The Los Angeles wine scene offers something for every wine-drinking niche out there. There are wine bars staffed with sommeliers who point the uninitiated to the perfect bottle with just a few adjectives. Then there are also famed haunts where connoisseurs indulge in their favorite varietals under a beverage director’s expert guidance.
The restaurants below have consistently wowed L.A. wine lovers. And while their full dining experience is still largely on pause and challenging to replicate at home, their wine selection is always available for your enjoyment — by the bottle or by the case.
8700 W. 3rd Street, Los Angeles
a.o.c. is an upscale wine bar and restaurant where the attention for both food and wine is balanced and precise. LA-renowned sommelier Caroline Styne curates the restobar’s wine list with a knowledgeable and diverse palate, always providing the perfect complements to the locally sourced, Mediterranean-style small plates served.
For a light weekend brunch affair, sit down to blistered tomato focaccia paired with French rosé. If studying the intricacies of European reds is more to your taste, dive deep into a.o.c.’s wine box sets of Spanish, French, or Italian reds.
4628 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles
According to Covell owner Dustin Lancaster, breaking into the world of fermented grapes doesn’t have to involve an encyclopedic knowledge of vintage and varietals. All it takes is a sense of adventure and a conversation—sometimes just an adjective will do.
At Covell, there are no wine lists or a complex food menu. Every nonessential element is filtered out to give each wine center stage. With playfully named 3-bottle sets like Patio Pounder (an ode to crispy whites) and Rosé All Day (the answer to L.A.’s obsession), Covell’s approach is hardly pretentious and always informed.
Extensive options will occupy wine aficionados for days. Whatever style—orange, sustainable, natural, or bubbly—you’re bound to find it.
Esters Wine Shop & Bar
1314 7th Street, Santa Monica
This quiet and cozy Santa Monica wine-bar-slash-shop has a floor-to-ceiling inventory of imported, small-batch, and high-end labels. The food menu is unfussy, perfect for occasions when you hanker for a classic cheese and charcuterie to go with a good bottle of wine.
Esters’ weekly wine and snacks packages—an earthy Camembert paired with a bottle of white Burgundy, for example—give wine lovers a welcome break at the end of a long day or week. Gift box sets are available for delivery if you’re in the mood for spreading wine appreciation to family and friends. There are also pre-paid wine club options for expanding your palate.
4648 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles
Mediterranean cuisine and natural wine are in perfect unison at Kismet. Even if you’re not a natural wine fan, the staff at Kismet will guide you through their wine list to find the perfect bottle to pair with your meal.
The food is locally sourced and has plenty of tasty options for vegetarians. General crowd favorites include the generous “rabbit for two”, fried cauliflower with caper yogurt, and cucumbers salad with cherries and rosewater labneh.
Pick up a bottle from the fresh picks selection to discover a new wine to like. For ultimate variety, take home a case of assorted wines and reserve “some for weekdays, some for the weekend.”
San Antonio Winery
737 Lamar Street, Los Angeles
A historic example of resilience, San Antonio Winery traces its roots back to a time before Prohibition, when L.A. was still wine country and not the urban jungle of today. The winery owned by the Riboli family now sources its wine from its own vineyards in Monterey, Napa, Paso Robles, and from Asti, Italy.
Sample a bottle of the semi-sweet and sparkling Stella Rosa from northern Italy, or one of the Riboli family’s own California varietals, like a Napa Valley cabernet sauvignon.
The restaurant on Lamar Street still serves up comforting Italian-American fare to go with their wines. Try the seared salmon in lemon caper sauce or the grilled lamb chops with mint balsamic glaze to satisfy your food and wine craving in one meal.
447 N Canon Drive, Beverly Hills
Hunting for an obscure vintage? Wally’s is the place to track down hard-to-find bottles for your collection. This legendary wine bar has been operating since 1968. Its longevity reflects in its extensive wine list that can match the desire and curiosity of any wine connoisseur with a palate that crosses borders and time, regardless of cost.
The food is casual American and many have raved about the truffle pommes frites, charcuterie and cheese platters, and baked French sea bass. The true gem is always wine. Stay updated on what to try next and procure bottles hand-picked by Wally’s own sommeliers.