LAGuide

Great LA Restaurants You Didn’t Realize Serve Lunch

16 spots with the power to make weekday lunch feel special.
Rémy Martin

photo credit: Wonho Frank Lee

Weekday lunches are so habitual it’s easy to forget you don’t have to be eating from the nearest place with a pre-made salad section. It’s even easier to forget about the great LA restaurants that also happen to serve lunch. So let’s change that. From Korean BBQ to excellent pizza and affordable omakase, here are 16 spots that’ll make your midday meal so much better. 

The Spots

photo credit: Jakob Layman

Seafood

Santa Monica

$$$$Perfect For:Date NightDining SoloLunch

Crudo e Nudo won't serve you a run-of-the-mill lunch, but instead, a selection of raw bar dishes, delicious salads, and oysters that are completely worth the large bill. You come here to splurge with a 1pm glass of white wine, kanpachi crudo with calamansi vinegar, and one gorgeous bowl of steamed clams dusted with paprika. Consider this a special occasion lunch or just a random Tuesday indulgence if you have crudos on the brain.

photo credit: Jessie Clapp

This spot is Permanently Closed.

The first thing you'll notice about Beverly Hills' Mírame is that it's a huge, gorgeous space with cacti, colorful mosaic tabletops, and a burning fireplace. The Mexican restaurant also serves fancy, inventive food starting at 11:30am, including salmon skin chicharrones with fermented garlic aioli, cauliflower ceviche, and duck carnitas tostadas. Save Mírame for special occasion lunches or if you want to impress someone for a business meeting.

photo credit: Jakob Layman

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Angelini Osteria is an excellent Italian restaurant in Beverly Grove that is best saved for long meals with a flexible budget (i.e., not a fast-casual lunch outing). But there's something satisfying about sitting down at a high-end place in the middle of the day and forgetting your previous life of email follow-ups. At Angelini, you're putting your phone on mute and pretending to be on an expensive Italian vacation full of housemade tagliatelle, black truffle, and one must-try veal lasagna.

A mezze spread is always a safe bet when you can't decide on lunch, and few places do mezze better than Marouch in East Hollywood. This iconic Lebanese/Armenian spot is somewhere you can take your coworkers for a midday icebreaker disguised as a group meal. There are over 25 dishes to choose from, ranging from nutty muhammara to sugok and tangy tabbouleh, and some bigger entree items like kabobs and lamb chops if you're craving more substantial protein. Marouch gives you options, but make sure you leave room for the baklava. 

We wouldn't describe too many restaurants in Koreatown as "zen," but Kobawoo House is an exception. This neighborhood institution is just the right level of quiet, with chatter and a trickling water feature being the only noises you hear on your lunch break. You're also probably here for their beautiful platters of bossam (boiled pork belly) with kimchi and other tangy fermented things to pair it with. These platters are huge and usually shared, but there's a smaller lunch portion for $22 that works just fine for one or two. Come hungry.

Sushi Gen has a legendary sashimi platter that people will wait hours for at dinnertime, but there are a few tricks to getting seated more quickly. One option is to forgo the sashimi platter altogether for the sushi bar's la carte menu (which is still excellent). The other option is to come between 11am and 2pm for the lunch menu, where you can quickly secure a seat in this lively Little Tokyo spot and enjoy its reasonable prices, like the $23 sashimi lunch and $35 premium chirashi.

photo credit: Jessie Clapp

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Unlike dinner service, which requires a reservation weeks in advance, lunch at Pizzeria Bianco is quick, delicious, and comes with two hours of free parking. From 11am-3pm, the restaurant's takeout window serves New York-style slices, including a red slice with Bianco's tart and savory marinara and a green slice with a cheesy sauce we can only compare to spinach dip (but somehow even better). Seasonal market salads and stacked mortadella sandwiches with apricot mostarda are also available and we strongly encourage enjoying them on Bianco's quiet patio.


Messob is our go-to spot in Little Ethiopia for warm, soul-hugging comforting food that feels borderline therapeutic. Open at 11am, Messob has a great lunch special combo that lets you sample a lot of its menu. This massive array of food features your choice of five entrees on spongy injera, and includes everything from collard greens and ground peas to spicy lamb stew. It's $45, which isn't cheap but you can easily split it between two people.

Ospi's lunch menu features most of the heavy hitters seen at dinner: parm-style butter chicken, malloreddus pasta with beef cheek ragu, and wafer-thin pizzas topped with everything from fior di latte to roasted pineapple (we don't hate it). The two main differences between the services are the significantly quieter, less-crowded dining room and some lunch-only sandwiches filled with things like prosciutto, soppressata, and spicy eggplant.

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Here's what you won't find during your lunch break at the Venice Boardwalk: affordable parking, locals, and a wide selection of (good) food options. But then there's Fig Tree, an all-day spot with a Latin-leaning menu that offers a comfy refuge from the tourist crowds. There's also a beachfront patio where you can feel the breeze, have a cocktail, and enjoy some rockfish ceviche, making the small fortune you paid for street parking feel worthwhile.

photo credit: Jakob Layman

This spot is Permanently Closed.

Head to Pearl River Deli when you need instant satisfaction for a few reasons: it's reliably open for lunch through dinner, the menu covers a wide range of regional Chinese dishes, and there's a constant rotation of specials that you can track on their Instagram. Our advice: come to the Chinatown spot for the excellent char siu pork, silky Hainan chicken, and incredible dessert menu.

A lunch at Alta Adams is all about comfort, from their Southern-by-way-of-California dishes like vegan gumbo and gravy-doused oxtail and rice to the outdoor patio that feels like a secluded oasis in the middle of West Adams. Coming here on a sunny afternoon to snack on sweet cornbread with honey butter feels indulgent and relaxing, especially when your toughest decision is choosing between fried chicken or smoked brisket.

Rémy Martin

LA Guide

The Day-Off Lunch Guide

Lunch at Petit Trois isn't exactly a "pop out of the office for a quick bite" spot. But when you tell your boss you have a non-existent, day-long doctor's appointment, this is your place. This tiny French restaurant is less crowded during the day and perfect for a lunch that involves red wine, steak frites, and remembering not to post on social media, so you don't reveal what you're really up to.


Not all lunch excursions call for a meat feast, but Craig from across the hall accidentally invited the whole department, and now you need a place that'll comfortably feed 12 people. Go to Park's. Open daily at 11am, this Ktown staple serves its full menu at lunch, including massive combo platters ideal for groups.


photo credit: Sushi Tama

$$$$Perfect For:Dining SoloLunch

Sushi Tama is a Beverly Hills spot with prices that don't feel so Beverly Hills. A sushi lunch here is fairly affordable, with nigiri within the $4-7 range, $5 miso soup, and a $55 omakase featuring silky scallop hotate and buttery otoro. Sushi Tama's modern beige interior also makes it a great option for a relaxing, quiet lunch-for-one at the sushi bar.


It's safe to assume almost everybody knows what Jon & Vinny's is, but far fewer realize it's actually an all-day restaurant. Open every day from 8am-10pm, eating their spicy fusilli at 2pm isn't just a life perk, it's the true hack for this pizza and pasta spot. Securing a dinner reservation at Jon & Vinny's is still very much a struggle, but if you show up anytime between 11:30am and 5pm, you'll walk right in and enjoy the exact same menu.


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