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.
You’re here for: Carb-loading, a quick, casual lunch or a nice dinner before a movie.
You’re dining on: Heaps of steaming Bologna and Roma-style pasta and sauce, made fresh daily. It's almost like a sushi bar, with cooks tossing the noodles in little columns of boiling water in front of you. We're fans of the tagliatelle with fresh artichoke and the ravioli pomodoro for lunch (on the light side, pasta wise), but we'll be back for dinner to try the lasgna.
Tacos y Mezcal
You’re here for: A serious foodie meal, Oaxacan-style.
You’re dining on: Rocio Camacho landed on the map with her previous spot, Corazon y Miel. This is his reboot in the same spot, which focuses on stewed meat tacos (think braised pork with chiles and cheese), elote (street corn) and shots of mezcal you probably haven’t tried before. Dishes are served with waffle fries, which is nice.
You’re here for: Party night with a group of friends or pre/post show at the Wiltern.
You’re dining on: It’s all small plates, hence why it’s good for pre-gaming before a Wiltern show or a big night out. The cocktails are by the guy behind Copa d’Oro, and we’re fans of the London Smoke — when was the last time you had gin with mezcal and grapefruit? The pizzas rotate, but do get the Brussels sprouts, served with melon and the crispy yet succulent pork belly.
You’re here for: Either a first date or a group date. The wines are approachable and affordable.
You’re dining on: Pungent French onion soup to start, then move on to the escargot. After that, it’s up to you. This is French bistro food done right.
You’re here for: The line is long and the service a bit of a hassle, but the food is delicious and worth it (just don’t say we didn’t warn you).
You’re dining on: Creamy hummus in a pool of olive oil, a charred head of cauliflower and Bub and Grandma’s famous bread. It’s BYOB: bring a light red or a crisp and mineral-heavy white.