Restaurants come and go, and hotspots are born on a weekly basis. We've been saddened by the closure of many new, promising eateries-- often within a year of opening-- like Maru, Gardner Junction, and Brilliantshine (can you believe that it's already been two years since I first reviewed it?!). And yet with the right location, an excellent menu, approachable space, and just a bit of luck, some restaurants are able to weather that 1-year storm, remaining relevant and vital for years to come. They may not be the newest scenes in town, but they undoubtedly still offer excellent meals to hip, trendy, food-loving Angelenos.
Milo & Olive
A neighborhood favorite for residents of Brentwood, Santa Monica, and West LA, Milo & Olive is the casual, no-reservations Italian eatery to pop in (and then wait an hour to be seated) for a nice glass of wine and a pizza. Though the long waits are a testament to the restaurant's continued popularity, don't let them deter you from visiting. The food is consistently tasty and always satisfying, while the shared plates and reasonable prices make this a very approachable dinner for a nice evening out. And seriously, how amazing are their garlic knots?!
In the same restaurant family as Milo & Olive (and located not too far away), Rustic Canyon is providing Santa Monica with an upscale wine bar and seasonal, Farmer's Market-focused eatery. Founder Josh Loeb and Executive Chef Jeremy Fox work with local farmers, fisherman, and ranchers who practice sustainable agriculture to create simple but beautiful food. With the same laid-back vibe as it's sister restaurant, it's a slightly more elevated experience to stop in for a glass of wine and a lovely dinner.
Another fantastic neighborhood stalwart, Sotto consistently churns out great market-driven, Southern Italian-style cuisine with homemade pastas, Neopolitan pizza, and creative cocktails. Where else in the city can you get a "Hog's head Butterbeer" with actual alcohol in it (the ones from The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal are unfortunately, but understandably, non-alcoholic)-- and did we mention it's ridiculously delicious?
Though we just heard the news that Bombet Hospitality and Michael Hung are no longer apart of Viviane, it still remains a fantastic, modern spot for the Beverly Hills crowd. With a beautiful outdoor space, fun and tasty food, and an accolade-garnering bar program from Ryan Wainwright, Viviane is the perfect eatery to plan your night girl's brunch, happy hour drink, or a nice meal consisting of classic European and modern American cuisine.
Another consistently popular spot from Bombet Hospitality, Terrine is a beautiful California brasserie with a modern French flair. Another cocktail program by Ryan Wainwright allows for some lovely boozy brunches and a great happy hour menu, while the standout charcuterie and French classics are a go-to for any dinner service. And make sure to get a table on the beautiful back patio!
One of our favorite Downtown spots ever since it opened a little over a year ago, Broken Spanish is churning out some of the most creative, interesting Latin-meets-Los-Angeles flavors in the city. With bold tamales and some excellent tortillas, the menu excels in its presentations of meats like Oxtail, Rabbit, and Duck, incorporated into Quesadillas and Tacos. We would still go back anytime for a post-work meal or pre-game happy hour.
One of Silverlake's more upscale Italian eateries, Alimento was quite the hotspot when it debuted in 2014. It has remained consistently popular, featured by top food bloggers and editors, updating its men but retaining the best sellers, like the Cracked Farro Salad and the Baccala. We loved our visit when we came for DineLa, and would come back anytime for a laid-back but refined Italian meal.
Though Spartina can be a bit hard to find due to it's sort-of hidden location on Melrose, but once you find it, you won't regret it. Another beautiful space with a lovely outdoor patio, the restaurant is modern and minimal, with really satisfying food that fits into the upscale-yet-approachable modern that is working so well for the rest of the spaces on this list. We're still dreaming about that baked eggplant pie alla cecilia!
Currently on Eater's 38 Essential LA Restaurants, Salt's Cure has been killing it ever since moving to their new space on Highland in Hollywood. Sourcing ingredients from local farmers and ranchers, the laid-back neighborhood gem serves fun, creative cocktails alongside a mix of well-cooked veggies and meaty entrees.
One of the few restaurants in the city that can elegantly combine a coffee bar with house-made breads, a raw bar, house-made pastas, pizza from the wood grill, and fun cocktails, The Rose is an all-day eatery with literally something for everyone. And it doesn't hurt that it's a beautiful, spacious restaurant for hanging outside with a big group. We've been dying to go back, especially for brunch!
It clearly can't be a coincidence that so many of the spots on this list are excellent Italian restaurants, but what can I say? As trendy as these restaurants may have been, they've proven themselves to be timeless classics over the last few years, and we hope to keep going back for years to come.