Los Angeles Street SignBy Larry Levine –

Ask 10 people in to name their favorite restaurant for a celebration dinner and you’ll get at least 20 recommendations. Big city or small town, west coast, east coast or in the middle, people everywhere will be passionate about the places they like to eat.

Tell someone where you get your favorite pizza and instead of expressing interest they are more likely to tell you about their favorite place.

I get that often. If I’m paired with a stranger on a golf course, the moment will come when he or she asks what I do for a living. If I say I edit and publish a food magazine, it’s certain I will quickly hear about their favorite restaurant and be asked if I’ve been there. Odds are I haven’t been and it’s a sure bet they will tell me I need to try it.

Jennifer and I are pretty much like most other people we know. We have our favorite Italian restaurant close to where we live (Panzanella) as well as favorites in San Diego (di Medici Cucina) and Sacramento (Biba). We have our favorite sausage house (Brats Brothers), rib joint (Gus’s), French (Le Sanglier), Thai (Kinnara) and Middle Eastern (Kebab Halebi)  restaurants, a few sushi places (Murakami, Asanebo, Sushi Gen) and some miscellaneous others.

For as long as we’ve been together family tradition has said the person whose birthday it is gets to pick the restaurant. Jennifer and our son John were born the first week of January. That often meant a big restaurant tab to start the year. One year it was Scandia and Perino’s by Jan. 7.

This year for the first time nothing really jumped out as a place to celebrate our anniversary. We wanted something special, not one of our regular places or one at which we’ve eaten before.

So, I did what any self-respecting editor and publisher of an online food magazine would be expected to do. I asked our readers to tell us of places they would recommend in the greater Los Angeles area. Of course, that encompasses a vast chunk of territory and a potentially staggering number of restaurants.

In the end we went to Bouchon in Beverly Hills, a Thomas Keller gem. We had been there before on one of the restaurant’s fried chicken nights and promised ourselves to return to eat off the regular menu.

Here in the order in which we received them are some of the suggestions our readers in the Los Angeles area sent our way. Many look interesting enough to have been added to our futures list.

3459 N Verdugo Rd.
Glendale, CA 91208
(818) 541-1532
French technique California, Mediterranean and Asian practices.

Bacchus’ Kitchen
1384 E Washington Blvd.
Pasadena, CA 91104
(626) 594-6377
Check the website for special events.

22757 Ventura Blvd.
Woodland Hills, CA 91364
(818) 225-9114
French restaurant that we went to years ago and decided to never return.

1505 Mission St.
South Pasadena, CA 91030
(626) 799-4774
French and Pacific Rim menu

Vincenzo’s Terrazza Ristorante
232 S Citrus St.
West Covina, CA 91791
(626) 332-2969
Italian of course


Home Page

114 E 2nd St,
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 788-1191
In the rectory of the historic Vibiana Cathedral

MB Post
1142 Manhattan Ave.
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
(310) 545-5404
A “social house” – food and more.

2960 Beverly Glen Circle
Los Angeles, CA 90077
(310 475-7404
Traditional and creative Italian

The Factory Kitchen
1300 Factory Place 100
Los Angeles, CA 90013
(213) 996-6000
Traditional trattoria in the arts district

Musso and Frank Grill
6667 Hollywood Blvd.
Hollywood, CA 90028
(323) 467-5123
Oldest restaurant in Hollywood

1006 Seward St.
Hollywood, CA 90038
(323) 962-7262
New York comes to L.A.

The District by Hannah An
8722 W. 3rd St.
Los Angeles, CA 90048
(310) 278-2345
Traditional Vietnamese in a Manor House

Chablis Food + Wine
18588 Ventura Blvd.
Tarzana, CA 91356
(818) 343-9100
Sophisticated French bistro

11334 Moorpark St.
Studio City, CA 91602
(818) 924-2323
From local farms to your plate

The Villa
22160 Ventura Blvd.
Woodland Hills, CA 91364
(818) 704-1185
Food and jazz

Mr. C’s at the Mr. C Hotel
1224 Beverwil Dr.
Los Angeles, CA 90035
(310) 277-2800
Fourth generation Cipriani

1715 Pacific Ave.
Venice, CA 90291
(310) 581-1015
Eclectic menu



13 L.A. Locations
Check the website
Cook it yourself – Not for me

The Depot
1250 Cabrillo Avenue
Torrance, CA 90501
(310) 787-7501
Eclectic with an Asian flair

Yang Chow
3 L.A. Locations
Been there. It’s good

Saddle Peak Lodge

Home 1

419 Cold Canyon Road
Calabasas, CA 91302
(818) 222-3888
Game meats

235 North Canon Drive
Beverly Hills, California 90210
(310) 271-9910
A Thomas Keller gem

Mastro’s Steakhouse
246 N Canon Dr,
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
(310) 888-8782
It’s a steakhouse

Manuel’s El Tepeyac
812 N Evergreen Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90033
(323) 267-8668
A Mexican classic

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