Believe it or not, it is possible to find authentic New York-style restaurants in LA. Whether you’re a New York City ex-pat who’s feeling a bit homesick or a born-and-bred Angelino who’s looking for an East Coast-inspired good time, you can find a variety of eateries that bring a taste of the Big Apple to the City of Angels. Here are five restaurants that will more than tide you over while you hungrily wait for that new Shake Shack to open up in West Hollywood.
Rao’s is a century-old NYC restaurant with a cult following, and rightfully so—their Neapolitan-style dishes have been ravenously consumed by celebrities, politicians, and other tastemakers for decades. When you enter the warm, old-world environment and spot the Instagrammable dishes, you’ll feel like spreading the news. And after enjoying some eggplant parmesan or Italian sausage at the restaurant’s Los Angeles outpost, you can end the night on a sweet note with one of their legendary cannolis.
Lamonica’s New York Pizza
If you’re actively on the hunt for New York-style restaurants in LA, chances are that you’re in the mood for a real slice of NYC pizza. Look no further than Lamonica’s New York Pizza, which has been serving authentic New York-style pies to hungry UCLA students since 1980. Even the restaurant itself has a decidedly NYC vibe, as it was designed to look like a subway platform. One quick look at the gleaming tiles on the walls will make you forget that you’re thousands of miles away from the Great White Way. And after one bite of Lamonica’s Brooklyn-made dough, you’ll support the claim that New York-style slices are all about the tap water.
Nate ‘n Al Delicatessen
New York is known for its fabulous Jewish delicatessens—Los Angeles, not so much. Nate ‘n Al, however, has been serving corned beef and brisket to hungry Beverly Hills residents since 1945. Their smoked salmon is flown in from New York, and their amazing, all-beef hot dogs and delicious rye bread keep customers coming back time and time again. For a truly authentic experience, you should order the New York Sandwich, which is made up of pastrami, coleslaw, and Russian dressing. After you take your first bite, you’ll feel like you’ve made your way to the East Coast, without undergoing the long plane ride. Not only is Nate ‘n Al one of the best New York-style restaurants in LA, it’s one of the best restaurants in LA, period. With over 60 years in experience and a packed dining room every day, you can practically taste the history.
Nestled in the sleepy community of Los Feliz, Little Dom’s is a low-key Italian restaurant where displaced New Yorkers like to congregate over plates of linguine carbonara and spaghetti with meatballs. You can pick up deli items, like soppresatta and egg-salad sandwiches, at their counter during the day, but you only get the full experience when you stay and dine in the restaurant itself. After all, this will give you the opportunity to take advantage of Little Dom’s diverse menu of craft beers and cocktails.
Fig & Olive
With multiple locations in NYC, Fig & Olive is well-known on the East Coast. Their bright, airy West Coast flagship restaurant, which is located on Melrose Place in West Hollywood, serves the same signature Mediterranean dishes that have made them famous. Upon entering, your mouth will water at the sight of lamb chops, octopus a la Gallega, and goat-cheese ravioli. And as you take your first sip of wine, you may even feel like you’re enjoying a spring day in New York. After all, it’s always spring in LA.