The Los Angeles dining scene is as dense is at is dynamic. At last count there were 8,244 restaurants operating within the greater metropolitan area. That’s a lot to take in. Indeed, it would take years just to roam all that ground during rush hour, let alone to stop for a bite at every eatery along the way.
DineL.A. is here to help. The biannual event showcases the world-class flavors available across the city for a dedicated two-week stretch. From now through the end of the month more than 400 restaurants will participate, each offering set prix fixe menus. A cross-section of all styles, inspirations and price-points, it’s an ideal time for edible exploration. Here are a few tasty suggestions to consider this January.
On the Eastside diners can hit up Marco Polo Trattoria and Bar, the latest in the area’s lengthy list of hotspots. Chef Casey Lane has set up shop along the stylish deck of the Silver Lake Pool & Inn. Here he dishes out seasonal cuisine, effortlessly melding coastal Italian flavors with fresh California sensibilities. A $49 set menu gives guests the choice between a first course of baby mustard salad—studded with hazelnuts and shallots—and a traditional Caprese. For the main, it’s either a bright and citrusy linguine Vongole or a take on clam risotto, threaded with saffron. Dessert includes one of three varieties of housemade soft serve ice cream.
If you want to go even further east with your flavors—without leaving Silver Lake— check out the menu at Same Same, a popular Thai destination. For just $29 you can sample through dishes inspired by co-owners Annie Daniel’s and Katy Noochlaor’s family recipes, like Khao Pad Pu—with snow crab and green onions, and Kaeng Kari, a mild yellow chicken curry served with carrots.
More Thai magic can be found on Fairfax at Chao Krung—one of the city’s oldest purveyors of the cuisine. A $39 supper provides ample options, though it’s advisable to order the restaurant’s famous Khao Soi Duck, arriving table-side simmering in a bath of coconut and curry. It comes with a glass of wine selected from LA’s only list consisting exclusively of female vintners.
Francophiles have plenty of places to celebrate during dineL.A. In fact, now is as good a time as any to reserve a table at Gilles @ Montage Beverly Hills. The eponymous Chef Epié was once the youngest chef in the world to earn a Michelin star. You can taste the Scottish Salmon dish that won him international acclaim—along with an exquisite rendition of Dover Sole Meuniére—all for just under $60, exclusive of tax and tip. An included dessert of white chocolate panna cotta is a great way to close out the evening. But if you don’t mind a minor sweet-tooth splurge consider the decadent Baba Rum Flambé. Set aflame aside your table, it is quite literally the booziest dessert in all of Los Angeles.
But why stop there? On the Westside, Angelenos can now enjoy a curated taste of Santa Monica’s most highly anticipated re-openings in recent memory. Mélisse is chef Josiah Citrin’s French/New American all-star, now re-envisioned as a tasting menu concept with just 14 seats. Dinner at the two Michelin-starred affair will typically set you back $295 for delicate arrangements, including Lamb Sugo with toasted breadcrumbs, and a seared strip loin of Miyazaki Wagyu. Reserve service during dineL.A., however, and you’re rewarded with a special rate of $236 per person.
It’s also worth noting that you can dineL.A., all day. Most participating venues also offer special lunch promotions. At Rossoblu, in Downtown, you can even put back a sizable brunch. The $25 Prix Fixe at this Bolognese-inspired hit includes a midday Spritz to sip along with your choice of Frittata Parmigiana (with eggplant and fresh basil), a burger topped with fontina and ragu, or a Poretta Terme Bowl. Cap it off with seasonal gelato, made in-house.
And this just scratches the surface. If you require more focus, the dineL.A. features a helpful search engine. It breaks down options by neighborhood, cuisine and time of day. So get out there and grub. No matter what you want—or when you want it—your table will be waiting.