Everybody wants to know about the best new restaurants in Los Angeles. And for that, you can head to our Hit List. But if you live on the Eastside, you’ve long ago lost the desire to drive to a pasta place 45 minutes away just to try some focaccia your coworker swears by. 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 that opened last week or even last month - you can go here for those These are our picks for the newest, most-exciting spots on the Eastside.
East Hollywood’s Found Oyster serves some of the best seafood in town. We’re convinced they infuse something much more addictive than clams into their clam cakes (maybe it’s the bacon-fat tartar sauce on top), and we’d order their chicken-fried oysters by the dozen if we could. But your experience at Found isn’t just about the food: Walking into this place feels like you’re joining a club that no one else is in - just you, the cooks, and the friendly folks behind the bar. It’s the kind of place that every neighborhood in LA needs, but only one has, so if you live on the Eastside, make sure you take advantage of it.
Despite a prime location right on Sunset Blvd. in Echo Park, Bar Avalon is still a bit of a secret in the neighborhood. But given their delicious, comfort-laden food, affordable wine list, and warm space that feels like you’re in a friend’s living room, we suspect that won’t be the case for long. We haven’t eaten a bad dish here, but the blue prawns in piri piri sauce, the halwa desserts, and our favorite roast chicken in LA are standouts that need to be ordered. So are the $6 glasses of natural wine - but we probably don’t need to convince you to order a couple of those.
Alhambra is home to some of our favorite Asian restaurants in the city, and it’s time to add Yang’s to the pantheon. This casual, order-at-the-counter cafe right in downtown is the kind of place you check out on your lunch break, then proceed to go back every day for the rest of the week. That’s simply what happens when a place is serving Taiwanese food this delicious and interesting. The braised pork rice, cold sesame noodles, and pork strozzapreti are all tremendous, but it’s the pico de gallo-topped beef scallion wrap that will have you coming back tomorrow. And the day after that, and the day after that.
Despite what you were told in high school, being weird can actually be a very good thing. Case in point: Bar Restaurant, the strange and fantastic spot near Sunset Junction that will make you very proud to have been called weird all those years ago. Walking in is like stepping onto a pink-hued planet - one that happens to have a massive wine list, innovative versions of classic cocktails, and a menu full of interesting takes on traditional French food. That includes moules frites with curly fries and milk bread, confit duck with blackberry vinegar and Szechuan spice, and a truly remarkable chicken liver with white chocolate and cranberry. We told you it was weird.
Jeff’s Table isn’t the first deli hidden behind a liquor store in Highland Park - they’re not even the first one to occupy the space they’re in - but hidden or not, this is one of our favorite places to get a sandwich in this part of town. If you’re really hungry, get the Jeff’s Special - hot pastrami, sauerkraut, and what’s basically a big parmesan crisp on rye - or the Dirty Baby, which is a turkey salad sandwich that also happens to involve housemade chili crisp, two kinds of smoked cheese, and pickled onions. Get a side of sugar snap peas with everything seasoning to balance it all out.
When one of the best sushi restaurants in Los Angeles announced that they were opening a hand roll bar in Los Feliz, we weren’t just excited, we were ready to seize the fish (a school of thought known as carp-e diem). And Sogo doesn’t disappoint - owned and operated by the team behind Sushi Note, they’re serving creative, unique hand rolls made with high-quality fish. They’re open all day, but we recommend heading there for lunch and getting the six-roll set, which includes brandy-soaked albacore, snapper in yuzu ponzu sauce, and bluefin tuna that’s fatty in all the best ways.
A new sort-of diner on a very prominent corner of Sunset in Silver Lake, All Day Baby serves smoked meats, boozy milkshakes, and sandwiches so big you’re going to seriously need a nap afterward. That shouldn’t stop you from ordering them, though - one fantastic mess of a sandwich involves smoked roast beef and cheese sauce, and is the size (and shape) of a softball. The breakfast biscuit sandwich with bacon, egg, cheese, and strawberry jam is another one of our favorites. Pair it with a Jack’sparilla Slushie - a frozen drink that involves bourbon and sarsaparilla soda - and you’re in for a great afternoon.
Spoon & Pork treats pork like Jimi Hendrix treated a guitar: They’re not afraid to experiment, and the end result will probably blow your mind. This Silver Lake spot serves adobo pork belly, chorizo burgers, pork belly banh mis, and more. Those are all good, and highly worth your time. But if it’s your first visit, then your order is non-negotiable. Get the patita - a slow-roasted then deep-fried pork shank that is tender, sweet, spicy, and garlic-heavy. Could it last you three meals? Probably. Will you finish it in one? Definitely.
Lolo is an ideal neighborhood wine bar that also happens to serve food you’ll want to eat every night of the week. This East Hollywood spot has a fantastic, low-key patio with lots of quiet corners, making it ideal for a date, and a menu with highly shareable pastas. Get the mussels tagliarini - slightly sweet from Pernod - or the culotte steak - tender, cooked exactly to temp, and served with creamed spinach we wish we could order on its own. Pair it with whatever wine the server suggests: Their list is long, and they have lots of obscure bottles, but they’ve always got great suggestions for whatever you’re eating.
When sh*t hits the fan and we need a kind smile and plate of char siu stat, we go to Needle. Located in a bright-green building in Silver Lake, this order-at-the-counter Cantonese restaurant serves everything from pea shoots in garlic broth to pork chop buns to button mushrooms so good, they compelled us to change our Twitter name to “Funghi Fieri.” But the main event here is their char siu. Glazed with honey and served with a side of hot mustard, this pork shoulder is sweet, savory, and exactly what you want to be eating when you realize that Instagram has been sending your crush an alert every time you unsend a message.
The number of outdoor spots in Silver Lake where you can have a low-key drink and a bite to eat is basically zero. Except for Marco Polo. This seafood-focused Italian spot is an ideal place to grab a cocktail, eat some pasta, and sit outside - we recommend the Ginepro Rucola, a refreshing gin, lime, and arugula cocktail that is all we want to drink this summer, and a bowl of the linguini vongole, loaded with clams and high-quality EVOO. Get ready to sneak out of work early on Fridays to beat the crowd.
If you’re like us, and love the baked goods at Clark Street Bread, but don’t always feel up to braving Grand Central Market to get them, we have good news: They’ve just opened a full-blown bakery in Echo Park. And not only did they keep the things that we liked about their original outpost - namely, a very caramelized, very buttery kouign-amann pastry - but they’ve also added a few new things to the menu. Our favorite addition is the Nordic Breakfast, a massive platter of sourdough bread, Comté, ham, jam, and a hard boiled egg, which is the kind of hearty, simple breakfast you thought only existed in your daydreams of life on a self-sustaining farm.
Replacing Trois Familia on Sunset was never going to be easy, but Eszett has managed to do it. This cozy spot feels like an escape from the nearby chaos that consumes most of this part of Silver Lake, and they also serve one of the most addicting things we’ve eaten in this part of town in recent memory: A tuna melt grilled cheese with kampachi and pickles that we challenge you not to order multiples of. The black cod is also good, and we recommend getting a side of the carrots with labneh and walnuts, too. Finally, don’t even think about leaving without getting the Austrian knödel - a deep-fried pastry stuffed with an entire pluot.
In a particularly delicious twist of fate, the people behind Kismet have opened a new chicken joint. Located next to their incredible Mediterranean restaurant in Los Feliz, Kismet Rotisserie is faster, casual-er (just because we’re food writers doesn’t mean we can’t make up words), and serves roasted chicken on a variety of tasty vehicles like pitas, salads, and sandwiches. However, our go-to move is to keep it simple and order a quarter chicken, along with a few vegetable sides like the cauliflower, cabbage, and roasted Schmaltzy Potatoes.