Tiny restaurants are making a splash in the Southern California food scene. These spots may be small, but they have a large following, so be prepared to wait for a seat. And small in size does not mean small on taste. These tiny eateries are known for their inventive dishes and memorable cuisine. Here are a few tiny restaurants in SoCal that have caught our attention. You will definitely want to add these delicious spots to your dining bucket list.
1. Petit Trois in Los Angeles
Located in a random strip mall next to a dry cleaner, you'd never guess this charming and upscale French bistro was hiding inside. With only 21 bar seats for dining, this place gets packed so be prepared to wait. But the wait is worth it, I promise.
2. Cafe' Zoolu in Laguna Beach
Funky on the outside and chic on the inside. This little gem, housed in a quaint and intimate space, is known for having some of the best seafood in Laguna Beach.
3. Sqirl in Los Angeles
This tiny 800-square foot restaurant in the bustling Silverlake neighborhood of Los Angeles serves a mean breakfast. They are also known for their to-die-for homemade jam and preserves that you will crave for days after just one taste. Even though the space is tiny it sure draws in a crowd with a line that snakes down the block. Inside seating is limited, so thank goodness they have a few tables outside. Get cozy as this place gets packed!
4. The Old Place in Cornell
You can find this rustic steakhouse in the town of Cornell in the Santa Monica Mountains. With only 5 booths and 3 small tables you can expect to wait for a seat. Customers are not allowed to wait inside the restaurant as it is "shoebox" small, so be prepared to be sent next door to Cornell Winery until a table is ready. Once you are seated, get ready for an unforgettable meal. The food here is so fresh the restaurant doesn't even have a freezer.
5. Le Comptoir in Koreatown in Los Angeles
This little gem housed in the Hotel Normandie will knock your socks off. The menu rotates daily and features seasonal goodness sourced from local farms. There are 2 seatings per night with space for only 10 people per seating at the counter. Make your reservations far in advance as this gorgeous eatery books quickly.
6. East Borough in Costa Mesa
East Borough may be small in size, but this popular Vietnamese restaurant in Costa Mesa has a huge following. Try one of the Banh Mi sandwiches and you will instantly be hooked. Their second location can be found in Los Angeles.
7. Baroo in Los Angeles
Baroo is a minimalist restaurant that serves beautiful and thoughtful food in an unexpected area of Los Angeles. Snagging a seat can be difficult as there are only a few, so many people choose to do take-out at this splendid little restaurant.
8. Proprietor's Reserve in San Diego
This tiny wine bar in the Normal Heights neighborhood of San Diego only has 20 seats, so get ready for a cozy night at this little gem. Just because it's a wine bar doesn't mean the food isn't memorable. Show up for a wine pairing dinner and the meal will blow you away.
These tiny spots in SoCal look so charming and cozy. Did someone say date night!? If there are other tiny restaurants in Southern California that should make the list, please share in the comments. We love to get the scoop on new spaces and places.