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25 New Restaurants to Try Around Los Angeles

By Lesley Balla
November 26, 2014
Photo by: Love & Salt/Andrea Bricco

Where and what do we eat tonight? That's the eternal question on everyone's mind. We're here to help answer it with a roundup of new and notable openings around LA in the past month, from Downtown LA to Burbank to the South Bay. This week: There are new Italian spots in Manhattan Beach and Atwater Village, Milk doubles in Silver Lake, and a Danish bakery brings its hearty rye bread to Pasadena. Check them all out in the slide show below, starting with the most recent debuts at the top. And be sure to check back often for the latest.

  • All’Acqua

    Claudio Blotta, Adria Tennor Blotta and chef Don Dickman debut an expansive Italian spot in the heart of Atwater Village (the name All’Acqua is Italian for “Atwater”). Turning an aging Acapulco restaurant into this rustic charmer was no easy feat. The white brick, saucy red walls, cool light fixtures and wood-burning oven are all new, as is the cocktail and pizza bar. Dickman’s menu is full-on Italian with dishes like mussels with nduja in tomato sauce; charred asparagus topped with an egg fried in breadcrumbs; salads; salumi and cheeses, pizzas, handmade pastas, and more. The wine list is mostly Italian, and cocktails run the gamut from classics to seasonal farmers market specials (the Atwater market runs on Sundays next door). Judging by the first week’s crowds, the Village is very excited for an Italian restaurant in the ‘hood.

    3280 Glendale Blvd.; 323-663-3280

  • Copenhagen Pastry

    A second outpost of Culver City’s favorite Danish bakery opens across town in Pasadena on Thanksgiving Day. The hours will be limited on Thursday (7 AM-1 PM), but allowing just enough time to pick up owner Karen Hansen’s most excellent hearty rye bread, poppy twists, morning rolls, romkugel, Danishes, Kringle cakes and other pastries for the holiday table. Regular hours are 7 AM-5 PM, Thursday through Friday, and 8 AM-4 PM on Saturday and Sunday. 

    3731 E. Colorado Blvd.; 626-792-7200

  • Photo by: Milk

    Milk

    There is rarely a time that Milk on Beverly Boulevard doesn’t have a line snaking out the door, even in the coldest of not-so-cold Los Angeles days. There’s a good chance the same will happen at its new and second location in Silver Lake. Situated next to L&E Oyster Bar, across from Alimento and LAMILL, it’s a perfect fit for the neighborhood, albeit bad for anyone who has to drive there (parking is notoriously bad along this stretch). But should you be nearby, stop for a scoop or two, ice cream sandwiches on macaron cookies, slices of bright blue velvet cake, cupcakes, cookies and so much more. Milk opens at 10 AM daily and closes at 10 PM (11 PM on weekends).

    1639 Silverlake Blvd.; 323-913-9911

  • Photo by: Andrea Bricco

    Love & Salt

    After 37 years, father and daughter team Guy and Sylvie Gabriele closed their beloved Café Pierre in Manhattan Beach, only to team up with chef Michael Fiorelli (most recently of mar'sel at Terranea Resort) and turn it into Love & Salt, a new Cal-Ital spot near the beach. The name? "Great food needs only love and salt," say the owners. Fiorelli, along with chef de cuisine (and 30 Under 30 honoree) Rebecca Merhej, goes for the gusto with Italian-inspired dishes that are firmly planted in the California esthetic. Homemade breads and butter, wood-fired pizzas, pastas, big cuts of meat, odds and ends like fried chicken skin, and charcuterie are at the center of everything. Here’s a First Look for more.

    317 Manhattan Beach Blvd.; 310-545-5252

  • Photo by: Bigmista's

    Bigmista’s Barbecue & Sammich Shop

    Neil and Phyllis Strawder, owners of the Bigmista’s stands at farmers markets like Atwater Village, were forced to scrap plans to open a permanent Bigmista’s in Downtown LA, only to find a perfect spot for barbecue in Long Beach. During it’s sort of soft open phase, the Q Buns, fresh-baked rolls filled with pulled pork or brisket and glazed with a barbecue sauce-spiked butter, have been flying out the door. As has the brisket, ribs and pig candy that Bigmista’s is already known for. Call ahead to see what’s available and order for pick up.

    3444 N. Los Coyotes Diagonal; 562-283-6590

  • GC Marketplace

    Chef and event producer Gary Arabia — he helped make naked sushi a thing several years back — debuts his new restaurant and marketplace along Cahuenga Boulevard near Universal City. Following the trend, it’s multiple things in one place, including a wine bar and retail shop, French-style boulangerie, cheese and charcuterie counter, and full menus for breakfast, lunch and dinner to dine in or take to go. Some dishes include pork belly Benedict and challa French toast for breakfast; sausage and mushroom pizza or spicy chicken banh mi for lunch; and crab and truffle risotto or Thai beef salad for dinner. Open daily: 6:30 AM-10 PM, Monday through Friday, and 7 AM-10 PM, Saturday and Sunday.

    3315 Cahuenga Blvd.; 323-645-5269

  • Lobsta Shack

    The Lobsta Truck crew debuted its first brick-and-mortar location in Chinatown. There are lobster rolls and chowder that the truck is famous for, but so much more, including grilled fish, rib eye steaks, lobster spaghetti, linguine with clams and shrimp po’ boys among other things. The steal: Whole boiled Maine lobsters are only $21. Open daily from 11 AM-10 PM.

    701 W. Cesar E. Chavez Ave.; 323-999-1797

  • Prufrock Pizzeria

    This new pizza joint and adjacent Lovesong Bar opened at the Regent Theater, which was taken over by Spaceland Presents’ Mitchell Frank a couple years ago, making it a good stop for pre- and post-show eats and drinks. The names of the places are inspired by a T.S. Eliot poem, but everything else, including the cheekily named cocktails, refers to the venue’s long musical history. That means sipping a Karen O aka “The Big O” tequila sour or Arcade Fire’s Neighborhood mezcal Old Fashioned alongside Neapolitan-style pies. The pizza ranges from a traditional margherita to a white pie to one topped with frisee and poached egg and one made with a gluten-free cauliflower crust. 

     448 S. Main St.

  • Barrel & Ashes

    This new Valley barbecue joint has some serious star power behind it, including chefs Timothy Hollingsworth (former French Laundry chef de cuisine) and Rory Herrmann (Bouchon), barman Julian Cox, and the ever-ubiquitous restaurateur Bill Chait, all of whom ran off to research barbecue across the country. This is their take. The former Spark Grill in Studio City is now a Southern-style spot with communal tables, a chef’s counter, a small patio with plans to have a Texas-style food trailer outside. On the menu: brisket, St. Louis pork ribs, Caroline pulled pork, smoked links, fried chicken sandwiches topped with pimento cheese, smoky chicken wings and Frito pie, among other things. The restaurant is open nightly for now, 5-11 PM on Sunday through Wednesday, and till 1 AM on Thursday through Sunday. Late-night bbq for the Valley!

    11801 Ventura Blvd.; 818-623-8883

  • Photo by: Farley Elliott

    Dinette

    From Gareth Kantner of Cafe Stella fame comes a new hipster haven in the heart of Echo Park. Comprised of pretty much a walk-up window and a few low tables under an awning, the bakery/cafe is only open for breakfast and lunch for now, with a pretty limited menu like breakfast pastries, meringues, cakes, sweet and savory pies, tarts, waffles and of course avocado toast. Coffee comes in the form of espresso drinks (no drip), but it’s caffeine so who cares. The horus are 8 AM-3 PM for now.

    1606 W. Sunset Blvd.

  • The Palm

    The legendary West Hollywood restaurant known for celebrity caricatures on the walls, big lobsters and steaks on the plate, and power diners in the chairs closed in September to move to new digs in Beverly Hills. In what we should now called the Golden Steak Triangle, the new Palm is a much more updated version of itself, very streamlined and sleek, with a bow and truss ceiling, dark wood floors and big bar. The menu is pretty much the same, save for a few BH-exclusive dishes and new hormone-free steaks.

    267 N. Canon Dr.; 310-550-8811

  • Butchers & Barbers

    Mark and Jonnie Houston are known as nightlife kingpins around Hollywood. They have some of the most unique bars and lounges, including Good Times at Davey Wayne's, Pour Vous, Dirty Laundry, La Descarga, Harvard & Stone and No Vacancy, all amazing spaces (most with secretive entryways), great cocktails, music and vibe. Now they’ve jumped into the restaurant game with this American bistro in the heart of Hollywood. The space feels old — tin ceilings, tiled floors, vintage stools and bar — but has a slight modern edge. Chef Luke Reyes’ menu features a whole roasted head of cauliflower, 28-day dry-aged steaks, charcuterie and more. Cocktails, of course, are top-notch, with a nod to brown spirits, housemade infusions and syrups, and seasonal ingredients. There are even mini barrels of cocktails to share. The restaurant opens Tuesday through Sunday at 6 PM.

    6531 Hollywood Blvd.; 323-461-1464 

  • Link

    The sausage trend isn’t going anywhere. This new bright and airy West Hollywood spot has a streamlined design with polished concrete floors, wood communal tables, exposed beam ceilings and subway tiles. The unique nitrate- and hormone-free sausages are all made in-house, so the pork, chicken, chorizo and other links come with toppings like homemade relish, caramelized onions and beer mustard (the Hollywood); pickled banh mi vegetables and sriracha aioli (the Muir Woods); and applewood smoked bacon, crispy onions and apricot mustard (the Lake Tahoe). See that California trend? Everything on the menu reflects the Golden State, including the flatbreads; melts; craft beers, wines and spirits; and Coolhaus ice cream sandwiches. Opens daily at 11 AM and serves until 10 PM during the week and 11 PM on weekends.

    8486 W. 3rd St.; 747-221-6207

  • Photo by: Lincoln

    Lincoln Pasadena

    Christine Moore, owner of the Little Flower Candy Co. and creator of the best fleur de sel caramels anywhere debuted a new bakery and cafe in northern Pasadena. Fresh-baked croissants, cookies, bars and other pastries are hard to resist, not to mention the breakfast bowls, sandwiches and more served throughout the day. Eventually there will be wine and beer, plus an adjacent wine and cheese store. It’s a good entry to a neighborhood with pretty sparse culinary offerings. Lincoln opens at 6:30 AM-7 PM on Monday through Saturday, and from 8 AM-4 PM on Sundays.

    1992 Lincoln Ave.; 626-765-6746

  • Cadet

    This new neighborhood charmer from Jeff Weinstein (Freddy Smalls, The Counter) and chef Kris Tominaga (Hart & the Hunter) hits all of the trends to make it a popular spot out of the gate: mismatched matching furniture; exposed brick; a wall of windows that slide open; big round booths; a nice square bar in the center; and a wood-fired grill in the kitchen, to start. The cocktails run the gamut from French negronis to classic Mai Tais to effervescent sips. Tominaga’s menu twists American staples with French accents, and an occasional stamp of Southerness he picked up at H&H, things like uni and butter or steak tartare tartines; rabbit meatballs with dumplings; and wood-fired specialties like prawns in chive butter, rib eye with epoisse and red wine jus, and mushroom bread pudding with parmesan.

    2518 Wilshire Blvd.; 310-828-3300

  • Kye's

    This fast-casual super-foods concept seems most fitting for Santa Monica, especially for Montana Avenue where yoga wear is the uniform. The staple is the KyeRito, a burrito-wrap hybrid made especially for vegetarian, vegan, macrobiotic, Paleo or raw eaters. Think: romaine lettuce wraps filled with turkey, goji aioli, sprouts, sprouted sunflower seeds, snap peas and brown rice; or green eggs, smoked salmon, scallion aioli and white rice and quinoa wrapped in nori. Open 9 AM-9 PM daily.

    1518 Montana Ave.; 310-395-5937

  • Photo by: chef_brandon_duley/Instagram

    Gjusta

    This new bakery from the Gjelina and Gjelina Take Away crew opened a few blocks from Abbott Kinney near Gold’s Gym. In an obvious tease to the health nuts, the counters and cases are stocked full of fresh-baked breads, croissants, cookies, bialys, cookies, scones and more. For the savory side, there are prepared salads to go, sandwiches like porchetta melts, cured fish and charcuterie. Here's a bit more. The bakery opens from 7 AM-3 PM daily.

    320 Sunset Ave.; 310-314-0320 (phone service to come)

  • Bowery Bungalow

    Geroge Abou-Daoud (Bowery, Delancey, Rosewood Tavern and many more) debuts a new Middle Eastern-meets-Eastsider hip restaurant in the heart of Sunset Junction in Silver Lake. The cottage has elements he’s known for throughout — subway tile, tufted booths, reclaimed wood, tin ceilings — with a good bar area for casual dining, banquettes in the dining room and an outdoor patio. With its Middle Eastern and Mediterranean focus, the food is a slight departure for Abou-Daoud (with the exception of his casual Urban Garden concept), with things like slow-cooked lamb with freekah and market figs; chicken musakhan, a dish with spices, sumac, saffron and pine nuts, served over Yorkshire pudding; and “shishkatori,” his take on shishkabob if it married yakitori. There’s a full bar, craft beer list and wines by the bottle and glass.

    4156 Santa Monica Blvd.; 323-663-1500

  • Photo by: Ryan Tanaka

    Yellowtail Sunset

    Las Vegas import Yellowtail has officially debuted on the Sunset Strip, and it’s as much flash and flair as you’d imagine from a Sin City restaurant. Chef Akira Back and the Light Group teamed with the LORE Group, the same people behind West Hollywood’s Rock & Reilly’s and Pearl’s, to bring nontraditional Japanese fare and sushi with a slightly Korean bent, cocktails and more to the former Mirabelle space, which has been completely reconfigured and streamlined. Now with gilded ceilings, big booths and a bar downstairs, and more bar space and outdoor seating upstairs (covered and uncovered), there’s plenty of room to devour creative sushi rolls, sashimi and even Jidori chicken and mashed potatoes. Take a look at a few dishes you’ll find on the expansive menu. Yellowtail is open 5 PM-2 AM daily.

    8768 Sunset Blvd.; 310-360-0366

  • Prime Pizza

    For anyone missing Damiano’s on Fairfax, the guys behind the number-on burger spot The Golden State opened a small white-tiled, by-the-slice pizza joint on the block. Well, it’s not just by the slice, both from round and square pies. You can get whole pies, garlic knots and chopped salads, too. The menu will expand soon, as will deliver and late-night service. Currently the pizza emporium is open noon to 10 PM, Tuesday through Sunday.

    446 N. Fairfax Ave.; 323-852-1188

  • Ocean Prime

    Midwestern chain Ocean Prime unleashed its grilled steaks and seafood on Beverly Hills with a grand opening this week. There are separate dining areas — a plush, swank room, bar and lounge, and a sushi bar — including private room and a secret private backdoor entrance should any guest seek complete anonymity. The menu gives equal billing to both meat and fish, and just about everything gets gussied up with sauces and sides. For the carnivores, there’s filet mignon Oscar-style (topped with crab and hollandaise), prime New York strip with Maytag blue cheese crust, and a veal chop with hot and sweet peppers. For pescatarians, King salmon with lobster, gnocchi and lemon jus; a shellfish Cobb salad; and even sushi, from a lobster roll with kiwi and pickled jalapeno to hamachi crudo. Read on for more. Open Monday through Friday, 11:30 AM-10:30 PM; and Saturday and Sunday, 5-11:30 PM.

    9595 Wilshire Blvd.; 310-859-4818

  • Cascabel

    Alex Eusebio, a former Top Cheffer who opened the sweet Sweetsalt with his wife Sara Mann four years ago, debuted his sophomore project in Toluca Lake. The menu has a coastal Mexican focus with a bold twist, things like fresh ceviches but also lobster and caviar tacos, tamarind grilled octopus with plantains, and black cod with vanilla corn bisque. The room has a rustic vibe with exposed beams, painted turquoise tables, a fireplace and cool rattlesnake mural on the wall (none on the menu, as far as we know). The restaurant opens for dinner from 5-10 PM. PS: No booze for now until the liquor license comes through.

    10717 Riverside Dr.; 818-284-7484

  • Photo by: Lesley Balla

    Pete's L.A.

    Adding to his popular corner in the Old Bank District, chef Josef Centeno took over Pete's Cafe at the corner of Fourth and Main, a Downtown renaissance trailblazer that opened in 2002, and christened it as Pete’s L.A. The space is sleeker now, awash in white tile, black banquettes and low-top tables along those floor-to-ceiling windows. Straying from what he serves at Baco Mercat next door and Bar Ama and Orsa & Winston around the corner, Centeno looked to James Beard's American Cookery, the first cookbook that inspired him, for the menu, with the bar program focusing on great classics with a twist (no more $5 happy hour cocktails, but at least they’re drinkable cocktails). Breakfast has fresh-baked pastries, big meaty egg sandwiches and more, with a fantastic Caesar salad, French onion soup, avocado and grapefruit, and breaded veal chops for lunch and dinner. Consider this Pete's for a new generation, one that will hopefully see it into another 12-plus years.

    400 S. Main St.; 213-687-7015

  • Magnolia House

    The South Lake District in Pasadena has a new boite. This cute bungalow setting is a perfect spot for sipping unique cocktails and snacking on globally inspired eats like Korean chicken wings and loukoumades, Greek honey-drenched donuts. Like the Craftsman homes around it, the courtyard is shaded by a huge leafy tree, while inside the dining room is a mishmash of benches and chairs, a little bit of brass, and a nice big bar in the back. Magnolia House could almost double as your own living room...just with better drinks and food. Here’s a closer look.

    492 S. Lake Ave.; 626-584-1126

  • Photo by: Dylan + Jeni

    Plan Check

    The world can't get enough of ketchup leather and smoky fried chicken. Owner Terry Heller and chef Ernesto Uchimura have opened a third Plan Check in Downtown LA, which joins the original on Sawtelle and newer Fairfax locations. The gastropub has a bit more sleekness to it with an open layout, exposed wood beams, metal bar stools and road plate countertops; a look that definitely fits the Wilshire corridor locale. There's a large bar and patio, plus a semi-private room that accommodates up to 15 people (holiday party planners, take note). Of course there are those super flavorful burgers, smothered fries, craft beers on tap and fun cocktails. But being so close to Koreatown, Uchimura has added a few dishes that pay homage to it as well as East LA, considering this is the most east Plan Check to date. Take a look at some of the new offerings here.

    1111 Wilshire Blvd.; 213-403-1616

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