GUIDE: Los Angeles

Around the World in a Meal

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    Ayara Thai Cuisine

    6245 W. 87th St.

    Westchester

    Cuisine: Thai

    $$

    Staying true to the theme of family, Ayara promises home-cooked Thai at its best, starting with the owner Vanda Asapahu family’s go-to Thanksgiving dish, while the rest of the menu follows suit with plenty of regional Thai favorites. READ REVIEW

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    Cacao Mexicatessen

    1576 Colorado Blvd.

    Eagle Rock

    Cuisine: Mexican

    $

    The hearty platillos are what really shine, and each dish comes with a tiny pot of queso-dusted pinto beans and an Aztec pyramid of rice planted with a tiny Mexican flag. READ REVIEW

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    Chinois on Main

    2709 Main St.

    Santa Monica

    Cuisine: Asian, Fusion

    $$$

    Wolfgang Puck’s family-style version of Far Eastern fare with a French-California twist is still packed on any given night. READ REVIEW

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    Cleo

    1717 Vine St.

    Hollywood

    Cuisine: Mediterranean

    $

    In a neighborhood pockmarked with pizza joints, Cleo shines as a beacon of both substance and style. This desert mirage, a retro-modern spot inside the boutique Redbury hotel, promises quality, non-touristy dining at the apex of Hollywood and Vine. Entering through the dark, gold-leafed archway, you get that flutter of excitement not unlike lifting the clay top of a steaming lamb tagine. 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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    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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    Fala Bar

    Multiple Locations:
    Melrose, Venice

    Cuisine: Middle Eastern

    $

    Fala's all-vegan selection of salads, burgers, and plates—using 100 percent organic, locally sourced ingredients—was a hit out of the gate, and now their on a roll with a new outpost on Abbot Kinney in Venice. READ REVIEW

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    Gasolina Cafe

    21014 Ventura Blvd.

    Woodland Hills

    Cuisine: Cafe / Coffee Shop / Tea Shop, Spanish

    $

    This hotspot for grateful locals brings to southern California a unique blend of Spain crossed with the best of New California cuisine, in an environment that's ultra-casual and relaxed. READ REVIEW

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    Gobi Mongolian BBQ House

    2827 W. Sunset Blvd.

    Silver Lake

    Cuisine: Barbeque

    $

    Stuff your bowl completely full of veggies, meats, and noodles. Not only do these amazing ingredients cook down, but you’re allowed—expected even—to take your leftovers home for a killer lunch the next day. READ REVIEW

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    Good Girl Dinette

    110 N. Ave. 56

    Highland Park

    Cuisine: Vietnamese

    $$

    Fans of “slow-roasted pork banh mi on a crunchy baguette stuffed with fall-apart meat and cool, tangy vegetables” should make tracks to this “tidy, modern gem of a restaurant in a historic Highland Park storefront.”—Los Angeles magazine READ REVIEW


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