Wondering where you should be eating in Los Angeles right now? You’re in the right place. The Infatuation Hit List is your guide to the city’s best new restaurants.
And when we say “best new restaurants,” we mean it. Because we’ve tried every single one of these places - and we’ve also left off countless spots that simply aren’t as worthy of your time and money.
The Hit List is our record of every restaurant that’s opened in the past year that we’d highly recommend you try. This guide is sorted chronologically, so at the top you’ll find our latest entries to this list (the newest spots), and as you keep scrolling you’ll find the places that are on the older side - but are great enough that we still haven’t stopped talking about them.
New to The Hit List (as of 2/20): Jaffa, Triple Beam Pizza, Night + Market Sahm, Majordomo, The Mezzanine at Hotel NoMad.
All restaurants featured on The Infatuation are selected by our editorial team. The Hit List is presented by the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express. Click here to learn more about the benefits you get from paying with a Premier Rewards Gold Card while dining out.
Jaffa is our favorite Middle Eastern restaurant to open in LA since Mh Zh. Located in the middle of 3rd Street, Jaffa serves modern Israeli food that’s definitely on the healthier side - but doesn’t taste healthy. From their housemade kubaneh bread to the North African chickpea stew to the lamb couscous, this food is exactly what you want in the middle of a tough week. The very pretty space feels sort of like a fancy ocean-adjacent cafe, and would be great for anything from date night to after-work snacks to drinking wine on the front patio.
Triple Beam is an order-at-the-counter pizza spot in Highland Park (opened by Nancy Silverton and the Everson Royce Bar people), and is serving some of the best new pizza LA has seen in a while. It’s Roman-style, meaning the pieces are rectangular and cut by scissors, everything is priced per ounce, and you dictate the size of your piece simply by holding up your hands. And since there are only five different pizzas, you can order the whole menu for under $30. There’s also a great back patio and plenty of wine, making this a great, low-key spot to grab a dinner with friends.
Night + Market Sahm2533 Lincoln Blvd
Venice isn’t exactly a hotbed of quality Thai restaurants, so it’s a big deal that one of LA’s coolest Thai spots, Night + Market, opened their third location down near the beach. If you’ve been to one of their other restaurants, then you know the deal at Night + Market Sahm - great Thai food, occasionally with a modern twist (drunken noodles come with pastrami, and there’s personal-sized peking duck pizza). The bright space on Lincoln is already slammed, with hour plus waits on weekends, but once you do get seated, food comes out quickly (if occasionally in a random order), service is efficient but friendly, and there’s plenty of natural wine to drink. If you live in the area, this is about to be your regular spot.
Majordomo is a new restaurant in Chinatown from the team behind Momofuku, the group of Korean-inspired restaurants born in NYC. Getting a table here is harder than getting tickets to Beyonce’s Coachella right now, but know that it’s worth the wait. The drinks are excellent, the service is already a well-oiled machine, and the menu, while a bit all over the place, is soul-curingly fantastic. Focus on the bing section (grilled bread and dips), the vegetables, and the section where everything is just massive cuts of meat that feed four to six people. Definitely come to Majordomo with a group.
The Mezzanine is the main restaurant at the new, just-arrived-from-NYC NoMad Hotel downtown, and it’s more than survived the journey. The menu is a combination of imports from the original (the very rich roast chicken for two with truffle stuffed under the skin), and new LA-specific dishes (fava bean hummus), and despite our coastal differences, it all works well together. The whole operation already feels like a well-oiled machine, with fantastic food, excellent service, and a crowd that runs from people doing after-work business drinks to dates sharing one of the cocktails for two that comes served in a giant rooster. It’s all as over-the-top as it sounds, but manages not to be particularly pretentious either.
Rinjani is a new Glendale restaurant you should know about. It’s a casual space, just off Brand, doing pretty classic takes on Indonesian staples. Which means excellent satays, solid nasi goreng (Indonesian fried rice), and a beef rendang we’re still thinking about. It’s a friendly spot - the owner/chef will probably wave at you from the kitchen - and a great new option for lunch if you work in the area, or dinner when you’re looking for something different.
We’re not going to complain about the arrival of another coffee shop with great food, and Triniti in Echo Park is the newest one to add to LA’s growing list. The whole place reminds us of Destroyer - similar minimalist menu, similar bowls containing hidden things, same coffee machine that looks like a spaceship - which makes sense since the chef here once worked there. But Triniti is doing its own thing, serving excellent coffee and a small menu of mostly salad-like things. The roasted potatoes with skordalia, greens, and a poached egg are hearty but still feel relatively healthy, and the little gem dish has an XO sauce dressing we’d eat all on its own. Despite the fancy-sounding (and looking) food, Triniti feels like a casual neighborhood hangout.
Taco Window2622 W Jefferson Blvd
Taco Window is an actual taco window in Jefferson Park, run by two French guys cooking some of the better tacos we’ve tried in a while. The menu is small, with only five or so different tacos, some chips and salsa, and churros, but there isn’t a weak spot on it. And at $2.50 a piece, you can pretty much order the whole menu for $15. The fish taco, the carne asada taco, and the short rib taco are our favorites.
Pollen in Echo Park is a mostly-outdoor cafe that serves a killer breakfast. Killer is an Australian word, which is appropriate because this is (yet another) Australian cafe, in that part of Echo Park we assume is where cool musicians move after they have kids. Come here for a laid-back brunch on their patio, when you should get the bacon and eggs, which comes with very thick, salty bacon and halloumi cheese, and the lemon-poppy pancakes. You can pretty much assume this place is going to be slammed on weekends.
LA is full of tiny little spots you could pass by a million times without knowing they serve amazing food. Tomboloco is a new spot that falls in this category. Located on the border of Koreatown and East Hollywood, this place is serving incredible, affordable Peruvian food. The interior is plain and it’s cash-only, but you will want to drink your ceviche and there somehow won’t be enough lomo soltado despite the big portion. Best eaten at lunch on a hot day.
Freedman’s calls itself a modern Jewish deli, but it’s not really a deli at all. It’s a sit-down restaurant that serves fantastic Jewish deli-type dishes that work just as well for a hungover meal by yourself on a Saturday morning as they do for a Tuesday date night. The reuben sandwich and potato latke (which comes out as a waffle) are musts, and the smoked fish plate is probably the best thing on the menu. The space feels like a classic restaurant you’d be more likely to find on the Lower East Side than in an aqua-colored stripmall along Sunset. And maybe that’s because Freedman’s itself might very well become a classic.
X’tiosu Kitchen is an order-at-the-window spot in Boyle Heights that serves fantastic Mediterranean/Mexican fusion food perfect for a quick lunch or low-key weekday dinner. Your first order of business needs to be the chicken shawarma tacos, but the chorizo kebab plate (with some really excellent hummus) also needs to hit the table. Plus, there’s a cute little front patio to sit and enjoy it all in. Just make sure you put their garlicky Toum sauce on absolutely everything.
You might know Dominique Ansel as the person responsible for the time your ex-best friend made you stand in a two-hour line for a cronut a few years ago. He clearly got some weird advice and has opened an LA location at The Grove, only instead of a bakery this is a sit-down restaurant. Despite its location, it turns out that this place is pretty great. The food is fantastic and inventive - sweet corn “elotes” come as bread filled with corn pudding, a giant hen of the woods mushroom is covered in a cacio e pepe sauce, and the desserts are unsurprisingly excellent too. It’s probably too pricey to be in your regular rotation (see also: the location), but when you want food that’s creative in a beautifully-designed space, 189 is a great choice. Oh, and you can order a cocktail made with a bourbon-injected grapefruit that they’ll burn with a blowtorch right in front of you. Which is reason enough to suffer through The Grove parking lot.
All-day hotel restaurants aren’t usually something to get too excited about, but when it involves the chef from one of the best seafood restaurants in LA, Providence, you probably should pay attention. Best Girl took over the old ground floor LA Chapter space at the downtown Ace Hotel, and though they didn’t really change much of the interior, the menu is entirely different, and also excellent. The daily crudo is fresh and fantastic and the burger is one of the best new burgers you’ll find downtown. Ideal for a non-stuffy client lunch or a quick dinner before seeing a show.
The idea of a 21-course tasting menu restaurant, with only a handful of seats, hidden deep inside a food court on the Third Street Promenade sounds questionable at best. But stick with us. Dialogue is a tiny windowless room where you’ll likely sit opposite the chefs, who’ll explain the thinking behind every course on the season-themed menu. More importantly, though, all 21 courses of the meal we had here were fantastic. Short ribs come with a blackberry vinegar, crab and popcorn come on the same dish, and there’s a dessert course in the middle of dinner. It’s $210 for the meal and $125 for the wine pairing, and the two work together so well that we’d suggest you go for the whole thing. Although you should also know that they will give you an “abbreviated” wine pairing if you ask for it. This is extreme special occasion dining, but it’s a pretty incredible experience.
Oriel is a new spot in Chinatown from the people behind Bar Covell, serving a wine list that includes bottles even your most wine-snobby friend won’t have heard of. They also serve excellent French bistro food in the modern, low-lit space (with a little patio to the side), and the friendly staff will help you pick the exact wine you want. The food sticks to the classics - cheese and charcuterie boards, frisee salads, croque monsieurs, and a truly great bavette steak. Get here for a relaxed date or a solo meal at the bar.
Broken Mouth is located in the middle of the Fashion District chaos, but it’s the kind of calm, high-quality lunch spot this part of downtown could use more of. You’re coming here for fantastic Hawaiian and Filipino food - the shrimp fritter plate is simple, buttery goodness, the spicy chicken sandwich is huge and actually spicy, and the bread pudding is worth saving room for. Plus, everything falls either at or below the $10 mark, so you won’t even feel guilty when you overorder. Broken Mouth offers full sit-down service, but the place is quite small, so full team lunch outing this is not - use it for takeout or a solo meal.
When one of our Greatest Hits opens another spot, we’re probably going to be excited about it. And when that restaurant is Republique, that’s definitely the case. The better news here is that Sari Sari store, their new Filipino rice bowl stand in Grand Central Market, lives up to our expectations. If you’re here in the morning, the Filipino breakfast sandwich is one of the best breakfast sandwiches around, and at lunch go for the lechon manok bowl, with garlicky rice and incredible rotisserie chicken. Whatever you do though, save room for the buko pie. It’s like a coconut pie, turned up to a hundred.
LA can never have enough neighborhood pizzerias, and we just got a great one in Cosa Buona, the new place from the people behind Alimento. Located in Echo Park at Sunset and Alvarado, Cosa Buona is full of locals who take over the giant booths for group catch-ups, and grab spots at the bar for low-key dates (although we suspect the walking in without a wait part won’t last long). And while the pizza itself is good (get the sausage), the real standouts are their appetizers: burrata-stuffed meatballs, chopped salad, and housemade mozzarella sticks that will take you on a sparkly unicorn ride back to childhood glory.
Rosaliné is the new Peruvian restaurant that, after what seemed like a three-year build-out, finally opened inside the old Comme Ca space on Melrose. But now we know why it took so long - this space is incredible, especially the entirely glass-covered back patio. And while the service needs some fine-tuning (we couldn’t get anyone to make recommendations), the food is good and unique enough that we’re willing to be patient while they sort that part out. Rosaliné is best done with a big group and lots of shared plates (the ceviches are a highlight, and the paella is a giant pot of magic) - just know that it can all add up quickly.
Rossoblu is a massive restaurant - both in size and in the sense that this town has seemingly been waiting for this place to open for years (they did a pop-up at Coachella in 2016). It’s operated by the Sotto people (still one of our favorite Italian restaurants in LA), but here they’ve replaced the pizzas with pastas and meats in an industrial space (that’s located in a new development in the Fashion District you didn’t know existed). Even though this place just opened, it already feels like a well-oiled machine. Get the salumi, the pork belly chop, and as many of the pastas as you can handle.
Venice locals have been doing the same Gjelina-Tasting Kitchen-Salt Air rotation on Abbot Kinney for a while now, so unsurprisingly, the entire neighborhood seems to be pretty pumped about Felix opening down the street. But it’s not just busy because people are excited about something new - the Italian food here is actually great. Don’t skip the pork meatballs to start, get a thin and chewy pizza to share, but really, you’re here for the pasta. It’s made fresh every day in a climate-controlled room that is also the centerpiece of the dining room. Yes, this sounds like a gimmick, but then you get to watch your spaghetti being made in front of you, and you wonder why all restaurants can’t be like this. And that’s before the excellent cacio e pepe even lands on your table.
Don’t look now, but while you were texting your friends about wanting to try Kismet, another modern Mediterranean/Middle Eastern spot opened up on the Eastside and it’s every bit as good as its much-hyped neighbor. Scratch that - it’s better. Mh Zh isn’t big, but the low-key Sunset Junction space is where we’ll want to be every night this summer. You can snag a counter seat by the kitchen, but our move is to head outside to one of the tables along Sunset, take in the neighborhood, and eat some of the most delicious (and beautiful) food we’ve eaten this year. Get the cauliflower and lamb ragoooo. Yes, with four o’s.
Just when you thought you had mapped out all the places you still need to try in Chinatown’s Far East Plaza, here’s another one to add to your list. Lasa is actually one of Far East’s OG spots - long before Howlin’ Rays and Baohaus appeared, this Filipino restaurant was popping up at Unit 120 on weekends. Now, 120 is no more and Lasa has taken over permanently - a development we’re pretty excited about. If you’ve never eaten Filipino food before, the extremely friendly staff will happily talk you through modern takes on dishes like lumpia, arroz caldo, and inasal skewers (chicken gizzards on sticks), and it’s the kind of place that works equally well on a fun date or with a rowdy group of friends. Make sure you save room for the condensed milk ice cream.