Here Are the 10 Best Places to Eat During DineLA Restaurant Week

Just follow the list and you won’t get caught in a discounted prix-fixe trap
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Dine L.A. Restaurant Week: You either love it or you hate it. Or you feel somewhere in between, I guess.

Anyways, you know the drill by now. Participating restaurants set up a special multi-course prix-fixe menu, generally for a reduced-ish price, and hordes of perhaps otherwise shut-in Angelenos flock to restaurants for two straight weeks—brought to you by American Express. But like all paths in life worth walking, it’s filled with quicksand and bear traps and that rolling boulder thing that only Harrison Ford can outrun.

There’s literally nothing worse—literally—then sitting down to a three-course meal where you get a protein-less soup, some desiccated roast chicken, a stale brownie, and a swift kick in the ass on your way out the door. That last part’s never happened to me, but the first three sure have. If you just follow this list from July 18-31, you can avoid all the trap restaurants.

Roasted carrots with chamomile jus at the Bellwether
Roasted carrots with chamomile jus at the Bellwether

Photograph by Andrea Bricco

The Bellwether ($39)
Everyone and their mom’s favorite Studio City restaurant is making a fantastic restaurant week debut: There’s a premium protein in the first course, some tasty veggie-centric options in the second, and—here’s the kicker—third course isn’t dessert. Screw the compulsory chocolate chip cookie, you’re eating steak tonight.

What you should eat:
1st: Gazpacho with chilled white shrimp
2nd: Tempura cauliflower with fish sauce
3rd: Bone-in New York steak with charred avocado ($39).

Birch
Birch’s seared lamb belly with peas and bacon bits

Photography by Andrea Bricco

Birch ($49)
Brendan Collins’ menu starts off with a good thing: a complimentary glass of wine. It’s a beautiful gesture. Then, some more signs of good faith—large-format entrees for a second course and a dessert that isn’t something you’ve (likely) heard of.

What you should eat:
Free thing: House white wine
1st: Gazpacho with rock shrimp ceviche
2nd: Hoisin pork shank with za’atar flatbread
3rd: Eton Mess

connienteds

Photograph courtesy Facebook/Connie & Ted's

Connie & Ted’s ($39)
They had me at “exclusive for dineLA specialty cocktail.” Combine that with a half-dozen oysters—which from a Cimarusti restaurant is no joke—and you got a winning combo.

What you should eat:
Free thing: Probably-delicious mystery cocktail
1st: Half-dozen chef’s choice oysters
2nd: Lobster roll
3rd: The best damn blondie in town

faithandflower

Photograph courtesy Facebook/Faith & Flower

Faith & Flower ($49)
You get to select two first course options! Semantics aside (does that make it a second course? or like, a first-and-a-half course at least?), this is a great deal at a great restaurant.

What you should eat:
1st: Deviled gochujang jidori eggs (the GOAT)
2nd: NY steak tartare with miso cream
3rd: Coconut curry ling cod
4th: Yogurt panna cotta

fogo

Photograph courtesy Facebook/Fogo de Chao

Fogo de Chão ($49)
DineLA hack: the absolute most direct way to benefit from the week of discounts is to go all-you-can-eat. There’s no shot at being disappointed by a lackluster prix-fixe menu, and in Fogo’s case, you get $12 off of an insanely delicious meatfest.

What you should eat:
All of the picanha, all of the beef ribs, all of the sausage. Don’t fill up on free bread—that’s a rookie move ($49).

fund

Photograph courtesy Facebook/Fundamental LA

fundamental LA ($39)
Ok, ok, ok, so maybe I’m the sucker here, but I totally got baited into this by the complimentary aged gouda popover with kumquat butter. Whatever, you gotta reward good marketing when you see it, and dinner at fundamental is severely underrated.

What you should eat:
Free thing: Popover all day!
First: Steak tartare with green garlic
Second: Roast salmon with cauliflower puree
Third: Coconut panna cotta

Kimchi fried rice from Hanjip
Kimchi fried rice from Hanjip

Photograph by Rick Poon

Hanjip ($29)
(See: Fogo de Chão reasoning) But also, Hanjip’s new all-you-can-eat deal is exciting because it’s going to be sticking around on weekends afterwards.

What you should eat: All the bulgogi, all the pork belly, all the kimchi fried rice. Do fill up on banchan—stuff’s delicious.

kazu

Photograph courtesy Facebook/KazuNori

KazuNori ($29)
Six hand rolls. And sashimi. That is all you need to know.

What you should eat:
1st: Salmon sashimi
2nd: Scallop hand roll
3rd: Yanaimo hand roll
4th: Crab hand roll
5th: Shrimp hand roll
6th: Toro hand roll
7th: Lobster hand roll ($29).

Squid khao soi from Pok Pok
Squid khao soi from Pok Pok

Photograph courtesy Facebook/Pok Pok

Pok Pok LA ($29)
When the first course of your meal is chosen from a category simply called “Drinking Foods,” you already know you’re in for a good time. Throw in four courses for $29 from chef Andy Ricker, and that gets upgraded to a great time.

What you should eat:
1st: Grilled corn with salty coconut cream
2nd: Fried farm egg salad
3rd: Chicken khao soi
4th: Coconut jackfruit ice cream sandwich

sausal

Photograph courtesy Facebook/Sausal

Sausal ($39)
For those of you who live in El Segundo—I’ve never met one of you, but I’m sure you exist—you have a real gem in Sausal. And now you can eat a lot of that gem for a little money, which is good news.

What you should eat:
Free thing: Rancho margarita
1st: Oxtail picadillo empanada
2nd: Beef brisket barbacoa with red mole
3rd: Spanish date cake with pecans and vanilla ice cream

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