16 Superstar Los Angeles–Area Wine Lists

In a city of showstoppers, these L.A. restaurants steal the spotlight with stellar wine selections
16 Superstar Los Angeles–Area Wine Lists
The gregarious Wolfgang Puck has contributed immensely to the L.A. scene. (Gary Moss)
Mar 15, 2016

Updated: Feb. 27, 2020

The City of Angels and its surrounding area have become a culinary mecca. With its combination of top-notch local wines, laid-back California attitude and a reputation for nightlife, it’s no wonder why the Greater L.A. dining scene is tough to beat. We’ve selected 16 Wine Spectator Restaurant Award winners from around the Los Angeles metro area whose wine lists will dazzle any enophile.

To check out more wine-and-food destinations around the world, see Wine Spectator’s nearly 3,800 Restaurant Award–winning picks, including the 100 Grand Award recipients worldwide that hold our highest honor.

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

Steak with organic vegetable gratin and a glass of red wine at Capo
Vanessa Stump
Capo serves an Italian-infused menu of dishes like steak with vegetable gratin and asparagus with potato, parsley and garlic.

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 list has been a labor of love for more than two decades. Wine director Kalani Lau’s list, particularly strong in California, Burgundy, Bordeaux and Italy, teems with mature vintages, and the Italian pages include prizes such as numerous Gaja single-cru bottlings. Also impressive is the selection of half-bottles and large formats from around the world, which fill a combined 10 pages. Marrying Italian cuisine with California sensibilities, chef and owner Bruce Marder’s menu includes homemade pastas, fresh seafood and grilled meats.


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

Spago Beverly Hills’ display cellar in the dining room
Roger Davies
Feast your eyes on the 15,200-bottle cellar as you feast on regional American cuisine at Spago Beverly Hills.

The flagship restaurant of Wolfgang Puck and Barbara Lazaroff, Spago Beverly Hills has won a Grand Award since 2010. Wine director Phillip Dunn captains the 2,800-selection list, which features wines from California, France, Italy and Germany to pair with chef Ari Rosenson’s regional American cuisine. A particular highlight of the wine list is its vast array of Rieslings, which exceeds 400 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.montagehotels.com/lagunabeach/dining/studio
Open Dinner, Tuesday to Sunday
Grand Award

An overview of the dining room at Studio
Barbara Kraft
Explore wine stars from Burgundy, California, the Rhône and more on Studio's Grand Award–winning list.

Looking for waterfront dining in Laguna Beach? Studio at Montage Laguna Beach pairs panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean with a Grand Award–winning wine program. The 2,000-selection wine list, assembled by assistant director of food and beverage Chris Zimmerly, excels in Burgundy, California, the Rhône, Bordeaux, Italy and Spain. The robust half-bottle selections include Château Lafite Rothschild Pauillac 1959; for smaller samplings, nearly 30 pours are offered by the glass. Chef Ben Martinek infuses international cuisine with California influences, resulting in dishes such as braised Mediterranean octopus carpaccio, slow-roasted pork belly with polenta and fennel-dusted salmon with local citrus.


Wally’s

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

Guests eating and drinking at Wally’s
Andrea D'Agosta
Wally’s in Beverly Hills is part retail, part restaurant.

Connected to powerhouse retailer Wally’s Wine & Spirits, Grand Award winner Wally’s Beverly Hills boasts a 3,500-selection list and Provence-inspired cuisine in a dining space with bottle-studded walls. Wine director Matthew Turner guides the wine program and its 45,000-bottle inventory, which is particularly strong in choices from California, Bordeaux, Burgundy, the Rhône, Italy and Champagne. 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. More than 180 wines are offered by the glass, prime for pairing with chef Ryan Kluver’s menu of sharable appetizers, pizzas and meat and seafood entrées, though guests are also encouraged to shop for provisions with a glass in hand. A sister location of Wally's, which opened in Santa Monica in fall 2018, holds a Best of Award of Excellence.


AnQi by House of An

3333 Bristol St., Costa Mesa, Calif.
Telephone (714) 557-5679
Website www.anqibistro.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 its Best of Award of Excellence–winning 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, executed by chef Ron Lee. Wine director Peter Meemalayath guides the 485-selection wine list, with strengths in California, France and Italy. An is also behind two Restaurant Award–winning locations of Crustacean including one in Beverly Hills, where she debuted a tasting-menu concept called Dà Lat Rose in November 2019.


The Bazaar by José Andrés

SLS Hotel Beverly Hills, 465 S. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles, Calif.
Telephone (310) 246-5555
Website www.thebazaar.com
Open Dinner, daily
Best of Award of Excellence

Set tables in the dining room at the Bazaar by José Andrés
The Bazaar by José Andrés
Chef José Andrés' distinct cuisine shines at the Bazaar.

At Best of Award of Excellence winner the Bazaar by José Andrés, located in an indoor piazza at the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills, chef José Andrés puts a playful spin on refined Spanish cuisine. For starters “not your everyday caprese” comes with “liquid mozzarella,” and a section of “cones” include caviar and bagel-and-lox versions. Wine director Andy Myers’ 345-selection list provides a more traditional counterpart to the outré menu, with gems from Spain and France, as well as several Sherry choices by the glass and bottle.


Majordōmo

1725 Naud St., Los Angeles, Calif.
Telephone (323) 545-4880
Website www.majordomo.la
Open Dinner, daily
Best of Award of Excellence

A spread of small plates at Majordōmo
Majordōmo
Majordōmo's menu ranges from small bites to larger dishes meant to share.

Funky flavors meet top-tier wines at David Chang’s numerous venues across the United States, Canada and Australia, including seven Restaurant Award winners. At Majordōmo, expect playful plates highlighting Asian ingredients, like egg salad with salmon roe, fried cauliflower with fish sauce¬–vinaigrette and chicken sandwiches on King’s Hawaiian rolls. Chef Jude Parra-Sickels runs the kitchen, while wine director Ken Howell manages the Best of Award of Excellence–winning wine program. The 435-selection list excels in France, Italy and California. Momofuku unveiled another outpost of the concept, Majordōmo Meat & Fish, in Las Vegas’ Palazzo at the Venetian Resort in December 2019.


Maude

212 S. Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills, Calif.
Telephone (310) 859-3418
Website www.mauderestaurant.com
Open Dinner, Tuesday to Saturday
Best of Award of Excellence

Wine director Andrey Tolmachyov opening a bottle in Maude’s cellar
Ray Kachatorian
At Maude, wine director Andrey Tolmachyov manages a list of 705 selections.

Wine is the driving force behind celebrity chef Curtis Stone’s flagship restaurant, Maude. Chef Chris Flint’s seasonally rotating menus are each inspired by a wine region. The team treats guests to a deep dive into the featured region through a tasting menu that starts at $125 and wine pairings sourced from the respective region. A broader selection is available on the 700-wine list overseen by wine director Andrey Tolmachyov, which excels in France, Italy, California and Spain. Maude is one of Stone’s two Best of Award of Excellence winners in Los Angeles; he also owns Gwen Butcher Shop & Restaurant, a seasonal steak house about a 30-minute drive away.


Michael’s on Naples

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

Guests dining outdoors at Michael’s on Naples
Michael’s on Naples
There's plenty of outdoor dining space for soaking in the California sun at Michael's on Naples.

Looking for great Italian in Long Beach? Head to Best of Award of Excellence winner Michael’s on Naples. The pastas, sausage and mozzarella and gelato on chef Eric Samaniego 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 aged bottles from Giacomo Borgogno & Figli Barolo Riserva and verticals from Tenuta San Guido.


Napa Rose

Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel, 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
Best of Award of Excellence

Disneyland is where dreams come true, including memorable meals with fine wines. Disney’s sprawling Grand California Hotel hosts upscale California fare and an extensive wine list at the elegant Napa Rose. Promoted to Best of Award of Excellence in 2017, the restaurant features an 1,100-selection list from sommelier Eric Quezada, with focuses on California and France, especially Bordeaux and Burgundy. There’s also a cozy lounge for enjoying the list alongside chef Andrew Sutton’s regional American fare.


NoMad Los Angeles

649 S. Olive St., Los Angeles, Calif.
Telephone (213) 358-0000
Website www.thenomadhotel.com/los-angeles
Open Lunch and dinner, daily
Best of Award of Excellence

Roast duck at the NoMad Los Angeles
NoMad Los Angeles
NoMad Los Angeles is a stylish destination with creative dishes and a mighty wine list.

The NoMad hotels in New York, Las Vegas and Los Angeles all house Best of Award of Excellence–winning restaurants, but NoMad Los Angeles is extraordinary. The wine program presents nearly 3,800 selections, making it the city’s largest Restaurant Award–winning list. And according to wine director Ryan Bailey, the restaurant features the largest Champagne selection of any wine list in the world, spanning 30 pages and covering a broad spectrum of styles and producers. That strength is matched by standouts in Burgundy, California and Germany, making for an abundance of food-friendly bottlings to match with chef Rudy Lopez’s cuisine. The menu is loaded with luxuries, from black truffles served over risotto or tagliatelle to uni service. Opened by chef Daniel Humm’s Make It Nice group (which includes Grand Award winner Eleven Madison Park), the restaurants were acquired by the proprietor of NoMad hotels, Sydell Group, in late January 2019.


Osteria Mozza

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

Ravioli at Osteria Mozza
Osteria Mozza
Osteria Mozza is a beloved staple in L.A.'s restaurant scene

The Best of Award of Excellence–winning brainchild of Nancy Silverton, Osteria Mozza is a place for the wine-inclined to see and be seen. Wine director Sarah Clarke’s 1,450-selection list pays homage to Piedmont and Tuscany in particular, including outstanding verticals of Cavallotto and Giuseppe Rinaldi. A dining highlight is the restaurant’s mozzarella bar, where 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 and 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, which start at $135 per person. Chef Michael Cimarusti makes a point of sourcing wild-caught fish and other sustainable ingredients for his seafood-centric cooking. Wine director David Osenbach oversees the 730-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 Dinner, daily
Best of Award of Excellence

The dining room at Redbird
Redbird
Redbird is a happening spot that focuses on regional ingredients.

Nestled between Los Angeles’ Chinatown and downtown neighborhoods, 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, orange wines and pours via Coravin. Wine director Ben Teig oversees the eclectic cellar of 2,800 bottles with a focus on France, California and Italy, and a dedication to aged and affordable options.


République

624 S. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles, Calif.
Telephone (310) 362-6115
Website www.republiquela.com
Open Lunch and dinner, daily
Best of Award of Excellence

Tables by a large window at République
Ryan Tanaka
The atmosphere is chill but the wines are serious at République.

République is a juxtaposition on several levels: The building dates back to the 1920s, but the French cuisine served inside is modern and fresh, continually changing with the seasons. The atmosphere is relaxed, yet it’s the backdrop for a world-class wine program brimming with premier bottlings. The 2,200 selections primarily emphasize France, with particularly excellent collections of Burgundy, Bordeaux and Champagne, plus an additional strength in California. Wine director Sam Rethmeier builds charming details into the list, like a page of labels made by friends of the restaurant (as the list playfully notes, a “shameless promotion of people we know who make fantastic wine,”) and another titled “Tuesday night,” comprising about 70 no-fuss picks all under $100.


Chinois on Main

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

A duck dish at Chinois on Main
Oscar Zagal
Asian flavors drive the menu at Wolfgang Puck's Chinois on Main.

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 sip on wines from the 350-selection cellar and watch as meals like warm curried oysters and grilled Szechuan beef with a spicy sauce of shallot and cilantro are prepared in the open kitchen. California and France hold the focus of this Award of Excellence–winning wine list, overseen by wine director Jason Wagenseller.


Keep up with the latest restaurant news from our award winners: Subscribe to our free Private Guide to Dining newsletter, and follow us on Twitter at @WSRestoAwards and Instagram at @WSRestaurantAwards.

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