My colleague Joshua Ozersky offered his list of essential New York restaurants. The West Coast counters with this list:
Career waiters serving stiff drinks, bloody steaks and legendary French onion soups make this place a destination for generations of Angelenos.
The home of the ultimate deluxe burger -- don't even think of asking for substitutions.
A decadent, once-in-a-lifetime experience where the sushi is almost too pretty to eat. Almost.
Like seafood? Celebrating something special or just willing to splurge? This upscale Melrose restaurant fits that bill.
Went here for my mom's birthday. Good mix of creative surprises for the foodies, but nothing too weird for the more conservative eaters.
Molecular gastronomic Asian-fusion place known for creative cocktails, strong flavors on small plates and a staff known for stirring up trouble in the local media.
Not nearly as foamy as you'd think. While Michael Voltaggio has made a name for his risk taking dishes, just about every combination worked.
The perfect fancy pizza pie that won't break the bank. Pizzas come in four slices, so grab three friends and make a reservation.
Wolfgang Puck's legendary industry spot gets a makeover that both offers a throwback to classic L.A. (tuna popsicles anyone?) and a modern Asian-influenced menu.
Josef Centeno's popular, lively downtown hotspot was made famous by it's rich "bacos" (sandwiches) that are filled with fried shrimp, oxtail or other specialties, but the ample menu also has flatbreads, vegetable dishes and larger items that require guests to come hungry and often.