Silver Lake has long been known for its hip reputation, but now the urban nexus is at the forefront of a growth surge in trendy, food-forward eateries. Here is a starter kit to kick off a culinary expedition by day or night.
- CategoryEat & Drink
- WRITTEN BYKAREN YOUNG
Italian cuisine takes on a twist at this pint-sized, modern, dinner-only eatery. One example: handmade tortellini in brodo, “al contrario” with soup-filled tortellini surrounded by a creamy sauce—the reverse of how is it is traditionally prepared. Dishes reveal a rich earthiness that pairs perfectly with a very fine natural wine list. Must Eats: radiatori with braised pork, chicken liver crostone, chicken Milanese sandwich.
1710 Silver Lake Blvd.
A peaceful vibe flows through this sleek, Instagram-worthy, indoor/outdoor restaurant and marketplace that features biodynamic wines. Menu offers globally inspired dishes of vegetables, fruits and grains with select fish and meat options. Craft cocktails are herb-centric; the list of wine, bubbly, tea and coffee selections is impressive. Must Eats: Turkish eggs, cassoulet vert, lamb chops.
1620 Silver Lake Blvd.
Dining here is like being on top of a tree house or in a really cool mountain cabin, whether eating on the rustic, plant-lined patio or in the bi-level dining room, which features an open kitchen and communal bar. The Asian-influenced menu is filled with an eclectic selection of shareable plates and a fine list of wine, sake and beer. Must Eats: Korean fried chicken, coconut black rice, patatas bravas.
2764 Rowena Ave.
The name of this cafe is pronounced “mah zay,” meaning “what’s this” in Hebrew—and that’s what comes to mind upon seeing this miniscule brick corner structure with a chef’s counter and sidewalk seating. Menus are handwritten on paper bags. It’s Tel Aviv meets LA hipster. The result is inventive dishes at a reasonable price. Arrive by 5 p.m. or expect to wait. Must Eats: grilled beets & labneh and lamb “ragoooo.”
3536 W. Sunset Blvd.
This landmark eschews bells and whistles with predominately sidewalk seating. The focus is to feed the hungry masses with overflowing plates of food made from scratch—including the best biscuits and jam in town. Must Eats: messes and scrambles, egg benedicts.
3524 W. Sunset Blvd.
The plain exterior and tiny sign belie the interior of a magical, tiered patio covered by the branches of an enormous tree. Serving dinner and weekend brunch, it’s a destination for seasonal Mediterranean cuisine, wine and creative craft cocktails. Must Eats: Brussels sprouts, crispy octopus, branzino, fried chicken.
3626 W. Sunset Blvd.
Take one step into this hotspot and feel the buzz. The bright, airy interior of this seafood-inspired restaurant and bar gives way to a verdant patio anchored by a sleek fireplace, bougainvillea and birch trees. Must Eats: crab mac n’ cheese, Maine lobster roll, shrimp +grits.
3709 W. Sunset Blvd.
This chef-driven, Italian, dinner-only restaurant/bar is a stunner with a chef’s counter offering a front row view of pizza in the wood burning oven, golden shelves of liquor and wine on a mirrored wall behind the bar, and potted succulents decorating the walls. Must Eats: Cacio e Pepe, octopus, eggplant.
3705 W. Sunset Blvd.
Pastries at this colorful, casual, indoor/outdoor, all-day neighborhood eatery are made in-house; pizza is fresh from a woodfired oven; plus gourmet tea, specialty coffee, wine bar and beer. No tipping allowed—it’s built into the price. Must Eats: pizza, everyday brunch, shaved black kale salad.
3903 W. Sunset Blvd.
“Farm to table” meets the Mideast via North Africa at this charming, yellow cottage that features a bar, banquettes and a private garden patio. Enjoy shared plates, wine, sangria and craft beer, plus a soundtrack that will tempt you to sing along. Must Eats: fattoush salad, Moroccan couscous, baby back ribs.
4156 Santa Monica Blvd.
Sleek, blonde wood design suits the beautifully plated, reimagined, Mideast sharing menu with a California twist. A fine drinks list, daytime pastries and snack time bites add to the allure. Must Eats: shakshuka, jeweled crispy rice, lamb belly.
4648 Hollywood Blvd.
Spring is prime season for farm-fresh, healthy greens. Why not venture beyond “spring mix” and “spicy arugula” at the lettuce stand this year?