The Best Restaurants in El Segundo

Our 9 favorite places to eat in the South Bay's quietest small town.
The Best Restaurants in El Segundo image

photo credit: Jakob Layman

Between the corporate office buildings near LAX, the oil refineries and power plants along the coast, and the Main Street that looks pulled from an episode of Leave It To Be Beaver, there’s no city in LA quite like El Segundo. Whether you live nearby or are just spending the afternoon shopping for a wetsuit, you’ll probably need to eat at some point. Here's where to get poke bowls, tender tonkatsu, cheddar hot honey bagels, and more great food in this section of the South Bay.


photo credit: Andrea D'Agosto


El Segundo

$$$$Perfect For:First/Early in the Game DatesCasual Weeknight DinnerQuiet Meals
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The next time you’re meeting a friend for an affordable post-work dinner keep Kagura in mind. This Japanese spot (with other locations in Torrance and Gardena) specializes in crispy, tender tonkatsu. You can order the deep-fried cutlets by themselves, or as a dinner set with rice, sashimi, miso soup, and pickled veggies. Whether you go with a more traditional filet katsu gozen or the cheese-stuffed mille feuille variation, you likely won’t spend more than $25 on a full meal There’s a fun sake bar up front, but grab a booth table in the back for a quieter, semi-private experience.

If you work in El Segundo, you probably know about Caló. The leather banquettes at this upscale Mexican spot are usually crowded with coworkers forming bonds over taquitos and tequila. As with its other locations in Orange County, Calo has a highly unobjectionable menu and highly accommodating servers who know how to squeeze in a big group. The entrees all come with rice and beans, there are complimentary chips and salsa, and their signature enchiladas can be made vegan if need be. Plus, they make a solid margarita.

Every neighborhood needs a reliable pizza joint. And though it’s far from the most time-honored pizzeria in town, our go-to in El Segundo is Prime Pizza, This local mini-chain specializes in New York-style pies served whole or by the slice, along with the usual suspects like warm, buttery garlic knots and spicy buffalo wings. The pizza here sports the same crispy crust and comforting chew as the six other Prime locations across LA, the only difference is that everyone here is dressed like they just came from the beach. Get the sausage and kale pizza (with parmesan sprinkled on top) and expect a bit of a wait during the dinner rush.

Tapizon serves fun, inventive Brazilian food with Japanese twists. Every dish at this casual spot on Main Street has a surprising element, like grilled corn on the cob slathered in miso butter or the moqueca with sweet pepper relish. The indoor space feels more like a sports bar than a place where you’d splurge on a churrasco platter, but the calmer wraparound patio is better for a leisurely dinner date. Be sure to get dessert, too—they have a tres leches cake topped with pistachio brittle that we want on all our cakes going forward.

photo credit: Jakob Layman



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Jame Enoteca is one of our favorite Italian places in the South Bay. Or anywhere, for that matter. All of the pasta at this small strip mall spot is hand-rolled in their tiny kitchen. Our favorites are the capellini in 36-hour tomato sauce and the spicy rigatoni alla vodka, but you can’t go wrong with any of them. There are great non-pasta dishes, too, like the kale salad with spicy almond vinaigrette and a fork-tender pork shank glazed in Lambrusco-mustard sauce. If you're looking for a more casual drinks and bar snacks situation, head to John Thomas Bar—it's a cocktail-focused extension off the main dining room that's perfect for a low-key date night.

There’s nothing overly fussy about Uncle Stevey’s. It's a straightforward bagel shop run by two former New Yorkers who bake everything in a fancy oven. This counter-service daytime spot serves just under ten varieties, from the traditional to the slightly more adventurous (cheddar hot honey and black & white sesame). You’ll also find the expected bagel shop classics here like smoked fish, egg and cheese sandwiches, and various cream cheese flavors. If you live in El Segundo, add these bagels to your weekly breakfast rotation—if you don’t, make it your breakfast pit stop on the way to the beach.

This pint-sized poke counter in El Segundo, with a second location in Torrance, understands a fundamental truth: Quality fish is king (they source their tuna from the Honolulu Fish Auction). From succulent cubes of ginger soy ahi to a slightly wasabi-y ponzu salmon, the poke here tastes like what you’d get from a Foodland poke counter in Hawai’i (no small compliment). If it's your first time, try their loaded surf and turf bowl. It comes with your choice of poke flavor and a generous serving of kalua pork over perfectly cooked sticky rice.

Top Golf is a high-tech driving range with the all-day menu of a sports bar. If this sounds bizarre, that’s because it is. But between the three floors of golf simulators and the massive wall of TV screens, it’s hard to have a bad time here. The space feels like a fun, indoor beer garden and all of the food is better than it needs to be. Their wings have a particularly nice balance of crispy skin and tender meat and you won’t find a better buffalo dip in the neighborhood. Whether you’re looking for a daytime birthday party venue or need a place to convince your lazy friends to leave their apartments on a Sunday afternoon, Top Golf will do the trick.

Vietnamese spot Little Sister has four locations around the LA area, but our favorite is the one inside The Point in El Segundo. Parking is easy, there’s a big sunny patio and outdoor area where kids can run around, and light and flavorful dishes like their shrimp and pork belly summer rolls or crispy Vietnamese crepe come heaped with fresh herbs. And although it’s a sit-down spot, service is pretty fast. Come here for a “pop in, pop out” lunch with that one friend you’ve been trying to organize a catch-up lunch with since 2019.

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