time for a crispy, crunchy, it’s-too-much-but-I’m-eating-the-whole-thing-anyway fried chicken sandwich, so you’ll want to roll up to this fast-casual Japanese picnic-inspired eatery at the ROW DTLA to get yourself one (plus cookies!) during Restaurant Week. If you’re looking for fried chicken sans sandwich, stop in for dinner, when you can get a family basket of chix, plus sides and many cookies.
The deal: $15 for a two-course lunch, $35 for dinner, which includes enough for two adults and two kids.
What to order: The fried chicken sandwich (but you knew that) or family basket with slaw, fries, pickles, and dipping sauces. 

 

After more than 50 years, the stalwart Southern restaurant that bills itself as “NOLA in LA” is still serving homestyle dishes of gumbo, po’ boys,  jambalaya, and massive seafood platters, with the original owners’ grandson Ryan Legaux and wife Jessica at the helm. While vegetarians usually have limited options at pork-laced Southern eateries, Harold & Belle’s offers a meat-free okra gumbo in addition to its signature FilĂ© gumbo simmered with chicken, blue crab, ham, sausage, and shrimp.
The deal: $35 for two-course lunch or dinner, which includes a cocktail for two
What to order: FilĂ© gumbo, vegetarian okra gumbo, beignets

 

Adrift Burger
Photo by Josh Telles for Adrift Burger Bar

If you haven’t already, dineL.A. is the excuse you need to check out chef David Myers’ new Abbot Kinney outpost for gourmet burgers, including the signature Adrift version, layered with tomato-ajwain jam, pickled jalapeno, gruyère, and arugula. Grab it to go or take a seat on the art-covered patio. 
The deal: $15 for lunch, which includes the Adrift burger and truffle chips. 
What to order: Um, the Adrift burger and truffle chips.  

 

Chef Ross Pangilinan’s offshoot of his acclaimed Mix Mix Kitchen Bar in Santa Ana opened mid-pandemic at the massive Long Beach Exchange. It’s since become just as buzzy and beloved, with globally inspired snacks and small plates, a variety of sliders, and housemade pastas. The dineL.A. menu is looking like a serious bargain with a solid sampling of chef’s standouts.
The deal: $25 for a three-course lunch (weekends only) / $35 for a three-course dinner with a $10 optional middle course. 
What to order: All the snacks, soft egg raviolo, pork chop frites 

 

Redbird
Photo courtesy of Redbird

Redbird

Downtown

Neal and Amy Fraser’s glam restaurant that sits on a historic multi-acre Downtown LA property is the place to be when indoor dining isn’t an option. In addition to their open-roof courtyard space attached to the main restaurant (which happens to be housed in a gorgeous old rectory), they’ve also created dining spaces out of their outdoor courtyard and lush garden. The dineL.A. menu will give you a literal taste of many of the kitchen’s farm (or garden!)-to-table greatest hits along with some new additions. 
The deal: $55 for a three-course dinner
What to order: burrata and citrus salad, California sea bass, s’mores bar

 

This Sawtelle sushi bar, opened by the same crew responsible for the revered ramen restaurants with the same name, is a favorite for those looking for a high-end, super fresh, thoughtfully curated omakase. While the Restaurant Week menu will offer a pared-down omakase experience at dinner, you can also take home an eight-piece nigiri set or steak or salmon bowl for lunch. 
The deal: $20 for a two-course lunch / $45 for a four-course dinner
What to order: papaya salad, garlic prawns, braised oxtail with bone broth and noodles 

 

Same Same

Silver Lake

This Silver Lake strip mall favorite is both a modern Thai restaurant and wine bar, serving non-traditional pairings that somehow work. While all food and bottles are currently limited to to-go and delivery orders, you’ll still want to add this spot to your dineL.A. schedule, with lots of delish noodle dishes, bold curries, and small plates to satisfy your Thai food cravings.
The deal: $35 for three-course dinner, including a beer or non-alcoholic beverage. 
What to order: Laab, Pad See Ew, tapioca pudding

 

The breezy restaurant sprawled out above the pool at the stylish Hotel June comes courtesy of restaurateur Steve Livigni and the team behind Venice’s uber-popular Scopa Italian Roots and Dama Downtown. The menu covers the California coast, including Baja, so expect lots of seafood, Mexican-inspired plates, mezcal cocktails, and biodynamic wines. 
The deal: $35 for a three-course dinner
What to order: ceviche, carne asada taco plate, horchata panna cotta

 

Bone Kettle

Pasadena

Chef Erwin Tjahyadi’s “love letter to Southeast Asia” blends his mom’s recipes with ideas he picked up during his own travels for an inventive menu of noodle dishes, rice plates, shareable salads, and various odes to the Old Town restaurant’s 36-hour bone broth, which can serve as the base for braised oxtails, ginger-seared chicken, crispy tempeh, and more.
The deal: $20 for a two-course lunch / $45 for a four-course dinner
What to order: papaya salad, garlic prawns, braised oxtail with bone broth and noodles

 

Meat On Ocean
Photo courtesy of Meat on Ocean

Meat On Ocean

Santa Monica

Thanks to its humorously deadpan name, you already know the reason you’re dining here. But beyond being a carnivore’s kingdom, the Ocean Avenue eatery also provides plenty of people-watching and views of the Pacific Ocean from its expansive front patio. Go with an equally meat-obsessed pal to share a massive cut of Chateaubriand or bone-in ribeye as part of the restaurant’s dinner-for-two option.
The deal: $65 for a three-course dinner / $30 optional wine pairing 
What to order: Meatballs, filet mignon, old fashioned chocolate cake  

 

This Grand Central Market stall slings standout pupusas stuffed with everything from shrimp to cactus to chorizo to, of course, plenty of cheese, all based on family recipes of owner Sarah Clark, along with other El Salvadorian specialties like fried plantains and tripe soup. 
The deal: $15 for lunch 
What to order: TBD

 

Ms. Chi

Culver City

Top Chef alum Shirley Chung has gained a following for her Chinese-American cuisine, (especially during this takeout-crazy pandemic), but she’s perhaps best known for her whimsical dumplings, including those over-the-top jumbo cheeseburger pot stickers that come with bacon jam, in addition to her ground chicken iiaozi dumplings and veggie-stuffed vegan options served with a tofu-based aioli. 
The deal: $15 for lunch / $45 for dinner
What to order: chicken jiaozi dumplings, soy sauce cornish hens, mochi donuts 

 

Lizbeth Scordo is a food and lifestyle writer who loves pizza, sushi, pasta, fish tacos, cheese plates, ciabatta, and big salads. Follow her on Instagram.
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