Carolina Korman/carolinakormanphotography.com

Shibumi

Downtown

The chef at this new Japanese spot Downtown used to do time at Urasawa and L'Orangerie, so on resume alone it's clearly worth checking out. They're doing small-plates "kappo-style" here, which means it's like a casual izakaya, food-wise, but with all the seats facing the kitchen on a massive bar. Dishes include sea-bream sashimi and fried monkfish kara-age.

Gus's Fried Chicken

Crenshaw

If you think the only worthwhile chicken from Tennessee is Nashville-style hot chicken, Gus's -- a Memphis import -- will definitely change your mind. The Southern favorite's opening on Pico and Crenshaw is nothing less than a shots-fired to both standbys like Roscoe's and relative newcomers like Howlin' Ray's, with ultra-crispy, spicy-but-not-too-spicy birds as well as glorious sides including bacon-laden collard greens and killer mac & cheese. 

Jennifer Chong/Magpie's Soft Serve

Magpies Softserve

Silver Lake

This time of year, any new craft ice cream shop opening should be greeted with rapturous applause, but this small shop is not just doing craft SOFT SERVE ice cream (including unusual flavors like sweet corn almond and yuzu honey), but it's from Warren Schwartz, formerly of Patina -- so you know it's gonna be great.

Maré Santa Monica

Santa Monica

This westside extension of the surprise-hit Melrose date spot allows anyone who doesn't want to cross the 405 Eric Greenspan's fantastic seafood-and-noodle mashups, as well as some dishes not on the original's menu, including crispy octopus and Moorish chicken.

Mickey Pozarik

by CHLOE.

Silver Lake

Don't be scared of this vegan NY import -- such well-regarded publications as, well, Thrillist have said glowing things about the mini-chain, which is serving up sweet potato mac & cheese and guac burgers right next to the brand-new 365 by Whole Foods (which, yes, is cheaper than regular Whole Foods).

Boxwood on the Roof

West Hollywood

Anytime a new restaurant opens on the Sunset Strip, it's worth noting just for tourists/new transplants -- and anytime a new ROOFTOP opens on the Strip, well, fughetaboutit. Which is why we're telling you about this new rooftop restaurant on the Strip, which is located atop the centrally located London Hotel and is serving up an eclectic menu including Dungeness crab toast with green papaya and tagliatelle pasta with short rib and wild mushrooms.

Phoenix

The Phoenix

Mid-Wilshire

Out of the ashes of the closed steak restaurant and bar Phoenix comes... the new steak restaurant and bar Phoenix (in a totally different location, on Third instead of La Cienega), which is now a partnership between Adolfo Suaya (the former LA restaurateur who's been busy opening hotels around South America) and Ryan Sweeney, who's the guy behind some of your favorite bars, including Surly Goat and Little Bear. The new menu's a bit more extensive than the steak-only old one: they've also got chicken paillard, grilled lamb sausage, and over 150 whiskey options.

Beverly Hills Beignet

Beverly Hills

LA's not really a beignet town, but this new Beverly Hills shop hopes to do for the little sugar-coated donut puffs what Sprinkles did for cupcakes, with pastry chef Lincoln Carson (last of Superba Food & Bread) heading up the team delivering French-style beignets to Beverly Hills.

Kevin O'Leary

The Cannibal LA

Culver City

Coming in riiight at the tail end of May is probably the buzziest restaurant opening of the year so far: the first LA extension of Cannibal, a lauded meat-centric NY restaurant serving up 500+ (!!) beers, lamb tartare, chicken Parm sausages, and whole-animal special dinners.

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1. Shibumi 815 S Hill St, Los Angeles, CA 90014

Los Angeles has a reputation for good Japanese restaurants, and places like Shibumi make you see why. The chef, who previously did time at Urasawa and L'Orangerie, is creating small plates "kappo-style," and the menu has a casual but upscale, izakaya vibe. The minimalist space has around 40 seats, but a spot at the massive bamboo bar facing the kitchen is the best in the house.

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2. Gus's Fried Chicken 1262 Crenshaw Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90019

Gus's is proof that Nashville-style hot chicken isn't the only Tennessee chicken that's worth your time. An import from Memphis, the spot on Pico and Crenshaw has the super-crispy, just-spicy-enough fried chicken of your dreams. Not to mention, the sides, including the mac & cheese and bacon-laden collard greens, will rock your world.

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3. Magpies Softserve 2660 Griffith Park Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90039

Consider actually screaming for the house-made soft serve ice cream from chef Warren Schwartz (formerly of Patina) and his pastry chef wife, Rose. All of the flavors and toppings are made on-site at Magpies' Silver Lake shop. Instead of chocolate and vanilla swirl, you'll find flavors like malted milk chocolate, strawberry rhubarb, and yuzu honey. Toppings are non-traditional too, and once you have a taste of the spicy candied pecans, run-of-the-mill wet walnuts will never taste the same.

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4. Maré Santa Monica 502 Santa Monica Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401

An extension of Maré on Melrose, the Santa Monica outpost serves many of the same dishes that made the original a runaway date spot success. Chef Eric Greenspan's seafood-and-noodle mashups, crispy octopus, and Moorish chicken are all here. This location doesn't have a patio like the Santa Monica one, but it does have two-levels -- and it's on the convenient side of the 405.

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5. by CHLOE. 2520 Glendale Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

When the first location of By Chloe, the fast-casual vegan spot from celebrity chef Chloe Coscarelli (winner of the Food Network's Cupcake Wars ) opened in New York in 2015, it made any and all naysayers fall in love with meatless burgers and air-baked French fries. After Coscarelli's runaway success on the East Coast, she took her mini-chain to Silver Lake, a town much more welcoming to the vegan lifestyle than the concrete jungle of Manhattan. Expect insanely creative animal-free dishes like sweet potato and cashew mac & cheese and portobello mushroom barbecue sandwiches. Don't leave without getting dessert -- the kale cookies & cream ice cream will turn your world upside down.

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6. Boxwood 1020 N San Vicente Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069

So you want panoramic views of West Hollywood on the Sunset Strip? Meet Boxwood, the rooftop bar atop the London Hotel. It's glitzy, sophisticated, and perfect for tourists and Angelenos looking for to start a night out. The bar serves eclectic food that seems to taste best at sunset, like ceviche, tuna tartare, and crab-and-green-papaya toast.

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7. The Phoenix 8480 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90048

A reincarnation of the now-shuttered Phoenix on La Cienega Boulevard, the West Third iteration is a partnership between Adolfo Suaya, an LA restaurateur-slash-South American hotelier, and beer connoisseur Ryan Sweeney. The menu sticks to beer and steak, but there's a bit more variety than at the original -- there's also non-steak dishes like chicken paillard and grilled lamb sausage, and a selection of -- wait for it -- over 150 whiskeys.

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8. Beverly Hills Beignet 9527 Santa Monica Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

We know what you're thinking -- New Orleans is the only beignet town on this side of the Atlantic. Think again, because Beverly Hills Beignet is doing heavenly things to the sugar-coated pastry puffs. Lincoln Carson, who previously worked the pastry ovens at Superba Food & Bread, is at the helm of the tiny shop situated on a glitzy corner of Rodeo Drive and Santa Monica Boulevard.

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9. The Cannibal 8850 Washington Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232

An offshoot of the New York original, this self-declared butcher's restaurant in Culver City is a must for anyone obsessed with meat. Needless to say, the menu revolves around carnivorous specialities, with separate categories for raw plates, terrine & patés, cured meats, and sausages. Aside from à la carte service, The Cannibal serves a large format nose-to-tail feast that starts with a charcuterie spread and ends with an entire roasted animal carved tableside. Because nothing pairs with meat better than beer, there's a selection of 400 different beers.

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