LA Times 101 Best Restaurants

Kato number 1
Vespertine drops like an exploding death star 100 spots

What feels like a weird, purposeful tension emanating from the service staff leaves me knotted by meal’s end. I have unsettled dreams after meals at Vespertine; the three-chord tones that continuously play in the dining room disrupt my circadian rhythms. That might well be the point.


i honestly don’t know if i’m more happy about #1 or #101… i’d have difficulty ranking Kato that high, personally–but it is one of my favorite LA spots, and it felt criminally overlooked for years (perhaps, even until Michelin came back?)

can anyone post the list here? I dont have latimes acct.

  1. Kato
  2. Republique
  3. Taco Maria
  4. n/naka
  5. Sonoratown
  6. Dialogue
  7. Centenoplex (Orsa & Winston, Bar Ama, Baco Mercat)
  8. Hayato
  9. Mozzaplex
  10. Providence
  11. Bavel
  12. Trois Mec
  13. Cassia
  14. Here’s Looking at You
  15. Burritos La Palma
  16. Sqirl
  17. Rossoblu
  18. Lukshon
  19. Somni (The Bazaar)
  20. Grand Central Market
  21. Majordomo
  22. Bon Temps
  23. Meals by Genet
  24. Bestia
  25. Kismet
  26. Le Comptoir
  27. Broken Spanish
  28. Petit Trois
  29. Porridge + Puffs
  30. Auburn
  31. Shunji
  32. Rustic Canyon
  33. Sun Nong Dan
  34. Taste of Tehran
  35. Gjusta
  36. Chichen Itza/Holbox
  37. Northern Thai Food Club
  38. Alimento
  39. Ma’am Sir
  40. Shibumi
  41. A.O.C.
  42. Tsubaki
  43. Q
  44. Birdie G
  45. Mian
  46. Jun Won
  47. Mayura
  48. Lucques
  49. Felix
  50. Night + Market
  51. Angler
  52. Nightshade
  53. The Exchange
  54. Alta Adams
  55. Kobee Factory
  56. La Dosa De Los Moles
  57. Jon & Vinny’s
  58. Konbi
  59. Playa Amor
  60. Sichuan Impression
  61. Mariscos Jalisco
  62. Spoon by H
  63. Longo Seafood
  64. Chaak Kitchen
  65. Carnitas El Momo
  66. Lunasia
  67. Pizzana
  68. Little Sister
  69. Langer’s
  70. Yours Truly
  71. Connie and Ted’s
  72. Badmaash
  73. Guisados
  74. Lasa
  75. Jitlada
  76. Soban
  77. Chong Qing Special Noodles
  78. Osawa
  79. Tsujita
  80. El Coraloense
  81. Howlin’ Ray’s
  82. Hippo
  83. Colonia Publica
  84. 189 By Dominique Ansel
  85. Kali
  86. Adana
  87. X’Tiosu Kitchen
  88. Joy
  89. Brodard Chateau
  90. Park’s BBQ
  91. Dai Ho
  92. Marche Moderne
  93. Dear John’s
  94. Chengdu Taste
  95. La Casita Mexicana
  96. The Arthur J
  97. Hasiba
  98. Guelaguetza
  99. Apey Kade
  100. Kogi BBQ
  101. Vespertine

RIP Jonathan Gold, what have we come to.

Side note: the event was held at Redbird/Vibiana but they were bumped off the list, super low blow la times


Wow. This new 101 List of the “Best” Restaurants in LA… it’s beyond baffling and downright egregious. Examples:

  • Burritos La Palma at #15?! :confused: I love Burritos La Palma, but let’s be real here. They placed this place above Shunji, Angler, Somni (and many other much better places)?! WTH?

  • Where’s Mori Sushi? Ah yes, continuing on one of the big oversights from Gold’s days, no love for Maru-san’s fantastic Sushi, which is arguably some of the best in L.A. The fact they list Pasadena’s mediocre Osawa on this list and not Mori Sushi is ridiculous.

  • Tsubaki - Does not belong on any “Best” lists for its food. It’s horrendous (but it’s located nearby some of the L.A. times staff writers, so it’s convenient for them).

  • Longo Seafood and Lunasia?! Mediocre Dim Sum at best; the same Longo that @ipsedixit posted the best dish was the water; the same place that served a giant clump of congealed rice as “rice rolls”?

  • 189 by Dominique Ansel? Mediocre Pastries, awful Brunch, but it’s got the name brand of a celebrated chef. :frowning:

I get it’s all subjective. They have their opinions but this feels like such an oversight for many places left off the list or ranked low, and the inclusion of total mediocrity. Oh well.

Thanks for posting the list @BlurA14.


For me it’s a more meaningful must than the Michelin. So so many favorites there but it’s still a list.
How have I not been to Kato


I’ve never understood the hype for Kato. Went once before they were starred - tiny portions, pretentious attitude, muted flavors.

ranking restaurants in and of itself is always mind boggling. but this is their attempt at being anti-mcchelin and inclusive of all aspects of la culinary landscape. that’s why there are many suspect places on the list.

it’s also funny that bill addison included vespertine on the list despite saying that he hated it 2 out of the 3 times he went :thinking:


i think Bill Addison understands that it’s still an important restaurant even though he hated it. Maybe the rest of the LA Times food staff liked it enough?

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The ones I disagree with are:

Sonoratown. I like it, but give me a break. The fifth best restaurant in LA?

Burritos La Palma. Nothing special. I guess I can agree that Sonoratown is better, and at least Sonoratown is closer.

Cassia. I don’t see it. I like Singaporean food. This isn’t it.

Lukshon. At least it’s not in the top five anymore, but still. Above Somni? Haha.

Meals by Genet. This is average Ethiopian food at best. Lalibela is much better.

Mariscos Jalisco. Better than Taco Bell, perhaps.

Langer’s. Trash.

Badmaash. Not even average Indian.

I’m not sure what the LA Times has against restaurants like Urasawa and Sushi Ginza Onodera. Restaurants like Somni and Vespertine are plenty expensive.

Gosh, has Spago really fallen so far that it doesn’t belong on a list of top 101 restaurants in LA?

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AGREE! That place really sucks.


Totally agree this list is bogus… for us as FTCers.
But this list isn’t made for us, it is made for the LA Times readers–the masses.
People that search out the best foods will always have a penchant for places that “fly below the radar”.

Let the masses have their lists. We have our boards.


There’s a lot of mediocre crap on their menu, but they make the best pastrami sandwich in the world. Maybe even the best in Los Angeles.

Addison’s a nitwit for getting the #19 instead.


I don’t think the ranking means much. With as many great restaurants as there are in LA, making the cut for the top 101 is a major accomplishment.

Damn, I’m hungry.


I’m indifferent to rankings as it’s fairly personal, but to have any of the listed sushi restaurants above Sushi Ginza Onodera or having Onodera completely not on the list of 101 restaurant is… shocking to say the least. Q is there and Onodera does everything better than Q in a similar style.

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And the corned beef is even better!


There are only six seats at the bar, and Addison found the experience at the tables inferior.

i think @Clayfu is refering to Sushi Ginza Onodera, not Inn Anne and it’s chef, Morihiro Onodera.

Apparently Addison doesn’t think so highly of that place. Never been reviewed by the Times. Gold never mentioned it.