Bestia | 99 Essential Restaurants 2015

photo by Anne Fishbein

Bestia

Bestia remains one of L.A.’s few true perennial hot spots. Two years in, the restaurant is still thrilling trend seekers and serious food nerds alike. The winning formula, concocted by restaurateur Bill Chait and chefs Ori Menashe and Genevieve Gergis, consists of an industrial-chic space in the bottom of a loft building on the edge of the Arts District, aggressively cheffy Italian cooking and stellar drinks both at the bar and on the wine list. This is a profoundly fun place to eat, the energy in the room matching the gleeful combinations on the plate, such as grilled beef tongue with marinated lentils and pickled Jerusalem artichokes, or the perennial favorite of chicken gizzards with roasted beets and Belgian endive. There are big chunks of meat for mains, or whole roasted fish. Or you can come in and get a simple pasta or pizza. If you can get in, that is — even on a Tuesday night the bar is four deep by 6:30, and reservations are a practical impossibility. It’s not hard to see why.— Besha Rodell