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The journey never stops people. And sometimes along that journey we encounter life-changing milestones worth celebrating. But whether it’s an anniversary or a promotion or birthday throwdown, you want to make sure you’re doing it right.
So what makes a celebration great? Awesome #EEEEEATS and the perfect restaurant for whatever life event you’re celebrating. We’re no stranger to the quest for quality - this website was started to help people find the ideal restaurant for their particular occasion.
That's why we teamed up with American Express on this Guide To The Best Restaurants for Celebrations In Los Angeles. We picked places we think are especially perfect for all those important celebrations in life that you don’t want to mess up. And another way to not mess it up? By using the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express – it’s the card to use if you eat out anywhere near as much as we do. With over 8,900 restaurant locations in Los Angeles added to the American Express network in the last 2 years,* there are so many places where you can swipe gold. Follow this list, use that card, and you’ll be golden.
Here’s to your celebration, and look out for our upcoming Celebrations Guides for our other cities.
If you’re into supporting locally-owned small businesses as much as you’re into awesome eats, look for the asterisked restaurants on our list, part of the American Express Shop Small initiative.
The post is promoted by the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express. Card Members now get more rewards like 2X Membership Rewards points at U.S. restaurants and a $100 airline fee credit on one airline for incidental charges like in-flight food and drink. Learn more here. This list was selected by The Infatuation.
**Based on internal comparison of American Express restaurant locations in Los Angeles in December 2013 vs. American Express restaurant locations in Los Angeles in December 2015.
When it comes to locking down a restaurant for your anniversary, nothing is more crucial than finding a place where love can roam freely. And in this city, no spot exudes more natural romance than A.O.C. This stunning French restaurant is like dining at a chateau on the Loire River, except the people inside are even prettier. Spending an evening in that back courtyard with those ivy-covered Juliet balconies and eating some of the finest French food in LA is what you and your relationship deserve.
Not every anniversary dinner has to be overly romantic. If you’re looking for something fun but still with plenty of sexy vibes floating around, Estrella is your spot. The stunning space in the heart of the Sunset Strip is a throwback to the 1970’s Laurel Canyon era, so expect a laid-back atmosphere and plenty of bohemian vibes. The seasonal California menu is excellent and changes regularly - all the more reason to keep coming back.
** The thing about promotions is they’re all about you. And drinks. Very strong drinks. And there might not be a more classic strong drink in town than El Coyote’s house margarita. The 85-year-old Mexican landmark has the authentic vibes and large space to get the party started on its own, but those margaritas will kick the whole thing into another level. Our move is always the Enchiladas Howard, but El Coyote’s menu is filled with Mexican classics perfect for your big group gathering.
** We can’t think of a better way to celebrate yourself than with a night of authentic Thai street food and one of the most festive atmospheres in Los Angeles. Oh, and beer towers. And nowhere are you going to get all three except at Night + Market WeHo. The tiny Thai spot has grown into a beloved staple, and the back patio remains one of the best spots to simply let the good times roll. Its central Sunset Strip location doesn’t hurt either, in case the party moves elsewhere after.
** Your one goal for a graduation dinner? Make sure everyone in the family is happy. And that’s no easy task considering Aunt Sharon doesn’t eat anything she can’t pronounce. Well, you’re in luck. Pistola is an upscale yet still casual steakhouse serving delicious, recognizable classics that everyone in the family tree will enjoy. The dining room has a great energy, and the Bucatini Carbonara is an absolute must-order. Help Sharon pronounce it if you have to.
As a rule of thumb, delicious and affordable pasta always win out. And at Maccheroni Republic, you get that and more. The interior of this modern trattoria is bright and casual, with a wait staff that knows exactly how to keep things moving. And that’s perfect for when grandma starts in hard on the “so what’s next?” questions. While the interior vibe is great, nothing beats the fantastic back patio, especially when it comes to big groups. The pasta is top-notch, the vibe is right, and being only minutes away from USC’s main campus, there’s not a better option for diploma-toting Trojans.
Why are birthday dinners always the worst? Because good luck finding a place that nails everything you need. A fun atmosphere, lots of space, good food, and reasonable prices. Hello, POT. The K-Town staple remains one of the hottest tables in town, but not in the way that’ll make your trend-hating friends miserable either. From start to finish, POT exudes fun. The family-style Korean menu is excellent and perfect for passing plates around the table until you can’t eat anymore. And its ground-floor location at The Line Hotel makes it the perfect jumping off point for all the other shenanigans later that night.
** This town has no shortage of fantastic Mexican joints. In fact, it’s slightly overwhelming to even think about. However, few places combine delicious, old-school Mexican food with authentic, fun vibes quite like El Compadre in Hollywood. This LA classic is like a tiny Mexican village where the party never stops: every booth is full, there’s a live mariachi band every night, and oh, they light their margaritas on fire. The menu is filled with Mexican standards and that will appease even the pickiest of your friends.
meeting the parents
** You can’t screw this up. After all, this is the love of your life’s parents we’re talking about here, and you only get one shot at a first impression. Stressed yet? Don’t be. Because Otium has you covered. The new restaurant is as impressive as it comes, and dining in this stunning space will calm any of their fears that you might not have all your ducks in a row. The menu is modern, but accessible, assuring the parents won’t have to reach into unknown territory if they don’t want to. Bonus: Otium sits adjacent to the Broad Museum so brush up on your art knowledge beforehand and hit this thing clear out of the park.
** Uh oh. The parents just flew in from Indiana and they’re terrified of anything outside of Santa Monica. Not a problem. Rustic Canyon is one of the finest restaurants in all of LA,and a perfect example of that “California cuisine” they’ve no doubt read all about in the magazines. And while Rustic Canyon is certainly upscale, it’s not-over-the-top. The parents will feel comfortable but still a bit adventurous. Also, the wine list is excellent, and you’ll certainly need it for breaking the ice.
No matter what sort of debauchery your last night of freedom entails, one thing is certain - you’re going big at dinner. Abigaile is the restaurant/microbrewery/bar/club of your bachelor party dreams. And its Hermosa Beach location gives it the cool, unpretentious vibes you want. The American comfort food menu is fantastic and the house-brewed IPAs will get the party started in no time. Once you’re done with dinner, head upstairs to the roof with the ocean in the distance.
Bachelor parties don’t always have to be about booze and strippers. It can simply be about having the best meal of your entire life. And few places better achieve that goal than at Chi Spacca. If you’re going to spend $600 with your best guy friends, this is where you do it. With everything from a milk-roasted pork loin to beef and bone marrow pie to a 50 ounce Bistecca Fiorentina, Chi Spacca is a glorious shrine to excess. The vibe might be a bit more subdued, but it’s hard to walk out of Chi Spacca not feeling like you’re the king of the world.
The #1 thing about any Bachelorette party is making sure you’re in the heart of the action. And at The Church Key, you’re as close as you’re ever going to get. Smack dab in the center of the Sunset Strip, this is your ultimate destination for good food, party vibes,and feeling like you’re the center of the universe. The global menu will have something for everyone, and if not, just tell them to wait one second for the dim sum carts to roll by. (Those alcoholic popsicles are not to be missed.) And once your buzz gets going strong, all of West Hollywood is right at your fingertips.
If you opted for a bachelorette dinner is in Los Angeles, it means one thing - you want that warm weather and all the California vibes. And Commissary is where you should take full advantage. Located in a greenhouse on the pool deck of The Line Hotel, it’s hard to tell what’s indoors and outdoors at Commissary, and that’s exactly what you and the girls want. The food is seasonal and locally sourced, perfect for staying light on your feet for what will surely be a long night out. And their gin and juice cocktails might be some our favorite drinks in the city.
going away dinner
Any going-away dinner is bittersweet. You’re saying goodbye to people you love and a city you enjoyed but celebrating an exciting new chapter as well. It’s time for the best of the best. And Bestia is just that. No one will argue with the fact that this modern Italian restaurant in the Arts District is one of the best restaurants we have in Los Angeles. From the stunning, industrial space to the spicy Alla n’duja pizza, Bestia hits highest highs on all levels. A perfect meal here might take several hours, but that’s ideal. You’re savoring every last moment tonight.
If this is the last time people are going to see you for a while, you’re certainly not going out with a whimper. And Animal is as big time as it gets. With a menu that includes everything from BBQ pork belly to chicken liver to an entire leg of turkey, it’s safe to say this is meat nirvana. The space might be small and toned-down, but the vibe inside is always one of celebration. And they’re celebrating one of our city’s absolute best meals. What better way to send you off than that?
you booked the part!
** Yes. After all those hours of acting classes and miles driven to endless auditions, it finally happened. You booked it! Now you can breathe, and head to Jones Hollywood for some serious celebration. Jones has a classic Hollywood aesthetic, but with a young, cool vibe inside. The cocktails are strong and the old-school Italian menu is excellent. Everything from the salads to the pizzas to the skillet spaghetti is worth ordering. Just save some room for dessert though. That apple pie might be the best in the city.
** You’re officially a working actor now, so why not dine like one? And while Little Dom’s is certainly an actor haven, it’s so much more than just a see-and-be-seen crowd. This is the kind of throwback neighborhood Italian joint you just don’t get a lot of in Los Angeles. The food is fantastic and the cozy vibe at night is perfect for you and a couple of friends to mosey into a booth with a couple of beers and some rice balls and revel in all your talents.