Chestnut Club
Meat District Co
Mike Kelley & Ryan Phillips
Dylan & Jeni
Salt & Straw
The Nice Guy
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1. The Chestnut Club 1348 14th St, Santa Monica, CA 90404

From the folks behind Black Market and Scopa, The Chestnut Club is a Santa Monica bar with upscale drinks and rare spirits, especially brown ones. The best part of the bar? You'll escape the flip-flop-wearing, pier-bound crowds heading down Santa Monica Boulevard as you sip your drink in a relaxed and refined space with dim lighting, dark wood, leather sofas, and exposed brick.

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2. Tipsy Cow 15005 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks, CA 91403

This new Valley resto has totally sick burgers like the Mac Daddy, which is yopped with mac and cheese AND pork belly. Or the Cubano with gruyere, garlic aioli, jamón... and dijon.

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3. Meat District Co 69 North Raymond, Pasadena, CA 91103

This "paddock to plate" (yes, that is apparently a thing) meatery (that too!) is focused on super-clean proteins, which means all the from-animal ingredients used to make their half-pound truffle burger and 12oz flat iron are hormone, steroid, and antibiotic-free.

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4. The Anchor 235 Main St, Los Angeles, CA 90291

The Anchor is a cozy, Main St eatery where you can satisfy your cravings for East Coast-style seafood favorites (their lobster roll, with barely-there mayo on toasted King's Hawaiian rolls, may be the best in the city) along with an intensely curated beer list.

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5. Saint Martha 740 S Western Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90005

The guys from TART and Farmer’s Daughter opened up this resto in Koreatown. It's got a great wine selection, seasonal brews, and awesome eats.

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6. Holy Cow BBQ 264 26th St, Brentwood, CA 90402

Whether you're looking for rubbed-and-smoked pulled pork, baby backs, or house brisket and Texas toast, look no further than Holy Cow. The small, hip joint is a staple for locals. Try the tai-tip meat, twice-cooked fries, root beer candy and passionfruit iced tea.

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7. Alimento 1708 Silver Lake Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026

This bright and airy Italian bistro is a perfect laid-back spot for date night. Zach Pollack, of Sotto and South Coast Plaza's Pizzeria Ortica, has flipped Italian food on its head with an inventive menu, even calling his Tortellini in Brodo "al contrario" (or, opposite) -- tiny dumplings filled with hot broth and a sauce with diced mortadella and Parmesan cheese. His clever take on classic Italian dishes has brought crowds of locals and celebrities through the door.

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8. Pistola 8022 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90048

Vic Casanova's massive Italian steakhouse on 3rd St is a sleeper hit that consistently serves up juicy-in-all-the-right-places steaks and chops. Though prime steaks (shout out to the 40oz Bisteca Fiorontina) are undeniably the highlights of the menu, the pasta dishes and speciality veal parmesan are must-orders as well. Pistola will set your wallet back a chunk but, hey, doesn't everyone deserve a solid steak?

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9. Genesis 1231 N Vine St, Los Angeles, CA 90038

Inspired by the club kids movement of the '80s, Genesis looks more like an attic than a club, decked out in taxidermy, old furniture and vintage art. The vibe is extremely laid-back and unpretentious, and focuses solely on simple drinks and dancing.

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10. Brilliantshine 522 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401

This is one of those 'two new cocktail meccas', and it's got drinks from the crazy-lauded dude who established the bar program at Picca and Rivera. The food is made to match the booze, which is pretty awesome.

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11. Commissary 3515 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90010

This new Roy Choi restaurant, set in a greenhouse at The Line Hotel in Koreatown, offers an abundance of fruit and vegetable-centered dishes and specialty cocktails. The spot is decked out with communal tables, a bar, and lots of small round tables.

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12. KazuNori | The Original Handroll Bar 421 South Main Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013

The Sugarfish guys bring you this insanely casual handroll-only spot, which's great for quick lunches or drive-by dinners.

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13. Petit Trois 718 N Highland Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038

This Hollywood bistro from Ludo Lefebvre and the Animal dudes has no phone number, no reservations, only 21 seats, and one of LA's most acclaimed chefs making French classics like steak frites and confit chicken, as well as lunch -- with only 20 servings of two sandwiches offered.

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14. Salt & Straw 240 N Larchmont Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90004

This Portland-born ice creamery is set to fill your face with flavors like Cali peaches w/ lemon crumble and chocolate almond and caramel cheesecake.

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15. The Nice Guy 401 N La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90048

From the people behind Bootsy Bellows and Shore Bar comes The Nice Guy: a hip cocktail lounge on La Cienega, featuring Italian bar food by Chef John Carlos Kuramoto, formerly of Michael's.

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16. Murph's 14649 Ventura Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 91403

The Valley's gastro bistro game's been re-upped with this burgers-and-beers-and-drinks-and-pretty-waitresses spot, with uniqueness like pig ear fries sharing menu space with approachable awesomeness like fried chicken & biscuits.

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17. The Gadarene Swine 11266 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604

Headed by Top Chef contestant Phillip Frankland Lee, this Studio City spot is a destination for vegan dining. Even if you don't adhere to a plant-based diet, the food is exciting (hand-torn pasta! fried olives! vegetables in a box!), and the menu, though it's always changing, features a family-style chef's tasting dinner that'll prove just how good vegetables can be.