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.
The soft shell crab at Georgie is lightly fried, broken down and then reconstructed into a pyramid above a sweet corn succotash, and when you bite into it, you get a crunch, you get tender crab meat and you get sweet summer vegetables. It’s almost too much sensation at once. Be sure to return your eyes to their natural, upright position before continuing. Finally, a solid reason to visit Beverly Hills — even if it feels straight out of the South of France.
Salazar is grilling swine, chicken and skirt steak Mexican-style, plating them charred on hefty wooden cutting boards and then letting you make your own tacos with an assortment of toppings. It’s the perfect patio food, with shady views overlooking the L.A. River. And the cocktails are made by the same guys who mix the exceptional ones you’ll find at the Walker Inn.
The Cannibal is the latest addition to The Platform, that new mixed-use development by the Metro on Washington that’s basically a hub of New York City-based businesses. The layout may be tricky, but the food is full flavored and good for eating in or taking out. They just added whole-animal feasts to the menu, with nose-to-tail smorgasbords of either pig or lamb that’ll feed at least eight. Order here.
Gents looking for a first date spot: hit Westbound. It’s designed to look like an 1890s railcar (a nod to the site’s former life as a working railroad-station) and the tasty, molecular small bites are impressive thanks to a chef who has worked at Alma and Mélisse (foie gras and waffles, e.g.). The drinks are boozy recreations of classics (Sazerac) and contemporaries (mezcal with smoky paprika).
Diners who deplore "shared plates" are going to love Paley, the swanky restaurant that shares a courtyard with NeueHouse. With a cuisine that’s wood-fired, California-style through and through and plated so you get your own course, the menu isn’t adventurous, but it’s all rock solid. Add it to your short list of fail-safe spots.