Ask 100 people to define the borders of Los Feliz and you’ll get 100 different answers. So while this neighborhood may technically include the majority of Thai Town, Little Armenia, East Hollywood, and strips of Hyperion that are absolutely Silver Lake, we’re defining “Los Feliz” as anything between Vermont and Hillhurst, give or take a few blocks.
And while you may disagree with our definition, you can’t disagree with the fact that for such a small area, there are a ton of excellent restaurants to choose from. Here are our favorites.
A lot of LA’s best restaurants feel like they were grown in the same test tube, and the result is a bunch of massive restaurants with six-part menus and $19 cocktails. Not All Time. Eating at this place feels more like you’re at the city’s best backyard potluck, where the menu is written on a big window and the wine list reads like it was sourced from someone who drives around France picking up bottles of whatever’s great. We haven’t had a bad dish here, but if you’re really going for it, order the 68-day dry-aged steak that they claim will feed two, but can probably feed a group of four. They also have some excellent sandwiches and a breakfast burrito, if you come by in the daytime.
With its light wood, pretty food, and general kind-of-healthy-ness, Kismet looks like a place your out-of-town friends have seen all over Instagram. But it turns out it’s much, much better. This is an all-day Mediterranean restaurant where you can eat an amazing broccoli toast at lunch or a whole rabbit for two at night. We like it best for a laid-back but still excellent dinner.
You know an Italian spot is good when actual Italians eat there. You know it’s great when the cast of The Sopranos eats there. Little Dom’s is that spot. Get the pancakes and breakfast pizza in the morning, or share some pastas and pies for dinner. The food isn’t as great as it once was, but it’s still a great neighborhood spot, especially for their weekly $18, three-course Monday Night Supper.
You spent today running around LA trying to find “that one dry cleaner” your boss needed you to pick up her shirt from, so tonight you need to at least feel like someone is catering to you. Go to Bar Covell, the wine bar/restaurant where all you have to do is give the servers a few adjectives about wine you like, and they’ll have you covered for the rest of the night. The food menu is small, but solid (especially the charcuterie plate). Bring a few friends, get some wine that magically fits all your taste preferences, and try to stop thinking about why your boss insists on getting her jackets cleaned in Arcadia.
The food at Atrium is hit-or-miss, but there’s no denying that this American-ish spot on Vermont has one of the coolest dining rooms in the neighborhood. It feels like the inside of an extremely expensive barn, one with lots of plants hanging from the ceiling and exposed bricks. The best way to eat here is to sit at the bar, order one of the very good neon-colored cocktails, and get the whipped kimchi butter, the al pastor octopus, and some desserts.
Texas Forever. Or at least until 3pm, when this Tex-Mex spot closes it doors every day to everyone’s disappointment. Regardless of that massive error in business judgment, the migas, brisket tacos, and queso make this a can’t-miss spot in the neighborhood. There will be a line, but it moves quickly.
Ample Hills isn’t the only fancy ice cream shop in Los Feliz (McConnell’s and Jeni’s are very close by) - but this is our favorite of the three. It’s in a bungalow on Hillhurst that is suspiciously reminiscent of the house you dream of buying when your high-end sunbrella business takes off. It’s hard to go wrong with your order here. The classics are good, but keep their mixed-up flavors top of mind. We like the chocolate milk and cookies, and The Munchies - which involves potato chips and M&Ms.
A Mediterranean spot on Vermont, Sidewalk Grill is an excellent place for those times when one of you wants a steak and someone else wants a salad. They have good kebabs - the ground filet, salmon, and lamb are the best, and all of them come with sides like grilled fresh vegetables and different dips - but we’ll decide for you. Get the baba ganoush. There’s a little patio on the side that makes for great people watching on weekends, so grab a $5 glass of wine and take a seat.
All your friends are in Cabo this weekend, and you couldn’t get the time off. Stop hate-watching their social media posts and head to Best Fish Taco in Ensenada for your own mini-vacation. The spot on Hillhurst would fit right in in a small beach town somewhere - the space is small, with a dried-grass roofed patio, and friendly servers behind the counter. The fish tacos are indeed very good, and while they seem simple at first, just turn around and head to the salsa bar.
There’s a big sign greeting you as you enter this restaurant that says “there’s no place like Home.” We get the sentiment, but it’s also not entirely true: Home looks like pretty much every other nice neighborhood restaurant in LA. There’s a good patio with lots of foliage and twinkly lights, the food is Italian-ish and affordable, and it’s always full of locals. But these are all positive things, and despite the fact that Home is not a totally unique concept, it’s a solid choice for a casual date or dinner with friends. Also, they do a good brunch.
Farfalla is the neighborhood Italian joint beloved by Los Feliz locals and unknown to every other human in LA. Little Dom’s tends to get all spotlight, but for a more low-key Italian experience (we’ve yet to see anyone resembling a celebrity here), Farfalla is your spot. The ravioli and/or gnocchi need to be in your order.
The ultimate neighborhood bar. Dark, dingy, and serving the best wings in the city, especially at the price point (read: very low). Don’t expect service with a smile. Or anything but The Cure on the jukebox. But do expect some amazing bar food.
We’re not sure why Anarbagh doesn’t get more attention. Maybe it’s because it’s tucked next to an exceptionally repellant 7-Eleven, or because it’s so close to drunk-dining institution Fred 62. But Anarbagh is not to be overlooked - it’s an Indian spot that’s great for anything from a casual weeknight meal with a group to a solo dinner before going to the Los Feliz 3. The eggplant curry is very good, and you’ll want to get some of the onion bhaji - fried onion fritters.
The go-to spot for group meals in the neighborhood, Messhall does comfort food with a summer camp feel. There are gas firepits outside, lots of long wooden tables, and things generally smell pretty smokey from the wood-fired grilled in the kitchen. Solid brunch and dinner offerings paired with some tasty and often inventive cocktails means everyone in your group will be happy. Yes, even Karen the vegan.
Yuca’s is a classic - it’s been around since the 70s. Everyone agrees this tiny Mexican place is great, but good luck getting any consensus on what you should be ordering. Our favorite is the carne asada, but then we remember the cochinita pibil, the machaca, and the carnitas. There’s no bad order at this 10-seat little shack on the side of the road.
Voted the “Spot Most Likely to See That One Guy Who Was In That Thing And Oh Man, What’s His Name?,” Mustard Seed Cafe is a simple sidewalk cafe that serves a variety of breakfast and lunch options to the neighborhood’s cable TV stars, of which there are many. The menu includes lots of healthy options in case you need to lose that last three pounds before filming starts.
Greetings from our favorite Eastside drunk food diner. Admittedly, Fred’s food is just fine while you’re sober, but after a few too many beers it reaches levels of spectacular. Breakfast sandwich? Jucy Lucy? Peanut Butter Malt Shake? You’ll take all of them. The atmosphere is retro and not in the Mel’s Diner type way that makes you die inside. Fred is your friend who always has your back – 24/7.