The best restaurants in California, according to celebrity chef Nancy Silverton

nancy silverton

Nancy Silverton, the chef-owner behind Osteria Mozza at Hilton Singapore and the person who popularised artisan bread across America, shares her list of essential restaurants across California


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Pollo A La Brasa

“For many years I have been coming to Pollo A La Brasa to get the Peruvian spit-roasted chicken. I get this to go and to accompany the chicken, I get takeout from the Armenian restaurant Carousel Restaurant (5112 Hollywood Boulevard #107). Here, I get a variety of mezze, such as hummus, baba ghanouj, sarma, which are stuffed grape leaves, and muhammara, a Lebanese Armenian red pepper dip with walnuts.”  

Pollo A La Brasa
764 S Western Avenue,
Los Angeles, CA 90005
Tel: +1 213-387-1531

Chef and co-owner Michael Cimarusti


“This is the sterling seafood restaurant of chef Michael Cimarusti and Donato Poto. It’s a special occasion place, but I guess there are a lot of special occasions in LA because it’s always full. When I go, I just tell Donato to tell Michael to cook whatever he wants to cook for us. It’s a restaurant to make everyone feel special and their tasting menu is certainly that.” 

5955 Melrose Avenue,
Los Angeles, CA 90038
Tel: +1 (323) 460-4170


“This is Jennifer Feltham’s homage to the Sonora state of Mexico. What makes this place stand out is the tortillas. They are a signature item here. Sometimes I take them home and spread my favourite French butter (Rodolphe de Meunier Buerre de Baratte) right on the tortilla. What I usually get for my staff is the Chivichanga, which is not to be confused with a chimichanga, filled with beef or chicken stew.”

208 E 8th Street,
Los Angeles, CA 90014
Tel: +1 213-222-5071

burritos la palma
Burritos La Palma offers burritos six ways

Burritos La Palma

“While I’m in a Mexican food groove, I have to include another place with extraordinary tortillas, Burritos La Palma. The one on Peck Road in Arcadia is my favourite. The day before my youngest son Oliver was to be married, we had a party at my sister’s house with a big front yard. I called Alberto, the owner of Burrito La Palma and asked him to cater the party. Fortunately, he said ‘yes’.”

Burritos La Palma
5120 Peck Rd,
El Monte, CA 91732
Tel: +1 626-350-8286

park's bbq
Boneless beef short ribs at Park’s BBQ

Park’s BBQ

“This is my favourite Korean restaurant in a town (Koreatown) full of good Korean restaurants. The owner is Jenee Kim, and she is such a charming host. I go for the black cod stew and the kimchi pancakes.”

Park’s BBQ
955 South Vermont Avenue G,
Los Angeles, CA 90006
Tel: +1 213-380-1717

Bavel, a Middle Eastern restaurant designed by Studio Unltd


“This is the Middle Eastern restaurant of Ori Menashe and Genevieve Gergis. It’s downtown in the Arts District and I always get the braised lamb neck.”

500 Mateo Street #102
Los Angeles, CA 90013
Tel: +1 213-232-4966

At Cotogna, expect housemade pastas, grilled meats, and seafood roasted in the restaurant’s wood-burning oven


“In San Francisco, I love Cotogna, a restaurant of Michael and Lindsay Tusk, who also have three Michelin stars at Quince right next door. Cotogna is less formal, and they now have a new patio (inspired by the pandemic); Lindsay has a magnificent sense of style, and it sure shows here. As for Michael’s Italian inspired food, it’s superb.”

490 Pacific Avenue,
San Francisco, CA 94133
Tel: +1 415-775-8508

nancy oakes
Nancy Oakes, chef and owner of Boulevard


A Nancy Oakes long time classic. Boulevard is one of San Francisco’s most beloved restaurants. I love to eat at the attractive bar and soak in the warmth while devouring the lamb and fish dishes.”

1 Mission St,
San Francisco, CA 94105
Tel: +1 415-543-6084

the french laundry
The French Laundry, a 149 square-metre structure constructed of river rock and timber, was built as a saloon in 1900 by a Scottish stonemason

The French Laundry

“The French Laundry upped the ante for fine dining in America back in 1994. Nearly 30 years later, it is still the standard. The warm service, the chef’s tasting menu, and the lovely wine country setting are all strikingly good. I first “discovered” Thomas Keller’s The French Laundry about 25 years ago and was enchanted. I last ate there a few months before the pandemic hit California in early 2020.  They say that “discovery is a greater thrill than confirmation.” However, in the case of TK, the confirmation of his brilliance is a never-ending joy.” 

The French Laundry
6640 Washington Street,
Yountville, CA 94599
United States
Tel: +1 707-944-2380