FORK YEAH (NYC): The Burger Bomb @ Raw Material
1. Father's Office3229 Helms Ave, Los Angeles
2. Spago Beverly Hills176 N Canon Dr, Beverly Hills
3. Langer's Delicatessen704 S Alvarado St, Los Angeles
4. The Apple Pan10801 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles
5. Dino’s Chicken and Burgers2575 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles
6. Animal435 N Fairfax, Los Angeles
7. Crustacean9646 S Santa Monica Blvd, Beverly Hills
8. Freddy Smalls11520 Pico, Los Angeles
9. Mud Hen Tavern742 N Highland Ave, Los Angeles
10. Din Tai Fung171 Caruso Ave, Glendale
11. Bay Cities Italian Deli & Bakery1517 Lincoln Blvd, Santa Monica
Chef Sang Yoon is the brains behind this nationally-acclaimed Los Angeles gastropub. Father's Office is especially famous for its Office Burger: a 100% chuck, dry-aged beef patty topped with blue cheese, arugula, and onion jam, and served on a toasted oval bun with garlic butter. Chef Yoon has a strict no modifications allowed policy on his burger, so either you like it or you don't -- but chances are you probably will.
Spago is the Wolfgang Puck restaurant that started it all. Synonymous with Southern Californian cuisine, the restaurant first opened in 1982 on the Sunset Strip before decamping to posher environs on Beverly Hill's North Canon Drive in 1997. Throughout the years and various chefs, Spago has consistently maintained Puck's brand of California cooking, which calls for the use of local ingredients in European- and Asian-inspired dishes. If you want to know what (upscale) Californian food tastes like, this is where you'll find out. And you might see some celebrities while you're at it.
Langer's has been a go-to spot for their classic hot pastrami sammy (which has been touted as the best in the WORLD) since 1947.
This West LA diner has been serving burgers, pie, and classic American sandwiches at its U-shaped counter since 1947. Not much has changed about The Apple Pan since it opened: the registers are mechanical, the cooks wear soda jerk paper hats, and the red counter stools are still intact. Thankfully, the menu is pretty much the same too, and the signature Hickoryburger, Steakburger, and banana cream pie are as popular as ever. Fun fact: Diner chain Johnny Rockets is modeled after The Apple Pan.
Dino's is an LA institution; from the crazily inexpensive half chicken w/ fries to the DUI sandwich (pile of fries, carne asada, pastrami, cheese, special sauce), you really can't go wrong.
Vinny Dotolo and Jon Shook's OG restaurant is a stone-cold classic in Los Angeles known for a constantly changing menu that's always creative and never stale. As the name suggests, Animal specializes in head-to-tail eating and meat-centric plates; past and present hits include a bacon crunch chocolate bar, a barbecue pork belly sandwich, and a short rib and bone marrow-blended burger.
This Beverly Hills Asian-fusion resto is well-known for their delicious (and healthy!) dishes like their special crab and garlic noodles, crab plates, and other upscale seafood options.
Not just the name of Biggie's brother who owned a panini place, Freddy's also a marble-floored West LA gastropub from the dude behind The Counter, featuring drankin' (nine microbrews, specialty cocktails like the rye/ sarsaparilla/ candied ginger/ lemon garnish "Stumbling Cowboy"), and eatin' courtesy of NY's Charlie Palmer and NorCal's Jeremy Fox. Those guys are cooking up flash-grilled steak tartare, Buffalo deviled eggs w/ crispy chicken skin, and the both dark- and white-meat "New School Chicken Parm", which has no idea what it's going to do with its degree in Social Engineering.
The Mud Hen Tavern is a neighborhood bar & restaurant that offers some great seasonal, gourmet pub food and has a great selection of both craft beers and unique cocktails.
Din Tai Fung has got it goin' on with their dim sum, pork soup dumplings, and just about every other menu item at this Glendale location.
Slinging sandwiches in Santa Monica since the 1920s, Bay Cities is responsible for masterpieces like The Godmother, a sub made with basically every Italian cured meat, Provolone cheese, and the works (mustard, mayo, Italian dressing, onions, pickles, tomato, and lettuce). More than just a sandwich specialist, the shop also serves prepared pastas like lasagna, spaghetti and meatballs, and stuffed shells. While the counter crew assembles your order, browse through the grocery section that's stocked with imported Italian specialities.