Get Ready, Get Set, Go! Dine L.A. Starts Today

The magazine’s restaurant critic helps us decide where to make reservations this week.

Beginning today, and until Friday, July 26, hundreds of L.A. restaurants are participating in Dine L.A. During these two weeks, restaurants across the city roll down their prices. For diners, it’s a way to taste an old favorite without breaking the bank. And it allows restaurants to offer new, potential guests a taste of what they can do. Some restaurants offer deals only for lunch; others for dinner.

So how to pick which spots to make reservations at when there are over 300 possibilities? We combed through Los Angeles magazine restaurant critic Patric Kuh’s reviews for some guidance.

BOUCHON (2/2010): “Unlike haute gastronomy, which can be tortured and overthought, everything about [the food at Bouchon] food—as sharp and functional as bacon drippings deglazed with vinegar to make the dressing for a frisée aux lardons salad—communicates that eating is about uncomplicated pleasure.”

CLEO (1/2011): “[Chef] Danny Elmaleh has been mining his Israeli and Japanese-Moroccan background since Celadon, a restaurant that never caught on… His kibbeh, lamb meat pounded with bulgur, has the silky heft of the Lebanese original. An impresario bravado whirs throughout [Sam] Nazarian’s ventures, but Cleo is his most personal project yet.”

LOTERIA GRILL (1/2008): “In the best Mexican food, seasonings build on one another. There is a constant interplay between the depth of flavor that comes with long cooking times and the brightness lent by herbs and the zing of chile heat. [Chef/owner Jimmy] Shaw … is a master of this fundamental exchange.”

CRAFT (6/2009): “Probably the greatest surprise of Craftbar is the uncompromising subtlety that arcs over the eight sections of the one-page menu, uniting dishes that are intended as bar food … with dishes that could serve as miniature main courses … At times the grace note is almost invisible … [other times it] can be more showy.”

POST & BEAM (4/2012): “At its best Armstrong’s cooking makes no claims about where it comes from, leaving the chef free to draw on shared culinary customs and philosophies. It’s a direct style full of subtle technique.” Dine L.A., official site.