Credit: L’antica Pizzeria da Michele
Credit: L’antica Pizzeria da Michele

10 Spectacular LA Restaurants That Transport You to Another Country

Dine in Paris, Tulum or Maybe Naples at These LA Restaurants

Let’s be honest—daydreaming about hopping on a plane and catching a flight to Europe is something that we all do way too often. While we are itching to plan our 2022 international travels, there are plenty of Los Angeles restaurants that use authentic flavors and captivating atmospheres to transport you to another country. Whether you’re craving a foodie adventure in the Italian countryside or a traditional dim sum dinner in Taiwan, here are 10 Los Angeles restaurants that allow you to skip the plane ticket and go for a quick escape. Best Los Angeles Restaurants

 

Lumière Brasserie

Transports You to: Paris, France 

Lumière Brasserie is LA’s latest and greatest French eatery. This stunning restaurant was designed meticulously with traditional tiled flooring, modern light fixtures and green accent chairs that complement the abundance of greenery that sits throughout the restaurant. The wine list would impress even the most particular of sommeliers, and you cannot miss out on their French onion soup and fruits de mer seafood tower. “When you visit Lumière, you’ll truly feel like you’ve stepped back in time to the Golden Age at Café Flore or Les Deux Magots,” says Lumière’s manager Paul Quinn.

Local Insight: Even if you’re not a “dessert person,” save room for the chocolate mousse. It’s to die for and probably one of the most decadent desserts in all of Los Angeles. 

Location: Century City

@lumiere_brasserie

Best Los Angeles Restaurants

L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele

Transports You to: Naples, Italy

Since opening in Hollywood in 2019, Naples-born pizzeria L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele has been stirring up quite the buzz with its authentic Neapolitan pizza. Thanks to L’Antica’s Naples-born Executive Chef Michele Rubini, the pizza is identical to what you would find at the original restaurant in Naples (or Napoli, as the true Italians call it). Take a seat on the large outdoor patio and sit under twinkling lights as you enjoy Italian wine, a Margherita pizza and their decadent Nerano pasta.

Location: Hollywood

@damichelela

Exp 2/26

 

Le Petit Paris

Transports You to: Paris, France 


Located in the heart of downtown LA, Le Petit Paris brings back Parisian nostalgia like no other. With mastered dishes like burgundy escargot and bone marrow, you’ll be tempted to fill up on appetizers alone. However, in typical Parisian-style, take your time as you sip on a Le Petit signature cocktail or glass of vin so you can save room for each course. For your entree, you can’t go wrong with the Vadouvan sea bass or boeuf Bourguignon.

Location: Downtown Los Angeles 

@lepetitparis_la

Best Los Angeles Restaurants

Din Tai Fung

Transports You to: Taipei City, Taiwan 

There is a reason why Din Tai Fung has taken TikTok by storm! This traditional Taiwanese-inspired restaurant serves up some of the tastiest dim sum in town—and around the world, for that matter. Though they have locations all throughout California, their sleek Century City location is our personal favorite. Start off light with their cucumber salad and then dive into the dumplings. You’ll be tempted to order everything off the menu, and we recommend just going for it. From the Jidori chicken dumplings to their famous Kurobuta pork Xiao long bao, you seriously can’t go wrong.

Location: Century City 

@dintaifungusa

 

Sushi Bar

Transports You to: Tokyo, Japan 

Being that their Santa Barbara location just received one of the county’s first Michelin stars, it is safe to say that Sushi Bar in Encino provides an exceptional experience. With only eight seats in the entire restaurant, guests of Sushi Bar can expect to receive an optimal amount of attention during their 16-course omakase-style dinner. Though it does not stray too far from the simplicity of traditional Japanese sushi bars, the ambiance is slightly industrial and minimalistic. 

Location: Encino

@sushibarla

Best Los Angeles Restaurants

Casa Vega

Transports You to: Mexico City, Mexico

Christina Vega has worked tirelessly to ensure her father Ray Vega’s legacy has stayed strong, specifically through their iconic restaurant’s beloved food and warm atmosphere. Since bringing Mexican food to Ventura Blvd in 1956, Casa Vega has acted as a positive and inviting escape for locals and celebrities alike. The staff truly makes you feel like family, reflecting the morals and culture of Mexican hospitality. Don’t miss out on their award-winning Casa Vega Margarita and Taquitos de Juan at happy hour.

Local Insight: Casa Vega just celebrated their 65th anniversary and was even featured in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, making it a true Los Angeles landmark.

Location: Studio City

@casavegarestaurant

Manchego

Transports You to: Barcelona, Spain

Serving up tapas and sangria, Manchego manages to bring a taste of Spain to Santa Monica. Though the inside of the restaurant is made cozy through dim lighting and limited space, pandemic restrictions allowed Manchego to expand out onto the street with a large patio that’s complete with heaters and magical string lights. For food, we recommend ordering gambas, marinated green olives and mac and manchego cheese with truffle oil. 

Location: Santa Monica 

@manchegosm

Best Los Angeles Restaurants

Taverna Tony

Transports You to: Santorini, Greece

Want a taste of the Mediterranean in Malibu? Tavera Tony is a celebrity hotspot that features traditional family recipes in an airy and transportive setting. Sit comfortably in the adorable blue-and-white building among the pink bougainvillea as you enjoy an Island Hopper cocktail and their beloved mezze plate. When it comes to entrees, definitely order Taverna Tony’s grilled whole branzino and lamb kleftiko to experience some authentic Greek flavor.

Local Insight: Head in on a Friday or Saturday night for some entertainment—you’ll just have to visit yourself to see what we mean!  

Location: Malibu

@tavernatony 

 

Tsujita Sushi 

Transports You to: Kyoto, Japan

Photo by Mahmoud Fawzy on Unsplash

Situated in a soothing, Japanese-style setting, Tsujita Sushi offers a traditional omakase-style sushi menu with fresh fish straight from Japan. The geometric pattern and neutral coloring on the walls creates somewhat of an optical illusion while sitting inside the small Sawtelle restaurant, and you will be fully immersed in the entire experience. Though Tsujita Sushi is best known by locals who have been lucky enough to discover this hidden gem, you’ll still definitely want to make a reservation before heading in.

Location: West LA

@sushitsujitala

 

Lanea

Transports You to: Tulum, Mexico

Credit: Muse Media

Though the ambiance and atmosphere at Lanea is a bit more modern, this fun and lively bar and restaurant takes you from downtown Santa Monica to a beachside resort in Tulum with just a few sips of one of their refreshing cocktails. Pair your spicy margarita with some authentic Barba Kush Cecina or asada tacos and let their handmade tortillas melt in your mouth as you envision yourself posted up under a towering palm tree. 

Local Insight: If you prefer to set the scene from the comfort of your own home, Lanea offers an amazing deal on their canned cocktails, which are made in-house. They also have some fun party packs that can even include a Mexican blanket!

Location: Santa Monica

@gotolanea

Website | + posts

Allie Lebos graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2017 with a BA in Communication. While in school she was a staff writer at The Daily Nexus for nearly two years. Since graduating she has written for The Palisades Magazine, as well as Hidden Hills Magazine. Currently living in Santa Monica, Allie loves to indulge in good food, hot yoga, and daily walks along the beach; writing articles on travel, special events, as well as features on local businesses and individuals.

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