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dineLA: 7 Delicious Neighborhoods to Explore

by Matthew Wexler
Contributor
Monday Jan 6, 2014

The Los Angeles dining scene has evolved quite a bit since the city’s official founding in 1781 and subsequent chuck wagon days. And although you’re sure to find some retro meals among LA’s 8,400-plus restaurants (according to TripAdvisor), you’ll also discover contemporary cuisine, up-and-coming chefs and global influences.

There’s no better time to take a bite out of The City of Angels than during dine LA - LA’s 12-day dining event that offers prix fixe lunch and dinner menus at some of the hottest spots around town as well as breakout establishments newly on the scene.

More than 300 restaurants are participating in dineLA’s Restaurant Week, which runs from Jan. 20-31. EDGE’s first installment in a three-part series offers you a snapshot of seven neighborhoods worth exploring including can’t-miss dining destinations. Our only suggestion: arrive hungry and bring friends.


West Hollywood

It’s only two square miles, but West Hollywood packs a punch as an LGBT hub as well as offering celebrity-tinged dining destinations like Gordon Ramsay at the London West Hollywood. We say, go big or go home. The luxurious setting includes five private salons and central cocktail bar. But it’s the seasonal dishes with local flair that will have you salivating, including tempura-style monkfish with lobster sauce, braised pork belly and scallop, and in the spirit of Ramsay’s mother country, English sticky toffee pudding with brown butter ice cream.


Beverly Hills

Food Network fans may recognize Scott Conant as one of the tight-lipped judges on "Chopped," hosted by one of our favorite gay TV personalities, Ted Allen. But Conant is a serious restaurateur/chef and thought the lush neighborhood of Beverly Hills the perfect fit for his Italian-inspired restaurant Scarpetta. "The name [which means "little shoe"] lends itself to being soulful. It has a rustic element," says Conant. Be sure to try one of the homemade pastas such as the tagliatelle with sausage sugo and ceci beans or the mushroom and mascarpone ravioli.


Culver City

This funky neighborhood is dotted with art galleries, bars restaurants and nightlife. The Metro Expo Line opened in late 2012, offering residents and visitors alike easy access from downtown to the west side. Public transportation in Los Angeles? Yes! Once there, stop by Ford’s Filling Station for eclectic American gastropub fare such as veal tartare, smoked barbecue brisket and pecan pie ice cream.


Burbank

Head northwest of downtown LA and you’ll find yourself in Burbank. Once home to Lockheed Aircraft Company, the area saw a residential renaissance in the late 90s and now has a cozy small town feel amid LA’s bustle. Settle in for a hearty meal at Granville, which offers up made-from-scratch classic dishes such as macaroni and cheese with aged gruyere, Cajun-rubbed thick-cut pork chops, and berry patch shortcake.

Next page for Venice Beach, Marina del Rey and Pasadena


Venice Beach

No trip to LA is complete without a trip to Venice Beach, including Muscle Beach and its famous boardwalk. Popular among the Beat generation of the early 60s, Venice Beach has been home to such notable residents as Julia Roberts, George Carlin, Wavy Gravy and Swami X. For an eclectic taste of an eclectic neighborhood, dine at Chaya Venice, which offers seafood-inspired dishes such as jalapeño "Kampachi" sashimi and sautéed Scottish salmon.


Marina del Rey

For more coastal fun, head to Marina del Rey. Cruise through the marina on an Italian gondola or kick it up a notch and give parasailing a try. If you want to feel the burn on the water, rent a paddleboat. Once your water adventures are over for the day, chef Daniel Roberts of CAFE del REY offers Mediterranean dishes set against the backdrop of the Pacific Ocean. House cured salmon with an orange gastrique is like the sunset itself and pairs perfectly with a glass of house made sangria, available in red apple orchard or white hot peach.


Pasadena

Head northeast of downtown LA to the base of the San Gabriel Mountains, which is accessible by the Metro Gold Line so you can responsibly imbibe at POP Champagne & Dessert Bar. After you’ve seen a show at the Pasadena Playhouse or taken a stroll through the monthly Rose Bowl Flea Market (held on the second Sunday of every month), you’ll find there’s no better end to a day of fun and frolic than with a glass (or bottle) of bubbly. Decadent dishes abound like truffle mac ’n cheese and Kobe beef sliders. Plan your visit for a Wednesday and enjoy 20 percent off all bottles. Now that’s something to get fizzy about.


Save the Date

Want to learn more about dineLA’s Restaurant Week?
Visit dine LA.

Special promotions and contests will be running through the end of the month and you could win dining for a year. Click here to enter.
Follow dineLA on Facebook.
@dineLA


Matthew Wexler is EDGE's National Style and Travel Editor. More of his writing can be found at www.roodeloo.com. He is also a trained chef and currently writing a food memoir.

This article is part of our "Winter 2014" series. Want to read more? Here's the full list»

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