In keeping with the hot days and cool nights of fall in LA, October saw the addition of just as many new sunny patios as cozy interiors with roaring fireplaces -- and in some cases, both -- to the dining and drinking options around town. From baby back ribs and a chicken coop in the Arts District to Hawaiian shaved ice and poke in Playa Vista, here are our picks for the best LA openings of October 2016.
All of the restaurants on this list are part of our ongoing quest to find this year's best new restaurants in America, and we're combing through every opening in every Thrillist city. Get involved on Instagram -- #BestRest2016 -- to let us know your picks and your favorite dishes at each of these new spots.
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Tucked inside the new Hauser Wirth & Schimmel arts complex, Manuela offers a sprawling and luminous space with a huge wraparound patio and a locally sourced yet North Texas-inspired menu (think biscuits & gravy and a deer burger). Decked out with salvaged chandeliers, glass, and woodwork from the 1930s-era building and nearby Arts District warehouses, the restaurant complements the adjoining gallery with murals and other artwork, plus a mix of rustic features and sleek marble and brass. Chef Wes Whitsell, formerly of Osteria La Buca, is preparing nearly everything in-house -- not only smoking his own baby back ribs, pickling vegetables, and curing duck breast, but he’s also utilizing a large on-site garden complete with a chicken coop. Brunch and lunch kicked off at the beginning of the month and dinner service, which just rolled out, is available Wednesday through Friday.
This dark and sultry new Italian addition to West 3rd St in the former Ortolan space offers an ambitious date night destination from the owners of Santa Monica’s perpetually bustling Via Veneto. You’ll find an extensive run of fresh seafaring selections, handmade pastas, and big meats seared on a wood-fired grill with decadent options like the tonnarelli with blue lobster or the 32oz tomahawk rib-eye. Redesigned by the Spacecraft Design Group, the interior features dark woods and leather booths, a lounge area with brick archways, and an atrium-covered patio if you’re hoping to shed some light on the moody darkness.
This tiled boutique bake shop specializing in cruffins comes to LA by way of San Francisco. You'd be remiss if you didn't show up by 9am to partake in the croissant muffins -- proclaimed as the unicorn of pastries -- but should you roll in at the ungodly hour of 10am there are still plenty of memorable pastry options available. On the savory side, the bacon danish has cheddar baked into its pillowy layers, and, for sweets, there’s more hybridization with churro croissants and monkey bread topped with puppy chow. Another location is in the works for Larchmont.
Just in time for the last stein fills of Oktoberfest, the long-anticipated German biergarten Loreley finally opened its doors with an extensive lineup of your favorite German brews, including some hard-to-find craft varieties. The new venue comes by way of Michael Momm, who runs the original (and long-popular) Loreley in New York, and you’ll definitely want to make your way to the tree-lined outdoor biergarten in back with communal tables of heavy wood and cozy nooks perfect for drinking the three-liter “Das Boot” steins in private. The small-but-growing menu is loaded with hearty comfort fare like potato pancakes with smoked salmon, Berlin-style currywurst, and, of course, platters of sausages.
The team behind nightlife spots like The Nice Guy and Blind Dragon has completely transformed the former d.b.a. space with this restaurant-meets-lounge inspired by the art deco swank of the Roaring ‘20s. Grab a seat at one of the ample plush banquets, and order up a cocktail, like the Loca Loni (banana and spice-infused tequila, tawny port, Frangelico, and a torched cinnamon stick and banana chips, to sip digging into BBQ ribs or cedar plank salmon. After dinner the mood shifts to bottle service and live entertainment, but don’t worry: You can still order funnel cake off the late-night menu.
Top Chef fan-favorite Brooke Williamson along with husband Nick Roberts has launched a fast-casual Hawaiian counter that aims to be your new go-to spot for poke bowls and musubi. Signature bowls are packed with everything from the expected spicy yellowfin to octopus or Japanese eggplant tinged with lime shoyu, but the real treat is a DIY section, where you can customize from a myriad of toppings. Simple musubi (SPAM and rice, wrapped in seaweed) complements the bowls... and let's you finally try some SPAM without having to crack open a can at home. Shave ice with in-house syrups round out the luau-friendly menu.
The folks behind casual Mexican watering hole Te’kila have expanded into the former Stanley’s on Ventura Blvd to create a separate, low-key destination for cocktails. The drinks come by way of Matt Wallace (previously of The Famous) and Chris Day (previously of Honeycut) and will feature a rotating menu that pay tribute (a-ha!) to the duo’s favorite films, musicians, bars, and booze.
As casual wiener stand Fritzi Dog heads off to focus on feeding the masses at the LA Coliseum and elsewhere, Chef Neal Fraser’s new chicken joint will take it’s place in the Original Farmer’s Market. The foul lineup -- some of which you may recognize from Fritzi in the Arts District -- features chicken wings, sandwiches, and salads, served four ways: confit, griddled, “Naked Fried” (brined and fried without batter), and classic buttermilk-battered. The menu will also include the uniquely excellent potato waffles, tots, and better-than-average veggie sides like sous-vided carrots and golden beets.
Much-adored Italian eatery Angelini Osteria has long been an LA staple for lunch and dinner, and now you can spend even more of the day pretending you’re in Italy by heading next door to its new café and marketplace. Start your day with a hit of espresso, pastries, or egg dishes like the zucchini frittata. Or stop by at lunch for panini, salads, or some Angelini classics like Gino’s meatballs or arancini. And because a day in Italy wouldn’t be complete without gelato, the café is outfitted with a Cattabriga vertical-batch freezer -- essentially the Ferrari of gelato machines. You can also pick up a variety of Italian imports like Prosciutto di Parma, pastas, and more, as well as your favorite Angelini sauces to take home.
This sparkling new addition to the SGV ramen scene is plenty sleek and modern, but graciously keeps the price on its noodles reasonable. You’ll find all the hits from chicken broth miso and shoyu to pork broth tonkotsu and tsukemen, with tan tan men and cold noodle options thrown in for good measure. Rice bowls, salads, and starters like chicken karaage and kurobuta sausage round out the menu, and you’ll want to save room for the macaron ice cream sandwiches in flavors like mango, coffee, and green tea.
If you’re looking to burn some cash on bottle service and lounge in a modern reimagining of a European courtyard with massive mirrors and LED lights twinkling overhead, then Nightingale Plaza -- in the former Greystone Manor location -- is your sexy new nightlife destination. After doing your thing on the “high-energy” dance floor, you can retreat to the two adjoining lounges with trippy tropical wallpaper, or catch some air on the foliage-adorned patio. Or don’t -- it’s your sexy nightlife after all.
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1. Manuela907 E 3rd St, Los Angeles
2. Bianconi8338 W 3rd St, Los Angeles
3. Mr. Holmes Bakehouse111 South Avenue 59, Los Angeles
4. Loreley Biergarten1201 N La Brea Ave, West Hollywood
5. Delilah7969 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood
6. Da Kikokiko12746 W Jefferson Blvd, Los Angeles
7. Tribute16860 Sherman Way, Los Angeles
8. Angelini Alimentari7317 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles
9. Tengoku Ramen Bar815 W Naomi Ave, Arcadia
10. Nightingale Plaza643 N La Cienega Blvd, West Hollywood
Chef Wes Whitsell, formerly of Osteria La Buca, is at the helm of this homey restaurant inside the Hauser Wirth & Schimmel arts complex. The Southern-meets-Texan food concept is obvious in the menu's smoked meat selection and in brunch options like chorizo egg sandwiches, chilaquiles, and a ranch-dressed BLT salad. The dining room is decorated with salvaged chandeliers, glass, and woodwork from nearby Arts District warehouses, mixing feelings of hometown nostalgia with creative innovation.
Fabrizio Bianconi’s self-titled, 140-seat restaurant does elegant Italian with Mediterranean flair in a dark and sexy space on West 3rd Street. Pastas, seafoods, and steaks are executed traditionally, and you can taste the wood-fired cooking in mains like grilled blue lobster and herb-marinated chicken. The front bar offers a more casual experience, where drinks like the Hot Italian Lover (tequila, Aperol, grapefruit, lime, orange, Napoleon, jalapeño) and small bites like truffled arancini balls and crab croquettes are served under uber-modern chandeliers.
Much like New York City-based Dominique Ansel Bakery, San Francisco-transplant Mr. Homes Bakehouse conjures crazes over its hybrid baked goods. The cruffin, or cream-filled croissant muffin, is the bakery's claim to fame -- and the reason for the morning lines -- but speciality treats like flaky ube puffs, sugar-dusted bread pudding, and fruity donuts are fair game if your cruffin of choice sells out. The bright, white-brick space is accented with a cute sign that reads, "I got baked in Los Angeles."
West Hollywood gets an outdoor biergarten with Loreley, an outpost of the original one in New York. It fills WeHo's void for a communal German eating and drinking spot, and luckily, you won't have to deal with corny drinkers in dirndls here. Comfort foods like schnitzel, sausage platters with a rainbow of brats, and potato pancakes help bolster the guts of beer lovers, who'll find a variety of German beers, including obscure craft varieties, on the menu. There aren't many palm trees in Deutschland, but you can bet there are in the large, wood-lined yard at Loreley.
Delilah is an art deco supper club inspired by the swanky lounges of the 1920s. Expect an upscale American menu with fine cuts of meat and roasted potatoes, and an incredibly juicy American cheese-topped burger. When dinner service ends, the lounge takes over and the space turns to bottle service and live entertainment -- but signature cocktails are served from the marble bar all night long. You won't see any flappers here, but the undeniable elegance will definitely awaken your inner Gatsby.
Da Kikokiko is a bright Hawaiian restaurant headed-up by Top Chef runner-up Brooke Williamson and husband Nick Roberts. The casual counter-serve serves a variety of poke bowls and musubi, the latter of which includes a SPAM and rice combo wrapped in seaweed. Though there are plenty of signature bowls to choose from, the DIY section encourages you to mix and match your fish, toppings, sauces, and bases -- meaning you can either have your poke the traditional way over a bed of rice, or go carb-free with seaweed and kelp noodles. For dessert, try a Hawaiian-themed shaved ice made with in-house syrups.
From the folks behind Te'kila, Tribute is a low-key cocktail lounge that boasts over 150 types of tequila and specialty margaritas. The food menu is similarly focused on Mexican food like tacos, burritos, and enchiladas, and there's a rotating drink menu that features cocktails named after the bartenders' favorite movies, bands, bars, and well, alcohol.
Angelini Osteria's next-door cafe and marketplace sells everything you need (food-wise) to pretend you're living in the boot-shaped pasta powerhouse. The all-day spot serves coffee, house-baked pastries, gelato, and an ever-changing menu of light dishes like zucchini frittata, ricotta toast, and grilled chicken panini. Though the alimentari makes a great spot for breakfast and lunch, it also sells imported Prosciutto di Parma, pastas, and Angelini sauces to take home.
This sleek and modern ramen shop in an Arcadia strip mall serves reliable and reasonably priced ramen, as well as rice bowls, fried appetizers, and cold noodle dishes. You'll find all the usual ramen hits on the menu: miso and shoyu chicken broths, tonkotsu pork, and tsukemen, a ramen variation in which the noodles are served with a dipping broth on the side. Tengoku's light and airy vibe -- complete with windows on one side and light wood tables -- is a direct contrast to its rich and heavy soups.
In the former Greystone Manor location, this buzzy nightclub from sbe is home to a thumping dance floor; two adjacent lounges that are more demure but no doubt clubby; and an oasis-like patio. Despite futuristic touches like mirrored ceilings and LED walls, Nightingale Plaza has a vaguely "European courtyard" theme, which explains the trippy, floral wallpaper throughout. Expect signature, pricey drinks like the Smart Blonde (Absolut Citron, St. Germain, Limoncello, lemon juice, simple syrup) and the Tequila Mockingbird (Avion, lime juice, honey), and of course, bottle service.