The Three Wise Men brought gold, frankincense, and myrrh to Jesus' b-day. The One Way-Wiser Men's Interest Site brought 13 new LA bars and restaurants that opened right around Jesus' b-day, all of which flew totally under the radar while everyone was busy Googling "myrrh." So, here to catch you up is this list of December's 13 best openings.
When Chi Dynasty closed, Studio City peeps were all, "now what are we going to do for good Chinese? Chin Chin? Again??" Turns out, nope: now you've also got Shanghai Rose, one of the only East Valley spots for dim sum, open seven days a week, with cart service on weekends. Bam.
First: this place doesn't have ostrich on the menu anywhere. Second: it totally won't matter to Eastsiders (okay, maybe still a little bit) when they find out this new sorta-bistro DOES have chicken liver toasts and a NY strip w/ caramelized onions and herb fries.
The FiveOFour guys are back with another NoLa-inspired eatery, this time a two-story ode to the Big Easy with a raw bar, a daiquiri bar, a massive patio, and killer Muffalettas as well as grilled short ribs with Cajun kimchee.
This reservations-recommended, live-jazz-and-cocktails-and-oh-man-it-looks-kind-of-like-an-airport-lounge bar is bringing back the days of air travel when stewardesses (that's right, we said it) wore flattering uniforms, with an interior filled with '60s-era photos and a massive retro air map. Bonus: drinks from a former Roger Room guy!
Formerly an Acapulco, this spot is now All'Acqua, a neighborhood Italian restaurant with a massive menu of boot-goodness: pizza w/ wild fennel pollen and pork sausage, whole grilled branzino w/ charred lemon, and oxtail ragu.
One of the best patios on Beverly is now running one of the most exciting new menus in town, with food from former Ray & Stark dude Kris Morningstar, who's busting out killer, uh... terrines?... as well as a brunch with three words you've regrettably never seen next to one another until today: duck sausage crepette.
Back in the day, Cassell's were considered among the best burgers in LA; now, after a lengthy hiatus, they've reopened in a new location (K-town) and locked down a f'real chef (one of the dudes from Short Order) for classic broiled burger goodness as well as breakfast sandwiches and a full bar.
This new Mar Vista rotisserie joint -- manned by a former Messhall Kitchen guy -- is breaking out sandwiches on weekdays and family-style Chinese BBQ pork on Sundays, meaning you'll want to drop by on Sundays (... and weekdays).
You know when you go to NY and your friends are like, "our Thai food is better than yours because we have Pok Pok," and then you're like, "our Thai food is better than yours because Jet Tila said so," and then they won't let it go because they live in NY? Well, now you're definitely right: we've got Pok Pok here, too. Legit. Hit it.
This total stunner from superstar chef Neal Fraser is one of those you-gotta-see(-and-taste)-it-to-believe-it restos. Located in an old Downtown cathedral, the room is gorgeous, and the food is obviously next-level, including the signature rabbit wrapped in porchetta, aka the Rabbitchetta.
The Umami guy partnered with the Guisado guy (what the ...) for a tacos-and-mezcal-and-stuff-hangout on the Westside (holy ...). It's called Tacoteca (son of a ...).
For all those times you've said to yourself, "Self, why doesn't LA have a place where I can get, like, spot-on Italian food and then see some Grammy-winning smooth jazz action with drop-ins from Dave FREAKING KOZ??" -- you can finally respond to yourself, "Self, HERE is a place where I can get, like, spot-on Italian food and then see some Grammy-winning smooth jazz action with drop-ins from Dave FREAKING KOZ."
Originally a food-forward pop-up, this new eight-seat, tasting-menu-only restaurant/counter (yes, for serious) is busting out rotating greatness at the Hotel Normandie like Santa Barbara rock crab w/ honey tangerine and cauliflower.
Sign up here for our daily LA email and be the first to get all the food/drink/fun Los Angeles has to offer.
Jeff Miller is Thrillist LA's Senior City Editor and can't say no to dim sum, ever. Proof is on his Instagram at @jeffmillerla and Twitter at @ThrillistLA.
1. Shanghai Rose12229 Ventura Blvd, Los Angeles
2. Ostrich Farm1525 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles
3. Preux & Proper840 S Spring St, Los Angeles
4. Now Boarding7746 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood
5. All'Acqua3280 Glendale Blvd, Los Angeles
6. Terrine8265 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles
7. Cassell's Hamburgers3600 W 6th St, Los Angeles
8. Status Kuo3809 Grand View Blvd, Los Angeles
9. Pok Pok LA727 N Broadway, Los Angeles
10. Redbird114 E 2nd St, Los Angeles
11. Tacoteca2460 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica
12. Spaghettini & The Dave Koz Lounge184 N Canon Drive, Beverly Hills
13. Le Comptoir3606 W 6th St, Los Angeles
Shanghai Rose is one of the only East Valley spots for dim sum, 7 days a week, with cart service on weekends. Bam.
First: this place doesn't have ostrich on the menu anywhere. Second: it totally won't matter to you when you realize this sorta-bistro DOES have chicken liver toasts and a NY strip w/ caramelized onions and herb fries.
The FiveOFour guys bring you this NOLA-inspired eatery, a two-story ode to the Big Easy with a daiquiri bar, raw bar, massive patio, and killer Muffalettas, as well as grilled short ribs with Cajun kimchee.
This reservations-recommended, live-jazz-and-cocktails-and-oh-man-it-looks-kinda-like-an-airport-lounge bar's bringing back the good ol' days with drinks from a former Roger Room guy, decor featuring 60s-era photos, and a massive retro air map.
All'Acqua is a neighborhoody Italian resto with a massive menu of boot-goodness: pizza with wild fennel pollen and pork sausage, whole grilled branzino with charred lemon, and oxtail ragu.
Nostalgic French fare is given the expansive brasserie and a fairytale garden it deserves in Terrine, with chef Kris Morningstar masterminding elegant chicken confit salad, garlic-butter bathed escargots and a steak frites with smoked bone marrow that can be paired with an impressive French wine list. The namesake terrine, made with foie gras and served with apricot compote, proves worthy of the honor. Yet, a visit is utterly incomplete without sampling the charcuterie boards: with truffled chicken liver, terrine de campaign, liverwurst, andouille sausage and smoked beef deckle arranged with pickled morsels on a sturdy wooden disc. Dreamy and casual, the dining room is filled with bistro chairs, distressed brick and umber-hued leather banquettes with ornate mirrors propped behind them. The best part awaits behind an archway in the back, revealing an outdoor lounge with a giant illuminated tree as the centerpiece. The spot is more than an ideal perch for star-gazing, a well-balanced classic cocktail by Ryan Wainwright making you question your balance.
Talk about an American classic -- Cassell's Hamburgers, inside the historic Hotel Normandie, is a suave update of the '50 diner or dive serving up filling breakfasts full of chewy bacon and fried eggs over flat beds of hash browns. But that's not the main attraction -- all the attention here goes straight to the burgers, you know, hence the name of the restaurant. Daily ground Colorado Angus chuck and brisket patties sit proudly all on their in Parker House buns, but cheddar or swiss with a mountain of fixings (including avocado and fried eggs for the real burger champs) never hurt anyone, either.
Not just a Hawaiian saying that everything's hunky-dory, Status Kuo's also a Mar Vista rotisserie joint, with a former Messhall Kitchen guy breaking out sandwiches on weekdays and family-style Chinese BBQ pork on Sundays.
Anyone who's eaten at Pok Pok in Portland or New York knows how lucky we are that Andy Ricker's insanely popular Thai restaurant made its way to LA. The bi-level Chinatown spot is spacious and casual, and includes a bar and outdoor seating plus plenty of festive tablecloths. The family-style menu is an eclectic display of Ricker's Northern Thai expertise, and you can expect plenty of fried meat dishes and spicy salads. Be sure to order the signature fish sauce wings -- they're based on a recipe from a Pok Pok Portland employee's home in Vietnam.
Located in a refurbished church, Neal Fraser's Downtown LA restaurant is the ultimate high-end date spot. Redbird's food is next-level creative, like the signature Rabbitchetta dish, aka rabbit wrapped in porchetta. Aside from the gorgeous open-air dining room, there's also a beautiful outdoor patio for those SoCal nights.
All hail the insanely creative tacos at Tacoteca, a joint venture from Ricardo Diaz, one of the guys behind Guisados, and Adam Fleischman, the guy behind Umami. Where there are tacos, there is tequila, and Tacoteca delivers with a bar program heavy on mezcal and tequila cocktails.
"Self", you may have once said to yourself, "what if there were a place I could get, like, really great Italian food and then hear some incredible jazz??" Ok, you've never said that to yourself. But that place exists. And that alone is pretty cool.
Originally a food-forward pop-up, this 8-seat tasting-menu-only restaurant/counter (yes, for serious) is at the Hotel Normandie and is busting out rotating greatness like Santa Barbara rock crab with honey tangerine and cauliflower.