Food & Drink

The Best Restaurants in LA Right Now

Updated On 08/31/2018 at 02:16PM EST Updated On 08/31/2018 at 02:16PM EST
Gables
Gables | Pascal Shirley

best new restaurants los angeles

APL Restaurant

APL Hole in the Wall

Hollywood

Casual lunch takeaway spot from LA’s BBQ master
Adam Perry Lang’s steak-and-short-rib powerhouse APL opened just a couple months ago, but he’s already doubled down with this new lunchtime window, which is blasting out high-end chili dogs with hand-cut prime-chuck chili, house-cured smoked beef toasted sandwiches, and a nutso $50 sandwich with a heap of pit-cooked shaved Prime NY Strip, pickle salad, onions, and horseradish on Texas toast.

Pascal Shirley

The Gables

Santa Monica

An all-day westside hang, for everyone
This new neighborhood spot has some serious pedigree, with Chef Vicki Fan Matsusaka (formerly of Superba) behind the stoves, and a Daniel Boulud alum as GM; they’re doling out upscale American classics like turkey meatballs in marinara on creamy millet, and a lunch chilaquiles with avocado mash and a 63-degree egg.

Okiboru

Okiboru

Downtown

Chinatown’s new contender for noodle king
This dipping-ramen specialist makes all of its thick noodles in-house, along with broths literally cooked for days. Options include bowls stacked with grilled pork ribs and marinated soft-boiled eggs, as well as cold tofu noodle ramen.

The Fields LA

The Fields LA

Exposition Park

A new food hall stacked with delicious options
This food hall’s conveniently located just next to the new incoming soccer stadium by USC, which means it’ll no doubt be crammed with Trojans chomping down on food from iconic LA vendors, including ceviches from Coni'Seafood, southern specialties from Barbara Jean, and burritos from Burritos La Palma.

Es Todo

Downtown

A Jonathan Gold-inspired take-out window
Sarkis Vartanian’s new international sandwich window was inspired by hearing the late, great JGold speak. “He basically said that the Los Angeles food scene was an amalgamation of different ethnic foods within few blocks of each other,” says Vartanian, and this new spot’s trying to get all of it under one roof, with a Turkish-ish sujuk (sausage & egg wrap) and the British-themed chip butty (with double-cooked fries and schug sauce on lavash) among the offerings.

Monty's Good Burger

Monty’s Good Burger

Koreatown

Finally, an In-N-Out-style burger joint for vegans
After wowing audiences (literally!) at Coachella and Eat Drink Vegan, Monty’s Good Burger now has a brick & mortar in Ktown with the same monstrous vegan burger they’ve sold -- and sold meat eaters on -- at those fests. They’re using Impossible meat for their burgs, also stacked with vegan cheese; there’s also milkshakes and more, all of which are entirely plant-based.

Humphry Slocombe

Humphry Slocombe

Venice

Boozy NorCal-based iced-creamery finally makes it down south
Sure, LA has tons (and tons) of artisan ice cream shops, but this newbie from San Francisco serves up some fascinating, boozy flavors like its signature bourbon-with-corn-flakes number and the seasonal Hawaiian Shaved Ice: a Roy Choi collab with condensed ice milk and a blueberry swirl.

Karayama

Downtown

The beloved Asian karaage chain comes to LA
This new Little Tokyo fried chicken spot is an import from ACTUAL Tokyo, with over 50 locations spread throughout Asia. At the first US drop, they’re doing their ultra-crispy fried chicken in a bowl, as a plate, or on a sandwich; if you’re not into chicken for some reason, they’ve also got shrimp stir-fries and curry.

Baby J's Burgers

Baby J’s Burgers

Downtown

A hot new burger joint with a special milkshake
LA’s got plenty of great burger places, and this new one -- from the guy behind Birdies, who is also the former personal chef for Pamela Anderson -- seems to be a great new addition to the list. But the classic roadside-style burgers aren’t the only attraction: they also have a CBD-infused green matcha milkshake, for when it’s time to burger-and-chill.

Inko Nito

Inko Nito 3rd St

Mid-City

Downtown’s acclaimed Japanese eatery makes its way west
It’s always good news when you no longer need to drive far for something great, which means that anyone who doesn’t live Downtown (or east of Downtown -- we’re looking at you, Covina) should be celebrating the West 3rd opening of Inko Nito. The original restaurant has been crushing DTLA with delicious yellowtail collar, charcoal-grilled beef cheek, and fried shrimp maki rolls, all of which will also be on the menu at the new spot.

Best of the Best Los Angeles Restaurants

WonHo Lee

Tesse

Hollywood

Notorious restaurateur Bill Chait returns with this Hollywood ode to meat
Bill Chait was once the most well known restaurateur in LA, with a hand in now-legendary spots like Republique and Bestia, and a seemingly golden touch -- until he was forced out of his restaurant group, reportedly due to internal financial issues. He’s back in the game, though, with this meat-heavy restaurant on the Sunset strip serving charcuterie, crispy veal shortbreads, and a 34-oz dry-aged ribeye, all in a beautiful space that has wood-slatted ceilings and a tiled common table.

APL Restaurant

Hollywood

An indulgent meat-centric nirvana from Adam Perry Lang
BBQ genius/Jimmy Kimmel’s best friend Adam Perry Lang has finally opened his first LA restaurant, and to say it’s a barnburner would be an understatement. He legitimately may have the best steak in town with his rib-eye, the French onion soup will knock you out, and -- oh yeah -- there’s a giant dinosaur-sized short rib that’s as perfectly smoked-and-dry-rubbed as anything you’ve ever eaten in your life. Will your wallet feel hurt after you leave? It will, but this is definitely a good kind of hurt.

Petit Trois

Petit Trois

Sherman Oaks

The Valley finally gets a taste of chef Ludo Lefebvre
Ludo Lefebvre’s Petit Trois has been a long-standing favorite in Hollywood thanks to absolutely perfect French omelets and a burger that many people rave about, but the second location in the Valley is larger and more ornate -- a testament to the new excitement around food in a part of LA long considered a culinary wasteland. The menu here is expanded from the original, so expect breakfast tartines and crabcakes at dinner, as well as the old favorites.

Bavel DTLA

Bavel

Downtown

Middle Eastern follow-up from the team behind Bestia
Bestia has been on our best-of Eat Seeker list since its inception, so it’s no surprise that the opening of the Middle Eastern sequel to that iconic Italian spot has also garnered a spot on the list. The menu’s full of cross-regional specialties like lamb flatbreads and confit turmeric chicken legs, as well as duck hummus (aka the one thing you never want to hear at a food fight).

Triple Beam

Highland Park

Mozza and ERB’s chefs join forces for a new Eastside pizza spot
It says, “the place where they weigh the pizza” on the outside of this new small Highland Park Roman-style pizzeria, and that’s the basic concept: you tell ‘em how much you want, and you pay by the pound. You’re going to want a lot, though, because the pizza here comes from a truly legit pedigree: the chefs behind it are Nancy Silverton (Mozza) and Matt Molina (ERB), which has quickly propelled it to destination status. Get there quick.

Andrew Bezek

MajorDomo

Chinatown

The first LA spot from Momofuku's David Chang
Celebrated Momofuku restaurateur/Ugly Delicious star David Chang’s first-ever LA concept is a tough reservation, which is no surprise: the dude’s food, which draws from Asian cuisine as well as US traditions, is practically made for LA. Early favorites include Benton's sausage-stuffed, fried Korean peppers, and a short rib made a la BBQ master Adam Perry Lang, with kitchen duties from exec chef Jude Parra-Sickels (who was Roy Choi’s No. 2 man for years).

Wonho Lee / Thrillist

Felix Trattoria

Venice

When Evan Funke was at the now-defunct Bucato in Culver City, his handmade pasta was considered some of the best in LA -- and since closing that restaurant, he’s spent time in Italy and made it even better. It’s not hyperbole to say that the pastas at Felix are among the best we’ve ever eaten, anywhere, and they’re made even more delicious somehow by the open-kitchen vibe in the restaurant: The best seats are by the pasta-making window, where Funke and his staff hypnotically knead and roll dough. Come hungry.

Anne Fishbein

Vespertine

Culver City

This mysterious, much-hyped project from former Red Medicine/current Destroyer chef Jordan Kahn’s not for the weak-walleted: a set menu for dinner costs $250. But, when it’s been described by the team behind it as “a dimension of cuisine that is neither rooted in tradition nor culture -- it is from a time that is yet to be, and a place that does not exist,” it’s impossible to not be intrigued. Essentially, it’s like the OK Computer of restaurants: moody, unique, and boldly futuristic.

Cathy Chaplin

Animal

Mid-Wilshire

Sure, these guys' newer Italian restaurant Jon & Vinny's is hot right now, too, and their seafood restaurant Son of a Gun is also a stone-cold classic at this point. But the OG from these dudes still stands out for its delicious creativity; years in, they haven't let the menu get stale at all, which means you're gonna be ordering the classics -- and then whatever insanity they've put on the menu today, since it may not be there again tomorrow.

Baroo Los Angeles

Baroo

Hollywood

This tiny James Beard-nominated restaurant, hidden in a strip mall in a no-man’s-land section of East Hollywood, would be voted least likely to succeed on looks alone. Once you glance at the tiny, challenging-to-understand menu, you may be even more tempted to bounce. Don’t. The food is from guys who did time at Noma and Daniel -- two of the world’s best restaurants -- and the $15-or-less grain bowls and pastas they’re serving burst with the flavor and love of those 10-times-as-expensive world-class restaurants. Just check the website/give them a call and make sure they’re open before you head there -- they leave for months at a time for “inspiration trips,” but when they come back, the food’s somehow even better than before.

Bestia DTLA

Bestia

Downtown

We've said it before, and we'll say it again: Since its opening in 2012, Bestia's sort of become the definitive LA restaurant, offering a menu that appeals to both eat-anything foodies (pan-roasted chicken gizzards!) and eat-carefully dieters (tomato & plum salad!) in a setting that feels both industrial and homey, with prices that won't make you feel wallet regret when you wake up in the morning. It's no surprise it's still one of the few tough reservations in the city; despite its size, everyone who leaves immediately wants to go back.

Zen Sekizawa

n/naka

Culver City

Before she was on the wildly popular Netflix show Chef's Table, Niki Nakayama's hole-in-the-wall Culver City spot -- where she makes impossibly meticulous Japanese food that seems to hit all your taste buds at once -- was already one of the most buzzy restaurants among foodie-type people in LA. But now that the cat's out of the bag, it's become nationally famous as well, which means getting in is a struggle -- a totally worth-it struggle.

Courtesy of Grand Central Market

Grand Central Market

Downtown

Seriously, are they ever going to run out of stall space at GCM -- which, at this point, should just be considered a treasure of the city? Let's hope not: Not only are all the old spots great (and set up for killer mash-ups), but newer openings (like Union chef Bruce Kalman's pasta spot Knead & Co, the vegan ramen joint Ramen Hood, a Golden Road Brewing stall, and the bivalve-y Oyster Gourmet) make it a must-visit. Like, all the time.

Providence

Providence

Hollywood

Despite lots of competition from upstarts, Providence is still LA's best special-occasion restaurant: The service is impeccable, as is Michael Cimarusti’s seafood. Is it cheap? It is not. Is it worth it? Most definitely.

Flickr/T.Tseng

Howlin' Ray's

Downtown

This fried chicken spot’s had lines from day one, but that’s no surprise: The now-defunct truck of the same name, which specialized in the same Nashville hot chicken as the brick & mortar, was absolutely exceptional. Add to that the fact that neighbors in the Chinatown mini-mall include Roy Choi’s Chego! and the revolving test-kitchen Unit 120, and you may want to hit them all with a large group for a sharing-friendly feast.

Jeff Miller/Thrillist

Q Sushi

Downtown

This long-standing, high-priced, gorgeous sushi bar Downtown finds its way back to Eat Seeker thanks to an insane premium omakase, just added to the menu. Give the chef a few days' notice and he’ll source rare, seasonal fish from Japan and elsewhere around the world, with a 15+-course tasting of flavors you literally can’t get anywhere else in LA (and that al dente vinegar rice is outstanding, too).

DUSTIN DOWNING / THRILLIST

Mh Zh

Silver Lake

LA Weekly’s Besha Rodell unexpectedly crowed about this unpronounceable Israeli spot, and now food fans in LA are racing to get there for dishes like Lamb Ragooooo (yes, the extra os are on purpose) and Instagram-ready presentation, with piles of meat and veggies atop heaps of labneh.

Courtesy of PIzzana

Pizzana

Brentwood

If we told you that one of the best pizza spots in the city was in Brentwood, would you believe us? You should: Chef Daniele Uditi is from Naples and insists his pizza taste like home, with Italian-imported ingredients making up the bulk of the toppings. Don’t miss his on-special margherita (which is topped with a crunchy basil mixture that gives it far more texture than a traditional pie) and the fried artichoke salad, which hits you with flavor and bite.