GUIDE: Los Angeles

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    Cliff’s Edge

    3626 Sunset Blvd.

    Silver Lake

    Cuisine: Italian, Mediterranean

    $$$

    The phrase “hidden gem,” while now obscenely overused, might have been originally coined for Cliff’s Edge in Silver Lake.  You can spot the place from the street, but once you walk through the door behind the valet lot, the restaurant unfolds like a midcentury fairy tale involving lots of rattan chairs, geometric tapestries and a long and lovely Redwood bar.  Rainbow trout, sea bass, and braised short ribs with honey bourbon barbecue sauce are entrées that will keep you at the table for a while—and maybe let Valentine’s Day come early this year. READ REVIEW

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    Cora’s Coffee Shoppe

    1802 Ocean Ave.

    Santa Monica

    Cuisine: Cafe / Coffee Shop / Tea Shop, Sandwich

    $$

    Don’t let the name of this easy-to-miss gem fool you: Cora’s is about as much like a bacon-and-eggs diner (think: Norm’s) as Katharine Hepburn is an actress like Heidi Montag. One bite of the burrata omelet or the filet mignon and horseradish sandwich will deliver that message loud and clear. This is an olde coffee shoppe for the 21st century. READ REVIEW

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    Crustacean

    9646 Little Santa Monica Blvd.

    Beverly Hills

    Cuisine: French, Seafood, Vietnamese

    $$$

    True to its name, Crustacean offers many a shelled sea creature, but the menu also seems to include everything else, too, from sashimi and satays on down to rack of lamb and braised short ribs. READ REVIEW

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    Culina

    300 S. Doheny Dr.

    Beverly Hills

    $$$

    The words “hotel restaurant” don’t inspire visions of progressive dining, but the decision makers at The Four Seasons in Beverly Hills made a clear play to reset expectations when they opened Culina—you will be hard-pressed to find hotel dining on this level. READ REVIEW

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    Del Rey Deli Co.

    8501 S. Pershing Dr., Ste. 3

    Playa Del Rey

    Cuisine: Deli, Sandwich

    $

    This neighborhood café—the best place to eat along this strip of Pershing Drive—opened back in 2013, with a menu that focused solely on lunch and brunch offerings. But inspiration has recently struck, and now they have breakfast, too. READ REVIEW

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    Delphine

    6250 Hollywood Blvd.

    Hollywood

    Cuisine: French

    $$$

    Choose your own adventure with your entrance into Delphine, the flagship restaurant inside the W Hollywood. From the hip hotel lobby, walk down a narrow path lined with curtains and black-and-white images into a banquette and four top table–filled dining room with blue and white tile floors. From the Hollywood Boulevard Side, pass a buzzing bar scene with cane chairs, reclaimed wood tables and floors, giant mirrors, and cozy greenish-blue booths. READ REVIEW

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    Doma

    362 North Camden Dr.

    Beverly Hills

    Cuisine: Fusion, Italian

    $$

    Dustin Trani, fourth-generation chef from the distinguished San Pedro family restaurant J. Trani, has paired up with Sonja Perencevic of WeHo mainstay Dan Tana to pursue a unique vision: infusing Italian dishes with the flavors of Asian cuisine. READ REVIEW

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    Drago Centro

    525 S. Flower St.

    Downtown

    Cuisine: Italian

    $$$

    Drago Centro offers up a take on Italian cuisine that strikes a winning balance between authentic sensibilities and inventive flourishes, one that is matched by the restaurant’s contemporary yet elegant décor. READ REVIEW

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    EMC Seafood

    3500 W. 6th St., Station #101

    Koreatown

    Cuisine: Seafood

    $$

    It doesn’t take an Einstein to figure out that seafood is all the rage in LA right now. But whatever pet theories may have to say about the trend, at EMC Seafood—the latest from the Le Ka owners (their initials EMC)—the creative, expansive menu is all the evidence you need. READ REVIEW

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    El Criollo Restaurant

    Multiple Locations:
    Van Nuys, Burbank

    Cuisine: Cuban

    $

    With more than three decades of restaurant experience, the Sera family clearly has a handle on Cuban cuisine. Most recently, El Criollo Cuban Bar & Grill landed in Burbank, spreading the fun beyond their original Van Nuys location. At night, the sun goes down as the up-tempo music kicks in. READ REVIEW


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