Hottest Restaurants in LA

Where to eat now: Michael Cimarusti's new hotel spot Downtown, Chinatown's new French wine bar
November 9, 2017
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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 a new hidden spot for haute tasting menus, a Downtown newcomer from Michael Cimarusti, a French-inspired wine bar in Chinatown and Tsujita's latest spicy noodle spot. 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.

189 by Dominique Ansel
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.
Best Girl
American · Downtown · $$

Michael Cimarusti (Providence, Connie & Ted’s) departs from his seafood-centric ways to create a downtown, all-day menu of food inspired by his favorite eats in Los Angeles—think overnight oats, avocado toast, classic burgers, salads and steaks. Located in the historic Ace Hotel, the dining room has a classic bistro feel, with checkered floors, candlelit round tables and a casual, hip vibe.
oriel 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.
Killer Noodle
West Los Angeles · $

Ramen fanatics who crave spice throng to this Sawtelle noodle bar from the cult-favorite mini-empire Tsujita, where heat is the omnipresent theme throughout the brief but customizable menu (bowls are ranked by heat-level). Dramatic, bright red walls, tables, leather chairs and chandeliers highlight the menu’s offerings (dishes come drowning in chili-laced broth); be prepared for lines.
Umi by Hamasaku
Japanese · $$

A wash of blond-wood tables and walls sets a calming tone at this El Segundo seafood izakaya and sushi bar from chef Yoya Takahashi (along with celebrity owner Michael Ovitz), an offshoot of its original westside location (and power lunch haunt). The seasonal and sustainable sushi and sashimi menu features Japanese classics with a California spin, especially with the inventive maki rolls.
Gesso
Italian · Fairfax · $$$

An expansive, loft-like interior greets diners at this all-day Cal-Ital bistro on Fairfax with soaring concrete ceilings and a glass-mosaic wall facing the street. Frittata and grain bowls start in the morning, while veggie-plates, pizzas and chops arrive later in the day.
The Mighty
Bar · Coral Way · $

This tiny, beer-focused gastropub on the shady streets of Coral Way offers 12 craft brews on tap, plus bottled suds sourced from Belgium to Miami. Upgraded bar fare rounds out the offerings with an emphasis on homemade sausage in beer-pork, rabbit and duck varieties, house-smoked bacon, burgers and cheese and charcuterie boards.
Neighbor
Cocktail Bar · Venice Beach · $$$

Breezy California vibes infuse this Venice beach New American with an airy back patio filled with comfy lounge chairs and palm fronds. The vegetable-forward dishes feature seasonal produce, seafood & meats and there’s a full bar menu with craft cocktails as well.
ink.well
Beverly Grove · $$$

Celebrity chef Michael Voltaggio offers a diverse menu at this California-inspired, modernist bistro in West Hollywood, after shuttering his acclaimed ink nearby--yet originals like “cool ranch foritos” corn live on, with the addition of more accessible fare like chops & oysters. The expansive and multi-faceted dining room and bar area provide more space for the larger craft cocktail and draft beer offerings.
MTN
Japanese · Venice Beach · $$$

Japan is the source of inspiration for this rustic, wood-hewn izakaya from Gjelina/Gjusta co-owner Travis Lett along Venice’s hip thoroughfare Abbott Kinney. The seasonal menu changes, but ramen with house-made noodles, raw fish sashimi and seared meats are standbys, while vegetable-forward items featuring unusual California-sourced fare will rotate—all to be washed down with sake, wine or beer.
Hayden
$$

Chef Ari Kolender returns from Charleston to helm this all-day New American eatery and wine bar at Platform, the design-oriented outdoor mall in Culver City. The food is market-driven and features inspirations from Italy and Japan, as well as a raw bar with oysters on the half-shell.
Good Measure
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.
HiHo Cheeseburger
New American · $

Grass-fed Wagyu beef burgers and fresh-cut fries star at this casual counter-serve in Santa Monica, a reboot of the original (and shuttered) location up the coast in Ojai. The modern yet barebones eatery evokes a roadside stand with simple counter stools, small tables and an open kitchen grill.
Vespertine
$$$$

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.
Rosaline
Peruvian · $$$

Ricardo Zarate returns with this modern Peruvian bistro with Japanese touches to his famed ceviches and other South American dishes inspired by his mother, for whom the West Hollywood eatery is named. The airy, former Comme Ça space has been totally reimagined, with warm woods and large storefront windows facing bustling Melrose—and a quiet, romantic patio out back.
PIZZANA
Pizza · Brentwood · $$

Candace and Charles Nelson, the duo behind cult favorite Sprinkles Cupcakes, turn to the world of savory with this Brentwood pizzeria, in partnership with the actor Chris O’Donnell, of Batman fame. The pies are wood-fired, Neapolitan-style and thin-crust, but inspired by Southern California produce, which befits this casual celebrity hangout with an open kitchen and midcentury decorative touches.
Rossoblu
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.
Felix
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.
Cosa Buona
Italian · Silver Lake · $$

Alimento’s Zach Pollack returns with this bright and airy Cal-Ital pizzeria on a busy corner of Echo Park. Wood-fired pizzas helm the menu, with several salads, antipasti and Italian wines to choose from as well—and don’t miss the Italian-American sandwiches during the day (like Chicken Parm).
Kismet
Mediterranean · East Hollywood · $$

This bright and minimalist Los Feliz spot from Sara Kramer and Sarah Hymanson (Madcapra) sports blond woods and white furniture, a semi-open kitchen and overall communal vibe. The California-centric, Mediterranean menus move from coffee, pastries and light fare in the mornings, to salads and sandwiches in the afternoons, and family-style share plates in the evenings; beer and wine offerings match the cuisine.