If you tried to keep track of every brand new restaurant in Los Angeles, you might go a little wild. So just read this list instead. These are the new restaurant openings that seem like they have the most potential - although keep in mind, for the ones we haven’t tried, we make no promises. Go forth and be a pioneer.
After a few months of being closed, Lasita has returned to the Far East Plaza with a brand-new look and menu. For those who forgot, Lasita is the fast casual version of Filipino restaurant, Lasa, that focuses on rotisserie-style dishes. Their indoor space has been completely redone, now filled with pretty pink and orange walls, plus a separate table meant for wine tastings. You’ll still be able to order the things we loved at Lasita 1.0, like crispy chicken inasal and a massive Lechonsita sando, plus a few new things like olives marinated in duck confit, smoked eggplant crostinis, and Wanderlust ice cream.
Girl & The Goat
Much like Kanye West and Hugh Hefner, Girl & The Goat is bringing Chicago to LA. The Midwestern restaurant (run by Top Chef winner, Stephanie Izard) is known for their small plates like ham frites, grilled octopus, and goat empanadas. Her new spot in the Arts District combines dishes from the original menu with new ones, like pan-seared sunfish, roasted beet salad, and of course, goat curry.
Esperanza Cocina de la Playa
Esperanza Cocina de la Playa, a new Sonoran restaurant in South Bay, looks as if it could double as a modern art museum. Housed in a sleek building designed by Gulla Jónsdóttir, it’s located just blocks away from the beach, and serves dishes like sea bass ceviche, braised short rib taquitos, fajitas topped with filet mignon, and prawns drizzled in diablo ranchero sauce.
Over in Palisades Village is Qué Padre, a new casual Mexican restaurant inspired by the laid-back surfer cultures of Sayulita, Todos Santos, and Oaxaca. Vintage surfboards line the walls and plants hang from the ceiling, while the menu features dishes like pollo mole negro tacos, “catch of the day” ceviche, and corn truffe tlayudas. They also have an extensive cocktail list specializing in agave-based drinks and a grab-and-go menu serving cinnamon buns and breakfast burritos.
The Window @ Seoul Sausage
Huge news for any Food Network (or Korean food) fans: Seoul Sausage now has a takeout window in Westlake. It’s located at the intersection of Downtown LA, Historic Filipinotown, and Westlake, and serves many of the items that won them first place in The Great Food Truck Race. In the bright-yellow building, you’ll find kimchi pasta topped with garlic shrimp, Korean-style al pastor tacos, bulgogi cheeseburger egg rolls, and more.
Lady & Larder
Lady & Larder, the wonderful women-owned cheese (and charcuterie and flower and produce and wine) shop, now has a brick-and-mortar location in Santa Monica. In a sunny, colorful building on Pico Blvd., you’ll find the twin sisters’ “dream shop,” stocked with American-made cheeses, fresh bread, locally grown flowers, caviar, tinned fish, jams, and honey. They also have a secret lunch menu, offered daily from 12-3pm, featuring rotating sandwiches (we’ve seen some made with Cowgirl Creamery cheeses and jam), farmers’ market salads, and sliced fruit.
Echo Park’s latest addition is Amaro, a new Italian restaurant serving handmade pastas and natural wines. The menu is filled with dishes like mixed cheese/charcuterie boards, spaghetti marinara, parmesan-crusted chicken, and tiramisu for dessert. With ample seating in the dining room, outdoor garden, and bar, it’s the kind of casual spot that seems great for a low-key date or just a dinner where you want to drown yourself in gnocchi.
The former chef de cuisine at Trois Mec just launched a new Beverly Hills pop-up, serving sandwiches made with everything from roast beef to braised greens. Their most recent drop? An extremely expensive, very deluxe sandwich. Sliced Wagyu roast beef gets piled high on their signature house-made focaccia, and comes drizzled in parmesan fondue and dusted in shaved black truffles. Each sandwich costs $70, but you can get a half sandwich for $40.
Mom’s Touch, a very popular South Korean fried chicken chain, now has a location in Gardena. The name of the game here is chicken, rubbed in a Cajun spice blend, marinated overnight, then deep-fried. They claim it’s the kind of chicken that has an equal balance of crunch on the outside and juicy tenderness on the inside. You can get it as either a sandwich, wings, or chicken fingers.
There’s a new restaurant at Brain Dead Studios, which is an indie movie theater on Fairfax Ave - not what we call our apartment while working from home. In addition to their daily film screenings (which range from Australian psychological thriller, Long Weekend to Paul Thomas Anderson’s There Will Be Blood), they now have an all-day cafe serving snacks like spicy tuna onigiri, cold sesame noodles, pork belly bánh mì, and more.
Over in Hollywood, Mokuzai is a new sushi pop-up. The space is entirely outdoors, lit by lanterns overhead and surrounded by trees – sort of like the treehouse you always wanted growing up, but could never have because the branches were too “fragile” and “unstable.” The menu includes dishes like bluefin toro with fresh wasabi, salmon dressed in truffles, and lightly seared jumbo scallops.
The team behind Izakaya Osen and Kappo in Santa Monica just launched a new restaurant - Yakiniku Osen in Silver Lake. But instead of the drinking foods and set menus that can be found at their other locations, Yakiniku Osen specializes in a unique style of cooking in which bite-sized pieces of meat are grilled over a wood-charcoal grill. Diners order plates of raw Wagyu beef and vegetables then cook their meal themselves using the built-in grills at the table.
In other beef news, Matū is a new restaurant in Beverly Hills serving what they call a “steak omakase.” The five-course meal rotates nightly, featuring premium cuts of 100% grass-fed Wagyu sourced from New Zealand farms. New York strips are cooked over a wood-fire, complete with extra-flavorful marbling, and contain significantly more Omega 3 fatty acids than typical beef. The Wagyu dinner starts at $78 per person, click here to place a reservation.
Hotel Figueroa’s latest addition is La Casita, a two-story villa and cocktail lounge in Downtown LA. The menu is filled with Spanish and Mediterranean seafood dishes, like ceviche and grilled shrimp tacos, plus a hand-crafted cocktail program featuring an expansive agave list. They also plan to add in live musicians and performance art, among other events, click here to place a pick-up order.
Much like Meryl Streep in a certain 2008 movie-musical, Freedman’s has undergone a total Greek transformation. Over the summer, the former Jewish comfort spot has pivoted to Greekman’s, now offering a Mediterranean menu out of their space in Silver Lake. Expect charcoal-grilled chicken souvlaki, mezze plates, and bottles of natural Greek wine served on their outdoor-only patio, with an indoor bar available on the weekends.
Bacari Silverlake has taken over the iconic Cliff’s Edge space on Sunset Blvd. to open their fifth casual wine bar. Inspired by the old farmhouses of Tuscany, they’ve kept many things we liked about the old space (multi-deck patio, romantic vibe, entire trees growing out of the courtyard), but ditched the tiki aesthetics in favor of warm wood accents, jewel tones, and fire pits. The menu hasn’t changed much - you’ll still find small, shareable plates like lamb-stuffed eggplant and gorgonzola pasta, as well as a selection of small-batch funky wines, sangria, beer, and specialty cocktails.
Lawless Brewing Co.
Lawless Brewing Co. just launched their first-ever taproom in North Hollywood. Located in a huge, 8,000 square foot space (that used to be a film rental house), they’re serving the entire gamut of craft beer, including light and crisp lagers, West Coast-style IPAs, and limited-edition imperial stouts made with coconut and vanilla.
A new player has entered the KBBQ scene: Daedo Sikdang. This well-known ribeye steakhouse from Korea has landed on W. 6th Street, serving high-quality angus beef. Their cuts include ribeye rolls, which come with an equal balance of marbling and lean meat, hard-to-find cap cuts, and more. They’ve got a huge space in Ktown, with cement walls and a sleek, modern design.
Lucky Bird - Eagle Rock
One of our favorite Grand Central Market stalls, Lucky Bird Fried Chicken, just opened a second location in Eagle Rock. They’ve expanded their menu, both reimagining some recipes and adding some new ones. Their signature hot chicken sandwich now has a lemon and herb rub, plus there are things like tenders, cornbread, and banana pudding on the menu. They also will have eight local draft beers on tap, including several selections from Eagle Rock Brewery.
Studio City’s latest addition is Roadside Taco, a new Mexican restaurant with a sprawling patio located right across from Universal Studios. They’ve got an extremely colorful outdoor space, with vibrant chairs and murals, plus a menu filled with taquero staples such as carne asada tacos, al pastor, esquites, churros, and paletas.
Los Angeles has a new French Bistro. Bicyclette is run by Los Angeles power couple Walter and Margarita Manzke who have been behind spots like Republique and Church & State. Inspired by Parisian bistro culture, they’ve created a “casual kind of diner,” complete with specials written on blackboards, classic cocktails, and French dishes like escargot, bouillabaisse, and beef short rib a la bourguignonne.
We checked out Bicyclette and added it to The LA Hit List: The Best New Restaurants In Los Angeles. Read more about it here.
In 2019, El Ruso became one of the most popular taco trucks in LA, with people driving all over the city for a taste of their homemade flour tortillas and Sonora-style tacos. However, if you live in Silver Lake, that drive has gotten a lot shorter - you can now find El Ruso’s truck on Sunset Blvd., in an empty lot across the street from All Day Baby and the recently opened Playita Mariscos. They’ve also got a small little patio setup, which is the perfect place to send all of those corn tortillas and sweet and smokey abodaba tacos straight to your mouth.
We checked out El Ruso - Silver Lake and added it to The LA Hit List: The Best New Restaurants In Los Angeles. Read more about it here.
One of Tokyo’s leading ramen chains, Afuri Ramen, has landed in Los Angeles. They’re located in the Arts District, right across the street from Everson Royce Bar and Guerilla Tacos, and serve their signature yuzu shio ramen - the base being a light broth made from citrus, chicken stock, dried seaweed, and vegetables. Small plates include fried chicken karaage, crab buns, and dumplings.
We checked out Afuri Ramen and added it to The LA Hit List: The Best New Restaurants In Los Angeles. Read more about it here.
Over in West Hollywood, you’ll find Byrdie’s in a bright-teal building on 3rd Street. Inside, the team behind Bacari (of Mediterranean restaurant fame, not the rum brand we drank too much of in college) is serving rotisserie-style chicken in the form of wings, sandwiches, and bowls. Whole birds come with your choice of dark/white meat, plus a variety of house-made sauces, plus they’ve got a medley of sides like sweet potato, wild rice, carrots roasted with gochujang, and more.
Toluca Lake’s latest addition is Bodega Malbec, a new Argentinian restaurant specializing in asado, or family-style barbecue. Previously known as just Malbec, the updated restaurant has a more casual, friendly feel to it, with nice big patios and a menu inspired by the chef’s upbringing in Córdoba. Starters include grilled octopus and empanadas, and entrees include locally sourced meats like rib eye steaks and beef tenderloin served on wooden planks. Opens on June 15th, Sunday through Thursday.
A.O.C. - Brentwood
French-ish restaurant and wine bar, A.O.C., just opened a second location in Brentwood. They’re in the old Tavern space on San Vicente Blvd. with green walls, dark wood finishes, and two huge dining rooms, which kind of reminds us of the “Modern Country Home” Pinterest board we started last year. The menu is nearly identical to the original Beverly Grove location, which means you’ll still find plenty of bacon-wrapped dates, charcuterie boards, and soft shell crab pastas to eat while drinking excellent wine. Open Tuesday through Sunday, starting at 5:00pm for now, and for breakfast and lunch sometime soon.
Mizlala - Sycamore
Adding to the ever-growing Sycamore Plaza (or should we call it the “Sycamore Promenade?” “Passageway?” There’s no official name yet), Mizlala now has a third outpost in Hollywood. Located next to Gigi’s and Tartine, the casual Israeli restaurant offers falafel, shawarmas, marinated chicken, and merguez sausage, all of which can be served as a plate, salad, or in a pita. Open Tuesday through Sunday, 11:30am-9:00pm.
Inspired by the boba shops in the San Gabriel Valley, Moon Rabbit is a new tea and sandwich shop in the Grand Central Market. Created by the team behind one of our favorite GCM stalls, Sticky Rice, they specialize in traditional boba teas, like Thai milk green tea, as well as bánh mì and katsu sandwiches. Open Tuesday through Sunday, 12:00-5:00pm.
Located in a former horse stable built in 1922, Agnes is a new American restaurant in Pasadena specializing in three things we could all use more of - nostalgia, comfort, and lots of cheese. Created by chefs/owners Vanessa and Thomas Tiaka Kalb (who previously worked together at one of our favorite pasta restaurants in the Bay Area, Flour + Water), Agnes serves cut-to-order cheese boards, rigatoni in red sauce, pineapple-glazed meatballs, and creamy soft serve for dessert. They are currently open for dinner service only (reservations can be made here) with Sunday brunch coming soon.
We checked out Agnes and added it to The LA Hit List: The Best New Restaurants In Los Angeles. Read more about it here.
The popular sandwich shop, Heritage in Long Beach, just launched fine-dining dinner service. Operating out of the same building on the corner of 7th and Saint Louis, Heritage (The Restaurant) opens right after the sandwich shop closes, and serves dishes like grilled octopus and chorizo, corn agnolotti, scallops in a pea puree, and smoked beef ribs out of a charming patio lit with candles and overhead string lights. Reservations can be made here.
Over in Hollywood, Bar Sala is a Spanish cocktail lounge pop-up serving table-side mezcal and tequila tastings, house-made agua frescas, Mexican craft beers, and more. Run by chef Ray Garcia (of Broken Spanish), Bar Sala will also offer small bites like dry-aged kanpachi tostadas, pulpo served with sweet potato and salsa molcajete, and campechanas packed with octopus, bay scallops, sea bream, and daikon radish. Find Bar Sala in NeueHouse’s library and bar space on Friday and Saturday nights.
If you’ve got money to blow and have a thing for alternative modes of transportation, then Bistro 1759 might just be for you. This new restaurant, on top of the Grove’s double-decker trolley, takes you on a literal ride around the premises while serving a four-course meal. Dishes include spicy tuna on crispy rice, sashimi platters, wings and oxtail fried rice, and gingerbread pudding, plus wine and cocktail pairings. The only catch? Each meal starts at $1000 for two guests. Does this kind of remind us of the plot to Bong Joon Ho’s Snowpiercer? Only a little bit. Reservations can be made here.
Tokyo Nights is a new weekends-only dinner pop-up running out of Kimpton’s La Peer Hotel in West Hollywood. The name of the game here is Japanese street food, served omakase-style, which means you’ll get a seven-course meal filled with dishes like gyoza-stuffed chicken wings, dry-aged Baja-style sashimi, and rock shrimp tempura with radish kimchi and cured pineapple. Open Sunday and Monday nights, click here to make a reservation.
Pop's Bagels - Brentwood
Pop’s Bagels, one of our favorite bagel shops, now has a new outpost in Brentwood. Not much has changed - you’ll find the same super simple, doughy, dense, and chewy bagels and sandwiches topped with everything from lox smoked in Santa Barbara to pickled jalapeños. But there are a few additions to the menu. Namely, new griddle items like hot egg sandwiches, melts, and a babka French toast.
Soulmate is a new Spanish/Mediterranean restaurant in West Hollywood. It hasan open-air patio, custom mural painted by Santiago Quesnel, plants as far as the eye can see, and a giant 15-foot olive tree, right in the middle of the courtyard - so, basically, where we want our ashes to be spread when we pass away. Too dark? The menu uses a mix of fresh seafood and seasonal produce, like Santa Barbara uni toast drizzled in piquillo pepper aioli, kanpachi ceviche, and oven-roasted rock cod served with Swiss chard and herb butter.
We recently checked out Soulmate. Read our first thoughts here.
Jake's Trustworthy Burgers & Beer
With a name like that, you don’t need to take our word for it, but Jake’s Trustworthy Burgers & Beers is back in Old Pasadena. The original location opened back in 1947 along Route 66, making it the oldest burger stand in Pasadena, before it was turned into a billiards hall in 1992. But now, over two decades later, owner Chipper Pastron has returned Jake’s Trustworthy to its former burger glory, serving half-pound burger patties (which are smothered in diced grill onions, house-made pickles, and cheddar cheese), fried chicken sandwiches, and hot dogs that come on a toasted bun. Available for outdoor seating along Colorado Blvd.
Sylv's x Granny Chiu
Here’s a new pop-up to add to your list: Sylv’s x Granny Chiu, created by Connie Sum (Porridge + Puffs, Phenakite) and Bronwen Kinzler Britton. There’s spicy chicken sandwiches, served on either a scallion cream cheese biscuit or scallion egg waffle, “Typhoon Shelter Shrimp & Grits” which comes tiger shrimp, shimeji mushrooms, and green chili cheddar grits, as well as a strawberry coffee cake, served with condensed milk whipped cream and streusel. They call it “the comfort food you didn’t know you needed,” a mix of Kinzler Britton’s Southern upbringing and Sum’s memories of eating at Hong Kong-style cafes. Sylv’s x Granny Chiu opens Sunday, May 23rd, from 11am-4pm, in Pasadena. First come, first served, no reservations.
Over in Downtown LA, Kati Roll specializes in Indian street food. You won’t find any frozen or ready-made products here - everything is made fresh, from their giant naan-wrapped frankies (that come stuffed with chicken tikka, crispy fish, or paneer tandoori) to their namesake kati rolls, which are served on a paper-thin roti, then filled with vegetables, rice, and your choice of protein. They also have bottles of lassi for sale, which come in mango, pistachio, and mixed berry flavors, and in colors that look like they could double as a Wes Anderson color scheme.
T&C's Tackle Box
The latest addition to Van Nuys is T&C’s Tackle Box, a Southern-style seafood restaurant serving all the fried catfish, red snapper, and shrimp your heart could desire. This is the second location for the food-truck-turned-brick-and-mortar restaurant (the first is in Bellflower), and not much has changed with the expansion - you’ll still be able to find po’boys served on soft rolls, “tackle boxes″ filled with everything from tilapia to lobster tails seasoned in a crunchy cornmeal batter, as well as seasoned fries and Cajun corn.
If you’re in Glendale and looking for smoked meats head to Glenwood Smokehouse. The brand-new BBQ spot is serving everything needed for a proper Southern feast, like brisket, tri-tip, and baby back ribs by the pound, hot fried chicken sandwiches slathered in a cilantro lime slaw, and good ol’ pimento cheese, if you’re in the mood for a little extra snack… or, six…
Iron Teapot Dim Sum & Bar
After years of being frustrated with the lack of good dim sum options on the Westside, owner Sally Chen decided to open up her own shop. Called Iron Teapot, the new Hong Kong-style restaurant has kept the building’s Mediterranean look leftover from Jaffa (which was the previous tenant), and serves traditional Cantonese dishes. The menu is filled with everything you need for a dim sum brunch, like steamed shrimp har gow, baskets of pork siu mai, sticky rice wrapped lotus leaves, and even some creative, new additions like truffle oil dumplings topped with fish roe. Patio seating is available.
Teddy's Red Tacos - Whittier
Teddy’s Red Tacos, one of our favorite taco trucks in the city, now has a new outpost in Whittier. It’s the birria specialist’s seventh location, and not much has changed - you’ll find a shiny black truck parked out front, and a patio filled with bright-red umbrellas and picnic tables where you’ll be able to enjoy beef birria served in quesadillas, vampiros, tacos, and mulitas. Open 9am-10pm, daily.
Prime Pizza - West LA
Prime Pizza’s got a brand-new location, this time in West LA. You’ll still be able to find their classic menu of old-school, New York-style pies, served in rounds, squares, and by the slice, as well as a variety of salads and garlic knots. But they’re also introducing a new item - a rotating pizza inspired by the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market. It’ll change each week, starting next Tuesday, May 18th (and only at this location), so keep your eyes out for that. We’re personally hoping that honeydew melon will somehow be involved.
If you’re looking for an Armenian restaurant to add to your rotation, Tava House is here for all your lamb chop, falafel, and beef lule kabob needs. The chef at this family-run restaurant has over 14 years of experience, having worked in various LA restaurants and banquet halls after moving to the U.S. from Yerevan in 2007. He’s now ready for his own operation in Glendale, and serves traditional Armenian dishes like mutabal, a creamy eggplant-based dish that’s seasoned with lemon juice, short ribs plates, shawarma, and more.
Inspired by the flavors and dishes of Tijuana, Rosarito, Puerto Nuevo, and Ensenada, Vamanos is a new Mexican restaurant by chef Luciano Ramirez. Located in Culver City, Vamanos is designed to have a fun, casual atmosphere. There’s a spacious outdoor patio, limited indoor seating, and dishes that are meant to be shared with friends, like beef cabeza tacos, chilaquiles with corn chips, and huevos rancheros that’s been grilled on the mesquite and served with fresh corn tortillas and refried beans.
The only items on the menu at Anan, a new Vietnamese restaurant in Hancock Park, are a few of the country’s staples, like bowls of phở with rare steak, shredded chicken salad, vermicelli noodles, and deep-fried spring rolls. They also have a few drinks as well, like Thai iced tea, milk tea, and taro iced tea - the last of which, comes in a soothing, bright purple color that we wish we had the courage to paint our kitchen.
After a year that’s included more twists and turns than a ride up Mulholland Drive., Encino’s Pasta Bar is finally back. The pasta-focused tasting menu (which is run by the same team behind Scratch Bar & Kitchen), opened briefly last June, then again in the fall, but has spent the last couple of months figuring out how to serve a multi-course meal during the pandemic. What’s resulted is an entirely new menu, filled with 13 rotating courses and ingredients sourced from California farmers’ markets. Each ticket costs $125, and reservations are required.
Smhokin Pot just got a brick-and-mortar upgrade: the Cajun food truck has a brand-new storefront in Carson. You’ll still be able to order all of their signature dishes, like butter-smothered garlic shrimp, lobster mac and cheese, and “gumbalaya” - a jambalaya/gumbo mashup that comes with andouille sausage, Cajun chicken, and a housemade sauce. Although, if you prefer to eat on the go, their food truck is still operating as well. Check their Instagram for all the latest updates.
Downtown LA’s latest addition is Il Fiore, an Italian restaurant located on the ground floor of the O Hotel. It’s run by two chefs who’ve worked at places like Vespertine, Bestia, and Orsa and Winston, collectively. Expect an all-day menu with brunch items like soft egg scrambles and avocado toast on Clark Street bread, then mussels, cacio e pepe, and butter-poached risotto at night. Brunch runs Monday through Wednesday, 8am-2pm, and dinner service happens from Wednesday through Sunday, starting at 5pm.
Sesame LA is a super-cute mini-mart in Chinatown stocked with everything from Vietnamese yogurt to hoisin sauce. The focus here is on Asian pantry staples, and they feature a hearty mix of familiar brands as well as locally-made goods. They’re open Wednesday through Sunday, and you can check their Instagram for the latest updates.
One of our favorite pasta restaurants, Union, just launched a brand-new pizza operation. You’ll find it right next to their location in Pasadena, but instead of the usual bowls filled with cacio e pepe, they’ll be doing red and white pizzas topped with littleneck clams, mozzarella from Petaluma, and fennel sausage. They also have soft serve for dessert, with a flavor that changes daily - so we’ll probably have to spend a couple nights in a row here.
We recently checked out U Street Pizza. Read our first thoughts here.
A new hibachi restaurant has landed in Fairfax. Bachi Yaki, a Japanese restaurant with locations in Downtown LA and Paramount, specializes in grilled meats like steak, chicken, shrimp, and lobster. Each meat can either be ordered as a plate (which comes with rice and vegetables) or wrapped in a burrito, with your choice of sauces, ranging from whipped butter garlic to creamy diablo to sweet yumi yaki. They’re open daily, from 12-10pm.
The Italian seafood pop-up, Crudo e Nudo, now has a permanent brick-and-mortar outpost. You can find it on Santa Monica’s Main St, in a shared space with Lenny’s Coffee, a mornings-only cafe serving small-batch coffee and baked goods from Gjusta. The menu hasn’t changed too much from their pop-up days, and includes a full raw bar, oysters on the half shell, daily crudos served with herbs and house-made sauces, chickpea crepes filled with smoked salmon and ikura, market mezze plates, and tuna tartare paired with seeded loaves from Gjusta. They have patio seating available, and are open from Wednesday through Sunday.
LA’s latest curry spot is Menya Tigre - a new restaurant on Sawtelle that specializes in hot, glistening bowls of Japanese curry ramen. In addition to their more straight-forward bowls (filled with ramen noodles, a blended house curry, and chashu pork), they also serve dishes like curry tsukemen, Indian-inspired keema beef curry, takoyaki, and surf and turf meals made with fried shrimp and your choice of either chicken kaarage or pork cutlets. They also have a tiger logo that we’ve genuinely considered getting tattooed on our body. They’re open for lunch and dinner, Wednesday through Monday.
We checked out Menya Tigre and added it to The LA Hit List: The Best New Restaurants In Los Angeles. Read more about it here.
Over in Hollywood, Justin Queso is a new Tex-Mex restaurant serving cocktails, Frito pies, and four styles of homemade queso. They’re located in a huge, 3,800 square-foot space that has both expansive front and back patios, and serves all the sizzling fajitas, enchiladas, brisket, and albondigas soups your little Tex-Mex-loving heart could ever desire. The titular queso selection includes ones made with Oaxacan cheese, chorizo, grilled habanero peppers, and vegan cashew nuts.
Half-convenience store, half-all-day-cafe, Open Market is a new shop in Koreatown where you’ll find the answer to all your snacking queries. Located in a brightly lit showroom on Wilshire Blvd., the sleek, minimalist space looks like it could double as an art gallery, and is filled with market goods, milk tea, drip coffee, and specialty sandwiches. The shelves are stocked with gochujang-flavored Chex Mix and Rancho Gordo beans, and the kitchen serves Turkish eggs, baguettes from Clark Street, and sandwiches stuffed with everything from lemongrass Jidori chicken to shoyu dashi prime brisket and provolone. If you can’t find something for a picnic here, we don’t know what to tell you. Open weekdays only.
Founded by the husband-and-wife duo behind the similarly named catering company, Homm Somm, Wife & The Somm is a three-in-one wine bar, bottle shop, and neighborhood restaurant located in Glassell Park. Order wines from California, France, Argentina, and South Africa by the glass, bottle, or in sommelier-led flight tastings (reservations required for that optioon). The food menu includes wine and cheese pairings, pear burrata crostinis, and seasonal pasta specials.
Noods is a takeout/delivery-only concept by the team behind Crustacean in Beverly Hills. The mission here is on-the-go bento boxes centered around their mega-popular garlic noodles. In addition to your choice of either original-style, vegan, gluten-free, or vegan and gluten-free “noods,” each box comes with an appetizer, vegetables, salad, plus a protein, with prices ranging from $24-$50, depending on the size of the box. Menu drops happen on their Instagram every Tuesday at 10am, and pickups are held Thursday through Sunday at their Beverly Hills location.
Gogi And Bap
You’ll find nothing but simple, Korean-inspired rice bowls at Gogi & Bap in Downtown Los Angeles. The order-at-the-counter operation serves dishes like bulgogi, spicy chicken dahk-galbi, and braised pork belly over rice, all of which can be made into a combo meal with tofu soup and salad, for just an extra $4.50. Sides include chicken wings, egg rolls, and gyoza, and desserts range from choco-pies to tempura ice cream. Open for takeout, delivery, and limited outdoor and indoor seating.
Colossus Bread - Long Beach
The excellent bakery now has a second outpost in Long Beach. Located in a wooden building in Belmont Shore, you’ll find the same menu of Colossus Bread’s crusty loaves, coffee and tea, pastries like vegan chocolate chip cookies and vanilla kouign amanns, as well as market goods like bags of granola, sourdough starters, and coffee beans. They’re currently open Wednesday through Sunday, from 7am-3pm, with expanded hours to come.
Silver Lake’s latest addition is Playita, a new mariscos restaurant opened by the team behind Guisados. It’s located on Sunset Blvd., right across the street from All Day Baby, and serves shrimp aguachiles, tomato-based campechanas packed with albacore, crab, and pulpo, as well as a variety of fresh ceviches, tacos, and quesadillas. They’re open daily, with ample parking and limited outdoor seating.
We checked out Playita and added it to The LA Hit List: The Best New Restaurants In Los Angeles. Read more about it here.
Please skip this blurb if you’re afraid of heights. Located on the 69th floor of Downtown LA’s US Bank Tower, Vista is a new Mediterranean restaurant run by the team behind 71Above (we’re guessing the name 69Above was a no-go?). Unlike the three-course prix-fixe dinners being served two floors up, Vista instead focuses on mezze-style offerings, like grilled eggplants with lebni and garlic, fattoush salad, marinated feta, yellowfin crudo, and specialty cocktails made with tamarind, toasted hazelnut bourbon, and jalapeño-infused vodka. Their outdoor patio is open daily, click here to make a reservation.
Over at West Hollywood’s brand-new Pendry hotel is Ospero, Wolfgang Puck’s latest restaurant. Unlike his other, fancier restaurants like Spago and Chinois On Main, this new joint will be focusing on wood-fired pizzas topped with everything from spicy chicken to house-made lamb sausage, and his signature smoked salmon and dill cream combo. They’ll also have a variety of other Italian dishes, like cheese ravioli, ricotta gnocchi served in a braised oxtail ragout, and prosciutto paninis, as well as an extensive cocktail and wine menu. Click here to make a reservation.
Good news for all the smashburger lovers - Heavy-Handed now has a semi-permanent home. We wrote about the West LA pop-up late last summer, after we failed to include them on our Best New Burgers guide, and the internet turned on us faster than you could say “Cinnamon Toast Crunch guy. The simply constructed burgers are made with 100% ground short rib, then are topped with cheese, pickles, and a house sauce on top of a fluffy potato roll - making for a patty that’s somehow both crispy and greasy. And you can now find them at The Brig in Venice every Thursday through Sunday, with delivery options on the way.
One of the Bay Area’s best Nigerian restaurants, Eko Kitchen, has arrived in LA. Owned and operated by 25-year-old, Simileoluwa Adebajo, the restaurant was inspired by the Lagosian chef’s desire to share Nigerian culture through food, music, and art. It first started as a pop-up dinner series in 2018, then later snowballed into a brick-and-mortar restaurant a year later. Although there is no physical space for Eko Kitchen Los Angeles (they’ll be operating out of a ghost kitchen in the Arts District), you’ll still be able to order from her full menu of chicken marinated in a house-made suya sauce, jollof rice and fried plantains, and egusi soup. Eko Kitchen opens Thursday, April 8th, and operates Wednesday through Sunday, 4-8pm.
Cargo Snack Shack
If you’re looking for more picnic and a meal options, check out Cargo Snack Shack - a new fast-casual spot located in the Los Angeles State Historic Park. You’ll find it at the Southwestern tip of the 32-acre Chinatown park, serving burgers, fried chicken sandwiches, pulled pork hot dogs, pretzel bites, and decadent milkshakes (that you can add alcohol to). It’s the kind of food ideal for a long walk along the tracks of the Metro Gold Line, or to eat while staring into the depths of the Los Angeles river, contemplating how much better your life would be if you had just worn your retainer like your optometrist told you to in middle school. Available for delivery, pickup, and limited outdoor seating.
Over in Leimert Park is Crenshaw Juice Co., a new drink stand serving nothing but 100% pure, raw cold-pressed organic juices. You can find them on Crenshaw Blvd., operating out of a colorful, pale-green cart every Monday through Sunday, 8am-5pm. The menu is filled with fun, nutrient-filled juices like apple/ginger/lemonade or celery/kale/spinach/parsley/apple/lemon. Plus they have an excellent merch section.
There’s a new kaiseki restaurant in town. Opening this Wednesday, March 31st, Gozen Japanese Bistro and Sake Bar in West Hollywood will be serving three special prix-fixe menus, ranging from $80-$240. The most premium set, the Yume course, comes with smoked duck, assorted sashimi, steamed egg custard, Wagyu katsu sandwiches, and more. Reservations can be made here.
We recently checked out Gozen Japanese Sake Bistro. Read our first thoughts here.
Torched! At The Gastro Garage
Meanwhile, on the rooftop of the W Hollywood, you’ll find a new experimental pop-up serving an eight-course prix-fixe meal, gorgeous views of the city, and more pyrotechnics than Lady Gaga’s halftime show. From braised New York strips to savory brioche donuts filled with nitrous foam, Torched! At The Gastro Garage features a wide array of dishes that are cooked by blow torch, and assembled on-site by skilled gastro mechanics. In the words of Paris Hilton, “that’ s hot.” Reservations can be made through their website.
The popular vegan soul food pop-up, Vtree now has a brick-and-mortar location in Silver Lake. It’s located in the busy Sunset Junction, and serves dishes like pant-based Cajun shrimp, crab cakes made with chickpeas and squash zucchini, Southern-style yams, and a hearty West African Peanut Butter Stew filled with fresh ginger, yams, and vegetables, with a side of cornbread. Available for takeout and delivery.
Big Ants BBQ #2
Glassell Park’s premiere BBQ shop, Big Ants, has landed in Ktown. You can find their new truck located on the corner of 8th Avenue and South Berendo Street. There, you’ll find their signature slow-cooked baby back ribs, brisket burritos, pulled pork plates, and loaded fries, as well as desserts like churro waffles and banana pudding. Open Monday through Saturday, 11am-6pm.
Located on top of The Beverly Hilton, Sant’olina is a new rooftop restaurant featuring Mediterranean food and spectacular views of Los Angeles - the kind of vantage point you probably haven’t experienced since the last time you were on the Soarin’ Over California ride at Disneyland. The patio is set up like a country club cabana, covered in floral blue tablecloths and floor-to-ceiling windows, and the menu is filled with dishes like charred eggplant, beet muhammara, phyllo-baked halloumi, and farro grain bowls. Dinner starts at 5pm, Tuesdays through Sundays, and their weekends-only brunch begins at noon.
Delucatessen at Emilia
This new takeout- and delivery-only option in Beverly Hills serves dishes inspired by the Italian port city of Trieste – that means chicken parm sandwiches, paninis packed with salami, mortadella, and prosciutto di Parma, and a secret tiramisu recipe that was passed down over four generations from the chef’s great grandmother. Maybe one day we’ll hear that story, as adapted for TV by Ryan Murphy. To place an order, call (424) 999-4755, or visit their website.
Over in the Arts District is Cha Cha Cha, a new Mexican restaurant by chef Alejandro Guzman, who’s previously worked at Sqirl, Eggslut, Le Comptoir, and Cha Cha Cha’s sister outpost in Mexico City. The tropical-themed rooftop space on 3rd Street (with indoor dining to come) has a menu that includes upscale versions of the foods Guzman ate growing up, like pipián rojo, a classic creamy red sauce served with cabbage, tostadas topped with octopus, and ceviche de camarón. Wow, we wish we didn’t write this before eating breakfast. Cha Cha Cha opens Friday, March 19th, reservations can be made here.
We checked out Cha Cha Cha and added it to The LA Hit List: The Best New Restaurants In Los Angeles. Read more about it here.
One of our favorite new sandwich shops of 2020, Ggiata is heading to a brand new location. Starting Wednesday, March 17th, they’ll be moving out of their current ghost kitchen in Pico Union?, to their new storefront at 5009 Melrose Avenue, where they’ll be offering takeout, delivery, and limited on-site dining. The menu will remain relatively the same (think classic Italian subs, chicken parm sandwiches, and mozzarella-heavy caprese hoagies), plus a few new additions like breakfast burritos, arancini, “the perfect Caesar salad,” and amazing Sopranos memes.
A new fried chicken joint has entered the chat. Called Daybird, this takeout-only spot is run by Mei Lin (Nightshade), and is serving Szechuan hot chicken tenders, hot chicken sandwiches, and golden brown fries. They’re located in the Silver Lake Plaza, a small random strip mall off of Virgil Ave. and Temple St. where we once got our hard drive fixed for honestly a pretty good rate. And if you’re interested in their heat levels, everything on the menu can be made from mild to extreme spiciness, plus there are a few drinks available, including milk tea, lemonade, and soda.
Another Arts District restaurant, Jungli just opened for takeout and delivery, featuring South Asian dishes like green mango salad, saffron-filled clay pot rice, lamb burgers topped with butter lettuce and slathered with spiced aioli, and chai tres leches cake. For now, they’re just operating as a ghost kitchen, but are looking to expand into a brick-and-mortar spot down the road. Orders can be placed through their website.
The team behind LA’s very own temple of Japanese food perfection, N/Naka, has opened a new restaurant in West Adams. Helmed by wife-and-wife duo, Niki Nakayama and Carol Iida-Nakayama, the takeout-only spot’s first menu item is called the “Ebiken Nikkei,” a California-style izakaya offering filled with smoked chicken yakitori, grilled corn, shrimp and avocado inari, spam musubi, and a tamago toji miso soup. But don’t get too excited - in true N/Naka fashion, it’s already sold out. Set your alarms, the next bento goes on sale this Friday at 12pm on their website.
Kwong Shop is a very vibrant dumpling pop-up shop serving everything from small-batch chili crisp to pink and green potstickers that look more like modern art than something you’d eat for dinner. Like most pop-ups, they’re currently pickup only (location is TBD, but in the Mid-Wilshire area), with payment through Zelle or Venmo. Check out their Instagram for the latest updates.
We recently checked out Kwong Shop. Read our first thoughts here.
Croissant Pop-Up At Fat & Flour
The always excellent bakery, Fat & Flour, is now offering croissants at their Grand Central Market location. Starting Sunday, March 14th, in collaboration with the baker and food stylist Alexander Roberts, you can grab your fill of croissants with either ham and cheese, pain au chocolat, or broccoli from 11am to whenever they sell out. There are no preorders available, just show up at their stand and pick what you want. Check out their Instagram for more information.
The Bungalow Kitchen
Down in Long Beach is The Bungalow Kitchen, a new restaurant serving crispy duck wings, sweet potato pancakes, prosciutto-wrapped Asian pears, rigatoni with sweet Italian sausage, and roasted porchetta. The menu sort of reads like a Bed Bath &Beyond - if you can’t find something you like, maybe the problem is with you. While The Bungalow Kitchen isn’t ready for delivery or takeout just yet, they are open for dinner and have a late night service that’s available until 2am (Wednesday through Saturday), with brunch starting on March 20th. Reservations can be made here.
K-pop fans, rejoice - SM Entertainment, the mega-popular media group behind groups like Exo, Red Velvet, Girls Generation, and Shinee have launched a new restaurant in Pico-Union. Called SMT, this to-go-only operation is serving bulgogi puffs, japchae fried dumplings, and tofu pockets filled with gochujang chicken, with a dine-in restaurant on the way.
Biriyani Kabob House - Downtown LA
There’s a new outpost for Biriyani Kabob House in Downtown LA. It’s basically the same as their original Koreatown location, which means you’ll find all sorts of fantastic Bangladeshi, Pakistani, and Indian dishes like lamb shank curry, rich and buttery chicken karahi, and of course, their namesake hyderbadi biriyani dish that’s more aromatic than an Aesop showroom. Biryiani Kabob House is located at 517 S. Spring Street and available for takeout and limited outdoor seating.
Located directly North of Echo Park lake is Phakhaothip, a new food truck specializing in Laotian cuisine. The menu includes pho lao in a savory bone broth; khao poon nam gai with shredded chicken that’s simmered in red curry paste and coconut milk then placed over vermicelli noodles; and a spicy, dried chili-filled khao soi. Phakhaothip is available for takeout - check their Instagram for the latest updates.
Over in Cypress Park is Tagalog Takeover, a new Filipino pop-up operating out 1802 Roasters patio on Saturdays and Sundays, and out of Employees Only in West Hollywood on Thursdays via their Summer Social Club program. The menu is filled with fried chicken sandwiches made with Sambal aioli, pancit canton which includes stir-fried noodles, shiitake, and calamansi, and Shanghai lumpia filled with beef and carrots, then covered in sweet Thai chili sauce. Check their Instagram for all the latest updates.
A new Basque-inspired restaurant is now operating out of the Pasadena Playhouse. Saso (not to be confused with the failed NBC comedy streaming service, Seeso) serves all sorts of seafood such as Alaskan mussels over charred leeks, poached shrimp and deviled eggs, and a crudo bar including oysters, wagyu tartare, and ora king salmon carpaccio. Saso is open for takeout and limited outdoor seating - head to their website to make a reservation.
Foods from Latin America, natural wines from female winemakers, and Euro-inspired bikes? Believe it or not, all of those elements come together in LA’s latest pop-up, Échale! x Vinovore, a collaboration between chef Sean Yontz and the Silver Lake wine shop, Vinovore. They’ll be operating out of Linus Bike’s patio showroom in Venice, serving braised oxtails with potato mulitas, tacos made with 24-hour chile colorado lamb belly, hand-cut pastrami tortas, and Rancho Gordo refried beans flavored with duck fat, aged cheddar, and chicharrón. This weekend-only pop-up is open on Fridays from 12pm-6pm and Saturdays from 11am-5pm.
The very cute, extremely cordial coffee pop-up, Thank You Coffee, now has a new brick-and-mortar location. Starting Wednesday, March 3rd, you’ll be able to find them on 938 N Hill St., a charming building in Chinatown outfitted with huge windows and glowing neon signs. They’ll be sharing the space with the similarly manners-forward stationery shop, Paper Please, and serving a variety of drinks such as pour-over coffee, herbal tea, and specialty drinks, like the “You’re Welcome” latte, made with lapsang souchong syrup, chicory pecan bitters, espresso, and oat milk.
Following in the footsteps of Nxivm, Heaven’s Gate, and the surprisingly good seventh season of American Horror Story, Cult is a new all-day cafe in Santa Monica. But instead of serving gruesome acts and Evan Peters yelling in a basement, they’re offering pastries, desserts, soups, salads, and cocktails made with jasmine flowers, rosewater, and watermelon. Located on the Third Street Promenade, Cult is open for takeout, delivery, and limited outdoor seating - visit their website to make a reservation.