Mac & Cheese With Bell Pepper Bowls, Because Dishes Are the Worst
Count us among the people welcoming back Ricardo Zarate with wide-open arms: The chef’s Peruvian background started a citywide trend a number of years ago, and after a kitchen hiatus he’s back with this Melrose restaurant dedicated once again to the food of his home country. Expect dishes like Camaron al Horno (wood-oven roasted blue prawns and charred lime), and Pisco-accented drinks including The Bellicose Warrior, which also includes aji Amarillo, pineapple, and curacao.
Is the tiki renaissance upon us? If so, Lono is at the forefront: From the group behind Melrose Umbrella Company, this new bar boasts classic cocktails like Pearl Divers and Navy Grogs in an island-themed setting. There’s also a full food menu including Kuai fried chicken and Kung Pao Ribs, with the dinner service running nightly Thursday through Saturday.
This new Spanish restaurant in the also-new, 14-room Tuck Hotel comes from a restauranteur who’s opened a number of Michelin-starred spots overseas. His new DTLA number is a tapas-style space serving saffron croquettes and crispy paella with artichokes and mushrooms.
The acclaimed NY restaurateur makes his first-ever stop in LA with this fancy-pants new spot. Expect Franco-American dishes like caramelized beef tenderloin with carrots and miso mustard, as well as black truffle and fontina pizzas; there’s a more-casual outpost on the roof as well.
One of the more heartbreaking closures of the past few years was that of Cat & The Fiddle, the low-key, ultra-fun Hollywood bar with a massive patio (and pretty-good European food menu) that had been the new-transplant bar of choice for generations of Angelenos. Good news/bad news: The bar’s reopened and still has a massive patio, but in a new location. Whether it can maintain its beloved status remains to be seen, but its owners plan on the same live music, drink specials, and overall vibe that made its forbearer an all-time LA favorite.
Long have residents in the middle of the city grumbled about the lack of San Gabriel Valley-level dumpling houses nearby, and (hopefully) long may they rejoice at this outpost of a SGV-based mini-chain serving a large dumpling menu and large-plate dishes like Dan Dan Noodles in the neighborhood. The only competition is the inconsistent Bao Dim Sum House -- which is now officially on notice.
Another newcomer to the Downtown bar scene, this dress-code-enforced bar (business casual, whatever that means) is the highest open-air bar in the western hemisphere, thanks to its position on the 73rd floor the Intercontinental Los Angeles. Bring Dramamine.
This stunning new underground bar is a place to play, literally: There are checker/chess boards built right into the tables, as well as pool tables and foosball tables strewn throughout. The whole thing is named after an old-school ‘40s-era bar, so expect some classic cocktails as well.
1. Shibumi815 S Hill St, Los Angeles
2. Gus's Fried Chicken1262 Crenshaw Blvd, Los Angeles
3. Magpies Softserve2660 Griffith Park Blvd, Los Angeles
4. Maré Santa Monica502 Santa Monica Blvd, Santa Monica
5. by CHLOE.2520 Glendale Blvd, Los Angeles
6. Boxwood1020 N San Vicente Blvd, West Hollywood
7. The Phoenix8480 W 3rd St, Los Angeles
8. Beverly Hills Beignet9527 Santa Monica Blvd, Beverly Hills
9. The Cannibal8850 Washington Blvd, Culver City
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.