LAGuide

The Best Restaurants In Hollywood

Where to eat in LA’s most famous neighborhood.
The Best Restaurants In Hollywood image

photo credit: Jakob Layman

Hollywood is perhaps the most storied neighborhood in LA. It’s filled with cultural landmarks, movie studios, and knock-off Cookie Monsters who, for $20, will allow you to take their photo. Another thing about Hollywood is that it’s overflowing with some pretty great food.

From high-end Italian restaurants to some of the best Thai food in the city, eating well in Hollywood is easy—especially if you use this guide.

THE SPOTS

Thai

Hollywood

$$$$Perfect For:Casual Weeknight DinnerLunch

Luv2eat looks like any other strip mall restaurant in the city, but the Thai food and the warm service make this one of our favorite restaurants in all of LA. Its greatness lies in the Chef’s Special section of the menu, a mixed bag of dishes that showcases the two chefs’ family recipes from Phuket. Get the Phuket-style crab curry. When combined with the fatty crab meat bathing at the bottom, it takes sweet, salty, and sour to euphoric levels. Even the moo-ping, a simple grilled pork skewer appetizer, is marinated and charred so perfectly that it should be rebranded as candy on a stick.

photo credit: Jessie Clapp

Gwen is the most consistent high-end dinner spot in Hollywood and a place where spending $200 on a hunk of meat feels worth it. The dining room has crystal chandeliers hanging from the ceiling, pendant light fixtures illuminating dramatic white pillars, and multiple hearths roaring with fire in the open kitchen. Though the menu changes seasonally, you can generally expect dishes like charcuterie boards arranged like a meaty painter’s palette, parmesan risotto with a marrow-filled bone towering from the center, and some of the best steaks in LA.

photo credit: Jessie Clapp

When the current form of Stir Crazy first opened on Melrose, it gave Hollywood the kind of chilled-out wine bar you’d find in Echo Park or in a repurposed shipping container by the LA River. Which is to say, there’s lots of natural wine, snacky food like celery salads and anchovies, and tables filled with up-and-coming comedians with Netflix specials in the works. Those things are still there, only now the excellent food menu is bigger, so if you want a full dinner experience, you can have one. Standout dishes include the rockfish carpaccio in brown butter, German sausage and buttery potato salad, and flaky black cod….in a bath of butter. Maybe you sense a theme.

photo credit: Erin Mavian

$$$$Perfect For:Quick Eats

This casual burger spot from a former fine-dining chef has three other locations across LA, specializing in smashburgers with beefy, fresh-ground patties and a very good fried chicken sandwich. A standout among LA’s surplus of smashburgers, we like that For The Win strikes a balance between a juicy, flavorful patty and crisp, lacy edges. Plus, the melted cheese-to-potato bun ratio is  spot on. Our standard order is the double stack, which is surprisingly light, with jalapenños, bacon, and their slightly spicy fry sauce. They always taste best straight off the grill, so plan on grabbing a table to eat your order as soon as possible.

Yes, that Horses. This French-American bistro on Sunset was once the subject of one of the more shocking restaurant controversies in recent history, and if you don’t know what we’re talking about, just Google “horses + cat” (you won’t find cute animal pictures.) Post-drama though, the place is still quite good, and unlike a few years ago, you can actually get in. The dining room buzzes nightly past last call, and if you don’t have time for a full meal, walk into the bar around 9pm. The full menu is available (get the cheeseburger and fries), the drinks arrive quickly, and as the restaurant winds down—and the bartenders become less busy—juicy conversations tend to unfold.

If we had to pick one shawarma in LA to reign supreme over its cone-shaped kin, it’s the mixed lamb and beef combo from Sincerely Syria (formerly known as Hollywood Shawarma). Thinly sliced and tender as filet mignon, each juicy slice at this Syrian-owned spot is rich with a potpourri of spices. Order one of their pan-grilled wraps and bliss out. This counter-service operation has a takeout window right along the Walk of Fame, with a couple of stools and tables scattered across the sidewalk. It's open until at least 1am daily (and until 3am on weekends) to serve the post-club crowds near Hollywood and Vine.

While its Italian menu overlaps with Funke and Felix, Mother Wolf is cooler than both of Evan Funke's other restaurants. The massive, all-pink dining room feels like it's part Las Vegas, part Carbone, and part Roman banquet hall wedding—all crammed inside the Madonna Inn. A-list celebrity sightings are about as common as perfectly made pasta (the cacio e pepe and rigatoni all’amatriciana are standouts). And now that this place has been open for a while, it’s easier to get a table. Stop by with a friend, split some ricotta-filled squash blossoms before your tonnarelli arrives, and plan on sticking around for a negroni nightcap.

photo credit: Jakob Layman

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Chi Spacca is one of three restaurants anchoring the Mozza empire at Melrose and Highland. While the Pizzeria and Osteria are more popular, Chi Spacca is the best of the bunch. Located in a small red dining room, eating at this Italian steakhouse is like attending a dinner party in a novelist’s wine cellar. It’s an upscale experience (expect to pay well over $100 per person) where one bottle of wine leads to three, and suddenly you’re staring at salumi platters, bone marrow pie, and a steak the size of a hubcap. If you’re in the market for a splurgy, throwdown meal that will likely involve meat sweats, few places are better suited than Chi Spacca.

The first thing you might notice about Mr. T in Hollywood is a server walking around the dining room setting food on fire while a Jay-Z song plays in the background. You’re looking at their comte and mimolette cheese flambé, which shows up in a few signature dishes at this French-ish spot on Sycamore. The menu melds street food with traditional French cooking, and you can watch the action in the open kitchen from seats at the counter. Bring a date to snack on minty-sweet tuna crudo or invite friends to crowd around a patio table for wagyu burgers, truffle mac and cheese, and chicken mille-feuille. 

photo credit: Jakob Layman

$$$$Perfect For:BreakfastBrunchLunch

One of our favorite bakeries in the city, Clark Street, took over the old 101 Coffee Shop and did exactly what everyone in LA hoped they would: they kept the space exactly the same. You’ll still find vintage leather booths, a wraparound bar, and classic stone wall (you know, real old-school diner stuff) only now the food is better. The menu is smaller than the old 101 one, but everything is higher quality—all the bread comes on their signature Clark Street baguettes and toasts, plus they have a fantastic patty melt loaded with freshly ground beef, swiss cheese, and some grilled onions that we haven’t stop dreaming about since eating. 

Superba in Venice has always been a nice fallback for chicken-pasta-salad brunches, lunches, and dinners, but its newest location on Sunset is an absolute destination. The food is good—they’ve got vegetable-y breakfasts with eggs that let you know they’re fresh and baked goods that remind you why the restaurant’s full name is Superba Food + Bread. Later in the day, there are salads, hulking sandwiches, and meatier things—most of which come with generous sides. But it’s the stunning patio that we most recommend: There are enough citrus trees and yellow-striped umbrellas to provide the illusion that you’re somewhere in the Mediterranean.

This tasting-menu seafood restaurant on Melrose is arguably the fanciest restaurant in all of Los Angeles. A blowout eight-course dinner here will cost you $300 per person at a minimum, and that's before any supplements or wine pairings. You're paying for many hours of ridiculously fresh, inventive fish, a visit from a roaming cheese cart, and a waitstaff that makes you feel like you’re in good hands from the second you walk through the door.

El Compadre always has your back. At the end of a long day, this Mexican cantina is ready with cozy red booths, mariachis, and a stiff drink. The Hollywood staple (there’s an Echo Park location, but the atmosphere isn’t nearly as fun) has been serving classic California-Mexican food (i.e. a lot of cheesy enchiladas) and very strong flaming margaritas since the 1970s and they show no signs of stopping. Definitely make a reservation as crowds get bad almost any day of the week, but just know, at El Compadre the party never stops.

Gigi’s is a sceney French place on Sycamore where you’ll be treated to a night filled with great burgers, oysters, and steak frites. We recommend showing up a little thirsty. A night of lounging around on their string-lit patio or intimate dining room with plushy green booths, sipping gin martinis, snacking on tartare, and listening to a table of agents next to you scheming how to get ayahuasca to Tulum next week is exactly how we want to be partying right now.

photo credit: Eugene Lee

With a tiny non-descript storefront on Melrose, Oui is a place you could pass a hundred times without noticing. And once you do spot it, you probably wouldn’t guess that inside are our favorite sandwiches in Hollywood. With everything from a classic tuna sub to double smashburgers to spiced chicken laffa wraps, the menu covers a lot of ground, but we haven’t tried a single sandwich that we wouldn’t order again. Plus, with such a wide variety, it’s an ideal spot for a to-go team lunch when everyone wants something different.

We love Hoy-Ka not only for their excellent Thai food, but for having a fun space that’s great for everything from a big office lunch to a midweek hang with friends. The wood-covered interior feels kind of like a tavern, and with plenty of TVs playing sports, you won’t have any trouble finding a reason to drink. When it comes to food, the crispy pork ka prao, with its chili and basil-topped tower of white rice, deserves priority in your order.

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