Beverly Grove is a sprawling neighborhood in Central LA and a place that lays claim to The Beverly Center, CBS Studios, and the biggest tourist attraction of them all - The Grove. And yet, it’s also an area that’s fairly hard to define. We asked our readers where they thought the neighborhood was and every single write-in had a different answer. So for our purposes, we’re defining the boundaries as Melrose, Fairfax, and Beverly to the north, La Brea to the east, 6th St. to the south, and La Cienega and Robertson to the west.
If you give two sh*ts about geography, however, and just want to know where to eat, you’re in luck. Beverly Grove is one of the most restaurant-dense neighborhoods in LA, with everything from neighborhood pasta spots and classic Jewish delis to high-end sushi bars where meals easily cross the $200 mark. Whatever you’re in the mood for, you’ll find it in Beverly Grove. Even if you aren’t totally sure where it is.
Beverly Grove has quietly become a very solid pizza neighborhood - and La Morra is a big reason why. After spending the last few years popping up at different locations around town, this fantastic, wood-fired pizza shop has settled into a permanent space on 3rd Street. It’s operating essentially as a takeout window, making the pick-up situation seamless and quick. Toppings range from traditional pepperoni to ’nduja and potatoes, but what makes La Morra so special is that perfectly-charred, bubbly crust.
At first glance, Melanie looks and feels like many other good wine bars around town. There’s a well-curated list filled with mostly European biodynamic wines, a cute space that feels like a friends’ living room right as the party is starting to peak, and a menu filled with snacks you want to eat while drinking chilled Beaujolais. But what makes this spot great are the actual people serving you the wine. No question is a dumb question, even if you’re date asks if orange wine is made from oranges. As far as the food goes, the mussels are a standout. They’re plump, buttery, and come bathed in a rich, savory vadouvan curry. And though it’s not technically on the menu, be sure to ask for a side of their perfectly-crispy shoestring fries. It’ll be the perfect exercise to see how good your date is at letting you eat all of them.
Choosing a favorite vendor at The Original Farmers Market is like picking your favorite scene that Jennifer Coolidge stole - deeply personal and next to impossible. But for us, it’s Singapore’s Banana Leaf. No matter if it’s 100 degrees out or 60 degrees out, we always find ourselves gravitating to this tiny stall for excellent Singaporean staples like the sweet and creamy laksa soup and one of the best beef rendangs in town. It’s buttery, yet earthy and filled with plentiful heaps of tender beef that could be cut with a spoon if you wanted. That said, no meal here is complete without a side order of their perfectly flaky roti paratha and curry dipping sauce. Unlike many stalls at the market, SBL makes everything to order, so expect to wait a little longer for your food, but just know that it’s worth it.
Compared to other high-end omakase spots around LA, Matsumoto is probably the one you’ve heard the least about. And that’s exactly why a meal at this tiny strip mall spot is so exciting. Matsumoto is one of LA’s premiere sushi experiences and yet it still feels like a complete secret. You don’t need a long-standing reservation or a lengthy IMDb page to get a seat here. Just head to the bar, let Chef Matsumoto know your likes and dislikes, and be whisked off on a tailor-made, 18-ish course omakase. Prices vary based on available fish, but you can generally expect to pay around $180.
Slab started out as a secret pop-up in the owner’s Studio City driveway (that he called Trudy’s Underground BBQ) and is now operating inside a shiny space on 3rd Street. The order-at-the-counter shop is casual and straightforward, and the barbecue is certainly some of the best you’ll find in central LA. Most people are here for the brisket, but it’s the spare ribs that keep us coming back. Be sure to throw in a side order of creamy mac and cheese and the chili-covered Frito pie.
Hidden on what’s essentially a San Vicente service road, you could live in Beverly Grove for years and not know much about La Paella. It’s time to change that fact. This family-run Spanish spot feels like you’ve walked into an old tavern in Madrid with dark wooden chairs, tiled floors, and old knick-knacks hanging on the walls. It’s a place where sangria flows freely every night of the week and big tables of people gather to eat through one of our favorite tapas menus in town. That said, it doesn’t take a trained detective to uncover the main event here, it’s the name of the place - paella. Try the valenciana mixta, for soft saffron-tinted rice, fresh clams, mussels, shrimp, and some tender chicken and pork. Or go for the marinera that nixes the chicken and pork for calamari and king prawns. It’s equally delicious and great for groups looking to add more seafood to their lives.
Son of a Gun is the old reliable of the Jon & Vinny’s/Petit Trois empire. No one really talks about it too much, but it’s always there when you need it. Big group? Take over the giant window booth at the front of the restaurant. Dinner with the pescaterian in-laws? Bring them here and they might actually start liking you. This place is fun and casual, and relatively easy to get into. Order from every seafood section of the menu, and also get at least one fried chicken sandwich for the table.
For anyone who lives within a half-mile radius of Beverly and Crescent Heights, Marvin is your Cheers. For anyone else, this is a French bistro with food good enough to drive across the city for, and an atmosphere that’ll make you wish you had something similar in your neighborhood. Things can get a little pricey here (most entrees are over $30), so we recommend coming in with the intention of aggressively snacking instead of throwing down for a three-course meal. Just make sure you’re snacking on all of their toasts.
In no world does Canters pastrami compare to that of Langer’s, Brent’s, or Wexler’s, but that hardly matters when you walk into this Fairfax landmark at 3:30am. You’ll see drunk club kids standing in line next to your 70-year-old landlord, and the band you just saw play at The Roxy passed out in a booth by the bathroom. It’s a complete mess, and also an LA rite of passage. And if you feel like you have one more round in you, head back to the Kibitz Room, the bar that’s every bit as weird as you’d think.
Noree Thai is from the same people who run Luv2Eat, and that alone should get you through the door. Their menu is fairly similar to the original Hollywood spot (including the tremendous jade noodles), plus a few new items like massaman lamb chops and ko-lae chicken which has been herb-rubbed in a sweet and sour sauce. The casual space is small, but you can still come here with a group, and there’s a tiny front patio if you feel like watching people spend $300 on groceries at Erewhon across the street. Tip: Leave some extra time for parking, it can get tricky.
With a warm Earth-tone aesthetic, a meat-and-cheese-heavy menu, and a roaring fireplace in the corner, every aspect of this Puglian restaurant on 3rd Street seems designed to comfort and relax. And that’s exactly why you’ll always find us here after a long week. It’s also refreshing to be in an Italian restaurant in LA that doesn’t serve the same Northern and coastal standards as everyone else. There are only two pastas - and the slightly bitter, al dente orecchiette is a standout. The rest of the menu leans largely on traditional Puglian meat skewers, as well as imported Puglian cheeses that taste great spread across their house-made focaccia.
Pampas is one of the most popular stalls in the entire Original Farmer’s Market, so if you come during peak hours on the weekend, just know you’re going to wait. That said, even a 50-person line shouldn’t deter you from this excellent Brazilian spot. Pampas is what’s called a ‘kilo’ restaurant, meaning you pay by the weight of your plate, instead of a set price. It sounds pretty economical at first, until you reach the end of the cafeteria-style line and your plate is stacked six inches high with food. Offerings change daily, but if you spot the creamy catfish moqueca or feijoada, put them on your plate immediately. From there, make your way over to the churrasco-style meats where you’ll find everything from garlicky linguiça to perfectly-cooked picanha.
Opening in summer 2021, Yojimbo is one of the newest spots along Fairfax and has become a quick lunch go-to spot of ours. The donburi specialists have an array of delicious rice bowls ranging from braised beef to Impossible taco meat to grilled jidori chicken with sauteed cabbage - all of which can be ordered right at your table using the QR code. That said, we love coming during Happy Hour most when canned Orion beer goes for $3 and their perfectly-crackly tebasaki wings are only $9 for a full plate.
When it comes to old standbys, El Coyote is about as accurate as that term gets. Established in 1931, this landmark Mexican restaurant on Beverly Blvd. is one of the few LA spots that has grown up with the city, generation by generation. It’s convenient, consistent, and above else, really f*cking fun. Is the food any good? Not really, but it also doesn’t matter. You’re here to drink their legendary margaritas with a legendary hack (order the ice on the side and get two drinks for one), fill up on table chips and salsa, and stumble out two hours later.
Sushi Fumi is a place that makes sense for pretty much anyone, at any time, for any occasion. This plain-looking storefront in the heart of La Cienega is no longer the secret that it once was, but despite the crowds, it’s still one of our all-time favorites. While you’re going to want to put a few of their sashimi platters and cut rolls on the table (especially the moon roll), we recommend sticking almost entirely to their daily specials. The amberjack, yellowtail belly, and toro are some of the best you’ll find in the city.
You could probably walk past this dime-sized Italian restaurant on Beverly Blvd. a hundred times and not notice it, but that would be a huge mistake on your part. For well over a decade, Angelini Osteria has served some of the best old-school Italian dishes in the city. It’s fancier (and better) than the somewhat generic space might make you think it would be, and you should plan on dropping some serious money. It’s worth it though - from sea urchin linguine to veal shank agnolotti, this is where real pasta happens.
Badmaash is one of the most popular Indian restaurants in LA and it’s easy to see why - the food is fantastic. With a menu that features dishes like chicken tikka poutine, chili cheese naan, and masala potato fries, this isn’t traditional Indian food by any means, but it’s also pretty different then anything else you can get around town. The Fairfax dining room is fun, casual, and a great spot for a last-minute dinner that has the potential to get rowdy.
We don’t need to remind anyone about the existence of Jon & Vinny’s, but one aspect of this Italian spot on Fairfax that we’ll continue to point out is that it’s open all day. And while we’re big proponents of their breakfast situation (the BLT is a must), come lunchtime, it’s the same exact menu as it is at night. The only difference is you don’t have to make a reservation a month in advance to experience it. There are also outdoor “cabanas” going down Fairfax now, which offer even more room to fill up your table with meatballs, gem lettuce, and spicy fusilli.
You could argue that Jar is kind of boring and probably have a decent case. And yet, this upscale chophouse on Beverly gets away with it because every element is so endearing and well-executed that you have no choice but to enjoy your dinner. The place is a complete throw-back to the early aughts, when fancy dining in LA meant eating red meat in a windowless room, sipping manhattans, and commenting on how gorgeous the coq au vin looks at the adjacent table. If you need a bit more air though, there’s a new fenced-in sidewalk patio with string lights, astroturf, and a healthy romantic atmosphere. The duck fried rice and the slightly-sweet char siu pork chop are the two best things on the menu, but be sure to save room for the carrot cake - it’s one of our favorites in town.
This famous NYC-import is certainly no secret, but their banana pudding is still one of the best desserts in the history of the world. It’s thick, creamy, and the perfect thing to grab before showing up to a picnic at nearby Pan Pacific Park. They sell individual cups for $4.50, so everybody can have their own without fighting over the last few bites.
Thanks to the never-ending hoards of high-end sneaker enthusiasts, Fairfax is one of the most crowded stretches of LA. Sitting amongst it all is Slammers, a tiny cafe inside Brain Dead Studios with a secret back patio that feels worlds away. The lush, leafy space has tons of shade and various tables scattered about, making it a great option for posting-up during the day and getting some work done. The smallish menu is filled with delicious rice bowls (the grilled steak with spicy miso is a standout), a pork banh mi on a perfectly-crunchy baguette, and Vietnamese iced coffee when you’re in need of a midday jolt.
Beverly Grove can be a tough neighborhood for date night simply because it’s filled with very popular restaurants that everybody’s been to a bunch. If you’re looking for something a bit different, head to Carlitos Gardel. The old-school Argentinian spot on Melrose has been around for years, yet still feels like a total secret. There’s a beautiful, fully-enclosed back patio with romantic, ambient lighting, a giant wine list filled with dozens of Argentinian reds, and a menu with no shortage of tremendously-cooked meat. You really can’t go wrong with any cut, but we’re partial to the prime ribeye, which comes in a fragrant, pungent chimichurri glaze. Whatever you do though, save room for dessert. The charming wait staff will present them on a giant tableside platter and you’ll have zero willpower to say no.
LA has its fair share of well-known delis, and Potato Chips is definitely not one of them. But it’s about time this tiny shop off Beverly got its due, because their sandwiches are excellent. Favorites of ours include the roast turkey with havarti and herb aioli and the crunchy chicken Milanese, but we’ve never eaten a sandwich here that we haven’t liked. Service is fast, most sandwiches are under $13, and the place is nice and quiet if you need 40 minutes away from your co-workers.
AOC is a classic, and even if it’s not as exciting as it was 10 years ago, it’s still a great spot to grab a glass of wine with a client or spark some romance with your spouse of 15 years. With a roaring fireplace and juliet balconies circling the courtyard, this California/French spot still has one of the best patios in the city. You might be across the street from the biggest hospital in California, but here, you feel like you’ve been transported to a farm estate deep in Provence. Order the Spanish chicken, a bunch of charcuterie, and one of our favorite paellas in the city.
Oste is a colorful Italian spot on 3rd Street and a welcomed alternative to the many wood-fired and Detroit-style pizza shops popping up around town. The specialty here is pinsa, a delicious Roman-style flatbread that’s unlike anything you can really find in LA. It’s perfect for sharing, but considering you’re meeting the one friend who acts like they aren’t hungry and then vultures everyone else’s food, just get two and avoid the drama. Their lush, outdoor seating area is filled with lots of plants and pretty gold accents, so any meal here will feel like a special occasion.