The LA Hit List: The Best New Restaurants In Los Angeles guide image

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The LA Hit List: The Best New Restaurants In Los Angeles

We checked out these new restaurants in LA and loved them.

The Hit List is our guide to the best new food and drink experiences in LA. We track new openings across the city, and then visit as many as we can. While the Hit List is by no means an exhaustive list of every good new spot, one thing you can always rely on is that we’ll only include places that we have genuinely checked out.

Our goal is for this list to be as diverse as the city itself—inclusive of a wide range of cuisines, price points, neighborhoods, chefs and owners of all backgrounds, and the multifaceted communities within the industry. If you think we missed a great new place, we want to hear about it. Shoot us an email at losangeles@theinfatuation.com.

New to the Hit List (2/3): Layla Bagels, Farmhouse Kitchen, Saucy Chick Rotisserie / The Goat Mafia

THE SPOTS

photo credit: Layla

Layla Bagels review image

Layla Bagels

$$$$

1614 Ocean Park Blvd, Santa Monica
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Layla is a welcome addition to LA’s bagel boom (thanks for starting it, Gjusta and Courage). But this Ocean Park bagel shop isn’t just part of a trend, it’s a lovely little counter service spot with great coffee and outrageously delicious bagels piled high with the freshest produce available. And while you can absolutely order crusty-on-the-outside, cushiony-on-the-inside loosies, you’d be missing out if you didn’t try some of the open-face bagel offerings. Toppings range from classics (cream cheese, tomatoes, herbs, smoked salmon, pickled onions) to less typical stuff (lemon zest, chili flakes, PB&J, avocado, hummus). The bagel with seasonal fruit—we got mandarin wedges—plus cream cheese and honey gives us goosebumps just thinking about it.


photo credit: Kresent Carasso

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Farmhouse Kitchen

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With a kitschy interior and colorful Thai street food that looks straight out of a comic book, Farmhouse Kitchen is in a category by itself. This festive restaurant in West Adams is an import from the Bay Area, bringing over-the-top cocktails and group-sized entrees to a space decked out with artificial plants and bright pink flowers. R&B blasts inside and out at a confident-party-host volume. And the back patio is filled with people getting "content" while chomping on dishes that are tasty as they are theatrical, like overflowing volcano cup noodles and live lobster pad thai. If you're looking for a slightly club-like night out filled with lots of standout Thai food, confidently book a table here.


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This casual Beverly Grove spot comes from two Smorgasburg vendors/self-professed besties: Saucy Chick Rotisserie and The Goat Mafia. And while it’s still uncertain what to call this place for short (SCR/TGM?), there’s no question that the options on their Mexican-Indian fusion menu are excellent. The breezy, pink subway-tiled restaurant offers traditional Jalisco-style birria and glossy rotisserie chickens as a base for all sorts of things, from tacos to chutney-doused nachos to bowls with jeera rice and fenugreek esquites. The flavors are big and bold, especially when you dab on their fantastic house sauces (get the tangy tamarind molasses and the garlicky GG sauce). And though this place does operate as a lightning-quick takeout operation, there’s also a nice outdoor patio where you can decompress over a satisfying lunch—one that’s way more interesting than other fast-casual chains in the neighborhood.

Taking over Los Balcones in Hollywood, Colibri is a new Peruvian spot from the chef behind Causita and Rosaliné. Yes, it’s technically a pop-up, but it’s destined to stick around for at least a year. And considering how good the food was on our visit, let’s hope it’s even longer than that. While the chef’s other spots focus mainly on Nikkei-style dishes and modern twists to Peruvian cooking, Colibi’s menu is all about the traditional classics. Think citrusy ceviche filled with sea bass and sweet potato, briny squid ink rice, and tallerines rojos, a ragu-based pasta topped with crispy chicken thigh and homemade cheese sauce—the highlight of our night. There’s also a fun drink menu filled with pisco sours, caipirinhas, and chilcanos. Given Colibri’s central location—within walking distance to all the big theaters and across the street from the Netflix campus—this is your new go-to pre-event dinner spot in Hollywood.

If you’re a Bostonian or have spent significant time in Boston in the past half-decade, you’ve probably heard about Saltie Girl. It’s one of that city’s most popular restaurants, and now is one of LA’s newest imports, with a location right on the Sunset Strip. The choice of venue is a little puzzling—show us an Angeleno who willingly eats on the Strip on a regular basis—but it’s clear that Saltie Girl is already one of the best restaurants in the area. Yes, the menu’s too big, with a few mediocre “California-inspired” dishes (you can find better sashimi, toasts, and salads elsewhere), but the things you expect to be good from a Boston restaurant are incredible. The buttery clam chowder and lobster roll overflow with tender chunks of meat. The thick, juicy burger comes topped with pork belly, avocado, and a savory house dressing. There’s even a tiny booklet detailing their massive tinned fish collection—don’t miss the Spanish sardines in hot sauce. Your selection arrives on a beautiful board filled with whipped butter, chutney, three kinds of salt, and crunchy house bread. It’s one of the many reasons we’ll stomach the Strip to eat here.

First things first, Yang’s Kitchen is not a new restaurant. This casual Taiwanese spot in Alhambra opened in 2019 and made it on our list of Best New Restaurants that year. But after introducing a new dinner menu in late 2022, we can say with confidence that this is the most exciting iteration of Yang’s yet. If you’ve been during the day, you know how bright and breezy the space is—perfect for a quick lunch. At night, the lights are dimmed, the music’s a little louder, and friend groups huddle around tables ordering bottles of natural wine at leisure. While there are a few holdovers from the lunch menu available at dinner, like their fantastic creamy smoked fish dip and chilled tofu with roe, our suggestion is to concentrate on the “Larger Bites.” That’s where you’ll find a pepper-crusted hanger steak cooked a perfect medium-rare, peanut-y dan dan campanelle pasta, and a flaky Hainan fish rice with chili butter that has left us daydreaming for the better part of a month. 

Admittedly, we weren’t rushing to try the new Howlin’ Ray’s. There’s just way too much hot chicken in these streets as it is. But considering they're the original hot chicken torchbearer in LA, we decided to brave the crowds at their spacious new sit-down location in Pasadena. What we found was a surprisingly pleasant upgrade from their takeout-only spot in Chinatown: parking is a breeze with a huge lot around back, the upbeat staff (who can text you updated wait times) keeps the line moving quickly, and there’s a beer and wine menu that, combined with a blasting hip-hop playlist, make this a prime location for day drinking. As for the hot chicken? It’s as juicy and crispy (and spicy) as ever. Even if you end up standing in line for a bit, this place is worth planning your afternoon around.

Part Mexican restaurant, part multi-floor labyrinth, Mírate is a deceptively huge dinner spot in Los Feliz from the people behind Beverly Hills' Mírame. The three-story space has more loungey spaces than we can keep track of: There's an indoor bar area, an open-air courtyard, and even a top-floor terrace that overlooks the tree piercing the building's center. It's all very impressive, but it's the food and cocktails we're most excited about. Meant to be Mírame's more casual sibling, Mírate still has plenty of flair, as seen in the gorgeous jicama aguachile swimming in a bright jamaica broth with gooseberries. We're already big fans of the crackly lamb flautas with feta and roasted eggplant, the smoky octopus taco arabe with chorizo and chicharron, and any drink that comes from the bar—especially the floral bacanora sour or the caramely cold brew-spiked carajillo, which goes great with their corn churros.

Have you ever gotten to know someone special and thought, "wow, I wish I had met them sooner?" Well, that's how we feel about Selva, a Colombian restaurant in Long Beach that opened back in February. After our first visit, we thought it was really good, but we felt even more confident after our second: Selva is truly excellent. The fairly generic dining room is filled with dangling plants, lots of Colombian knick-knacks, and psychedelic jungle paintings that look like posters for an EDM festival. More to the point, though, everything we ate knocked us out, from pillowy, cheese-flavored buñuelos to the juicy beef skewers with warm arepas to a smoked chicken with crisp skin that seals in the juices like a Ziploc. Meals here are done family-style, which we love because there’s no shortage of delicious things to sample, including a chocolatey pudín de pan dessert that we’ll never leave without ordering. After dinner, head over to the busy bar that streams '90s MTV skater videos and makes a fantastic pineapple pisco cocktail.

There’s no lack of very expensive sushi restaurants in LA, and 715 is the latest addition to that list. This sleek, 10-seat omakase bar in the Arts District is $300 per person (before tax and tip), which is a serious financial undertaking for just about everyone. But if you’re looking for an upscale sushi experience, or just celebrating a recent Powerball win, 715 Sushi delivers something special and unique. For starters, the sushi is exceptional and handed to you by an Osaka-born chef who originally came to America to play basketball. The menu changes almost daily, but you can generally expect about ten meticulously built pieces of nigiri and ten small plates, which could include things like belt fish tempura or surf clams in a creamy miso sauce. Secondly, it’s fun here—compared to other high-end sushi spots, 715 feels like a breath of fresh air. All the staff are young, good-looking, and clearly enjoying themselves, delivering an experience that feels less like a high-end omakase temple and more like hanging with a group of friends who happen to make amazing sushi. Oh, and it’s currently BYOB (while they wait for their alcohol license to be approved).

Interstellar was already one of our go-to brunch spots in downtown Santa Monica. But now, this fusion-y Korean restaurant is a bonafide dinner destination, too. The small cafe space has rolled out a nighttime menu involving a mashup of various cuisines—there’s a lobster roll seasoned with fish sauce, creamy mentaiko linguine, black truffle kimchi fried rice, and a tender, seared branzino on a bed of ochazuke. Bolder, braver, and more ambitious than most places within walking distance of Third Street Promenade, Interstellar is a great example of a restaurant serving dishes that are as creative as they are delicious. The tiny little nook of a dining room is better suited for hot dates than group dinners, since there are only a handful of tables. But the food and shochu cocktails are all exciting enough to warrant a visit, even if it’s by yourself on a random weeknight.

This new takeout window in Sherman Oaks serves nothing but perfectly decadent, foot-long bourekas, and that's perfectly fine by us. This spot comes from the people behind Kosher burger restaurant PSY Street Kitchen, located in the same strip mall on Ventura Blvd. If you can't find the place, just look for the massive line zig-zagging around the corner. You might wait as long as a half-hour for your order, but once you taste these crispy, cheese-stuffed pastries, none of that will matter. Each buttery slice starts with an audible crackle of crispy phyllo dough, followed by globs of creamy feta that ooze from inside. Four different filling options are available: feta and spinach, mushroom and truffles, ricotta and za'atar, and brown butter with potatoes. Don’t try to choose between them. For $12 each, you don’t have to. Just get here early, order a few before they sell out, and share the leftovers with a deserving friend.

Despite having the word “omakase” in its name, the first thing you should know about this fun, casual Silver Lake sushi bar is that the omakase is not a required activity. You can easily come to this blonde wood-lined space on Sunset and order everything a la carte, which is good news if you aren’t up to dropping $180 per person on dinner. The daily nigiri, which generally land around $6 a piece, come with fresh, thick cuts, and we love the hefty hand rolls filled with things like baked king crab, fried eggplant, and white fish with truffle. But the one dish that really leaves a mark is the miso crab salmon, which resides in the “cold signatures” section. Five giant clumps of snow crab are wrapped in salmon sashimi and drizzled with truffle oil and miso dressing. Is it silly and a bit over the top? Sure, but we’ll bet it’s what you’ll be talking about on the way home.

Mr. T is a fusion-y French spot on Sycamore in Hollywood. And not only is it the first US location of a buzzy Parisian bistro, but it’s officially one of our favorite spots in the neighborhood—new or otherwise. The space, a 50/50 split between dining room and patio, is full of concrete walls, neon signs, and big round tables. In other words: exactly the kind of spot where you can exchange some light banter over small plates and sip champagne like it’s your birthday. They have a short menu of dishes that meld street food with traditional French cooking, like mushroom croquettes and chicken tsukune mille-feuille. Whether you come to drink or eat (or, ideally, both) this is the reservation to make next time you need a fun Hollywood spot with a good hip-hop playlist.

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