Shanghai Rose
Preux & Proper
Now Boarding
All'Acqua
Terrine
Cassell's/Ryan Tanaka
Status Kuo
Pok Pok Phat Thai
Redbird
Tacoteca
Spaghettini & The Dave Koz Lounge/Elizabeth Daniels
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1. Shanghai Rose 12229 Ventura Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 91604 (East Valley)

Shanghai Rose is one of the only East Valley spots for dim sum, 7 days a week, with cart service on weekends. Bam.

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2. Ostrich Farm 1525 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026 (Echo Park)

First: this place doesn't have ostrich on the menu anywhere. Second: it totally won't matter to you when you realize this sorta-bistro DOES have chicken liver toasts and a NY strip w/ caramelized onions and herb fries.

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3. Preux & Proper 840 S Spring St, Los Angeles, CA 90014 (Downtown)

The FiveOFour guys bring you this NOLA-inspired eatery, a two-story ode to the Big Easy with a daiquiri bar, raw bar, massive patio, and killer Muffalettas, as well as grilled short ribs with Cajun kimchee.

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4. Now Boarding 7746 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90046 (West Hollywood)

This reservations-recommended, live-jazz-and-cocktails-and-oh-man-it-looks-kinda-like-an-airport-lounge bar's bringing back the good ol' days with drinks from a former Roger Room guy, decor featuring 60s-era photos, and a massive retro air map.

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5. All'Acqua 3280 Glendale Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90039 (Atwater Village)

All'Acqua is a neighborhoody Italian resto with a massive menu of boot-goodness: pizza with wild fennel pollen and pork sausage, whole grilled branzino with charred lemon, and oxtail ragu.

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6. Terrine 8265 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90048 (Mid Wilshire)

Nostalgic French fare is given the expansive brasserie and a fairytale garden it deserves in Terrine, with chef Kris Morningstar masterminding elegant chicken confit salad, garlic-butter bathed escargots and a steak frites with smoked bone marrow that can be paired with an impressive French wine list. The namesake terrine, made with foie gras and served with apricot compote, proves worthy of the honor. Yet, a visit is utterly incomplete without sampling the charcuterie boards: with truffled chicken liver, terrine de campaign, liverwurst, andouille sausage and smoked beef deckle arranged with pickled morsels on a sturdy wooden disc. Dreamy and casual, the dining room is filled with bistro chairs, distressed brick and umber-hued leather banquettes with ornate mirrors propped behind them. The best part awaits behind an archway in the back, revealing an outdoor lounge with a giant illuminated tree as the centerpiece. The spot is more than an ideal perch for star-gazing, a well-balanced classic cocktail by Ryan Wainwright making you question your balance.

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7. Cassell's Hamburgers 3600 W 6th St, Los Angeles, CA 90020 (Koreatown)

Talk about an American classic -- Cassell's Hamburgers, inside the historic Hotel Normandie, is a suave update of the '50 diner or dive serving up filling breakfasts full of chewy bacon and fried eggs over flat beds of hash browns. But that's not the main attraction -- all the attention here goes straight to the burgers, you know, hence the name of the restaurant. Daily ground Colorado Angus chuck and brisket patties sit proudly all on their in Parker House buns, but cheddar or swiss with a mountain of fixings (including avocado and fried eggs for the real burger champs) never hurt anyone, either.

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8. Status Kuo 3809 Grand View Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90066

Not just a Hawaiian saying that everything's hunky-dory, Status Kuo's also a Mar Vista rotisserie joint, with a former Messhall Kitchen guy breaking out sandwiches on weekdays and family-style Chinese BBQ pork on Sundays.

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9. Pok Pok LA 727 N Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90012 (Downtown)

Anyone who's eaten at Pok Pok in Portland or New York knows how lucky we are that Andy Ricker's insanely popular Thai restaurant made its way to LA. The bi-level Chinatown spot is spacious and casual, and includes a bar and outdoor seating plus plenty of festive tablecloths. The family-style menu is an eclectic display of Ricker's Northern Thai expertise, and you can expect plenty of fried meat dishes and spicy salads. Be sure to order the signature fish sauce wings -- they're based on a recipe from a Pok Pok Portland employee's home in Vietnam.

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10. Redbird 114 E 2nd St, Los Angeles, CA 90012 (Downtown)

Located in a refurbished church, Neal Fraser's Downtown LA restaurant is the ultimate high-end date spot. Redbird's food is next-level creative, like the signature Rabbitchetta dish, aka rabbit wrapped in porchetta. Aside from the gorgeous open-air dining room, there's also a beautiful outdoor patio for those SoCal nights.

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11. Tacoteca 2460 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90403 (Santa Monica)

All hail the insanely creative tacos at Tacoteca, a joint venture from Ricardo Diaz, one of the guys behind Guisados, and Adam Fleischman, the guy behind Umami. Where there are tacos, there is tequila, and Tacoteca delivers with a bar program heavy on mezcal and tequila cocktails.

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12. Spaghettini & The Dave Koz Lounge 184 N Canon Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210 (Beverly Hills)

"Self", you may have once said to yourself, "what if there were a place I could get, like, really great Italian food and then hear some incredible jazz??" Ok, you've never said that to yourself. But that place exists. And that alone is pretty cool.

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13. Le Comptoir 3606 W 6th St, Los Angeles, CA 90020 (Koreatown)

Originally a food-forward pop-up, this 8-seat tasting-menu-only restaurant/counter (yes, for serious) is at the Hotel Normandie and is busting out rotating greatness like Santa Barbara rock crab with honey tangerine and cauliflower.