Los Angeles has enthralled travellers for decades with its turquoise beaches, epic views from flower covered hillsides, modernist architecture and innumerable creative spaces and galleries. It is the second most populated city in the US after New York and home to a fast evolving food scene. Los Angeles is very different to its northern California neighbor, San Francisco – a city which is now drenched in Michelin stars. Instead the Los Angeles restaurateur elite are quick to declare that LA is not a Michelin city. Instead, chefs and diners come in search of a much more relaxed experience where jeans are permitted and white table cloths are at a minimum.
Los Angeles is now be benefiting from the oversaturation of California’s other famous restaurant scene, with talented chefs now venturing south. With less rules and set traditions chefs and restaurant entrepreneurs feel more free to experiment. New restaurants open weekly and the Los Angeles Times Pulitzer prize winning restaurant critic Jonathan Gold summarises key reasons for the city’s prospering restaurant scene being due to it being a “the mosaic of cultures” and “the fact that L.A. is very friendly to entry-level capitalism”. The former is certainly the most easy to observe as a visitor, with LA being home to people from over 140 different countries. Key cultural culinary influences in the include include elements of Hispanic, Filipino, Korean, and Chinese cuisine and culture. A vast array of the city’s chefs are the children or grandchildren of migrants that now revel in experimentation
A mediterranean climate, rich native plant species from wetlands, beaches and mountains and a daily bounty of produce found at any of LA’s farmers markets allow chefs to access fresh ingredients to create beautiful courses on their doorstep. Elite Traveler visited six of LA’s top restaurants to enjoy some of these truly memorable gastronomic creations.
“Bonsoir!” is the chime from the chefs and servers as you enter this intimate 24 seat restaurant. Trois Mec is an intimate and classy establishment with a no choice tasting menu. This cute yet no frills site pays homage to the “bistronomie” scene that has become common in Paris over recent years, and consist of fine cuisine but without guache interiors. The restaurant’s name translates to “three dudes,” a reference to its three creators, Chef Ludo Lefebvre, Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo. It is Lefebvre’s mastery of elegance that elevates this restaurant to being one of the city’s best. The food consists of classic Californian ingredients compiled with French techniques and inspiration. Courses of paprika salad, lobster bisque, wagyu and cabbage and an unforgettable desert of nutty banana bread and butterscotch leave guests enthralled. The restaurant offers on a reservation only basis, with guest being recommended to purchase tickets for the five course tasting menu a number of weeks in advance.