The Ultimate Hollywood Dining Guide
From tasting menus to tacos and glitzy to gritty, Hollywood isn’t just for tourists and hustlers, it’s a great dining neighborhood too.
Hollywood's not just a place where deals get struck and movies get made—it's a massive neighborhood, covering several miles between the 101 and La Brea that are thick with offices and apartments, sound stages and record stores, and it has also become a neighborhood jam-packed with great restaurants.
You may have to navigate tourist-riddled Hollywood Boulevard and it may take 15 minutes to drive the two blocks from the 101 off-ramp to the Netflix compound, but these days it’s worth braving all of the above and more to try inventive Japanese cuisine from a Nobu-trained chef, extravagant prix-fixe menus that live up to their Michelin stars, and buzzy openings from chefs that are as famous as their guests. And since it’s Hollywood, you might even have a literal brush with celebrity—maybe it’s a Chris, a Jennifer, or a Keanu, or maybe that security guard played Sexy Australian Corpse 3 on a mini-arc of CSI:Van Nuys. Star power aside, here are 25 Hollywood restaurants ranging from classic eateries to date night picks to our favorite Mexican and Italian spots, to keep on your Walk of Fame list.
The Hollywood Media Business Improvement District was officially formed in the year 2000, but it wasn’t much in the news until the last handful of years, when a few Hollywood power players opened new offices within its borders. After the big industry money came the casual lunch spots, the cafes, and, in November 2020, sumptuous Gigi’s, a high-energy restaurant with a classic French menu that is constantly hosting celebrity parties, inventing a genre unto itself—a sort of Bottle Service Bistro. There is Escargot and French Onion Soup. There is a prodigious raw bar with a full caviar service. There is Steak Tartare and Moules Frites. There is Dakota Johnson having dinner with Sara Moonves.
This is not the kind of pie shop where you just walk in and order up a slice of whatever’s hanging out on a circular pan. In fact, it’s more than a pie shop, it’s one of the best Italian spots in town, dishing out legendary pizzas that trace their roots to 1870 in Naples—with the original location even making a cameo in Eat, Pray, Love. You’ll find the same tightly treasured recipes and daily-imported ingredients at their first US outpost, which also features a large, plant-laced patio, plus an expanded menu of pies with Spicy Diavola, Arugula and Prosciutto, and Truffle options, in addition to classic Marinara and Margherita. You’ll also find outstanding pasta dishes, stellar shareables, and desserts that you should absolutely save room for. A robust list of wines are available by the bottle or glass, as well as a selection of craft cocktails.
How to book: Make reservations online.
Competition is fierce, but Ta-eem on Melrose has a real claim to the best pita in town. They bake it in house, and it is always perfectly fluffy and hot as hell, the perfect thing to wrap around their bright and punchy falafel. Portions are generous, to say the least, and their selection of house-made pickles, zhoug, and harissa is the perfect way to brighten up a big—truly, huge—plate of well-spiced, spit-roasted shawarma.
How to book: Walk in or order by phone at 323-944-0013.
In a rather grim strip mall on a flyby stretch of La Brea, one of Hollywood’s happiest places hides in the corner under the stairs. Mashti Malone’s is a Persian-style ice cream shop with a fantastic array of unusual flavors that lean heavily into rosewater, saffron, cardamom, and pistachio. Owner Mashti Sirvani—the Malone’s part was just convenience, repurposing the previous tenant’s huge sign—immigrated to the US in 1979 with ice cream in his heart after growing up helping out at his uncle’s ice cream shop in Iran. That passion is still clear, in all of the wild and creative flavors and toppings that manage to brighten up even the darkest day.
How to book: Walk in or order online for pickup.
If you happened to be a little bit inebriated in the greater Hollywood area in the mid-aughts, you probably ended up at Cactus Taqueria #1 on Vine. The stand is fast, affordable, and way better than it has to be, and it was open until 3 AM so it was always a wild scene after the bars and house parties petered out. COVID has shortened the stand’s hours to 10 PM, but they’re still pumping out good tacos and burritos at great speed, and they’re definitely still worth a stop in any state of mind.
How to book: Walk up, or call ahead at 323-464-5865.
In Hollywood, even the dining rooms have star power. Horses recently opened in a space that used to be The Pikey, and before that it was legendary Ye Coach & Horses, a Hollywood-style British pub that was popular with titans like Alfred Hitchcock, Jim Morrison, and Quentin Tarantino. Horses is ready to live up to that legacy with an elevated classic California menu; there is pasta and steak, Veal Sweetbread and Pork Rillettes, and a particularly good and fancy Cheeseburger. Drinks are similarly excellent, and the energy level in the dining room is appropriately high.
Sightglass spent a decade growing from a niche San Francisco coffee roaster to a big name in Bay Area beans, and their first incursion into LA makes an emphatic point—they’re not here to be just another coffee shop. Their expansive Hollywood compound has a roaster, a coffee bar, a full kitchen, and a market section with a wide selection of pantry items like spices, sauces, flowers, tinned fish, and plenty of natural wine. The warehouse-style room has all the brick and exposed beams you expect from your modern coffee with a ton of seats inside, in front on the sidewalk, and in back on their lovely patio, so tables are not hard to come by. And good thing, because their breakfast sandwiches are worth keeping in your regular brunch rotation.
How to book: Walk in or order ahead online.
Chef Wes Avila is an LA legend, Poseidon behind the wave of elevated and creative Chicano tacos that swept the city over the last decade or so. He merged his experience in fine dining with his LA upbringing at Guerrilla Tacos, and then he let his imagination roam at his newer freestyle lunch counter Angry Egret before landing in Hollywood at the clubby, fashionable Yucatan-inflected Ka’Teen. The Pibil is the most obvious nod to Mexico’s Eastern peninsula, heritage pork rubbed with achiote and bitter orange then wrapped in banana leaves to cook for hours. There are interesting vegetarian takes on birria and pibil, and of course there are fish tacos and aguachile, too. Many of the drinks are infused with bright hits of acid from passionfruit and mango, and the space leans heavily into its tropical inspiration, all palms, ferns, and wicker under the open air.
People come to Hollywood for a lot of reasons—the Walk of Fame, Grauman’s Chinese, a misunderstanding of LA geography and how and where the film and TV industry actually works—but fantastic specialty Chinese food has not been high on that list, until now. Hui Tou Xiang is one of the San Gabriel Valley’s best and most low-key dumpling stars, famous for their eponymous Hui Tou dumplings, oblong pan-fried potstickers filled with juicy pork. They also serve better than average noodles and excellent kimchi, and for this Hollywood location they’ve glammed things up a little bit with skewers, some neon signage, and a small selection of beer, wine, and sake. And miracle of miracles, they even brought their SGV prices with them.
How to book: Walk in or call for pickup at 323-645-7272.
With celebrities in the dining room and a chef in the kitchen who’s been the subject of a glowing documentary, Mother Wolf may be the hottest restaurant in town. It certainly has all the flash and style of a hotspot: red leather and gold lamps, ornate wallpaper and beautiful high ceilings. The menu is similarly opulent, dedicated to the Eternal City through and through, with crispy thin pizzas, classic pastas executed at the highest level, and a rich selection of proteins for your main course. With yet another Italian stunner at the top of the food chain, maybe now the rest of the world can retire the tired trope about carb-phobic Angelenos.
There’s nothing like a great diner, and that’s exactly what Hollywood lost when the 101 Coffee Shop closed at the end of 2020. Thankfully, Clark Street Bread’s Zack Hall stepped in and gave the space new life as Clark Street Diner. The decor is just about the same as it was, a symphony in shades of tan, and the menu is mostly intact too, with some minor upgrades in technique and presentation. That means the pancakes are perfectly fluffy, the sausages are made in-house, all the sandwiches come on that killer Clark Street sourdough, and you won’t get any side-eye when you order a Cortado instead of a cup of coffee. There are no late-night hours yet, so you’ll have to get your Hollywood diner fix before 3.
How to book: Walk in, or order ahead via Toast.
Fusion food as a concept goes in and out of fashion more than high-waisted denim, but when two cuisines merge in a natural and thoughtful way it is as timeless as a white t-shirt. Magari, a gorgeous new Tokyo-Italian restaurant in the heart of Hollywood, wants to be that white tee — but you may not want to literally wear a white shirt to dinner, considering the way you’ll be attacking their intricate saucework. There is miso Caesar on the Grilled Asparagus, yuzu in the Tagliatelle, and the Eggplant Agnolotti rest in a broth of shio koji and parmesan, all perfectly delicious and poised to end up speckled on your chest when you tip the bowl back to sip the extra sauce.
How to book: Reservations and online ordering both available through their website.
For The Win
It was heartbreaking when Chef Santos Uy shuttered his casual French bistro Papilles in the summer of 2020, but there was solace to be found in the space’s rebirth as smashburger shack For The Win. The menu is simple and the burgers are classic and straightforward, thin and laced with onions, cheese, and thousand island-style sauce on a squishy potato roll. It is exactly the backyard burger that everyone feels like they had on hot summer days by the pool as a kid, but you know they were never actually this good.
How to book: Online ordering available via their website.
It isn’t a neighborhood guide without tacos, and the best late night tacos in Hollywood are at Chiqui’s, parked in the gas station at the corner of Santa Monica and Vine. They have all of the usual meats served in all of the usual antojitos, but the reason you’re there is the al pastor, a spinning beacon like a lighthouse in stormy Hollywood seas. The trompero is a true master, artfully charring then slicing the gorgeous orange pork off the trompo, sliding it straight into your tortilla and then adding pineapple with a quick twist of the knife and a deft flick of the wrist. Dress with salsa—red, green, avocado, or habanero—and a fistful of pickled onion and chiles, then take it back to the trunk of your car, the perfect end to any kind of night.
How to book: Walk up, and make sure you order your al pastor ‘for here.’
Yes, it’s inside Hollywood and Highland, but it’s worth braving the touristy weirdness for this rotating restaurant concept, part of a larger cultural endeavor that’s owned and operated by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The idea is to showcase the country’s best and encourage appreciation for its design, technology, art, and gastronomy through a gallery, event space, library, and this restaurant. Spring 2022 brought the A5 Wagyu Experience, a series of educational dinners cooked by guest chefs, all heavy featuring the prized beef. Up next is Ramen Discoveries, a deep dive into the many styles of ramen, which will run through the end of July.
How to book: via Tock.
One of the very best places in LA to go for an extravagant tasting menu, which takes several hours of focused dining. After the first course, it’s clear why dinners here take so long; each dish is creatively prepared and beautifully presented, with an emphasis on seafood like abalone, spiny lobster, and spot prawns; and the Michelin-style service is in full effect. The standout meat dish here is a cut of A5 Wagyu, followed by a cheese cart that rolls up to your table. And just in case you’re still hungry the next day, they send you home with treats—usually artisanal chocolates and a creative pastry.
Don’t bring your vegetarian friends to Curtis Stone’s Gwen. This place is an all-out celebration of meat, and even has an in-house butcher shop that supplies the kitchen and sells everything from house-made sausages to dry-aged meat and game birds. Order the stunning Charcuterie Plate, creamy Foie Gras Torchon, Ricotta-Stuffed Agnolotti, and a 42-ounce Australian Blackmore Wagyu Bone-in Ribeye.
Star chef Ludo Lefebvre’s original venture with Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo focuses on French classics done well. If you’re coming around dinner time, expect a line of customers waiting for the famous Escargot drenched in garlic and parsley; the beloved butter-glazed Omelette with its soft, creamy interior; and the colossal Big Mec, Lefebvre’s take on an American cheeseburger that comes dripping in Bordelaise sauce and requires a fork and knife.
Musso & Frank
There’s nothing like a restaurant that doubles as a historical landmark and employs bartenders who’ve worked there longer than you’ve been alive. Start with a martini—or two if you’re there after lunch—and run through the vintage menu with items like Escargot, Lobster Thermidor, and what they claim is the original Fettuccine Alfredo, based on a recipe brought back to Musso’s by Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford. There are classic desserts as well like Diplomat Pudding and their famous Torten, but to be honest you’re probably better off with another martini, or maybe a gibson this time, before you head back to the office to take a nap.
How to book: Make reservations online.
Strip-mall Thai restaurants may be plentiful in Hollywood, but Luv2Eat stands apart. They have all the classics done exceedingly well, but there are also some relatively niche bangers on this menu, with all of the fermented funk that you may not see at standard Thai spots. The Phuket-style Kanomjean Curry is a fiery favorite, the Hat Yai Fried Chicken is pure pleasure, and the Papaya Salad with salted crab is pungent in the best possible way.
How to book: Order takeout or delivery ($3 charge within a two-mile radius for orders above $15) online.
This pub burger spot’s location inside the Hollywood Roosevelt—in the middle of all the nightlife action—makes it the perfect spot for your pre- or post-party dinner in a mahogany leather booth. Burgers come with fancy toppings like caramelized onions and gorgonzola, roasted tomato and crispy prosciutto, or green chili and chipotle, and there’s also an extensive menu of diner breakfasts and spiked milkshakes, in case you like a little booze with your dairy.
How to book: Walk-ins accepted.
Beauty & Essex
The Los Angeles outpost of TAO Group’s glitzy restaurant, which has locations in New York and Las Vegas, occupies 10,000 square feet, starting with a pawn shop in the front that leads into a network of plush lounges and grand dining rooms, all outfitted with crystal chandeliers and antique-looking decor. The opulence makes Beauty & Essex an impressive place for a date, and their global menu doesn’t hurt either; there are oysters and miniature French Dips to start, elote ravioli and lamb chops with polenta for your main course, boozy milkshakes and pot de creme for dessert, and plenty of lavish cocktails to keep you hydrated the whole evening.
Chef Kevin Meehan and co-owner/wine director Drew Langley’s critically acclaimed Kali is technically located in Hancock Park, but it’s close enough to Hollywood to deserve a spot. You can order a la carte, but there is also an eight-course tasting menu, which gives you the full scope of Meehan’s contemporary California cuisine. Meehan often picks produce from his home garden and looks at his fixings a little differently than most, infusing Barley Risotto with fermented black garlic tea and shaving savory salt- and sugar-cured egg yolk on top of Meringue Gelato. If you’re just dropping in for a quick bite before a show, it’s hard to beat the cocktails and bar snacks.
Mozza Restaurant Group’s trio of all-star restaurants—Osteria Mozza, Pizzeria Mozza, and Chi Spacca—also fall just a little outside of Hollywood’s borders, but they’re worth fudging the lines a little. Osteria Mozza serves rich and refined Italian classics, with an emphasis on pasta and mozzarella. Pizzeria Mozza helped define and refine the California Neo-Neapolitan style, with a tangy sourdough crust and interesting veggie-focused toppings. And Chi Spacca is dedicated to large-format proteins cooked over a wood fire, famous for their titanic pork chop and massive dry-aged steaks. Whichever one you visit, though, you should certainly end your meal with the trademark—and totally unbeatable—Butterscotch Budino.
After a successful run at the Arts District’s weekly food festival Smorgasburg, chef Casey Felton opened Banh Oui as a brick-and-mortar restaurant in 2017. The menu starts with banh mi, of course, but it jumps around the globe in Felton’s LA-raised and James Beard-nominated hands, covering breakfast burritos, lemon pepper tofu bites, and a selection of seasonal specials like yakisoba with bacon. Felton tends to use her multicultural perspective to create balance across the menu; so there is nuoc cham on the burger, poblano tofu cream in the soba salad, and fish sauce with the caramelized Brussels sprouts.
How to book: Walk in, or order online via UberEats.