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 5/16): Petit Trois, Rappahannock Oyster Bar, Bavel
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.
Petit Trois in Hollywood is a fantastic restaurant - except for the part where you’ll be eating at 5pm unless you want to spend two hours waiting in a strip mall parking lot. Good news: you no longer have to do that. The same team has opened a second location in Sherman Oaks, and just like everything else in the Valley, the Petit Trois over the hill is bigger in every way. It’s a much larger space, with actual tables and an expanded menu, and it’s open all day. The fantastic breakfast is reason enough for non-Valley people to sit on Laurel Canyon for 40 minutes - the croissants are perfect (which is good because they’re also $6), and the Mec Muffin breakfast sandwich is one of the best things we’ve eaten all year.
Row DTLA, a.k.a. the old American Apparel factories, a.k.a. that big cluster of empty buildings where Smorgasburg happens, is starting to fill up with new businesses. And their newest tenant, Rappahannock Oyster Co., is where we want to be eating every day this summer. The industrial space has a huge patio and fresh oysters that are flown in daily from the Chesapeake Bay, but it’s the rest of the menu that really impressed us: lobster rolls, beet salads, trout dip, and an incredible oyster po’boy. Put Rappahannock immediately into your downtown lunch rotation.
Bavel is the new spot from the people behind Bestia and, as you’d suspect, it’s fantastic. Like the Arts District OG, it’s also in a converted warehouse and you’ll have a very hard time getting a primetime reservation, but unlike Bestia, the food here is Middle Eastern rather than Italian. And it’s fantastic. There really isn’t a miss on the menu - everything from the hummus to the flatbread to the grilled prawns to the enormous lamb shawarma is so good you’ll be instantly planning a return visit. This is a perfect spot for a celebratory dinner with a big group. Get here whenever you can.
This modern Spanish restaurant in Redondo Beach just a few blocks from the water has a bright space, fantastic cocktails, and a menu full of Spanish food that feels different. The oxtail ragu comes on a bed of fried penne that might remind you of eating a bowl of French fries (this is a good thing), and the tortilla Espanola is a giant piece of potato cake that we can’t stop thinking about it. If you’re looking for a new date spot in the South Bay, Gabi James is a great option.
Kasih is a modern Indonesian restaurant, and though its bright space at the bottom of a giant mixed-user in Little Tokyo feels a bit corporate, the food is anything but. From the sambal platter (Indonesian chips and dips) to the vegetable curry to the spicy slaw, everything we’ve tried at Kasih is both interesting and delicious. It’s a casual place, with a huge front patio, making it an excellent choice for a big group dinner before a night out downtown.
Tumbi is a modern Indian restaurant right off the 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica. And despite being in an area of town not typically known for thrilling food options, it’s the most exciting new Indian restaurant to open in LA since Badmaash. The menu is fantastic and inventive, with everything from prawn masala to a pani puri that ends with you pouring tamarind-mint water into a chickpea-filled puff pastry. Get here now before everyone else does.
Located right on York Blvd. in Highland Park, Joy is an excellent fast-casual Taiwanese spot from the people behind another excellent fast-casual Taiwanese spot, Pine & Crane. While there is some menu crossover between the two places, Joy has plenty of great new dishes on its menu, like the chiayi chicken - their version of chicken rice, and our favorite thing here. The casual space is ideal for a solid lunch or a casual midweek dinner when you’re already sort of in pajamas.
La Morra Pizzeria isn’t really a restaurant - it’s a portable pizza oven, built on the back of a trailer, that shows up on Tuesdays at Hayden in Culver City, and Thursdays at Tabula Rasa in Hollywood. And this mobile pizza pop-up is worth making space in your calendar for. They serve only five or so pizzas a night, all with pretty simple toppings (Margherita, Funghi, something with salami), but they’re close to perfect, with charred and chewy dough. Plus, given that both locations are wine bars, your drinks will be good too.
Mason’s Dumpling Shop has only been open for a month or so, but come any day for lunch, and expect to wait a half hour on the sidewalk. Everybody’s lining up because this order-at-the-counter strip mall spot is serving some incredible dumplings - as well as an excellent hanger steak bao sandwich and a spicy seaweed salad we’re still thinking about. Service is quick once you’re inside, prices are affordable, and there’s a serious to-go operation as well. We predict the lines at Mason’s are only going to get longer.
The original Pasta Sisters in Pico-Arlington is fantastic, but a meal there usually involves parking lot death matches and pointed stares from other customers wanting you to eat faster. Now there’s a second location in the Helms Bakery complex in Culver City, which solves both problems. Although they’ve added a ton of space (two patios plus a real dining room), they’ve kept both the order-at-the-counter setup and charm of the first location. And more importantly, the excellent pasta. There are also sandwiches, desserts, and a few new dishes for the Culver location, like a fantastic beef stew with polenta. Once their beer and wine license comes through, it’ll be a great spot for casual midweek dinners.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.