(credit: Off Vine)

(credit: Off Vine)


Whether it’s a restaurant hidden behind a nondescript building, one that doesn’t take reservations, or one that you must be invited to by someone who has previously eaten there, we’ve rounded up LA’s most secretive restaurants.
(credit: Off Vine)

(credit: Off Vine)


Off Vine
6263 Leland Way
Los Angeles, CA 90028
(323) 962-1900
www.offvine.com

Located just around the corner from the busy intersection of Hollywood and Vine, there’s Off Vine, a quiet English cottage painted sunshine yellow, with a charming patio and garden.The Craftsman-style bungalow was once owned by a famous showgirl, Beryl Wallace, but now serves simple, elegantly prepared California-American cuisine in a hidden oasis. From veggie lasagna to braised short ribs, the menu is wide ranging, as comfortable as home-cooking, if the home-cook was a skilled chef. Vegan options, salads, enormous grilled shrimp, and a bountiful brunch offering eggs of all types are a part of the eclectic menu. Signature dish: Chinese chicken salad, veggie burrito.

(credit: Mel Z./Yelp)

(credit: Mel Z./Yelp)


Sushi Park
8539 Sunset Blvd. Ste. 20
West Hollywood, CA 90069
(310) 652-0523

Located on the 2nd floor of a strip mall, Sushi Park is a quietly unassuming spot that serves some of the best in chef’s choice sushi – omakase – in Los Angeles. Frequented by celebrities, the restaurant serves fish that is literally flown in daily from the Far East. The precision and skill applied to preparation here resembles an even more authentic – if that’s possible – experience than the far better known Matsuhisha, but with zero pretension and a propensity for traditional sushi style. Diners will not find tempura anything here. While the atmosphere is basic, the dishes are exquisite, and it’s a good spot for celebrity watching, assuming diners can take their eyes off their sushi chef. Signature dish: scallops, blue crab roll.

(credit: Los Balcones)

(credit: Los Balcones)


Los Balcones
1360 Vine St.
Los Angeles, CA 90028
(323) 871-9600
www.losbalconesperu.com

On an unappealing Hollywood corner, hiding in plain sight, is the Peruvian gem Los Balcones. Authentic and delicately seasoned Peruvian cuisine ranges from ceviche to grilled octopus and top of the line beef cuts. Balcones’ menu mixes authentic cuisine with modern dishes in a recently updated, airy, modern dining room. A new brunch menu makes this comfortable, casual spot even more coveted. With a full range of fish dishes that conjure a Peruvian sojurn, it may be the dessert that’s the most memorable: picarones, a Peruvian sweet potato beignet topped with tropical fruit syrup is indescribably delicious. Signature dishes: Arroz con mariscos – otherwise known as fish stew, braised short ribs.

(credit: Trois Mec)

(credit: Trois Mec)


Trois Mec
716 Highland Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90038
www.troismec.com

Concealed behind an exterior that still advertises the location’s unassuming predecessor, Raffallo’s Pizza, Trois Mec offers an ever-changing five-course tasting menu by chef Ludo Lefebvre, that offers a difficult-to-get ticket to dine rather than a reservation system, provides no phone number for patrons, and has limited seating. Hidden in a strip mall in a space with limited seating and an open kitchen, tiny Trois Mec offers experimental French fare that’s unique, memorable, and on every critic’s top restaurant list. Signature dish: the ever changing menu makes this a tough call: baby corn veggie soup, wild herb tart with pistachio.

(credit: C.K./Yelp)

(credit: C.K./Yelp)


Totoraku
10610 W. Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90064
(310) 838-9881

Also known as “Secret Beef,” Totoraku is a fixed-price Japanese restaurant that’s all about raw and cooked beef. Diners won’t have to ask where’s the beef when they dine in this understated, upscale spot near the Westside Pavilion. They may need to ask how to get in, however. No reservations are taken. Instead, diners are grandfathered in meaning someone who has eaten there previously must offer an invite. This spot has a dinner party vibe, a BYOB policy, and the renowned Chef Kaz Oyama. Signage? No way – the restaurant’s facade references a closed Teriyaki restaurant. Signature dish: Steak tartare, beef tongue.

Genie Davis is a multi-published journalist, novelist, and screenwriter. She lives near the beach in Los Angeles. See more on: CBSLA | eco-exist.com | geniedavis.com | Divulge.com | Twitter.