Food & Drink

The 14 Greatest Restaurants in Hollywood

Published On 04/08/2016 Published On 04/08/2016
ramen bowls, hollywood ramen bowls
Courtesy of Anne Fishbein (edited)

Best ramen: Jinya Ramen Express

6801 Hollywood Blvd #317

No, seriously: the best place to score a bowl of delicious noodles is inside Hollywood’s busiest mall, and you get to customize it to your liking. Pick your broth, your noodles (the spinach noodles are highly underrated), and then your toppings. If it's not one of the most delicious bowls of ramen you’ve ever had, you have no one to blame but yourself.

Best patio dining: Grub

911 Seward St

Any place that serves something called “Crack Bacon” has to be good, and this quaint little diner off the beaten Hollywood path definitely qualifies. It's made even better by the outdoor patio surrounded by foliage-covered trellises -- go during brunch or lunch to take advantage of the daylight while feasting on your croissant French toast and that insane bacon.

Best seafood: The Hungry Cat

1535 N. Vine St

Whether for lunch, brunch, or dinner, The Hungry Cat has been the go-to for inventive, LA-style seafood dishes for over a decade. Do it up by starting with a one-, two-, or three-tier seafood platter, and pair your meal with one of the market-fresh cocktails that complement basically everything on the menu.

Flickr/Larry

Best New York pizza: Joe’s Pizza

6504 Hollywood Blvd

The classic NY-style pizza here is available by the slice and until 2:30am, every single day. It's simple, no-nonsense stuff that ticks the "I need a greasy slice in my body immediately" box handily.

Flickr/ T.Tseng

Best breakfast: Sqirl

720 Virgil Ave #4

Sqirl single-handedly made Virgil Village a thing, as is apparent from the inevitable but well-deserved line that snakes out its glass doors and around the corner. Go early for the seasonal specials, and stay for favorites like the sorrel pesto rice bowl and seared polenta -- and the people watching isn't bad, either.

Best pub-style burger: Stout

1544 N. Cahuenga Blvd

Whether you're craving rosemary bacon or crispy prosciutto with your beef patty, the best pub-style burgers in Hollywood hold are more than a match. What's more, each of the signature burgers on Stout's menu includes a pairing suggestion for the best style of beer to amplify your chosen flavors. Stop by during happy hour (4-6pm on weekdays), and you'll get that burger half off (a measly $6).

Best old-school spot for when your parents are footing the bill: Musso & Frank Grill

6667 Hollywood Blvd

When a restaurant that doubles as a historical landmark employs bartenders who’ve worked there longer than you’ve been alive, you’ve got a must-eat-at-least-once situation best financed by the parentals. Start off with a famous martini (it comes complete with a sidecar), and finish with the bone-in ribeye. Done.

Esther Tseng/Thrillist

Best under-the-radar restaurant: Baroo

5706 Santa Monica Blvd

No wait staff, no cashier, yet nominated as Best New Restaurant by the James Beard Foundation? That’s Baroo, a nondescript strip mall spot serving up Korean-influenced gems using unique ingredients for out-of-this-world flavor combinations, all of which will leave you in a fermented tizzy. Since the place is short on staff, wait to visit during the odd hours (like between lunch and dinner). Your patience will be rewarded.

Best pastrami: Greenblatt’s Deli

8017 Sunset Blvd

Greenblatt’s perfectly seasoned slices of pastrami are hot and juicy every time -- saddle that with a bottle of wine from the retail shop adjacent to the deli and enjoy your sandwich like a pro.

Best prix fixe dining: Papilles

6221 Franklin Ave

Smaller is never better, except when it comes to the seasonal, weekly changing menu at Papilles. You might want to add supplements, but will definitely need a glass or more from the top-notch wine selection to be paired expertly with your food.

Flickr/Ron Dollete

Best Thai: Luv2eat

6660 W. Sunset Blvd

Strip mall Thai restaurants may be the norm in Hollywood, but don’t be fooled by the one with the cutesy name outside of Thai Town. Luv2eat may be close to Highland Ave, but it takes its dishes to a whole new level of flavor as well as authenticity. Order what you normally would as your favorite Thai spot, and you’ll get a version that’s to the nth degree. Or go big with dishes that employ purple blood clams, funky shrimp paste, or salted mussels.

Esther Tseng/Thrillist

Best chef-driven restaurant: Birch

1634 N Cahuenga Blvd

Birch might be the most adventurous restaurant ever to hit the neighborhood, blending together influences and flavors from all over the world (think scallop sashimi and rabbit baklava). As a bonus, you'll find a collection of inspired, market-forward cocktails with ingredient combinations like black lime and white tea rum, frankincense and irish whiskey, or vodka and pinecone.

Best date spot: Cleo at The Redbury

1717 Vine St

Cleo has a wide and delicious selection of the Mediterranean small plates known as Mezze, and its baba ghanoush and grilled octopus are not to be missed. There's a great “see and be seen” scene here as well, thanks to the place's posh surroundings and the consequent pretty people who frequent it.

Courtesy of Anjali Pinto

Best pre-movie spot: Stella Barra

6372 Sunset Blvd

Headed to see Titanic III in the Cinerama Dome after your meal, but you only want to find parking once? Head first to Stella Barra next door, with great Neapolitan pies topped with the freshest ingredients. The starters and salads are no slouches, either, if you're going for that whole “balanced meal” idea.

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1. Stout Burgers & Beers 1544 N Cahuenga Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028 (Hollywood)

Whether you're craving rosemary bacon or crispy prosciutto with your beef patty, the best pub-style burgers in Hollywood hold are more than a match. What's more, each of the signature burgers on Stout's menu includes a pairing suggestion for the best style of beer to amplify your chosen flavors. Stop by during happy hour (4-6pm on weekdays), and you'll get that burger half off (a measly $6).

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2. Joe's Pizza 6504 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028 (West Hollywood)

The classic NY-style pizza here is available by the slice and until 2:30am, every single day. It's simple, no-nonsense stuff that ticks the "I need a greasy slice in my body immediately" box handily.

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3. Greenblatt's Delicatessen 8017 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90046

Since opening its doors in 1926, Greenblatt’s Delicatessen has become something of an LA institution, mostly because of the homemade matzo ball soup, hot Reuben, corned beef sandwich, and Double Chocolate Fudge Cake. Greenblatt’s perfectly seasoned slices of pastrami are hot and juicy every time -- saddle it with a bottle of wine from the retail shop adjacent to the deli, and enjoy your sandwich like a true LA native.

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4. Sqirl 720 N Virgil Ave, #4, Los Angeles, CA 90029 (Silverlake)

Sqirl single-handedly made Virgil Village a thing, evidenced by the well-deserved line that snakes out its glass doors and around the corner. Its cult following comes for globally inspired breakfast and lunch dishes at this small, minimalist-chic, vegan-friendly cafe, including a sorrel pesto rice bowl, seared polenta, and seasonal specials like a smoked whitefish tartine and buckwheat pancakes. Speaking of pancakes, you really should make Sqirl your brunch go-to, when it hits a sweet spot between healthy (“Kabbouleh” with crispy brown rice, kale, cauliflower, and sumac) and indulgent (Guittard chocolate and hazelnut butter on thick-cut brioche toast). Make sure you take some homemade, sustainable jam to go, too.

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5. Jinya Ramen Express 6801 Hollywood Blvd Ste 317, Los Angeles, CA 90028 (Hollywood)

The best place to score a bowl of delicious noodles is Jinya Ramen Express, inside Hollywood’s busiest mall. Customize the bowl to your liking: pick your broth, your noodles (the spinach noodles are highly underrated) and your toppings. If it's not one of the most delicious bowls of ramen you’ve ever had, you have no one to blame but yourself (but with Jinya's goods, it's nearly impossible to create anything less than incredible).

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6. Baroo 5706 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90038 (Hollywood)

This tiny, nondescript spot in an East Hollywood strip mall is helmed by chefs who've worked the kitchens of the world's best restaurants, Noma and Daniel. The restaurant's name comes from the bowl that Buddhist monks use for their meals, and the Asian-influenced menu features fitting grain bowls for no more than $15. You probably won't recognize much on the menu, but the out-of-this-world flavor combinations and unique ingredients will leave you beyond satisfied.

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7. Cleo Hollywood 1717 Vine St, Los Angeles, CA 90028 (Hollywood)

Cleo has a wide and delicious selection of the Mediterranean small plates known as Mezze, and its baba ghanoush and grilled octopus are not to be missed. There's a great “see and be seen” scene here as well, thanks to the place's posh surroundings and the consequent pretty people who frequent it.

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8. Grub 911 Seward St, Hollywood, CA 90038 (Hollywood)

If you mention you’re heading to this super-friendly neighborhood favorite to anyone who's been, they will almost definitely say, “Crack Bacon,” followed by, “Trust me.” And you should. A killer blend of spicy, salty, and sweet with a dusting of fresh herbs, Grub’s candy bacon goes well with any of the brunch, lunch, or dinner options, including, of course, The Kevin Bacon Breakfast that will make you the opposite of a Hollow Man.

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9. Luv2eat Thai Bistro 6660 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028

Strip mall Thai restaurants may be the norm in Hollywood, but don’t be fooled by the one with the cutesy name outside of Thai Town. Luv2Eat may be close to Highland Avenue, but it takes its dishes to a whole new level of flavor as well as authenticity. Order what you normally would at your favorite Thai spot, and you’ll get a version that’s to the nth degree. Or go big with dishes that employ purple blood clams, funky shrimp paste, or salted mussels.

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10. Musso & Frank Grill 6667 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood, CA 90028 (Hollywood)

This old-school steakhouse has been frequented by the who's-who of Hollywood for years. When a restaurant that doubles as a historical landmark employs bartenders who’ve worked there longer than you’ve been alive, this is a true Hollywood staple. The steakhouse, right in the heart of the most touristy section of arguably the most touristy city in the world, has been virtually unchanged since the days when the Rat Pack spent their off-time there, dining on prime rib and sipping martinis.

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11. Papilles 6221 Franklin Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90028 (Hollywood)

The first thing you notice when you walk into Papilles, a French restaurant tucked in the corner of a strip mall off the 101, is the gallery wall of artwork whose mismatching frames make the dining room feel a tiny bit like Gertrude Stein's salon. The modest and unpretentious bistro is best known for its affordable prix fixe menu that features modern Gallic dishes like frog legs with celery consomme, scallops with chanterelles, and caramelized peaches. The selection of Old World and natural French wines adds to Papille's understated elegance.

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12. Stella Barra Pizzeria 6372 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028 (Hollywood)

From Lettuce Entertain You, this Hollywood spot is part of an upscale mini chain (there's a nearby location in Santa Monica) that focuses on artisanal pizza. The menu is split between red and white thin-crust pies (plus a few starters and salads), and there's an option to have your pie made the extra-thin, Roman way. The shaved mushroom pie, topped with parmesan cream instead of tomato sauce, is a signature. The space is laid-back and homey with an open kitchen where you can see the daily-made dough rising in its 18-hour fermentation period.

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13. Hungry Cat 1555 Vine St, Los Angeles, CA 90028 (Hollywood)

This slick, beachy seafoodery serves up raw bites like oysters, along with cooked fishes, burgers, and artfully mixed 'tails. Whether for lunch, brunch, or dinner, The Hungry Cat has been the go-to for inventive, LA-style seafood dishes for over a decade. Do it up by starting with a 1-, 2-, or 3-tier seafood platter, and pair your meal with one of the market-fresh cocktails that complement basically everything on the menu.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
14. Birch 1634 N Cahuenga Blvd, Hollywood, CA 90028 (Hollywood)

Birch might be the most adventurous restaurant ever to hit the neighborhood, blending together influences and flavors from all over the world (think scallop sashimi and rabbit baklava). As a bonus, you'll find a collection of inspired, market-forward cocktails with ingredient combinations like black lime and white tea rum, frankincense and irish whiskey, or vodka and pinecone.