With the excitement of the weekend on my mind I love to kick it off with a sweet date night or a nice dinner out with my girlfriends. Lucky for me, Los Angeles is filled with some of the best restaurants in the world. Whether I’m in the mood to wine and dine with a fancy atmosphere and delicious menu, or keep it budget friendly while still getting to choose from a one-of-a-kind dishes, there’s always somewhere to fit my craving. With so many options to choose from, I narrowed down my top five favorite places to dine in Los Angeles, along with my favorite dishes.
Preux & Proper
Preux & Proper is a New Orleans style restaurant with some of the best Cajun food in Los Angeles. Aside from the food, the overall vibe of this DTLA restaurant gives you a taste of Southern Culture that sets the bar for a fun evening. Head downstairs to the laidback “neighborhood bar area” where there are twinkly lights and you can choose to order from the bar menu. Some of my favorites are baked mac & cheese, deep dish biscuit dough pizzas, and open air frozen daiquiri bar!
In the mood for something a little more elegant? Head upstairs where you can take in the views of the downtown streets and order from the “proper dining menu.” My go-to dish is the 36 hour prime boneless beef rib. I am never disappointed when I come here. In addition to the mouthwatering food, Preux and Proper has an impressive cocktail menu. With names like “Voodoo Queen” and “Westside”, there seems to be a unique drink for any mood. My favorite is the “Thugs Passion” cocktail. Don’t forget to try their desserts (served on both levels). You can’t go wrong with Pate A Choux Beignets!
Din Tai Fung
Din Tai Fung is a restaurant that originated in Taiwan, specializing in Dumplings. This is the kind of restaurant where you will never leave hungry. With an endless option of dumplings, the menu also has a delicious selection of noodles, soups, rice, and more. Every time I come to Din Tai Fung there is a wait so be sure to get there with enough time to work up an appetite. The prices here are reasonable and the service is always quick and friendly. I can never stay away from their vegetable and pork wonton soup, steamed dumplings and their noodles with spicy sauce. Every time I leave I can’t wait for my next visit, which has lead me to recommend this place to many friends. Mostly, so I can have an excuse to eat an extra serving of dumplings!
Trois Familia is a unique restaurant in Silver Lake serving Mexican and French fusion. The atmosphere is colorful, cute and cozy. It’s family friendly and has the perfect mix of French delicacies and Mexican spices. Trois Familia is my number one brunch spot to catch up with friends. The popular “Double Decker Potato Taco” is not to be overlooked. These tacos come in a soft and hard shell, stuffed with potato, lime, cream, and carrot that bring a individual twist to the taco. I also love their omelet, which comes with a French onion sauce that is unlike anything else. Regardless of what you decide to order at this fun spot, every meal should end with the churro French toast that comes with Salt & Straw ice cream, and Mexican chocolate for the perfect sweet finale.
Bestia is a highly well-known Italian restaurant in DTLA. Here you are guaranteed to enjoy an amazing meal, with a classy ambiance. Bestia is beautifully decorated with tulip lights and a raw copper bar top. I love it for the classic, welcoming vibe that is the essence of the Italian culture. This is a perfect restaurant to bring family and enjoy a large meal together all sharing different options off the menu. My personal favorites are the Calamari alla Plancha (incredible calamari with endive, watercress, shiitake mushrooms, and pine nuts); the Pappardelle di Ortica (an amazing pasta with oyster mushrooms, fennel, and poached egg); the Grilled Whole Branzino (fish with pea tendrils, fried herbs, and grilled lemon), and I finish it off with Coffee & Donuts (spiced chestnut zeppole, whipped cream, and coffee ice cream). Round all of this up with a glass of cabernet and Bestia and may just be heaven.
Some nights there is nothing I want more than a good beer paired with some comfort food. Wurstkuche has become one of my most favorite restaurants for their delicious unique sausages and fun vibrant ambiance. At Wurstkuche you order your food in the front of the restaurant. There’s a wide selection of sausages split up by classic, gourmet, and exotic. The classics are my all time favorites like bratwurst and the vegan/vegetarian options. Gourmet kicks it up with spices and choices like mango jalapeno, kielbasa, and Louisiana hot link. Then their exotic section is exactly that, exotic. This section is for the nights you want to step outside of your comfort zone and go for a rattlesnake and rabbit sausage, or try the pheasant with herbs, or the duck and bacon. I’ve yet to go the exotic route but I can assure you that whichever section you decide to go with you will not be disappointed. After you place your order you can walk back into the dining section. There are long tables with construction paper as tablecloths, so you are free to draw out any creative ideas you may have while you wait for your food.