Coming Soon

12 Most Anticipated Summer 2016 Restaurant Openings in LA

By Lesley Balla  |  May 31, 2016
Credit: True Food Kitchen

As the days get longer and we prepare for rising temperatures, the Los Angeles dining scene is starting to heat up as well, with a slew of new restaurants on the horizon. And some are high-profile projects, with local culinary rock stars or those with national acclaim in the driver's seat. Here are the LA summer restaurant openings that we're looking forward to right now.

Target Date: June 19
While not really a restaurant, this spin-off of New York's Brooklyn Flea is a weekly mega-food event and marketplace that will feature more than 100 vendors, mostly food, including stands from familiar chefs, trucks and restaurants like Guerrilla Tacos, Greenspan's Grilled Cheese, Ugly Drum Pastrami, Rucker's Pies and more. The first West Coast edition takes over an outdoor site at the Alameda Produce Market Downtown every Sunday from 10 AM–6 PM.
746 Market Ct.

Here’s Looking at You
Target Date: June
30 Under 30 honoree Jonathan Whitener and fellow Animal alum Lien Ta will open a Koreatown concept this month. They're taking over the former Whiz space in Koreatown — a funky, corner spot near Western Boulevard — and the menu is to feature globally influenced dishes, with a focus on Mexican and Japanese flavors (Whitener’s mom is from Guadalajara, and he grew up in Orange County). The space will be casual with a tinge of midcentury modern design. Starting June 1, there will be a Vietnamese-inspired take-away menu with things like banh xeo with braised short ribs, shrimp, sprouts and salsa negra; hamachi collar with hot curry, vermicelli, peanuts and tomato nuoc cham; and Wagyu eye round steak with green peppercorn jus, frites and watercress.  
3901 W. 6th St.

Georgie and The Garden Bar
Target Date: Mid-June
Replacing Scarpetta at the Montage Beverly Hills hotel is this new concept from New York chef and restaurateur Geoffrey Zakarian. If the name of the place doesn't give it away, the space has been redesigned like a private garden: Inside, sage greens, caramel velvets and rich blues mingle with hanging planters and fig trees, and it all spills onto the redone patio. The menu will feature contemporary American fare utilizing ultra-seasonal ingredients from local foragers and farms.
225 N. Canon Dr.; 310.860.7970


Photo courtesy 71Above

Target Date: Late June
This ambitious project from hospitality vet Emil Eyvazoff, the same man who brought the first high-rise restaurant and nightclub to the Financial District (Takami Sushi and Elevate Lounge), is set high atop the U.S. Bank Tower and will be the highest restaurant in LA. But it's not just another "view" restaurant. Eyvazoff enlisted chef Vartan Abgaryan, most notably of Cliff’s Edge in Silver Lake, to lead the kitchen. Abgaryan has been busy creating things like this oyster, uni and caviar starter, which is as beautiful as that view must be.
633 W. Fifth St.

Flower Child
Target Date: June
Another concept for Sam Fox (True Food Kitchen), this fast-casual spot will bring more quick-serve healthy-leaning salads, sandwiches, wraps and plates to Santa Monica. The menu features things like granola salad with organic greens, Fuji apple, pomegranate, clementines, sprouted almond, fennel and chia seed vinaigrette. The chain will open here, around the Phoenix area, and in Austin this year.
1332 2nd St.

Target Date: Mid-July
Taking over the short-lived Spaghettini space in Beverly Hills is this modern American spot, a collaboration between chef Scott Howard and Josh Goldman's Soigné Group. The menu will feature dishes like wild mushroom donuts with maple and tarragon; carrot broth with black truffle, citrus sabayon and chervil; barbecue duck pancakes; and crispy chicken with creamed corn and Calabrian chilies. Spacecraft is in charge of reconfiguring the space, turning it away from the supper club setup to something more akin to 1960s and 1970s Laurel Canyon.
184 N. Canon Dr.


Photo courtesy Gwen Restaurant

Target Date: Early July
As a follow-up to his extremely popular Maude restaurant, chef Curtis Stone’s sophomore effort in LA is a partnership with his brother Luke. The restaurant takes over the former Mercantile and Township space in Hollywood and includes a butcher shop, fire-centric cooking, homemade charcuterie and so much more. The restaurant inside the former 1920s building is designed by Brooklyn-based Home Studios.
6600 Sunset Blvd.

True Food Kitchen
Target Date: July
Sam Fox’s growing chain, inspired by the principals of Dr. Andrew Weil’s anti-inflammatory diet, will take root in Pasadena this summer, landing in a courtyard spot in the heart of Old Town. The menu features a quinoa burger, panang curry, street tacos and spaghetti squash casserole, plus margaritas and seasonal drinks like a honeydew and mint Collins.
168 W. Colorado Blvd.

Target Date: Late summer
Taking over the former Comme Ça space on Melrose Avenue, Ricardo Zarate’s (Picca, Mo-Chica) West Hollywood spot will showcase the recipes and cooking techniques found in his cookbook, Fire of Peru. He’ll be oven-roasting and cooking over a charcoal-fueled grill to get the smoky, rich, earthy flavors of South American cuisine. The space will be open with a greenhouse vibe, with brick-patterned floors and exposed wood throughout. It’s designed to make you feel as though you’re eating on the streets of Peru.
8479 Melrose Ave.

Oh Man! Ramen
Target Date: Late summer
Chef Luke Reyes will open a ramen bar and restaurant next to Scratch Bar & Kitchen in Encino. Phillip Frankland Lee, chef of Scratch Bar and The Gadarene Swine, is a partner. There will be an open kitchen and no servers — the cooks and kitchen team take orders and deliver food to the tables — and a menu featuring both traditional ramen bowls and some California-centric interpretations. Reyes will even be making his own MSG.
16101 Ventura Blvd.

Cafe Birdie
Target Date: Late summer
Wade McElroy and Russell Malixi, the guys from Horse Thief BBQ at the Grand Central Market, are expanding to Highland Park. The planned neighborhood bistro, which will feature an open kitchen and a separate but adjacent bar, is set to open along a stretch of Figueroa that’s quickly gentrifying. It should make good neighbors for places like ETA and the nearby Highland Park Bowl.
5631 Figueroa St.

Sweetfin Poke
Target Date: July and August
The growing poke chain with chef Dakota Weiss’ creations will open a few more outlets around Los Angeles this year. The tentative timeline for locations in Topanga ​and Larchmont are mid- to late-July with with an outpost in Westwood to debut sometime in August. There’s a West Hollywood location planned for the fall, as well.
6600 Topanga Canyon Rd.
135 N. Larchmont Ave.
1146 Westwood Blvd.