LOS ANGELES

Our Favorite Secret Dining Spots In Los Angeles

12/19/2013 08:30 pm ET
French Market Café

Los Angeles is arguably the best food city in the U.S. (sorry New York!), and it's not because of our fancy-pants fine dining restaurants.

Instead, LA's best restaurants are those hidden gems, tucked away in strip malls or sitting, ignored, on unremarkable street corners.

Check out our favorite "secret" dining spots in LA, and let us know your favorite underrated restaurants in the comments below.

  • French Market Café
    French Market Café
  • A staple of the Venice neighborhood since 1933, French Market Café is a must for brunch among locals. The Café operates as both a restaurant and market, serving all authentic French food and selling authentic French products, ingredients and even wine. Most famous for “le cheval,” a traditional French breakfast favorite, French Market Café’ is a delicious haven for both Europeans who miss home and Americans alike.

    2321 Abbot Kinney Blvd.
    Venice, CA 90291
    frenchmarket-cafe.com
  • Tacos Delta
    Yelp: Ticha B.
  • Tacos Delta is a tiny and tucked away Mexican joint in Silverlake. Surrounded by the art, style and culture of it’s neighborhood, Tacos Delta has absorbed the culture yet remains authentic, flavorful and consistent –- a must-try for anyone who claims to “know the best Mexican food in LA.”

    3806 W. Sunset Blvd.
    Los Angeles, CA 90026
  • Yuca’s
    Yuca’s
  • Yuca’s, specializing in Yucatan style Mexican food, is a small mother-daughter owned restaurant in the neighborhood of Los Feliz. Known for their burritos and very generous portions, Yuca’s surely does not go unnoticed by the Los Feliz locals. But don’t worry, Loz Feliz -- in the worst case that the rest of LA finds out about your secret, at least we know their portions are big enough for everyone. (And this may seem strange, but according to some, their hamburgers “are the best in the world.”)

    2056 Hillhurst Ave.
    Los Angeles, CA 90027
    yucasla.com
  • Leo’s Tacos
  • Leo’s Taco Truck is located in what seems like faraway Eagle Rock, although the Angelenos who have been lucky enough to discover it have no problem driving out for an amazing taco. Open until 2am on weekdays and 3am on weekends, Leo’s is sure to satisfy your late-night taco cravings or even mid-day. Their fanbase is almost cult-like. Try it and you’ll feel the same way.

    4300 Eagle Rock Blvd.
    Los Angeles, CA 90041
    leostacotruck.com
  • Alejo’s Presto Trattoria Italian Restaurant
    Alejo’s Presto Trattoria Italian Restaurant
  • Alejo’s was founded by Alejo Castro who started off as a personal chef and worked his way up to specializing in pasta dishes at the restaurant La Scala. During his time there he renovated so many of the pasta dishes he decided to pursue his pasta passion and open his own restaurant. Today, Alejo’s has preserved all of Alejo’s original, authentic and imaginative recipes and boy, it sure has paid off. Alejo’s is one of the best and most authentic Italian in town.

    8343 Lincoln Blvd.
    Westchester, CA 90045
    www.alejosrestaurant.com
  • Bird’s Café/Bar
    Bird’s Café/Bar
  • Bird’s is located up in the Hollywood Hills, operating as both a bar and restaurant. Although the bar scene is quite fun on the weekends, the real appeal of Bird’s is the incredible fried chicken. No matter what day, you can assume Bird’s is pretty packed, but the atmosphere is friendly and the food friendlier –- and very fried. It’s not easy to find chicken like this in Los Angeles so you better try it ASAP!

    5925 Franklin Avenue
    Hollywood, CA 90028
    birdshollywood.com
  • Los Balcones Del Perú
    Los Balcones Del Perú
  • Los Balcones is located on a desolate corner in Hollywood and to most, probably doesn’t seem to exist. Although bleak on the outside, the food you find inside is absolutely unforgettable. Los Balcones serves the epitome of authentic and flavorful Peruvian food in massive portions. Check it out – and make sure to get the lomo saltado, ceviche or fried calamari appetizer. Or everything. Seriously everything is good.

    1360 Vine St
    Hollywood, CA 90028
    losbalconesdelperu.menutoeat.com
  • Skaf’s Lebanese Cuisine
    Yelp: jin y.
  • If you’ve ever been led astray on a hunt for good Mediterranean food, you’re in luck. Skaf’s exists so you never have to look again. Skaf’s infamously serves, what most say, is the best falafel in town and their kebabs are mindblowing. Even their sauces are impossible to imitate. With great service, atmosphere and food to-die-for, Skaf’s is a no-brainer.

    367 N. Chevy Chase Dr.
    Ste A
    Glendale, CA 91206
    skafsrestaurants.com
  • Good Stuff Burgers
    Good Stuff Burgers
  • Good Stuff is one of the most hidden treasures of all –- located inside of a strip mall on busy Olympic Boulevard in West LA, one would only notice it if they stopped by next door to get gas. The restaurant's customers are mostly made up of lucky students from the nearby high school and office workers on their lunch break -- lucky because they know get to keep Good Stuff all to themselves. (At least for now.) Good Stuff serves, hands down, one of the best burgers in Los Angeles. Not to mention their fries are PERFECT. They pride themselves on their catchphrase, “You are what you eat, so eat good stuff.” This is some seriously good stuff.

    11903 W. Olympic Blvd.
    Los Angeles, CA 90064
    eatgoodstuff.com
  • Sushi Time
    Yelp: Tatiana C.
  • Yet another geographically hidden treasure is Sushi Time – the sushi spot that manages to fill a random strip mall up with people waiting any given night of the week. Due to how small AND delicious the restaurant is, there is pretty much always a wait – but the food is very well worth it. Everything is fresh, delicious and the service is impeccable. Also, according to Yelp, “Chance of seeing Jeff Goldblum: 5.”

    8103 Beverly Blvd.
    Los Angeles, CA 90048
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