Los Angeles: Rao’s
Debuting this week (September 17) is the famed New York City Italian stalwart, one of the oldest family-operated restaurants in the country. The East Harlem original has only 10 impossible-to-get tables, and the Las Vegas location has more than 400. This new Hollywood spot, which takes over the former Hollywood Canteen, rests firmly in the middle, with a similar menu of lemon chicken, pasta with red sauce, great meatballs and martinis. Chef Nicole Grimes, who ran the Vegas outpost, runs the show, adding seasonal specials that jibe with the Los Angeles palate. Rao’s is only open during the week, Monday through Friday - no weekends, just like the original.