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25 New Restaurants to Try Around Los Angeles

By Lesley Balla
July 11, 2014
Photo by: Abram Cox

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: Panda Express has a new concept store in Pasadena, there's a new kosher hub in the South Bay, vegan sprouts up in the Valley and a new yakitori place comes to Echo Park. Check them all out in the slide show below, starting with the most recent debuts at the top. And be sure to check back every week for the latest.

  • TKP Provisions

    Known for bringing The Kosher Palate to farmers markets and the streets via a food truck, as well as co-founding The Grilled Cheese Truck, Michele Grant has opened her first brick-and-mortar cafe in the South Bay. Taking over a space that’s been a deli for the last 47 years, the small cafe is only a few blocks from the beach, making a good stop for picnics, whether you eat Kosher or not. Grant smokes her own meats and makes the gravlax, cashew and nut cheeses, jams, sauces and fruit leathers all under Strict Maschgiach Supervision, under the Heksher of The Rabbinical Council of California. There’s everything from sandwiches and wraps to salads, side dishes, cold-pressed juices, housemade kombucha and gourmet goods to go.

    1406 S. Pacific Coast Highway; 310-324-1804

  • Kush Sake Bar

    The name might sound like another Echo Park pot ‘farmacy’, but Kush is actually a new izakaza and sake bar in the former Cortez, that small hidden spot near Dodger Stadium. From the same owners as Silver Lake Ramen, the place specializes in yakitori, with skewered grilled meats and veggies, plus small plates with a Japanese slant, like black cod with mashed potatoes or a seafood hot pot. Pair it all with a small but growing sake list.

    536 Allison Ave.; 213-265-7609

  • Philz Coffee

    The San Francisco coffee outfit is coming to LA in a big way, starting with its first shop in Santa Monica. Owner Jacob Jaber says he wants Philz to “reinvent the coffee experience” with ultra-customizable cups. Choose your roast, order with the barista, watch them make your coffee and wait. They’ll add the cream, milks and sweeteners for all the coffee and tea drinks. There’s a lot of room to sit, either at lounge sofas or communal tables. This is the first of several Philz to come to the LA area. Open daily from 5:30 AM-9 PM.

    525 Santa Monica Blvd.

  • Photo by: Abram Cox

    SunCafe Organic

    After five years, this tiny vegan cafe has moved to a larger space nearby. It’s more spacious, with a nice outdoor patio, beer and wine bar, and expanded menu. In addition to old favorites like pad Thai made with golden beet noodles, BLT with tempeh bacon and walnut mayo and mac and cheese, new dishes include a roster of pizzas, plus beer and wine cocktails.

    10820 Ventura Blvd.; 818-927-4100

  • Panda Express Innovation Kitchen

    This new fast-casual concept for the orange chicken chain is much more than a walk-up counter. Set in Pasadena’s Hastings Ranch neighborhood, it’s more like a Panda Express-Chipotle-Starbucks hybrid with customizable options for your stir fries and wraps. Yes, there’s still orange chicken but also Beijing beef, honey walnut shrimp, kung pao chicken and vegetable options. Not to mention, there's a tea bar where you can add milks, flavorings and boba to your order. Eat it all at one of several communal tables and lounge areas. Food is, of course, available to-go as well.

    3867 E. Foothill Blvd.; 626-351-9128

  • Blue Plate Oysterette

    A new outpost of the Santa Monica seafood house opened on West Third Street on Sunday, June 29. Look for chilled seafood towers, lobster rolls, grilled oysters, fish tacos, lobster mac 'n' cheese and more in a ocean-inspired, bright and airy dining room. You might not have the same views of the Pacific as the original but at least there’s a sidewalk patio for cool breezes. The restaurant opens daily from 11:30 AM-11 PM.

    8048 W. Third St.; 323-656-5474

  • Photo by: Sotto

    Alimento

    One of the more anticipated openings this summer comes in a neat, little Silver Lake package: chef Zach Pollack, who's still a co-owner of Sotto, has debuted his solo project, Alimento. The name means "food" in Italian, and you can expect simple and straightforward Italian fare at this diminutive spot. Only seating about 40 people, the room is both modern and rustic, with a smattering of tightly spaced tables and a small counter for a view into the kitchen. While Sotto's early vision was mostly Southern Italian, Pollack takes a tour of different regional cuisines of Italy here. Read more about it.

    1710 Silver Lake Blvd.; 323-928-2888

  • Lavender & Honey

    The toast trend has hit Pasadena. At this charming new cafe in a fairly residential enclave of the city, there’s locally sourced Klatch Coffee for drip, pour-over and espresso drinks; baked goods from Berolina Bakery, Poppy Cake Co. and Rising Hearts gluten-free bakery; plus toast with toppings that range from avocado to Nutella and banana. It’s a good addition to a neighborhood that needed it.

    1383 E. Washington Blvd.; 626-529-5571

  • Barton G

    Churros squiggling out of boxes, lobster Pop-Tarts and "blooming sea bass" have been unleashed on West Hollywood. Barton G — the Miami restaurant from Barton G. Weiss, that's known for theatrics both on the plate and in the room — replaces the rather short-lived Rose. The restaurant aims to attract the same kind of fun-loving party crowd that's as wowed by floor-to-ceiling orchid displays as they are by cotton-candy-wrapped mannequin heads and liquid nitrogen cocktails. Read on for more.

    861 N. La Cienega Blvd.; 310-388-1888

  • Beelman's Pub

    The latest watering hole from the ACME Group — those behind neighborhood favorites Spring St, Sixth Street Tavern, King Eddy Saloon and the Library Bar — sits in the heart of the Historic District. Because it's really only a few doors away from Spring St, Beelman's Pub takes a more British stance on the block, offering more serious gastropub fare, an interesting spirits selection (aquavit, amari, rum, gin), Belgian-style beers and specialty cocktails created by the Proprietor LLC guys (Honeycut, NYC's Death + Company). That means you can sip two kinds of gin and tonics (one English, one Spanish), and things like Hot Pants, a vodka, Aperol and strawberry-pineapple soda concoction served on draft. It's one of the best patios for people-watching. Here's a look at some of the menu.

    600 S. Spring St.

  • Photo by: Mastro's Ocean Club

    Mastro's Ocean Club

    The former Chart House is now a swank seafood-centric restaurant for the Mastro's group. Like the Beverly Hills steakhouse, high price tags are attached to things like crab cakes, sushi, escargot, a towering chilled seafood selection and other straightforward steak and seafood fare. The room is filled with wood beams, plush furniture and a big bar for cocktails. And then there is, of course, the view right over the sand. It is Malibu, after all. Open for dinner only during the week, hours are 5-10 PM  and until 11 PM on Friday and Saturdays. The dining room opens at 3 PM on Saturday and Sunday. There's also weekend brunch from 11 AM-3 PM. 18412 Pacific Coast Hwy.; 310-454-4357

  • Saint Martha

    A team of restaurant vets from MessHall, Tart Restaurant, Rivera and Chaya Downtown are set to open this new bistro in an unassuming Koreatown strip mall. Chef Nick Erven’s menu features à la carte small plates and tasting menus with dishes like braised chicken thighs with griddled figs and vadouvan; lamb loin with buckwheat mole; pecan wood-smoked brisket with hoisin and root vegetables; Santa Barbara spot prawn tartare with market melons; raw-bar items and more. The wine list, from sommelier Mary Thompson features an eclectic range of sips from Slovenia to Virginia and beyond, plus sake, soju and craft beer. And the name? St. Martha is the patron saint to cooks and servants everywhere.

    740 S. Western Ave.; 213-387-2300

  • Photo by: La Boulange

    La Boulange

    Born out of a chain of San Francisco bakeries, this new all-day cafe — the first for the Starbucks-owned company — is now a part of the La Brea bakery scene. The menu has everything: breakfast is pour-over coffee, omelets, scrambles, granola with yogurt and sandwiches like the BLT with a fried egg; for lunch and dinner, there are salads — including the all-important kale — grass-fed beef burgers, thick shakes and beer and wine cocktails. Anchoring a brand new building on the corner of La Brea and Fourth Street, the space is pretty contemporary, with tall ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows and a few "rustic farmhouse" elements like butcher-block tables, some reclaimed wood along the counter and light fixtures that look like metal pails with slits. Read more here.

    359 S. La Brea Ave.; 323-525-0164

  • Photo by: Lesley Balla

    ChocoChicken

    The new fried chicken concept that combines chocolate and poultry has officially debuted in a big, airy spot in the South Park neighborhood of Downtown LA. It's not about mole. There's no chocolate sauce. But there are a lot of hints of chocolate in everything from the martinis to the mashed potatoes to — yes — the chicken. Here's a taste. Daily hours are 11 AM-11 PM, Monday through Wednesday. It's open until 2 AM Thursday through Saturday, and until 8 PM on Sundays.

    403 W. 12th St. 

  • Photo by: Fala Bar

    Fala Bar

    A new fast-casual falafel and salad bar has hit Melrose, primed for the pickiest of LA eaters, be they vegan, lactose intolerant, gluten-free or just health-conscious. Choose from falafel in various flavors, including original and sweet potato, salads, wraps and sides. Pretty simple, straightforward stuff. Check out the menu here.

    7751 1/2 Melrose Ave.; 323-424-7131

  • Photo by: Marvin

    Marvin

    This new brasserie and wine bar from longtime restaurant vet Bruce Marder (Capo, Cora's Coffee Shop) and his son Max, who's running the day-to-day, opened in the former House. Escuela's Steven Arroyo helped with the design — just look at the ceiling, which is lined with dangling aluminum cans in the same vein as the wooden shoes overhead at Arroyo's taqueria down the street. The look is relatively rustic and casual, with wooden tables, a long bar and lots of wine bottles on display. The menu is just as simple, with everything from cheeses and charcuterie to steak tartare, cassoulet, steak frites and a côtes du boeuf for two. Marvin opens for dinner Tuesday through Sunday from 5 PM-midnight.

    8114 Beverly Blvd.; 323-655-5553

  • Ball & Chain

    Dubbed as a "meatballery," this new Hollywood spot is like the Chipotle of meatballs: choose your meat or nonmeat (beef, pork, turducken, veggie), a sauce (marinara sauce, creamy cheese, classic pesto) and vehicle (slider, pasta, mashed potatoes, salad or hoagie) for a meal. There are also small plates like Brussels sprouts (also round!) and meatball poutine. To drink, choose from 20 California craft draft beers and more than 100 beers by the bottle.

    1643 N. Cahuenga Blvd.; 323-465-2255

  • Beach Nation

    This new cafe in the heart of Boystown literally brings the beach to the city via actual sand, chaise lounges and swaying palms. Designed by Thomas Schoos, it's meant to evoke that feeling you'd get if you actually drove 15 miles to the coast: grab a table or chaise, drink some coffee, eat a chicken-salad slider, stick your toes in the sand, relax and unwind. Take a look around here.

    8289 Santa Monica Blvd.; 323-654-0020

  • Playa Provisions

    Top Chef runner-up Brooke Williamson and husband Nick Roberts are starting to roll out their latest concept in Playa del Rey. It’s really four concepts in one: Small Batch, an ice cream counter with frozen treats, including popsicles like blackberry-horchata and ice cream sandwiches made with toasted marshmallow ice cream and oatmeal cookies; King Beach, a market counter for pastries, desserts and grab-and-go salads, sandwiches and other treats; Grain, a back-room whiskey bar; and Dockside, a full-service seafood restaurant with fare that’s along the same lines as their other spots, The Tripel and Hudson House. Right now, King Beach serves 8 AM-6 PM daily, and Small Batch opens 11 AM-10 PM daily. Dockside begins serving brunch over Memorial Day weekend (Saturday and Sunday, 11 AM-3 PM) with dinner and the whiskey bar coming in June.

    119 Culver Blvd.; 310-683-5019

  • Zinc Cafe

    The sprawling new Arts District cafe, market and bar offers just about everything the loft dwellers might need in one place: breakfast and lunch during the day; dinner at night; cocktails, beer and wine in the bar from 5 PM during the week (and 10 AM on the weekends); and grab-and-go items in the marketplace. Like its siblings in Orange County, the menu covers frittatas, oatmeal, quiche and coffees in the morning; salads, sandwiches, burgers and pizzettes for lunch; and full-service dinner in the evenings. Hours are 7 AM-11 PM daily.

    580 Mateo St.; 323-825-5381

  • Bird N Hand

    Chef Adel Chagar quietly closed his Moroccan cafe on Fairfax and transformed it into this new chicken joint. Poultry comes in various preparations: harrissa-spiced wings, fried chicken with waffles, whole- and half-roasted chicken. There’s a fried chicken sandwich made with thighs, harissa mayo, coleslaw and hashbrowns on a brioche bun. For dessert, how about “croissant crack pudding": a chocolate bread pudding topped with ice cream. This is another dude-food spot on the ever-growing Fairfax scene, joining Animal, The Golden State and Plan Check.

    339 N. Fairfax Ave.; 323-951-0039

  • Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot
    A new outpost of this hot-pot chain — there are several throughout Southern California, including San Gabriel and Torrance — has debuted in Old Town. On the menu you’ll find the signature two-broth hot pots, dumplings and a sauce bar for DIY spicing.

    45 S. Fair Oaks Ave.; 626-229-0888

  • Photo by: Tanzy

    Tanzy Restaurant

    In the same complex that holds the fancy new iPic movie theater in Westwood, comes this Florida-based chain spot with a French Laundry and Bouchon Vegas alum as executive chef. The lunch and dinner menus skew Italian with California touches: things like grilled octopus with warm potato salad, strozzapreti Bolognese and panna cotta with Harry's Berries strawberries. Handcrafted cocktails, craft beer and globally focused wines round out the drink menu. The space is large and varied, with private nooks and rooms, a large bar and sprawling patio. 

    10840 Wilshire Blvd.; 310-307-7004

  • Seasalt Fish Grill

    This new quick-serve seafood spot anchors itself on the Seventh Street corridor in the Financial District — prime real estate for inexpensive fast fare. Following suit with its original Santa Monica location, you'll find lighter dishes like salads, poke and ceviche; grilled mahi mahi, salmon or barraundi; and fish tacos, panko-breaded shrimp po' boys and other heartier eats. Hours are 11 AM-9 PM, Monday through Friday; and noon-9 PM on weekends. 

    812 W. Seventh St.; 213-243-5700

  • Photo by: Ryan Tanaka

    Malibu Pier Restaurant & Bar

    Just in time for summer, a new restaurant from the Lark Creek Restaurant Group takes over the two buildings on the PCH side of the Malibu Pier, with chef Jason Fullilove serving a seafood-focused menu with sustainable fish along with ingredients from local farms. In the bar, which is in a separate building across the way, look for more snacky food, like fish tacos and blue-prawn corn dogs, plus cocktails, beer and wine. Check out some sights and bites here.

    23000 Pacific Coast Hwy.; 310-456-8820

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