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.
Oh, and even though we’ve been sheltering in place, we’ve still been eating. Check out our first thoughts on these spots that have opened during quarantine.
- Kuya Lord
- Rose + Rye
- Johnny’s West Adams
- Tamales Elena Y Antojitos
- Ggiata Delicatessen
- Happy Ice
- Little Coyote
- Little Dom’s Seafood
- Shappy Pretzel Co.
- Dough Daddy
- The Best New Tacos In Los Angeles
- The Best New Burgers In Los Angeles
- The Best New Sandwiches In Los Angeles
- The Best LA Pop-Ups, Summer 2020
- The Best New Pizza In Los Angeles
Angry Egret Dinette
The latest addition to LA’s Chinatown is Angry Egret Dinette, a new sandwich shop by former Guerrilla Tacos chef Wes Avila. The focus here is Avila’s take on tortas (just don’t call it a “torta shop”), filled with either fried chicken, prosciutto, or thin cuts of beef (suadero), plus Hawaiian shave ice for dessert. Available for takeout and limited outdoor dining, Wednesday-Sunday, 11am-3pm.
Over in Virgil Village, popular bicycle delivery pop-up Courage Bagels now has a brick-and-mortar bakery. Over the last few months, owner Ari Skye has worked to completely transform their corner space on Virgil Ave., where she now serves her signature Montreal-style bagels - a thin, dense bagel that’s been baked in a wood-fired oven - topped with a mix of market fresh ingredients like parsley, salmon roe, and cucumbers.
Magpies Softserve - Highland Park
Magpies - home of one of our favorite ice creams in the city - just launched their latest storefront in Highland Park. In addition to their signature soft serve (which comes in flavors like sweetened cream and pumpkin spice latte), their newest shop will also offer quart-sized double-pints to-go and a variety of decadent pies.
The Orange Country fried chicken joint (and creator of the best tagline of all time, “Fry now, cry later”) has arrived in Highland Park. Located across the street from Joy on York Blvd., this Korean chicken shop serves everything from wings to chicken strips to spicy chicken sandwiches, all of which can be ordered with sides like fries, popcorn chicken, and daikon slaw. Open for delivery and takeout.
The Westfield Santa Anita mall is now home to Noodle Street - a fast-growing Chinese takeout chain specializing in lamian, or hand-pulled noodles. In addition to their signature beef noodle soup, which is served in a broth filled with beef shank, radishes, chili oil, and hand-pulled wheat noodles, Noodle Street also offers dishes like cha-shu pork fried rice, pan-fried scallion pancakes, and pork cabbage dumplings. Open for delivery, takeout, and limited outdoor dining.
Shlap Muan, a pop-up from the Bay Area, is now serving their Cambodian-style wings in Long Beach. Open only on the weekends, they currently share a space with Golden Chinese Express, and serve wings doused in either sauces like sweet spicy garlic, orange habanero, and water buffalo (their take on Buffalo sauce), or rubbed with seasonings such as Pekang Wang, Jalapeno MSG, and Cambodian Dirt. Shlap Muan is available for delivery, takeout, and outdoor seating.
Windsor Hill’s latest addition is Giti Thai, a new Southeast Asian restaurant located on West Slauson Ave. The menu is filled with traditional dishes like panang curry and larb doused in spicy lime vinaigrette, but also includes more unique options, like New York strip with green curry sauce and Giti Thai tacos made with yellow corn taco shells, ground chicken or beef, fresh basil leaves, and Thai chilis. Giti Thai is available for takeout and delivery.
Over in the Arts District is Damian, a new Mexican restaurant by the chefs behind Cosme, Atla, and Pujol. Much like those other spots, Damian features contemporary takes Mexican dishes like uni tostada, cous cous chicharrón, and shrimp caldo made with black cod, potatoes, and carrots. Damian opens Wednesday, October 21 for al fresco dining only, reservations can be made through Resy.
LA culinary heavyweight Nancy Silverton (a.k.a. The woman behind spots like Chi Spacca and Pizzeria Mozza) is opening her first restaurant in seven years. Called The Barish, the old-school Hollywood steakhouse features dishes like pork chops smothered in fennel and chrysanthemum, 30-day-aged New York strips, and lamb chops served with salsa verde. Barish opens Wednesday, October 21 in the Roosevelt Hotel. Reservations can be made through Opentable.
Reopenings: This week, we’ve got a hot, new reopening for Fellow, a semi-French restaurant in Westwood that has everything from al fresco dining to a built-in art gallery. Reservations can be made here. Over in Silver Lake, All Day Baby has a brand-new patio called Helluva Time (reservations can be made here). In Jefferson Park, Harold & Belles has added a “to-geaux” window to their operations, and in Venice, The Waterfront will reopen their beachside taqueria, Boardwalk Tacos, on Friday. Also, good news - not only are breweries back, but so is classique Silver Lake bar The Friend - now open Thursday-Sunday from 6pm-12am.
Forma - Venice
Good news for Venice - Forma has officially done the impastable and opened a second location, this one on the corner of Main and Navy. Which, OK, isn’t necessarily impastable (we just like to pun), but it’s still pretty cool - currently open for dinner, the popular Italian restaurant will continue to serve the same line-up of fresh pastas presented in giant, hollowed-out wheels of cheese, like black pepper-studded cacio e pepe, fettuccine Bolognese, and risotto made with saffron, veal, and grana padano cheese. Forma is open for dinner, from 4-10pm daily (10:30 on weekends).
Today Starts Here
Today Starts Here is a new brunch pop-up by the team behind Pine & Crane. Located in Chinatown, this weekend-only spot features a variety of Taiwanese dishes like dan bing (crepes made with eggs, scallions, cabbage, and corn), daikon rice cakes, and long, oblong fan tuan - hot, sticky rice rolls stuffed with pork floss, braised egg, and you-tiao. Available for takeout only, order through Toast.
Mora Rooftop At Comoncy
Encino’s Mora Italiano has opened a new outpost in Beverly Grove. Located on W. Third St., they have everything from a candlelit al fresco patio to dishes such as pomodoro bucatini pasta, whole roasted branzino, funghi pizza made with maitake mushrooms, as well as tiramisu and gluten-free chocolate cake for dessert. Dinner reservations can be made through Opentable.
If you’ve been missing your KBBQ fix in quarantine, Moeem is here to fix that - the new Koreatown restaurant is complete with al fresco BBQ tables, premium cuts of meat, braised beef ribs, and huge pots of lobster, octopus, mussels, abalone, crab, and other assorted seafoods, which sort of resembles a Southern seafood boil or like, every food fantasy we’ve ever had.
The Bombay Frankie Company - Culver City
Over on the Westside, The Bombay Frankie Company has relocated Culver City. Previously operating out of the family’s Chevron station on Santa Monica Blvd., starting on October 15th, the Indian street food restaurant moves to the Westfield Culver City mall (well, technically, just outside the mall). The menu will consist of their signature frankies (essentially Indian burritos), as well as curry bowls, samosas, and biryanis. The Bombay Frankie Company will be available for takeout, delivery, and outdoor dining.
Reopenings: The Airliner - a recently renovated spot in Lincoln Heights with well-made cocktails, good beer, and a big back patio - is back open for outdoor dining.
Nick The Greek
California chain Nick The Greek has landed in Westwood. The Mediterranean street-food spot offers a variety of traditional dishes, like souvlaki and beefteki (ground beef made with a mix of oregano, mint, and onion), as well as original menu items like Nick’s Fries, which come smothered in feta, garlic, spicy yogurt, and gyro meat or falafel. Nick The Greek opens on October 8th, and will be offering a free lunch for all people living and working in Westwood from 11am-3pm while supplies last.
A Fish & Friends
Down in the South Bay is A Fish & Friends, a new al fresco seafood restaurant (not to be confused with A Phish & Friends). Taking over the space previously occupied by A Basq Kitchen, this waterfront restaurant serves shrimp and lobster rolls, grilled octopus with black pepper aioli potatoes, a vegan passionfruit coconut ceviche, and fish and chips - which, based on their name, is presumably made with all of their closest mates? Eek. Reservations available online.
La Chuperia The Miche Spot
La Chuperia is a new Mexican restaurant specializing in micheladas. Located on S. Flower St., the Downtown LA spot serves micheladas featuring everything from ceviche to deep-fried bacon-wrapped shrimp to mangos and White Claws (seriously), plus a menu of botanas like taquitos, nachos, and tacos. La Chuperia is available for takeout, curbside pick-up, and outdoor dining.
Little Llama, but not too much! The popular Smorgasburg vendor is set to open a brick-and-mortar restaurant on October 10th in Downtown LA. Expect a bright, colorful patio as well as Peruvian dishes like avocado ceviche tostadas, rocoto miso butter salad, and tacos made with aji panca pepper-marinated chicken. Little Llama is available for delivery, takeout, and patio seating.
Clark Street - Brentwood
Much like Aubrey Plaza in 2017, Clark Street has gone West. Now open in Brentwood, this is the bread company’s fourth outpost, and offers a mix of pastries, baked goods, takeaway loaves of bread, coffee, and breakfast items such as avocado toast and quiche Lorraine. No word on whether they’ll be serving their incredible burger at 7:30 am, though.
Reopenings: Guess who’s back? This week we’ve got Best Girl at the Ace Hotel, Botanica and Eszett (an Austrian-ish restaurant that opened at the end of last year) in Silver Lake, as well as the return of the Arts District’s Yxta Cocina, and RVCC Intersect, a hybrid espresso bar, lounge, barber shop and tattoo studio. Oh! And a semi-permanent residency for Italian pop-up Parm Boyz, at The Corner Door in Culver City. That is all.
The Win-Dow Venice Boardwalk
When one door closes, a Win-Dow opens: American Beauty has opened a second takeaway counter in Venice. Similar to their original outpost on Rose Ave., their newest addition on the Venice Boardwalk serves fried chicken sandwiches, French fries, and a $4 burger that’s one of the best in town. Unlike Rose Ave., they’ve got dipped cones and milkshakes, too.
What is it called when a ghost kitchen goes brick-and-mortar? Reincarnation? Metempsychosis? Casper The Friendly Ghost Kitchen? Whatever it is, Kaon’s doing it. We featured the Filipino-Mexican taco spot operating out of a shared kitchen space near Pico-Union on our Best New Tacos in LA guide, and now they’ve moved to an outpost in Downtown LA. Expect the same blend of Filipino/Mexican flavors in dishes like beef kare-kare tacos, garlic rice bowls topped with fried longaniza, and ube horchata, now available for takeout, delivery, and limited patio dining.
Dave's Hot Chicken
The fast-casual Nashville hot chicken restaurant has a new outpost in Glendale. Located on E. Colorado St., this is Dave’s sixth location in LA (for those of you keeping score), and will specialize in their signature hot chicken tenders and sliders, served from “No Spice” all the way up to “Reaper” - a mega-hot spice level that requires you to sign a waiver before eating. Bring Your Own Milk.
Bull & Butterfly
Playa Vista’s latest addition is Bull & Butterfly, a classic American steakhouse with a California ~flair~. That means dishes like asada-style hanger steaks, hickory cheeseburgers made with Oaxacan cheese and pepper-glazed bacon, and pork belly lettuce wraps, all served on a bright and airy al fresco patio. Reservations for Bull & Butterfly can be made through Tock.
Glendora Public Market
The San Gabriel Valley’s just opened their largest food hall. Called the Glendora Public Market, the 19,000-square-foot space houses an impressive roster of vendors such as Smog City Brewing, Dog Haus, Bushi by Jinya, and The Taco Man - you might need a spreadsheet to keep track of it all (or you could just check their Instagram). The Glendora Public Market is available for takeout, delivery, and outdoor al fresco dining.
Porta Via - Calabasas
The classic Cal-Italian restaurant comes to The Commons at Calabasas. Like Porta Via’s locations in Beverly Hills and Pacific Palisades, their Calabasas outpost features a menu full of fresh pastas, seafood, and steaks, a lengthy wine list, and breakfast and lunch options like huevos rancheros, Grand Marnier French toast, and kale & quinoa salad. They’ve also got a large outdoor patio. Reservations available online.
Popular craft cocktail bar Melrose Umbrella Co. has entered the taco game. Starting October 1st, you will be able to find Umbrella Taco, their new taqueria, next to their West Hollywood storefront. The menu has a wide array of taquero specialties like carne asada, al pastor, and camarónes tacos, as well as esquites, burritos, quesadillas, and a variety of cocktails. No umbrellas though. Interesting.
Erewhon Silver Lake
Does this technically count as a restaurant opening? Who cares. Starting September 30th, Erewhon Silver Lake is open for business. Located next to Sunset Junction, the high-end grocery store/capitalist heaven/oat milk purveyor will serve their normal lineup of hot, pre-made foods like roasted chicken and Buffalo cauliflower, as well as a variety of salads, soups, and grab-and-go sushi.
The team behind one of our favorite pasta joints in LA, Jame Enoteca, just opened up a new Southern Italian restaurant in Venice. Called Ospi, the menu here includes dishes like thin, Roman-style pizzas, toasted country bread, and of course, silky, hand-made pastas, like ricotta gnudi and raschiatelli with spicy pork sparerib ragu. Ospi is available for takeout and delivery, and reservations for outdoor dining can be made through their website.
bushi by JINYA
New to the San Gabriel Valley is bushi by JINYA, which, as you might have gathered by now, is operated by the popular Japanese chain, JINYA Ramen. Located in the city of Glendora, their latest offshoot is a lot more fast-casual, and specializes in hand rolls, karaage, and their signature bowls of ramen, which come with dry-aged mazesoba noodles.
You may like your roasts dark, but Mystyx Kafe takes things to a whole new level. Run by musician and “cafetero Satanico” Julian Filth, this East LA coffee pop-up draws inspiration from black metal and goth subcultures, in the form of drinks like the White Magic Horchata (which comes shaken with a side of sin, according to their menu), the Midnight Macchiato, and lots of Instagram posts in graveyards, of course.
The Eastside’s coolest experimental dinner party, Wolvesmouth, has repackaged itself for quarantine. Now called Wolvespack, they’ve ditched the tasting menus and gone more casual, creating an experience that’s half meal-kit, half prepared-foods. Their first pick-up is scheduled for September 26th, and will include seasonal dishes like watermelon tomato salad, Blue Lake beans with a hazelnut shallot crunch, and buttermilk panna cotta. Meals are designed for two people, reserve yours through their website.
From the chef behind Yours Truly and the recently opened Nueva comes Post Script, a new outdoor restaurant in Venice. What was once a parking lot is now a mega-vibrant, tropical patio that can seat up to 100 people. The menu reads like a backyard BBQ, with dishes like pork and Swiss sausages, ribs covered in a pomegranate harissa, and a banana split served with fresh strawberry sauce, marshmallows, and hot fudge for dessert. PS: Did you know that “PPS” stands for “postquam-post-scriptum?”
From spicy seafood bouillabaisse to bulgogi risotto, the food at Hanchic isn’t just stylish - it feels entirely new. The Westlake restaurant weaves together flavors from Italy, France, and Korea to create dishes like Bolognese mandu, ragu-covered tteokboki, and maeun-tang stew made with bavette steak. We’ve apparently hit our limit on Hannah Montana “Best of Both Worlds” references, but… just know that we’re thinking it. Hanchic is open Tuesday-Sunday, 11am-9pm, with outdoor seating available on the weekends.
Virgil Village’s latest addition is Ken’s Ramen, an East Coast ramen shop serving “the best damn chicken noodle soup on the planet” (according to their website, anyway). The superlative bowls come with a mix of house-made noodles, bean sprouts, scallions, and kikurage mushrooms, all served in their signature paitan broth - a relative of tonkotsu, only with made with chicken as opposed to pork.. But if that’s not really your whole deal, Ken’s also has a variety of spicy, vegetarian, and brothless ramen, plus tsukemen, too. Takeout only, order online.
This Week’s Reopenings: Good news: Ceviche Project in Silver Lake is back, with all-new patio dining options. One of our Best New Restaurants Of 2019 is open Thursday-Saturday, from 5-9pm. No reservations, parties will be sat on a first come, first served basis. Shots of scallop on the half shell extremely required.
For those still mourning the loss of Trois Mec, Chef Ludo Lefebvre is back - and this time, he’s making things stick-y. Now called Ludobab, his Hollywood space has transformed into a Trois Mecca (OK, we’ll stop) of wood-grilled Parisian kebabs. The menu of French-influeced skewers includes lamb with vadouvan curry, turkey kafta, and grilled ratatouille with tomato sauce, and hover around $8-$9 per stick.
Mexicali Taco & Co. - San Gabriel Valley
One of our favorite Mexican spots, Mexicali Taco now has a second location in the San Gabriel Valley. Located in a cute, bright red cabin-looking building on San Gabriel Blvd., expect all of the same excellent Baja-style shrimp tacos, nachos, and of course, their legendary garlic sauce-filled vampiro taco, available either to-go, or for outdoor dining.
Not so much an opening as a relocation, you can now find Escuela Taqueria at the old Mixtape space on Beverly Blvd. You might not recognize the neighborhood cantina’s new digs, with its bright pink paint job and new, all-green interior, but rest assured, the menu hasn’t changed a bit - they’re still serving creative Mexican dishes like jamon and queso tacos, tostadas made with Kurobuta pork carnitas, and wagyu beef burritos.
El Barrio - Palms
The popular Redondo Beach taqueria now has an outpost in Palms, complete with new menu items like huaraches, and their El Barrio Box, an $12 (or $15) meal made with your choice of tacos, huaraches, burritos, or bowls filled with Spanish rice and meats like pollo asado or al pastor. All boxes also come with chips, salsa, guacamole, and dessert, and are made with all-natural, non-GMO ingredients.
Not to be confused with Tony Hale’s leather bag in Veep or the best Mastodon album, Leviathan is a new seafood restaurant from the people behind Scratch Bar & Kitchen. Located in a sprawling courtyard in Encino, this 16-seat al fresco spot serves a wide selection of small, a la carte plates like bluefin tuna with artichokes, spot prawns served with quail eggs, and ribeye steak, which comes with turnips, tarragon, and grapes. Reservations for Leviathan can be made through Tock.
Picnic Society By Gwen
The Grove’s latest addition is Picnic Society, a new full-service restaurant and market from the founder of Gwen and Maude. Influenced by the meatier options at Gwen, Picnic Society’s market features an impressive selection of house-made charcuterie, cheeses, and spreads, and their outdoor dining menu includes heartier dishes like BBQ pork ribs, steak frites, and the beautiful, eponymous Gwen burger. You also have the option of picnicking on their second floor terrace - but why would you, when the roof of The Grove’s parking lot is literally right there?
This Week’s Reopenings: Firefly in Studio City is back, with patio seating and wine under the stars, and in Torrance, all of the restaurants in the Mitsuwa Food Court (like takoyaki experts Tsukiji Gindaco and curry-katsu shop Misasa) are now available for outdoor dining.
Dave's Hot Chicken - Fairfax
After months of anticipation, Dave’s Hot Chicken has finally opened on Fairfax. Their newest outpost features that titular hot bird (do you dare try the dreaded Reaper-level spice?), a large outdoor patio area, and a line that’s presumably forming right now. Hey, you’re already going to be waiting at the Supreme store, you might as well eat, too. Dave’s Fairfax is open Monday-Thursday from 11am-11pm, and Friday-Sunday from 11am-midnight.
De Buena Planta
This new, plant-based Mexican pop-up from the founder of The Butcher’s Daughter has turned an Abbot Kinney parking lot into an outdoor oasis, complete with desert gravel, tropical trees, a fire pit, and a 15-foot bar. The entirely gluten-free menu includes birria tacos made from stewed daikon radishes, vegan ceviches, plenty of creative cocktails, and seasonal agua frescas and jugos. De Buena Planta is open Friday-Sunday, from 4-9pm.
Currently operating out of Bludso’s kitchen in Fairfax, Lost Cove is a new Hawaiian BBQ and tropical cocktail concept featuring meats smoked low and slow, and a bevy of classic Island-themed cocktails. Pick-up and delivery available through most major apps - check their Instagram for more information.
Mazza Modern Kitchen
Mazza is a new Mediterranean and Middle Eastern spot in Studio City with a large menu that includes shirazi salads, a wide variety of spreads served with naan (Moroccan-style matbucha, hummus, baba ghanoush, etc.), flatbreads, soups like Uzbek lagman with lamb, kebabs, and pitas. Mazza Modern Kitchen is open for lunch and dinner, Tuesday-Sunday, from 11:30am-8:30 pm.
A high-end sando pop-up (yep…) in Santa Ana, Sandoitchi’s claim to fame is an A5 wagyu sando covered in black truffle and gold leaf that sold for $75 during a pop-up in Dallas last month. How much will it cost in The OC? We actually don’t know - Sandoitchi posts their menu on Instagram on Sunday, with orders beginning through their website at precisely 6pm. And, yes, of course they sell out fast, so stay on top of their socials to make sure you don’t get shut out. Sandoitchi’s OC outpost will be serving every Sunday until September 20th.
Wood & Salt Tavern
The latest spot from the team behind Wirsthaus and Rasselbock, Long Beach’s Wood & Salt Tavern differs from its restaurant siblings in that the menu doesn’t lean German - instead, it’s filled with handmade pastas and wood-fired entrees like whole fish and bone-in chops. But it does both those spots proud with a lengthy list of beers (and wine, too). Wood & Salt Tavern is currently open Sunday-Thursday, from 3-9pm, and Friday-Saturday from 3-10pm.
This Week’s Reopenings: Historic Filipinotown’s Grá is back, offering patio dining - and fantastic sourdough pizzas - Thursday-Saturday from 5-9pm, and Sundays from 4-9pm. Cozy Silver Lake Mediterranean and Middle Eastern spot Bowery Bungalow has also reopened for outdoor dining. Reservations recommended.
Just as his famous spot Felix reopens for al fresco dining, chef Evan Funke debuts his latest extremely Italian endeavor, Fingers Crossed. From spicy diavola pizzas to oxtail meatballs and rigatoni alla carbonara, much like The Lizzie McGuire Movie, this new restaurant in Hollywood is a love letter to the city of Rome.
In addition to a truly remarkable typeface, Ela Ela is serving a variety of Mediterranean dishes like tahini-roasted vegetables, baklava, and pitas filled with your choice of falafel, roasted eggplant, chicken, or beef kabob. Reservations can be made through their website, and you can try dissecting their font kit with this iPhone app.
Heritage Sandwich Shop
It’s a big month for new sandwiches in LA, and the latest contender just opened in Long Beach. Heritage’s menu is filled with sandwiches featuring smoked brisket, slow-roasted pork belly, and fried halibut served on a brioche bun, as well as desserts like root beer floats and peanut butter ice cream sandwiches. Limited patio seating available.
According to their website, The Douglas specializes in two things: Good beer and cheap friends. It’s owned and operated by two (presumably penny-pinching) best friends, and offers everything from double-patty burgers to hand-held chicken pot pies, as well as beers, ciders, and seltzers via their outdoor patio in Echo Park.
Sky's Gourmet Tacos - Downtown LA
The legendary taco spot has expanded to Downtown LA. Located next to Exposition Park, Sky’s Gourmet’s third outpost has the same menu of Southern/Mexican dishes they’re known for, such as crawfish tacos, burritos filled with Cajun shrimp, and ribs smothered in their signature sauce.
This Week’s Reopenings: The Buffalo Club in Santa Monica is back for outdoor dining. The iconic (and previously tourist-mobbed) LA classic, Pink’s Hot Dogs, has reopened after a five-month closure. The Sycamore Kitchen is now doing takeout and delivery (plus patio dining), and in a Game of Thrones-style twist, Jerry’s Famous Deli has returned to their Marina del Rey outpost, effectively kicking out residing American steakhouse, Stark’s.
Liberation Coffee House
Located in the main campus of the LGBT Center in Hollywood, Liberation Coffee House is a new coffee shop that’s giving back to the community. In addition to breakfast burritos, croissants, parfaits, and other snack items, the queer-friendly cafe is also staffed by graduates of the center’s culinary arts program and works with employees to prepare them for a future in hospitality and food service.
Monty's Good Burger - West Third St.
The all-vegan burger spot has a new outpost in West Hollywood. Located on (you guessed it) West Third St., this is Monty’s third installment, joining the plant-based chain’s Echo Park and Koreatown locations. The menu hasn’t really changed, so expect the same lineup of vegan patties, tater tots, and extremely thicc milkshakes.
Mikaza is a new Nikkei-style sushi bar in Downtown LA that offers everything from ceviche to sushi rolls. For those needing a refresher (literally no judgment), Nikkei combines traditional Japanese recipes with ingredients native to Peru, like yellow peppers, tropical fish, and corn. Are we allowed to make another Hannah Montana “Best of Both Worlds” reference here? Because we’d sure like to.
Avenue 26 Tacos
The popular taco truck now has a brick-and-mortar restaurant in Downtown LA. This is now the taqueria’s third location, following successful outposts in Lincoln Heights and Eagle Rock, but expect the same menu of affordable tacos made with al pastor, carne asada, and tripas.
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Good evening Ave26 customers today we will also be open in Eagle Rock please go show some love ❤️to our second location, we will be open till 11:00 pm. I will put the address in our bio. Thank you everyone for helping us make this happened!!!🙏🙏🙏 #ave26tacos #ave26tacostand #foodtruck
Paper Rice - Spring Rolls & Bowls
The new Pasadena spot specializes in build-your-own gỏi cuốn, or Vietnamese spring rolls. Proteins like charbroiled nem, or pork sausage, braised pork belly, lemongrass chicken, and soy garlic tofu can be mixed-and-matched with veggies such as lettuce and pickled daikon, and toppings like chopped peanuts and toasted sesame. From there, you have your choice of either wrapping it all up in a roll or throwing it in a bowl - which honestly, sounds like a Tuesday night in college. Paper Rice opens on Friday, August 28th.
Not to be confused with the 2008 film (or its honestly-not-bad sequel), The Cloverfield is a new American restaurant located in the Santa Monica Airport - which, fun fact, used to be known as Clover Field. The menu is filled with thin-crust pizzas, crispy chicken sandwiches, and house-made pastas, in addition to one flight-related cocktail. It’s named “Aviation” and comes with Aviation gin, creme de violette, and fresh lemon. Wright on.
Also known as our stomach after drinking a tall glass of milk (What? We’re lactose-intolerant), Fire Belly is a fast casual Chinese operation from the team at Sichuan Impression. The latest in LA’s string of ghost kitchens, like the one at Broken Spanish and Kaon!, a Filipino-Mexican restaurant around Pico-Union, everything here is to-go only, like Sichuan dumplings, kung pao chicken, and mapo tofu.
Lucca is a wood-fired pizza joint in West Hollywood that specializes in Roman and Neapolitan-style pies. All pizzas are cooked in an oven imported from Italy, and can be paired with wines sourced from family-run Italian wineries. Lucca Pizza is available for takeout and delivery.
LA’s latest luxury spot is Sushi Tama. Located in Beverly Hills, this high-end Japanese restaurant is offering everything from at-home hand roll kits to vegetable donburis, but the real deal here is their ten-piece omakase nigiri set, which only costs $45. We say “only” because you could buy two and it would still cost less than the parking ticket we received last week. Score! Sushi Tama is available for takeout and has limited outdoor seating.
We checked out Sushi Tama, read our first thoughts here.
Gamboge is a Cambodian-inspired deli, cafe, and marketplace founded by husband and wife duo, Hak Lonh and Jane Oh. Lonh, who was born in a refugee camp on the border of Thailand and Cambodia, shares the flavors of Cambodian cuisine through dishes like nerom sach moan, or Khmer chicken salad, pickled green papaya and carrot slaw, and grilled short rib rice plates. Available for takeout and delivery.
We checked out Gamboge, read our first thoughts here.
Apparently, anything is possible in 2020 - even ordering mezcal-filled Slushees from (what looks like) a former USPS truck. Called Yola Minibar, this roaming mezcal truck serves mezcal negronis, Old Fashioneds, popcorn, gelato, and alcoholic Slushees. They drive throughout Los Feliz, Hollywood, Echo Park, Silver Lake, and Highland Park - so keep your eyes peeled (or just, like, check their Instagram).
The Bay Area bakery’s empire expands yet again - this time, with the addition of an all-day cafe in Silver Lake. Located next to that giant, yurt-shaped Sweetgreen on Sunset Blvd., you can expect all of the pastries, cookies, and excellent loaves of bread that have made Tartine a household name - given that your household appreciates a well-made morning bun, that is. Available for takeout and delivery.
Mia’s Kitchen is a new restaurant in Manhattan Beach that specializes in Carribean cooking. Inspired by her mother’s (Mia) recipes, Chef Lisa Salinas highlights the island flavors of Trinidad and Tobago through dishes like oxtail stew, dhalpuri roti (Trini flatbread filled with split peas, potatoes, and carrots), and blue crab curry with dumplings. Call (310) 546-1044 to order.
This Week’s Reopenings: Both Olivetta and Harriet’s in West Hollywood reopened this week, with brand-new poolside patios and rooftops, respectively. The Tasting Kitchen in Venice has reopened for takeout, delivery, and patio seating. Reservations can be made here. And Frogtown’s fantastic Salazar has reopened for delivery and pick-up - check out their Instagram for more information.
As you probably gathered from the name, this Venice cantina is quite new. Located in the old Sunny Spot space on Washington Blvd., Nueva is a Mexican restaurant that serves modern dishes like shakshuka ranchos in a corn tortilla, hamachi and uni ceviche, and tempura sea bass topped with cilantro aioli. And given the legacy of their building’s former tenants, yes, they’re doing brunch. They’re only available for takeout and outdoor seating for now, but with their brightly colored patio, Nueva is already shaping up to be one of the best places in town to drink watermelon shrub margaritas (six feet apart, obvs).
Champion's Curry - Little Tokyo
Alert the media (wait, isn’t that us?) Champion’s Curry arrives in Little Tokyo on 8/15. After a successful launch in Long Beach, the Japanese curry chain is opening their second U.S. location, and with a bigger space (and designated patio seating), there’s even more room to enjoy their signature Kanazawa-style curry - a thick, savory sauce that can be served on everything from chicken katsu and rice to a bowl of fries.
We checked out Champion’s in Long Beach, read our first thoughts here.
In perhaps the greatest crossover episode in history, this Glendale spot combines the distinct flavors of Korean BBQ with Mediterranean cuisine. Galbi and kimchi live on the same menu as lamb chops and basmati rice. Grills are filled with tiger prawns, lule kabobs, and filet mignon. And everything is available for patio dining. Which begs the question - why didn’t we think of this?
From tzatziki to house-made pita to full-blown mezze plates, Theía is a new Greek spot on West Third in Beverly Grove that has everything you need to recreate the trip to Mykonos you had planned this summer, including an outdoor patio space. Theía opens August 15th.
Highland Park’s latest addition is Ichijiku, a neighborhood sushi bar that specializes in nigiri and hand rolls. Owned by the team behind Cafe Birdie and Ma’am Sir, the menu here is pretty compact - you’ll find all the standard cuts of toro, yellowtail, and blue crab, alongside slices of A5 wagyu beef and vegetarian rolls made with roasted red pepper and lotus root. Currently takeout only.
We checked out Ichijiku, read our first thoughts here.
Crudo e Nudo
Striped bass crudo, sustainably sourced ingredients, and a dash of racial justice? Maybe you really can have it all. Meet Crudo e Nudo, a new coastal Italian raw bar in West Hollywood. Operating out of Employees Only’s patio space on weekends, the focus here is on seafood sourced from local fisherman, like Pacifico striped bass and line-caught ahi. Plus, 10% of all sales goes directly to Black Lives Matter. So maybe order that extra round of crudo?
Lascivious name aside, Lemme Smash is the latest entry into LA’s New Burger Universe. These smashed patties have everything you need when it comes to a burger - crispy-yet-juicy meat, thick buns, melted cheese, and a provocative name, but Lemme Smash also comes with a secret ingredient up their sleeve - cilantro on top. Takeout only.
Now that international travel is, how you say, off the menu, if you’re in the mood for a traditional Sunday roast, you’re going to look domestically. But luckily, not too far - because Market Tavern opens in Hollywood this week. Located in The Original Farmers Market, this casual British pub serves everything from fish and chips to shepherd’s pie. Oh, and of course, Sunday roasts, and lots of beer. Outdoor patio seating available.
Modern Times Beer: Leisuretown
Another day, another hilariously named Modern Times brewery: Joining the ranks of The Dankness Dojo and The House of Perpetual Refreshment is Leisuretown. Located in downtown Anaheim, this 33,000 square-foot behemoth is equipped with a full-scale kitchen, beer garden, mini-mart, and even a pool - which, for the record, is currently not open for swimming (but might be soon?)
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.
Tree of Wishes
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.