• Pamela Froman

Eating Los Angeles

As Angelinos we have plenty of options when it comes to restaurants. But what is the best of the best? Here's a breakdown of the eateries where you should chow down.

Seafood Restaurants Here fishy fishy! Here are the greatest restaurants specializing in the catch of the day.

The Drunken Crab in North Hollywood invites you to head south for their “shellfish by the pound” experience! This Louisiana-style crab shack will excite the palate.

For more than two decades, Delmonico’s Steak and Lobster House in Encino has been considered the top purveyor of fresh seafood. There are 31 different fresh seafood dishes including appetizers, salads, and entrees prepared with seasonal oysters, calamari, jumbo shrimp, clams, mussels, scallops, live Maine lobster halibut, Maryland crab cakes, ahi tuna, swordfish, salmon, Mississippi catfish, orange roughy, and sea bass.

Oyster House Saloon in Studio City offers appetizers including Pacific Northwest oysters served on the half shell, oyster shooters and fried calamari. Enjoy with a cup of clam chowder.

Pacific Rim cuisine and hospitality creates the dining experience of Roy's Restaurant in Woodland Hills. Start your meal with a Big Eye Tuna Poke, then graduate to an Aloha Roll with spicy tuna, cucumber, yellowtail, salmon and avocado.

Lure Fish House in Westlake Village provides a top tier seafood experience featuring fresh and sustainable seafood from trusted sources, organically grown produce, and wines from local vineyards.

Brophy Bros. Seafood Restaurant & Clam Bar in Ventura has a fun, lively atmosphere with beautiful views.

BBQ Joints Great smoked meat can be found all over Los Angeles.

A Mission Hills staple, The Bear Pit Barbeque offers a Missouri-influenced menu of baby back ribs in sauce, brisket, and smoked meats like turkey, lamb, and ham.

Celebrate the very best of every major BBQ region in America – St. Louis, the Carolinas, Texas, and Kansas City here in Los Angeles at Barrel & Ashes in Studio City. All meats are slow smoked over California coastal Red Oak, or treated with their signature Barrel Rub and grilled over an open flame.

The Pit BBQ in Burbank is great food for cheap – a full rack of baby backs is under $30. There are also treats like chopped brisket sandwiches or yummy wings.

Bandits' BBQ in Thousand Oaks provides an incredibly fresh and delicious barbecue experience. Ribs are rotisserie smoked, then slow roasted and grilled over an oak wood fire with a choice of custom BBQ or jerk sauce.

The Thousand Oaks Meat Locker is Thousand Oaks' original BBQ restaurant for over 60 years! Serving grilled, Tri-Tip, Chicken, and Ribs entrees cooked fresh everyday.

Asian Fusion Funky fusion is the epitome of modern Asian cuisine.

Every dish at Oi Asian Fusion in Canoga Park is cooked to order. Try the Adobo Bowl – braised pork belly, adobo sauce, soft boiled egg, and scallions.

Lum-Ka-Naad in Northridge is the perfect destination to chow down on pad Thai and tom kha soup. Come for specialties: shrimp-paste relishes, Burmese-inflected curries, lemongrass-infused Thai sausages.

Chinois on Main boldly combines Chinese tradition and fresh California ingredients with contemporary French techniques – Asian fusion cuisine.

Rice by Momma in Ventura provides authentic and delicious Thai food. Try their Talay Thai with shrimp, squid, mussel, scallop, white fish stir fried with Thai seasoning and garlic. Salads and curries round out the menu.

Come to Poke Land in Thousand Oaks. Poke is a raw fish salad originating in Hawaiian cuisine. Create your meal the way you want. Here's how: Choose your base – white or brown rice, salad or chips. Choose your side – crab, avocado, cucumber, onion, pineapple. Choose your fish – Tuna, Salmon, Eel, Octopus, Yellowtail, Spicy Tuna, Albacore, Shrimp, Scallops. Finally, choose your sauce: House, Spicy Mayo, Ponzu, Jalapeno, House Spicy, Wasabi Mayo, Wildfire. Enjoy!

Mexican Delicious favorites like burritos, fajitas and tacos will make your mouth water!

Los Agaves in Westlake Village offers award-winning Mexican cuisine, with contemporary dining that is authentic with an innovative twist. Try the Carne Azteca – a grilled New York steak accompanied with a stuffed Anaheim pepper, grilled nopalito and chorizo.

A convivial neighborhood haunt, The Latigo Kid Mexican Restaurant in Agoura Hills dishes out delicious jumbo Cadillac margaritas, fajitas, carne asada burritos, and other classic Tex Mex dishes. (818) 889-1195

Melody's Mexican Kitchen in Reseda invites you to enjoy specialties such as their famous Salpicon Tostada Salad, Hard Shell Tacos, and Albondiga Soup just like grandma use to make.

La Paz Restaurant has been part of Calabasas since 1989. They boast a full Yucatan style menu, as well as traditional fare. Get authentic live entertainment from their Mariachi band. 4505 Las Virgenes Rd., Calabasas.

Looking to grab a fresh bite to eat? You'll find it at Karlo’s & Koke’s Fresh Mexican Grill in Woodland Hills. The homemade food features an Oaxacan flavor and fish tacos are a fave.

Food Trucks The newest trend in eateries are mobile: Food Trucks! With a variety of offerings that run the gamut of flavors, you'll never grow hungry.

For a sweet treat you can't go wrong with Coolhaus. These delicious ice cream sandwiches are swoon-worthy, pairing their sinful ice cream flavors with freshly-baked cookies. The truck parks in Culver City and Pasadena, but you can order online. Yum.

With authentic New England flavor, Cousins Maine Lobster is at the top of the pack. The company includes multiple trucks with tons of lobster varieties, tails and all. But its infamous Connecticut and Maine lobster rolls are the real draw. Served on a roll, the Connecticut is warm and topped with butter, while the Maine is served chilled with a dash of mayo. Pair with Cape Cod chips. Various locations.

What is more comfort food than a grilled cheese sandwich? The Grilled Cheese Truck doles out cheesy, gooey goodness with four trucks ranging all over Los Angeles and into Santa Barbara. If you really want to indulge, chow down on the fully loaded option with cheddar, BBQ pork and mac and cheese. Add some tater tots and a cup of tomato soup to complete the meal.

Quality, sustainably-sourced hot dogs are all the rage at Let's Be Frank. Their grass-fed beef dogs are tasty and flavorful, and it's even better with the grilled onions and spicy Devil’s sauce. Locations include Culver City.

Made in Brooklyn is a food truck filling Los Angeles’ void for classic New York style pizza. Rooted in authenticity and meant to be eaten the right way – with your hands – Made in Brooklyn prepares its pies with fresh, high-quality ingredients and crafts its house-made tomato sauce, sausage, meatballs, and pizza dough in-truck using all of the same equipment found in New York’s best pizzerias. And they deliver!

Up and Coming Restaurants Here are the restaurants that are trending right now on Instagram.

Unwind in Tarzana is a brand new gem! Chef Marcel creates a menu of American food fused with French heritage. Fresh farm to table meals, boutique wines, beers, and soju infused cocktails. #UnwindRestaurant

Scratch Bar & Kitchen is founded on principles of preparing food the way it was meant to be – from scratch. There is nothing in the restaurant from the aged cheeses to the butter in breads that wasn’t made onsite. #scratchbarkitchen

30 Boutique California wines by the glass. 30 California craft beers on draft and by the bottle. Award winning Mixology menu. Gourmet pizza. Artisan Sandwiches. Rockin' salads. Charcuterie. Small bites. Oyster. Awesome atmosphere. Local, organic produce and hormone-free, grass-fed meat. That is On The Thirty Sherman Oaks. #onthethirtyshermanoaks

SunLife Organics in Malibu offers Instagram swoon-worthy organic juices, organic smoothies, organic salads, organic everything! #SunLifeOrganics

Unusual Restaurants Here are some truly unusual eateries in Los Angeles.

The Magic Castle in Hollywood is a private club – the only way to dine there is to be invited by a member of the Academy of Magical Arts. So of course the real draw here is the magic! Dinner is served at 6, 8 and 9:45 p.m., but give yourself time to see the shows.

Saddle Peak Lodge in Calabasas was once a Pony Express stop. This spot in the Santa Monica Mountains offers unique game dishes, seasonal fare and delicious brunches. The rooms are rustic, with hunting artifacts, books and taxidermy mounted on the walls.

Everyday is Halloween at Beetle House in Hollywood. This is a Tim Burton-inspired space where people who love Halloween, horror films, and Gothic dark music can gather for a meal and drinks. Take a taste of Alice's Cup O’ Tea – Peach Vodka, Gin, Tequila, Rum, and Peach Schnapps.

Opaque in Santa Monica enhances your sense of taste, smell, touch, and hearing by abandoning vision. Upon arrival, you will meet with the hostess who will provide you with an explanation of “Dining in the Dark.” Place your order, and be guided into the darkened dining room. You will be taken care of visually impaired individuals that have been specially trained to serve meals in the dark.

It's cool, it's hip, and it stinks! It's The Stinking Rose in Beverly Hills. This is the eatery for celebrating the culinary euphoria of garlic.

Chow down!

Sidebar – Unique Happy Hours

Like oysters? Check out this stylish seafood eatery located in Woodland Hills. EMC Seafood & Raw Bar's daily happy hour runs 4 - 7 p.m. with oysters at just $1. There is also a late night happy hour running Sunday through Thursday from 10 p.m. to midnight and Friday - Saturday from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. On the late night menu oysters are $1.50. There are also discounts on small plates like calamari and fish tacos. Plus, $5 draft beer, wine, sangria, lemon drops or cosmos.

The Tonga Hut Tiki bar in North Hollywood has a great atmosphere: dim lighting, funky jukebox tunes, and lounge space. It's also a great happy hour.

Vino Wine and Tapas Room in Encino takes you abroad to Spain with a multitude of small bites. The Tapa Hour menu includes a tortilla Española with chorizo, patatas bravas, bacon wrapped dates with blue cheese, and ceviche. Wine, beer, and mimosas are $4, sangria $5, and red and white wine $6.

Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ in Burbank is a cook-it-yourself Japanese BBQ restaurant that offers happy hour deals. Full courses for two, ala carte grilling items like toro beef at $3.95, appetizers like shrimp tempura for $6.95, and a wide selection of ramen, soups, noodles and bibmbaps. Pair with a $1.95 Sapporo draft.

The Blue Dog Beer Tavern in Sherman Oaks offers one of the best happy hours in the Valley. Monday through Friday from 3 - 6 p.m. the food menu includes sliders, chili cheese fries, and nachos. Beers, wines, and ciders range from $3.99 to $7.50.

The Oaks Tavern in Sherman Oaks features neighborhood bar staples including karaoke, trivia, beer pong and free popcorn plus two happy hours everyday: Open - 7 p.m. with $2 well drinks and $1 - 1. 50 off select draft beers; Sunday through Thursday from 10 - 11 p.m. with $5.50 well drinks and specials on drafts and shots.

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