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25 New Restaurants to Try Around Los Angeles

By Lesley Balla
August 29, 2014

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: Wildcraft gets a new look and menu in Culver City, an Aussie steakhouse lands in Pasadena and a San Gabriel favorite brings chile lobster to Beverly Hills. 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.

  • Meat District Co.

    Adding more meat to an already meaty corner of Old Town Pasadena, this new spot from Australia's Platinum Restaurant Group opened in the former Xiomara space. Now more open with wood-slat walls covered in industrial cranks and wheels, Edison-bulb light fixtures, gleaming white subway tile, an open kitchen and big bar, the extensive menu offers everything from beet root fries to half-pound burgers, pulled pork sandwiches, wood-grilled steaks and chops, seafood and waffle desserts. Open daily for lunch and dinner.

    69 N. Raymond Ave.; 626-765-9902

  • Brilliantshine

    Adding to the ever-flowing cocktail scene is Brilliantshine, a newcomer from Julian Cox and Josh Goldman set in the former Renee's Courtyard (behind what's now Tinga). Because it's set back from the street, it feels a little bit like a speakeasy, with vintage accents throughout, like swinging saloon door at the entryway, copper-topped tables and a piano in the dining room. Exactly the kind of spot you want to seek out for outdoor sipping in the courtyard, or tucked into a corner in the cozy bar. On the food front, they have chef Richie Lopez (Paiche) creating unique bar eats with a Peruvian bent, things like sea urchin rice with lobster, pork belly hash with beets and poached eggs, and tai snapper crudo. The restaurant and bar open at 5 PM and close at 2 AM; it's closed on Mondays.

    522 Wilshire Blvd.; 310-451-0045

  • New Port Seafood

    A longstanding San Gabriel favorite for Southeast Asian (Cambodian, Thai and Vietnamese) and Chinese cuisine has opened much farther west in Beverly Hills. The menu isn’t as large as the original locations, and it will be easier to read, but a lot of the favorites will be served, including the sizzling chile lobster, salt and pepper crab, and beef dishes.

    50 N. La Cienega Blvd.; 310-855-0088

  • Wildcraft

    After a little more than a year in, Wildcraft Sourdough Pizza chef and owner Tin Vuong and owner Jed Sanford, who collectively also have Little Sister, Abigaile and Dia de Campo in the South Bay beach cities, have made some changes to the Culver City restaurant. Now called Wildcraft, the look and feel is more "Italian tavern," which translates to glossy black, smoke glass and brass accents, and the menu offers more than pizza and salads. Vuong brought in chef Bryant Wigger from Pasadena's Trattoria Neapolis as executive chef, to focus on a wider array of Northern Italian antipasti, handmade pastas, grilled meats and seafood. Check out some new dishes here.

    9725 Culver Blvd.; 310-815-8100

  • Photo by: Lesley Balla

    Guisados

    Armando De La Torre Sr. and his son Armando Jr. have officially debuted their third Guisados location in the Spring Arcade Building in Downtown LA. It's a little bit larger than the original Boyle Heights and Echo Park locations, with more dine-in space, and also big enough for higher turnover. We hope this alleviates the lines at either of the others, but it's too early to tell. While expansion is key to the family restaurant, don't expect the handmade tortillas, stewed meat tacos, cool aguas frescas and fiery hot habanero salsa to change. But there are new breakfast tacos and horchata spiked with Stumptown cold brew in the mornings, and beer and wine will be available once that license goes through. Guisados Downtown opens at 7:30 AM daily for breakfast and closes late.

    541 S. Spring St. # 101; 213-627-7656

  • Photo by: Sushi Tsujita

    Sushi Tsujita

    From the Tsujita ramen family, this sushi spot is now open in the former Orris space, a room with geometric bamboo panels lining the walls and ceiling, a few seats along the sushi bar, banquettes and a patio lounge for waits. This is edomae-style sushi, which means it’s simplicity at its best with top-notch ingredients, and omakase only, with menus priced $120, $150 and $180. It’s dinner only for now, with lunch coming on August 17. Read more here.

    2006 Sawtelle Blvd.; 310-231-1177

  • Photo by: Little Jewel

    The Little Jewel of New Orleans

    Adding to the eclectic mix of incoming restaurants and bars in Chinatown, this marketplace and counter is a New Orleans expat’s dream. The shelves are full of goods like cans of Cafe du Monde chicory coffee and Zatarain’s rice mixes, and you can order made-to-order, honest-to-goodness fried shrimp, oyster, roast beef and pork po’ boys on New Orleans’ own Leidenheimer Baking Co. bread. Chef-owner Marcus Christiana-Beniger is already working on housemade sausages, including hot links and boudin blanc.

    207 Ord St.; 213-620-0461

  • Photo by: Black Hogg

    ROOTS at Black Hogg

    After a brief hiatus, chef Eric Park rechristened his Silver Lake restaurant with a new name, menu and slight facelift. Going back to his Korean roots, Park is now serving things like aged bean curd, short rib cartilage and whole fried fish along with some of Black Hogg’s more popular items, like the bone marrow burger. Only ten of those are available each night, between 6 PM and 7 PM.

    2852 W Sunset Blvd.; 323-953-2820

  • Photo by: KazuNori

    KazuNori

    After a sneak peek at Coachella this year, the group behind fast-casual sushi chain Sugarfish, Kazunori Nozawa and the Nozawa family, debuted their inaugural hand-roll bar in Downtown LA. Like Sugarfish, KazuNori serves fast and efficient sushi at an affordable price. But here it's all hand rolls, all the time, served as set meals for $10-$17. Kazunori Nozawa was a hand-roll pioneer at his original Sushi Nozawa, the beloved Studio City sushi bar he closed in 2012 after 25 years. So it all makes sense. 

    421 S. Main St.

  • Photo by: Audrey Ma

    Commissary

    Roy Choi has his sights set on making vegetables cool and "relevant" at his fourth concept at The Line Hotel, which is now open for dinner. Set in a greenhouse next to the hotel pool, there's everything from cold-pressed juices to salads, grilled vegetable dishes, new sauces and more. It’s a diversion from Pot and the Cafe, which feature heavier and meatier dishes, yet it fits right into Choi’s menagerie. Matt Biancaniello once again created cocktails, especially some “gin & juice,” made with fresh beet, watermelon or carrot juice. Breakfast is on the way. Read more here.

    3515 Wilshire Blvd.; 213-368-3030

  • Photo by: Lesley Balla

    Petit Trois

    One of the biggest openings of the year comes in the most diminutive of spaces. Petit Trois is the sophomore effort for dream team Ludovic Lefebvre, Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo, who also own and operate Trois Mec next door. And like its sibling, there are rules: no reservations (no phone at all), no cash (credit card only) and the gratuity is already added to each check — whether it's for a glass of wine or a full meal. This is food Lefebvre was born to cook — the simple and more humble fare of his homeland in Burgundy. There's an amazing Boursin-filled omelet, steak frites, mussels and more. Here’s a first look.

    718 N. Highland Ave.

  • Ramen Burger

    If you're the imaginative sort, this creation looks exactly as it sounds — a ground beef patty sandwiched between two buns made of crispy ramen noodle cakes, with various sauces, vegetables and cheese. Ramen Burger is the brainchild of Keizo Shimamoto, who found a permanent home at the small take-out window next to the speakeasy Lock & Key in Koreatown. You can get the burger in various flavors, including the original beef version; one spiked with sriracha; a veggie ramen burger; and another made with a salmon patty. It's regularly open Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights from 5 PM-midnight.

    239 S. Vermont Ave.

  • Tatsu Ramen

    From one of Sawtelle's more popular ramen shops, where you order and customize your Bold, Soul, Naked or Black ramen via a large iPad screen, comes this new offshoot on the corner of La Brea and Melrose. The space is open and mod, with lots of counter and communal seating, geometric shapes on the ceilings, blonde woods with pops of bold primary colors and a room where you can see the noodle-making process. Hours are limited for now: 11 AM-2 PM and 7-10 PM.

    7111 Melrose Ave.; 323-747-1388

  • Photo by: Modan Ramen

    Modan Artisanal Ramen

    Dangling light bulbs, slate gray metal chairs, different shades of polished woods — this ramen restaurant follows the design trends du jour. Tucked behind the Bristol Farms in South Pasadena, Modan serves twists on traditional tonkotsu, soy (shoyu), vegetarian and spicy ramen. Karrage wings, pork sliders and Brussels sprouts also make appearances on the small menu.

    700 Fair Oaks Ave.; 626-799-2878

  • Photo by: Burger Lounge

    Burger Lounge

    Swapping out one burger chain for another, the 13th outpost of Burger Lounge has debuted in the former Hamburger Hamlet Xpress spot in Larchmont Village. It's fitting: organic buckwheat salad, romaine and kale Ceasars, fresh strawberry milkshakes and organic burgers are more in line with the yoga/shopping/farmers market set. In addition to the grass-fed beef, seared albacore, turkey and housemade veggie burgers, there's now a limited edition fried chicken sandwich topped with avocado vinaigrette, roasted tomato, chayote-jicama slaw and cotija cheese. Hand-cut fries are an obvious choice for a side, although you'll also find light and crisp onion rings. The likes of lavender-mint lemonade, that aforementioned milkshake and fun craft sodas are officially fitting for summer. A beer and wine license is on the way.

     217 N. Larchmont Ave.; 323-462-2310

  • McConnell's Ice Cream

    Just one amazing new ice cream shop around town this summer, this third-generation family-owned Santa Barbara-based company sits in Grand Central Market. Known for super-creamy, indulgent ice creams made with local, sustainable and organic ingredients, the Hybrid French Pot churning process is one reason why there are no preservatives, fillers, additives or stabilizers here. Try things like Churro Con Leche ice cream, made with real churros, Eureka Lemon and Marionberries or our beloved Salted Caramel Chip. New flavors will make appearances as seasons dictate, like the Summer Fruit Cobbler with its bits of peaches, raspberry jam and sweet golden crumble mixed right in. Ice cream sandwiches with fresh-baked cookies, shakes and sundaes are also on offer.

    317 South Broadway; 213-346-9722

  • Photo by: Carvery Kitchen

    Carvery Kitchen

    This new build-your-own sandwich shop brings a bunch of dips, wraps and more to Santa Monica. The motto is "The Art of the Deli," so they're taking steps to slow-roast all the meats, including chicken, pulled pork, brisket and turkey. Also: many sauces or "jus" for dipping. When you can't decide, think about the Banh Mi Porkchetta with balsamic onion jam, green papaya relish and shishito peppers.

    3101 Ocean Park Blvd.; 310-450-0880

  • Hyde Sunset Kitchen + Cocktails

    Taking over the former XIV space on the corner of Crescent Heights and Sunset Boulevard, the SBE group has opened a restaurant-nightclub hybrid hitting most of today's trends: casual vibe, raw woods, cozy nooks, distressed metals, animal heads and shelves filled with knickknacks. Chef Chris Crary keeps the buzzwords flowing on the fairly extensive small-plates menu. You'll see beef cheeks, fried chicken sliders, porchetta, mussels, veal tartare, oysters topped with caviar and, of course, kale salad. Cocktails shoot up into the $18 range for things like Hornet's Ankles, made with Avion Blanco, fresh lime and clover honey syrup.

    8117 W. Sunset Blvd.; 323-940-1650

  • Photo by: Tipsy Cow

    Tipsy Cow

    From the group behind Big Wangs, Loaded and Dog E Style Hot Dogs comes a new craft beer and burger joint in the Valley. In addition to grass-fed, organic, free-range beef burgers, there are turkey, Ahi tuna and veggie patties. Snacks like short rib poutine and tarragon deviled eggs join 32 beers on tap and craft cocktails at the vintage Art Deco bar. Sherman Oaks could use another good happy hour and this one has drinks and snacks for around five bucks from 3-7 PM during the week.

    15005 Ventura Blvd.; 818-986-8472

  • Photo by: BatterFish

    BatterFish

    Fish and chips get the customizable treatment at this new Encino spot. Choose your fish — be it catfish, halibut or cod — a batter, which might have curry or garlic ginger in it, and the chips, including sweet potato, regular or more Americanized fries. And you have your meal. Mushy peas, coleslaw and baked beans are also offered as sides. And if you don’t want fish battered and fried, try a turkey burger, hot dog or candy bar — just about anything can hit the fryer here. We love this idea. 

    16200 Ventura Blvd.; 818-907-7305

  • 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 and 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

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