Food & Drink

The Best New Restaurants That Opened in LA This July

Published On 08/02/2016 Published On 08/02/2016
Here's Looking At You
Prawns Diabla at Here's Looking At You | Dylan + Jeni



See that view up top? Yeah: that's the view from 71Above, the new restaurant 71 floors above Downtown LA, which claims to be the highest dining destination on the West Coast (clearly, they haven't eaten with Snoop Dogg). They've got the acclaimed former Cliffs' Edge chef Vartan Abgaryan and Reggie Narito from the Netflix doc "Somm" collabing on drinks and food, which include cheffy dishes like king crab with mango, Fresno chile & sorrel mushrooms, and suckling pig with cherry & mustard.

Halal Guys

Halal Guys


NYC's infamous street-meat cart has FINALLY touched down in a brick & mortar in LA, which means Big Apple expats (and curious Angelenos) will be lining up for their crazy-delicious chicken and rice -- which should be topped with massive amounts of their even-more-crazy-delicious white sauce (and a sparse sprinkling of their fire-hot chili sauce).

Gwen | Ray Kachatorian/Courtesy of Gwen



When Curtis Stone opened Maude, he was proving to LA that he was more than just a TV chef -- and he nailed the landing, with one of the city's most consistently lauded restaurants. For that high-end eatery's sequel, he's gone with Gwen, a collab with his brother Luke that functions as both a fancy butcher shop and a whole-animal restaurant, with a five-course tasting menu that veers between slow-roasted ribs and hand-made orecchiette, as well as snack bites (including charcuterie) they're calling "Butchers Scraps." Also, for coffee nerds, they're the only place in the US to serve Australia's beloved St. ALi coffee. 

David Morrison

El Tejano

North Hollywood

The same group that dropped down some of LA's best wings at the beloved sports bar Big Wangs and hit the Valley with monster cheeseburgers at Tipsy Cow's dropping this new restaurant on the East Valley: El Tejano specializes in hard-to-find-in-LA Tex-Mex, which means food like Frito pies and queso, along with a big, square bar serving up cervezas and margaritas.

Wonho Frank Lee/Citizen


Beverly Hills

Now open in the prime real estate that used to house Spaghettini is this new-American restaurant from LA newcomer Scott Howard, whose NorCal restaurants have garnered major praise. In this case, he's breaking out novel dishes like a pimento-cheese-and-pickled-cabbage burger and Spanish octopus with tamarind BBQ sauce.

Tuck Room Tavern

Tuck Room Tavern


Any time James Beard award-winner Sherry Yard gets involved with anything it's newsworthy -- and she's the name behind the food at Tuck Room Tavern, which is both next to and providing food for the iPic theaters in Westwood (which, honestly, are some of the best movie theaters in LA, so, yeah). Yard's menu includes brioche-crusted crab cakes with Old Bay remoulade and mango & habanero baby back ribs; your menu includes somehow not getting super-messy with BBQ sauce while watching Jason Bourne.

Marie Buck


Santa Monica

Inevitably, you're going to have out-of-town visitors who are heading to the Third St Promenade (or you yourself will end up down there for a night on the Pier), and you're going to get asked where to have dinner. The current best answer is this massive new restaurant with food from Walter Greenwood (which, yes, opened in June, and we missed it -- sorry), formerly of Las Vegas' best-restaurant-contender Bartolotta and New Orleans' famous Commander's Palace: he's got worldly food here like duck confit and black truffle dumplings and a pork-belly-and-suckling-pig-and-bacon Pig-N-Out burger.

Dylan + Jeni

Here's Looking At You


This already-buzzy K-town spot is from a former Animal chef, which should inform you about the menu: veal sweetbreads with fennel, mustard seed, and sesame and soft shell crab with salsa verde are among the highlights (they've also got a bunch of veggie dishes if you've got a non-carnivore in your crew).

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1. 71Above 633 W 5TH STREET, Los Angeles, CA (Downtown)

Prepare yourself for some sweeping LA views at 71Above, a posh DTLA restaurant whose name alludes to its sky-high location 71 floors above ground. If you can take your eyes off the lights twinkling over the city, you’ll want to focus on the elegant three-course menu featuring upscale and seasonal dishes. As for cocktails, expect classy house-made concoctions in the swanky lounge area.

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2. The Halal Guys 3432 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90010 (Koreatown)

The beloved NYC food cart has a brick & mortar spot in LA's very own Koreatown, spreading joy from coast to coast around its tasty Middle Eastern cuisine, which ranges from gyros to chicken & rice platters to falafel. No matter the menu item you choose, be sure to top it off with their famous hot or white sauce, throw in a side of hummus with pita, and treat yo' self to baklava for dessert.

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3. Gwen 6600 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028 (Hollywood)

From Curtis Stone (the Australian celeb chef behind Maude) and his brother comes Gwen, an upscale butcher shop meets whole-animal restaurant with a five-course tasting menu. On it, you'll find everything from slow-roasted ribs to handmade orecchiette, plus charcuterie and other "Butchers Scraps." The ultimate bonus: whether or not you're already a fan, you should know that Gwen serves Australia's revered St. Ali coffee -- a rare find in the US.

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4. El Tejano 11122 W Magnolia Blvd, North Hollywood, CA 91601 (Hollywood)

Deep in the heart of... North Hollywood, this lively Lone Star State-inspired spot is Tex-Mex as its best. You'll find all the classics, like queso, tortillas with grilled meats, Frito pie, and, of course, nachos. You can wash it all down with some craft beer or wine -- though tequila would probably be a more appropriate (and fun) choice. Inside, you'll find exposed brick and vibrant prints of Dia de los Muertos skulls. Outside, you can soak up some sun on their expansive patio while you play a few rounds of corn hole, or sip your drink in the shade at one of the brightly colored picnic tables.

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5. Citizen 184 N. Canon Deive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210 (Beverly Hills)

Beverly Hills can feel a bit stale and stodgy sometimes, am I right? That’s where Citizen comes in. It’s a sleek and slightly funky spot whose open-air lounge -- complete with fire pit -- makes it a go-to for date night, or just a place to kick back with friends. You can nosh on modern American dishes, mostly in the form of share plates like white corn & zucchini fritters and Maine scallops, and sip '60s-inspired cocktails, like the San Martin with gin, vermouth, and chartreuse.

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6. The Tuck Room Tavern 10850 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90024 (Westwood)

James Beard Award-winner Sherry Yard is behind this lavish Westwood restaurant and bar that resembles the setting of a murder-mystery party with sky-blue walls, extravagant chandeliers, velvet armchairs, checkered floors, and a baby grand piano. On the menu, you'll find equally lavish comfort foods inspired by various US regions, including Maryland brioche-crusted crab cakes, New York Reuben croquettes, and mango & habanero baby back ribs reminiscent of those you’d find in K-Town. Tuck also provides full food and drink service to the adjacent iPic Theater, blowing your typical movie popcorn and Raisinets out of the water.

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7. 1212 Santa Monica 1212 3rd Street Promenade, Santa Monica, CA 90401 (Santa Monica)

1212 is a massive 10,000sqft restaurant at the 3rd St Promenade with a menu from Walter Greenwood, the mind behind Las Vegas best-restaurant contender Bartolotta and New Orleans' beloved Commander's Palace. He's serving up a wide range of dishes from duck confit and black truffle dumplings to the Pig-N-Out burger with pork belly, suckling-pig, and bacon. This bi-level space boasts a bow-truss ceiling with copper lights, a wrap-around balcony with an area for live music, and two bars (one of them turns into an after-hours lounge) where you can sip on some high-quality craft cocktails.

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8. Here's Looking at You 3901 W 6th St, Los Angeles, CA 90020 (Koreatown)

The brainchild of Chef Jonathan Whitener and Lien Ta (both of Animal), Here's Looking At You is a fusion restaurant that features a mix of meat, seafood, and vegetable small plates. Though the menu isn't limited to one, or even two, cuisines, Japanese influence is a constant. The seasonal cocktail program is as much an adventure as the food, and the wine selection is heavy on California and French reds, whites, and rosés.