Everybody wants to know about the best new restaurants in Los Angeles. And for that, you can head to our Hit List. If you live on the Eastside, though, you’ve realistically lost the desire to drive to a pasta place 45 minutes away that your coworker says has good focaccia. Or perhaps you’re a die-hard Westsider who wants to make the most of a meal on the other side of town.
This isn’t a list of all the restaurants in LA that opened last week or even last month - you can go here for that. These are the newest exciting restaurants on the Eastside.
From the outside, All Time looks like every other cute neighborhood sidewalk cafe in the world. There’s a bright little interior, a side patio with string lights, and a daytime menu full of delicious breakfast sandwiches, pastries, and other things that taste good while working from your laptop. What sets All Time apart, however, is the dinner experience. Starting at 5pm every night of the week, this daytime hangout transforms into a place that you talk up to your East Coast friends so that they’re excited to eat here next time they’re in town. The menu changes frequently, but whether it’s the focaccia bread overflowing with burrata and yellow tomatoes, the “good ass” salad, or the dry-aged ribeye for two, this is some of our favorite food in all of LA right now.
Some great restaurants are well-kept secrets by the people who live nearby. But others inevitably become much more than neighborhood spots. So if anyone doesn’t know about Ma’am Sir yet, you might as well just go ahead and tell them. This modern Filipino restaurant in Silver Lake has colorful booths, green vines hanging from the ceiling, and tropical wallpaper that wouldn’t be out of place inside a Miami Beach bathroom. The place is consistently crowded and everyone is here to eat delicious modern Filipino comfort food - pork sisig with sweetbreads, uni lumpia, and longganisa sliders we could eat every single day. Their brunch situation and cocktails shouldn’t be missed either.
Hippo is an Italian-ish spot in Highland Park that has a lot of qualities you see in most nice LA restaurants these days - high ceilings, graphic floral designs (unfortunately no hippos, the place is named after the Highland Park Post Office), and a menu full of crudos, pastas, and meat things. But Hippo mashes all those familiar elements up in a way that feels exciting. The crudos and pastas are all excellent, the waitstaff talks to you like they see you every day at the grocery store, and if you don’t like high ceilings, you’re lying to yourself. It’s also a great spot to hit up the bar for a few cocktails before heading out elsewhere.
In case you haven’t heard, LA is a pizza town now. Or should we say - we now have pizza that we can proudly share with our annoying East coast friends without them throwing it in our faces. And leading the charge is Triple Beam, the fantastic order-at-the-counter pizzeria in Highland Park that serves thick, Roman-style slices with a great back patio that where you can drink wine all night. The menu changes almost daily, so don’t get too hung up on certain ingredients. Just go in knowing that you’re about to eat our favorite pizza in LA.
Triniti is a modern Echo Park coffee shop that serves futuristic-looking food you’d happily eat in a restaurant with white tablecloths for double the price. At Triniti, you order at the counter, snag a stool, and wonder why you eat cold quinoa out of plastic containers most days of the week. The menu changes pretty frequently, but know you’re going to eat things like pole bean salad, chickpea stew, and potatoes in a bowl of poached eggs. The food might look like it fell out of a sci-fi movie, but it’s all very comforting.
A bunch of new dumpling places have opened up on the Eastside recently, but our favorite is Dan. It’s a bright, modern spot in Pasadena where you can watch the people in the kitchen pinch your xiao long bao closed through a window. Our favorites are the blue crab and pork, but you really can’t go wrong with any of them. They also have dungeness crab fried rice that comes to life and appears to us in visions every now and then. Once you get there, you might have to wait for a table, but the line moves quickly.
Whenever we have a bad day - or we’re just in the mood for soul-curing food - we go to Porridge and Puffs. If you’re not normally comfortable eating alone, try it out at this spot in Historic Filipinotown. You’ll probably sit at the big communal table in the middle with other solo diners eating their savory rice porridge and excellent pastries. Of the porridges, our favorite is the poultry and mushroom, which comes with soy sauce-braised chicken and turkey, sweet mushrooms, and salty, crispy shallots. For dessert, you should also order the brown butter mochi, which is doused in something called miso caramel that we scraped off the plate at the end.
It didn’t take a Magic 8-Ball to realize that a place from the same people behind Pine & Crane would be a hit. In the middle of all the action on York Blvd., Joy has modern Taiwanese menu similar to its Silver Lake sister restaurant, but with enough new stuff (the chiayi chicken rice is our favorite) to make it much more than just a second location of the original. The bright, order-at-the-counter space is easily our favorite spot from a somewhat healthy lunch in the neighborhood.
La Morra Pizzeria is technically just a portable pizza oven that pops up every Thursday at Tabula Rasa in East Hollywood. It’s run by an extremely friendly husband/wife team, and they make perfectly crunchy and crispy Neapolitan-style pies cooked with just enough burn on the crust. The toppings change regularly, but they usually have one covered in softball-sized pepperoni, which you should absolutely order. They might only be in this part of town once a week, but a night of eating pizza and drinking wine at Tabula Rasa is an essential Eastside experience.
Atwater Village’s Hail Mary is another pizza spot, best known for fantastic (and unusual) toppings. The pies are charmingly football-shaped, and look a bit like whatever you tried to make at home that one time with your friends - they taste very professional, though. The toppings here get pretty funky, and that’s why we like them - one has spicy chorizo and pickled jalapeños, and another has seven kinds of cheese.
It’s really hard to screw up an order at Freedman’s, which serves fantastic new versions of Jewish deli food. Even though the menu is short, it will never not be overwhelming deciding between waffle iron-pressed latkes, roe popovers, and a brisket they’ll cut for you tableside. So take a deep breath, get a martini, and remind yourself that you can come back here to try the things you don’t order another time.
You’ll find perpetual lines at this sandwich spot in Echo Park, but the best things here are actually the salads and side dishes. The carrots come with an excellent pepper and pistachio dip, and the kabocha squash salad and potato salads are both great. There’s a high likelihood you’ll see a lot of people eating sandwiches, which are good, but a bit bland. If you’re going to get one, order the eggplant katsu, which comes with onion dashi and tonkatsu sauce.