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16 Superstar Los Angeles–Area Wine Lists

In a city of showstoppers, these L.A. restaurants steal the spotlight with stellar wine selections
Photo by: Gary Moss
The gregarious Wolfgang Puck has contributed immensely to the L.A. scene.

Posted: March 15, 2016

Updated: June 29, 2017

With its combination of top-notch local wines, laid-back California attitude and a reputation for nightlife, the Greater L.A. dining scene is tough to beat. We’ve selected 16 restaurants from around the Los Angeles metro area whose wine lists will dazzle any enophile. These restaurants offer impressive breadth and depth across many regions, styles and vintages. To check out more wine-and-food destinations, see Wine Spectator’s more than 3,500 Restaurant Award–winning picks, including the 89 Grand Award recipients worldwide that hold our highest honor and 19 award winners within Los Angeles proper.

Do you have a favorite you’d like to see on this list? Send your recommendations to restaurantawards@mshanken.com. We want to hear from you!


Capo

1810 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, Calif.
Telephone (310) 394-5550
Website www.caporestaurant.com
Open Dinner, Tuesday to Saturday
Grand Award

Located near the beach in a historic bungalow in Santa Monica, Capo may have earned its first Grand Award in 2015, but its 2,500-selection cellar has been a labor of love for nearly two decades. Wine director Kalani Lau’s wine list, particularly strong in California, Burgundy and Italian offerings, teems with mature vintages, and the Italian pages include prizes such as Gaja single-cru bottlings Sperss 1998 and Sorì Tildin 1998. A special corner of the list is devoted to wines from the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s, and features bottlings such as Produttori Del Barbaresco Rabajà 1982 in magnum. Marrying ingredient-driven Italian cuisine with California sensibilities, chef and owner Bruce Marder’s menu includes homemade pastas, fresh seafood and fireplace-grilled meats.


Patina

141 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, Calif.
Telephone (213) 972-3331
Website www.patinarestaurant.com
Open Dinner, Tuesday to Sunday
Grand Award

Patina
At Patina, pick from the bounty of contemporary French-inspired tasting-menus from chef Andreas Roller.

Located inside the Frank Gehry–designed Walt Disney Concert Hall, Patina delivers pure L.A. luxury with its beverage program, from its extensive global "water menu" to its 1,600-selection wine list. The latter, overseen by Joachim Splichal and Martin Riese, has earned the restaurant a Grand Award since 1994 for its strengths in California, Burgundy and Bordeaux. Indulging with a large group? Choose from over 50 large-format bottles, including a 6-liter Château Talbot St.-Julien 1982 to help you mull over chef Andreas Roller’s tasting-menu options, which range from three to eight courses of French-inspired fare—or more if your party opts for caviar service.


Spago Beverly Hills

176 N. Cañon Drive, Beverly Hills, Calif.
Telephone (310) 385-0880
Website www.wolfgangpuck.com
Open Lunch and dinner, daily
Grand Award

The flagship restaurant of Wolfgang Puck and Barbara Lazaroff, Spago Beverly Hills has won a Grand Award since 2010. Wine director Phillip Dunn currently captains the 3,000-selection list, which features wines from California, Bordeaux, Burgundy, Italy and Germany to pair with chef Lee Hefter’s farm-to-table California cuisine. A particular highlight of the wine list is its vast array of Rieslings, which exceeds 300 offerings hailing from three continents. If it’s private dining you’re after, Spago’s reputation is second to none; the restaurant hosts parties from 12 to 2,500, ranging from Emmy festivities to intimate presidential dinners.


Studio

Montage Laguna Beach, 30801 S. Coast Highway, Laguna Beach, Calif.
Telephone (949) 715-6030
Website www.studiolagunabeach.com
Open Dinner, Tuesday to Sunday
Grand Award

Vanessa Stump
Explore wine stars from Bordeaux, Burgundy, California and Italy on wine director Troy Smith's Grand Award–winning list at Studio.

Looking for waterfront dining in Laguna Beach? Studio Montage Laguna Beach pairs panoramic views of the Pacific coast with a Grand Award–winning wine program. The 2,500-selection wine list, assembled by wine director Troy Smith, excels in Bordeaux, Burgundy, California and Italy. Half-bottle selections fill eight pages and include a Château Lafite Rothschild 1959; for smaller samplings, over 40 pours are offered by the glass. Chef Craig Strong infuses his modern French cuisine with California influences, resulting in dishes such as roasted veal rib eye with artichoke barigoule, brandade in kataifi with chorizo broth, and pineapple cannelloni with cilantro granité and coconut sorbet.


Valentino

3115 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica, Calif.
Telephone (310) 829-4313
Website www.valentinorestaurants.com
Open Dinner, Monday to Saturday; lunch, Friday
Grand Award

LA Splashed
At Valentino, owner and wine director Piero Selvaggio's list has earned a Grand Award for 35 consecutive years.

One of the original Grand Award winners, Valentino has earned the accolade every year since 1981. With 1,900 selections and a 30,450-bottle inventory, wine director (and owner) Piero Selvaggio’s cellar has stood the test of time, with strengths in Italy, France and California. Choices on the list range from exclusive finds like an 1891 Brunello Biondi-Santi Riserva to gems in the $50 range, including the Bibi Graetz Toscana Casamatta Red and the Antinori Braminto del Cervo Chardonnay. Menu highlights include the restaurant’s il suino spagnolo—acorn-fed Ibérico pork seared over sautéed spinach—and a dish of bone marrow stuffed with veal shank, slowly braised, served with soft polenta.


AnQi

3333 S. Bristol St., Costa Mesa, Calif.
Telephone (714) 557-5679
Website www.houseofan.com
Open Lunch and dinner, daily
Best of Award of Excellence

After experiencing Costa Mesa’s luxury shopping mall, South Coast Plaza, take a breather at Best of Award of Excellence winner AnQi. There, chef Helene An’s philosophy of "yin and yang" cooking focuses on light, fresh, seasonal ingredients for a twist on California Vietnamese cuisine. Dishes such as filet mignon pot stickers, misoyaki butterfish over organic red rice, and warm lobster mango salad define the kitchen, while wine director Stephen Ashworth guides the 440-selection wine list, with strengths in California and France.


The Bazaar by José Andrés

465 S. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles
Telephone (310) 246-5555
Website www.thebazaar.com
Open Dinner, Monday to Saturday
Best of Award of Excellence

What wines pair with foie gras cotton candy and Japanese barbecued eel tacos? Find out at Best of Award of Excellence winner the Bazaar by José Andrés, located in an indoor piazza at the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills. Wine director Andy Myers’ list provides a more traditional counterpart to Andrés' outré menu, with gems from Spain, France and California, as well as several Sherry choices by the glass and bottle.


Bouchon in Beverly Hills

235 N. Cañon Drive, Beverly Hills, Calif.
Telephone (310) 271-9910
Website www.bouchonbistro.com
Open Lunch and dinner, daily
Best of Award of Excellence

Alex J. Berliner ©Berliner Studio/BEImages
Pause to indulge in Thomas Keller's classic bistro fare and a Best of Award of Excellence–winning wine list at Bouchon in Beverly Hills.

Located just around the corner from Spago and adjacent to the Beverly Cañon Gardens, Bouchon in Beverly Hills provides top-notch French cuisine from Thomas Keller and a Best of Award of Excellence–winning wine list to match. Wine director Andrew Adelson manages the 380 selections with special focus on California, Burgundy and Bordeaux, as well as the restaurant’s "vin de carafe" program, which sources a rotating selection of wines in barrel from the cellars of featured local wine producers. Pair your pick with bistro classics such as steak frites, roast chicken, croque-madame and pot de crème from chef David Hands.


Hinoki & the Bird

10 W. Century Drive, Los Angeles
Telephone (310) 552-1200
Website www.hinokiandthebird.com
Open Dinner, Tuesday to Saturday; lunch, Monday to Saturday
Best of Award of Excellence

Hinoki & The Bird
Pamper yourself with the tranquil decor, creative cuisine and Best of Award of Excellence–winning wine list at Hinoki & the Bird.

Featuring Japanese elements like understated water features on a covered patio, Hinoki & the Bird provides a serene escape from the city. Chef Brandon Kida engineers creative dishes inspired by travels along the Silk Road, such as Japanese curry arancini, hinoki-scented black cod and butter lobster ramen. Extend your culinary exploration further with wine director Jon Cross’ 2,070-selection list, which showcases choice offerings from California, Burgundy and Bordeaux.


Michael’s on Naples

5620 E. Second St., Long Beach, Calif.
Telephone (562) 439-7080
Website www.michaelsonnaples.com
Open Dinner, daily
Best of Award of Excellence

Looking for great Italian in Long Beach? Head to Best of Award of Excellence winner Michael’s on Naples. There, the pastas, sausage and mozzarella on chef David Coleman’s menu are all made in-house, and the restaurant grows its own herbs and various seasonal vegetables on its rooftop garden. On the beverage front, wine director Massimo Aronne champions gems from Tuscany, Piedmont and California to satisfy any budget, from a variety of value-minded picks under $50 to a vertical of Borgogno Barolo Riserva dating back to 1982.


Osteria Mozza

6602 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles
Telephone (323) 297-0100
Website www.mozzarestaurantgroup.com
Open Dinner, daily
Best of Award of Excellence

The Best of Award of Excellence–winning brainchild of Nancy Silverton, Joe Bastianach and Mario Batali, Osteria Mozza is a place for the wine-inclined to see and be seen. Wine director Sarah Clarke’s 1,400-selection list pays homage to Piedmont and Tuscany in particular, including outstanding verticals of Cavallotto Barolo Vignolo Riserva and Marchesi di Grésy Barbaresco Gaiun Martinenga. A dining highlight is the restaurant’s mozzarella bar, where chef Nancy Silverton has composed a long list of small dishes featuring fresh imported mozzarella, as well as ricotta and cream-filled burrata.


Providence

5955 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, Calif.
Telephone (323) 460-4170
Website www.providencela.com
Open Lunch, Monday to Friday; dinner, daily
Best of Award of Excellence

At the Best of Award of Excellence–winning Providence, the venue is white tablecloth and the focus is seafood tasting menus. Chef Michael Cimarusti makes a point of sourcing wild-caught fish and other sustainable ingredients for his cooking. Wine director David Osenbach oversees the 700-selection wine list, which has strengths in Burgundy, California and France, plus Germany and Austria.


Redbird

114 E. Second St., Los Angeles, Calif.
Telephone (213) 788-1191
Website www.Redbird.la
Open Lunch, Saturday to Sunday; dinner, daily
Award of Excellence

Redbird/Joliet
This happening spot focuses on regional ingredients.

Nestled between Chinatown and downtown in Los Angeles, Redbird is housed in a former cathedral-turned-event-space. Chef Neal Fraser manages a menu that ranges from small snacks to family-style entrées. The Best of Award of Excellence–winning wine list includes a wide-ranging by-the-glass program with a taste of everything, including fortified wines, sake and Coravin pours. Wine director Ben Teig oversees an eclectic wine cellar with a focus on California, Burgundy and Bordeaux, with a dedication to aged and affordable wines.


Wally’s Beverly Hills

447 Canon Drive, Beverly Hills, Calif.
Telephone (310) 475-3540
Website www.wallysbeverlyhills.com
Open Lunch and dinner, daily
Grand Award

Connected to powerhouse retailer Wally’s Wine and Spirits, Grand Award winner Wally’s Beverly Hills boasts a 3,000-selection list and Provence-inspired cuisine in a dining space with bottle-studded walls. Matthew Turner guides the wine program and its 45,000-bottle inventory, which is particularly strong in choices from California, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Italy. In terms of pricing, value-seekers take note: All of the store's wines are available for dining and priced at retail with a $40 surcharge rather than a standard markup. Over 100 wines are offered by the glass, prime for pairing with chef David Féau’s menu of small plates, charcuterie and cheeses, though guests are also encouraged to shop for provisions with a glass in hand or linger with the restaurant’s late-night menu.


Chinois on Main

2709 Main St., Santa Monica, Calif.
Telephone (310) 392-9025
Website www.wolfgangpuck.com/dining/chinois-santa-monica/
Open Lunch, Wednesday to Friday; dinner, daily
Award of Excellence

Head west from L.A. and just before you hit the beach you’ll find Chinois on Main, the daring Asian-French fusion eatery owned by Wolfgang Puck. Guests can view meals like warm curried oysters and grilled Szechwan beef being prepared in the open kitchen while sipping on wines from the 330-selection cellar. California and France hold the focus of this Award of Excellence–winning wine list.


Napa Rose

1600 S. Disneyland Drive, Anaheim, Calif.
Telephone (714) 300-7170
Website www.disneyland.disney.go.com/dining/grand-californian-hotel/napa-rose
Open Dinner, daily
Award of Excellence

Napa Rose
Napa Rose is situated in the heart of Disneyland.

Disneyland is where dreams come true, including memorable meals with fine wines. Disney’s sprawling Grand California Hotel & Spa hosts upscale California fare and an extensive wine list in the elegant Napa Rose. This Award of Excellence winner features an 1,150-selection wine list from sommelier Eric Quezada, with focuses on California, Burgundy, Bordeaux and Germany. Plus, chef Andrew Sutton offers hour-long tasting events in the restaurant’s cozy lounge.

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