Like knowing a hot club’s bouncer by their first name, there’s something exhilarating about having insider’s information about the restaurant industry. Of course, some of the best secrets kept silent for a reason, but here a few tips that might make your life easier, or your wallet happier.
Providence seems to be the last symbol of the Michelin Guide era in LA: pearl white tablecloths, extremely polite waiters, only the best ingredients (A5 wagyu, Santa Barbara uni, caviar…), and three-digit price tags. Fortunately, there’s a free corkage corkage policy on Monday nights so book your table ahead of time!
This might be the least secret secret deal on this list, but Sushi Gen has an incredibly affordable lunch menu: for 17 bucks, you get a plate of fresh sashimi, miso soup, rice and tofu. It could be your only chance to try their market-fresh raw fish, because the dinnertime omakase could cost you a little fortune.
Pizzeria and Osteria Mozza
Two of Nancy Silverton’s restaurants have a bar deal, which is an excellent way to sample both places when you can’t afford either. Every Sunday through Thursday, dine at the Osteria Mozza Amaro Bar and enjoy three small plates (Mozzarella, Primi, Dolci) for $35. And at Pizzeria Mozza, you can get a pizza, dessert and glass of wine for $30 when you’re having lunch at the bar.
Ever since it opened, Howlin’ Ray’s has kept people waiting in line, and then burning their tongues on Nashville hot chicken — and yet howling for more. Even on weekdays, people would wait in line hours before they opened. The secret to skip the whole thing is to call ahead and order for a large group (10 people minimum): but it should not be hard to find 9 friends who are dying to try Howlin’ Ray’s without waiting.
Papilles itself is one of LA’s best kept secrets, actually. But they also have free corkage on the first bottle every Monday, which makes it even more affordable to get a $37 three-course menu by a cool Belgian Michelin-starred chef.