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The 25 Best Los Angeles Restaurants for Fall 2015

HYDE Sunset Kitchen + Cocktails Patio; Union, Bruce Kalman; Birch, Salmon

From swanky steakhouses and cool ethnic eateries to waterfront finds and inventive vegan hot spots, GAYOT has uncovered the best restaurants in (and around) Los Angeles for you to enjoy.

The establishments below are presented in alphabetical order.

Check out the current list of GAYOT's Best Restaurants in Los Angeles to Eat at Right Now 

— Santa Monica

At aestus in Santa Monica, executive chef Alex Ageneau offers a California-influenced, seasonal menu

Santa Monica is a major hub of restaurant action at the moment and aestus is yet another addition to the influx of dining destinations. Just a couple blocks east of the Third Street Promenade along Wilshire Boulevard, the quasi-industrial space is where executive chef Alex Ageneau (Patina, The Royce) highlights a Cali-inspired, seasonal menu with house-made charcuterie boards, small plates like beef tartare and entrées such as fire-roasted chicken with potatoes, bitter greens and espelette prepared on an open wood-burning grill. Editor's Note: Alex Ageneau is no longer chef at aestus.

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The Arthur J
— Manhattan Beach

The Arthur J is a mid-century modern steakhouse in Manhattan Beach

Add this to the growing Manhattan Beach dining empire led by chef David LeFevre and the Simms Restaurant Group. The Arthur J is exactly the kind of retro-swank steakhouse people retreat to when there's a taste for classics such as filet mignon (with choice of sauces, naturally), pot pie, shrimp cocktail, wedge salad, mashed potatoes and plenty of old-school cocktails and wine to wash it all down.

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— Brentwood

Baltaire is a sophisticated steakhouse perfectly positioned in the well-moneyed neighborhood of Brentwood

Baltaire is a sophisticated steakhouse perfectly positioned in the well-moneyed neighborhood of Brentwood. Salads, sandwiches and seafood are a natural fit for ladies who lunch and families who brunch, while meatier dinner options make for a full-on feast. The outdoor patio is just as gorgeous on a warm afternoon as it is for a romantic dinner under the stars.

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Barrel & Ashes
— Studio City

Barrel & Ashes is now offering a special Monday Night Football menu (with smoked chicken wings, of course)

Making its home in Studio City, Barrel & Ashes elevates the workingman's meat-minded mealtime into something that's sophisticated and finger-lickin' good. Along with all the smoked meats you can handle, this family-style spot is now offering a special Monday Night Football menu (with smoked chicken wings, of course) that'll go throughout the season.

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— Hollywood

Birch is a home run for talented chef Brendan Collins

A nod to his English childhood and the trees that surrounded him in Nottingham, England, Birch is chef Brendan Collins' latest endeavor to showcase his artful and flavor-rich creations from the kitchen. A contrast to the Hollywood restaurant's minimalist décor, precise and colorful presentations range from rabbit baklava with dates, white beans, pistachio and carrots to a whole fried snapper with lemon, fennel salad and a saffron rouille. There's also weekend brunch and a three-course Sunday Supper for $35 that changes every week.

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B.S. Taqueria
— Downtown

B.S. Taqueria is a bright and modern taco joint in downtown Los Angeles

Chef Ray Garcia follows the ethos of Broken Spanish, his other DTLA dining destination, with this bright and modern taco joint along the Seventh & Grand culinary corridor. Pairing tradition with a contemporary approach and local flavors, B.S. Taqueria is where you can get tacos filled with the usual suspects (carnitas, lengua) as well as clams and lardo (really?!). Add a drink from the sizable cocktail list and you're in for a feel-good daytime bite or hearty dinner.

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— Toluca Lake

A giant rattlesnake mural slithers across the walls at Cascabel in Toluca Lake

The giant rattlesnake mural that slithers across the walls might grab your attention at first, but the creative twists on traditional Mexican fare will keep you interested at this lively spot in Toluca Lake. It's been open for nearly one year, but "Top Chef" Alex Eusebio (who was born in Madrid and grew up in the Dominican Republic) keeps it fresh. Guacamole comes with smoked bacon if you like while hard-shell tacos can host anything from lobster, crème fraiche, lime zest and black roe to Brussels sprouts with artichoke hearts and chipotle-lime white beans.

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Catch & Release
— Marina del Rey

Marinated sardines are among the delights on the “ocean-to-table” menu at Catch & Release in Marina del Rey

As the name would suggest, Catch & Release is a step into the life aquatic. Enjoy seafood-centric dishes and a laidback vibe replete with an airy patio, open kitchen, wood tables, red chairs, buoys-as-decor and a wall turned nautical chart. Chef Jason Neroni and restaurateur Bill Chait have brought a taste of Maine to Marina del Rey with the "ocean-to-table" menu offering marinated sardines, fried clams, lobster rolls, and bucatini with crab, sweet corn, garlic and chili. Editor's Note: Catch & Release has closed.

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Chavela Comida y Sangria
— Hollywood

Sample cocktails and chavelas (deliciously refreshing Peruvian-style sangrias) at Chavela Comida y Sangria in Hollywood

Proving that good things come in small packages, this casual little spot is located across the street from the ArcLight in Hollywood and squeezed between a liquor store and its sister restaurant Los Balcones. Chavela Comida y Sangria is where to get fresh, artful and vibrant Latin-inspired cuisine that happens to be entirely plant-based and almost completely gluten-free. Expect inventive dishes like tomato and avocado ceviche soup, chipotle mac-n-cheese, barbacoa mushroom tacos and cabbage-wrapped enchiladas. Plus, don't forget the namesake chavelas, deliciously refreshing Peruvian-style sangrias.

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Chengdu Taste 2
— Rosemead

Boiled sliced fish in hot sauce arrives in a massive bowl with a rich broth at Chengdu Taste 2 in Rosemead

Bigger is better at Chengdu Taste 2 in Rosemead, the second outpost of the popular Alhambra original. More square footage and more seats mean a shorter wait for San Gabriel Valley locals and far-flung foodies who flock here for spicy Sichuan classics such as hot pots, mung bean noodles and other southwestern Chinese cuisine.

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— West Hollywood

Crossroads is pushing the envelope once again with a new Crossroads Seafood Tower that spotlights the hard-to-find lobster mushroom

L.A.'s hottest plant-based restaurant (that also happens to have the best blueberry pancakes in town during Sunday brunch) is pushing the envelope once again with a new Crossroads Seafood Tower. Available only through mid-September, the two-level tower spotlights the hard-to-find lobster mushroom, a delicacy with a seafood-like aroma and color similar to the cooked crustacean. Along with the limited-time fungi, the show-stopping creation includes Clams Casino (smoked shallots that evoke the flavors of bacon), Oyster Shell Rockefeller and a Crab Louie salad with smoked "lox" made of heirloom carrots topped with kelp caviar. Go now, before it's too late!

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Forma Restaurant & Cheese Bar
— Santa Monica

Forma Restaurant & Cheese Bar is where you'll find the dalla forma preparation, in which freshly cooked pasta is tossed in a carved wheel of cheese

There's no denying you'll have a cheesy time at this newcomer to Santa Monica's Montana Avenue. Forma Restaurant & Cheese Bar is where you'll find cheese-centric Italian fare including the much-hyped dalla forma preparation, in which freshly cooked pasta is tossed in a carved wheel of cheese. Menu favorites such as flatbreads, risottos and entrées round out the experience.

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HYDE Sunset Kitchen + Cocktails
— Sunset Strip

Sit on the patio at HYDE Sunset Kitchen + Cocktails and savor California fare from “Top Chef” alum Chris Crary

Say the name "Hyde" to anyone in L.A. and chances are the first word that comes to mind is "lounge" or "club." But this Sunset Strip space formerly known as XIV has another life before the music starts and it comes courtesy of "Top Chef" Chris Crary. While the atmosphere is just as sceney as you'd expect from any property run by sbe, the food is far from a footnote to the stiletto-heeled crowd. New American staples like ahi tuna, crispy Brussels sprouts and petit filet mignon are a few favorites, while the craft drinks are just what you need for a night on the town.

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Malibu Farm Restaurant & Bar
— Malibu

Enjoy a meal right on the beach at Malibu Farm Restaurant & Bar

Why wouldn't you take L.A. up on its offer of fabulous weather and enjoy a meal right on the beach? Malibu Farm Restaurant & Bar is where you can do just that with a prime location on the Malibu Pier and a menu that focuses on fresh, organic and locally sourced ingredients. Although the vibe is easy-breezy and family friendly, chef Helene Henderson takes her food very seriously with all-natural, whole foods being the foundation of each dish. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served with a variety of salads, sandwiches (grilled salmon on brioche bun) and unfussy main dishes (mustard lemon roast chicken) that can be modified, making sure there's something for everyone.

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Olio e Limone Ristorante
— Westlake Village

Olio e Limone Ristorante in Westlake Village presents Italian specialties such as risotto dyed black with squid ink

One of the best-known and beloved restaurants in Santa Barbara, Olio e Limone Ristorante has finally made its way south to Westlake Village. Simple and sophisticated best describe the trattoria's space while the menu is classic Italian with homemade pastas, antipasti and daily farmers' market selections. Drinks range from Italian beer and barrel-aged cocktails to a Cali-Italian wine list that's different from what you'll find at the original location.

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— Downtown

Get your comfort food fix at Osso in downtown Los Angeles

Part of the growing Arts District scene, this welcome newcomer in the former One Eyed Gypsy bar space is where you can get your fix of charcuterie and comfort food classics including patty melts, fried chicken and onion rings. It's the perfect spot to settle in after you've had coffee next door at Blue Bottle and raw vegan green juice at The Springs.

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SALT Restaurant & Bar
— Marina del Rey

SALT Restaurant & Bar is surrounded by views of the marina and its yachts

Located inside the recently revamped Marina del Rey Hotel, Salt Restaurant & Bar adds a dash of excitement with a sleek, modern look and contempo Cali cuisine. Service is attentive and the views of the harbor make you feel as though you're on vacation. The outdoor dining area and lounge (firepits included) are the perfect place to cozy up and enjoy a drink while soaking in the scenery.

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— Culver City

Chef Akasha Richmond's Sāmbār restaurant is bright and vibrant with a reclaimed wood art piece that resembles a sun and its rays

Akasha Richmond's new place Sāmbār is just a few steps from her popular namesake restaurant in Culver City. But this Indian-inspired outpost in the former Ford's Filling Station is a world away. Focusing on multi-regional Indian cuisine, the bright, rustic space is where you'll find the eponymous sāmbār (a southern Indian stew made from toor dal, onions, spices, vegetables and tamarind) along with a menu loaded with clean Cali takes on street food snacks, curries and "new wave" masala dishes that are vegetarian and vegan-friendly.

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Spaghettini & the Dave Koz Lounge
— Beverly Hills

Spaghettini & the Dave Koz Lounge encourages guests to “Eat. Drink. Listen.”

Dinner and a show? Let's go! Bringing world-class music as well as up-and-coming acts to Beverly Hills, along with eclectic California small plates, Spaghettini & the Dave Koz Lounge hits the right notes. The elegant venue is spacious yet feels intimate and every seat has a view of the stage, where live performances (usually complimentary) take place Tuesday through Saturday after 10 p.m. As for the food, guests with specific dietary needs will appreciate the menu, which points out gluten-free dishes (Thai snapper with orange and saffron jus and fennel salad, for instance) as well as vegetarian and vegan options. Music to both your ears and mouth.

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Status Kuo
— Mar Vista

Chef David Kuo's Mar Vista restaurant, Status Kuo, presents a menu of rotisserie meats and sandwiches, including a Cubano

With a little something for everyone, this casual neighborhood spot in Mar Vista is anything but status quo dining. Focusing on rotisserie meats (poultry, pork, beef, seafood), house-made pastas and vegetarian and vegan options, Status Kuo is where you can grab a seat for lunch (Cubano, perhaps?), pick up an order to go (vegan BBQ sandwich with jack fruit and cabbage salad) or dine in for dinner with any number of roasted options from rib-eye and seabass to whole chicken — and even fried chicken.

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Steak & Whisky
— Hermosa Beach

Steak & Whisky is just the kind of manly-modern space where you'll feel right at home digging into pricey prime cuts

When nothing less than premium dry-aged steak and your own whisky locker will do, it's time to hit up the aptly named Steak & Whisky in Hermosa Beach. Set in a small 1920s historic brick building decked out in dark wood beams and cool tile floors, S&W is just the kind of manly-modern space where you'll feel right at home digging into pricey prime cuts along with cocktails, wine and plenty of whisky.

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Sweetfin Poké
— Santa Monica

Spicy yuzu salmon is one of the signature bowls at Sweetfin Poké, which puts a California twist on the Hawaiian raw fish dish

L.A.'s poké craze shows no signs of slowing — especially at Sweetfin Poké, a bright new spot in Santa Monica. The airy, fast-casual eatery helmed by chef Dakota Weiss is huge with local Silicon Beachers (just try grabbing a seat during the weekday lunch rush) who select from an endless variety of customizable bowls, including a farmers' market pick of the day. The classic tuna is a bestseller as is the spicy salmon with fluffy bamboo rice. Plant-eaters will love the vegetarian and vegan-friendly options.

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Toca Madera
— Mid-City

Toca Madera in Los Angeles is a sexy ode to modern Mex

Perhaps the sceniest spot in L.A. at the moment, Toca Madera (which literally means "knock on wood") is a sexy ode to modern Mex. Diners are treated to an alluring interior of Arabesque accents, intricate dark woods, risqué Dia de los Muertos artwork as well as plenty of people watching. The organic offerings range from beautifully presented craft cocktails to chef Raymond Alvarez's "barrio-style fine dining" that includes tableside guacamole, chipotle tofu tostadas and cochinita pibil. There's also a separate vegan menu with standouts including the spicy kale Caesar salad and churros and cinnamon ice cream sandwich.

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— Pasadena

Union is an easygoing neighborhood restaurant in Pasadena where locals enjoy fresh farm-to-table fare

Perfectly situated in the walkable area of Old Town Pasadena, Union is an easygoing neighborhood restaurant where locals enjoy fresh farm-to-table fare. Chef Bruce Kalman, who happens to be an avid pickler and pasta maker, is right at home serving his concise menu of Cali-Italian fare. Depending on the week, it can include house-made stracciatella, pork meatballs and forest mushroom risotto.

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Working Class Kitchen
— Long Beach

Working Class Kitchen's poutine and burger are made with Chianina beef from the restaurant group's exclusive herd

Where's the beef? It's at Working Class Kitchen, a bustling new butcher and sandwich shop in Long Beach. But lest you think this is your run-of-the-mill meat house, consider this: All the grass-fed, corn-finished Chianina beef served here comes from the restaurant group's exclusive herd (yes, they own their own cows). Outside is where you'll find dog-friendly sidewalk dining while inside you can grab a seat on the communal wood tables. Scope out the chalkboard menu and deli case that features a variety of sandwiches (meatball sub, corned beef, chicken), sausages, salads and plenty of belly-filling sides.

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Check out the current list of GAYOT's Best Restaurants in Los Angeles to Eat at Right Now 


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