Michael Voltaggio's Melrose Avenue establishment is one Hollywood hotspot that lives up to its hype. The cool, modern interior is the perfect backdrop for extravagant, innovative dishes like pork belly seasoned with charcoal oil and corn, and brussels sprouts with lardo, pig ears and apple. It's no wonder that other restaurateurs like Gordon Ramsay, Danny Meyers and Tom Colicchio come here on their off nights.
2 Baco Mercat
Baco Mercat is a diamond in the rough. Located in downtown LA's historic bank district, Chef Josef Centeno's comfortable, dimly lit establishment offers more than his own 'baco' creation (the eatery's signature flatbread sandwich). The hamachi and shrimp sauteed in pecans are dishes to die for.
3 Laurel Hardware
Laurel Hardware is one of the best new restaurants for a reason: though it is, admittedly, a celebrity hotspot, its fare speaks for it itself. Chef Mario Alberto infuses the all-American fare with Peruvian influences. Forget your standard Margarita pizza: here you'll be treated to pies made of eggplant, summer squash, burrata and thyme or maitake mushrooms with ricotta, shimeji and abalone.
4 L&E Oyster Bar
LA has been in dire need of an oyster bar this haute. L & E, owned by Covell Wine Bar's Dustin Lancaster as well as Tyler Bell, imports oysters from both coasts as well as New Zealand and Canada. The menu is fantastic, the wines are wonderful and the ambiance is perfect Silver Lake cool. What more can you ask for?
5 Osteria Drago
Osteria Drago is one of those rare menus where nearly every single item is solidly good. It is the newest eatery from Chef Celestino Drago, who cooks traditional Italian cuisine with a contemporary edge. Try the carrot risotto with carrot puree, chard and oregano: a perfect blend of old and new school Italian fare.