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  • Writer's pictureThe Box House

Classic Restaurants That Define LA

This beautiful city of 3.9 million has one of the most illustrious food histories in the United States. But whether or not Hollywood movie stars frequented these restaurants, they cook the classics and start the trends that make LA the culinary hotspot it is today.

Dan Tana's

This is the restaurant for you if you want to have a fun restaurant experience, get a little tipsy, and eat way too much pasta. The food is delicious, and by the end of the night you're inevitably best friends with your server. The red and white checkered tablecloth and absurdly named dishes are homages to simpler times, and no LA trip is truly complete until you have a meal at a homey, family-owned restaurant like this one.

Pacific Dining Car

This staple has existed since 1921, when Mae West was a regular. It's rather uncommon in LA to get a steak shaped like a baseball, so take advantage of this rarity and visit during the 10pm to 6am menu, when everything is half off or less. It is renowned as one of the only places to get an eggs Benedict at 3am, and for making you feel as if you're living a gangster movie.

Chateau Marmont Restaurant Patio

Indulge in you movie-star fantasies and people watch at this rather pretentious 86-year old hotel. The food is extremely good, albeit simple (and very expensive), with a short menu including a burger, bolognese, broccolini, and french fries. If you are looking for a hint of that Hollywood glamour during your LA trip and are willing to shell out some cash, this is most certainly the restaurant for you.

Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles

This is the pinnacle of soul food in LA, and is loved by some of the most healthful fitness junkies. It has been known to serve golden fried chicken and perfectly chewy waffles to Kendrick Lamar, Snoop Dogg, David Beckham, and even Barack Obama. Sign me up!

Urth Caffe

Many say Urth Caffe is the birthplace of other more modern, instagram worthy coffee shops like Intelligentsia. But with their all-organic, miles-long menu and delicious food, it's easy to see why it's become such a staple in today's Los Angeles lifestyle.

The Apple Pan

Founded in 1947, this restaurant was one of the first to serve today's iteration of the cheeseburger. In addition to having the supreme retro vibe, this classic, old-timey diner also claims the title for the best pies in town for those with a sweet tooth (banana cream and apple are especially recommended).

Grand Central Market

Grand Central Market, even a century after its debut, still drives locals and tourists to the variety of delicious food they offer, from simple eggs (the restaurant accordingly deemed "Eggslut") to bento boxes and bratwursts.


Who knew a meat-centric restaurant could thrive in a juice-cleanse obsessed, all organic culture such as LA's? Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo apparently! They launched Animal in 2008 with inventive menu items like a hamburger with foie gras, spam, and a quail egg on top. It might sound heavy, but no one can pull it off better than these two chefs.

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