Having tried a ton of restaurants in Southern California from Santa Barbara to San Diego, from Bakersfield to Calexico and after living in LA for 30 years, here is your “cheat sheet” on where to enjoy the best cuisine in SoCal.  Bon Appetit!





Power Lunch


Los Angeles


The most important spots to lunch in L.A. right now....


  • Soho House

    9200 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood

    With a hypercurated members’ list (including a limit on the number of agents), this outpost of the private London social club reigns as an inarguable hit four years in. The 14th-floor aerie is a hub for everything from awards-season jockeying (Harvey Weinstein routine ...


  • The Polo Lounge

    9641 Sunset Blvd., Beverly Hills

    When the Beverly Hills Hotel renovated its iconic Polo Lounge last year, it wisely decided to spruce up a bit here (tartan carpets indoors) and a bit there (enhanced outdoor heating). After all, its regulars — Sumner Redstone with Tom Cruise at an inside booth; Lorne ...


  • Barney Greengrass

    9570 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills

    Perhaps it’s the ability to shop after lunch that lures so many power players to Barneys New York’s fifth floor. Or that so many ex-New Yorkers crave the smoked fish flown in from the original Barney Greengrass in Manhattan. Either way, the past year has seen the li ...


  • The Grill on the Alley

    9560 Dayton Way, Beverly Hills

    This classic spot celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. Still a bit of a boys’ club, it’s where producer Al Ruddy lunches with Clint Eastwood, Bob Daly and Semel share a booth, and Ari Emanuel and Patrick Whitesell talk WME strategy. Its 14?booths are allotte ...


  • Cecconi’s

    8764 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood

    One of the city’s top awards-season party sites, Cecconi’s is a draw during regular hours for A-list agents as well as Ellen DeGeneres, E! Entertainment president Suzanne Kolb, Jennifer Lopez and Tribune’s Huffman (who filled out THR’s survey while at lunch ther ...


see the top 25:








129 N La Cienega Blvd
Beverly Hills, CA 90211
(310) 659-9639

Considered one of the best sushi spots in the world. Chef Nobu Matsuhisa is a genius. He is the inventor of the Shrimp Tempura roll (that's right, the one that everyone loves to order).


9500 Wilshire Blvd
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
(310) 275-5200

One of the best steak houses in existence.

 Mastro's Ocean Club

8112 E Coast Hwy
Newport Beach, CA 92657
(949) 376-6990

Five star ambiance, good atmosphere, great food. You would come here if family was in town.  It is that good.



903 N La Cienega Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90069
(310) 657-5711

This place has atmosphere and amazing sushi.



Bay Cities Italian Deli & Bakery

1517 Lincoln Blvd
Santa Monica, CA 90401
(310) 395-8279

All hail the GODMOTHER sandwich. One of the best sandwiches I have ever had!


Lawry's The Prime Rib

100 N La Cienega Blvd
Beverly Hills, CA 90211
(310) 652-2827

The power lunch legend.


Tacos Baja Ensenada

5385 Whittier Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90022
(323) 887-1980

You can’t visit Los Angeles and not have Mexican food.  One of the best.


The Apple Pan

10801 W Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90064
(310) 475-3585

You can’t visit Los Angeles and not have a gourmet burger. Awesome old fashioned hamburgers.




Neptune's Net

42505 Pacific Coast Hwy
Malibu, CA 90265
(310) 457-3095

A favorite Malibu hangout


Sycamore Inn

8318 Foothill Blvd
Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730
(909) 982-1104

A hidden gem, with great food and very little fanfare.


 El Toro Bravo Tortilleria

745 W 19th St
Costa Mesa, CA 92627
(949) 631-4464

Some consider this the best authentic style taco spot in Orange County.


Bludso's BBQ

811 S Long Beach Blvd
Compton, CA 90221
(310) 637-1342

Best BBQ in Los Angeles, bar none.


Genwa Korean Bbq

5115 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 549-0760

This is the perfect example of why Los Angeles is becoming the Korean BBQ center of the world.


LUNCH TRUCKS (find on the web and social media):


Grilled Cheese Truck

Serving--you guessed it, grilled cheese. This truck is undoubtedly one of the most popular in the city. It's not your mama's grilled cheese, but it's still pretty dang good.


As the father of the food truck revolution in Los Angeles, the Kogi BBQ is known for its long lines and fiercely loyal fans.

Grill Em All Truck

Best known for winning "The Great Food Truck Race" reality show.


Mmm... artisanal ice cream.






At Your Service!

In Los Angeles the food scene is sizzling.  Here is the latest buzz...

Trying a new restaurant in L.A. is like buying a new pair of jeans. You're curious to try something different, but most of the time, you just end up sticking with your go-to style. Well, we're making it easier for you to branch out. Ahead, three new restaurants you will 100% love — and what to wear to each! 




From the geniuses who brought us Café Gratitude, comes Gracias Madre, a brand new vegan Mexican restaurant serving up insanely delicious dishes made of all organic, locally grown ingredients. The stunning space is airy and open, the sweet-potato tacos are next level, and the margaritas pack a serious punch. Go there, and prepare to have a great time. 

Gracias Madre, 8905 Melrose Avenue; 323-978-2170. 


Australian TV chef and Top Chef Masters host Curtis Stone opened his first restaurant — and, what do you know, it's already a smash hit. Each month, Stone will pick one ingredient as his inspiration for the next four weeks, creating an entirely new menu around it. Oh, and the menu itself is prix fixe — instead of ordering, each party will be served multiple courses of tasting plates. While this all may sound a little new age and trendy, don't be fooled. The result is the opposite: Both the space and the food feel completely nostalgic, relaxed, and inviting.

So, what should you wear when you visit during this citrus-themed month? Why not take a cue from Stone, and go with his whole new-school-goes-old-school vibe. The result is an adorable, fresh take on a familiar classic. 

Maude, 212 South Beverly Drive; 310-859-3418.



Whether going for dinner and drinks on a Friday night, or for brunch with friends on Saturday to recap the party you went to the night before, Herringbone guarantees a super-fun scene. There are trees growing inside, couches outside, and massive, gold-plated fish skeletons hanging from the ceiling. Plus, Brian Malarkey's fish-centric menu offers some of the most delicious seafood we've ever tried. In short: Go for the vibe, stay for the oysters. 

Herringbone, located in the Mondrian Hotel, 8440 Sunset Boulevard; 323-848-6000.