GUIDE: Los Angeles

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    La Cabañita

    3445 N. Verdugo Rd. (between Sunview Dr. and Ocean View Blvd.

    Glendale

    Cuisine: Mexican

    $$

    La Familia Jimenez continues to deliver large portions of soulful Mexican cooking to locals and curious gastronauts. Their repertoire covers five distinct variations on stuffed poblano peppers, seemingly endless takes on the taco, and fork-tender, elegantly sauced meat dishes that appease even the most ravenous carnivores. With festive folk art on the walls and a huge mural of scenes from Mexico City’s history, the atmosphere is colorful. Carafes of margaritas from the full bar make it all the more so. READ REVIEW

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    Little Next Door

    8142 W. 3rd St.

    Mid-City West

    Cuisine: Cafe / Coffee Shop / Tea Shop, French

    $$

    And who doesn’t want to laze away an afternoon in Paris? Says the Los Angeles Times: “Little Next Door is a favorite among Europeans living in L.A., partly because most of the waitstaff speaks fluent French but mostly because it recalls lazy afternoons sipping cafe au laits in Paris.” READ REVIEW

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    Locali

    701 Lincoln Blvd.

    Venice

    Cuisine: Sandwich, Vegan, Vegetarian

    $

    Part organic market and part fast-casual gourmet deli, the bright, fresh appearance echoes a menu offering a range of nutritious dishes that will please vegans and omnivores alike. READ REVIEW

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    Locanda Positano

    4059 Lincoln Blvd.

    Marina Del Rey

    Cuisine: Italian

    $$$

    If you’ve been searching for the quintessential cozy and romantic neighborhood Italian restaurant for a date, look no further than Lincoln Boulevard's proudest postage stamp of a gem, Locanda Positano. READ REVIEW

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    Locanda Veneta

    8638 W. 3rd St.

    Mid-City West

    Cuisine: Italian

    $$$

    Locanda Veneta is just the way an Italian restaurant ought to be.  Chef-owner Andre Ginekis does about a dozen specials each night, and Italian wine lovers will find an impressive list with a full range of prices. The lively open kitchen and doting Italian staff don’t hurt, either. Black-and-white photos of Piazza San Marco, gondolas and the Rialto Bridge complete the picture. READ REVIEW

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    Los Balcones del Peru

    1360 N. Vine St.

    Hollywood

    Cuisine: Peruvian

    $$

    Last year, Jorge Rodriguez, chef-brother Walter, and family took the concept at their restaurant—a showcase of Lima’s signature interior balconies—to another level, with a modern redesign that replaced the mounted faux miniatures with a photo of that city’s historic Colonial core. They also added a sleek, brick-backed area that draws a young crowd and—even better—a host of blackboard specials. READ REVIEW

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    Lotería Grill

    Multiple Locations:
    Hollywood, Downtown, Studio City, Thousand Oaks

    Cuisine: Mexican

    $$

    Lotería Grill’s original location, just a stall in the Farmers Market, has been such a hit since it opened, you may wonder, why take the taco out of the taco stand? READ REVIEW

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    Lukshon

    3239 Helms Ave.

    Culver City

    Cuisine: Southeast Asian

    $$$

    The man behind the famous Father’s Office and gastropubs, Sang Yoon, is celebrating one year at his Culver City pan-Asian Lukshon. After a day of shopping at H.D. Buttercup and nearby Culver City galleries, the sleek bar area at this modern gem is a welcome pit stop for a cocktail and a platter of oysters or a duck wrap. READ REVIEW

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    M Café

    Multiple Locations:
    Hollywood, Beverly Hills

    Cuisine: Vegetarian

    $

    The enduring popularity of M Café has elevated the macrobiotic diet from a stereotyped fad (one that reeks of patchouli) to a legitimately healthy habit (that smells pretty hip these days). For you meat-loving cynics shaking your heads, you’ll eat your words after biting into a Big Macro, dripping with M Café’s tart-and-savory sauce, smeared over a burger composed of whole grains, brown rice, and vegetables, all stuffed into a toasted whole-wheat bun. READ REVIEW

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    Margo's

    1534 Montana Ave.

    Santa Monica

    Cuisine: Californian

    $$

    Restaurateur Mark Verge hails from five generations of Santa Monicans, and he's paying tasty tribute to that legacy with Margo's—named for his mother—serving up hyper-seasonal, "California modern" fare. READ REVIEW


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