The Best LA Restaurant Openings We Missed Because of the Holidays

Los Angeles

The Best LA Restaurant Openings We Missed Because of the Holidays
The Best LA Restaurant Openings We Missed Because of the Holidays

Courtesy of Sierra Prescott
Courtesy of Sierra Prescott

It's so easy to get wrapped up in holiday stuff that you miss out on other things you're normally totally on top of. That is why your DVR still has at least three unwatched episodes of Mike & Molly on it (will they fight? Who knows?!?!?) and also how we never told you about these killer LA openings... 'til now.

Courtesy of Spartina


West Hollywood

Acclaimed veteran chef Stephen Kalt has never opened a restaurant in LA... until now; the Le Cirque alum's new Italian spot hit in December, and is serving up fresh-tasting pasta like fettuccine with preserved lemon, pecorino, and tomato and grilled prime sirloin with charred yam.

Picnic LA

Culver City

This collab between a ton of industry vets (including dudes from Lemonade and Red Medicine) is a fast-casual spot serving lunchtime deliciousness like Mary’s turkey larb lettuce wraps with lemongrass, lime, Thai chili, and fresh herbs and braised brisket tamales with roasted Anaheim chilies.

Courtesy of Sierra Prescott



Definitely one of the most anticipated openings of the year, this absolutely jaw-dropping space right next door to the Broad opened quietly for lunch in November and dinner in December, with a former French Laundry chef who's making beautiful dishes like the cod pictured up top and spaghetti with curry, cauliflower, and sea urchin.

The Semi-Tropic

Echo Park

This new Eastside barstaurant has a 12-rotating-beers draft system and a killer coffee program, as well as churro waffles (!!!) for breakfast and chicken tamales later in the day.

Courtesy of Resident



Expect excellent brews and indie rock, as well as dance-friendly club nights, at this new ATX-inspired music venue and craft cocktail bar that brings to Downtown a gritty feel, a huge outdoor space, and band bookings from a guy who used to work for Spaceland Productions.

Courtesy of Scratch Bar

Scratch Bar & Kitchen


Current Top Cheftestant Phillip Frankland Lee's single-handedly trying to change the West Valley's dining scene by relocating his flagship restaurant to Encino, and early praise is coming in for inventive takes on everything from scallop served with jalapeño and apple to chorizo with salmon roe.

Salt's Cure 2.0


Talk about an upgrade: the beloved-but-tiny Melrose meat-and-brunch-and-meaty-brunch spot's moved to the former Ammo space on Highland, where you can expect house-made sausages at brunch and killer burgers at dinner.

Flickr/Michael Vito

Ramen Tatsunoya


The latest must-eat noodle comes from this Japanese import, whose first US location comes on the heels of the resto's wildly popular slew of chashu-laden noodle shops in its home country. 

Charcoal Venice


This new spot from Michelin-starred chef Josiah Citrin is, unsurprisingly, about foods smoked with charcoal, including a 48oz porterhouse and charred Hawaiian bigeye tuna.

Courtesy of Smitten

Smitten Ice Cream

El Segundo

The beloved San Francisco sweets shop has finally opened its first LA location, using liquid nitrogen to make greatness like cookie dough with pretzels and berry crisp sundaes with strawberry sauce.

Courtesy of Little Pine

Little Pine


Moby -- yes, that Moby -- is the guy behind this totally vegan restaurant in Silverlake, which is doing dishes even meat eaters can get behind like a hearty mac & cheese and a somehow sausage-less Italian sausage cassoulet.

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Jeff Miller's sometimes down with vegan food. Seriously. Believe it at @jeffmillerla on Instagram and @ThrillistLA on Twitter.

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1. Spartina 7505 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046 (Hollywood)

Spartina features market-driven, farmhouse Italian cuisine served in a chic, open-air dining room. The chef practices transparency on Melrose, presiding over an open kitchen and featuring a big patio out front. White walls frame wood tables (filled with seasonal pizza, pasta, and salads) topped with strings of moody lights.

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2. Picnic LA 9900 Culver Blvd Ste 1B, Culver City, CA 90232 (Culver City)

This health-conscious, counter service spot in Culver City serves seasonal fare perfect for taking on the go (hence its name), or dining in if you prefer with their prix-fixe brunch option (an entree and your choice of three salad sides for a cool $17.50).

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3. Otium 222 S. Hope St., Los Angeles, CA 90012 (Downtown)

Post browsing at the Broad Museum, head next door to dine at Otium, a contemporary American resto full of artful fare headed by star chef Timothy Hollingsworth of French Laundry fame. Otium is a favorite brunch and dinner hot spot that locals love to recommend to tourists.

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4. The Semi Tropic 1412 Glendale Blvd, Los Angeles, CA (Echo Park)

The Semi-Tropic aims to be your new Echo Park home away from home with its curated organic beer and wine list, California casual lunch menu (there's avocado toast with jalapeños on it, natch), and friendly, laid-back vibes.

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5. Resident 428 S Hewitt St, Los Angeles, CA 90013 (Downtown)

This arty new DTLA venue space and cocktail bar hosts indie rock bands with a simple premise in mind: yes to DJs, food, friends, and partying; no to "covers, lines, reservations, dress codes, and bullsh*t."

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6. Scratch Bar & Kitchen 16101 Ventura Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 91436

This restaurant is a creation of Top Chef's Chef Phillip Frankland and serves dishes like pandon, passionfruit panna cotta, house-made cheese, and other delectable dishes with a twist. The Scratch Bar is one of the best places to grab a bite in Los Angeles, and we highly suggest that you add it to your food bucket list right now.

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7. Salt's Cure 1155 Highland Blvd, Los Angeles, CA (West Hollywood)

New space, new look: the revamped Salt's Cure 2.0 continues to make good on their promise to source all of their ingredients from California, but their new digs on Highland Ave have allowed them to take the next step from quaint farm to table cooking to brighter, more inventive fare.

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8. Ramen Tatsunoya 16 N Fair Oaks Ave, Pasadena, CA 91103 (Pasadena)

Virtually unheard of outside its native Kurume in Japan's Fukuoka Prefecture, this popular ramen chain opened their first stateside location in Pasadena, where they serve the scrumptious, rich pork ramen noodles that made them famous. Packed with flavor, the Koku Tonkotsu is always a solid choice, as is the mellower Jun Tonkotsu. No matter which house-made dish you choose, be sure to top it off with a soft-boiled egg.

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9. Charcoal Venice 425 Washington Blvd, Marina Del Rey, CA (Venice)

MĂ©lisse chef Josiah Citrin is behind this casual Venice eatery that focuses on modern comfort food. Inspired by backyard barbecues, Charcoal grills all its meat over open-flames -- either over charcoal or in the coals. The menu is split between hearty steaks and family-style vegetable dishes, plus a few tartare variations.

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10. Smitten Ice Cream 850 S Sepulveda Blvd, El Segundo, CA 90245 (Lax Area)

Straight from San Francisco, Smitten serves up tasty treats made using liquid nitrogen and other molecular elements. Our fave flavors include cookie dough pretzel chocolate chip, milk chocolate Earl Grey, and salted caramel.

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11. Little Pine Restaurant 2870 Rowena Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90039 (Los Feliz)

This cute as a button cafe brought to you, randomly, by Moby, serves 100% vegan fare in a Pinterest worthy, outdoorsy-chic setting.