Los Angeles food writers share their favorite restaurants in 2021

Welcome to the Year in Eater 2021 an annual tradition that looks back on the ups, downs and intermediates of the Los Angeles restaurant scene. Today, LA’s top food writers, editors, and food journalists share their most visited restaurants of the year.


Caroline Pardilla, freelance writer and contributor to Eater LA

I still haven’t eaten or drunk inside with any regularity. Instead, I loved walking the dog in the Republic during the cafe’s opening hours for brunch and lovely pastries. All Day Baby for more brunch and cocktail shakes. I would pick up my food and drinks from ADB and take them to a nearby park to enjoy.

Cathy Chaplin, Associate Editor-in-Chief of Eater LA

I have returned again and again to Tam’s Noodle House in San Gabriel (congee and pineapple buns), Pasadena Fish Market in Pasadena (fried oysters and oxtails) and All Day Baby in Silver Lake ( cinnamon rolls, pies, cookies) for comforting dishes prepared of course.

All day baby
Wonho Frank Lee

Danielle Dorsey, Editor-in-Chief of LA Thrillist

My usual spots include Burgers 99, Leo’s Taco Truck in La Brea / Venice, Alta Adams, Post & Beam, Anwar’s Kitchen, Mizlala and Delicious Pizza.

Esther Tseng, Freelance Food Writer

Pine & Crane, Kismet Rotisserie, Tsubaki, Eszett, Cuisine Loupiotte, Dune.

Evan Kleiman, host of fine cuisine

Hotville Chicken, Homestate, Bee Taqueria, Hasiba.

Hotville Chicken on a platter with squared paper and pickles.

Hotville Chicken
Matthew Kang / Eater LA

Farley Elliott, Editor-in-Chief of Eater LA

Moo’s Craft Barbecue isn’t just LA’s best barbecue, it’s one of the most regular restaurants in town. I’m also happy that Goldburger now has two slots and more hours for all of my burger needs. Other frequent ones were Namaste Spiceland, Pasadena’s grocery store and hot counter; DTown Pizza in West Hollywood; and always, always HomeState.

Josh Lurie, Founder of FoodGPS.com

I have visited Glendale so many times this year for kebabs that my liver is now 40 percent lule. I mix things up, but restaurants like Hamlet’s Kitchen, Art’s Bakery, Mini Kabob, and Vernatoun are part of my current rotation. I also do regular outings in the San Gabriel Valley. My wife introduced our family to Tam’s Noodle House, which offers great comforting Cantonese food.

Lesley Suter, Editor Eater Travel

We kept it close to home once again this year, so I found myself frequenting the Highland Park Strip – Hippo, Triple Beam, Otoño. But I have probably had more breakfast meetings at All Day Baby this year than anywhere else.

Matthew Kang, editor-in-chief of Eater LA

Soban, Yuk Dae Jang, Angler, Madre, Pizza Full Proof, Park’s BBQ, Smorgasburg, Copa Vida, Artelice Patisserie, Afuri Ramen.

A crowd gathers and waits to order food at a large outdoor festival.

Smorgasburg
Smorgasburg

Mona Holmes, Eater LA reporter

I am very loyal to Kumquat Cafe owners Scott Sohn and AJ Kim who serve some of the best coffee in Northeast LA. I spent a lot of time at Afuri Ramen and Jerusalem Chicken in View Park for their wonderful and unique Middle Eastern cuisine.

Roast chicken stuffed with rice, mushrooms and beef at Jerusalem Chicken in View Park / Windsor Hills in Southern California.

Jerusalem Chicken
Jerusalem Chicken

Nicole Adlman, Head of Eating Cities

Quiadaiyn in Mar Vista for the best barbacoa de chivo in the Westside (Valle in Venice, before it closed, had a strong contender); Birdie G’s in Santa Monica for pan-Jewish comfort food such as matzo dumpling soup and corned beef brisket; Broadstreet Oyster Company for a bunch of buttered lobster meat served mostly protein style (the gluten-free solution is to roll your lobster on a bed of lettuce with fries), plus a cacophony of wine-soaked shellfish and the bisque of the richest lobster on this side of the 405; Little Fatty, also in Mar Vista, for its excellent take-out (the restaurant’s fried quail is my go-to on Friday night); Chicas Tacos for a compulsive plant-based queso experience; the taqueros set up on the sidewalk outside my local Whole Foods in Venice; Soondubu from Seoul Tofu to Sawtelle Japantown Loop; Little Kingston in View Park-Windsor Hills for containers of curried goat cheese, ackee, and salted fish, and its rotating list of stews; Menotti is near the Venice promenade for the vegan Spanish latte, which was essential to my survival this year.

Patricia Kelly Yeo, Food & Drink Editor, TimeOut LA

At the end of the day, I’m still a fan of Leo’s tacos, whose mouth-watering trompos are a big part of my late-night memories, whether I’m working and needing a quick snack or go to a show or a club. I have also been to Gigi and Bicyclette’s a handful of times each. The two new locations represented a warm welcome to the top of LA dining.

Bicycle Bistro in West Los Angeles, California.

Bistro Bicyclette
Wonho Frank Lee

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