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Best "Small Plates" Restaurant?

My wife & I were recently visiting Seattle and had an outstanding dinner at How To Cook A Wolf.
It's a small plates concept, adventurous & yummy at the same time.
We quickly realized we don't know any restaurants like this in LA, simply due to lack of awareness. Suggestions anyone? Anywhere in LA is acceptable (except the Valley, just don't make it there very often).

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  1. Yes! Go to AOC! Delicious small plates and great wines by the glass and bottle.

    8022 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90048

    1. Oh and I forgot... Orris also does this. Yummy Japanese-French fusion on Sawtelle -- strongly recommended!

      8022 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90048

      2006 Sawtelle Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025

        1. I am also a huge fan of the small plates concept, and I whole-heartedly agree with the recommendations for AOC and Orris. They're actually two of my favorite restaurants in LA. I also like Violet. There's also Mako (I'm not a fan, but it gets raves on this board) and Upstairs 2 (haven't been yet, but it's on my list.)

          Mako Restaurant
          225 S Beverly Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90212

          3221 Pico Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90405

          Upstairs 2
          2311 Cotner Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90064

          1 Reply
          1. re: recovering_vegetarian

            I've enjoyed the small plates at each of the places you mentioned: AOC, Orris, Mako, Violet, and Upstairs 2 would all be my picks. AOC and Mako are excellent all-around. Orris is great foodwise, but the atmosphere isn't as nice as the others and they don't take reservations (so there may be a wait). Violet and Upstairs 2 are both good, but they aren't in the league of the other 3.

          2. Mediteranio in Hermosa Beach has excellent Tapas from the Mediteranian region. I have to get my fix at least 4 times a year. Their service is excellent by the way, enjoy! You can view their menu online.

            73 Pier Ave, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254

            1. I'm wild about Tasca on 3rd around Crescent Heights. Great small plate food and wine place. Very tasty and the staff is very knowledgeable about their wines. Its absolutely delish, cozy and the service is great. AOC is quite good too.

              1 Reply
              1. re: rednyellow

                I have been to Tasca several times and have enjoyed it, as well.

                1. re: love2eat

                  No ones mentioned Palate in Glendale -- recently been. It's a winner!

                2. Mako on the westside.

                  3 Drunken Goats on the eastside.

                  1. different and not as chic - but for my grazing "small plates" desires - I get tapas at La Paella on San Vicente near 3rd st (bev center, not santa monica) and Izayoi on Central downtown.

                    1. Agree on Palate. 3 Drunken Goats is mostly tapas, Palate is New American, featuring local meat and produce. All delicious. For more tapas, Cobras & Matadors on Beverly. Very good, but small and always packed.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: al3xa

                        al3xa, thanks for making the distinction. I think our preferences lie towards the New American style you are describing. Another great example is Avec in Chicago, very similar to How To Cook A Wolf. Seafood, cheeses, olives, small salads, meats, etc. I'm not knowledgeable enough to know the difference, but I've been to Cobras & Matadors, while excellent, it's not exactly the "style" I'm craving (or describing).
                        I'm listing to try: AOC, Violet, Mako, Tasca, Upstairs 2, LOU & Palate.
                        I've only heard of AOC, the rest are all new to us. There are some OUTSTANDING rec's on here, I can't wait to try & report back.
                        Thanks everyone, and keep 'em coming!!

                        1. re: MahiMahiFish

                          Hi MahiMahi,

                          I'm not exactly sure what you mean by "New American" but you can check out the menu at Lou at www.louonvine.com to see if it suits you.

                          1. re: MahiMahiFish

                            Then you probably will be interested in checking out Vinoteque in Culver City.


                            And, while it may not be exactly what you are looking for, Bar Pintxo in Santa Monica would still be worth visiting.


                            1. re: MahiMahiFish

                              I agree w/ all of your "tries" and will also add if you care to try Asian small plates Yatai.

                            1. Surprised no one's mentioned Musha... hip and fun Japanese izakaya joint.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: chowmominLA

                                Hmmm... thought I attached the links... let's try again.... btw I think both locations are good, although some say Torrance is better. RVSPs strongly recommended.

                                1725 W Carson St, Torrance, CA 90501

                                424 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401

                              2. absolutely love that i found this post (from six years back); was just saying how the small plates trope is beyond the saturation point in the L.A. market and would love to see the next evolution in dining. of course 'casual upscale' is the L.A. milieu but here's to whatever is the next iteration.