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11 Restaurants to Try in LA that Aren't In-N-Out Burger

Published January 26th, 2018

Mate, travel can be expensive, but sometimes you just want to eat something other than a baguette and cheese on a park bench (unless you’re in France and the cheese is better than any other food on earth, of course.) If you’re State-side, that means eating somewhere other than In-N-Out Burger. It means not dropping the big bucks but still managing to have an authentic, totally local, totally chic food experience or two. Here are 11 places to stuff your face in LA that you can definitely brag about when you get home.

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EP & LP

This is the kind of place you spend the whole evening. EP – for extended play – is the restaurant downstairs. With its foundations in Thai cuisine, the menu combines Fijian and other southern Asian influences for delicious grub. LP – long play – is the rooftop bar upstairs, where you’ll want to stay for the long haul. One of the largest format roof decks in LA, it’s got views over the Hollywood Hills and Sunset Strip and serves up Asian inspired street food and delish cocktails. The whole joint is actually run by Aussies, so you know you’re in good hospitality hands here. If you get a table at EP, we can highly recommend trying the Check Yo Neck – juicy delicious lamb in roll your own lettuce cups. OMG, yum.

Location: 603 N LA Cienega Boulevard West Hollywood


 

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Gracias Madre

Serving up a delicious-can’t-stop-eating menu of Mexican inspired fare, Gracias Madre is an ode to both fresh organic food and all of the mother’s in Mexico who work tirelessly in the kitchens to serve their families fine food. It’s vegan, it’s authentic and it’s open all day, so you can get your fix for brekky, lunch, dinner, or all three. Also, it’s a hit with celebs – Beyonce and Jay-Z’s fave margarita is here, and Paul McCartney and Toby Maguire are both regulars, so it’s gotta be good.

Location: 8905 Melrose Avenue West Hollywood


 

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Erewhon

Technically a juice place, this bar also serves up delish salads and other fresh meals. If you need a cleanse elixir after a boozy night, or a boost of energy after too many days of burgers and fries, this is your calling.

Location: various – Calabasas, LA, Santa Monica, Venice



71 above

Did someone say views? This restaurant is on the 71st floor of the tallest building in LA, so views from Malibu to the Hollywood Hills and beyond is all included in the price of your meal. The whole place is built around Los Angeles – both the layout of the restaurant, and the combination of flavours on the plate, representing the diversity of the city. If you want to splurge on a meal in LA, this is the place to do it.

Location: 633 W 5th Street, Downtown LA



Plant Food + Wine

Another vegan favourite (it is LA after all), Plant Food + Wine in Venice serves up a fab seasonal menu, much of the produce for which comes from the onsite kitchen garden. Plus if you’re feeling like a tipple at the end of a long day exploring, a huge organic, biodynamic wine list is also on offer, and everyone knows organic is healthy, right?

Location: 1009 Abbot Kinney Boulevard, Venice



Grand Central Market

A landmark in Downtown LA since 1917, the Grand Central Market is your ultimate food stop, particularly if you’re travelling in a group and no one can decide on one damn place to eat. Come one, come all, and come hungry. You’ll find burgers, authentic Japanese, Berlin-style currywurst, bakeries, cheese shops, BBQ, Italian and of course, Mexican.

Location: 317 S Broadway, Downtown LA


 

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Eggslut

How bloody good are eggs? When you’re travelling, sometimes all you need is a real solid brekky. Eggslut is the place for this. The concept started as a stall in the Grand Cental Market (read above), but it now has a few location about town. Basically they do the ultimate breakfast sandwich and you should probs eat this. If that doesn’t cure your hangover – or mid afternoon hunger, nothing will.

Location: Grand Central Market and 1611 Pacific Avenue, Venice


 

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Food trucks

LA is the Queen of cities with quality food trucks. It’s impossible to call out just a couple, but heed this advice if any: if you see a food truck with a line, join that line. Whether it’s ice cream, Mexican, lobsters, grilled cheese, burgers or shimp shacks, it’s bound to be worth it.

Location: wherever you are


 

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Loteria Grill

The owner of this joint, Jimmy, is blonde haired, blue eyed and as Mexican as they come, from Mexico City. He started the grill because in Mexico, the quality of the taco bar you take a girl on your first date determines whether or not you get a second date. So he wanted to provide a top notch taco bar for LA first-daters, and the rest. Legit some of the best Mexican in LA.

Location: Downtown, Hollywood, The Original Farmer’s Market LA


 

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Estrella

If you don’t get to 71Above and want at least one fancy dinner in LA, hit up Estrella. You can expect superb modern American cuisine, a theatrical vibe with the onsite theatre and creative types in the seamlessly indoor-outdoor space. The whole place is simply delish.

Location: 8800 Sunset Boulevard, West Hollywood


 

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Bestia LA

If Italian is your jam, like me, make Bestia top of your LA eating list. The interiors are harsh, industrial and intriguing. The food is regional Italian, with everything from mouth-watering, house-made charcuterie to handmade pastas and pizza. Also, leave room for dessert; you can thank me later.

Location: 2121 E 7th Place, Downtown LA

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Vicki Fletcher

An Australian travel writer and photographer, Vicki loves road trips down unknown tracks, following locals to the best food in town and spending long afternoons people watching in city squares. She's obsessed with colours, stops to admire flowers and dreams of one day restoring a chateau in France. Her top travel tip: always look up. Follow her on Instagram @vickijanefletcher.