If you tried to keep track of every brand new restaurant in Los Angeles, you might go a little bit crazy. 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.
We’ll be updating this post regularly, and once we check out each spot, we’ll add a note so you know where to read more about it.
Westwood’s latest addition is Violet, a casual French bistro that also doubles as a culinary school. Everything here is charming and Très French, from the rustic, wooden interiors and a shaded patio out back, to the menu, filled quiche, steak frites, gougères (choux pastries with cheese), and pan-seared whitefish barigoule. The cocktail list follows suit, featuring, uh, French-ish drinks like the Monsieur Pimm and the Bloody Antoinette. Violet is open for lunch and dinner during the week, and does a weekend brunch from 9am-2pm.
Forget Disneyland, if you really want your dreams to come true, head to Melrose Ave. Operating out of a cozy, West Hollywood-ish space, Tree of Wishes serves all kinds of Mediterranean fare, from meze like hummus and muhammara (a red pepper and walnut spread), to larger mains like branzino and casarecce with roasted eggplants and Kalamata olives. And if you’re like B.O.B. and could really use a wish right now, there’s a literal wishing tree out back. Just write down your hopes and dreams onto a ribbon, tie it to one of its branches, and hope that the forest gods will actually take away your adult acne.
We found love in a hopeless place - which, in this context, means organic, vegan food in West Hollywood. This plant-based restaurant on Santa Monica Blvd. serves a variety of pan-Asian foods, such as Thai “wings” cooked in lemongrass, pad thai, chow mein noodles, and green curry dumplings, as well as an entire menu of fish-less sushi rolls, with ingredients like spicy tofu, seared trumpet mushrooms, and carrot tempura.
Life is cyclical - the old replaces the new, Drew Barrymore now books mom roles on television, and the Johnny Rockets on Melrose has been taken over by vegan burgers. Nomoo (get it?), is a new plant-based restaurant that serves Impossible cheeseburgers and “hot chicken” sandwiches made with fermented seitan. Plus, 10% of their monthly profits are donated to an animal rights charity - which should make you feel better about all of the water you wasted taking that 40-minute stress shower last night.
After starting as a pop-up, Pearl River Deli made like that tattoo you got while blacked out of broccoli conducting an orchestra (it’s Chopin Broccoli, and it was not funnier at the time) and has gone permanent. Located in a bare-bones space in the Far East Plaza (you might need to wade through the line at Howlin’ Ray’s to find it, F.Y.I.), this order-at-the-counter Chinatown joint is serving Cantonese dishes like char siu over rice, silky shrimp-and-egg scrambles, and Macau pork chops on pineapple buns.
We checked out Pearl River Deli and put it on our Hit List.
With shelves filled with ’90s NBA bobbleheads and Happy Meal toys, this retro smashburger spot hits the nostalgia button hard, and will transport you back to the days when you wore low-cut jeans and got dropped off at the mall in your mom’s Dodge Caravan. Owned and operated by the brothers behind Badmaash, this new burger joint on La Brea keeps it pretty simple - look out for single and double patties, a bacon burger, hot dogs, breakfast sandwiches and burritos, fries, and milkshakes. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
We checked out Burgers 99 and put it on our Hit List.
If the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the words “Mexican seafood” is “I want more of it,” then La Camarona might just be for you. This new all-you-can-eat restaurant in Pasadena focuses on the flavors and cooking styles of the coastal state of Nayarit, which means hot and cold dishes like ceviches, aguachiles, steaks, and whole fried tilapia. Do not eat beforehand.
Unlike hanging out with your actual little brother (for the record, this is a joke, Noah), Hermanito is a bar/restaurant where you might actually have some fun. Located on Sawtelle Blvd., this new neighborhood spot has a menu filled with “snaxxx” (their word, not ours) like chicharrones and shrimp sandwiches, and tacos served on Sonoran-style flour tortillas, as well as a variety of mezcal-filled cocktails.
We checked out Hermanito, read our first thoughts here.
El Prince is a new Middle Eastern restaurant in Inglewood, and perhaps the first place we’ve ever covered inside of a Quick Mart. Located amongst rows of produce and cleaning supplies, this all-day Halal spot features plates of shawarma, kofta, and shish taouk (grilled chicken skewers marinated in yogurt, lemon juice, and garlic) served over rice or fries, as well as wraps made to order.
Chang Hwa Dang, or CHD for short, is a new restaurant from Seoul that specializes in dumplings. Located in a strip mall off of Wilshire Blvd., you’ll find the entire spectrum of mandu here, from grilled to steamed, with fillings like ground pork, kimchi, galbi, and shrimp. But if you, like Fabolous (featuring Jeremih and Davido), can’t choose just one, get the mixed plate - or one of their other Korean dishes, like tteok-boki or kimchi fried rice.
From modern takes on Hawaiian fare to a name that roughly translates to the title of Drake’s 2011 album, Take Care, Malama Pono is a new restaurant in The Valley serving food from across the Pacific. Located in a blue-and-green-toned space that’s so lush, it looks like it could have been ripped from a Smithsonian rainforest exhibit, the menu features a variety of both Hawaiian foods, like Spam crispy rice and loco moco, and not-Hawaiian foods, like Southeast Asian duck confit and hanger steak au poivre.
The Ricans is a new takeaway counter in the Arts District with one central goal - to perfect the art of mofongo. And while we can’t tell you if they’ve actually achieved such excellence (y’know, since we haven’t been yet), what we can say is that they’re serving a diverse mix of Puerto Rican dishes, from chicharrones de pollo over rice to smashed pork burgers, in addition to their pièce de résistance, their North Star, a traditionally made mofongo plate served with a house criolla sauce.
Chef Tony is a new high-end dim sum spot in Pasadena that comes from the man behind Sea Harbour, a terrific Chinese restaurant in Rosemead that’s one of our favorite places for salted egg yolk buns and people-watching. Featuring high ceilings, gold accents, and crystal chandeliers, this place errs on the side of upscale and feels very palatial (a word we definitely knew before today). The menu is similarly filled with luxury items, like squid ink shrimp dumplings with a gold leaf and stir-fried Maine lobster, as well as simpler, more traditional Cantonese dishes like shrimp har gow, radish cakes, and steamed pork buns.
We checked out Chef Tony, read our first thoughts here.
Located at a semi-private bar within I-Naba Restaurant, Tempura Nagomi is a new spot in Torrance that specializes in everything battered and deep-fried. There are a few a la carte options, but the prix-fixe menus are the main focus here. At both lunch and dinner, you have your choice between three different sets, which include rounds of sashimi, soba noodles, and of course, tons of tempura. Reservations only.
This new luxury restaurant comes from the chef behind Osteria Francescana, the three-Michelin-star restaurant in Modena that’s inspired an estimated 7 trillion Google Flights searches to Italy. His newest outpost is located on the rooftop of the Gucci store on Rodeo Dr., and besides the obligatorily opulent decor - which includes Gucci wallpaper, antique furniture, plenty of plush velvet, and red marble tabletops - the menu features dishes like spaghetti with Tuscan seafood stew, pâté drizzled with balsamic vinegar, and white trout with hazelnuts and mushrooms.
The straightforward name of this new restaurant in DTLA pretty much says it all, but here are a few more details anyway. In addition to ramen, which ranges from tonkotsu with confit pork shoulder to a vegan option with charred onions and mushrooms, they also serve Japanese dishes such as gyoza, spicy tuna rice bowls, and karaage fried chicken (apparently not everything fit into the name).
The newest addition to the ground floor of the Beverly Center is ABSteak, a modern steakhouse doing Korean-style BBQ. They specialize in premium steaks, from dry-aged cuts to whiskey-aged prime rib eyes, and forgo traditional KBBQ flourishes like banchan at the beginning of a meal (you get a basket of bread instead). But they do offer a variety of Korean side dishes, like kimchi fried rice, kurobuta pork belly, and uni-topped marinated shrimp with smoked sweet potato foam (just in case you forgot you were in the Beverly Center).
Khan Saab is a new restaurant from the chef behind Tumbi that has everything from a completely Halal menu and Wagyu steaks to a hand-painted mural featuring scenes from Pakistani films. Located in Fullerton, their expansive menu includes dishes from India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, like mutton korma, a goat curry made with yogurt and honey, fried butter chicken doused in a masala rub, plus a wide variety of steaks, kabobs, and biryanis.
Surfer Rose is a new late-night bar/restaurant in Santa Monica. Operated by the Pixies fan club/team behind The Cliffdiver in Malibu, expect a menu filled with food and drinks tailor-made for eating post-beach/escaping the Westside’s swarms of tourists, such as thin-crust pizzas topped with cheese, pepperoni, and prosciutto, local craft beers, and shrimp tacos.
Congrats UCLA students - not only do you attend the most applied-to college in the world, you’re now also in walking distance of Tacos 1986’s new outpost in Westwood Village. In addition to their signature Tijuana-style tacos, their new, compact space also serves quesadillas, mulitas, and vampiros, all made with mesquite-grilled meat, then topped with creamy guacamole and beans.
You win some, you lose some, and for Playa Vista, it’s the former. After closing the doors of their Echo Park outpost in 2019, Winsome is back. Now located on the Westside, the latest iteration of this sunny, all-day cafe is a bit more casual, with a new order-at-the-counter set-up and only breakfast and lunch hours to start. Expect a lot of the same brunch-y foods, like avocado tartines, smoked salmon wraps, and a fried egg breakfast sandwich, plus salads, soups, and a burger.
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is a new disco-themed bar located in Ktown’s Line Hotel. The huge, mega-saturated space somehow feels both retro and futuristic, and looks like a combination of Xanadu and the last act of Annihilation. In addition to an extensive cocktail menu, they also serve a few vegan dishes like cashew cheeseburgers and tacos made with lettuce and mushrooms. Although, if you’re not in the mood to eat plant-based, we recommend either watching Joaquin Phoenix’s Oscars speech, or heading upstairs to Openaire and ordering the sirloin steak.
This suite new Ktown spot combines two of our favorite things - All You Can Eat Korean BBQ and a genuinely good wine selection. They’ve got all of the traditional cuts of meat, like belly and brisket, in addition to more premium options such as toshi-sal, or marinated beef, and USDA prime ribeye. Their late-night menu also includes an assortment of ramen, and a jajangmyeon-inspired bowl of noodles in a black bean sauce.
Tilda is a new restaurant, natural wine bar, and bottle shop in Echo Park. Located in a compact, cozy space, they definitely make the most of their tight quarters, featuring plenty of skin-contact bottles from California, as well as a variety of beers, ciders, sakes, and spritzers. They also have an assortment of small bites, including (the obligatory) cheese and charcuterie boards, smoked trout dip, picnic sandwiches with flaked tuna and haricots verts, and a unique dessert tray, which comes with goat cheese, tortas, and fig compote.
We checked out Tilda and put it on our Bar Hit List.
If the nine-hour flight to the actual 876 seems a little too long for you, head to this new Caribbean spot in Chatsworth. The menu is filled with a wide variety of Jamaican dishes, such as ackee and saltfish, curried goat, jerk chicken, and oxtails. Plus, on Fridays and Saturdays, they’re also doing jerk chicken wings.
Mio Babbo is a new build-your-own pasta spot in Brentwood. The bright, casual space is decorated with an eclectic mix of orange and blue, which honestly kind of reminds us of the video game Portal. You can choose between a variety of noodle/sauce combinations, with pastas like spaghetti, linguine, and gnocchi, and sauces like pomodoro, Bolognese, and pesto. You can also add a protein (chicken, sausage, or shrimp), or just opt for mains like chicken Milanese or grilled branzino. There’s even a truffle shop inside.
Sōgo is the latest addition to Los Feliz’s crowded restaurant scene, and comes from the people behind Sushi Note, the sushi/wine bar in Sherman Oaks that’s one of the single greatest sushi experiences in Los Angeles. The space is bright and airy, and features a 14-seat sushi bar (and shared outdoor patio space with Go Get Em Tiger), and they offer a variety of set menus, ranging from three to six rolls, as well as a la carte and cut roll options with fillings like toro, yellowtail, crab, and gravlax. Currently only open for lunch.
We checked out Sogo and put it on our Hit List.
Hyesung Noodle House understands something that the voting body of the Academy never could - that sometimes, less is more (ahem, Todd Phillips). Located in Koreatown, the first U.S. location of Seoul’s oldest noodle shop specializes in kalguksu, or Korean knife-cut noodle soup, which is served in either an anchovy or chicken-based broth. Their compact, four-item menu also includes bossam (boiled pork belly) and vegetable pancakes, as well as beer and soju.
We checked out Hyesung Noodle House, read our first thoughts here.
Although this is Uncle Paulie’s second location, their new DTLA outpost is no carbon copy - they’ve ditched the cold cut cases of the original Beverly Grove deli, and replaced them with a full kitchen. That means that in addition to their fantastic Italian combo and artichoke caprese sandwiches, they’ve got a bevy of new hot subs, like The Carmine (made with roast beef, mozzarella, and brown gravy on garlic bread) and The Franny (fried eggplant, broccoli rabe, and ricotta pesto).
While we sadly had to say goodbye (temporarily) to Elio’s earlier this month, worry not. There’s a new parking lot pizza pop-up (a.k.a PLPPU) in town, this time operating out of the 99 Cents Only store on York Blvd. in Highland Park. Angelenos’ - run by “a couple of middle-aged dads with an entrepreneurial spirit and a killer pizza pie” - is firing up plain cheese pies for $10, with each additional topping, like pepperoni, smoked ham, and white truffle oil, costing an additional $1-2.
Much like their pickled namesake, Piccalilli is a new restaurant that blends Eastern and Western flavors. Located in a colorful space in Culver City that looks like an after-hour night at LACMA gone off the rails, the menu here is influenced by the American South and various Asian countries. That means dishes like Thai banana hush puppies, grilled short ribs with sweet tofu and kimchi daikon, and a curiously spelled “Bangkock” chicken katsu.
We checked out Piccalilli, read our first thoughts here.
Located in Beverly Grove, this new rotisserie is serving organic, fire-grilled chicken in a variety of combos (whole, half, leg and thigh, etc), as well as chicken salad and soups, including an Asian-inspired chicken and mushroom soup with enoki mushrooms and a baby bok choy broth. Have we just found our new spirit animal? (You’re right, that was bad - we should log off.)
Not much has changed with Prime’s latest outpost. This one’s in Burbank, and you can still order a variety of their signature NY-style pies (we’re partial to the one with sausage and kale), as well as garlic knots, chopped salads, and, like, really cool merch. And, in what might be the best prime-related bargain since the introduction of two-day shipping, they now offer a family deal, where you can get all of the above (cheese pie, knots, and salad) for just $30. Beat that, Bezos.
The burger king has expanded his kingdom - Father’s Office is now open in the Arts District. This is their third location (they also have outposts in Santa Monica and Culver City), and while they’ve moved into a larger space, the menu - and their craft beer list - has remained the same. And before you ask, yes, that includes the burger.
In a particularly delicious twist of fate, one of our favorite Mediterranean restaurants in the city has opened a roast chicken joint. Located next to - and operated by - the people behind Kismet, this new rotisserie serves quarter, half, and whole chickens, as well as a variety of soups and sandwiches, like pitas stuffed with tahini-roasted vegetables and bowls of lemony chicken soup. Plus, in a stroke of absolute genius, they’ve introduced a new “kids met” menu (we’re genuinely upset we didn’t think of this pun first).
We checked out Kismet Rotisserie and put it on our Hit List.
Ever since Fiona closed last year, we’ve been in a state of grief, desperately trying to distract ourselves with activities like knitting and deep-diving on Zooey Deschanel’s random relationship with a Property Brother. But luckily, those days are behind us - Fiona’s pies are back. Now called Fat & Flour, and located inside of Grand Central Market, they’re still baking that Key Lime pie that made the old Fairfax spot famous, plus treats like tangerine meringue pie and sugar cookies.
Met Him At A Bar
From the people behind the breakfast and brunch spot Met Her At A Bar comes a new Italian restaurant on La Brea, aptly named Met Him At A Bar (we think we might be sensing a theme here). Located across the street from their feminine counterpart, in a bright, colorful space that looks like it could double as a Mamma Mia! set piece, the menu is filled with homemade pastas like linguine alfredo, paccheri Bolognese, and white truffle ravioli.
We checked out Met Him At A Bar, read our first thoughts here.
Between Dave’s Hot Chicken, Angry Birdz, Raging Hot, Chips N’ Chicks, Piping Hot Beaks, Hot Fried Chicken To Go (we swear we only made one of these up), and the perpetually long lines at Howlin’ Rays, Nashville hot chicken is having a certified moment. The latest addition to the city’s growing poultry movement is Hotville, a new restaurant in Baldwin Hills that’s certified chicken royalty - the owner’s aunt runs Nashville’s iconic Prince’s Hot Chicken. So expect a Southern menu full of everything from extra-juicy chicken to mac and cheese and fried fish (a.k.a. all the foods you want after a long day of work, and/or misplacing your right AirPod).
We checked out Hotville Chicken and put it on our Hit List.
Kazan is a new soba restaurant from the founder of Tatsu Ramen, and, according to the neon sign in their window, they’re the “pinnacle of noodle.” And while the jury is still out on whether or not they’ve actually achieved buckwheat excellence, what we do know is that their sleek, glowing Beverly Hills dining room looks like it could have been designed by Roger Deakins, and their menu is filled with an exceptional array of warm sobas - from traditional, thin noodles in a soy sauce broth to a “spicy but addictive” version that comes with lamb and cilantro.
We checked out Kazan and put it on our Hit List.
We may have seen a lot of excess in 2019 (hello @ “Chicago Fire,” “P.D.,” and “Med”), but no one does exorbitance better than West Hollywood’s latest addition, Olivetta. Equipped with four different dining areas, turquoise walls, a banquet hall, and a functional fireplace, this new hangout is equal parts Italian/Mediterranean restaurant and Knives Out set piece. The menu contains a wide variety of dishes, from chopped black kale and bucatini in an arugula-cashew pesto to lobster spaghetti and baked seabass with caramelized fennel.
We checked out Olivetta, read our first thoughts here.
A legend in the world of drinking has arrived in LA - and no, we’re not talking about Kathie Lee Gifford. Death & Co., one of New York’s first craft cocktail bars, is now open in the Arts District, and like their predecessor, they’re in a very, very dark space (literally a basement). This subterranean spot is split into two parts, with a casual standing room at the front, and a more formal main bar in the back. Each section offers a different array of food and drinks, with the standing room (open Thursday-Sunday) focusing on simple cocktails and small bites, and the main bar handling heartier dishes like uni on brioche, duck confit agnolotti, and a very lengthy cocktail menu (duh).
We checked out Death & Co. and put it on our Bar Hit List.
From the people behind Border Grill comes SoCalo, a new, modern Mexican restaurant in Santa Monica. Located in the Gateway Hotel, this sleek, all-day outpost is filled with communal dining tables, overhead ring lights, and an impressive selection of Mexican spirits, including tequila, mezcal, pox (an ancestral Mayan drink), raicilla, and bacanora. As for the food, SoCalo serves a variety of traditional Mexican dishes, like carne asada tacos, Ensenada seafood mixta, and chicken dorados, as well as modern variations like burritos made with Impossible chorizo and oat milk plantain fritters.
After a brief ten-month intermission, one of LA’s finest (and most expensive) French restaurants has returned - with a friend. The chef behind the original Mélisse, as well as Dear John’s and Openaire went full “Fixer Upper” on the old Santa Monica space, and has now reopened it to house two separate restaurants. On one side is the new Mélisse, which scaled back to a tight 14 seats, but kept their $$$ tasting menu, and on the other is Citrin, a brand new a la carte restaurant that features similarly expensive offerings, but claims to be a bit more casual (or as casual as you can be with hot-pink, tiger-print Gucci wallpaper in the restroom).
We checked out Citrin, read our first thoughts here.
West Hollywood’s newest Japanese restaurant specializes in one thing, and one thing only - traditionally prepared bowls of freshwater eel (OK, and sushi, too). And while there are plenty of non-eel dishes on the menu, like an eight-piece nigiri set, it’s clear that Toku’s pièce de résistance - and the reason why they’re such a big d-eel - is their signature unagi, which comes either in a lacquered box or an ohitsu (Japanese rice bucket). So maybe get that?
We checked out Toku Unagi, read our first thoughts here.
No distractions to be found here - Red Herring is now open in DTLA. After closing their original Eagle Rock outpost early this year, they’ve reopened in a new location, but kept much of the same verdant aesthetic. They’ve also expanded the menu, which now includes everything from ricotta dumplings and orata la plancha to crispy quail and a classic smashburger.
We checked out Red Herring, read our first thoughts here.
After successful openings at Grand Central Market and a recent takeaway counter on Sunset Blvd., Clark Street is finally bready for their first standalone outpost. Located next to Grá, in the intersection of Echo Park and Historic Filipinotown, their new bakery will be serving their well-known pastries and breads, as well as new hot foods like leek and comté omelettes, Nordic breakfast plates, and bagels with lox.
We checked out Clark Street - Echo Park, read our first thoughts here.
If you’ve ever had a desire to eat in a restaurant where “sound is at the forefront of the design and intent” (whatever that means), then head to Verse. Located in a lush, jewel-toned Toluca Lake space that looks like it could double as the setting of a murder mystery, it was opened in collaboration with a Grammy-winning sound mixer and plans to host live music performances. The menu is filled with fanciful dishes like Wagyu tartare with pickled plum, bone marrow ravioli, and squid-and-chorizo lollipops.
After more ups, downs, and plot twists than an M. Night Shyamalan movie, Tom Bergin’s is back. Following their closure last year, the 83-year-old Irish pub is certified as an actual LA landmark, and has reopened its doors on Fairfax. And they’re not changing much - expect a lot of the same pub food as before, like fish and chips, shepherd’s pie, Dutch apple pie, and, of course, their famous Irish coffee.
The iconic Chicago deep-dish chain just opened their first West Coast outpost. Located in Sherman Oaks, Gino’s East (which, tbh, should maybe be called Gino’s West?) features an interior filled with whole lot of Windy City tchotchkes and, despite what you might think, a menu of pies for both sides of the ideological deep-dish debate. That means thin crust versions of all of their famous deep dish pizzas, plus other Chicago staples like Italian beef sandwiches.
Located in Hollywood, this new Italian restaurant definitely feels like a place Tony S. would go for a meal before heading to the Bada Bing. From the owners of Hinoki & The Bird and Rosaline, Soprano is outfitted with Very Serious decor, like checkered tiles and all-black furniture. The menu features red-sauce Italian comfort dishes and pizzas named after celebrities, like Chevy Chase and Bill Murray (but, strangely, not James Gandolfini).
We checked out Soprano, read our first thoughts here.
If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to eat pizza at The Max from Saved By The Bell, head to Game Over Pizza in Hollywood. Much like Button Mash, this new bar/arcade is the definition of all things #nostalgia, complete with neon furniture and games like NBA Jam and Street Fighter. The menu, developed by the chef from Brooklyn standout Paulie Gee’s Slice Shop, is filled with both square and circular pizzas with toppings like butternut squash and sausage, custom pies like the Boomer - which comes with mushrooms, chili flakes, and mozzarella - and even vegan options.
We checked out Game Over Pizza, read our first thoughts here.
With its pastel color scheme and minimalist furniture, Eszett feels more like a cafe from the future than a restaurant in a Silver Lake strip mall. Located in the old Trois Familia space, this former pop-up’s permanent home features an ample selection of natural wines and local brews, and a wide-ranging menu of dishes like salt-packed anchovy and egg, glazed cod with roasted Tokyo turnips, and an Austrian knödel (boiled dumpling) served with Santa Rose plums, sour whipped cream, and brown butter.
We checked out Eszett and put it on our Hit List.
Much like the beloved anthropomorphized tank engine, this new restaurant near Little Ethiopia runs on steam. From Chinese classics like pork bao and egg custard to more modern dishes like panda lava bun (made with red bean, not actual pandas or lava) and spiced-rice-coated ribs, everything on the menu here is steamed, which offers a healthier alternative to some of your favorite fried foods.
In addition to being the mental state we were in after making the mistake of watching Marriage Story with our significant other, All Day Baby is a new diner, bar, and bakery in Silver Lake. From the people behind Here’s Looking At You, this spot on Sunset Blvd. is open from 8am-3pm every day, and is home to all sorts of twists on American classics, like yellow corn grits with shrimp bolognese, smoked pork belly with tomatillo salsa, and a vanilla bean milkshake with bonded bourbon and spiced pumpkin butter.
We checked out All Day Baby and put it on our Hit List.
Andrew’s Place is the newest addition to Second Home, a “coworking campus” in Hollywood that, with its compact yellow pods and strategically placed trees, looks more like a base on Mars than a place where you would pretend to write a screenplay. Luckily, there’s no freeze-dried space food for sale - instead, the menu (from the chef behind Croft Alley), features a mix of Asian-skewed dishes like scrambled eggs with uni, and pork toro with kimchi fried rice.
Hank’s likes to keep things purposely vague, kind of like the job description you wrote for your three-month stint as an Executive Assistant. But the brand of ambiguity at Hank’s is the kind we actually like - their Instagram bio cryptically reads “Handmade bagels, sandwiches, spreads, and salady things. Sometimes soups.” To expound on that just a bit, they’re serving all sorts of bagels, including sandwiches with toppings like smoked whitefish, spicy maple-glazed bacon, and soppressata.
Much like our waistbands during the Thanksgiving to New Year’s eating cycle, Aduke African Cuisine is rapidly expanding. The catering-company-turned-full-service restaurant has just opened a second location in Inglewood, and if it’s anything like their original Pico-Robertson outpost, expect incredible Nigerian favorites like jollof rice combos, yam porridge, and pumpkin seed egusi.
Chicago has brought us many things, from deep-dish pizzas to national treasure John Mulaney, with the latest addition to the pantheon being Harold’s Chicken. Located in that tourist-heavy section of Hollywood you swore you’d never return to after getting your car towed (the signs are very unclear), this upscale - as in, they have a bar - outpost of the Windy City chain will be serving their famous fried chicken and fish, drizzled in their signature sauces.
We didn’t think that we could love Sticky Rice any more than we already do, but just like Awkwafina in The Farewell, they continue to surprise us. Head through the red curtains at the back of this Thai restaurant, and you’ll find Spirit House Echo Park, a new cocktail bar with live music, neon lights, and a scene that looks straight out of an A24 movie. The menu is full of tropical drinks like the Thai Shandy, which is made with Singha, lemon juice, tamarind, chili, and honey, and the Chiang Mai Mule, with white rum, lime juice, Thai basil, and ginger beer.
From the warm, sandy color scheme and marble-topped bistro tables to the open, airy bar, Marco Polo seems custom-built for alfresco dining, which it undoubtedly was. Located in the newly opened Silver Lake Pool & Inn, this coastal Italian restaurant expands out onto the pool deck itself, and serves the kinds of food that are perfect for sun-drenched discussions on world-building and the importance of saving jazz, such as a salt-roasted whole branzino, rigatoni fra diavolo, and a nettle pasta with pesto, walnuts, and ricotta salad.
We checked out Marco Polo and put it on our Hit List.
Not to be confused with the ridiculously popular hot dog stand of (roughly) the same name, Pinky’s is a new cocktail bar in Los Feliz. Operated by the team behind Atrium, there’s really only one word to describe this place: lush. With green-tiled benches, plenty of gold accents, and feng-shui affirming plant placements, Pinky’s looks like someone took a bathhouse and put it in the jungle - but, y’know, in a good way. The menu is small, featuring carnitas, chicken tinga, and rajas tacos, and the cocktail list is full of drinks crafted with sour cherry-infused rye, pomegranate-fig cordial, and black tea.
We checked out Pinky’s and put it on our Bar Hit List.
Loqui, one of our favorite taco spots in the city, has brought their thick, chewy, Frisbee-sized flour tortillas to the Arts District. Not much has changed from their original Culver City outpost - you still order their excellent primo tacos and plates at the counter - but now they’re up against Eastside powerhouses like Sonoratown, Guerrilla Tacos, and Bar Amá.
From the chef behind Frances and Octavia in San Francisco comes M. Georgina, the latest addition to DTLA’s Maze Runner-esque Row complex. Between the open dining room, high ceilings, and walls that alternate between floor-to-ceiling windows and slabs of concrete, this new spot either looks like a modern art museum cafeteria or a place where you might genuinely encounter a Griever (or both). The menu focuses on seafood and heartier dishes straight out of their wood-burning oven, including a grilled squid ink pita with trout roe, bay scallop crudo, wood-baked black cod, and cotechino sausage ragoût.
We checked out M. Georgina and put it on our Hit List.
If you’ve ever wondered what it feels like to party inside of a Halsey music video or, like, a really cool aquarium, head to Canary. Between the neon lights, leather booths, and so many plants there must be a real abundance of oxygen here, this tropical new bar/club in Santa Monica has everything you’d expect to see at a rave in the jungle, sans the snake from Britney Spears’ “I’m A Slave 4 U” VMA performance. That means plenty of appropriate cocktails, like the Gran Canaria, made with mint, lemon, passion fruit, rum, and yellow chartreuse, and the Fantasma, which is mezcal-based and comes with mole, orange blossom, honey, jalapeno, and chareau.
One of our favorite stands to loaf around in Grand Central Market (you can’t tell, but we’re patting ourselves on the back right now), Clark Street Bread has opened a small takeaway counter in Echo Park. While you wait for their full restaurant and bakery, which is opening later this year, you now can skip the Eggslut-adjacent madness Downtown and get your fill of country bread, avocado toast, sandwiches, and kouign-amann in the old Winsome space on Sunset Blvd.
Bar Restaurant is a new, well, you know, that does away with the pretentious and, frankly, tedious task of selecting a clever moniker. Initially opened as just a bar, this Silver Lake spot is now ready to fulfill both aspects of its name, with a French-leaning menu that includes mushroom soupe a l’oignon, pork tonkatsu with wakame Béarnaise, and mussels with Dijon mustard and milk-bread toast.
We checked out Bar Restaurant and put it on our Hit List.
No, the West Coast version of Hardee’s hasn’t opened a Tokyo-style restaurant - Tempura Carlos Jr is a new spot in Torrance that is serving everything deep-fried. Named after their founder, a Peruvian-born, Japanese-trained chef who developed his own crispy, egg-based batter, they’re frying everything from shrimp to shishito peppers to king crab, over your choice of either rice or soba noodles.
You’ll discover/locate/uncover Found Oyster next to the recently opened Five Leaves in East Hollywood. With a wooden bar, checkered tile floor, and nautical interior, this feels more like a spot you’d find in a cheerier version of The Lighthouse, as opposed to their actual location, which is a mere block away from that big blue Scientology building on Sunset Blvd. In addition to the namesake oysters, Found also serves shucked clams, chowder, steamers, and a lobster roll with serrano chili.
We checked out Found Oyster and put it on our Hit List.
Berkshire House is a new bar in Mid-City. Although this crowded stretch of La Brea Ave. has a decent amount of restaurants - Republique, Nong La, and of course, an obligatory Sugarfish outpost - this is one of the few casual spots in the neighborhood to grab a drink and watch a game. With a spacious interior, wraparound couches, and TVs that number in the double digits, Berkshire House has got everything sports fans need, plus a menu that includes a mix of chicken wings, pizza, and cheesesteaks, as well as $3 drinks (!!!) during Happy Hour.
In perhaps one of the most ambitious crossovers of 2019 (sorry @ Endgame), the chefs behind LA’s Sqirl and legendary Mexico City restaurant Contramar have teamed up to open Onda. Located in the Proper Hotel in Santa Monica, the menu blends the two cities’ cultures and cuisines, with dishes like smoked trout tostada, and corn masa-battered kelp with anchovies, lemon fritto misto, and crema salsa verde.
We checked out Onda and put it on our Hit List.
Located on that busy stretch on Sunset Blvd., that’s home to Pine & Crane, 33 Taps, and that one La Colombe that Abbi from Broad City randomly once took a picture with her dad in front of, Needle is focused on Hong Kong-style cooking. That means dishes like wood ear mushrooms with chili oil and scallions, and pork-chop buns with pork loin, milk bread, and spicy relish.
We checked out Needle, read our first thoughts here.
Grá is a new fermentation-focused spot in Echo Park, which means everything under the microorganism sun, from sourdough pizzas and kimchi to kombucha and natural wines. At first glance, it kind of looks like an Ikea showroom for Eastside coffee shops, with concrete floors, mismatched chairs and communal tables (and of course, hanging plants), and in the kitchen, you’ll find an Italian wood-fired oven baking organic pies with toppings like pistachio pesto and carnitas.
We checked out Grá, read our first thoughts here.
Holcomb is a new wine bar from the people behind some of our favorite places to drink, like The Hermosillo, Bar Covell, and Oriel. Located in Highland Park, all of the wines here are served from a tap - to help keep prices low - and the menu includes the usual roundup of wine-friendly snacks, like beef tartare, salumi, and a pork rillette sandwich.
We checked out Holcomb and put it on our Bar Hit List.
Located in Little Tokyo, Yapa is a cocktail bar and restaurant that’s focused on Nikkei cuisine - traditional Peruvian ingredients prepared with Japanese techniques, like korokke (a deep-fried croquette popular in Japan that Yapa fills with corn and yellow peppers) and tiradito (a spicy Peruvian raw-fish dish that’s cut like sashimi).
We checked out Yapa and put it on our Hit List.
After doing pop-ups all over the city, Goldburger has finally found a home - but only for a limited time. Based out of the space that used to be Haché in Silver Lake, this smashburger spot will only be around for the next six months - and is weekends-only at the moment - so get your fill of their thin-and-crispy double burgers (or the LA Special, topped with pastrami and dijonnaise slaw) while you can.
We checked out Goldburger, read our first thoughts here.
Between the high ceilings, beach-related artwork, and those damn rattan lighting fixtures every single LA restaurant seems to have nowadays, Bondi Harvest’s new outpost in Culver City’s ever-expanding Platform complex feels more like a coastal Sydney cafe than a SoulCycle-adjacent restaurant. Compared to their Santa Monica location, this version of the Australian cafe is a little more upscale, with foods like butterflied barbecued prawns and a 32-ounce Aussie Wagyu tomahawk steak, and a bar filled with only beer and wine from Down Under.
Cool, dark, and covered in greenery, Lolo is a new natural wine bar in East Hollywood that will surely be gracing an Instagram Story near you. The menu is filled with stuff that pairs well with all manner of wine (preservative-free and otherwise), from snacks like grilled focaccia and burrata, to larger dishes like ricotta cavatelli and steak au poivre.
We checked out Lolo, read our first thoughts here.
The newest addition to Leimert Park, Swift Cafe draws inspiration from Indian, Caribbean, and Central and South American cuisines, with a menu that is healthy and mostly plant-based. Dishes include ravioli made with sweet potato, almond milk ricotta, and sage butter, coconut chickpea curry, and jerk chicken with coconut rice and plantains.
Originally hailing from San Francisco, Vive La Tarte has brought their portmanteau-filled menu to Sunset Blvd. That includes a “Breakfast Tacro” - which is equal parts taco and croissant - filled with egg, avocado, bacon, cheese, and salsa - fresh-baked loaves of bread, avocado toast, and a “Kalefornia” breakfast salad.
We checked out Vive La Tarte, read our first thoughts here.
From the people behind NYC’s Sunday in Brooklyn comes Sibling Rival. Located in The Hoxton hotel, this all-day cafe features a gold-trimmed bar, mismatched tiles, and plush booths, making it look like what would happen if the hashtag #jungalow got hitched to a diner in the ’50s. But the menu is firmly rooted in this decade, full of dishes like the greenest Green Toast of all time (with avocado, spring peas, wheatgrass oil, and sprouts) and bone broth made with turmeric and ginger.
We checked out Sibling Rival, read our first thoughts here.
“HRB” is short for “Hand Roll Bar,” and as such, this hand-to-table restaurant specializes in sushi rolls with fillings like yuzu spicy tuna with cucumber, salmon, toro, and blue crab. Located next to Pershing Square in DTLA (and precariously close to the similarly themed KazuNori) HRB’s minimalist, slate-gray interiors ensure your focus is on the fish, which presumably amplifies the titular Experience.
We checked out The HRB Experience, read our first thoughts here.
Named after the iconic, tomato-based sauce mama used to make, Sunday Gravy is a new Italian restaurant in Inglewood. With its traditional red-and-white checkered tablecloths, dripping-font logo, and menu filled with everything from arrabiata pasta to fries with short rib ragu and mozzarella, Sunday Gravy seems to check every box required to be considered a cool, hip Italian restaurant - which is sure to impress even the toughest of mamas.
There are as many sports bars in LA as there are recent disappointing playoff losses by LA teams - but that doesn’t mean we don’t still investigate the interesting-looking new ones. The Greyhound’s a bar and restaurant in Glendale with darts, wings, a huge tap list, and plenty of TVs to watch Jared Goff to throw six-yard incompletions on. It’s the second location of the Highland Park spot famous for its game-day deals, so we expect a similar situation here.
We checked out The Greyhound, read our first thoughts here.
This izakaya in the middle of Boystown serves a wide variety of Japanese bar food, including kushiyaki and donabe. In addition to skewered meats and hot pots, they also have a bunch of sushi and sashimi options - including a couple different omakase tiers - to go along with their sake list.
Everyone’s favorite black-out-and-house-some-Tex-Mex bar in North Hollywood has opened another location in Weho. The food is fine, but what you’re really there for are the massive $11 margaritas - and the option to make them “Texas Size” (36 oz instead of 18) for $2 more.
Lowell Cafe is “the first cannabis cafe in the U.S.,” and while none of the food is infused with cannabis, it is designed to “complement the heightened senses.” This joint (haha) is 21+, and offers the option to either BYOW (bring your own weed), which comes with a “tokage” fee, or buy some on the premises. If you have any questions, pot sommeliers are available to guide you, and the rotating menu includes food like miso-glazed pork belly, jalapeno mac and cheese bites, and vegan nachos. If that’s not enough for you, there’s a Taco Bell 1.3 miles away.
We checked out Lowell Cafe, read our first thoughts here.
Although a good banchan spread can feel like a prix fixe meal, Haewah Dal is serving actual Korean tasting menus. Located in Long Beach, this new restaurant features three different prix fixe options (you can choose between five, six, and ten courses, ranging from $60-130), which include traditional staples like galbijjim (braised beef short rib) and japchae (stir-fried glass noodles) and modern dishes like black cod with crispy potato and Chilean sea bass with a berry chutney. Don’t worry, you can also order a la carte, too.
We checked out Haewah Dal, read our first thoughts here.
HiHo is bringing their fantastic, back-to-basics burgers to Mid-Wilshire. Located next to recently opened branches of Uovo and Kazunori, their newest outpost is almost identical to the original - they’re serving burgers, milkshakes, and an excellent Key lime pie in a minimalist setting guaranteed to please your inner Marie Kondo. But most importantly, now you don’t have to travel to the Third Street Promenade to taste one of LA’s best burgers.
With its rattan furniture, mosaic tiles, and blue walls that are more vibrant and mesmerizing than Yves Klein’s famous monochrome, The Cliffdiver is the summer vacation you wish you’d taken. As the name suggests, the menu is filled with seafood like octopus tostada, marlin tacos, and pacific snapper ceviche, and as if living in Malibu wasn’t already enough of a prize, all residents of the area get a 15% discount.
We checked out The Cliffdiver, read our first thoughts here.
Uovo has brought its affordable, handmade pasta to Mid-Wilshire. Although it’s not our favorite casual pasta spot in the city, there’s nothing wrong with any of their $16 bowls, which range from tagliatelle al ragu to cacio e pepe to ravioli di ricotta. Also opening next door, in similarly sleek, modern spaces are new locations of HiHo and Kazunori.
There are many benefits to dining in the globalized economy, and perhaps no restaurant demonstrates them better than Azay. Located in Little Tokyo, one half of their menu is made up of Japanese staples like chawanmushi (savory egg custard), cha soba, and bento boxes, and the other features French dishes like boeuf bourguignon, a croque monsieur, and salade aux lardons. Who needs free trade?
We checked out Azay, read our first thoughts here.
Spiked seltzers and Phoebe Waller-Bridge projects have had quite a summer, but apparently the hottest trend in LA right now is hot chicken. Dave’s is by no means a newcomer to the pantheon (we like their Hollywood location), but they’ve just opened a new outpost in North Hollywood. Not much has changed with this second spot - you still order a combination of tenders and sliders (with spice levels ranging from No Heat to Reaper) at the counter - but the space is a bit bigger than its predecessor, which means there’s plenty of room to douse your head with water if things get too spicy.
Just as the sun continues to rise, Historic Filipinotown continues to open exciting new places to eat and drink. The latest is addition is Thunderbolt, a cocktail bar with a Southern/Filipino menu. Located next to similarly leaning BBQ spot The Park’s Finest, the menu is filled with cocktails like the La Frutera, made with tequila, mango, and tamarind, and foods like fried green tomato sandwiches and an 18-hour smoked brisket.
We checked out Thunderbolt and put it on our Bar Hit List.
Fuku, the latest installment in the Momofuku Culinary Universe (a.k.a. the other MCU), is located in the new SocialEats space at Santa Monica’s Gallery food hall. It’s the first LA location of the East Coast cult fave, and they’re not changing much, serving fried chicken fingers, chicken boxes, and sandwiches.
From the people behind one of our favorite taverns on the Eastside, Osen Izakaya, comes Kappo Osen. The menu features a wide variety of dishes, including kushiyaki skewers, sushi, duck breast, Wagyu beef, and nabe (Japanese hot pot). There’s also an omakase option. Decorated to look like a ryokan, or Japanese inn, with its tatami mats and sliding doors that lead to private rooms, you’ll feel like you’re at the base of Mount Fuji, rather than downtown Santa Monica, where you just saw two people mount the same Bird scooter.
When we first got wind of V, a new Downtown restaurant/bar that has been described as a “multi-sensory dining experience with a ‘scent strategy’,” we had a lot of questions. Why does the graffiti art on the walls remind us of the opening sequence of The Da Vinci Code? Do we need velvet couches in every color of the rainbow? And what the hell is a “scent strategy”? And while we don’t have all the answers, we do know that the “new neighborhood hangout set in a converted 1920s jewelry store” will be serving everything from coffee and pastries to cocktails, sourdough pizzas, and more.
We checked out V, read our first thoughts here.
The chef behind Dialogue has just opened Pasjoli, a new French restaurant in Santa Monica. Unlike the very tiny, very expensive tasting menu spot (where a meal for two can famously break the $700 barrier), Pasjoli is serving slightly more casual French food a la carte - like a caramelized onion and Gruyère tart and pressed roast duck - in a space that feels like what would happen if Jean Prouvé had done production design on Moonrise Kingdom.
We checked out Pasjoli and put it on our Hit List.
Roji Bakery is a new coffee shop that specializes in shokupan, a.k.a. “milk bread” that’s softer and fluffier than a Casper mattress. Originally from Kumamoto, Japan, their LA outpost is located in Miracle Mile, and is serving a wide variety of pastries like strawberry danishes, edamame cheese bread, and chocolate croissants.
After months of operating as a takeout-only spot, American Beauty is finally open in Venice. If you’re looking for a sit-down experience, their wood-fired oven is now churning out everything from a 30-day dry-aged porterhouse steak and pork short rib to ocean trout and colossal prawns, and they’ve got a full bar, too.
We checked out American Beauty and put it on our Hit List.
With every passing day, our running bit about wanting to live at the Platform becomes less and less of a joke - especially with Bianca Bakery’s addition to the “epicenter of fashion, culinary talent, and creative entrepreneurs” in Culver City. Between the wood panelling and the lush patio, this new daytime cafe feels like the backdrop of a Julia Roberts vehicle, with a French/Italian menu that includes croissants, pizzas, and mussels.
We checked out Bianca Bakery, read our first thoughts here.
Sushi Miyagi is a new omakase-focused spot in Brentwood. At night, their dinner menu reads like a breakdown of the nations in Avatar: The Last Airbender (Wind, Wood, and Sky), with omakase sets that range from $120-$180. Their lunch offerings are a bit more relaxed, and include an $80 omakase special, and a la carte items such as chirashi, saba (mackerel), and salmon bowls. Plus, if you were concerned, their website wants you to know: “Don’t worry! We have a very nice selection of sake and wine!” Phew.
We checked out Sushi Miyagi, read our first thoughts here.
If you’re like us and have a (dangerously) short attention span, Abernethy’s might just be the place for you - both the chef and the menu change every three months at this new spot inside The Music Center in DTLA. First up is the chef behind Ms. Chi, the Chinese-leaning joint in Culver City. In addition her signature wontons, the first menu at Abernethy’s includes hot and sour sablefish, cacio e pepe with Northern Chinese-style noodles, and a condensed milk rice pudding with butter-roasted pineapple. Other chefs on the docket include the people behind Freedman’s, The Magic Castle, and Luv2Eat Thai Bistro.
Ippudo’s new Weho location is the international chain’s second in the city. While they’re still serving their signature pork buns and ramen in tonkotsu broth, there are some notable differences from the Santa Monica outpost, such as an outdoor patio area and an expanded menu including dishes like takoyaki (battered octopus balls), chashu rice bowls, and fried tebasaki chicken wings.
Plant-based patties have taken over Los Angeles, and the latest addition is Vow Burger, a neon-lit spot that promises to make the fast food experience as guilt-free as possible, with an entirely vegan menu (which includes burgers, fries, and shakes), and a commitment to fight hunger by making a donation to the LA Food Bank for every meal purchased.
Much like Lindsey Adams Buckingham, What The Cluck is an LA transplant hailing from the Bay Area. But unlike the former Fleetwood Mac guitarist, this doodle-covered Thai restaurant in West Hollywood specializes in khao man gai - a popular chicken and rice dishe served with broth, sauce, and a side of cucumber.
Located in Chinatown, Steep is a sleek new tea shop serving traditional Chinese and Taiwanese brews, from floral oolongs to earthy pu-erhs, microbially fermented teas produced in the Yunnan province. And if tea isn’t necessarily your cup of… anything, Steep also has a variety of snacks like pastries, sesame chicken cold noodles, and Taiwanese braised pork over rice.
In addition to their regular Smorgasburg slot, Mid East Tacos has now expanded to a pop-up in Highland Park. From the people behind Glendale’s Mini Kebob, Mid East marries Middle Eastern and Mexican flavors, meaning tacos and burritos that come with your choice of falafel, steak, or chicken, cooked on a manghal, or charcoal grill.
The newest outpost of the very popular vegan burger spot, Monty’s in Echo Park doesn’t stray very far from the formula, and while it’s still order at the counter, this location is a lot bigger, with actual booths and multiple tables. Plus, they’ve added a new blueberry milkshake to the menu, which is presumably to pander to fans of the Dodgers (and blueberries).
With a giant backyard patio absolutely dripping in string lights and a luxurious, library-like interior, Fia reminds us more of the Santa Monica we’ve seen in movies, and less of the Santa Monica where we got attacked by a flock of birds (and then a flock of Bird scooters) in the span of ten minutes. The menu leans towards Italian and seafood, featuring everything from big eye tuna carpaccio to lobster Bolognese, plus dishes that are neither, like braised rabbit and Flannery beef steak.
We checked out Fia, read our first thoughts here.
Our favorite pizza spot in all of Los Angeles has just opened up their second location. The new Echo Park outpost isn’t that much different from the original Highland Park spot - you still indicate with your hands how big you want your Roman-style pizza cut, then pay by the ounce. But the best part? Triple Beam is teaming up with The Echo/Echoplex to sell pizzas during shows. See you at the next Funky Sole night.
Here’s another one for Echo Park - literally feet (1,584, to be exact) from the new Triple Beam location is Revelator: Bar Avalon. With its leather booths, exposed brick walls, and high barn-wood ceilings, it’s almost like it was designed straight from the “How to make an Eastsider fall in love” playbook. In the same vein, Bar Avalon is currently serving small plates like summer squash and burrata on seeded toast, Caesar salad, and a market frittata, with full dinner and wine menus coming soon.
We checked out Bar Avalon and put it on our Hit List.
It’s official. Echo Park is really having a moment. Bar Flores is a new cocktail bar on Sunset Blvd. Right above the recently opened Adamae and Lowboy, Bar Flores overlooks the neighborhood via an upstairs patio and serves homemade tamales and drinks like a mezcal cocktail with fresh carrots and oranges, and vodka sours with Jamaican flowers.
We checked out Bar Flores and put it on our Bar Hit List.
Fisherman’s Island is a new seafood spot in Leimert Park where the slogan is “You buy, we steam.” Half market, half restaurant, your head to the counter and order off of the chalkboard menu, choosing between various raw offerings like shrimp, crab, lobster, and shellfish by the pound. You can probably guess what happens next: They steam it with a mix of veggies and cajun seasonings, and presumably, you spend the next hour licking your fingers.
We checked out Fisherman’s Island and put it on our Hit List.
Tartine Sycamore is the latest outpost in the San Francisco bakery’s carb kingdom. Compared to its huge, multi-restaurant complex, The Manufactory at Row DTLA, Tartine’s Sycamore location is a lot more casual. A daytime cafe, they are serving everything from coddled egg bowls and chicken katsu sandos to (of course) toasts, with toppings like smoked trout, tomato and beets, and figs.
We checked out Tartine Sycamore, read our first thoughts here.
So your plans to spend a Mamma Mia-inspired summer on the Greek island of Skopelos fell through. Luckily for you, LA is still very sunny and Ela Greek Eats just opened in Venice. Located across the street from Casablanca, Ela is serving salads, gyros, and Greek classics like lamb soutzoukakia meatballs and melintzanosalata (eggplant and parsley dip).
Opening next door to Chori-Man in San Pedro, Colossus Bread sells freshly baked loaves, seasonal fruit tarts, and several pastries, including kouign-amann, once described by The New York Times as “the fattiest pastry in all of Europe” (aka exactly our kind of pastry).
It’s official - it’s a smashburger world, and we’re all just living in it. The latest to enter the fray is Tripp Burgers, a pop-up whose grilled-till-crispy, almost pancake-flat patties are made with a mix of chuck, sirloin, and bacon (!). They’re on the move weekly, and you can find their current location via their Instagram.
In our minds, Porchetta Republic is a sun-kissed Italian borgo where little piglets get nice and crispy beneath the Mediterranean sun. And maybe one day the new DTLA spot will turn its eyes to the travel destination business, but for now, Porchetta Republic is focusing on “Italian street food,” like the Arlecchino sandwich, which comes with provolone and wine-braised red onions, and the Maranello, with shaved parmesan and arugula.
Looking to join the pantheon of Da Drought 3, Earl, and The S. Carter Collection is Mixtape, a new restaurant/bar in Beverly Grove. And yes, they do love music - Robin Thicke created custom playlists for their brunch service, the walls are lined with artwork from Jaden Smith, Tokimonsta, and Vic Mensa, and the man behind the business is the first restaurateur to be signed by Roc Nation. The menu includes entrees like pastrami agnolotti, smoked salmon with latkes, and bar snacks like duck fat popcorn and beef cheek poutine.
We checked out Mixtape, read our first thoughts here.
Emilia is a new Northern Italian restaurant in Beverly Grove. During the day, Emilia functions as a cafe, serving Italian breakfast pastries, eggs, and Toast Francese (a.k.a. French Toast). At night, it transitions to its namesake’s regional Italian dishes, like tortellini filled with prosciutto di Parma, grilled pappardelle, and milk-fed veal.
Not only is The Court Cafe arguing that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, they’re also arguing that it’s the only meal of the day. Located in Westchester, the full-service breakfast restaurant is serving foods like The Ocho burrito (which comes with lobster, chicken, sausage, and shrimp), taco omelets, and lobster and waffles.
We checked out The Court Cafe, read our first thoughts here.
West Adams continues to expand, and its newest addition is Bee Taqueria. The menu includes a variety of tacos ranging from tinga betabel (beets and onions) to media luna (shrimp and scallops), as well as sanguches, ceviches, and tostadas. They’re also rolling out a reservation-only “taco omakase” experience - the very first of its kind in LA.
We checked out Bee Taqueria, read our first thoughts here.
The Most Valuable Playa is a new Taiwanese spot on the Playa del Rey/Westchester border that’s focusing on small plates and, apparently, dad-level puns. From the team behind the Japanese-influenced Humble Potato in Culver City, MVP has everything from garlic noodles to gua bao (a pork-belly bun) to salt-and-pepper fried chicken.
Joey is the newest addition to the ever-growing, hydra-like mall complex that is The Bloc in DTLA. Located on the corner of 7th and Flower, Joey is the second LA location of a Canadian chain, and serves cuisines from multiple parts of the world, including miso ramen, Bollywood butter chicken, and spaghetti pomodoro.
The first U.S. location of Menya Hanabi, a popular Japanese ramen chain, is now open in Arcadia. Their specialty is mazesoba - brothless noodles topped with green onions, chives, spicy minced meat, seaweed, garlic, and a raw egg yolk, if you’re into that sort of thing.
The latest in our parking lot pop-up series (see: Elio’s Wood Fired Pizza) is Bomb Burgers. Located across from Family Halal Meat Market in Northridge, Bomb Burgers specializes in third-pound Juicy Lucys (basically cheese-stuffed burgers), which you can get with chips and a drink for $10. Open Friday-Sunday from 6pm-12am, or until they sell out.
New to Bellflower is The Tackle Box, a Southern seafood spot that’s frying and grilling everything under the sea... and a few things that live on land, too. You can get cod, shrimp, lobster, or catfish po’ boys, as well as comfort food like chicken and waffles, a Buffalo chicken sandwich, and shrimp and grits.
Sitting side-by-side at the end of Washington Blvd., The Pier House and Cartolina are kind of like Venice’s Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson - a package deal (did you know they’ve been in 13 movies together?). A sit-down restaurant and casual cafe, respectively, The Pier House’s menu is seafood-focused, with items like lobster rolls, crispy snapper, and cavatelli with crab and snap peas, while Cartolina has everything you want from a counter-service spot in Venice - sandwiches, pizzas, and a latte made with “adaptogenic mushrooms” (obvs).
South of MacArthur Park in Westlake, Proper Pizza and Pasta has everything you’d expect from an actual NYC pizza joint - garlic knots, fried mozzarella, wings, pasta, and of course, 17 different types of pies.
Finding parking in Koreatown usually plays out like a three-act tragedy, so it’s fitting that the new neighborhood spot is called Tacos Drama. Located on the sidewalk outside of Here’s Looking At You, Tacos Drama is serving Mexican food like birria de chivo (braised goat), beef cheek barbacoa, and queso Oaxaqueño every Friday and Saturday.
Adamae is a new restaurant on Sunset Blvd., located next to the recently opened Lowboy. While its neighbor is dark and moody, Adamae is the Ashley to Lowboy’s Mary-Kate: It’s a brighter and lighter sit-down restaurant, serving small dishes like whipped goat cheese and grilled octopus with chorizo, plus bigger plates like harissa roast chicken and cast-iron branzino.
We checked out Adamae, read our first thoughts here.
Relentless Brewing, a craft brewery located in Temecula, just opened a restaurant, taproom and sports bar in Eagle Rock. While they don’t brew on-site, the new location will be serving their signature beers, like “The Cherry Goes Pop” (red sour gose) and “An Udder One” (milk stout), as well as burgers with crispy pork belly, smokey poutine, and watermelon panzanella salad.
The chef behind Bäco Mercat, Bar Amá, and Orsa & Winston has just opened Amácita. Taking over the old BäcoShop space in Culver City, Amácita is a sit-down restaurant serving updated Tex-Mex, with a menu that includes blistered okra, yellowtail ceviche, and carne guisada (stewed beef). Plus, like Bar Amá, they have a Super Nacho (Happy) Hour from 5-7pm.
We checked out Amácita and put it on our Hit List.
Gold Rail Bar is a new dive-ish spot in Glendale. We say dive-ish, because there’s a pool table and a jukebox, but the space was recently renovated and has a sleek, modern look to it. They do refer to themselves as a “watering hole,” and have 20 different craft beers on tap, plus a pretty impressive happy hour - $5 for all beer, wine, and liquor - so regardless of what you want to call it, Gold Rail is worth a visit.
No Reservation LA is a new late-night Belizean pop-up in Little Ethiopia. Operating out of Annie’s Soul Delicious from Friday-Sunday, No Reservation LA’s mother-daughter team is serving up Caribbean classics like oxtail, salbutes (puffed, deep-fried tortillas with tomato, red onion, and pulled chicken), and a crab soup with shrimp, crab legs, coconut milk, and okra.
With its sixth store, Go Get Em Tiger is now officially as ubiquitous as those brightly colored photo-ops that masquerade as “museums.” This latest location is in the rapidly expanding Row DTLA complex, and like their other stores, they’re serving breakfast foods like ricotta granola pancakes and burritos with eggs and chorizo, plus a lunch menu with sandwich options like prosciutto with stone fruit and crescenza.
Great news for anyone working at a three-letter television network or staying at the Oakwood - Studio City just got a brand new wine bar. Located on Ventura Blvd., Vintage Wine + Eats has an expansive wine, cheese, and charcuterie menu, as well as a cafe that serves sandwiches, soups, and salads.
New to the Westside drinking scene is Lanea, a cocktail bar in Santa Monica. Their menu features a variety of tequila- and mezcal-focused drinks, and food by the team behind Barba Kush - a barbacoa spot in Boyle Heights with a cult following. They are serving tacos with cecina, chicken, asada, squash flowers and mushrooms, and of course, their signature barbacoa.
We checked out Lanea, read our first thoughts here.
Right next door to the galbi jjim king, Sun Nong Dan, is Seaweed Sushi Bar. The newly opened Koreatown spot is serving sushi, sashimi and hand rolls, such as seared Hokkaido scallops, Wagyu beef nigiri, and toro.
Yasu, an extremely popular sushi spot from Toronto, has come to Beverly Hills. It’s omakase-only, and features a mix of local, California seafood like Santa Barbara king salmon and uni, as well as Japanese firefly squid and shirako (cod milt). Your chances of seeing Drake there? Probably 100/100.
We checked out Yasu, read our first thoughts here.
There is nothing that makes our little hearts sing more than the phrase “Secret parking lot pizza.” Operating out of the back of a truck in a Silver Lake parking lot, Elio’s Wood Fire Pizza sells Neapolitan-style pies starting at $10, and they’re open every day from 6-11pm.
We checked out Elio’s Wood Fire Pizza and put it on our Hit List.
In a city with more excellent breakfast burritos than Midwestern transplants, The Rooster food truck has always made one of our favorites. Now, they’ve opened a restaurant in Pico-Robertson, where they’re serving everything we loved from their truck - especially their signature Rico Suave burrito with avocado and tater tots - as well as expanded brunch and lunch menus.
We checked out The Rooster, read our first thoughts here.
There is truly no craving that can’t be fulfilled in Sawtelle Japantown - and Mala Town is proof. Located next to Mizu 212, it’s a new hot-pot spot that specializes in regional Chinese cuisine, like seafood broths from Guangdong and beef-ball hot pots from Chaozhou.
After two years of renovations, the legendary Formosa Cafe has reopened in West Hollywood. This isn’t like the Madame Tussauds on Sunset, it’s a real, proper Hollywood landmark - the original cafe was frequented by the likes of Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, and Grace Kelly. We’re not too sure what the clientele is like these days, but the new menu includes dishes like General Tso’s cauliflower and honey walnut shrimp.
We checked out Formosa Cafe and put it on our Bar Hit List.