9. Baco Mercat
Josef Centeno opened Bäco Mercat in 2011 and attributed the name to the “Bäco” – his signature flatbread sandwich. The restaurant serves delicious family style cuisine, focusing on Southern Californian produce in a Western and Mediterranean setting. The Hamachi Crudo, Duck and Waffles, Salad, and Double Mushroom Coca are among my favorite dishes, but be sure to ask the waiter or waitress what they recommend; they usually have the best suggestions.
Executive Chef Ori Menashe and Pastry Chef Genevieve Gergis are the husband and wife team behind Bestia’s inventive Italian cuisine. Expect outstanding charcuterie, pizza, fresh pasta, and dessert. Bestia never fails even the harshest critic. Make sure to reserve far in advance; I promise it will be worth it. I’d recommended the Veal Tartar Crostini, Cavatelli alla Norcina, and Grilled Octopus and Calamari Salad with Wild Mushrooms.
11. LA Chapter at the Ace Hotel [CLOSED]
Jud Mongell and Ken Addington are behind the brand new Ace Hotel’s hip hangout, LA Chapter. With a flawless aesthetic straight out of downtown Manhattan, LA Chapter offers fresh, locally sourced vegetables and seafood. Must try dishes for the all-day menu include the Avocado Toast and Sweet & Spicy Brussels Sprouts.
Sugarfish by Sushi Nozawa offers traditional sushi at the highest quality available at many Los Angeles locations. Chef Kazunori Nozawa’s style remains true to his traditional Japanese roots: you will not find rice, miso soup, or spicy mayo on the menu. If it’s your first time here, I recommend trying one of the “Trust Me” menus to get a feel for the style. My go-to items are the Halibut Sashimi, Salmon Hand Roll, Lobster Hand Roll, Ikura, and Uni. Their sea urchin is ethereal.
Sarah Kamely grew up in Miami, Florida, and is in her junior year at USC. She is studying Industrial and Systems Engineering and loves a good cheese plate but uni is real way to her heart. Follow her on Instagram @gourmetgluttony.