Hottest Restaurants in LA

Where to eat now: David Chang lands in Chinatown, The NoMad hits Downtown
February 15, 2018
by Zagat Staff

Every day new restaurants open around the Southland, and the scene shifts from one hot spot to the next. We regularly update this list of the hottest places, which right now includes two big East Coast newcomers — one from David Chang, the other from Daniel Humm and Will Guidara — along with dumplings, wine bars and more. Some you'll need to reserve weeks in advance, others only take walk-ins; either way, it's always worth the effort. Consider this your checklist for dining out this month.

Gastropub · Chinatown · $$$

David Chang of Momofuku fame makes his Los Angeles debut with this north Downtown destination serving up an innovative, Asian-influenced menu featuring noodles, meats and fish dishes, all with seasonal ingredients. The sprawling, industrial space is softened with wood furnishings and natural light coming through frosted glass mirrors, while string lights and greenery accent the cozy patio.
The NoMad Mezzanine
New American · Downtown · $$$

Daniel Humm and Will Guidara (Eleven Madison Park, NoMad NY) make their splashy LA debut with this elegant dining room overlooking the neoclassical, baroque & hip lobby of the NoMad hotel downtown. The menu borrows from the New York original with, for example, the famed roasted & stuffed truffle chicken for two, but offers local seafood and veggie-based dishes inspired by seasonal California produce.
Mediterranean · Beverly Grove · $$$

The popular hotel, nightlife & restaurant group sbe brings Middle Eastern food to West Third Street in Beverly Grove (after locations downtown and in Hollywood), where executive chef chef Danny Elmaleh’s Israeli-Moroccan-Japanese background influences the menu of tagines, grilled fish and a large selection of mezze like hummus, spicy meat-filled cigars and roasted veggies. The elaborately-designed space (in the Orlando Hotel) features intricate mosaics and a giant disco ball out front.
Mason's Dumpling Shop
Highland Park · $

Authentic, handmade Chinese dumplings (steamed, boiled or pan-fried) shine at this Highland Park counter-serve that is an offshoot of cult-favorite Luscious Dumplings in the San Gabriel Valley (the menu also includes pork buns and a smattering of traditional dishes). The modern and tiny shop has just a few tables for seating.
Native Santa Monica
New American · $$$

Top Chef alum Nyesha Arrington is behind this New American bistro with a seasonal and globetrotting menu inspired by the nearby Santa Monica farmer’s market (think: roast duck with pastrami jus at dinner or coconut brown butter pancakes for weekend brunch). The semi-enclosed patio and luxe interior feature a large bar area with plush armchair stools or tufted booth seating in the dining area.
Cal Mare
Bar · Beverly Grove · $$$

Adam Sobel fuses the flavors of coastal Italy with the produce of California in this Beverly Center eatery focusing on house-made pasta and seafood dishes. The glittering, ground floor space by the MINA Group is awash in aquamarine colors, royal blue banquettes and a wide-open kitchen overlooking the dining room.
Inko Nito
Japanese · Downtown · $$

Charcoal-grilled robatayaki of meats, fish and veggies are the main event at this modern Japanese eatery in the Arts District from Zuma, a global restaurant group. The large, industrial-chic space houses several individual or communal tables, as well as plenty of seats by the open kitchen bar.
Eataly L.A.
Italian · Century City · $$

A “high temple of la dolce vita” , this marketplace and dining “wonderland” from the Batali-Bastianich team trade in “Italian bliss” via an “overwhelming” variety of gourmet food stalls, take-out counters and “innovative” sit-down restaurants; a foodie “paradise” in the Westfield Century City mall.
Deli · Silver Lake · $$

Jewish deli comes to Silver Lake with this modern take on the old-school classic, featuring house-made, Toronto-style bagels, matzo ball soup or chopped liver and newer, California-inspired inventions like everything-spiced pickles and avocados with nasturtium and furikake. The dark, enclosed space has a homey-vibe with plenty of wallpaper and other vintage touches.
189 by Dominique Ansel
French · Fairfax · $$$

The inventor of the Cronut turns to savory at the Grove with this refined bistro offering a full-service menu of seasonal, globally-inspired salads, veggie-friendly dishes and chops. The modern, elegant and slightly whimsical space above the bakery below has an evergreen view of the mall's treetops outside.
Oriel Chinatown
Wine Bar · Chinatown · $$

You might feel like you’ve donned rose-colored glasses at this blush-hued Chinatown wine bar outfitted with pink and purple floors and furniture throughout the cozy interior and the open-air patio out back. Besides the extensive selection of wines by the glass or bottle, the menu leans traditional French, with items like onion soup, escargots, and steak tartare.
Dialogue Restaurant
Californian · $$$$

James Beard award-winning chef Dave Beran (formerly of Chicago’s Alinea) brings his talents to Santa Monica with this tiny, reservations-only, New American tasting menu, inspired by the California seasons. The sparsely decorated room brings all the attention to the food—each dish being a carefully constructed work of art in itself.
Good Measure
Brunch · Atwater Village · $$$

Vino is the focus at this Atwater Village bistro, but with California-inspired brunch and dinner menus—featuring inspirations from French and Italian cuisine as well—the dining options offer more than just imbibing. A wall of wine bottles, at which you can dine, dominates the subdued if relaxed room, though there is table seating and a small street-facing patio outside with stool seating only.

Jordan Kahn (Destroyer, Red Medicine) creates an otherworldly experience with this reservations-only, fine-dining venture where food and eating are treated as art, with high-concept and boundary-crossing seasonal dishes that evade classification. Acclaimed postmodern architect Eric Owen Moss designed the multi-functional space, and it sets the tone from the minute you pull up.
Italian · Downtown · $$$

Sotto’s Steve Samson makes a big statement with this glitzy, cavernous, and indoor-outdoor Italian enoteca in a formerly historic produce market complex in Downtown Los Angeles. The food is inspired by Samson’s Bolognese nonna—especially the handmade pasta—but the menu also includes a robust selection of cured and grilled meats, as well as a Pan-Italian list of wines, complimented by California vintages and craft cocktails as well.
Italian · Venice Beach

A temperature-controlled and glass-enclosed pasta-rolling laboratory helms the center of this warm-wood and mid-century vintage-themed Italian trattoria from beloved chef Evan Funke, on hip Abbot Kinney in Venice. Pappardelle, rigatoni, orchiette and other hand-made noodles emerge as carefully plated yet rustic dishes, alongside a robust and traditional menu of antipasti, secondi and vegetable contorni—plus old school aperitivi and European beers.