5 New Restaurants to Try This Weekend in LA

By Lesley Balla  |  March 13, 2014
Credit: Ryan Tanaka

Pasadena: Chef Bruce Kalman is creating Northern Italian dishes with a strong California point of view at his new Old Town bistro, Union. Look for things like baccala topped with winter truffles; roasted cauliflower with agro dolce, capers and golden raisins; really good pork meatballs; and handmade pastas. The wine list, curated by sommelier and winemaker George Pitsironis, is one of the best in the neighborhood (37 E. Union St.; 626-795-5841).

Pasadena: Nearby, chef Eduardo Ruiz (Corazon y Miel) debuts Picnik on Saturday, March 15. This is his new gourmet sausage shop on the corner of Colorado Boulevard and Pasadena Avenue. The pretty courtyard is the perfect setting for merguez, chorizo, bratwurst, chicken sausage and more links that are ground, stuffed and twisted on-site, plus sandwiches like sardines with shaved fennel and a daily vegetarian special. There will also be a version of Ruiz's famous turkey leg sandwich, only this time made with a whole pork shank instead of poultry. Find out more here (168 W. Colorado Blvd.).

Culver City: If you haven’t had a chance to check out the new Franco-Vietnamese East Borough in downtown CC, here are several reasons to do so, including tofu-stuffed imperial rolls, delicious peel-and-eat chile paste shrimp and Southeast Asian-inspired cocktails.

Marina del Rey: The Ritz-Carlton transformed its long-standing Jer-Ne restaurant into Cast & Plow, a more rustic farm-to-table concept where chef Umit Kaygusuz has created a menu of small plates with seasonal California ingredients. Think: 32-day dry-aged rib eye with herb salsa verde; Baja bay scallops with parsnip puree and sea urchin cream; shrimp risotto; and market beet salad (4375 Admiralty Way; 310-574-4333).

Hermosa Beach: Funny enough, a little further down the coast is The Hook & Plow, a new sunny South Bay spot for seafood and more. Open for dinner during the week, with lunch added on the weekends. The menu is a bit limited in these first few weeks - oysters with cucumber granita, market salads, burgers and beer - but will expand soon (425 Pier Ave.; 310-937-5909).