The Valley finally gets a taste of chef Ludo LeFebvre
Ludo Lefebvre’s Petit Trois has been a long-standing favorite in Hollywood thanks to absolutely perfect French omelets and a burger that many people rave about, but the second location in the Valley is larger and more ornate -- a testament to the new excitement around food in a part of LA long considered a culinary wasteland. The menu here will be expanded from the original, so expect breakfast tartines and crabcakes at dinner, as well as the old favorites.
Middle Eastern follow-up from the team behind Bestia
Bestia has been on our best-of Eat Seeker list since its inception, so it’s no surprise that the opening of the Middle Eastern sequel to that iconic Italian spot has been a closely-watched event for food-watchers across LA and beyond. It’s finally here, and early reports are that it’s amazing: The menu’s full of cross-regional specialties like lamb flatbreads and confit turmeric chicken legs, as well as duck hummus (aka the one thing you never want to hear at a food fight).
Internationally beloved Southern chain arrives at the Beverly Center
First launched in Miami before expanding to NY, Singapore, and beyond, Yardbird’s a James Beard-nominated restaurant specializing in Southern food, which means interesting takes on dinner classics -- like a black-eyed peas hummus and collard green carbonara. Of course, they also have smoked biscuits and chicken and waffles, as well as a full drink menu with blackberry bourbon lemonade and a watermelon sling.
Meatball-sandwich emporium from a James Beard-nominated chef
In the former home of Greenspan’s Grilled Cheese comes this new sandwich shop from James Beard semi-finalist Michael Pirolo, with Italian deli classics like chicken Parm sandwiches and The Godfather, the Godmother-esque deli-meat loaded sub that shares a name with a similar sandwich from the up-the-street All About The Bread (sandwich fight! Sandwich fight!!) They’re also doing plates of baked macaroni and chicken limone, if you’re interested in something a little more substantial/staying out of that whole sandwich fight thing.
A new Mediterranean oasis from the Tasting Kitchen guy
The classic downtown Hotel Figueroa’s been undergoing renovations for years, and it’s finally ready for visitors again, with a main draw this new Mediterranean spot from Tasting Kitchen chef Casey Lane. He’s got a gorgeous dry aged ribeye and a whole-roasted branzino, as well as drinks from Dushan Zaric, best known as the guy behind NYC’s beloved Employees Only.
An import from NY serving upscale Greek food
This massive eatery in the old Hakkassan space is beloved in NY for its high-end fresh Greek food -- a genre that’s in short supply in LA. There’s an actual market-style display for guests to pick exactly what by-the-pound fish they want, as well as grilled pork chops and eggplant chips with tzatziki.
A New American barstaurant with international influences
We’ve been over this before, but it’s pretty incredible that the Valley is getting tons of new spots with great fresh food. This one’s serving a massive helping of farm-to-table goodness, including Asian-inspired oven-roasted seafood in noodles and a whole crispy spiced bass with a Thai-lemon dipping sauce.
Mozza and ERB’s chefs join forces for a new Eastside pizza spot
It says, “the place where they weigh the pizza” on the outside of this new small Highland Park Roman-style pizzeria, and that’s the basic concept: you tell ‘em how much you want, and you pay by the pound. You’re going to want a lot, though, because the pizza here comes from a truly legit pedigree: the chefs behind it are Nancy Silverton (Mozza) and Matt Molina (ERB), which has quickly propelled it to destination status. Get there quick.
New York's renowned hotelstaurant finally touches down in LA
The LA location of the country’s most-acclaimed restaurant is split up into sections: the Mezzanine’s the reservation-only spot serving up the trademark black truffle-smoked roast chicken, but there’s also a coffee bar (simply called “The Coffee Bar,” and modeled after a 300-year-old Venetian cafe), a booze spot (Giannini Bar, helmed by the same guy who got the NY bar its rank as the No. 1 bar in North America from Tales of the Cocktail), and a lobby for brunch and burgers from the top chefs in the US.
The first LA spot from Momofuku's David Chang
Celebrated Momofuku restaurateur/Ugly Delicious star David Chang’s first-ever LA concept is a tough reservation, which is no surprise: the dude’s food, which draws from Asian cuisine as well as US traditions, is practically made for LA. Early favorites include Benton's sausage-stuffed, fried Korean peppers, and a short rib made a la BBQ master Adam Perry Lang, with kitchen duties from exec chef Jude Parra-Sickels (who was Roy Choi’s No. 2 man for years).
New American food from a famous (and now, infamous) NY restaurateur
It was supposed to be one of the biggest openings of the year: the old, beloved Cat & Fiddle space, now aired-out and taken over by Spotted Pig’s April Bloomfield and her chef-partner Ken Friedman, one of the most lauded restaurant teams in NY. But within days of the opening, The New York Times ran a bombshell piece on sexual harassment allegations against Friedman, who subsequently left the post of managing the restaurant. The Hearth and the Hound is still open, though, with Bloomfield alone at the helm, and the kitchen is still serving remarkable dishes like black cod with orange sauce and cabbage with oyster emulsion.
The massive, Italian-themed market/food hall Eataly has been one of the most-anticipated openings in LA in recent memory, and it delivers, with pizza from world-renowned pizza chefs, seafood from Michael Cimarusti, imported market items from Italy, and incredible gelato and coffee. It’s basically three stories of boot-themed bliss: good luck leaving hungry. And all that above? That’s really just a scratch of the surface: find out about Italian tacos, fresh cheese, charcuterie, and more right here.
That construction that's been going on at the Beverly Center for years is finally coming to a head, with the longtime mall monstrosity gearing up for a full-blown onslaught of new restaurant openings in 2018, all the better to compete with newbies like Eataly and Din Tai Fung at the mall in Century City just a few miles away. The first to open is this gorgeous take on coastal Italian cuisine from the renowned Michael Mina Group, with a focus on seafood, including a tableside turbot that's subtly, perfectly seasoned, and fried blowfish tails that are worth it for the bragging rights. Elsewhere on the menu are thin-crust pizzas, massive steaks, and house-made pastas, all of which can be washed down with an expertly curated wine from the (Italian-leaning, naturally) wine list.
When Evan Funke was at the now-defunct Bucato in Culver City, his handmade pasta was considered some of the best in LA -- and since closing that restaurant, he’s spent time in Italy and made it even better. It’s not hyperbole to say that the pastas at Felix are among the best we’ve ever eaten, anywhere, and they’re made even more delicious somehow by the open-kitchen vibe in the restaurant: The best seats are by the pasta-making window, where Funke and his staff hypnotically knead and roll dough. Come hungry.
This mysterious, much-hyped project from former Red Medicine/current Destroyer chef Jordan Kahn’s not for the weak-walleted: a set menu for dinner costs $250. But, when it’s been described by the team behind it as “a dimension of cuisine that is neither rooted in tradition nor culture -- it is from a time that is yet to be, and a place that does not exist,” it’s impossible to not be intrigued. Essentially, it’s like the OK Computer of restaurants: moody, unique, and boldly futuristic.
Sure, these guys' newer Italian restaurant Jon & Vinny's is hot right now, too, and their seafood restaurant Son of a Gun is also a stone-cold classic at this point. But the OG from these dudes still stands out for its delicious creativity; years in, they haven't let the menu get stale at all, which means you're gonna be ordering the classics -- and then whatever insanity they've put on the menu today, since it may not be there again tomorrow.
This tiny James Beard-nominated restaurant, hidden in a strip mall in a no-man’s-land section of East Hollywood, would be voted least likely to succeed on looks alone. Once you glance at the tiny, challenging-to-understand menu, you may be even more tempted to bounce. Don’t. The food is from guys who did time at Noma and Daniel -- two of the world’s best restaurants -- and the $15-or-less grain bowls and pastas they’re serving burst with the flavor and love of those 10-times-as-expensive world-class restaurants. Just check the website/give them a call and make sure they’re open before you head there -- they leave for months at a time for “inspiration trips,” but when they come back, the food’s somehow even better than before.
We've said it before, and we'll say it again: Since its opening in 2012, Bestia's sort of become the definitive LA restaurant, offering a menu that appeals to both eat-anything foodies (pan-roasted chicken gizzards!) and eat-carefully dieters (tomato & plum salad!) in a setting that feels both industrial and homey, with prices that won't make you feel wallet regret when you wake up in the morning. It's no surprise it's still one of the few tough reservations in the city; despite its size, everyone who leaves immediately wants to go back.
Before she was on the wildly popular Netflix show Chef's Table, Niki Nakayama's hole-in-the-wall Culver City spot -- where she makes impossibly meticulous Japanese food that seems to hit all your taste buds at once -- was already one of the most buzzy restaurants among foodie-type people in LA. But now that the cat's out of the bag, it's become nationally famous as well, which means getting in is a struggle -- a totally worth-it struggle.
Seriously, are they ever going to run out of stall space at GCM -- which, at this point, should just be considered a treasure of the city? Let's hope not: Not only are all the old spots great (and set up for killer mash-ups), but newer openings (like Union chef Bruce Kalman's pasta spot Knead & Co, the vegan ramen joint Ramen Hood, a Golden Road Brewing stall, and the bivalve-y Oyster Gourmet) make it a must-visit. Like, all the time.
Despite lots of competition from upstarts, Providence is still LA's best special-occasion restaurant: The service is impeccable, as is Michael Cimarusti’s seafood. Is it cheap? It is not. Is it worth it? Most definitely.
This fried chicken spot’s had lines from day one, but that’s no surprise: The now-defunct truck of the same name, which specialized in the same Nashville hot chicken as the brick & mortar, was absolutely exceptional. Add to that the fact that neighbors in the Chinatown mini-mall include Roy Choi’s Chego! and the revolving test-kitchen Unit 120, and you may want to hit them all with a large group for a sharing-friendly feast.
This long-standing, high-priced, gorgeous sushi bar Downtown finds its way back to Eat Seeker thanks to an insane premium omakase, just added to the menu. Give the chef a few days' notice and he’ll source rare, seasonal fish from Japan and elsewhere around the world, with a 15+-course tasting of flavors you literally can’t get anywhere else in LA (and that al dente vinegar rice is outstanding, too).
The team behind Grand Central Market’s insanely great Madcapra falafel has knocked it out of the park again with this Mediterranean sit-down spot (a collab with Jon and Vinny from Animal), which packs amazing flavor into lamb belly with turnips, carob, Meyer lemon and crispy quinoa, and kuka, a sort of Middle Eastern frittata.
This teeny-tiny strip mall restaurant is a prix-fixe-only, no-booze gem, serving ultra-modern Japanese-inspired fare that changes at the chef’s whim. One recent dinner’s blow-away dish was a chawanmushi-style custard with salmon eggs and creamy crab, but each bite (and each course) was revelatory, and at $55 for a five-course menu, not too wallet-busting either.
Chef Steve Samson’s ode to Bologna is as notable for its food as it is for its location -- the Sotto chef is serving up handmade pasta, milk-braised pork, and more in a new development that’s the rumored future home of the Spotted Pig’s LA branch, meaning you should get over there before it becomes an absolute madhouse.
LA Weekly’s Besha Rodell unexpectedly crowed about this unpronounceable Israeli spot, and now food fans in LA are racing to get there for dishes like Lamb Ragooooo (yes, the extra os are on purpose) and Instagram-ready presentation, with piles of meat and veggies atop heaps of labneh.
If we told you that one of the best pizza spots in the city was in Brentwood, would you believe us? You should: Chef Daniele Uditi is from Naples and insists his pizza taste like home, with Italian-imported ingredients making up the bulk of the toppings. Don’t miss his on-special margherita (which is topped with a crunchy basil mixture that gives it far more texture than a traditional pie) and the fried artichoke salad, which hits you with flavor and bite.