Where to dine like a star in LA


By Maxwell Williams, LA-based journalist.

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January 2018

A visit to LA isn’t complete without a celebrity sighting, says LA journalist Maxwell Williams. Here are seven can’t-fail spotting restaurants in the city – to see and be seen.

Crossroads Kitchen

The lowdown: A favourite amongst LA’s elite, chef Tal Ronnen’s upscale vegan eatery Crossroads Kitchen has served up delectable plant-based dishes at its West Hollywood location since it opened in 2013. Ronnen’s creative Mediterranean-inspired plates are known to shock omnivores and even meat-eaters. “I’m not vegan, but even I like this place,” is a frequent refrain.

Who checks in: Jay-Z and Beyoncé, Paul McCartney, and vegetarians like Tobey Maguire, Travis Barker from Blink-182 (he’s an investor), and Ellen DeGeneres.

What to check out: The dinner menu is seasonal, but if they’re there, try the hearts of palm calamari and the artichoke oysters.

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The dinner menu is seasonal, but if they’re there, try the hearts of palm calamari and the artichoke oysters

Night + Market

The lowdown: Kris Yenboomrang’s eatery is known for its unwavering quest to bring true Thai flavours to LA. With a menu inspired by Yenboomrang’s grandmother’s home cooking, the always crowded and lively Night+Market is full of surprises. Prepare to be shocked by the somewhat rude decorations, and the chilled red wine served with dinner – as is customary in Thailand.

Who checks in: Adventurous celebs like Gwyneth Paltrow, Lena Dunham, Daft Punk, Questlove, and Nathan Fielder (Nathan for You).

What to check out: The larb (spiced minced meat) salad. Yenboomrang is known as the ‘Larb King’ in these parts.

  • Pizza fans should head to Jon & Vinny’s © Joshua White.

    A slice of LA

    Jon & Vinny’s is open for breakfast – think soft scrambled eggs with burrata – lunch and dinner and is open from 08.00 until 22.00 daily.£313 return

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  • If you’re in the mood for Thai food, check out Night+Market © Laure Joliet.

    Trad Thai

    The restaurant is based on the Thai term ‘aharn glam lao’, meaning food to facilitate drinking and having fun with friends.£638 pp

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  • Feast on eastern delights such as duck salad, at E.P Asian Eating House.

    Movie night

    Why not head to Melrose Rooftop Theatre next door to see cult movies and new releases Sunday to Thursday from July until October.

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Fig & Olive

The lowdown:This Melrose Place hotspot is as much a draw for its atmosphere – even if you’re not a movie star, you’ll be treated like one – as it is for its delightful Mediterranean-inspired cuisine. Fig & Olive is open, airy and romantic, making it the quintessential place to see celebrities cosying up on date night.

Who checks in: A-listers like Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, and Ryan Gosling.

What to check out: The paella del mar is always delicious.

Château Marmont

The lowdown: Nowhere is as famous for celebrity spotting than the restaurant at the Château Marmont hotel. Make sure to book a reservation well in advance in order to enjoy a leisurely meal in the famed haunt, where the ghosts of James Dean, Jim Morrison, and John Belushi still roam. When Oscar season rolls around, it gets even glitzier.

Who checks in: Everyone. Scarlett Johansson, Meryl Street, Alessandra Ambrosio, Lady Gaga, Lana Del Rey, Russell Brand, Kit Harington.

What to check out: The burger is very good. But at the Château, it’s not really about the food.

  • Try the fresh, Mediterranean-inspired dishes at Fig & Olive © Tagger Yancey.

    A taste of France

    Fig & Olive’s food and ideals are based on Provence in France, where fig and olive trees are symbols of peace and prosperity.£482 pp

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The Ivy

The lowdown: The Ivy is a celebrity magnet that attracts a certain kind of star: those who want to see and be seen. Famous for its throngs of paparazzi awaiting celebrity arrivals, The Ivy is actually a nice restaurant with a decent menu and a cute patio perfect for a brunch.

Who checks in: Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, Jennifer Lopez, Sean Penn, Sir Patrick Stewart, and nearly every B-lister in history trying to get their mugs in a tabloid.

What to check out: The fish and chips are unsurprisingly great. Just don’t forget to make a reservation beforehand.

Jon & Vinny’s

The lowdown: Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo have built quite a reputation for making unpretentious, but extraordinary, dishes at their various restaurants (Animal and Son of a Gun among them) around LA. Their namesake spot – located on funky Fairfax Avenue – is an upscale pizzeria that features mouthwatering Italian dishes and a playful, easygoing ambiance with cosy booths, hip-hop music spilling out over the speakers, and a fully stocked wine shop in the back.

Who checks in: Younger fashion icons like Kylie Jenner, Emily Ratajkowski, Bella Hadid, and Chrissy Teigen.

What to check out: The “Ham & Yeezy” pizza, of course, with ham, vodka sauce, red onion, caciocavallo, smoked mozzarella, and spicy Fresno chillies.

E.P.&L.P.

The lowdown: Louis Tikaram’s fare is the draw to E.P. (the downstairs restaurant), but the ambiance comes in a close second at this lively Asian eatery. The food is a mixture of Tikaram’s heritage – Fijian, Indian, and Chinese – making for insanely good sweet curries and staples like dan dan noodles. Upstairs is L.P., a swanky bar that serves up pub grub, and tasty cocktails such as the ‘Where Love Lives’ (mezcal, passionfruit, and guava with Thai chilli).

Who checks in: Justin Bieber, Al Pacino, Taylor Swift, and Victoria Beckham (dining with her gal pal Eva Longoria) have all dropped in.

What to check out: Order Grandma’s Fijian chicken curry. You won’t regret it.

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