As LA reopens, the natural rush to want to eat at every place that’s opened in the last five minutes is real right now. But it’s important to remember that in between all the newly-opened spots are the neighborhood joints that have been there all along and are better than ever. Plus, chances are it’s probably been a minute since you’ve checked them out. From a tiny udon cafe on La Cienega to a long-standing steakhouse with a great new back patio, here are 10 good West Hollywood restaurants you maybe haven’t been to in a while.
West Hollywood has no shortage of good ramen options, but when it comes to udon, Kochi is the spot we find ourselves going back to most often. This small, low-key cafe not only serves some of our favorite udon outside of Little Tokyo, but it’s one of the few restaurants on La Cienega where showing up in your pajamas is completely acceptable. Kochi’s menu is pretty big with everything from spicy tuna bowls to chicken katsu to premium bento boxes, but we recommend sticking mostly to the signature udon section. That’s where you’ll find earthy Japanese-style curry udon, uni cream with sea urchin and salmon egg, and our favorite, the mentai cream udon. This red caviar-topped bowl of noodles is a salty, buttery masterpiece and the perfect thing to eat alone while decompressing after a bad week.
It takes one quick drive down Santa Monica Blvd. to realize Weho does weekend brunch better than any neighborhood in LA. But if you’re looking for something a bit more casual than the bottomless mimosa chaos you see on your friend’s Instagram, go to Hedley’s. The tiny breakfast cafe is located right in the thick of things on Robertson, but still manages to be a calm, casual spot where you and one friend can eat a mushroom omelet and actually catch up. If you’re looking for something more on the lunch side of things, the crispy kale salad is excellent and comes filled with things like tofu, brown rice, and a slightly sweet miso dressing.
Due to its enclosed windowless space on Beverly, Jar was one of those restaurants that you could drive by every day and not really notice it. Thanks to LA’s relaxed outdoor dining situation, that’s changed in a big way. The chophouse now has a welcoming wrap-around front patio filled with heat lamps, string lights, and plenty of potted plants. It’s the perfect spot to wind down with a martini and a crisp wedge salad after a long week or go to town on a chopped sirloin or the signature pot roast with family when you’ve got something big to celebrate.
We love Hugo’s because it’s basically a diner, but one that also happens to serve really delicious vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options. Open since 1975, this neighborhood staple can get a little crowded on the weekends, but the atmosphere will always be more laid-back than the mimosa warzones happening elsewhere on the block. Whether you’re in the mood for chilaquiles, avocado toast, or steel-cut oatmeal, everything at Hugo’s is somewhat healthy, but will also fill you up and leave you happy until dinner.
This Argentinian steakhouse on Melrose is the kind of place you can come to any day of the week with a friend, drink too much malbec, eat your weight in ribeye, and spot a celebrity in the corner doing the exact same thing. Dining inside the tiny, cramped interior is certainly part of the fun here, but since that’s not open at the moment, take advantage of their “Patio Piazzolla.” It’s brand new back patio complete with string lights, shaded canopies, and wood floors.
Greenblatt's Delicatessen & Fine Wine Shop
Greenblatt’s is an LA institution, but one that often gets overlooked because of Canter’s down the street. But let it be known - this Jewish deli has very delicious food. Right now, they’re only open for takeout and delivery, but dine-in is expected to return this summer, meaning late-night pastrami in their upstairs dining room will once again be reality. Until then, take advantage of their excellent walk-in deli that has everything from smoked salmon by the pound to our favorite mac salad in LA. Also, be sure to check out their extensive wine shop before you leave.
We like the second location of Pizzana for pretty much the exact same reasons we like the original in Brentwood. The pizzas are tasty, and there’s enough other interesting dishes on the menu to keep everybody in your party happy. For starters, we like the meatballs (and especially the wood-fired garlic bread that comes with it) and the little gem caesar that’s topped with Calabrian chile dressing and crunchy pizza croutons that you’ll have a brief love affair with. When it comes to the pizza itself, the cacio e pepe pie with parmesan and cracked black pepper is a must-order, as well as the particularly great “Uovo,” with egg, prosciutto, and bacon jam. They’re still only open for takeout and delivery, but if you’re looking to change up your pizza routine this weekend, give Pizzana a call.
Tesse is a great restaurant when you need to impress a client, close a deal, or appease your boss who spent all day screaming at Jerry Bruckheimer over the phone. It’s a total industry spot, but in a town like LA, you need one in your back pocket at all times. The beautiful, modern space looks like someone’s third home in the Palisades that gets cleaned twice a week even though no one’s slept there in six months, and the solid meat-heavy menu is highlighted by the beef tartare, build-your-own charcuterie, and excellent desserts. Come between 12-7pm on weekends for their “Sunset Hour” with discounts on food, cocktails, wine, and beer.
Akuma Ramen & Sushi Bar
Akuma isn’t our top choice for sushi in West Hollywood, but being able to eat a full meal for under $40 per person on their fantastic front patio where one bottle of sake leads to four is hard to pass up. We recommend concentrating mostly on their specialty rolls like the tuna and yellowtail-filled “Ocean Drive” and the behemoth “Superman Burrito,” which comes packed with tuna, salmon, crab, yellowtail, avocado, and mustard sauce. On those Friday nights when we completely forgot to make a reservation somewhere and don’t feel like putting on real pants, you will always find us at Akuma.
Crossroads is one of the most popular and well-established vegetarian restaurants in LA, but one that never had an outdoor dining space - until now. Going down Sweetzer Ave, Crossroads’ sidewalk patio is adorned with white tablecloths and potted plants, with old movies being projected on the wall. It feels miles away from the hustle of Melrose just around the corner, and it’s perfect for date night, brunch, and anything in between.