Living in a major metropolitan city like Los Angeles offers many opportunities for authentic ethnic cuisine. Due to the wide variety of people and cultures, there is truly something for everyone. Here is a review of several cultural restaurants that aim to impress.
11645 Wilshire Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90025
India’s Oven offers a classy experience for all who enjoy Indian food. As a guest of my wonderful Indian friends, I was treated to all the best dishes. We enjoyed appetizers that included vegetable samosas and vegan saag paneer (a spinach dish that is typically accompanied by cheese). The mango lassi was also creamy and delicious. For those who are unsure what mango lassis are, they are essentially an authentic Indian mango milkshake made with mango pulp, yogurt, and spices. For those who also don’t eat meat, there are many vegan and vegetarian dishes within Indian cuisine. My party consisted of an Indian, Greek, and Argentinian and all were highly satisfied with the meal.
6602 Melrose Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90038
Osteria Mozza was a true culinary experience. I was beyond excited to try Osteria Mozza after watching Nancy Silverton’s episode on Chef’s Table. The quality in every item on the menu is undeniable. Before we ordered a waiter carrying around a basket of rye, poppyseed and white bread offered us each a piece. Having recently baked my own bread for the first time… I was infinitely impressed with the perfect texture and taste (the olive oil is imported from Italy and of the highest quality). The simple combination of bread and olive oil became incredible simply due to the quality. My mom, sister and I first shared the burricotta & spiced walnuts (radicchio, honey & fried rosemary) from the Mozzarella Bar. We were in awe of the delicious blend of flavors. We ordered the butternut squash tortellini (with dates and chestnuts) and the famed ricotta & egg ravioli (with brown butter). Both were exquisite, divine, simply perfect. The richness of flavors blended perfectly. To end, we enjoyed the bombolini (huckleberry compote and lemon mascarpone) for dessert. It is worth noting that none of the portions are huge so it was in our own best interest that we arrived already sufficiently full. Although prices are very high and portions small, Osteria Mozza is a treat worth indulging.
Neighborhood: West Hollywood
624 S La Brea Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90036
Republique feels like a gorgeous French cafe and bistro that happens to be in the middle of Los Angeles. The superbly decorated restaurant exudes a quaint and authentic vibe that could charm even the most snobby Parisian. When bringing my sister to Republique for a visit, I knew her meal, our table and maybe even the bathroom, would make appearances across all her social media. However, timing your visit to Republique is important. A line snakes its way out the front door and around the building if you try for a weekend brunch visit. My tip is to come on a weekday morning (if possible). The environment is much more relaxed and enjoyable (more similar to a true French cafe experience). My sister got their Belgian waffle and a cappuccino. Her waffle came dusted with powdered sugar, covered in fresh berries and accompanied by delicious maple syrup. I ordered a more savory option – their Pupusa (which comes with mushrooms, avocado, black beans, Oaxacan cheese, salsa rosa, and a fried egg). The Pupusa was a burst of powerful, complementing flavors. I was enamored. Although a pricy $18, the Pupusa was a unique departure from the classic Salvadoran dish. The food is delicious at Republique but it is the French cafe atmosphere that makes this restaurant worth visiting.
Le Petit Greek
127 N Larchmont Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90004
Le Petit Greek is among the few Greek restaurants in Los Angeles. Although other cities have designated “Greek towns”, such as Chicago and New York, there is no such place in Los Angeles. However, when introducing my Greek Yiayia and Papou to Le Petit Greek they were both thoroughly impressed. The roasted potatoes were cooked to absolute perfection and the grilled calamari “wasn’t chewy in the slightest” but fresh and delicious. The staff is incredibly warm and genuine, which always impacts the dining experience. We ordered the special salmon salad, which was a slight departure from the typical Greek salad. The salad was accompanied by avocado, quinoa, tomatoes, cucumbers, and feta cheese. Overall it was fresh, tasty and completely satisfying. Following the meal, we ordered Greek coffees and a unique take on the Greek dessert galaktoboureko. In addition to the high-quality Greek cuisine, the patio seating offers diners the chance to people watch and enjoy the sunny LA weather.
Elizabeth is a longtime writer and current documentary filmmaker from Los Angeles California. Knowing the greater story of all who cross her path is her inspiration. She’s deeply passionate about food and health and enjoys cooking, exercise and being active in nature whenever possible. You’ll likely find her on a hike, in a documentary screening or at the local Farmer’s Market.