The best restaurants with internationally themed menus? The best bakery? Where’s the best place to get a burger? You, the readers of WEHOville, voted and the results are posted below.
This is our third call out of the winners of the 2019 Best of WeHo contest (there are more to come). You’ll find the previously published lists of best beauty shops, barbershops, skin care salons, spas and dentists here. And the best art galleries, cannabis shops, and dry cleaners here.
1. Cake and Art
If you had any doubts about the quality (and design) of what Cake and Art has to offer, consider that it’s where the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Ellen Degeneres, Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Jimmy Kimmel, Bill Clinton, Britney Spears, Katy Perry and Justin Bieber gratify their sweet tooths.
Glenn von Kickle opened Cake and Art in West Hollywood 42 years ago as a custom bakery (no walk in the door shopping.) Von Kickle died in 2001, and in 2006 Tom Rosa opened its doors to all on Santa Monica Boulevard.
Animal Cakes, Manly Cakes, Girly Cakes, Kids Cakes Sports Cakes, and even Erotic Cakes for those 18 and older. There’s not a cake you can’t get at Cake and Art.
Cake and Art, 8709 Santa Monica Blvd., www.cakeandart.com, (310) 571-5600
2. Viktor Benes Bakeries, 8330 Santa Monica Blvd., www.viktorbenes.com, (323) 654-5543
3. Stolichnaya Bakery, 7875 Santa Monica Blvd., (323) 656-7136
Best Burger Joint
No. 1 Shake Shack
Well, you won’t have to wait in a two-block-long line like customers did back in 20016 when Shake Shack opened its first West Hollywood restaurant. But Shake Shack continues to draw a crowd.
Shake Shack describes itself as a “modern-day version of a roadside burger stand serving delicious burgers, chicken, hot dogs, shakes, frozen custard, beer, wine and more.” And, very important to West Hollywood, it’s a roadside burger stand with lots of parking in an adjacent lot.
If animal welfare matters to you, you might find it nice that Shake Shack has a U.S. Animal Welfare Policy to ensure that that piece of meat you’re biting into came from a cow or chicken that was free from hunger and thirst, fear and distress, and able to “express normal behavior.” It also has signed on to the European Chicken Commitment, which applies only in the EU, where you can chew into a chicken knowing that it was killed quickly with an electric stunning device or a process using inert gas.
Shake Shack, 8520 Santa Monica Blvd., www.shakeshack.com/location/west-hollywood, (323) 488-3010
No. 2. Astro Burger, 7475 Santa Monica Blvd., www.astroburgerweho.com, (323) 874-8041
No 3. Five Guys Burger and Fries, 8731 Santa Monica Blvd., www.fiveguys.com, (310) 289-1175
Best Chinese / Thai Restaurant
1. Galanga Thai Fusion
Yes, there’s the food (curries, noodle dishes, soups and burritos (?). But another thing its customers like is the vibe of Galanga.
“Absolutely love this place,” said a customer in a review on Zomato (unedited here to convey the reviewer’s enthusiasm). “This place is so word of mouth and the ppl that start to eat from there are lifetime customers, the food is amazing I haven’t had anything bad from there. The ppl are really nice and that 5.95 linch menu is unbeatable. If u listen to nothing else ive said listen to this ‘penang curry’ ‘pad kee mo’.”
Galanga Thai Fusion, 7440 Santa Monica Blvd., www.galangathaifusion.weebly.com/, (323) 851-4355
2. Kung Pao Bistro, 7853 Santa Monica Blvd., www.kungpaobistro.com, (323) 848-9888
3. Chin Chin, 8618 Sunset Blvd., www.chinchin.com, (310) 652-1818
Best Mexican Restaurant
1. Tortilla Republic
Once home to Fat Fish, the Japanese restaurant that closed overnight, since 2011 this spot on Robertson Boulevard has housed a restaurant that offers modern Mexican cuisine. That means the meat is all-natural and the vegetables are organic and locally grown.
It’s not just the tacos, fajitas and ensaladas that people come to Tortilla Republic for. You’ll notice most nights that all the stools along the bar are taken. They are filled with people waiting to imbide one of Tortilla Republic’s “signature” margaritas – a combination of Herradura Double Barrel aged tequila, Cointreau, fresh agave, and lime. Or perhaps the “Spicy Senorita” Mezcal cocktail, or a Mexican mojito.
Tortilla Republic, 616 N. Robertson Blvd., www.tortillarepublic.com, (310) 657-9888
2. Marix Tex Mex Café, 1108 N. Flores St., www.marixtexmex.com, (323) 656-8800
3. Guisados, 8935 Santa Monica Blvd., www.guisados.com, (310) 777-0310
Best Japanese Restaurant
Nobuyuki “Nobu” Matsuhisa, the founder of Nobu, was born in Japan, opened a restaurant in Peru, and then one in Alaska (which burned down two weeks after its opening). So then it was off to sunny L.A., where he moved in 1977. Now he has restaurants not only on La Cienega Boulevard, which he opened in 1987, but in Budapest, Dubai, Greece, Hawaii, Hong Kong, London, Milan, Qatar, Texas, the Philippines., and even Moscow. That’s proof, if any is needed, that his blend of traditional Japanese dishes with Peruvian ingredients is popular not just to the Hollywood celebrities who dine at his La Cienega location.
Nobu, 903 La Cienega Blvd., www.noburestaurants.com, (310) 657-5711
2. Katana, 8439 Sunset Blvd., www.katanarobata.com, (323) 650-8585
3. Jinpachi, 8711 Santa Monica Blvd., (310) 358-9134
1. Vito’s Pizza
Vito’s Pizza is back on the top of the “best pizza” list. I “Vito’s pizza come in one size only, BIG!,” it boasts. “Dough made fresh daily and hand-tossed into an 18” pie.”
Vito di Donato ran his pizzeria in Silver Lake for a decade before packing up and moving to La Cienega, where it has become a hit for its New York City authenticity (yes, pizza no longer is just an Italian food) and for the friendliness of the folks who work there. The menu includes classics like the Margherita and the Pepperoni. And of course, because it’s LA, there’s a gluten-free version and one that’s “veggie only.”
Vito’s Pizza, 846 La Cienega Blvd., www.vitopizza.com, (310) 652-6859
2. Fresh Brothers, 8613 Santa Monica Blvd., www.freshbrothers.com, (310) 652-5252
3. Z Pizza, 8869 Santa Monica Blvd., www.zpizza.com, (310) 360-1414
Best Outdoor Dining
1. Kitchen 24
The food on the menu at Kitchen 24 is great, but from the patio outside you can also get a taste of that “eye candy” (absolutely free!)
David Dickerson, the owner of Kitchen 24, is still in the process of turning the outdoor dining area into a community gathering space. It’s been a popular place because of the outdoor tables and chairs (and sun-blocking umbrellas). But there’s also a fire pit, and a bar is coming soon.
K24 also stands out for its customer service, with a staff that, if you’re a regular, you’ll begin to see as family.
Kitchen 24, 8575 Santa Monica Blvd., www.kitchen24.info, (424) 777-0959
2. The Conservatory, 8289 Santa Monica Blvd., www.conservatoryweho.com, (323) 654-0020,
3. Gracias Madre, 8905 Melrose Ave., www.graciasmadre.co, (323) 978-2170.