dineLA Restaurant Week Top Picks (Summer 2013)

Restaurant Week Los Angeles

dineLA Restaurant Week is roaring back with over 300 options for lunch and dinner. Where to begin? Find out!

dineLA Restaurant Week returns for the second and final time in 2013 from July 15-26. Restaurants that do it right repeatedly include The Bazaar, Craft, Fogo de Chao, and Lawry’s. You’ll be happy if you go there, but also be sure to check out these places. After all, you’ve got 24 meals to play with, so make your calendar count with my top picks.

Establishments appear in alphabetical order instead of in order of preference.


1. Badmaash Indian Gastropub ($15)

SUMMARY: Chef Pawan Mahendro and son Nakul operate this two story Indian gastropub in the shadow of City Hall, featuring Indian classics, plus some playful twists on the cuisine.

STANDOUT DISHES (aka, what I’d order): Chicken Wings a la Badmaash • Spiced Lamb Burger & Masala Potato Fries • Cheese Dumplings in Sweet Cream

2. Caulfield’s ($25)

SUMMARY: Laurie Mulstay, Ron Marino and chef-partner Stephen Kalt have energized the ground floor of the Thompson Beverly Hills hotel with refined comfort food.

STANDOUT DISHES (aka, what I’d order): Burrata, Roasted Peaches, Upland Cress, Aged Balsamic Vinegar • American Wagyu Beef Reuben, Pickled Beets, Swiss Emmenthaler Cheese, Dijon Mustard • Gaviota Strawberries and Buttermilk Panna Cotta

3. Fundamental LA ($15)

SUMMARY: Jeffrey Faust and Woogene Lee bring global influences to their minimalist Westwood restaurant, which showcases sandwiches at lunch, and more ambitious fare at dinner.

STANDOUT DISHES (aka, what I’d order): Garlic Roast Beef Sandwich • Sesame Quinoa & Egg (+1) • Real Vanilla Cream Soda

4. The Larder at Burton Way ($15)

SUMMARY Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne anchor the northwest corner of a luxurious mixed-use development at Burton Way’s gateway to Beverly Hills, presenting a counter full of pastries, along with a focused selection of breakfast items, sandwiches and salads.

STANDOUT DISHES (aka, what I’d order): Soup of the Day • The Pilgrim Sandwich • Bread Pudding with Pudwill Farms Berries

5. Messhall Kitchen ($15)

SUMMARY: Rob Serritella and Bill Chait, longtime partners in the Louise’s Trattoria chain, revamped a flagship Louise’s location in Los Feliz, turning it into an ode to Americana, due south of Griffith Park and the Greek Theatre.

STANDOUT DISHES (aka, what I’d order): Corn Fritters • Fried Chicken Sando

6. MIZU 212 ($20)

SUMMARY: This modern shabu shabu spot predates Sawtelle Boulevard’s culinary boom and continues to feature organic ingredients and some atypical proteins.

STANDOUT DISHES (aka, what I’d order): Buffalo Prime Grade Rib Eye • Jumbo Manila Clams • Pistachio Gelato

7. Nick + Stef’s Steakhouse ($20)

SUMMARY: This Patina Restaurant Group’s Bunker Hill steakhouse, under the watchful eye of executive chef Megan Logan, is surprisingly under the radar considering the quality.

STANDOUT DISHES (aka, what I’d order): Jumbo Lump Crab Cake • Steakhouse Burger • Milk Chocolate Bread Pudding

8. Paiche ($25)

SUMMARY: This chic Marina del Rey restaurant from Lima native Ricardo Zarate and his French-born business partner Stephane Bombet features contemporary Peruvian cuisine in an ocean-inspired setting.

STANDOUT DISHES (aka, what I’d order): Seabass Tiradito • Chaufa de Langosta • Chicha Raspadilla

9. Rivera ($25)

SUMMARY: John Rivera Sedlar returned from a long restaurant hiatus by opening this multi-environment pan-Latin establishment in South Park. He’s racked up accolades due to his progressive multi-national approach that’s rooted in history.

STANDOUT DISHES (aka, what I’d order): Poblano Chile Relleno Salad • Duck Enfrijolada • Olive Oil Cake

10. Short Order ($15)

SUMMARY: This all-American restaurant from Nancy Silverton, Bill Chait and the late Amy Pressman at The Original Farmers Market continues to evolve in both look and offerings with sizable contributions from executive chef Christian Page and bar director Julian Cox.

STANDOUT DISHES (aka, what I’d order): Grilled Portobello Mushroom • S.O. Reuben • Nancy’s Chocolate Chip Cookie

11. Sotto ($20)

SUMMARY: Chefs Steve Samson and Zach Pollack may have teamed with Bill Chait on a subterranean Southern Italian restaurant, but they’ve still managed to attract plenty of attention thanks to their nose-to-tail approach, housemade pastas, and wood-fired pizzas.

STANDOUT DISHES (aka, what I’d order): Cauliflower and Almond Zuppa • Crispy Pork Belly Porcetto • Cannolo Siciliano

12. Susan Feniger’s STREET (Limitless Brunch: $20)

SUMMARY: Susan Feniger and chef-partner Kajsa Alger remain inspired by global cuisines, and have become increasingly committed to a vegetarian canvas.

STANDOUT DISHES (aka, what I’d order): Tamale Benedict • Indian Spiced Sweet Potato Hash • Spicy Roasted Chilaquiles • Falafel Poppers • Egg Salad BLT • Jackfruit Banh Mi Panini



Joshua Lurie

Joshua Lurie founded FoodGPS in 2005. Read about him here.

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