Wednesday, February 25, 2009

My Favorite Restaurants in LA (and what do I order?...)

I was recently asked by my good friend Maria to post a “Top Ten” of my favorite restaurants in Los Angeles. Since I have lived here for almost 8 years now I have had the chance to discover so many great places that it is tough to choose just 10, so instead I am listing my Top Ten restaurant categories with a corresponding few places in each. Also listed are some items that I order…remember, I’m a dietitian and like to keep fit so I try to pick things that are tasty AND healthy! Check these spots out…


Pancho’s (Manhattan Beach) - I order the Tostada de Miguel (chicken tostada salad) and sometimes a cup of Black bean soup to start.


Monsoon (Santa Monica Promenade) - a big and beautiful place. Usually I’ll pick the Ginger chicken, XO Long beans and Sake braised mushrooms. All their sushi is great too and the Won ton tuna decker is a crowd favorite.

Chinois (Santa Monica) - all kinds of dishes with a fancy flair here. Chicken salad, Wok charred wild salmon, Grilled free range chicken, Stir-fried mushrooms and Crispy spinach are some of Wolfgang’s best creations.

American/Diner/ Comfort Food

Nichols (Marina del Rey) - like Denny’s but with awesome quality. I think they have great chicken soup, make your own omelettes, as well as Greek and Barbeque chicken salads.

The Counter (various locations) - at this spot your burger is custom made. I like the chicken, turkey and veggie burgers, with all kinds of veggie toppings like sautéed mushrooms and roasted red peppers, also on a bed on lettuce instead of a bun.


Literati Café (Brentwood) -I’ll choose oatmeal with fresh fruit or “design your own”egg white omelette here and this bright and sunny cafe. All their soups are yummy too and my husband loves the turkey asparagus affair sandwich and the hash browns.

Java Man(Hermosa Beach) - a fantantic local café, with homemade baked goods. Any of their low fat or fat free/sugar free muffins of the day rock! Coffee is sensational as well.

Beach 26 (Marina del Rey) - this place has a chabby chic décor and I dig the Far east Salad or House blend salad and Carrot cake for dessert.


Petro’s (Manhattan Beach) A semi-swanky Greek/ Mediterranean restaurant which has great Fasolatha (vegetable bean) soup, Chicken Souvlaki (kabobs) that are really delicious and my parents think the grilled lamb sandwich is to die for!


Fritto Misto (Santa Monica or Hermosa) - A cozy Italian venue. I love the Misto salad here and they have a create your own pasta menu, where I’ll do grilled chicken, mushrooms, artichokes with marinara sauce.

Maria’s Italian Kitchen (various locations) - Maria’s restaurants have been around for awhile and have great Chopped salad, Minestrone soup and the Chicken Michelangelo with sautéed spinach and mushrooms (light on the oil) is amazing.


Taste (West Hollywood) -at this quaint little venue for starters I love the Grilled artichoke, Chicken tortilla soup or the Grilled romaine salad and entrée’s which are great include the Pan seared Alaskan salmon, Chopped sabrosa salad (like Mexican chicken salad) or Grilled chicken marsala.

Hal’s Bar and Grill (Venice) - Manuel’s Salad (with wonderful fruits and goat cheese), the Pan roasted breast of chicken, roasted Atlantic halibut and the turkey burger are all standouts at this jazzy joint.


Ragin Cajun (Hermosa Beach) - a big time favorite of my husband’s and I, this authentic eatery has awesome Gumbo soup, Blackened chicken salad and Red beans and rice with vegetables.


Bamboo(West Los Angeles) - a great place to hit on Friday or Saturday night with relaxed atmosphere. The Mushroom soup, Caesar salad and Yucatan chicken or salmon that come with grilled veggies, plantains and black beans are like nothing I’ve ever tasted.


Tender Greens (Culver City)- this place uses very fresh ingredients, many of which are local and organic. All the salads are wonderful, as are the Grilled veggies and Rustic chicken soup.


Mariana & Nick February 26, 2009 at 3:21 PM  

Good to know! Whenever we go back to CA will have to try some of them ;)

Fran Cotton,  March 16, 2009 at 4:02 PM  

Yeah ! A really good list of restaurants and suggestions for healthy foods that taste good.
Thanks Marie.

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