Food & Drink

9 New LA Restaurant Openings You Need To Know

Switch up your takeout routine.

Sestina food spread
Photo courtesy of Sestina

Remember back in March when we thought this would go on for like a month or two and then everything would be back to normal and by the end of the year Corona would just be a beer again? Yeah, well, here we are still battling a pandemic with 2021 mere days away. Of course, few industries have faced more of an uphill battle than the restaurant world. As we’ve watched many venues shutter for good, we’re truly thankful to have so many of our city’s restaurants large and small still hanging in there (which we know hasn’t been easy), expanding takeout options, getting creative with DIY kits, and offering special menus despite having to temporarily close all of their newly built al fresco dining patios. And, somehow, despite the seemingly impossible landscape, new dining destinations continue to open. From pandemic pop-ups to brand-new options to get in on some takeout and support a local restaurant.

cheeto wings
Photo courtesy of Brooklyn Ave. Pizza Co.

Brooklyn Ave. Pizza Co. 

Boyle Heights 
Chef/owner and Boyle Heights native Mario Christerna is blending classic New York pizza with his Chicano roots at this bright new neighborhood joint on the ground floor of historic theater, The Paramount. Wood-fired pies include a mĂłle pizza topped with queso Oaxaca and crema, and the Cherry Bomb, layered with sopressata and pickled cherry bomb peppers, as well as traditional Margherita and old-school pepperoni pies. Christerna has also come up with some whimsical wings—including a Flamin’ Hot Cheetos version drizzled with nacho cheese and another set tossed with sesame, cabbage relish, and pepitas, plus a handful of loaded fries. The bar program is up and running (even if the bar isn’t, sigh), so you can throw in a couple of bottled cocktails (the tequila-and-watermelon Negroni is pretty killer) with your meal. 
How to Order: Pick up via Toast; DoorDash, Caviar, and UberEats for delivery.

toasts
Photo courtesy of goodboybob

Citizen Public Market

Culver City 
After years in the works, this Downtown Culver food hall finally opened, albeit at an unideal time. The nearly century-old former Citizen Publishing Company building has been revamped into a stylish industrial-chic space that will someday fill its outdoor patio and big roof deck with actual diners. For now, you can grab a brew and some breakfast or lunch bites at goodboybob Coffee Roasters, brick-oven pizza at Nancy Silverton’s anticipated Pizzette, meaty concoctions from The WEHO Sausage Co., and raw bar galore from the first brick-and-mortar location for the Ventura-based The Jolly Oyster
How to Order: Order pickup online by choosing a restaurant from the market’s vendor page.

Ditroit 

Downtown 
After temporarily closing his mere-months-old upscale Mexican venue, Damian, chef Enrique Olvera is taking on tacos at this takeout window in the back of the restaurant. Look for creative spins like mushroom barbacoa plus catch-of-the-day fish flautas and banana-leaf-steamed mole negra tamales. You can also pick up various salsas and fresh batches of heirloom corn masa ground daily. 
How to Order: Pickup via Tock or delivery through Postmates.

Adrift burgers
Photo by Josh Telles for Adrift

Adrift Burger Bar 

Venice  
Chef David Myers (previously of Comme Ca and Hinoki and the Bird) is bringing back his beloved burger at this new pop-up on Abbot Kinney. In addition to a classic version, there’s his fabled DM Burger on a brioche bun with cheddar, shaved onion, lettuce, and secret sauce, and the globally-inspired Adrift Burger topped with tomato-ajwain jam, pickled jalapeños, and Gruyère (vegans can swap the beef for an Impossible patty). You can also grab curry leaf fries, fried button mushrooms, and a treat from the milkshake menu with flavors like chocolate-miso caramel and matcha-white chocolate. 
How to Order: Pickup in person or through DoorDash; delivery via Grubhub.

honey roasted chicken
Photo by Lindsey Huttrer for Grin & Bear It

Grin and Bear It 

Santa Monica 
After on-site dining suddenly shut down last month, Rustic Canyon pivoted to a takeout-and-delivery concept centered around executive chef Andy Doubrava’s love of Southern fare. The kitchen still relies heavily on local farms for ingredients it’s spinning into inventive comfort foods like beef brisket done with a smoked onion and coffee bean-miso red-eye gravy; a vegan rice, Oaxacan beans, and smoked veggie dish; and sour corn biscuits made with locally-milled flour and cornmeal. Expect twists on Southern cocktails–like hurricanes, Kentucky mules and a boozy sweet tea–as well. 
How to Order: Online through ChowNow or Tock for pickup or through most of the major delivery apps.

pappardelle pasta
Photo courtesy of Sestina

Sestina

Culver City 
This new pasta-centric spot comes care of vegan restaurateur Matthew Kenney, who is expanding his empire by taking over the old Wildcraft pizzeria location, doling out veggie-focused plays on Italian fare like beet pappardelle in a mushroom ragout, butternut ravioli alfredo, crispy arancini and a baby gem Caesar, plus plenty of pizzas. And the Kenney crew wasted no time putting together a pop-up. LA-ZEN, which runs out of the same kitchen, has a Chinese-inspired menu of steamed buns, bowls, dumplings, and stir-fries. 
How to Order: Pickup via ChowNow; delivery via Grubhub or Postmates.

Love Boat Kitchen
Photo courtesy of Love Boat Kitchen

Love Boat Kitchen

Hollywood 
Another pandemic pop-up coming at you, this one from Belinda Wei and Alice Cherng, the ladies behind vegan ice cream shop, Cocobella Creamery. The idea is to offer their favorite Taiwanese-American dishes in vegan form, focusing on a small-but-mighty menu with just a handful of items, including soy-marinated Impossible meatballs covered in sweet sticky rice, honey-walnut “shrimp,” a wood ear mushroom salad, and complimentary kimchi. 
How to order: On the restaurant’s website for pickup or DoorDash for delivery.

Teriyaki Madness 

Downtown 
This fast-casual teriyaki chain with shops scattered around the country has launched its first LA location (opened by a former Warner Bros exec), offering up customizable bowls of steak, salmon, chicken, and tofu teriyaki along with sides of rice, noodles, veggies, egg rolls and more. If you like it, you’re in luck: The chain plans to add around a dozen more locations to the LA area over the next few years. 
How to Order: Online for pickup or delivery.

Prince Street Pizza 

West Hollywood
It’s been a while since we’ve seen late-night long lines snaking out of clubs along Sunset, so it’s comforting to see another line—this one full of sober people looking for pizza—outside this new shop, an offshoot of the Manhattan original. Though its most famous for its “SOHO Square” pies topped with the likes of pepperoni, the shop also offers its thin-crust Neapolitan-style round pizzas including the pesto-sauced Green Machine, the Boozy Broome done with vodka sauce, and a plain old NY-style original. 
How to Order: In-person for pickup or delivery through DoorDash.

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Lizbeth Scordo is a food and lifestyle writer who holds the world record for most COVID-related story links sent by friends and family members. Follow her drowning in conflicting information on Instagram @modlizbeth and Twitter @lalizbeth.