The 29 Most Exciting Restaurants in Los Angeles Right Now

From upscale and trendy spots in West Adams and Beverly Hills to hole-in-the-wall hidden gems, spanning Italian, Mediterranean, Korean, Caribbean cuisine, and more.

Mother Wolf, Los Angeles, CA
Mother Wolf in Los Angeles. Photo by Eric Wolfinger

Two years into the pandemic and with mask mandates recently lifted in California, we can finally say that our lives are approaching a new kind of normal. Our local restaurant industry appears to have found its footing as well, and even though they were faced with the stresses of forced closures, labor shortages, shipping delays, and more, we’re pleased to report that new restaurants continue to open, with many of them representing some of the most thrilling dining options in LA.

From Downtown to Santa Monica, LA’s chefs and dining institutions continue to rise above and beyond expectations with revamped dining rooms, extravagant tasting menus, and stunning fare that ranges from wood-fired creations to down-home fried chicken and more. New trends have emerged, including the rise of chef-driven dining concepts within upscale hotels, a focus on regional Italian and Mediterranean cuisines translated with fresh California ingredients, and an appreciation for simple yet elevated French techniques. Oh, and did we mention that 11 LA restaurants were awarded stars from the Michelin Guide? Suffice to say there’s plenty to explore across our city’s ever-changing dining scene.

Whether you’re in the mood for the best sushi in LA, weekend brunch, or even a quick yet memorable meal from a roving food truck, here are some of the most exciting restaurants in LA that have opened in the last year:

Camphor
Phot by Josh Telles

Camphor

Arts District
$$$$

Led by Max Boonthanakit and Lijo George (Ducasse), two young chefs with classical French training that’s paired with influence from their respective South Asian backgrounds, Camphor is an industrial-chic bistro space with high ceilings and just 65 seats, including eight on a streetside patio. The menu blends each chef’s culinary heritage with a uniquely LA perspective, sourcing spices from George’s home state of Kerala, India, and elevating familiar plates like Dry-Aged Dover Sole with a tableside filet and a house-made Grenobloise sauce, and Lobster with Coral Bisque. The cocktail program is led by Bar Director Andrew Paniagua (Lock & Key), featuring craft creations like Opéra, with Japanese Whiskey, Vermount Blanc, amaro, and peach and mole bitters, while Wine Director Kalani Lau has curated an approachable wine featuring bottles from Burgundy and across Europe that are hard to find elsewhere in LA.

Available for Reservations
Ella
Photo by Frank Wonho Lee

Ella

Beverly Hills
$$$$

From the folks who brought you Melrose Umbrella Co. comes Ella, a new neighborhood bar on the lobby level of the Sixty Hotel that toes the line between elevated and casual—a rarity for Beverly Hills. With plenty of windows, vintage touches, and greenery throughout, plus a cozy lounge in the front of the restaurant, it’s a great option for working or fueling up with caffeine during the day, with the added bonus of USB chargers connected to the iconic green desk lamps that adorn the leather booths. The L-shaped bar that’s backed by blue leather barstools is ideal for grabbing a quick drink while waiting for the rest of your party, though the bartenders offer an unusual-for-LA level of friendliness that invites you to do as the entryway sign says and “Stay a While.” Night owls can also partake in the fun—Ella employs a DJ after dark, as well as a “Pay it Forward” ethos that waives the tax when you purchase a bottle of wine for another table. The menu is helmed by chef Brian Min (Laurel Hardware) and takes a similarly expansive approach, offering comfort-driven plates like Crispy Glazed Duck Wings and Prince Edward Island Mussels, alongside a selection of salads, pizzas, pastas, and burgers, plus large-format dishes like Dry-Aged Grilled Branzino. Cocktails are presented with flair without sacrificing flavor—Pompeii, with tequila, golden beet, orange, lime, and agave, arrives with a fiery tableside eruption.

Available for Reservations
Yangban Society
Photo by Dylan + Jeni

Yangban Society

Arts District
$$$$

This 5,000-square-foot Korean-American deli and super opened at the start of the year by Katianna and John Hong (Melisse) includes a restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating, a deli with counter service, and a night market where you can pick up limited grab-and-go items. On the menu, you’ll find homage given to the Hongs’ respective backgrounds, California seasonality, and the American deli experience, resulting in sides and dishes like a Hot Smoked Trout Shmear, Kimchi Pozole, and Braised Beef Back Ribs. Cocktails, beer, and wine can be purchased in the adjoining market, many of which are bottled in-house, like the Left Hook, which is their version of a punch with Cimarron Blanco Tequila, Carpano Bianco, El Silencio Mezcal, passion fruit syrup, Gochujang, and lemon acid.
How to book: Walk in or order takeout and delivery online.

Mother Wolf
Photo by Eric Wolfinger

Mother Wolf

Hollywood
$$$$

Quickly becoming LA’s favorite new Roman-Italian restaurant, this sexy spot from pasta aficionado Evan Funke landed in the historic Citizen News Building in Hollywood’s Vinyl District in early 2022. You’ll feel transported to a Roman banquet hall as you settle into red leather booths alongside intricate lamps and vases bursting with extravagant arrangements. Here you’ll find the handmade pasta dishes that catapulted Funke’s Felix to international acclaim, as well as blistered, wood-fired pies, and starters like ricotta-stuffed squash blossoms and blue prawns drizzled in a garlic salsa verde, though you’d do well to save room for Secondi plates like Branzino Alla Brace (for two) and 60-day Dry-Aged Prime Rib. The cocktails are strong without being overpowering, and a large selection of Italian wines are available by the glass.

Available for Reservations
Ka’teen
Photo by Andrea D'Agosto

Ka’teen

Hollywood
$$$$

After wowing Chinatown diners with his all-day cafe Angry Egret Dinette, chef Wes Avila is tackling the ancient flavors of the Yucatan peninsula and pairing them with market-sourced ingredients at this uniquely LA concept that’s adjacent to the tommie Hollywood hotel. You’ll feel transported to Tulum as you dine among hanging rattan lanterns and vibrant plant life, with shareable plates like fried prawn and potato tacos and a Striped Bass Ceviche with pickled mango, plus entrees like Cochinita Pibil with Heritage Pork that’s wrapped in a banana leaf and Lamb Neck Barbacoa with a carrot habanero salsa. The cocktail program is equally enchanting, with the specialty Ka’teen Margarita that’s served with your choice of passion fruit, guava, or mango, and Gypsy Fever with mezcal, passion fruit, guava, lime, agave, bitters, and fire water, representing some of the best options.

Available for Reservations

Carribean Gourmet

San Gabriel Valley
$$$$

Owner Yonette Alleyne comes from a lineage of home cooks and bakers and has been enthusiastically cooking Guyanese and Caribbean staples since she asked her mother for a cookbook at just 11 years old. She’s been popping up at local farmers markets since 2015, and now you can dig into popular dishes like Oxtail Stew, Jerk Chicken, and Vegan Curry and Roti at the newly opened Blossom Market Hall in the former San Gabriel Masonic Lodge. The food hall is also home to worthwhile concepts like Burnt Belly, a Southern barbecue spot, and Rori’s Artisanal Creamery, which offers small-batch ice cream in vegan and non-dairy flavors.
How to order: Walk-ins only.

The Exchange Restaurant In The Freehand Hotel
Photo by Dylan + Jeni

Recently reopened after a two-year pause with rising chef Narita Santos at the helm, The Exchange features a cross-pollination of influences that reflects Santos’ Filipina, Saudi Arabian, and Southern Californian background, as well as her time spent in kitchens like Lucques and Bestia. Located on the lobby level of the Freehand Hotel, the dining room features wood accents and warm orange and teal tones, with playful design choices that refer to the restaurant’s international perspective. Standout starters include Tiradito with peach amba, aji amarillo, smoked trout roe, avocado, and toasted buckwheat served alongside plantain chips and Falafel served with a rich butternut squash tahini sauce, while the crispy, skin-on Duck Carnitas and Whole Fried Fish, drizzled in a sweet and sour sauce, represent compelling options for the main course. The Turkish Coffee Old Fashioned is a great way to jolt your senses after a meal, but don’t disregard the restaurant’s natural wine program.

Available for Reservations
Cento Pasta Bar
Photo by Liam Brown

Cento Pasta Bar

West Adams
$$$$

Chef Avner Lavi landed in his first brick-and-mortar last winter after hosting a successful pasta pop-up by the same name in Downtown LA. You’ll find some of the Italian-meets-Middle Eastern-inspired dishes that first turned diners’ heads, like naturally dyed beet spaghetti with ricotta and brown butter, and a creamy uni spaghetti with burrata. The intimate, string-lit patio is perfect for date night, with a view into the open chef kitchen through floor-to-ceiling windows. There’s also a cozy, L-shaped bar on the interior if you prefer a front-row seat to the pasta-preparing action. A lengthy wine list is also available to choose from.

Available for Reservations
Cabra
Photo by Stan Lee

Cabra

DTLA
$$$$

Chef Stephanie Izard made the trip out west in 2021, after gaining national recognition for her Chicago restaurant, Girl & the Goat. You can visit the LA outpost of Girl & the Goat in the nearby Arts District, but make sure you bookmark Cabra, on the newly transformed rooftop of the Hoxton hotel, as well. Choose from an al-fresco experience or opt for the enclosed section that features a view into the chef’s kitchen, plus surrounding downtown skyscrapers through 360-degree windows. The menus feature Peruvian flavors, like Swiss Chard and Kale Empanadas, thinly sliced Tuna Tiradito with passion fruit and jicama, and a fun take on Lomo Saltado that features tater tots, but you’ll also see South American influence on the beverage side in cocktails like Pisco Fever with pisco, mango, and frozen aji panca, and Sunshower Tonic with cilantro rum, Montenegro amaro, pickled green mango syrup, and tonic.

Available for Reservations

Co-owners Baba Wo'se Kofi and Lauren Wolley Ross like to say that they are “actively” on 63rd and Western Ave, where Baba’s Vegan Cafe is located, bringing care and support to a food desert that has not seen much change since the 1992 LA Riots. The pair offer Caribbean and soul food-inspired dishes translated for a plant-based diet, with hearty options like a Welcome Plate that comes with seasonal veggies, rice and beans, greens, kale salad, vegan mac and cheese, and fried cauliflower. For something lighter, try one of their Jamaican-style patties in flavors like Soy Beef, Curry Potato, Spinach and Kale, and Sweet Yam—and make sure you try limited-time offerings like Savory Hibiscus and Apple patties when they appear on the menu. Baba’s also features a cooperative marketplace with art, clothing, wellness products, and more, much of it sourced from current staff members.
How to book: Walk in.

Available for Delivery/Takeout
Gusto Green
Photo by Aliza J. Sokolow

Gusto Green

DTLA
$$$$

Janet Zuccarini, the mastermind behind acclaimed Italian restaurant Felix Trattoria, is behind this plant-forward yet omnivore-friendly restaurant that’s located within the historic Green building. The green theme is reflected in the restaurant’s exclusive partnership with Ziese Farms, the only federally approved purveyor of hemp leaf as food. Dig into this nutrient-rich delicacy with the hemp-based Sourdough Puffed Pita, before moving onto other worthwhile dishes like Sprouted Beluga Lentils, Pistachio Pesto Tagliatelle, or Ora King Salmon. The pizzas feature 72-hour-fermented sourdough that’s leavened in-house, with the Mushroom Pie representing one of the most popular options. The restaurant offers a standout zero-proof cocktail menu, with many of the drinks featuring terpenes for enhanced aromatics. The house cocktails, like the Tasteful Nudes with tequila, lime, sage hibiscus, hellfire, and cava, are also worthy contenders.

Available for Reservations
Grandmaster Recorders
Photo courtesy of Grandmaster Recorders

From the hospitality group that brought you E.P and L.P (one of our fave Weho rooftops), comes this tri-level space in a former recording studio in the up-and-coming Vinyl District. Aussie couple Monty and Jaci Koludrovic are at the helm as culinary director and executive pastry chef, respectively, and the restaurant offers a New World perspective on Italian meets Australian meets American cuisine—think extravagant touches on classic dishes like caviar-stuffed cannolis and pillowy buffalo burrata that’s topped with flakes of truffle and burnt honey, as well as hand-pulled pastas and well-sourced meats from across Australia and New Zealand. In other words, it’s food that your Nonna would approve of, though she might not cook it herself. Wine director Devon D’Arcangelo oversees an expansive wine list that includes over 2,000 bottles on the property, while mixologist Milosz Cieslak crafts stunning cocktails like Bad Magic, with lemongrass vodka, house-made limoncello, verbena syrup, and lemon.
How to book: via Resy.

Available for Reservations
Here's Looking at You
Photo by Shelley Som, courtesy of Here's Looking at You

This beloved K-Town restaurant came back to life in January after a two-year closure thanks to an ongoing crowdfunding campaign by co-owner Lien Ta and crew. The festive and playful ambience is reflected in the changing menu, which currently features savory dishes like an Uni Panna Cotta with salmon roe and dill over wild rice, and a 36-ounce Cowboy Ribeye with fermented radish butter and sarsaparilla jus. Pastry chef Thessa Diadem is behind delightful creations like Roasted Chestnut Mochi and Frozen Pear Soda Espuma. The current theme of the cocktail list is “Revival,” with drinks like Folk Hero, with persimmon leaf-infused tequila, winter citrus, yuzu, honey, and Swiss violette.
How to book: via OpenTable. The bar is reserved for walk-ins.

Available for Reservations

Magari

Hollywood
$$$$

Tokyo-Italian cuisine became popular in the ‘90s when Michelin-starred Italian chefs began opening outposts in Japanese cities, which led to Italian and Japanese chefs preparing those dishes with Japanese techniques and ingredients. Now Hollywood’s Vinyl District is getting in on the trend thanks to Ozumo Concepts opening the first California location of Magari, which features bleached wood details alongside gold accents and potted plants strewn throughout the space. Sicilian-born Enrico Merendino serves as executive chef, while James Beard award winner Tony Messina acts as consulting chef over a menu that includes highlights like Grilled Yari Ika Squid with tuna puttanesca and Seaweed Lumache. The beverage menu takes similar inspiration, evident in craft cocktails like the tropical Tokyo Iced Tea with gin, melon, jasmine tea, lemon, and soda, and the Dirty Martini with vodka, tomato water, sansho pepper, amontillado, bordiga dry, and umami.
How to book: Make a reservation online. Order takeout online.

Kinkan

Virgil Village
$$$$

Chef Nan Yimcharoen is behind this intimate Thai-Japanese concept that offers a seasonal, ten-course seafood-centric homage to her grandmother Friday through Sunday evenings, as well as a 20-course omakase sushi experience with just ten seats two to three times a week. You can also enjoy it at home with Kinkan ToGo, a beautifully packaged, multi-tiered bento box and chirashi don that’s brimming with fresh seafood like house-cured ikura, Japanese unagi, and Hokkaido scallops, though that doesn’t come with chef Yimcharoen’s in-depth explanations of the dishes and the inspiration behind each one.
How to book: via Tock.

Berbere Restaurant
Photo by Joleen Zubek for Thrillist

Berbere Restaurant

Santa Monica
$$$$

Smorgasburg darling Tezeta “Tete” Alemayehu is behind this African-inspired vegan spot in Santa Monica, with two levels of sleek, wood interiors, plus a small astroturfed parklet and sidewalk seating. You’ll find plenty of Ethiopian ingredients and spices on the menu, but the first restaurant concept from the chef ventures far outside of traditional Ethiopian cuisine, with a modern menu that includes popular Smorgasburg items like ET Twist Tacos with potato, lentil, mushroom, cilantro, awaze, tangfaye sauce, and microgreens, plus a bevy of new additions like Eat the Rainbow, with red lentils, turmeric garbanzo, and purple cabbage with potato and sautéed greens, served with teff injera bread.
How to book: Walk-ins welcome. Order takeout and delivery via UberEats and Postmates.

Available for Delivery/Takeout
Caboco
Photo by DYLAN + JENI, courtesy of Caboco

Caboco

Arts District
$$$$

Brazilian chefs and business partners Rodrigo Oliveira (Mocotó and Balaio IMS in São Paulo) and Victor Vasconcellos traversed continents to debut their first stateside restaurant in DTLA’s thriving Arts District. Landing in the former Church & State space, the restaurant features a lively mural along its back wall, with pops of primary colors throughout, and long, communal dining tables that add to a vibrant, social atmosphere. The menu explores different approaches to Brazil’s manioc (yuca) plant, as well as Amazonian fruits and wild vegetables from southeastern Brazil, like ora-pro-nobis. Popular menu items include Dadinhos de Tapioca, or crispy tapioca fries that burst with melted cheese and are served with a sweet chili sauce, but the Moqueca de Caju, a vegetarian take on the popular Brazilian stew, is a must-try. The restaurant also offers an artisanal caipirinha bar where you can sample several versions of Brazil’s signature cocktail, as well as other cachaça-spiked creations, including the Karina Bonita with passion fruit, strawberry, orange, lemon, cachaça. A selection of beer and hard kombuchas, as well as mate and the Brazilian soda brand Guarana are also on offer.
How to book: Walk-ins welcome. Reservations can be booked via OpenTable.

Available for Reservations

Rumba Kitchen

Little Tokyo
$$$$

The popular Triple Threat food truck made the leap to brick-and-mortar in late August, bringing Puerto Rican cuisine to a strip mall in Little Tokyo. A Puerto Rican flag graces the entrance, a mural of Old San Juan dominates a back wall that live salsa bands set up in front of, and a hanging plant wall with a neon blue Rumba Kitchen sign acts as the restaurant centerpiece, with greenery throughout. The menu spans classic Puerto Rican fare, including a selection of mofongos (lobster, fried pork, stewed chicken, and vegetarian), Fried Caribbean Red Snapper served with tostones, and Marinated Churrasco Steak, with Puerto Rican rice and pigeon peas served on the side. You’ll also find a Puerto Rican take on chicken and waffles on the weekend brunch menu. For the bar program, a variety of mimosas and sangrias, as well as micheladas spiked with Puerto Rican lager, are on offer.
How to book: Walk-ins welcome or make reservations via Resy.

Available for Reservations
Etta
Photo courtesy of Etta

Etta

Culver City
$$$$

Centered around a custom wood-fire pizza oven with black and white Anne Sacks tiles and a copper hood, Etta’s menu features Italian and Mediterranean staples, including starters like bubbling shrimp and rack-roasted oysters, veggie dishes such as charred eggplant and market haricot verts, and a variety of pizzas and pastas for entrees. The cocktail program from bar manager Amanda Fewster and national beverage director Eric Simmons, features creations like the Etta’rita with Dobel Tequila, Cointreau, lime, and a Tajin salt rim. Etta also sets itself apart with a Porrón and Polaroid experience, where guests are invited to drink from a communal Spanish wine pitcher and can capture the moment with a Polaroid picture. A weekend brunch menu with pastries, shakshuka, a breakfast sandwich, fried chicken picnic, and more, plus mimosa carafes for the table and other morning cocktails, is also on offer.
How to book: via Sevenrooms.

Caldo Verde
Photo by DYLAN + JENI, courtesy of Caldo Verde

Caldo Verde

Downtown LA
$$$$

Gracing the lobby floor of the newly opened Downtown Proper Hotel, Caldo Verde offers a reprieve from the bustle of Broadway, with a colorful, avian-inspired mural and chic yet comfortable dining room. Chef Suzanne Goin (A.O.C) and restaurateur Caroline Styne (A.O.C) joined forces on a vibrant menu that fuses Portuguese and Spanish flavors with a California approach, featuring shareable plates with standouts that include tender Beef Cheeks perched on a bed of creamy avocado and topped with green chile, crema, and radish; and the eponymous Caldo Verde, a hearty seafood stew with local rock crab, grilled linguiça sausage, kale, mussels, and potato. Small producers from Spain, Portugal, and California dominate the wine list—save room for a glass of port or madeira alongside dessert—and the cocktail program manages to add creativity and flair without compromising the spirit of the drinks.
How to book: Call 1-800-806-1947, email caldoverde@properhotel.com, or book via OpenTable.

Sparrow
Photo courtesy of Sparrow

Sparrow

Downtown LA
$$$$

Courtesy of Noble 33 Hospitality, this new downtown dining destination offers modern coastal cuisine against a whimsical backdrop of European and Mediterranean-inspired design elements, including arched, cathedral-like entryways, vintage chandeliers, and hanging light fixtures. Culinary director AJ McCloud and executive chef Jan Claudio spent time in Italy in preparation for this opening, studying local ingredients and food preparation techniques. This attention-to-detail is on display in dishes like the herbaceous Pistachio Pesto with radiatore, grana padano, mascarpone crema, and arugula, and Wagyu Alla Vodka Pizza with Wagyu beef sausage and Calabrian peppers. The Eggplant Parmigiana, Grilled Branzino, and Lamb Shank Osso Buco are notable main courses—or go all out with a market-priced Lobster al Forno. Don’t sleep on desserts like Tiramisu with chocolate espresso sauce and ladyfingers, or a craft cocktail list that features drinks named after Mediterranean destinations, with dramatic tableside presentations.
How to book: via Sevenrooms.

Todo Bien

Hollywood
$$$$

With a name that translates to “All good” in Spanish, this pop-up turned restaurant joins the city’s booming birria scene at the busy corner of La Brea and Sunset, complete with old-school arcade games to tempt you into sticking around for a while. Owner and chef Alex Arutyunyan fell in love with birria while working under the direction of Jon & Vinny’s sous chef, Raymundo. After adopting Raymundo’s family recipe, which puts a Pueblo spin on the dish that hails from Jalisco, Arutyunyan began serving it at festivals and then at pop-ups to stellar reviews, leading him to the opportunity to open his first brick-and-mortar in the heart of Hollywood. The heritage-driven street food menu is simple and straightforward, offering juicy, well-stewed beef birria or chicken in tacos, tostadas, burritos, quesadillas, and quesa tacos—or keep it simple with a 16-ounce cup of consomme with beef. Go for the Ceviche Tostada if you’re in the mood for seafood, and make sure you tack on an order of Esquites, street-style corn with cotija cheese, lime, garlic, chili, and cilantro. Taco Tuesdays are celebrated with $2 tacos all day long.
How to book: Walk in or order takeout online.

Available for Delivery/Takeout
Horses
Photo by Lucky Tennyson, courtesy of Horses

Horses

West Hollywood
$$$$

Chefs Liz Johnson and Will Aghajanian (Freedman’s) are the masterminds behind this European-inspired bistro that’s located in the former Ye Coach & Horses space. The once low-key industry hangout was transformed into a warm and cozy restaurant space, while maintaining original design features like red leather booths and 1930s-era moldings. The menu features a variety of influences from French to Italian to American classics—everything from a top-notch burger to an exceptional Caesar salad. Starters like Veal Sweetbreads with frisée and capers and Pork Rillettes skew classic French while pasta dishes like Tagliarini with Clams show off the restaurant’s versatility. Drinkswise, look for riffs on classic cocktails like the Boulevardier, Jungle Bird, and Vesper alongside a small menu of spirits, draft beers, and a lengthy range of wines by the glass (many of which are natural wines).
How to book: via Resy.

Bacetti
Photo by Dylan + Jeni, courtesy of Bacetti

Bacetti

Echo Park
$$$$

This love letter to Rome is located on a quiet stretch of Echo Park Ave and serves as the culinary sibling to natural wine bar Tilda next door. Inside, you’ll find exposed wooden beams, globe light fixtures, terrazzo floors, teal banquettes, and cozy leather booths, while the covered wooden deck patio is perfect for those warm summer nights. Chef Joel Stovall (formerly of Orsa & Winston) helms the Roman-inspired kitchen, which churns out delectable antipasti like Suppli (fried rice balls), Ebraica-inspired focaccia, and a small selection of bruschetta, plus small plates like Roasted Kabocha Squash with crème fraîche, hazelnuts, and saba; and Grilled Octopus with romano beans, romanesco, and tomato confit. The stars of the menu are pastas that riff on Roman classics like all’Amatriciana and Carbonara, but also offerings like Campanelle with cremini, chanterelle, maitake mushrooms, and Ricotta Salata. You’ll also find a small menu of pizzas, ranging from a simple Margherita to a potato-topped variation, and mains like Whole Grilled Branzino with gremolata. For drinks, expect a lengthy selection of natural wines both by the glass and bottle from sibling wine shop, Tilda.
How to book: via Resy.

Available for Reservations
Imari
Photo courtesy of Imari

Imari

Brentwood
$$$$

The latest concept from acclaimed restaurateur Philip Camino (Fellow, Hudson) brings washoku, or traditional Japanese cuisine, to the Westside, in a sleek, intimate space with handmade oak interiors, gold and navy accents, a small sushi bar, romantic partitioned booths, and a quaint patio overlooking San Vicente boulevard. The restaurant’s culinary program is stacked with talent, including chef Derek Wilcox of Shoji (NYC) and Kikunoi (Kyoto) and chef consultant and Japanese Cuisine Goodwill Ambassador David Schlosser (Shibumi). The current menu includes bright and refreshing items like Kanpachi with amberjack sashimi, white ponzu, and shaved horseradish and wasabi, Kusshi oysters, and Gyoza stuffed with Kurobuta pork and shiitake mushrooms, plus hand rolls and sushi. Sommelier Scott Lester curated an approachable wine list, and the drink menu also features a selection of premium Japanese beers.

Vegan AF

Mobile
$$$$

New to the restaurant industry, owner Chanel Goodson has been practicing veganism for seven years and sought out to fix some of the issues that plagued her as a diner, namely boring and repetitive menus. The two items that drive her food truck’s menu are crispy, fried egg rolls stuffed with Philly cheesesteak, cheeseburger, and pizza fillings, and loaded french fries seasoned with a housemade mix and garnished with toppings like fried mushrooms and faux shrimp that are doused in a Nashville hot buffalo sauce. Finish it off with her signature vegan apple pie egg roll that comes with a caramel dipping sauce.
How to order: Follow Vegan AF on Instagram for updates on schedules and locations.

Angry Egret Dinette

Chinatown
$$$$

Guerilla Tacos founder Wes Avila left his beloved Arts District taco spot to start this fast-casual diner in Mandarin Plaza, serving his take on hefty, comfort-laden sandwiches, tortas, and burritos, with frequent, limited ceviche specials. For example, the McTorta, which reinterprets your favorite fast food breakfast sandwich on fluffy Mexican bread with tender gyro beef, fried eggs, and gooey American cheese. Or take the Mayan Octopus Tiradito, a limited-time raw seafood dish which Avila tops with a blue agave vinaigrette, salsa negra, and salsa seca. For drinks, they’ve got Coke, Sprite, Topo Chico, Water, and a selection of coffee options.
How to order: Order online for pickup.

Available for Delivery/Takeout

Holy Basil

DTLA
$$$$

Drawing diners to Downtown LA’s newest food destination, Santee Passage, is this unassuming takeout window featuring Bangkok street food and Central Thai dishes that’s owned and operated by partners and chefs Wedchayan “Deau” Arpapornnopparat and Tongkamal “Joy” Yuon. In a city teeming with Thai options, Holy Basil’s Pad Thai and Tom Yuk Soup stand out as the best and brightest. The Gra Pow tosses wok-fried eggplant with kalabasa squash, Thai basil, scallions, bird's eye chili, and garlic, served over rice and topped with a farmers market fried egg, to deliver a flavorful, texture-rich dish that hits all the right notes of spicy, savory, and succulent. Joy’s Thai tea is the perfect option for washing it all down, though the pair also started a handcrafted canned beverage line with additional flavors like Hibiscus Agave Meyer-nade and Thyme Orange Chrysanthemum Tea.
How to order: Takeout via Toast and delivery via Doordash.

Available for Delivery/Takeout
LA Cha Cha Cha
Photo by Wonho Frank Lee, courtesy of LA Cha Cha Cha

LA Cha Cha Cha

DTLA Arts District
$$$$

A neon green lime beckons diners to an expansive, 11,600-square foot rooftop oasis that acts as a sister restaurant to the popular Mexico City terrace by the same name. Chef Paco Moran helms a menu of staple Mexican dishes and well-guarded family recipes, with added influence from the California coast. Tostadas boast ingredients like Baja California-sourced bluefin tuna, crispy cilantro, and chile morita aioli, and a colorful shrimp ceviche with beets that offer a refreshing sweetness amid fresh radish and cucumber. Notable mains include the Pescado Cha Cha Cha, with charcoal-grilled Huanchinango, a Northern red snapper native to the Gulf of Mexico, and charred lettuce; plus a vegetarian Pipian Rojo Con Col with a pureed pumpkin seed sauce, red cabbage, and epazote rice. On the interior, you’ll find the lively La Barra, a late-night option with an expanded list of cocktails and a truncated food menu.
How to book: via Opentable.

Available for Reservations
Danielle Dorsey is the Los Angeles Editor at Thrillist.