Because eating at new restaurants is what they do when they're not cooking/writing/master...minding new restaurants, we asked a ton of LA's best food-and-drink-employed peeps what the best new spot of the year was.
Jeremy Adler, GM, Eveligh: I had dinner at a place two nights ago that is new and on the way to being amazing called ROC Kitchen, a dumpling house. The crab pork soup dumplings have the intense flavor of crab. Normally the crab pork and pork dumplings taste eerily similar (am I getting ripped off right now?) but these have a mound of fresh crab meat in each one. Definitely worth checking out.
Jason Kessler, Writer; Bon Appetit, Food Republic: The Parish, Gusto, and Sycamore Kitchen were all great surprises from chefs who set out to do their food, their way. Even though Casey Lane thinks he's the first gastropub in town (really dude?), it's still a great example of the genre and Vic Casanova is killing it over at Gusto. As for Sycamore Kitchen, I'm just glad that Karen Hatfield finally has a place to display her pastry work to the masses.
Rachael Sheridan, Buyer, Cube Marketplace: I loved what Brooke Mosley was doing with biscuit sandwiches at The Parish. Sadly, she's no longer there. Seoul Sausage has my heart forever and ever, amen. Plus they're just so darn nice in there. Sycamore Kitchen, those pastries! Night + Market. Hot damn I love Night + Market. I could eat at Night + Market once a week and never be bored. Gusto. The carbonara was a dream. As was the service.
Lesley Bargar Suter, Food Editor, Los Angeles Magazine (and James Beard Award winner): I think I’ve found myself dining most frequently at Bäco Mercat, and I try to hit up as many Mozza Salumi Bar nights as I can. Superba Snack Bar yielded one of the year’s more memorable meals. It’s new-ish, but I get excited about everything coming out of the kitchen at Night + Market. Parish is killing it.
Dan Dunn, Radio Host, Dan Dunn's Happy Hour: I've been spending what people in the professional recovery community would no doubt deem to be "far too much time" hanging out at the bar at Wolf in Sheep's Clothing on Abbot Kinney in Venice. Barman extraordinaire Daniel Nelson has put together a delightful cocktail program there, and brought on talented and friendly bartenders to execute his cocktailogical vision. Best of all, it's stumbling distance from my house. This is key when one happens to be a serial stumbler. Oh, and I once inadvertently referred to Nelson as a mixologist... and he didn't get cross with me. Very cool.
Rob Floyd, Lead Bartender, The Bazaar by Jose Andres: I’m thrilled with the not-so-new, but newly renovated Tom Bergins. Nothing has changed. And that's why I love it. The kitchen's open later and the booths are more comfortable. It's still my favorite old school Irish pub in town and has the best Irish coffee to boot.
Lesley Balla, Writer, Zagat/Angeleno: I think Bestia will be huge, and Bread Lounge next to it is amazing. I was really impressed with the new Spago menu. I liked Superba a great deal, and Hart and the Hunter is fun. I'm crazy about Tar & Roses, and Plan Check's fried chicken is one of my top three dishes of LA. Maybe of all time.