Top Chef alum Antonia Lofaso was an onscreen favorite, and she's won us over for real with her new-American cooking at this Studio City tavern. Artful cocktails are dreamed up by the team behind La Descarga and Harvard & Stone. Lofaso's dill-flecked potato chips are a superb accompaniment. Delicate gnudi pillows--like big gnocchi--are drenched in brown butter (a good thing). Mussels are Lofaso's signature, and tasting them in a funky fennel and chile broth, we see why.
15 Best Bars: No. 4, July 2012
Is it a stylish cocktail haunt, an earnest gastropub, or a neighborhood bar? Let's say all three. Marble-top tables and an arched brick ceiling give Black Market a rustic, romantic air. The menu leans toward premium snacks like deviled quail eggs and house-made dill potato chips. You don't need to be a mixology expert to decipher the cocktails, which are inventive and carefully prepared. Good tip: For a gluttonous adult riff on a childhood favorite, try the gooey, deep-fried Fluffernutter sandwich.