10 New Restaurants to Try During DineLA Restaurant Week

By Lesley Balla  |  January 10, 2017
Credit: Lesley Balla/Spring

Here’s one way to get out of the post-holiday malaise: DineLA Restaurant Week is back for another run, which means exploring deals, exclusive dishes and new menus at some of the hottest restaurants around town from January 13–27, 2017. Weekend nights are included, a boon for anyone who can only find time to dine out on Fridays and Saturdays, and lunch and dinner menus generally don't top $25 and $49, respectively. There are a handful of super high-end spots with $95 prix fixe menus, but when you consider truffles, foie gras and Wagyu are involved, it's still a deal.

The two-week event is the best time to check out any LA restaurant that’s been on your must-try list, but especially those that have opened within the year. Here are 10 newcomers that pack a punch with their deals. Think of it this way: You can dine out without breaking the bank, which means hitting two or three restaurants during the whole shebang is a possibility. Sounds like a win-win.

Lesley Balla

You may have heard about this vegan spot in Santa Monica — just about every media outlet has it at the top of its list for 2016 — and with good reason. Chef Nick Erven’s plant-based menu is one of the more unique in town. The $15 lunch menu includes a choice of salad (broccoli "chopped" salad, ceviche-style hominy or baby potato salad), a sandwich (beer-battered tofu, mushroom hoagie, falafel or crispy cauliflower) and a cookie. At dinner ($29), you’ll want the black garlic chickpea fritters, the kale cavatelli in tom yum gravy and the "ice cream" sandwich, trust us.

514-516 Santa Monica Blvd.; 310-260–2255

Dine around the world at Geoffrey Zakarian’s restaurant at the Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills. The dining room is beautiful, the menu eclectic and the deals strong. For lunch ($25), there's kabocha squash soup with whipped coconut milk and yellow curry; a lobster roll; and apple galette. For dinner ($49), try grilled Spanish octopus with chickpeas; salmon with celery root purée; and Mexican chocolate budino for dessert.

225 N. Canon Dr.; 310-860-7970

The sexy and swank newcomer in the heart of Hollywood is a stone-cold stunner in the looks department. But that doesn’t mean it’s short on substance. The $20 lunch menu includes things like scallop ceviche with white ponzu; ancient grains salad with chicken; and housemade sorbet for dessert. For dinner ($39), find sweet gem lettuces with furikake and ginger vinaigrette; steak frites; and that very delicious not-to-miss popcorn ice cream. With savings like that, don’t forget the cocktails — they’re excellent here.

6115 Sunset Blvd.; 323-544-9430

AR Cucina
If the $15 two-course menu doesn’t grab you (meatballs and panini are among the selections), get to Akasha Richmond’s Italian Culver City spot for dinner ($39) choices like burrata or vegan almond ricotta with tomato-almond pesto; spaghetti cacio e pepe; branzino with braised greens; braised duck with lentils; and soft serve for dessert.

9531 Culver Blvd.; 310-558-8800

Lesley Balla

Cafe Birdie
Moroccan-spiced fried chicken is one of the choices on the three-course dinner menu ($39) at the new Highland Park bistro. There are also meatballs with potato purée; black pepper tagliatelle with sunchokes and cavalo nero; and a chocolate tarte or lemon cheesecake for dessert. Plus a complimentary glass of wine. Don’t forget to check out Good Housekeeping, the cool hidden bar out back.

5631 N. Figueroa St.; 323-739-6928

This dazzling dining room is bright and sunlit during the day — thanks to the atrium setting — and warm and inviting at night. It matches chef Tony Esnault’s lighter-touch seasonal French fare like a citrus salad; sunchoke and salsify soup; crudo with persimmon; short rib with rainbow carrots; and the Louis XV for dessert, Jivara Valrhona chocolate layered with crunchy hazelnuts, chocolate crumble and praline, an exclusive DineLA dish. The best part: Lunch is only $25 and dinner $49.

257 S. Spring St.; 213-372-5189

Of course Michael Voltaggio’s Melrose restaurant isn’t new, but the concept has changed since opening five years ago, and it now has more of a steakhouse menu centered around Holstein beef. Plus, the special DineLA menu is essentially a four-course truffle tasting ($95): frisée with poached egg, chicken lardons and black truffle; truffle risotto with truffle-coated scallops; beef tenderloin with foie gras shavings and truffle gelée; and chocolate truffle pave with coconut ice.

8360 Melrose Ave.; 323-651-5866

You can get a $20 lunch deal featuring a choice of salads — mizuna with cucumber, mango and peanut dressing; a classic chopped; or little gems with garlic, lemon and Parmesan — and the addictive pimento cheeseburger, fried chicken sandwich or lighter soba noodles at what's fast becoming a go-to for Beverly Hills locals. For dinner ($39), there are biscuits, lamb meatballs, shrimp and grits, and pot de crème added to the mix. Don’t miss Josh Goldman’s cocktails from the bar.

184 N. Canon Dr.; 310-402-5885

Lesley Balla

O+O Sicilian Kitchen
Hidden along the Ocean Avenue corridor in Santa Monica, this Italian newcomer is offering three-course lunch ($20) and dinner ($39) deals with things like fried stuffed olives (they’re quite good!), eggplant parmigiana, fennel and orange salad, bresaola, several different pizzas and dessert. As a bonus, it's close to the beach but there are decent street parking options close by.

1705 Ocean Ave.; 424-272-8700

Same Same Thai
The colorful spot in a Silver Lake strip mall puts street-food flavors on its four-course dinner menu ($29), including crispy spring rolls or Thai dumplings; chicken larb or shredded papaya salad; pad see ew or khao soi, a coconut curry noodle dish; and coconut flan or mango sticky rice for dessert. Plus, a glass of wine or beer is included.

2835 W. Sunset Blvd.; 213-273-8424