In no particular order:
  1. Osteria LaBuca
    They make their pasta in-house, have a great wine list, and the roasted Brussels sprouts are killer. Their Sunday brunch is always on-point and you can always get a table. (Breakfast carbonara is a must - worth sharing with friends!)
  2. Luv2Eat Thai
    I am obsessed with Thai food; this restaurant opened up not too long ago in our neighborhood. The food is super authentic and very spicy; the blue crab curry will set you free, and their duck noodles (pro-tip: extra duck and extra Chinese broccoli) got me through cold season this year.
  3. Milo and Olive
    You have to pay me to cross the 405, but Milo and Olive is worth it - brunch is killer, and the pastries are thoughtfully and beautifully made.
  4. Kura Sushi
    Our local sushi spot on Sunset at Crescent heights, tucked away in a strip mall by the drive-through McDonald's. It's a family run spot and Daniel, the chef, has trained at both Spago and Noma. The Omakase is only $32 (!!!) and includes salad, soup, 10 pieces of nigiri, and a hand roll! If you become regulars, the family gives you a set of your very own chopsticks in a lacquer box. We got ours after two years!
  5. Plancha Tacos
    Great street-style tacos that we get to go; they offer corn and flour tortillas as well as lettuce wraps. The shrimp "tiger" tacos are delicious.
  6. Night+Market
    I had my 28th birthday here. The crispy rice salad and the pork toro are the stuff of dreams. You can't go wrong. (I also prefer Night+Market to Song because I like reservations)
  7. Yuca's
    My favorite burrito in the world, from a tiny stand on Hillhurst in Los Feliz. Get a burrito asada with cheese (yes, it's American, deal with it, it binds everything together like the Force). Best enjoyed at the rickety tables in their parking lot with some pickled jalapeños. Tastes like childhood. Delicious.
  8. Dune Falafel
    Holy shit you guys, LA finally has falafel that is as good as NY! The house made flat bread is herby and crisp. Get one falafel and one lamb sandwich and split with a friend. Try not to weep.
  9. Pace
    Date night Italian when you feel like dropping some $$$ and drawing on your table at the same time. Cedar planked salmon and the tagliatelle...swoon.
  10. Chi Spacca
    I've only been once, and it was last week, but it blew my mind. One of the most thoughtful nose to tail restaurants I've ever been to, and everything was delicious. Amazing how you don't need excessive spices when you have such quality ingredients. Focaccia di Recco is a must. It would be so easy to over-order, but our waitress was really helpful and guided us through the menu. Go with a group; you'll want everything.
  11. Xi'an
    It seems like a stuffy Beverly Hills restaurant, but it has my favorite wonton soup in the world - really clear broth, lots of shrimp and chicken, and loads of bok choy - for $7. You want THAT when you are sick. The waiters are the coolest.
  12. Zankou Chicken
    Obviously. If you haven't had their tahini sauce yet, you are missing out.