L.A. Hot-List: 5 Casual But Insanely Delicious Restaurants

One of our favorite photographers knows where to grab a bite. As a globetrekker who has tasted foods from all over the world, Tracy Cheng knows what’s tasty and what’s not.

Facebook Umami Burger LA restaurant

The winner of National Geographic Travellers photo competition cover in 2012 is not only busy clicking on her camera, capturing the bold and the beautiful; she has also tried numerous restaurants in L.A. So much so that she has given us top 5 delicious restaurant recommendations that should belong on your hot list too!

1. Sushi Gen

422 E 2nd St, Los Angeles, CA 90012 (map, website)

Neighborhood: DTLA. Call: (213) 617-0552

I’ve heard that outside of Japan, LA has the best sushi.  Sushi Gen definitely reinforces that rumor!

Sushi Gen LA restaurant
Photo: Sushi Gen

2. Mario’s Peruvian & Seafood

5786 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038 (map, website)

Neighborhood: Melrose. Call: (323) 466-4181

One of my favorite cuisines is Peruvian food, and I have tried many Peruvian restaurants around town.  Mario’s is definitely the most authentic!

Facebook Mario's Peruvian Restaurant LA
Photo: Facebook/Mario’s Peruvian & Seafood

3. Smoke’s Poutinerie

1552 N Cahuenga Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028 (map, website)

Neighborhood: Hollywood. Call: (323) 745-0267

As a Canadian, I was ecstatic to find Smoke’s Poutinerie located in the heart of Hollywood. Not many non-Canadians have tried poutine, which I think needs to be rectified, as good food should be shared with the world!

Facebook Smokes Poutinerie Hollywood LA restaurant
Photo: Smokes Poutinerie Hollywood

4. Umami Burger

852 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90015 (map, website)

Neighborhood: Downtown. Call: (213) 413-8626

Californians may love their In-N-Out Burger (and hate me for not feeling the same way), but my vote for the best burgers in LA definitely goes to Umami Burger!

Facebook Umami LA restaurant

5. Lure Fish House

30970 Russell Ranch Rd, Westlake Village, CA 91362 (map, website)

Neighborhood: Westlake Village. Call: (818) 651-6611

As a great seafood lover, Lure definitely caught my heart (tongue?) with its many fresh seafood options.  It is a bit of a drive from central LA, but any trip to the Valley would be worth a trip to Lure.

Facebook Lure Fish House LA restaurant
Photo: Lure Fish House – Westlake

Tracy Cheng

Contributor, JST SHOP Vendor

Tracy loves photography and documenting her travels. She has lived in Hong Kong, London, Toronto and Los Angeles, and has a piece of her heart in each city.

Jetset Times in your inbox

Sign-up for our newsletter

By signing up, you agree to our Privacy Policy and European users agree to the data transfer policy.