OK, look, we're all feeling like this El Niño thing was a non-starter, which is bad for our water supply, but good for our new-restaurant supply, since there's no reason for the deluge of new openings to be put on pause for some stupid rain. Which is why all these great spots managed to open up this February:
LA's Best Openings of February
This coffee shop-cum-beer bar (yep!) has caffeinated options for you in the AM and 12 drafts in the evening (or AM -- we're not judging!!) It's also got bar food and sandwiches at night and small breakfasts as well, including "Naughty Toast" -- not what you'd say at a bachelor party, but rather brioche with Nutella, strawberries, and bananas.
One of the few legit, NY-style bagels in the city (from a New Jersey transplant, naturally) has finally moved from a truck to a brick-and-mortar location, operating out of the Alfred in the Alley space and serving up options that go far beyond the basic schmear, like a maple-roasted butternut squash, crispy prosciutto, and house-made honey-chipotle cream cheese on a plain bagel for breakfast, and a turkey sandwich with house-made pickled cucumber and onion jam at lunch.
This wood-laden barstaurant covered in rock posters delivers late-night Eastside options that aren't taco-truck tacos or eggs from Brite Spot, instead offering everything from killer fried chicken and ribs to spaghetti and meatballs (as well as a locally focused tap beer list) until 1am.
Replacing the Short Order burger spot at the Farmers Market, Moruno comes from the team behind this restaurant you may have heard of called Mozza, which means it's one of the few legit sit-down spots right by the Grove, with a gorgeous interior and dishes like lamb leg marinated with turmeric and whole fish a la plancha.
You remember when Church & State was the hottest restaurant in DTLA? Those owners are back after a couple-year break with this gorgeous spot that boasts a giant atrium and is serving up Southern French seafood and more, including John Dory with organic quinoa and lamb sirloin with couscous, rutabaga, scallion, raisin, mint, and harissa.
Everything is made in house, from bread to butchered beef, at this new XL strip-mall spot, which also boasts a giant new patio (summer alert!!) where you can get next-level American-Cali classics like brisket chili and in-house corned beef sandwiches.
Any time Top Chef winner Michael Voltaggio even hints at opening something new, it's big news. Even though his newest location is an extension (and rebrand) of ink.sack on Melrose, it's still a big deal, not just because of new sandwiches like the turkey-based Rachel, with kraut, Swiss cheese, and Russian dressing, as well as classics like the pictured spicy tuna with nori and dynamite sauce, but because now you can get them when you're out drinking on Sunset.
Even though it's in an outlier location for Korean food, Galbi Grill's setting itself up to be a scene-wide KBBQ player with marinades made with all-natural ingredients for certified Angus beef and Duroc pork BBQ, as well as prepared dishes ranging from spicy tuna rolls to Philly cheesesteaks.
We told you once already about Winsome in our round-up of the city's best new brunches, but it's worth reminding you, since not only is there a killer breakfast sandwich with applewood-smoked bacon and herb butter, but the restaurant, which is run by the dudes behind Spare Room, with a chef from Rustic Canyon, is also serving up a dinner menu loaded with the likes of grilled rockfish with toasted semolina couscous, Aleppo chile aioli, shellfish broth, and bacon oyster crackers.
It's no surprise this new Italian restaurant is already one of the hottest reservations in town: it's the follow-up from the team behind the beloved Factory Kitchen and shares aesthetics with its not-so-distant neighbor Bestia, with a wood-laden, previously-a-warehouse space. The dishes have a rustic bent, like handmade gnocchi with melted Castelmagno cheese and chives and wood-oven-roasted pork shank with rosemary potatoes.
The beloved SF Chinese-influenced truck's garnered raves for huge Asian flavors, and just hit LA as a brick-and-mortar, with cola-braised pork buns and pickled-daikon-and-lotus-root-laden bowls among the fast-casual offerings.
1. Mega Bodega1001 S Broadway, Los Angeles
2. Yeastie Boys8505 Melrose Ave, West Hollywood
3. The Whisperer1325 Echo Park Ave, Los Angeles
4. The Window at Moruno6333 W 3rd St, Los Angeles
5. Spring257 South Spring Street, Los Angeles
6. Farmboy Kitchen1050 Vine St, Los Angeles
7. Sack Sandwiches8915 W Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood
8. Galbi Grill Kbbq & Bar147 N Barranca St , West Covina
9. Winsome1115 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles
10. Officine Brera1331 East 6th Street, Los Angeles
11. The Chairman1200 E 5th St, Los Angeles
Mega Bodega is a chill place serving both high quality coffee and an array of alcohol. We love this spot because prices are reasonable, despite being in a competitive location in downtown LA. Come for the morning coffee, stay for the afternoon beer (it’s 5pm on the East Coast, right?), and treat yourself to dinner wine. If this place had a bed, we’d never leave.
The bagel casanova is finally settling down. After years of playing the field (er, streets), the popular bagel truck business has put a ring on a permanent pop-up location in West Hollywood. Now you can buy Yeastie Boys’ bagels inside of Alfred in the Alley. But, fear not— the truck will still visit Silver Lake and Downtown.
This indie tavern has a vintage radio style and a late-night eat and drink vibe in the Eastside that doesn't focus on taco trucks or eggs from Brite Spot. They serve elevated comfort classics until 1am, and the cocktail and wine program brings a list of eclectic options. The $7-$13 drink price range let's you experiment without breaking the bank until you find a favorite.
The Original Farmers Market is serving up a unique blend of upscale-casual dining. A Spanish wine list complements the Spanish-inspired food, much of which is cooked over coals. The menu also includes African, Middle Eastern, and Moroccan cuisine. Reservations and gift cards are available.
The co-owners who previously brought Church & State to the CA Arts District now bring their French-Mediterranean fare to Downtown. Drinks wine from a hand-selected Old World list, beer and cocktails. Spring’s dining experience is unlike any other: dark wood and gold-flecked marble light up under an atrium that floods the space with natural sunlight. Vintage details decorate the room and a water fountain sits in the middle. The open kitchen, visible to all, runs the length of the room. Spring is best for brunches and early dinners.
FK offers fresh food from local LA-area farmers. Try the Top Round beef dip. The mouthwatering food is prepared so beautifully it’s Instagram-worthy. That is, if you can wait long enough to snap a photo. The restaurant itself is clean and comfortable with a stylish interior, and service is friendly.
Founded by Top Chef winner Michael Voltaggio, mini-chain Sack Sandwiches takes run-of-the-mill deli subs to the next level with its four-inch sandwiches that vary between familiar classics like BLTs and reubens and more niche creations like the chicken Cordon Bleu. The Sunset Blvd location is geared towards the take-out lunch crowd, but there are a few stools if you're planning to stay. Whatever you order, be sure to finish it off with a side of house-made chips and a Stumptown Coffee-spiked mocha milkshake.
This Korean BBQ has a great selection of premium meats. Try the brisket. Reviewers rave about the fantastic service. The hip atmosphere almost reminds you of an American bar-restaurant, but the food offers a deliciously surprising twist on BBQ. There’s a full bar, and you can grill s’mores right on your table for desert.
There are plenty of reasons to love this contemporary Echo Park restaurant, but our number one is the fantastic brunch menu. Or maybe the outdoor patio. Or the cool hipster ambience. The menu features the kind of comfort food you can't really replicate at home, like grilled cheese with speck and comté, and yeast-risen buckwheat and semolina pancakes. Part coffee shop and bakery, Winsome serves third-wave coffee (so you can get that gibraltar you tried at Blue Bottle) and pastries like sweet or savory brioches and brown butter chocolate chip cookies.
Inspired by the landscape and cuisine of Northern Italy, this cozy DTLA restaurant serves seasonal fare in a warm and open space. Enjoy artisanal craft cocktails and Italian wine on the outdoor terrace, or take a seat in the plush indoor dining room and mangiare on homemade gnocchi and slow-braised beef shoulder. The glass-enclosed kitchen offers an exciting look into how the food is prepared.
The San Fran OG Chinese food truck has opened a restaurant in downtown LA. Try the baked bar and yuzu-glazed chicken wings. Fun facts: the Chairman logo is a play on propaganda-style artwork, and the panda bear his an allusion to Mao Tse-tung. This food is the opium of the people.