Owner Michael McCarty, L.A.'s answer to Alice Waters, is considered by many to be the father of California cuisine. Since Michael's opened in 1979 (when McCarty was only 25), several top L.A. restaurants have caught up to it, but the market-to-table philosophy remains. Although the furniture and decor are dated, the dining room is filled with contemporary art by Michael's wife, Kim McCarty, and the restaurant's garden is one of the city's most romantic settings. The menu changes seasonally, but you might find things like grilled Mediterranean loup de mer with chorizo and mussels, oven-roasted Channel spiny lobster with garlic-fennel potato purée, or grilled pork chop with Calvados apple pan sauce. Don't miss Michael's famous warm mushroom salad, which is prepared in various styles utilizing only market-fresh ingredients. The dry-aged New York strip is also fantastic, as are the steak frites. Tip: The cocktail program has now caught up with the times. A new list of "farm to glass" spirits features herbs and fruits grown in the rooftop garden at the restaurant.