Los Angeles has 3 out of 50 of the best restaurants in America, according to this New York Times list.
Most Angelenos accept traffic jams on the maligned 405, soaring rental prices and hordes of influencers on every block as a way of life on this stretch of the West Coast. However, the complex food scene, offering some of the most innovative dining experiences in the country definitely helps counter it all.
Rich in cultural influences and abundant in fresh produce, it’s no surprise that the NY Times has added three local spots to its list of top 50 restaurants in America their food reporters are “most excited about right now.” This list reflects the vibrant hospitality industry from all corners of the country, including both traditional spots with classic cuisine and newcomers with fresh fare.
Without further delay, let the drooling commence! Here are the three in Los Angeles County that made the cut:
1. Pearl River Deli
If that pandemic proved anything it was that Johnny Lee’s culinary range and modern flare paired with Cantonese cuisine is a winning combination. And not only is it here to stay, but it’s growing. The original location in the Far East Plaza may seem modest from the outside but allow the ever-evolving menu to do all the talking. In the coming months, Lee has announced plans to expand Pearl River Deli’s footprint by opening a second space in Chinatown with Laura Hoang taking care of all things sweet. While things might look a little different, fans have been assured that the insanely popular char siu and pork chop bun aren’t going anywhere.
Location: 727 N Broadway, Los Angeles
2. Mini Kabob
This family-run restaurant has been the Armenian-Egyptian gem of Glendale for over 30 years now. Its no-frills approach in the iconic “mini” venue is filled with big heart and big flavor. Expect aromatic skewers of meats, beautifully ripened tomatoes and peppers, grandma’s hummus alongside fresh salad. Pull up a seat and allow the Martirosyans to fill your day with juicy skewers and good vibes.
Location: 313 1/2 Vine St, Glendale
Racking up more accolades and praise with every dinner served, n/naka is easily (if not the premier) kaiseki restaurant in the US. Chef Niki Nakayama’s experience working under top chefs at renowned restaurants along with her extensive travels through Japan has culminated in an unmatched artistic and technical expression of kaiseki dining. With a menu that reflects the subtle changes in the seasonal produce, the myriad of plates that come of n/naka’s kitchen is a showcase of hyper-local ingredients presented in the purest (and most delicious) form possible. If you manage to get a book, you’ll have no problem understanding why it’s ranked one of the world’s best restaurants by various publications.