While November may have brought news that we weren’t looking forward to, it also delivered news of some pretty excellent new places to eat and drink around LA where we can at least temporarily distract ourselves from that other news. From a welcome roster of new ramen joints and Italian spots to hidden eateries and the return of a Valley legend, here are the best LA openings of November 2016. Dig in.
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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Because not every show you see at the Wiltern needs to end with Moons Over My Hammy at Denny’s, there’s now an excellent new dinner-and-drinks option next door to the venue inside the historic, blue-green terracotta Pellissier Building. The stunningly palatial space -- complete with glass chandeliers, marble, light woods, and tiles -- comes by way of the team behind other K-Town favorites Kang Ho Dong Baekjeong and Quarters. Grab a seat at one of the communal tables or a massively high booth for a globally inspired and Korean-leaning menu that features everything from lobster salad and filet mignon to hot stone uni rice and galbi short ribs. Or grab a pre- or post-show cocktail like the bourbon-fueled Smokey Karaoke or one of the many gin & tonic variations at the wraparound bar.
If you’ve ever wondered how the place selling fireplace mantels at the corner of Melrose and Wilton could stay in business so long, wonder no more. Nestled into the Art Deco-designed Hollywood Historic Hotel, the space is now occupied by The Edmon, a new spot for dinner, drinks, and live music inspired by 1920s Hollywood with dark woods and deco flourishes. You’ll likely be drawn in by the beautiful towering bar, which features twists like the Tea’s Knees with gin, Earl Grey honey, and amaro Montenegro. The menu from Chef Gabriel Cappelli, previously of Saint Martha and Re Creo Supper Club, features creative dishes like the short rib with squash papusitas (little pupusas) and scallops with lobster rillette.
Neighborhood spot Status Kuo has reinvented itself and opened as Little Fatty alongside Accomplice, an adjacent cocktail bar perfect for grabbing a drink before or after dinner. Chef/owner David Kuo is serving up excellent updates of Chinese American classics like kung pao chicken and walnut shrimp (seriously, get this) served in old-school take-out containers, as well as Taiwanese comfort hits like beef noodle soup, scallion pancakes, and the Sunday Gravy with pork. You’ll also find some great veggie options like general tso cauliflower and pea tendrils with more additions on the way. At the dark and moody Accomplice, you’ll find a knockout roster of thoughtful cocktails from GM/beverage director, Aaron Siak, who spent time at The Walker Inn, with selections like the Mother We Share with bourbon, Fernet-Branca, ginger, and pineapple, and the refreshing Everything or Nothing with pisco, Cocchi Americano, dry vermouth, and Salers. You can also order punch by the glass, carafe, or bowl, as well as some great bar bites like truffle popcorn and a burger or from the Little Fatty menu.
This sultry and intimate new Italian spot from the team behind beloved Toscana is your new destination for handmade pastas and wood-fired pizzas in Bev Hills. You’ll probably want to start your night upstairs at the plush BG Lounge, where you can sip on original cocktails like the Costa Amalfitana with vodka and orange blossom liquor and reimagined classics the Boulevardier or Aperol Spritz, as well as small bites or dinner. Downstairs you’ll find the sleek main dining room inspired by Italian designers and sports cars of the ‘50s and ‘60s with floor-to-ceiling windows, high-backed banquettes, a wraparound zinc bar. Settle in and order up Amalfi Coast-inspired hits like Orecchiette with Italian Sausage Sugo, the Bianca pizza with stracciatella, baby artichokes, squash blossoms, and black truffles, or the flat iron steak with rapini and wild mushrooms.
The team behind Ox & Son have quickly flipped that Santa Monica spot into a hyper-seasonal California-inspired spot that pays homage to proprietor Mark Verge’s mother Margo and his family’s five-generation history in Santa Monica. Chef Greg Daniels, formerly of Salt Air, is firing up small plates and shareable like hamachi crudo with sprouted lentils, lamb saddle with navy beans and fried chicken with butternut squash. To drink, you’ll find craft brews, California wines and classic cocktails courtesy of Jordan Delp, who previously helmed the bar at Tom Bergin’s and Dominick’s.
With reliably excellent restaurants like The Oinkster and Maximiliano already under his belt, Chef Andre Guerrero is now venturing into ramen territory on Ventura Blvd. The location is actually a homecoming of sorts as Guerrero’s restaurant Marché once occupied the same location. The menu features plenty of Japanese ramen classics, including a rich tonkotsu with pork belly, a spicy miso, and a shio ramen, but you’ll also encounter several Filipino-inspired twists like chicken rice noodle with poached chicken and papaya, as well as starters like the pork and shrimp lumpia spring rolls and caramel fish sauce chicken wings.
Inspired by trips to Turkey and after extensive research throughout Europe, this new döner kebab specialist is now slicing roasted meat off the spit for hungry Bruins and other Westwood eaters looking for a quick and casual bite. The fully customizable menu lets you build your meal with proteins, including beef, chicken, or vegetarian köfte and a base of freshly baked bread, wild rice, or greens. Then you’ll choose from a massive list of internationally inspired toppings, including sauces like a yellow curry aioli or smoky BBQ sauce, pickled veggies, fresh produce like squash spirals or basil, cheeses, crunchy stuff like tortilla strips or sunflower seeds, and signature shakers, which include spice blends like furikake and zaatar.
Chef Luke Reyes, previously of Butchers & Barbers, has partnered with Top Chef-er Phillip Frankland Lee for a long-awaited ramen joint next door to Lee’s Scratch Bar and Kitchen. While the space is still being built out, you can now sample the full menu at lunchtime inside Scratch Bar. There you’ll encounter two bowl options: tonkotsu and vegetable, both of which feature noodles made from scratch (in keeping with the Lee’s ethos). The tonkotsu features a purposefully lighter-than-usual pork broth with braised pork belly, confit shoulder, and other fixings like a soft egg and bonito flakes. Meanwhile the veggie option includes roasted squash, braised black kale, charred garlic sauce, and soft egg. But you’ll also want to explore the rest of the menu, which includes a karaage chicken sandwich and a spicy tuna and sea urchin rice bowl.
The laid-back Mar Vista neighborhood is quickly becoming a major destination for great eats, and this newly opened casual spot with a mix of Mexican, Guatemalan and other pan-Latin flavors is another one to add to the list. Inside the modern and colorful joint, you’ll find a menu that starts at breakfast with options like chilaquiles and breakfast burritos, and continues into lunch and dinner with classics like tacos and burritos, as well as welcome spins like nachos con mole, asada fries, and pepian, a roasted sesame and pumpkin seed stew. The menu also features plenty of vegetarian and vegan options.
The team behind favorites like Little Sister, Steak & Whisky, and Abigaile, have ventured beyond the Orange Curtain to open not just one restaurant, but also a second eatery inside that restaurant. Bluegold, the larger of the two, features views of the ocean, Spanish mission-inspired design with plenty of stone and heavy woods, and a spacious patio. The menu features modern California dishes with Spanish and other international accents, including Santa Barbara uni risotto and Indian-spiced pork short ribs. You’ll also encounter an extensive wine list and creative cocktails like a boozy punch inspired by Capri Sun juice. Behind an unmarked door (hint: look near the wine room), you'll find LSXO, a 28-seat spinoff of Little Sister, which features many of Chef Tin Vuong’s signature Southeast Asian-influenced dishes like foie gras and pho-spiced oxtail torchon and the Saigon-style noodle soup.
This beachside eatery features a breezy patio and plenty of Sicilian-inspired bites and drinks. Kick things off with a glass of vino or a cocktail like the Sicilian Sour with rye, Disaronno and apricot liqueur. Then move into unexpected dishes like the Swordfish Arancino, a pizza with mortadella and pistachio cream, or Italian classics like ravioli with eggplant or meatballs with tomato sauce.
Jeremy Fall, the man behind favorites like Nighthawk Breakfast Bar and Genesis, has ventured into Highland Park with a reimagined corner liquor store with a secret deli hidden in back. Once you’ve made your boozy selections up front, ask if the store carries birthday candles, and you’ll be directed to an “employees-only” door that leads to the deli. There you’ll find flavor-packed yet streamlined sandwiches from Chef Lung Li -- with help from Chef Alvin Cailan of Eggslut -- including roast beef with yuzu kosho dressing, and roasted eggplant with feta, roasted peppers, and olive tapenade.
The insanely popular food-truck-turned-insanely-popular-Grand-Central-Market-stall has travelled across town for its first stand-alone LA location (there’s one in Vegas now) mere steps from the Venice Beach Boardwalk. The industrial-chic space may be bigger than the Downtown spot and offer a few tables and counter seating, but don’t expect the ravenous crowds to be any smaller as they gather for the signature breakfast sandwiches and killer cheeseburger. As with the other location, this one is open for breakfast and lunch.
Fear not: All hope is not lost. Longtime Valley favorite with the punny Bogie-frozen-dessert name has returned in a new location after a concerning hiatus. Now tucked inside the Gelson’s on Van Nuys Blvd, the legendary spot has streamlined its menu, ditching sandwiches, salads, and the low-carb/sugar-free groceries, instead focusing on its signature frozen yogurt, ice cream, shakes, and smoothies. The big draw here is the signature blends which feature hard-packed nonfat yogurt (available in vanilla, chocolate, tart, and soy), which is then blended with your choice of over 45 toppings, included fresh fruit, candy, cookies, and nuts. Trust us, you’ll get hooked.
Because there’s really no such thing as too many ramen options, this newcomer is bringing slurpable bowls of noodles to a bustling stretch of Melrose. The twist here is the shop specializes in a style of ramen not often found outside of Japan -- until now. You’ll find iekei-style ramen (which translates to “house-style” and is pronounced E. A. K., hence the name), which features a broth that blends tonkotsu and shoyu broths, and includes noodles that are much thicker than most others you’ll find around town. They have a couple variations on the signature bowl, as well as a veggie option, plus other bites like onigiri rice balls, grilled salmon, karaage, and more. Wash it all down with a selection of six beers on tap and Japanese brews by the bottle.
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1. Terra Cotta3760 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles
2. The Edmon5168 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles
3. Little Fatty3809 Grand View Blvd, Los Angeles
4. accomplice bar3811 Grand View Blvd, Los Angeles
5. Nerano9960 Santa Monica Blvd, Beverly Hills
6. Margo's1534 Montana Ave, Santa Monica
7. Ramen Room13355 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks
8. SpireWorks1061 Broxton Ave, Los Angeles
9. Oh Man! Ramen16101 Ventura Blvd, Los Angeles
10. Canela Cocina Latina12326 Venice Blvd, Los Angeles
11. Bluegold & LSXO21010 Pacific Coast Hwy, Huntington Beach
12. O+O Sicilian Kitchen & Bar1705 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica
13. Tinfoil: Liquor & Grocery5900 N Figueroa St, Los Angeles
14. Eggslut1611 Pacific Ave, Los Angeles
15. Humphrey Yogart4574 Van Nuys Blvd, Sherman Oaks
16. E.A.K. Ramen7455 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles
Terra Cotta is a globally-influenced, lavish restaurant in Koreatown. With its proximity to the Wiltern (it’s attached), communal tables, and a wraparound bar, it’s a great option for pre- and post-theater dining and imbibing. The Asian-leaning menu is divided into categories: raw, vegetable, anju, mains, family. You can find dishes with classic Asian ingredients fused into global and regional California cuisine, like oysters with Korean pear mignonette, beets and carrots with tofu tsaziki and yuzu, and salmon with Brussels sprouts, chorizo, and yuzu kosho. The cocktails are Asian-influenced as well, with ingredients like Soju, ginger, and black sesame stirred into their signature concoctions. There’s also an entire section devoted to gin and tonics, which you’d be remiss to overlook.
Set inside the Hollywood Historic Hotel, The Edmon has a 1920s flair to match its host's Art Deco vibes. The dinner and drinks spot serves globally influenced dishes and a cocktail list that puts a modern twist on the classics. The Tea's Knees -- a play on the Prohibition favorite Bee's Knees -- is infused with Earl Gray tea, while the Scotch Fashioned is, obviously, the Edmon's take on the Old Fashioned with scotch, Rhum Clement, coconut, and bitters.
Little Fatty is the Mar Vista mainstay for quality Asian cuisine. Chef/owner David Kuo has re-concepted (and renamed) Status Kuo, serving Taiwanese classic dishes like kung pao chicken, beef and broccoli, and scallion pancakes out of his one-time rotisserie-centric restaurant. The restaurant’s adjacent cocktail bar, Accomplice, will feature signature cocktails, punch by the glass, carafe, or bowl, a small selection of American-inspired bar food -- like pimento cheese and crackers, a burger, and truffle popcorn -- and a separate menu offering Little Fatty “takeout” from next door. Little Fatty and its Accomplice are Mar Vista’s one-stop shop for popcorn chicken and cocktails.
Adjacent to Little Fatty, the Mar Vista mainstay for quality Asian cuisine, is Accomplice, a cocktail joint from the brains behind The Walker Inn. Accomplice features signature cocktails with Asian influence, like the Midnight Tommy, a sherry, cognac, toasted sesame, and green tea cocktail. Accomplice also specializes in punch, served by the glass, carafe, or bowl, and offers a small selection of American-inspired bar food -- like pimento cheese and crackers, a burger, and truffle popcorn. There’s a separate menu with the option of ordering Little Fatty “takeout” from next door, delivered to your post at the bar. Accomplice is Mar Vista’s one-stop shop for kung pao and cocktails.
From the team behind Toscana and Bar Toscana is Beverly Hills’ Nerano, a contemporary, upscale Italian restaurant featuring regional cuisine from its namesake village on Italy’s Amalfi Coast. The 4,000sqft two-story space is home to two dining rooms, two bars, and a semi-open (glass-enclosed) kitchen. The menu features coastal cuisine (read: seafood heavy) with other Southern Italian classics like pizza and pasta. In keeping with the theme, the wine list leans heavily on Italian labels -- with a sizeable selection of Amalfi wines -- as well as regional California labels. And the cocktail menu is no different: enjoy specialty cocktails like the Speziato -- Pisco, Aperol, lemon, bell pepper, rhubarb bitters, and basil -- or Italian classics like a Negroni or Aperol Spritz.
Set in the one-time Ox & Son space, Margo’s is an upscale, California-centric concept from On the Verge Hospitality. The rustic space has floor-to-ceiling windows, and serves weekend brunch, lunch, dinner, and cocktails to the Santa Monica masses. The menu features small plates as well as larger, composed dishes with a focus on modern, California-coastal cuisine -- Hamachi crudo, squid toast, lemon-crusted halibut, and lamb saddle among them. The wine list follows suit with majority California labels, and the cocktails are both classic and contemporary with drinks like the Cider House Mules -- vodka, lime, cider, ginger beer, and bitters. Margo’s is classically California with a modern twist on Montana Ave.
Ramen Room is Chef Andre Guerrero’s -- also of Oinkster and Maximiliano -- first foray into Japanese cuisine, and he does it with a twist. The Ramen Room, located in Sherman Oaks, features beyond just what you’d expect from a ramen joint, with a smattering of other Asian-influenced dishes across the menu: crab sushi, lumpia (fried spring rolls with shrimp and pork), and pork, chicken, or vegetable rice bowls. The ramen itself is listed under “Soup Noodles,” and you can indulge in a familiar tonkatusu bowl, or step out of your broth box and try the chicken rice noodle -- a Filipino-inspired chicken soup.
If you’re not familiar with the term doner, take a trip to SpireWorks for a fast-casual lesson in its Turkish-inspired, American-style delicacy. The doner kebab -- a vertically spit-roasted meat sandwich -- is the foundation of the restaurant. Doner can be found across the world in different iterations, and the menu at SpireWorks reflects as much with its option to “Pick Your Destination,” including styles from California, Bangkok, Carolina, Istanbul (the preferred SpireWorks destination), Italy, New York, and Peking. The meat is sliced from the rotisserie and served on fresh-baked bread (a hybrid of ciabatta and Turkish simit) with a slew of topping options for a personalized, one-of-a-kind doner experience in Westwood. Best enjoyed with a side of twice-cooked Baby Dutch yellow potatoes.
Chef Luke Reyes, formerly of Butchers & Barbers, has teamed up with Philip Frankland Lee to open Oh Man! Ramen in Encino, just next door to Lee’s Scratch Bar & Kitchen. The small shop has a 16-seat ramen bar, a 20-seat communal table, and an open kitchen. Though the two restaurants serve different purposes (and cuisines), the ramen joint relies on whole animal cuts and bones from next door for its ramen toppings and tonkotsu broth (herbivores, there’s a vegetable ramen for you, too). The menu boasts exactly what you’d expect from a ramen restaurant, as far as non-ramen menu items go: sashimi, pork belly buns, rice bowls, chicken wings, and of course, house made MSG.
Canela Cocina Latina is an all-day Mexican- and Latin-centric storefront in Mar Vista offering breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Enjoy classic items like chilaquiles or huevos con chorizo for breakfast, and quesadillas, tacos (a la carte), burritos, enchiladas, or fajitas for lunch and dinner. While the menu is mostly rooted in Mexico, other parts of Central America make a cameo with Guatemalan specialty items like pepian (roasted sesame and pumpkin stew). Don’t miss the Soul Tacos -- mashed sweet potato, ground turkey, sautéed kale, and corn-avocado salsa.
Blackhouse Hospitality has expanded their reach to Huntington Beach, and their conceptual repertoire to include a restaurant-within-a-restaurant. Bluegold -- a modern restaurant serving a hybrid of California and old world Spanish cuisine -- is home to the “secret” LSXO, a variation of Blackstone’s LA-based Little Sister. The entire space is nearly 9,000sqft, with seating for over 200 guests at Bluegold, and for only about two dozen at LSXO (we meant it when we said secret). The menu at Bluegold is nearly as large as the space itself, with categories including (but not limited to) appetizers, raw bar, charcuterie and cheese, salads, pizza, steaks, seafood, and sides. If the coastal California and Spanish-inspired dishes are just not enough -- and assuming you can find the unmarked door tucked away in the midst of Bluegold’s masses -- speakeasy-style LSXO will take you from the Pacific Coast of Southern California straight to Saigon.
The name says it all: O+O Sicilian Kitchen & Bar is a modern Italian restaurant in Santa Monica specializing in Sicilian regional cuisine. The menu has a sizeable selection of wood-fired pizzas, an entire section dedicated to meatballs, Sicilian-style charcuterie and cheeses, and fish -- raw, grilled, and whole-roasted. It’s a casual neighborhood joint with a full bar, including Italian-influenced cocktails (amari and Campari are heavy hitters here), and a wine list rooted primarily in, you guessed it, Italy. Enjoy a departure to Southern Italy from the back patio or dimly-lit dining room on Ocean Ave.
Known for its retro sign touting “the coldest beer in town,” this longstanding liquor store in Highland Park got a facelift in 2016 when Jeremy Fall (Golden Box, Nighthawk Breakfast Bar) bought the space and added a “secret” eatery. The booze-buying part remains intact, and though Svedka, Popov, and other mainstream brands are available, so are sophisticated elixirs like Pappy Van Winkle and locally produced spirits and beers. Approach the cashier with the password (“do you sell birthday candles?”) and you’ll be ushered through an “Employees Only” door and into the real lure: a high-grade deli where sandwiches like roast beef with yuzu dressing are served with beer pairings.
A one-time food truck, this egg-centric concept is serving up chef-driven breakfast food in Venice, all day, every day. Eggslut is pricier than your everyday breakfast sandwich spot, but it's worth every penny. Served on house-made brioche buns, the sandwiches are proof that everything is better with an egg on it. The Fairfax, made with scrambled eggs, chives, cheddar, caramelized onions, and Sriracha mayo on said brioche, is one of the most popular sandwiches, but don’t miss specialty Slut: a coddled egg served over potato puree in a glass jar (yes, you can keep the jar) with salt, chives, and toasted baguette.
Humphrey Yogart, the decades old frozen yogurt favorite in the Valley, may have relocated from its original storefront, but its signature frozen yogurt, ice cream, shakes, and smoothies remain the same. The shop made a name for itself with its hard-packed, non-fat yogurt that's blended with toppings to achieve the whipped, airy texture of soft-serve. There are over 45 add-ons to mix with your yogurt (we mean, yogart), including fruits, nuts, candies, and cookies. It might not be self-serve, but the swirled creations are in a class of their own.
Named for the style of ramen it serves, E.A.K. Ramen is a West Hollywood storefront for an experience in iekei-style cuisine. Iekei -- a style not often seen outside of Japan -- features straight, thick noodles as opposed to the familiar thin, curly variety found in many ramen shops. The broth, almost creamy in texture, is flavored with pork bones and soy, and is a cross between tonkotsu and shoyu broths -- a hybrid of Eastern and Western styles. E.A.K. is serving up rich, under-the-radar ramen on Melrose, and its signature bowls are not for the faint of heart.