What LA lacked in water this April *sad face*, we made up for in awesome new bars and restaurants *still sad face... but less sad*, from a beer garden at The Grove, to a new spot from the Animal guys, to a VW bus serving tacos inside of an East Valley restaurant. Wait, wut? Exactly.
 

Toca Madera

Mid-Wilshire
Rising from the ashes of St. Nick's (RIP), this upscale restaurant with Dia de los Muertos decorations, a high-end tequila program, and a massive menu (get the sweet corn tamales and chicken mole enchiladas) serves cocktails with flaming sugar skulls inside of them. FLAMING SUGAR SKULLS.
 

Santa Monica Yacht Club

Santa Monica
The Tar and Roses crew drops a seafood-centric spot on the Westside, dishing out amazingness like an albacore banh mi, plus charred octopus (w/ potatoes and smoked paprika) in a spot that looks like it could be the inside of a high-end yacht's galley.

Ceremony

Ceremony

Studio City
There is a VW bus serving tacos in this East Valley barstaurant. REPEAT: VW BUS SERVING TACOS.
 

Ludwig Biergarten

Mid-Wilshire
Is this the best makeover ever (hint: yes, it is)? The old Johnny Rockets at the Grove has been transformed into a freaking BEER GARDEN, with a massive patio and an equally large beer list with dozens of craft brews as well as a food menu with a killer Applewood-smoked bacon burger and Bavarian pretzels.

ICDC

ICDC

Mid-Wilshire
The geniuses behind BLD bring you another acronym-y soon-to-be-favorite, this time standing for Ice Cream Donuts Coffee, which kind of tells you everything you need to know about what this small-but-amazing spot from a lauded pastry chef is serving.
 

Bulletproof Coffee

Santa Monica
You've definitely read online about drinking coffee with butter -- and this spot started the trend. See if the hype is real/fake/some semblance of the two, and also hit some, uh, broths and salads while you're there. Speaking of which...

Soupure

Soupure

Brentwood
Apparently broths are the next-big-thing, which makes this all-broth shop-kiosk in Brentwood the, uh, next-big-thing?

Sweetfin Poke

Sweetfin Poke

Santa Monica
If you've ever been to Hawaii and come back bummed that you can't get the awesome raw-fish dish known as poke on the mainland, you're in luck: this Westside 'monger is busting out variations including albacore and salmon, all prepared by a chef who did time on Top Chef and at the W.

Mainland Poke Shop

Mainland Poke Shop

Mid-Wilshire
If you've ever been to Hawaii and come back bummed that you can't get the awesome raw-fish dish known as poke on the mainland, you're in luck: this Mid-City 'monger is busting out variations on the staple including albacore and ahi, all prepared by a chef who did time at Röckenwagner and Boa.

Jeff Miller/Thrillist

Jon and Vinny's

Mid-Wilshire
The newest project from the Animal boys may not have a secret burger, but it's got its own chronic deliciousness: bubbly-crusted pizzas topped with burrata and bacon, homemade meatballs, and al dente pastas, as well as breakfast pizzas and a massive to-go wine bottle shop.

Ryan Tanaka

Maradentro

Studio City
The dudes behind Mercado and Yxta's newest project is... wait for it... a Mexican concept (!!!), only this time leaning more seafood-centric (think lobster tacos and oysters con queso).

Belcampo Meat Co

Belcampo Santa Monica

Santa Monica
The first standalone LA location of the well-liked Grand Central Market stand sources meat from its own NorCal farm, which means grass-raised steaks, goat tartare, and off-cuts available both as dishes and at an expansive butcher case.
 

Cheesemongers of Sherman Oaks

Sherman Oaks
A duo of top cheese-ers from spots in London and San Francisco have opened up shop in the Valley, educating patrons about the origins of goudas and bleus and plying them with sandwiches and charcuterie, too.

Ryan Tanaka

Wilde

Mid-Wilshire
Looking for your next wine bar date? This La Brea spot has you covered, with a massive international vino list and classic food like steak frites.
 

Nong Lâ Cafe

Mid-Wilshire
This Sawtelle favorite has gone Mid-City, bringing with it a basic-but-quality menu including a ton of varieties of pho and banh mis (obviously), as well as grilled lemongrass & sesame steak buns and baby clam on sesame crackers.

RJ Guillermo

Churro Borough

Los Feliz
Yo: churro ice cream sandwiches. That's it.

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Jeff Miller wants Churro Borough right now. If you're there, rub it in at @jeffmillerla on Instagram and @ThrillistLA on Twitter.

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1. Toca Madera 8450 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90048 (Mid Wilshire)

This West Third Mexican spot has swanky taste -- the interior is dimly lit and wood-laden, and boasts plush banquettes and a long bar made of crystal and quartz. Once you settle in to the lounge-style space, you'll want to start off with some fresh guac or sweet corn tamales for the table, and then work your way up to the carne asada or sashimi agua chile. No matter what you order, be sure to indulge in one of the many tequila and mezcal options back-lit behind the bar.

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2. Santa Monica Yacht Club 620 Santa Monica Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401 (Santa Monica)

This seafood-centric Westside spot (from the Tar & Roses crew) dishes out amazingness like an albacore banh mi and charred octopus (with potatoes and smoked paprika) in a spot that looks like it could be the inside of a high-end yacht's galley.

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3. Ceremony 11814 Ventura Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 91604

There is a VW bus serving tacos in this East Valley barstaurant. REPEAT: VW BUS SERVING TACOS.

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4. Ludwig Biergarten 6333 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90036 (Mid Wilshire)

The old Johnny Rockets at the Grove has been transformed into a beer garden with a massive patio and an equally large beer list with dozens of craft brews, as well as a food menu with a killer Applewood-smoked bacon burger and Bavarian pretzels.

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5. ICDC 7450 1/2 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036

The geniuses behind BLD bring you another acronym-y favorite, this time standing for Ice Cream Donuts Coffee, which kind of tells you everything you need to know about what this small-but-amazing spot from a lauded pastry chef is serving.

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6. Bulletproof Coffee 3110 Main St, Santa Monica, CA 90405 (Santa Monica)

The owners of this Santa Monica coffee shop started the trend of drinking coffee with butter. See if the hype is real/fake/some semblance of the two, and also hit some, uh, broths and salads while you're there.

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7. Soupure 13050 San Vicente Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90049 (Brentwood)

Apparently broths are the next-big-thing, which makes Soupure, the all-broth shop-kisok in Brentwood the, uh, next-big-thing? Definitely.

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8. Sweetfin Poke 829 Broadway, Santa Monica, CA 90401 (Santa Monica)

If you've ever been to Hawaii and come back bummed that you can't get the awesome raw-fish dish known as poke on the mainland, you're in luck: this Westside 'monger is busting out variations including albacore and salmon, all prepared by a chef who did time on Top Chef and at the W. And unlike most poké shops, this 1,000-square-foot space has room for more than you and another, with a spacious, airy, and bright floor ready to accommodate groups.

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9. Mainland Poke Shop 8318 1/2 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90048 (Mid Wilshire)

If you've ever been to Hawaii and come back bummed that you can't get the awesome raw-fish dish known as poke on the mainland, you're in luck: this Mid-City 'monger is busting out variations on the staple including albacore and ahi, all prepared by a chef who did time at Röckenwagner and Boa. While the minimalist space is on the industrial side, a completely glassed entrance lets in plenty of light, filling the space with an airy and cheerful vibe.

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10. Jon & Vinny's 412 N Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036 (Mid Wilshire)

From Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo (Animal, Son of a Gun), this Fairfax restaurant specializes in all-day Italian, by which we mean all-day pizza. Aside from the signature breakfast pizza, Jon & Vinny's breakfast offerings include pastries (nutella toast!) and hot plates like burrata scrambled eggs and buttermilk pancakes. The lunch and dinner menu emphasizes house-made pastas and pizzas, and your meal should definitely start with bruschetta served on Gjusta bread. The airy and casual neighborhood spot houses a wine shop helmed by Helen Johannesen, the wine director for all of Shook and Dotolo's restaurants.

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11. Maradentro 11929 Ventura Boulevard, Studio City, CA 91604

The dudes behind Mercado and Yxta's newest project is... wait for it... a Mexican concept (!!!), only this time leaning more seafood-centric (think lobster tacos and oysters con queso).

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12. Belcampo Santa Monica 1026 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401 (Santa Monica)

The first standalone LA location of the well-liked Grand Central Market stand sources meat from its own NorCal farm, which means grass-raised steaks, goat tartare, and off-cuts available both as dishes and at an expansive butcher case.

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13. Cheesemongers of Sherman Oaks 14517 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks, CA 91403

A duo of top cheese-ers from spots in London and San Francisco have opened up shop in the Valley, educating patrons about the origins of goudas and bleus and plying them with sandwiches and charcuterie, too.

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14. Wilde 320 S LA Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036 (Mid Wilshire)

Looking for your next wine bar date? This La Brea spot has you covered, with a massive international vino list and classic food like steak frites.

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15. Nong Lá Cafe 145 N La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036 (Mid Wilshire)

This Sawtelle favorite has gone Mid-City, bringing with it a basic-but-quality menu including a ton of varieties of pho and banh mis (obviously), as well as grilled lemongrass & sesame steak buns and baby clam on sesame crackers.

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16. Churro Borough 1726 N Vermont Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027

Churro Borough sandwiches rotating ice cream flavors like bright matcha green tea or brown butter cookie between two housemade churro discs. We recommend getting the vanilla custard, but let’s be honest, you really can’t go wrong with any option. Make sure to get there early since -- to no one's surprise -- it usually sells out. Fast.

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