LAGuide

LA’s New Restaurant Openings

All the LA restaurant openings you should know about.

LA’s New Restaurant Openings guide image

photo credit: Ashley Randall

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.

SEPTEMBER

photo credit: The Salty Shutters

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The Butcher's Daughter

A meal at The Butcher’s Daughter feels like a trip back to brunch culture circa 2014: avocado toast, acai bowls, and bee pollen-infused smoothies that are probably more expensive than your entree. Now this quintessential Abbot Kinney spot, still going strong a decade later, has a new location in West Hollywood. Brunch and breakfast options include breakfast sandwiches, oven-fired pizzas, and grain bowls, while dinner offers handmade pasta like vegan ravioli stuffed with lemon zest tofu ricotta.

photo credit: 101 Cider House

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Siesta Day Club + Juice Bar

Day drinking and juice cleanses are not two things we usually put together, but Siesta Day Club says otherwise. A new concept inside Chinatown’s 101 Cider House, Siesta is open from 9am to sunset, meaning you can sip naturally fermented ciders while the sun’s out or opt for a fresh-pressed juice instead. Whatever your beverage of choice, you’ll find a wide range of flavors on tap here, from guava cider with green tea to passionfruit yerba mate.

photo credit: The Ingalls

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Per L’ Ora

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Per L’Ora is the new lobby restaurant inside DTLA’s Hotel Per La (formerly home to NoMad LA). The grand dining space looks like something from Accidentally Wes Anderson: a little kitschy but in a good way, with marble walls and elaborate table flowers, plus a Moroccan-themed bar that looks like a high-budget movie set. The food menu seems varied without adhering to a particular cuisine, including toast with Spanish mackerel and spicy tomato, a spatchcocked chicken slathered in aji verde, and a veal milanese steak with fermented chile vinaigrette.

photo credit: Art Gray

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Dear Jane’s

The team that revamped historic steakhouse Dear John’s is giving seafood a go with their latest retro-themed concept: Dear Jane’s. The Marina del Rey restaurant sits on the waterfront with views of shiny yachts and has a general mid-century modern feel with nautical knick-knacks here and there. Even the menu feels a little old-timey but with some fun spins, like fish sticks with caviar, a shrimp Louie salad prepared tableside, and a classic seafood tower named after friend of the restaurant Jamie Lee Curtis.

photo credit: Bub and Grandma's

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Bub And Grandma’s

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Similar to the ghostwriter behind your favorite celebrity autobiography, Bub and Grandma’s has been working behind the scenes to supply LA restaurants with beautiful loaves of bread for years. Now the wholesale baker has opened a full-fledged diner in Glassell Park, serving pastries like apple muffins and babka buns and sandwiches such as a bacon, egg, and cheese and a loaded ham royale with butter, brie, and cornichons.

Trophies Burger Club

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The word “collab” gets tossed around too frequently these days, but this new Fairfax burger spot is indeed a group effort from the people behind Burgers 99, Daybird, and streetwear label Crooks & Castles (very on brand for Fairfax Ave). Trophies Burger Club is inspired by retro burger joints with fries, shakes, and burgers, all under $10. And expect the occasional off-menu item because there are already more “collabs” in the works.

A wellness center with garden massages and ritual foot soaks sounds more like a bad Venice cliché than somewhere you’d expect to have an interesting meal. But Abbot Kinney spa Den Mother is now home to California Izakaya, a vegetarian Japanese spot serving small plates like jackfruit inari sushi and edamame tofu dip, plus natural wines for a light buzz after your Ayurvedic consultation.

Main Street in Seal Beach tends to be fairly quiet when it comes to new restaurants, which is why the arrival of a new beer and barbecue spot from the people behind Messhall Kitchen in Los Feliz is kind of a big deal. The Backyard is keeping things casual with pulled pork, baby back ribs, and a crispy chicken sandwich with hot honey aioli. It looks like the kind of place you'd want after a beach day, or at least a nice change of pace for a neighborhood with three Irish pubs on the same block. 

Those who spent their pre-teen years wandering around the Glendale Galleria know Massis well. The famous kababory (is that a word?), now with six food court locations across town, has opened its first brick-and-mortar on Glendale Ave., where you can enjoy their popular kabob plates, falafel pitas, and gyros without braving the bleak landscape of an indoor mall in 2022. 

photo credit: The Lonely Oyster

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The Lonely Oyster

The Lonely Oyster might sound like the title of a cute children’s book, but it’s also Echo Park’s newest raw bar and seafood restaurant. This intimate spot consists of a few tables and a slick, black-tiled bar that serves chilled martinis with an optional caviar-topped oyster on the side. The shellfish here comes with condiments like citrus soy and Calabrian chili oil, but we’re particularly curious about the crispy shrimp arancini on the menu.

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Lowkey Burritos

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Breakfast burrito pop-up Lowkey Burritos has proven to be high-key popular, which is why they just opened their first brick-and-mortar shop in Hollywood. (Did the fact that they landed on our Best Breakfast Burrito guide help? Perhaps.) Expect the same loaded burritos filled with scrambled eggs, tater tots, and the restaurant’s signature griddled jalapeño cheese crust that gets folded over the flour tortilla like shiny wrapping paper.

photo credit: Andre Karimloo/Tet-a-Tet

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Tet-A-Tet

We’ve recently been to a Hawaiian diner inside a bowling alley and a tasting menu at a Japanese garden, but Tet-a-Tet is a restaurant inside–get this–another restaurant. The new dinner concept at All Day Baby in Silver Lake ditches the chicken sandwiches and hotcakes you can get here during the daytime in favor of a Vietnamese menu with a few Latin twists. Look out for dishes like blue crab fried rice, smoked wings with salsa macha, and jidori chicken liver patê with mango jam and lemongrass chili crunch.

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Tacos 1986 should teach a Masterclass on pervasive marketing because, in four years, they’ve gone from Hollywood cart to mini taco empire with multiple locations, media appearances, and even a merch collab with H&M (we low-key love the white hoodie). Their Studio City location off Ventura Blvd is their newest opening, and you can find the same Tijuana-style asada, flour tortillas, and juicy al pastor trompos that have turned this chain into a borderline lifestyle brand.

photo credit: Levant Bistro

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Levant Bistro + Bake Shop

Levant Bistro is a gluten-free bakery and Middle Eastern restaurant that originally started as a food blog before trading in SEO keywords for retail baking. The Echo Park space is a cozy mix of industrial and cozy farmhouse touches with brick walls, cement floors, and exposed wooden beams on the ceilings. Expect various types of gluten-free manouch flatbreads topped with things like merguez sausage, mushrooms, and smoked salmon, as well as various pastries and cookies. 

Professional surfers-turned-sushi chefs sound very LA, but the people behind Fiish aren’t just serving a very “LA” menu (i.e., $20 orders of crispy rice). The dark, wood-filled sushi bar in Culver City’s Platform is focusing on nigiri and maki made from locally sourced fish that has been dry-aged to boost its umami-ness, but you can also take your plant-based friends here for vegan sushi like miso eggplant nigiri, and a dragon roll with sweet potato and avocado.

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Blue Daisy Melrose

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Santa Monica brunch spot Blue Daisy has opened a second location inside West Hollywood’s Palihotel where you can enjoy teddy bear-shaped latte art, breakfast sandwiches, and a mimosa to the sweet sound of sports cars revving their engines down Melrose. Breakfast and brunch are available until 4pm, when the menu transitions to dinner, which includes dishes like fish tacos, saffron-infused risotto with salmon, and a Turkish-style pizza topped with ground beef and za’atar.

AUGUST

The Parisian bistro is opening it's first location abroad in LA with a menu inspired by popular street food dishes (but with a French twist). Sharing the same stretch of Sycamore Ave. in Hollywood as Gigi's and Tartine, this concrete-walled space epitomizes the industrial look: Edison bulbs, moody lighting, and lots of sharp corners. Expect dishes like mac and cheese with truffle oil and comte, burgers with burnt eggplant puree, and one lamb kabob that looks strikingly similar to a hot dog. 

Kevin Hart seems like he’s everywhere these days, and now he's in the plant-based burger business, too. His new fast-casual spot is located in Westchester across from the LAX In-N-Out, but be prepared to see more Hart Houses soon because ten more LA locations are slated to open within the next year (as we said, the man is everywhere). The menu features vegan alternatives to fast food, with single or double patty burgers, vegan fried chicken sandwiches, and nugget options.

Echo Park's Konbi is bringing its popular Japanese sandos and crispy tonkatsu cutlets to a second location in Culver City. All of the shop’s signature milk bread sandwiches are on the menu with fillings like tuna with pickled celery, eggplant, and creamy egg salad with scallion. There are also pastries and a wide range of drinks at the coffee counter, including filtered coffee, iced date lattes, and cold shaken espresso with a hint of orange zest.

Looking like something out of an H.G. Well novel, Workshop Kitchen + Bar makes a dramatic first impression near La Brea and Beverly. The dining space consists of tall ceilings and intimate dining booths enclosed in massive pod-like structures. The setting is definitely more jarring than the restaurant’s original location in Palm Springs, but you can expect food with a similar modernist feel. The menu involves five-course tasting menus with meat and plant-based options for $90 per person—look for dishes like halibut with bouillabaisse sauce and morels and braised artichokes with gnocchi.

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The Best Places To Eat & Drink In Palm Springs

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Lillie's Bistro & Garden

Lillie's is a French bistro and lounge inside the Culver Hotel where you’ll find traditional hors d'oeuvres like onion soup and steak tartare as well as bigger entrees, including steak frites and pork milanese (plus some very chilled-looking gin martinis). With a lengthy wine list and an outdoor garden, Lillie's looks like an old-timey spot where you can toss back some oysters on a silver platter. There's also live jazz music on Wednesday to Sunday nights if you want to fully immerse yourself in the Old Hollywood theme. 

This DTLA spot specializes in Japanese bento boxes that are not square, but instead round tubs filled with appetizing things. Options for a portable lunch here include spicy chicken karaage with yuzu kosho mayo and hamburg steaks covered in a thick truffle demi-glace, both served on a bed of rice. Feel free to add sides to your order as well, including some wakame-seasoned butter corn that now has our attention.  

The Conrad Los Angeles is to José Andres what Caesars Palace is to Celine Dion: a stage for a big-name residency. The celebrity chef’s latest opening at the downtown hotel is Agua Viva, a rooftop Spanish restaurant with sweeping views of the San Gabriel Mountains. While the beachy decor is meant to emulate a Spanish beach club, the menu appears to be Span-ish, with some Latin and Asian influences sprinkled in—expect traditional dishes like gazpacho served alongside cold soba noodle salads, burgers, and sushi handrolls

Good Vibes Pizza is a new pizza spot in Torrance with a very long menu and a '70s flower power theme. Whether or not the "vibes" are good requires first-hand experience, but we can say the 16" pizzas are loaded with all kinds of toppings, including canned corn, surimi, pesto, and buffalo chicken. The strip mall pizzeria also offers subs, salads, and appetizers like garlic knots, as well as vegan and gluten-free pie options.

Back in 2021, Tokyo chain Ramen Nagi opened up in Westfield Century City and made navigating the mall's multi-level parking structure worth it. Now Nagi's 24-hour simmered tonkotsu has landed at a second LA location in Arcadia (unfortunately, inside another Westfield mall). You can order any of the chain's five staple ramen bowls, including one with blackened garlic and squid ink broth, or you can build your own bowl by customizing broths, noodle thickness, and toppings.

LouLou is a new rooftop spot in Santa Monica Place with a mostly French menu and a "classic California twist." The twist might refer to their few American options like a burger or fried chicken sandwich, but everything else is quite French: duck liver mousse, escargot, steak frites, and savory ham and egg galettes. You can also stop by for brunch in LouLou's breezy space, which looks like every Mediterranean-themed lounge in town with beige everything and wicker chandeliers.

Augie's On Main

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The chef behind fancy tasting menu restaurant Mélisse is keeping things (fast) casual this time around with Augie's on Main. The new Santa Monica chicken shop centers around Chef Josiah Citrin's panko-crusted "dirty" chicken, which can be ordered with sides like ratatouille and roasted lemony potatoes. There's also the option to have your chicken in a brioche bun with spicy pepper sauce, or you skip the crusty chicken altogether for one of the menu's salads, burgers, or roasted chicken sandwiches on a baguette.

KazuNori is bringing its deliciously warm and crispy handrolls to Studio City, which is exciting news for Valley residents in need of great sushi in 30-minutes or less. The chain's tried and true model still applies: you sit at the bar and order either a la carte or from a set menu of freshly wrapped temaki, plus the option to order cut rolls for take-out if you're in a time crunch. 

Emmy Squared is entering LA's crowded pizza scene with lots of pepperoni and one hyped-up burger. The Brooklyn-based pizzeria's new location is inside Santa Monica Brew Works, where you’ll find their signature sheet pan pizzas that exist somewhere between Detroit-style and a New York grandma pie. And then there's the Le Matt burger, with its double-stacked patties and pretzel bun. According to our New York team, it’s the “gourmet version of an In-N-Out Double Double.” We’ll be the judge of that. 

When craving nachos and a margarita after a Santa Monica beach day, you now have Vamos Vamos: a new place on Main Street that specializes in exactly those two items (plus some other things). This Westside bar is pouring spicy, strawberry, and watermelon margaritas (to name a few), as well as other drinks for those who can’t do tequila. To eat there are nachos, burgers, and pizzas with Tex-Mex/Southwest-style toppings like braised pork shoulder, roasted corn, hatch green chile, and refried beans.

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Yama Sushi Sake Attitude

Raw fish spot Yama Seafood has been selling affordable sashimi platters and California rolls the size of drink coasters to San Gabriel residents since the 1980s. Now there’s a new location in Mar Vista (with a new name) that serves fresh-cut sashimi and nigiri, and, apparently, a side of attitude, too. The new Yama looks like a shinier version of its predecessor, with a full-on Japanese minimart, sushi-grade fish counter, and various bento boxes for a quick lunch.

Before you overcook those eggs at home like usual, why not go to Gusina Saraba for a proper scramble with stewed beans, fried fish, and a side of golden fry jacks. The Belizean food-truck-turned-food-stall is the latest opening inside Mercado La Paloma and can be seen cranking out regional Garifuna recipes from 11am to 9pm. They’ve got a bunch of hearty-sounding things to try like oxtails in gravy, puffy fried salbutes, and tapou, a creamy fish stew with green plantains and root vegetables.

Cali Chilli is a new Indian restaurant that wants you to know its food is (intentionally) not traditional. According to its website, the Long Beach spot is all about Indian twists on popular American or Italian dishes, so think crispy chicken wings in a spicy butter sauce, a tandoori-roasted eggplant lasagna, and a truffle cheese kulcha. There are also some classics like butter chicken and saag paneer on the menu, but if you go to Cali Chilli, why not go for the caesar salad with chicken tikka.

Boulevard Gastropub, a new spot in Compton, is following the tried and true gastropub formula: craft beers plus some elaborate sandwiches equals a highly satisfying combination. The restaurant pours local brews from producers like Boomtown Brewery and Eureka Brewing Company and serves menu items like the Señor Reuben, which comes with sauerkraut and chipotle Thousand Island. They’ve also got burgers, including The Blvd Outlaw with bacon, smoked gouda, and fried onion strings on a brioche bun.

Alchemist is a new Mediterranean café in Beverly Grove that bills itself as a “hangout spot” to watch sports, have a Turkish coffee, and smoke hookah from 6pm onward. There’s also food served from 8am to midnight, including Turkish breakfast spreads and bourekas in the morning and a variety of meze dips, few kebab plates, and meat-heavy sandwiches at lunch and dinner.

Hansei is a new concept at the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center in Little Tokyo that serves a nine-course “LA Nikkei-style” tasting menu for $175 a person. The experience seems to be a meal/tour hybrid that takes you around the center’s Japanese gardens and somewhere along the way you’ll eat dishes like corn flake-crusted jidori chicken wings and a California roll with Dungeness crab, uni, and crystalized soy sauce (expect some sake and local beers as well). We are both mystified and curious.

We checked out Hansei and added it to The LA Hit List.

A celebrity-backed Mexican steakhouse has opened in Beverly Hills, which no doubt means it’s already the hardest table to score in the neighborhood. Details are pretty scarce, but we do know that it’s located in the basement of the Rodeo Collection shopping center and names attached to it include Ryan Philippe, Evan Ross, and the guy who planned Britney Spears’ wedding. Sounds like a party. 

Just in time for late summer’s ongoing heatwave, halo halo pop-up Tito Rudy’s is now operating out of a permanent kiosk space in Chinatown’s Far East Plaza. You’ll find twists on the Filipino frozen dessert in flavors like peaches and cream, avocado and almond jelly, and the classic—ube ice cream, leche flan, sweet corn, and tapioca. Right now, hours are limited to Thursday through Saturday from 4-8pm, making it a clutch pit stop if you’re doing some weekend shopping and start to overheat. 

One of our favorite downtown rooftops is reopening this weekend, this time as a new concept called Bar Clara. The former Nomad space has been rebranded as Hotel Per La, with Bar Clara serving as its rooftop pool bar/day drinking zone. For food, you’ll find an all-day menu with snacks like papas fritas and saganaki, as well as larger format dishes such as mezze platters and a herb-stuffed snapper. But we have a hunch most people will be coming here to drink, so expect a full wine list, several house cocktails, and an entire menu section dedicated to on-tap spritzes. 

In the event you’re up in Montecito and feeling luxurious (two things that often go hand in hand), there’s a new fancy sushi bar in town called Ama Sushi. Located on the grounds of the sprawling and mind-bogglingly expensive Rosewood Miramar, the place is named after the “ama” divers of Japan—mostly female swimmers who have foraged the coastlines for centuries. While no one at Rosewood will be harpooning fish right from the water (as far as we know), you can expect fresh, high-quality sushi. The omakase runs about $185 per person, but a la carte ordering is available as well.    

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Full Proof Pizza

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Originally started a pop-up based out of Culver City’s Lodge Bread, this NY-style pizza shop has opened in a dedicated restaurant space in Beverly Hills. The retro, 80s-designed interior is pretty small—there aren’t any tables to speak of—but there is a pinball machine you can play while you wait for your pre-ordered pizza. Pies come as either 12-inch or 18-inch, with toppings such as spicy eggplant, BBQ chicken, and potato and leek. 

JULY

If you’re still feeling blue about Nossa closing in Los Feliz, we’ve got good news—it’s back. Sort of. The space on Hillhurst has been flipped to a new concept called Nossa Caipirinha Bar. Inspired by the beach bar/hangout spots of Brazil, Caipirinha Bar appears more casual than its predecessor, with a whole section of different caipirinhas, a popular Brazilian cocktail made from cachaca, lime, and sugar, on the menu. For food, snacks range from chicken heart skewers and ceviche to bigger dishes like prawn moqueca.

We checked out Nossa Caipirinha Bar and added it to The LA Hit List.

Shady Groves Foods has had various past lives as a catering company, pop-up, and now full-fledged restaurant in Long Beach’s 4th Street District. The Cajun/Creole BBQ spot has a massive menu that pulls influence from all over—think shrimp po’boys, vegan jambalaya, and baby back ribs smoked in red oak. Swing by for Sunday brunch or on weekdays from 4-7pm for their “Shady Hour,” which features various food, beer, and wine specials.  

Attention KBBQ fanatics (us included): there’s a new grilled meat spot in K-town. King Chang is a popular BBQ spot that hails from Buena Park, where it developed a following for quality meats, including their specialty—beef intestines. The menu features various combo platters and, bonus, the staff comes around with a little wheel that you can spin and win prizes ranging from free dessert to soju.

After launching two successful locations in Costa Mesa and Long Beach, Seabirds is bringing its vegan menu to Hillhurst Ave. in Los Feliz. The menu covers a ton of ground with everything from purple potato taquitos to BBQ burgers and bibimbap bowls. The fast casual operation also has a full kids menu and a sunny front patio, making it a good option for a quick healthy lunch.  

Popular and slightly mysterious K-town restaurateur Chef Kang has returned with a new restaurant. His latest venture is called Seoul Nights, a Korean gastropub with a sprawling interior and a big outdoor patio. With interesting dishes like a Korean brisket pancake and chorizo kimchi cheese paella, it seems destined to be the new big group dinner spot in Koreatown.

The Bop is a new counter-service bowl spot right on 3rd. St. in Beverly Grove. The menu features dishes like shrimp tempura udon and Spam musubi, but the specialties here are the sashimi and chirashi bowls. Layered with thick cuts of hamachi, tuna, albacore, and other fish, these look like pretty substantial bowls for their $18 price point. 

If you want to grab our attention for an extended amount of time, name your restaurant Curry Zone. The menu at this new Indian spot in Valley Village features plenty of curries, but there’s also various biryanis, tandoori platters, and kathi rolls, which are thin flatbreads griddled with egg and filled with a protein of your choice. 

photo credit: Maxim Shapovalov

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Tail O' The Pup

Tail O’ The Pup is an iconic stand in West Hollywood that’s shaped like a giant hot dog (can you guess what they sell?). Now located in a more spacious spot off Santa Monica Blvd., the retro restaurant comes from the same people who renovated historic spots like Idle Hour and Formosa Cafe. The stand’s original 1946 “pup” is still on the menu, topped with grilled onions and house mustard, along with a kid-friendly “puppy dog.” The menu also has stuff like hamburgers, corn dogs, and vegan options, which you'll eat under a pinstripe awning on the two-story patio.

We checked out Tail O' The Pup and added it to The LA Hit List.

Saffy’s in East Hollywood quickly earned a place on our Best New Restaurants List, but the recently opened Middle Eastern restaurant isn’t done growing: The space next door now operates Saffy’s Coffee & Tea, a daytime spot where you can buy locally roasted coffee and some very attractive baked goods. While the pastry menu is slated to rotate, current choices include boysenberry cheese danishes, golden-brown bourekas, and buttermilk biscuits with salted butter and housemade jam.

photo credit: Seoulmates

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Seoulmates

Seoulmates is a casual Beverly Grove spot that feels part Korean, part Mexican, but 100% LA. Tacos, hoagies, and bowls are on the menu with a choice of meat or plant-based options. Think tacos with gochujang-braised jackfruit birria, a bulgogi sub with kimchi remoulade, and a pile of loaded fries topped with queso and pickled chiles. 

photo credit: Patio Del Mar

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Patio Del Mar

Patio Del Mar is a new beachfront spot that is actually on the beach, and by that we mean directly on the Santa Monica Strand. Attached to the Hotel Casa del Mar, the restaurant features a bistro-style patio where you can soak in views of the Pacific and sunburnt rollerbladers. The restaurant’s menu is focused on seafood and includes dishes like Maine lobster rolls, a Dungeness crab avocado toast, and salmon tartare. 

We think of the Arts District as mainly a dinner destination these days, but Propaganda Wine Bar has arrived to offer something a little different: an Italian aperitivo experience. Stop by in the early evening for some wine flights, spritzes, and small bites like whipped nduja crostinis. Propaganda also serves a full dinner menu of Roman-style pinsas, plenty of cheese and salumi for snacking, and a large selection of natural wines by the glass.

photo credit: Casita

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Casita

Casita is a new Mexican restaurant in Sherman Oaks that has a $42 wagyu steak taco. And now that we’ve grabbed your attention, we should clarify that the rest of the tacos here don’t surpass $14. Along with snacks like chipotle-slathered street corn and mushroom tostadas, the menu also includes a “flaming” slab of panela cheese set alight with mezcal, chiles rellenos stuffed with sauteed squash, and a whole snapper topped with charred citrus.

Post-midnight dinners in Koreatown often involve something hot and spicy, and you can now add Assa Dakbal to your list of pepper-powered options. This Korean restaurant specializes in dakbal, or spicy chicken feet coated in a thick, spicy gochujang glaze. There are plenty more spicy stir-fries on the menu, too, offering various textures and flavors from fried chicken gizzards and Korean blood sausage to rice cakes and ramen.

photo credit: Erick Turcios

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Gunsmoke

Gunsmoke is a new Japanese American spot in Hollywood from the chef behind Hinoki & The Bird. There are plenty of Japanese flavors at play, like a tuna crudo with country smoked ham or sweet potato with umeboshi creme fraiche. The restaurant has a pretty straightforward menu of four entrees and a handful of small plates, plus a signature cocktail called the Kyoto Iced Tea that mixes vodka, gin, rum, and tequila with cantaloupe soda. We'll take one, please. 

photo credit: Anna Beeke

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Maciel’s Plant-Based Butcher & Deli

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This vegan “pulled-pork” sub glistening in adobo sauce has grabbed our attention. Maciel’s is LA’s first-ever plant-based butcher shop, with the Highland Park spot selling vegan cheeses, meats, and sandwiches with a Mexican spin. Besides the saucy adobo “rib” sandwich (which is actually jackfruit), there’s a sandwich with vegan “chorizo and eggs” on a shiny brioche bun to start the day.

photo credit: Flapjax Diner

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Flapjax Diner

Flapjax Diner is a Santa Monica breakfast spot that takes pancakes very seriously, and we appreciate the commitment to fluffy carbs in the morning. There are eleven kinds of pancakes to choose from, including one with chicken karaage, a turmeric pancake with goat cheese, and a maple glaze version with crumbled bacon bits. And for those not interested in a stack of flapjacks before noon, there is also an all-day brunch menu that is just as inventive with dishes like a portobello pesto eggs benedict and spicy red curry omelet. 

photo credit: El Arco

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El Arco

Highland Park burrito fans might remember the beloved El Arco Iris before it closed a few years back. But the family-owned restaurant is now making a comeback, this time in Lincoln Heights. The Mexican restaurant serves the same hearty comfort foods as its predecessor: enchiladas covered in melted cheese, spicy pork chile verde, and massive burritos covered in ladles of salsa. 

photo credit: Chimmelier

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Chimmelier

Chimmelier is a Korean fried chicken spot that recently made the jump from pop-up to brick-and-mortar shop. Even though you’ll still spot them at Smorgasburg on Sundays, their fried chicken sandwiches have officially found a home in a Ktown takeout kitchen (with an outdoor dining space currently in the works). The menu is short and sweet with a few Korean street snacks like chapsal cheese balls and spiced tater tots with a side of kimchi Thousand Island for dipping. But the protagonist here is the KFC Sando that comes as a hearty fried cutlet inside a sesame bun with Dashi mayo and a spicy pickled slaw for crunch. 

Hermosa Beach was lacking in fancy cheese options and Cultured Slice answered the call. The South Bay cheese shop has now expanded into the deli business with a separate sandwich counter right off the pier. Next time you hit Hermosa Beach, grab the Pig & Fig sandwich with deli-sliced ham and fig jam, or the Peaches & Cream with stracciatella and fresh peaches spread on a baguette.

photo credit: Canopy Club

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Canopy Club

A shrimp cocktail by the pool is a great way to spend a summer afternoon, and Canopy Club is where you can do just that. The Culver City rooftop offers a breakfast menu with pastries and standard breakfast items, but you can stick around for the larger all-day menu that includes everything from bluefin tuna crudos to a double smashburger with fries. Food is served poolside, so secure a reclining lounge chair and relax with a spritz before your crudité arrives. 

If you visit Meteora’s website you might mistake it for a tropical couples retreat with a vaguely ominous vibe. Instead, it’s the latest opening by the people behind Vespertine and Destroyer, which explains the experimental  approach to some of the food. There’s a dish called Leaves & Stones that consists of heirloom stone fruit “awakened over a fire” before being plated with cured duck breast, plus even more elaborate-sounding dishes like a hazelnut-fed pork that’s basted with tree leaves and served with a rhubarb compote.

photo credit: Broad Street Oyster

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Broad Street Oyster Co.

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Over the past few years, Broad Street Oyster has gone from a local pop-up to a mini oyster empire with five locations, including Santa Barbara, Malibu, and now DTLA’s Grand Central Market. The new market stall is serving Broad Street’s signature seafood towers and spicy soft shell crab sandos with fresno chili aioli and crunchy slaw. Their buttery lobster rolls will also make an appearance and can be dressed up with uni or caviar if you’re in the mood to splurge. 

photo credit: Aizen

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Aizen

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Aizen is an udon spot in Little Tokyo that serves some very creative spins on the Japanese noodle dish: “salad” udon in a tomato broth with fresh greens, udon with black truffle and caviar, and the house specialty, a cold seafood udon with a shiso pesto. The casual restaurant also offers more traditional versions of the dish floating in hot dashi if you prefer your udon on the simpler side.

photo credit: Chez Bacchus

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Chez Bacchus

Anyone with wine snob friends has heard plenty about food and wine pairings, but at Chez Bacchus, it’s an essential part of the dining experience. A new addition to Long Beach’s East Village, the “approachable fine dining” restaurant boasts a vast collection of old world wines to pair with their seasonal menu, which currently includes beet-poached Spanish octopus and herb-roasted chicken with Yukon potatoes cooked in duck fat. 

Bernie’s Soul Kitchen

Originally from the Chicago area, Bernie’s Soul Kitchen serves a mix of soul food and jerk-style everything, including jerk bowls, tacos, wraps, and all-day pizza. The main attraction at this Culver City spot are its soul food dinners, with a larger menu served on Sundays. There’s fried catfish, baked chicken, and smothered pork chops, plus sides like mac and cheese and collard greens. We can keep going, but you get the point: come hungry. 

photo credit: The Rising Sun

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The Rising Sun

The Rising Sun is an Arts District spot that serves “Southern-style sidewalk eats with a boozy bent,” according to its website. Turns out most of the booze is hiding in the food. There are crepes with a brandy-infused drizzle, sugar-coated beignets with strawberry-gin preserves, and some fluffy-looking waffles with brandied honey butter. If more coffee and less liquor is your typical breakfast approach, there are also options like fried chicken and a breakfast po’boy with egg and andouille sausage. 

photo credit: San Laurel

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San Laurel

There’s a wave of new Spanish restaurants in town, which now includes San Laurel inside the Conrad Los Angeles hotel. The breakfast and dinner concept, which features Spanish-influenced dishes made with California produce, is the latest from celebrity chef/serial restaurateur José Andrés. Current offerings include a roasted celeriac carpaccio and rack of lamb with carrot puree and confit lemons. There’s also plenty of Spanish wines on the menu, as well as a sizable cocktail selection that can be enjoyed on the restaurant’s outdoor terrace. 

Mandolin Taverna is located inside Soho Warehouse, but you don’t need a pricey membership to get in (the restaurant is open to the general public). This Greek-Turkish spot is an offshoot of the original location in Miami and if the space seems familiar, it’s because it looks like those Greek island destinations you see on Instagram every summer: white-washed walls, dangling basket lanterns, and a breezy tree-shaded patio. The food is a mix of Turkish and Greek flavors with dishes like manti dumplings with garlic yogurt and grilled lamb chops with orzo pilaf. There’s also plenty of mezze if you’re here for small bites and a cocktail.

photo credit: Wonho Frank Lee

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Irv's Burgers

Everyone's a sucker for a comeback story, which is why we’re so invested in Irv's Burgers. The beloved WeHo stand is back after closing four years ago, but this time at a new address. The old Irv's was all about its simple menu, most of which will be replicated at the new spot, including the famed “Just For You” burger with Thousand Island dressing and crunchy pickles. Other items such as tuna melts, hotdogs, and pastrami sandwiches will be returning, but it's owner Sonia Hong's return to the LA burger scene that's most anticipated.

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Pine & Crane - DTLA

After bringing quick and affordable Taiwanese food to Silver Lake, Pine & Crane has opened a second location in DTLA. Unlike its cozy predecessor, this new location looks spacious and airy with lots of glass, light wood, and slightly uncomfortable-looking benches that at least look gorgeous. The expanded menu spans from breakfast to dinner and looks very comforting: pan-fried daikon cakes, popcorn chicken, minced pork on rice with soy braised egg, and a decent dumpling and steamed bun section.

photo credit: Jakob Layman

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Savida

Crudos… so hot right now. Another raw bar has arrived in LA, this time Savida in Santa Monica. Located off Montana Ave, this spot has a short but tasty looking menu that isn’t full of ponzu-drenched sashimi, but rather creative takes on other various seafood dishes. There’s a classic oyster tray with mignonette, but also an octopus tostada with harissa and tzatziki, cured Spanish mackerel on creme fraîche, and salmon aguachile. Note that there are some appealing-sounding fish-free options as well, including a fresh fig and honey salad with a slathering of mascarpone.

photo credit: Madeo Ristorante

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Madeo Ristorante

For the last 30-something years, Madeo Ristorante was where you’d go for a classic red sauce Italian meal on a white tablecloth and potentially make brief eye contact with a celebrity. But the Beverly Hills spot now has a new home in West Hollywood’s 1 Hotel and continues to keep things old school with a linguine alla vongole and their thinly-pounded veal milanese that's the size of a small frisbee.

photo credit: Brigitte Neman

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Dunsmoor

Some people’s cooking skills begin and end with a microwave, but Dunsmoor is doing things old school with tools like a wood-fired hearth and a hand-cranked grain mill. The menu at this Glassell Park spot, run by the former chef of Hatchet Hall, is sourced from old American cookbooks and historical accounts, making a meal here sound a little like a history class field trip (with pork butt rillettes instead of souvenir coins) There’s plenty of hearty country-style dishes on the menu, such as Pennsylvania Dutch dumplings and sour-milk cornbread, but also lighter options, like a lamb tartare with mint and seared albacore topped with ginger root relish.

We checked out Dunsmoor and added it to The LA Hit List

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