Now that I've been blogging about the L.A. food scene for the last 2 years (can you believe it's been TWO. FREAKING. YEARS?), I've managed to make some good friends in the food scene. Not trying to sound obnoxious, but you generally get to know some PR people, Chefs, and restauranteurs when you spend your days eating and writing about food; I consider myself very fortunate that I've had such an opportunity to make some amazing friends in the culinary space. You would think, then, that I might have some pull to get into certain restaurants, right? Well, there are some places in L.A. that are SO popular right now, I can't seem to rub two foodie friends together to produce 1 reservation at any of these hotspots. This isn't to say that if I can't get in, no one can-- I certainly don't consider myself the gatekeeper to all that is cool in the city. But I put forth my own experience in the difficulty of securing a rez to illustrate the point that the below spots are all just that exclusive.
1. The Nice Guy
From the very beginning, The Nice Guy was designed as a lounge-y restaurant only for the select few in the know. And by in-the-know, we mean you actually have to know the right people and is usually frequented by Jenner, Hadid, and Baldwin offspring. I remember a time right after it opened when I naively rolled up with a group of friends and attempted to get a table. Oh boy, was that a mistake! We were politely told that it was reservation only, and we had to know someone to make such a reservation. Le sigh.
It's no wonder why this beautiful West Hollywood bar/eatery has been so popular with locals and visitors alike; the Insta-worthy space, creative cocktails, and eclectic American cuisine are pretty much the perfect formula for winning the title of Restaurant Du Jour. Unfortunately, all this means that you need incredible amounts of luck (and a bit of good timing) to score a reservation for a Friday or Saturday night after 6 and before 10pm. I guess maybe we'll see you in 2017, Norah?
Though this NYC-transplant opened just a few short weeks ago, it has already become quite the scene. Which is truthfully not surprising, as Catch NY already has a reputation for its excellent and frequent celebrity sightings, but the spot has clearly maintained its high-profile appeal during the cross-country move. The beautiful rooftop bar basically sells itself; there were already tons of people posting to social media and documenting their ultra-hip adventures at Catch LA before it even opened.
Another eatery that just opened, Delilah is a modern supper club and "hybrid restaurant and lounge paying homage to the roaring 20's" right in the heart of West Hollywood. Brought to you by the creators of The Nice Guy, I guess it's not totally surprising that somehow, in its few short weeks of existence, Delilah has already become a fixture of The It Girls, recently playing host to Kendall Jenner's 21st birthday party. Guess that's just one more restaurant I'll never be cool enough for.
5. 71 Above
Did you know that 71 Above is apparently the highest restaurant West of the Mississippi? This new Downtown restaurant and lounge (and the one restaurant on our list not located in West Hollywood) offers elevated modern American cuisine as well as sweeping views from the ocean to the mountains and everything in between. Feel free to dine at the buzzy bar, the main dining room, or have an intimate Chef's Table experience. Of course, with such an ultra-cool concept, we would expect nothing less than having to book our reservations weeks in advance.