West Hollywood has a lot going for it. Rent-controlled apartments, rainbow-painted crosswalks, and a free trolley to carry your drunk ass home on the weekends. And of course, a lot of restaurants.
But for all the fantastic places there are to eat here, there’s an even bigger plague of entirely mediocre spots that continue to pull in the crowds. And you’ll probably end up at a few of them at some point. Whether it be with a corporate client who’s only impressed by nice views, or your childhood best friend who won’t rest until she’s locked eyes with Rachel Zoe, here’s how to navigate the 14 most mediocre restaurants in Weho.
Gracias Madre needs no introduction. Frankly, there’s a decent chance you’re currently reading this from their patio. But for all the hoopla and very delicious margaritas they’re serving, the fact is their food is nothing more than colorful cardboard. It’s one thing to take meat and cheese out of Mexican food, it’s another to do it badly. But that’s exactly what this middling vegan restaurant has done. So the next time all the girls get together for a “Gracias night!!,” eat beforehand. Nobody wants to be stuck staring at a plate the waiter just triumphantly announced as cashew puree.
Catch is yet another breathtaking Weho rooftop spot full of people who pay for their Instagram followers. This seafood-heavy restaurant was gifted to us from New York, and judging by the long lines of Louboutins click-clacking their way down Melrose to eat there, West Hollywood is in full gratitude mode. As for the food, nothing’s terrible, but nothing’s great. But average isn’t a word you want associated with a $300 meal you had to wait a month to experience. Proceed accordingly.
Welcome to West Hollywood’s Applebee’s For Agents. This generic and objectively lifeless restaurant on Robertson is where you’ll find every despondent UTA, ICM, and CAA employee picking at grain bowls and wondering if they’re just having a bad year or if this is their life now. Watching them realize the answer is always the latter is actually the only mildly interesting element of this place. Well, that and the fact they’re charging $24 for a rotisserie half-chicken you can get at Ralph’s for $7.99.
If you’re the kind of person who wakes up most weekdays with nothing to do until pilates at 4pm, you’ve definitely been to Mauro’s. The restaurant behind Fred Segal on Melrose is one of the biggest daytime scenes in Weho and the kind of place you’ll witness straight men in control-top leggings and at least 14 separate sightings of Amy Adams - none of which are actually Amy Adams. The food is fine, they serve complimentary bread nobody eats, and that parking lot view out back is the perfect complement to the catatonic interior.
The thing that makes us most upset about Tesse is that it actually could’ve been a great restaurant. Instead, this Sunset Strip French spot has followed the same script of every other skippable Weho restaurant - beautiful space, well-dressed people, and food so boring you might actually fall asleep in your booth. You will eat a few tasty dishes (the blue crab simplissime is a highlight), but none of them will make up for the fact that a meal here feels like a soulless afterparty at a second-tier film festival in the Rocky Mountains. Nobody cares about food when they’re too busy sucking the life out of every investor who’ll give them an ear.
Zinque is one of those West Hollywood restaurants that endures wild swings in popularity for no particular reason - especially when it’s always been unexceptional. Come here after work and drink some white wine with a spiraling co-worker on the patio, and you’ll be fine. Come here for an actual dinner and you’ll discover a restaurant that has no idea what it’s doing. Some of the food is decent enough, but the chances of you receiving your food in under two hours (or within a half hour of everyone else at your table) is low. Stick to the wine - your pilot-season depression needs it more anyways.
We’ve got to hand it to Tortilla Republic - they’ve made a killing for more than seven years now serving passable Mexican food to gay men who’ve never stepped foot outside of Weho and their girlfriends who never turn down another round. The modern space on Robertson is certainly nice to look at and their daily Happy Hour (3-6pm) is admittedly pretty stellar, but if you treat this place like anything more than just another spot to grab some weekday margaritas, you’re doing it wrong.
When it comes to first impressions, Eveleigh crushes it. The sexy space has great views, beautiful people, and an interior that feels like a French tavern where famous writers go to drink and f*ck. But the longer you stay here (and the longer you wait... and wait... and wait for your food to come) the more you realize this place is a bit of a sham. The food is fine, those beautiful people are just drunk unemployed 22-year-olds looking for better representation, and $16 for a glorified mimosa is offensive even on the Sunset Strip.
The fact this place still has lines down the block lends hard evidence to the theory that the world is indeed caught in a glitch and a faction of the population continues to believe it’s 2006. This is a coffee shop. With coffee. And tea. And some reheated food. If this sounds similar to 1,000 other places in Los Angeles, your mind isn’t playing tricks on you anymore. Welcome back from the glitch - and stop eating at Urth.
Le Petit Four exists on that weird stretch of The Sunset Strip full of crowded restaurants you always drive past and wonder who’s actually eating there. Then your cousin Tamra from Charlotte visits and asks to go to Le Petit Four and your question is answered. The touristy French spot isn’t godawful, but you’re also paying $20 for a plate of fettuccine alfredo you could probably make at home in the dark with a jar of Prego. Silver lining - their wine list is actually very solid.
Crossroads is most well known for being that place your vegan friend swears will change your views on vegan food, but ultimately never does. Yes, their “chicken” and waffles and eggplant lasagna are pretty good, but you know what’s better? Actual chicken and waffles and lasagna. The space on Melrose is very nice, though your low-key healthy lunch spot this is not. Crossroads is aggressively fancy and you’ll be shoveling out the money to prove it.
Now’s a good time to remember that just because a sushi restaurant is expensive, doesn’t mean a sushi restaurant is great. Say hello to Koi - the ridiculously overpriced (and definitely not great) Japanese/sushi joint on La Cienega that ideally should only ever interest you if you’re an obnoxious teenager with no curfew or a tourist trying to flag down Perez Hilton. This is sushi for people who want to be on TV and for people who think being spotted at a restaurant is how you accomplish that. The cool space will keep you entertained if you get roped into dinner here, but if you come here looking for quality sushi, you won’t find it.
Oh, Chin Chin. Where would LA even be without your bland, oily, and overpriced food? At this point, living off daddy’s credit card and being obsessed with Chin Chin for a summer is a rite of passage for most new arrivals to Los Angeles, but the reality is, this scene-y Chinese restaurant has never been anything else besides aggressively second-rate. If you’re there because you and your friends want to be seen on the patio or because Lauren Conrad went there in 2010 - fine. But if you’re there to eat anything close to legitimate Chinese food, you have been entirely misinformed.