Los Angeles is the “City of Angels,” the largest city in the state of California and the second largest urban center in the United States. The county has a population of 9.9 million, with more than 25 percent of the state living in this city. It is also home to Hollywood and the actors and celebrities that make up the industry. It is a melting pot of different ethnicities and cultures. It is also the home of the Lakers, a perennial contender in the National Basketball Association; the Kings, the champion of the National Hockey League; and the Dodgers, one of the traditional franchises of Major League Baseball.
With all that is happening in the city, different kinds of eateries and restaurants have sprouted up. We take a look now at the top ten most popular restaurants in Los Angeles.
1. Urasawa, 218 N. Rodeo Drive; 310-247-8939
Hiro Urasawa owns this restaurant and he prepares the omakase feasts himself. He makes use of the finest and freshest ingredients only and he places a lot of attention to the details of the food and its preparation. The restaurant has been invariably described as tranquil and sublime. The detailed preparation of the dishes has been recognized as a veritable labor of love, with every meal prepared a work of art. The service is also top-class and perfect. You may need to pay as much as $488 for a meal in this restaurant, however, so be prepared with your card and greenbacks. But it is all worth it.
2. Michael’s on Naples Ristorante, 5620 E. Second St.; 562-439-7080
This restaurant is considered by locals to be a treasure in Long Beach. The meals are lovely and superb. It also has a great wine list that you can choose from. Michael’s on Naples Ristorante is Italian fine dining at its very best. Even the service is impeccable, making the place a must-try especially if you want a romantic night or if you need to celebrate a special event in your life. You can also try the rooftop bar that offers an amazing view of the sunset.
3. Asanebo, 11941 Ventura Blvd.; 818-760-3348
Asanebo is all about the food. The place itself is simple and even unspectacular. It is not bedecked with any fancy decorations and the ambiance is unassuming. The sushi however are flown in straight from Japan and it is as fresh as fresh could be. Of course, the prices may be a bit steep, but the dishes have been described as nothing short of amazing. Even the restaurant’s staff keeps a low-profile making the food the real star of the place.
4. Sushi Zo, 9824 National Blvd.; 310-842-3977
This West LA restaurant may have bare surroundings and the service may be a bit flawed, but the food is unbelievable. Guests have complained that the restaurant is too strict when it comes to requests and the staff tends to rush the place’s clients, but his omakase-only restaurant has been a hit even to the most discerning food connoisseur. The sushi in Sushi Zo has been described as out of this world, the type that melts in your mouth.
5. Melisse, 1104 Wilshire Blvd.; 310-395-0881
The restaurant may be outdated for some, but a lot of people still love the place for its lovely French-New American cuisine. Located in Santa Monica, Melisse has a prix fixe menu that is based on the ingredients that are in season. It also has a tasteful wine list that will allow you to choose the perfect drink for your meal. The service is also flawless. Unlike other restaurants, Melisse also features a nice ambiance in which the level of noise will not assault the customers.
6. Piccolo, 5 Dudley Ave.; 310-314-3222
Piccolo is a quaint restaurant that is situated in Venice near the beach. While you may have to fork out a bit of money for the meals in this small place, the food is refined and great enough to compare favorably to even the best restaurants in Italy. The restaurant also features great service, with a knowledgeable staff complementing the perfect romantic setting.
7. Matsuhisa, 129 N. La Cienega Blvd.; 310-659-9639
This is probably the most low-key restaurant of Nobu Matsuhisa. It is his first restaurant and probably remains to be his best. He puts in a distinct Peruvian flavor to the meals. His sashimi is so fresh that it will practically melt in your mouth. The place has a quiet ambiance and a bit low profile. The staff is also very professional and knowledgeable. Almost everything about the restaurant is modest, from the ambiance to the food and the decorations. Only the price is not modest, but it may still be worth it as Matsuhisa is simple impeccable.
8. Echigo, 12217 Santa Monica Blvd.; 310-820-9787
Echigo probably offers the best deal in town with its amazing lunch set. The prices are moderate compared to other Japanese restaurants. The decoration is a bit on the cheesy side that makes you feel like you are in a strip mall, but the food more than makes up for this lapse. First timers should go for the omakase. The fish served in Echigo are real fresh and tender and is best eaten with warm rice.
9. Providence, 5955 Melrose Ave.; 323-460-4170
Michael Cimarusti prepares the meals in this world-class fine-dining restaurant. Cimarusti is known for his innovative take on seafood dishes. The restaurant’s setting is tranquil and luxurious. The staff is superb and knowledgeable, which is probably why Providence is on top of the list when it comes to service. A cheese platter is available and the six-course dessert tasting menu will leave you asking for more.
10. Angelini Osteria, 7313 Beverly Blvd.; 323-297-0070
This Italian restaurant may not have flawless service and its ambiance features a constant din. The layout is also a bit claustrophobic. What it lacks in décor and service, however, is evened out by the great food. The pastas and meats are tasty and amazing. Gino Angelini certainly knows how to cook.
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