Granville Pasadena
A rooftop bar in LA is a rare but welcome sight
Granville

Because every Angeleno loves to eat, even if he has to valet, we bring you Table Stakes: a series that answers man’s eternally recurring question (“Uh, what’s new?”), and recurs once every lunar cycle or so. Bon appétit.

Yours Truly restaurannt
Yours Truly (Jakob Layman)

Yours Truly
Venice

You’re here because: New California bistros that emulate the successes of industry leaders like Roy Choi or Michael Cimarusti have never let you down. And you want to impress that Raya match you weren’t sure was actually real.

You’re dining on: Almost every restaurant in town has an octopus dish with a grilled leg or two and some interesting ingredients, but Yours Truly has stepped it up with a crust that adds much needed texture and strawberries two ways, a harissa and pickled green that keep the palate engaged.

1616 Abbot Kinney Blvd (Map)
Website

The Savory Clams at Duello (White Oak Communications)

Duello
Downtown

You’re here because: Newly overhauled with a new name to boot, Duello is on Hewitt in the Arts District, and the street feels more like a permanent block party, with plenty of interesting bars and shops to keep your attention beyond dinner. Duello itself boasts a laid-back vibe best used on friends you’ve known longer than you’d like to admit.

You’re dining on: Crispy Rice is the name of a dish that can have with an infinite variety of ingredients, but Duello’s snap peas, green chorizo and epazote give it a fresh remix. Don’t sleep on the short rib with charred spring onions either.

449 S Hewitt St (Map)
Website

The mac and cheese at Granville (Marie Buck Photography)

Granville
Pasadena

You’re here for: You’re probably familiar with Granville — they’ve got a handful of locations across Los Angeles — but the Pasadena spot comes with a rooftop that’s worth the wait. And we do mean wait: dally on a beautiful evening and you’ll find yourself in a bit of a line to get to the top.

You’re dining on: Mac and cheese is more American than apple pie, and doing the dish justice is a civic duty we should all salute. Granville’s version, with cheddar, gruyere, chicken, asparagus and peas, is Americana of the very best variety.

270 S Lake Ave (Map)
Website

Milo SRO Pizza
The cherry tomato and parmesan pie at Milo SRO (Fried Chicken Sandwich Studios)

Milo SRO
Santa Monica

You’re here because: Sometimes life doesn’t afford you time to sit down with friends and enjoy a relaxing meal. Whether you’re hosting at home or you just don’t feel like getting out of your sweats, Milo’s new pizza shop is the perfect grab-and-go that won’t make you feel like you’re putting processed junk into your system.

You’re dining on: Pizza. Pizza. Pizza. Pick your poison — personally we’re a sausage, peppers and onion kind of pie-eater — but don’t worry about those unavoidable LA diets. Gluten-free crusts and salads are available behind the counter, and roundly delicious. Which of your favorite pizza spots can boast the same?

826 Pico Blvd (Map)
Website

The meatloaf at Alice (Dylan and Jeni)

Alice
Hollywood

You’re here because: Dining on the Sunset strip is always a roll of the dice. Tourist traps and over-hyped, over-priced, celebrity-owned fare abound. Alice offers the right mix of Sunset chic sans pretentiousness, good for a quiet date or a client lunch. Because it’s part of 1 Hotel, there’s also breakfast and a lovely little takeaway counter for whatever the day holds in store.

You’re dining on: For those of you who resigned meatloaf to the same scrap heap as fruitcakes and jello salads — it’s time to reconsider. Alice’s meatloaf is a prime example of the dish done right. Ignoring the perfect smashed sweet potatoes that accompany the dish, the technique and flavors brought to this once forgotten food demand your attention. This ain’t your Nana’s meatloaf, and thank god for that.  

8490 Sunset Blvd (Map)
Website