By Sheryl Craig
Dining out is one of the may ways families stay connected. Restaurants in LA are used to the mixed company of adults and children among its dining rooms. Without compromising cuisine, distinguished chefs, and ambiance, parents have a variety of restaurants at their fingertips for a family dining experience. Today’s kids’ menus are more than chicken nuggets and fries (although still on many menus for those picky eaters). Chefs are creating menus that keep the kids engaged and interested in taste and ingredients. Here are the top five kids menus to keep on your radar.
9201 Sunset Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90069
ROKU is known for its contemporary Japanese cuisine and one of the best omakase experiences in Los Angeles, the restaurant’s master Teppan chefs prepare an esteemed teppanyaki dining adventure that suits families of all ages. ROKU’s special okosama (kids menu), designed for children 12 and younger offers a selection of classic Japanese dishes including sesame chicken noodles, organic Jidori chicken breast, Faroe Island salmon, hibachi shrimp and filet mignon. Each meal is served with miso soup, seasonal vegetables, hibachi shrimp and steamed or fried rice. The kid’s menu is available Monday through Saturday, 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., and all night Sunday.
The Mar Vista
12249 Venice Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90066
The Mar Vista provides both children and adults a taste of the cultural melting pot where the restaurant resides. The menu pulls together a variety of ethnic influences and locally sourced seasonal produce from farmers markets and ingredients from Los Angeles. Executive chefs D. Brandon Walker, Jill Davie and Jorge Rivas carefully crafted a menu specifically for kids that features a veggie bowl prepared with veggie noodles, white rice and a sweet and sour sauce, crispy fried calamari complemented by a zesty lemonaise for dipping, mac and cheese, turkey chili nachos, carrot strings and a vanilla ice cream caramel sundae.
JINYA Ramen Bar
11239 Ventura Blvd.
Studio City, CA 91604
JINYA Ramen Bar is a stand out among the diverse Los Angeles ramen landscape. From its signature and indulgent black tonkotsu bowl (a secret recipe that requires the broth to simmer for 10 hours from JINYA’s CEO/Founder Tomonori Takhashi) to an array of rich ramen soups, tsukemen ramen dish consisting of cold noodles served separately from the broth, and rice or noodle bowls and shareable tapas, JINYA also offers a kid’s meal that is both satisfying and tasty. Aimed to please a child’s palette, the meal includes chicken ramen with spinach and corn, pork chashu rice, crispy chicken, French fries, an orange slice, a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a piece of candy.
Related: Best Sushi In Little Tokyo
119 Culver Blvd.
Playa Del Rey, CA 90293
Just a quick walk from the beach, Playa Provisions by “Top Chef” winner Brooke Williamson and her husband/co-chef-owner Nick Roberts, is super kid-friendly and ideal for take-out for school, picnics or weekend chill time with the family. The Playa del Rey restaurant features a kids menu of elevated yet fun sandwiches with options including an egg in a hole (available on weekends), grilled cheese on brioche, PB&J on brioche, and a kids burger. At Small Batch, the ice cream shop located within Playa Provisions, kids can also enjoy scoops of housemade ice cream like Cereal Killer (a riff on the popular Lucky Charms cereal) and fun frozen treats such as popsicles, shakes, and delicious ice cream sandwiches.
Ray’s & Stark Bar
5905 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Located just a few steps from LACMA’s iconic Urban Lights installation, Ray’s and Stark Bar makes perfect sense for patrons with kiddos to have lunch or a snack after spending an afternoon in the exhibits and roaming the various galleries. While Ray’s and Stark features globally-inspired fare and exotic pizzas from Executive Chef Fernando Darin that adults prefer, the patioed restaurant welcomes kids to order from its Kids Table menu — choose chicken tenders and French fries, macaroni & cheese, burgers and cheese pizza.