SBP Top Tastes: The Hottest Eateries in LA Right Now

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From helping you find your dream home to lending a hand with all things real estate related, the Smith & Berg Partners team always has you covered. And while our knowledge of trends obviously pertains to our day job as the Westside’s premier real estate team, we’d like to think it goes beyond that…to food, of course. Although we’re not exactly certified culinary connoisseurs, we DO know what tastes good. So, lucky for you, we’ve rounded up some of the hottest restaurants in the city, from an epic new joint on Melrose to one of LA’s most coveted Italian eateries on Abbot Kinney. Take a big bite below and you can thank us later. 

Auburn

Say hello to LA’s latest and greatest fine dining mecca: Auburn. Brainchild of renowned chef Eric Bost, the refined outpost on Melrose pays “homage to Los Angeles’ uninhibited culinary identity in a space designed with honest materials by local makers.” Think dishes like 30 day dry-aged rib eye plated elegantly on handcrafted ceramic. Important note from David Berg: snag your reservation now before Auburn reaches Michelin star status.

Audrey at the Hammer

According to F. Ron, Westwood just got some major cool points. Situated on the ground floor of the Hammer Museum, Audrey fuses elevated, soulful cuisine with a contemporary Southern California feel, all centered on what’s in season. Plus, the interiors are incredibly sleek and stylish, complete with velvet banquettes and chic lighting fixtures. Order from their extensive cocktail list and be sure to dive into the heritage pork porterhouse—it’s a religious culinary experience.

Blue Plate Taco

Who doesn’t want killer tacos with an ocean view? Blue Plate in Santa Monica is high on Morty‘s list of LA hotspots, which, of course, you could probably guess from the title of our blog. Show up before sunset and sip on margaritas, place a hefty order of fish tacos (always get more than you think) and enjoy al fresco California dining at its most quintessential.

Cassia

While not new, per se, Cassia is as hot as ever. The acclaimed Santa Monica joint (which we often frequent for team dinners) celebrates the fresh, vibrant flavors of Southeast Asia with a California sensibility, sourcing the highest quality ingredients from local farmers (this is LA, after all). We usually grab a drink at Esters Wine Bar before dinner, situated directly next to Cassia, then take a seat and go crazy. The pork meatballs are an absolute no brainer.

CUT

Are we allowed to claim the locals title at CUT? Because we just did. While the Wolfgang Puck steakhouse has been a longtime favorite in Los Angeles, it still never fails to deliver. We recommend going before your reservation to grab a drink at the bar and take in the restaurant’s uber swanky scene. And when it comes to dinner, you truly can’t go wrong with any of their cuts—hence the name. So, see you there?

Dudley Market

Think Gjusta but without ordering at the counter. That’s what dreams are made of, right? Dudley Market is a beachy neighborhood joint with a chic, modern twist, serving up killer seafood and a jaw-dropping wine list (seriously, the eatery is teeming with shelves full of bottles). Plus, what’s cooler than “bring your own vinyl” night on Sundays or half-off vinos on Mondays? As Sewit would say, this is funky Venice dining at its most refined.
Dudley Market Facebook

Felix Trattoria

Controversial opinion: Venice is Los Angeles’ bona fide foodie haven. If you’re not convinced, Felix Trattoria might just sway you. The Abbot Kinney hotspot has grown so sought-after in the past year that getting a reservation is no easy feat. But, keep checking. Renowned chef Evan Funke’s take on traditional Italian cuisine is absolutely not to be missed. And the ambiance? Pretty much unrivaled. Nathan says you can’t go wrong with any of the pastas and pizzas, but you must preface the meal with their homemade focaccia. It’ll blow your tastebuds off.
LA Weekly

Hamasaku

You can’t experience Los Angeles’ innovative culinary scene without splurging on some epic sushi. That’s where Hamasaku comes in. One of our favorite sushi joints in the city, Hamasaku offers a counter-side omakase experience that wins the intimacy card in our book. Now that is stress-free dining at its best. Or, you can order á la carte from the extensive menu of sustainably caught fish. Just don’t go after F. Ron and David have been—all the toro will be gone.

Nerano

Los Angeles can be a fickle place—some restaurants come, other restaurants go. But Nerano? It’s as hot as ever. The vision of owners Andy and Carlo Brandon-Gordon, Nerano is an ode to their favorite spot on the Amalfi Coast where simple yet elegant coastal cuisine is met with an inviting Italian culture. Yvette thinks their golden beet salad with goat cheese and toasted hazelnuts is a must, as is their filet mignon with porcini mushroom sauce and truffle butter, but make sure you save room for the nocciolino dessert—dark chocolate mousse with gelato and torched Italian meringue. And while you’re there, say hello to Patrick for us.
Nerano
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