The holidays are upon us, and we all know what that means...consuming endless amounts of calories before naming "detox" amongst our 2018 resolutions. Until then, we still have to eat, and since none of us can afford to use the little money left in our bank accounts after holiday shopping (and the few extra calories we've allotted ourselves for the month) towards one of LA's grandest meals, how about checking out some nice but low-key spots for a good lunch or dinner? Specifically, the 3 restaurants below all over unique experiences and nice-casual environments for their prospective neighborhoods, making them great spots for popping in to enjoy a relaxed meal.
1. Sapor, Koreatown
In case you ever thought, "I could really go for some Italian, American, and Korean tapas," then your wishes have finally been fulfilled. Koreatown's new Sapor restaurant, from Chef Matthew Ignacio, is serving an eclectic mix of globally inspired small places using locally sourced ingredients. With a long bar, some TV's for watching the big game, and an open, inviting space, it's a great spot for a nice outing with a large group of friends or a post-work cocktail meetup. There's a bit of something for everyone, from the Kale Salad to a Pasta of the Day.
2. The Stalking Horse, West LA
To no one's dismay, it seems the Gastropub frenzy in LA has finally cooled down. For awhile, there seemed to be a spot on every corner where you could pop in for a beer, a fancy burger, and a pizza. But what you couldn't find amongst these American Gastropubs was a classic British one, serving go-to pub fare like Fish & Chips and Chicken Pot Pie. Thankfully, West LA's The Stalking Horse has filled that gaping hole in the LA food scene, giving me a place to relive my semester abroad in London. Unlike traditional English pubs, The Stalking Horse also features a plethora of vegan versions of traditional pub food, like their Cottage Pie, which is made with minced Impossible Burger meat (a new, popular vegan burger that tastes just like meat but is made entirely from plants). It's an inviting, comforting spot that's perfect for a hot meal as the temps get colder.
3. Belle Vie, West LA
Moving into a small space off of Wilshire between Bundy and Barrington, Belle Vie is a cozy yet modern French bistro providing a nice neighborhood restaurant in an area where Q's and Cabo Cantina are amongst the limited dining options. The restaurant works with local and organic producers to make seasonal dishes like a lovely Sunchoke soup and a Persimmon and Endive Salad. For something a bit more substantial, The Croque Madame is cheesy, meaty, and totally comforting. We recommend stopping in for a casual weekend lunch accompanied with a glass of wine.