Prepare to Get a Major Food Coma at This All-You-Can-Eat KFC Buffet
Best strip-mall sushi: Hamasaku
11043 Santa Monica Blvd
Some of LA’s best sushi restaurants, like Hamasaku, are hidden away in strip malls. This nondescript spot -- which is surprisingly spacious inside -- has a solid sashimi selection, in addition to several non-traditional rolls and shareable starters.
Best non-taco-truck tacos: Tacos Tu Madre
1945 1/2 Westwood Blvd
No more chasing down your favorite taco truck after a night out; this colorful takeout window is tiny, but stays put. Plus, it specializes in unique taco offerings, like Korean barbeque or duck mole, breakfast burritos, and mouthwatering red velvet churros.
Best semi-secret café: Ammo
10899 Wilshire Blvd
Museum cafés usually try to stick you with overpriced, underwhelming food. But Ammo, tucked inside the Hammer Museum, is a tranquil courtyard oasis that serves stuff like fried egg/prosciutto sammies, farmers market fruit bread pudding, and ginger pear bellinis.
Best pizza: 800 Degrees
10889 Lindbrook Dr
Don’t expect sturdy pies that hold up perfectly as you’re eating at this build-your-own-pizza spot. 800 Degrees is known for slippery, piping hot, fresh Neapolitan-style pizza submerged in sauce and quality toppings.
Best place to watch sports: Palomino
10877 Wilshire Blvd Suite #150
The area doesn’t hurt for crowded sports bars, but Palomino scores thanks to plentiful overhead TVs and a killer daily happy hour that includes food specials, too. Pro tip: order the addictively good crab artichoke dip.
Best ice cream: Saffron & Rose
1387 Westwood Blvd
Even during one of LA’s wettest winters, there’s still a line at this Persian ice cream joint. Two things to expect: fragrant flavors (like pistachio-studded saffron or white rose), and an impossibly thick, gooey consistency that’ll make anything else seem a little too plain.
Best food-truck-turned-restaurant: TLT Food
1116 Westwood Blvd
The explosive flavors here -- Mexican-Asian fusion with a distinct Cali twist -- are all over the place in the best way possible. Nosh on braised pork belly nachos, cotija cheese-topped fries, and ahi tuna tacos with chipotle-honey slaw.
Best sandwich spot: Ike’s Place
1151 Westwood Blvd
Ike’s, a Bay Area fixture, boasts a massive number of sandwich options at its LA location. Whatever you order -- whether it’s the Hella Fat Bastard (ham, bacon, mozz sticks) or Menage A Trois (BBQ halal chicken, Swiss, and honey mustard) -- definitely request it with their popular Dutch crunch bread.
Best meal for when you’re sick of college student food: Ramayani
1777 Westwood Blvd
This authentic Indonesian gem gives you a tasty respite from the area’s chain restaurants. Adventurous palates will enjoy the soto madura (traditional soup with beef tripe and coconut milk) and ikan belado (fried-to-a-crisp whole fish smothered in a kicky sauce).
Best date spot: Fundamental LA
1303 Westwood Blvd
Fundamental’s sandwich-heavy lunch menu would be a contender for the neighborhood’s best hoagies. But by night, the restaurant’s intimate, no-frills space and locally sourced, artistically plated dishes make it perfect date-night material.
Best burger: In-N-Out
922 Gayley Ave
There aren’t many In-N-Outs on the Westside, so this outpost -- serving up the chain’s tasty double-doubles and animal-style fries -- is the area’s fast-food unicorn.
Best kabobs: Shamshiri Grill
1712 Westwood Blvd
South Westwood Blvd is often referred to as Little Tehran, so most of the Persian restaurants along the street know how to whip up a mean kabob. Shamshiri’s ground lamb koobideh skewers, though, are particularly juicy, tender, and flavor-packed.
Best late-night food: Bella Pita
960 Gayley Ave
Night owls in Westwood have their pick of burgers, pizzas, tacos, and other greasy late-night eats around here, but Bella Pita’s probably the only spot that serves a satisfying falafel-loaded pita covered in veggies, hummus, and tzatziki sauce -- until 2am daily.
Best for vegetarians: Sunnin Lebanese Cafe
1776 Westwood Blvd
Westwood’s full of vegetarian-friendly options like Veggie Grill and Native Foods Cafe, but if you’re not in the mood for a kale salad or quinoa bowl, try this Lebanese spot’s baba ghanouj (roasted eggplant seasoned in lemon juice), fatayer (a flavorful hand pie glutted with spinach, onions, and pine nuts), and other specialties.
Best fancy restaurant for when you’re not paying: STK
930 Hilgard Ave
Though their porterhouse steak and jalapeño cheddar grits are revelatory, half the reason you’re going to this restaurant in the W Hotel is the sleek, stylish vibe, designed to make you feel like Vegas in Westwood.
Best brunch: Soleil Westwood
1386 Westwood Blvd
Brunch isn’t really Westwood’s strong suit, but this charming French-Canadian bistro lures locals with pleasant fare -- like light-as-air quiches and crepes -- and a great deal on bottomless champagne or mimosas on weekends.
Best cheap eats: Diddy Riese
926 Broxton Ave
Even if some say Diddy Riese’s famous stuffed ice cream cookie sandwiches don’t count as “real” eats (we’d beg to differ though), at two bucks a pop, they certainly qualify as cheap.