Food & Drink

6 New Restaurant Openings in LA You Need to Know

Expand your takeout/delivery routine.

Moto Ramen
Courtesy of Moto Ramen

Angelenos reacted to the reopening of restaurant dine-in service (which is currently only allowed outdoors in much of California, including LA County) a few different ways: Some of us rushed to make reservations at our favorite spots, thrilled to plant ourselves on patios around the city and indulge in plated dinners and fancy cocktails served by real-live waiters nightly. Others have continued to stay home while taking advantage of expanded to-go offerings – from multi-course tasting menus from Michelin-starred restaurants to DIY taco kits. And some of us are thrilled to mix it up with both take-out and out-on-the-town eating depending on our mood. 

Whatever you’re at, when it comes to options, we say the more the merrier. The good news is that even in the middle of these unprecedented times, brand-new restaurants are now opening on a weekly basis. And if restaurateurs are willing to take the plunge, we’re ready to support them. Here are six newly opened spots to keep on your restaurant radar. Note: all are open for both dine-in and takeout unless otherwise specified.

Moto Ramen
Courtesy of Moto Ramen

Moto Ramen 

Culver City 
The sleek new ramen spot on a busy stretch of Washington Boulevard west of downtown Culver City features a menu influenced by the flavors and traditions of Okinawa. Its pork-based ramen bowls can be spiked with black garlic, Japanese miso, or a fish cake, among other items, and there’s also a chicken-based and vegan version available, the latter of which incorporates a mushroom-and-kelp broth. Also look for a robust offering of fun small plates like marinated cucumbers, agedashi tofu, fried chicken buns, and miso-sesame green bean goma-e (with most of the small dishes priced south of $6) in addition to a solid sake list. It’s just curbside pickup and delivery for now, but expect dine-in service to start July 5.
How to Order:  GrubHub, UberEatsDoordash

Wabi on Rose 

Venice
After a 2018 fire forced this longtime sushi spot to shutter its original location on Abbot Kinney, the team reemerged during the shutdown, starting out with curbside pickup and delivery of its signature rolls, sushi, sashimi, and some very attractive bottled cocktails. Since opening for dine-in last week in a Rose Avenue space (that most recently belonged to the ultimately short-lived Makani), Wabi chef Rain Pantana has expanded his menu to include wood-fire grilled entrees like whole branzino and a massive tomahawk steak along with an omakase offering. After a facelift, the outdoor patio is now lined with half-circle banquettes and seriously lush landscaping.
How to Order:  ChowNow for takeout and delivery.

Strings of Life (S.O.L.)
Strings of Life (S.O.L.) | Courtesy of Josh Telles

Strings of Life (S.O.L.)

West Hollywood 
The airy daytime cafe from the team behind E.P. & L.P. focuses on a mix of SoCal and Aussie-inspired fare from Australian husband-and-wife culinary duo, Monty and Jaci Koludrovic. The all-day breakfast offerings range from breakfast burritos and coconut chia pudding to eggs-and-bacon plates and an avocado-fava bean toast as well as daily pastries, breads, and bagels. Lunchier dishes include salads, sandwiches, a beefy (or vegan) signature burger and healthy plates of grilled fish, ahi lettuce wraps, and grilled corn-and-pea fritters with toasted seaweed. The coffee program centers around the artisanal Newport Beach-based Common Room Roasters that’s run by Melbourne natives. Besides the wood-paneled dining room and outdoor courtyard, there’s an adorable takeout window for ordering on the fly.
How to order: Order takeout via website.

Mama's Guy
Mama's Guy | Courtesy of Kathryn Ballay

Mama’s Guy 

ghost kitchen 
The more casual, red-sauce sibling of The h.wood Group’s hot spot, The Nice Guy, the delivery-focused concept is churning out a streamlined menu of old-school Italian-American dishes like sausage and peppers, meatball, and chicken Parm sandwiches; a smattering of salads, and an array of handmade pastas like baked ziti and lasagna and sauces with mix-and-match combos like spaghetti pomodoro, rigatoni vodka, and ricotta ravioli with Bolognese, in addition to gluten-free spaghetti and zoodles.  
How to order: Pickup via Chownow or Caviar; delivery via UberEats.

Uncool
Courtesy of Uncool

Uncool 

Larchmont 
This modern-day diner features stellar smash burgers with sides of fries and onion rings, classic toppings like American cheese and housemade pickles, add-ons of maple-glazed pastrami and fried eggs and creative sauces including truffle kewpie mayo and yuzu chipotle aioli. Vegan options abound here with Impossible patties stepping in for the beef, seitan subbing for the buttermilk fried chicken on its crispy chicken sandos, and various flavors of vegan milkshakes. Bonus: The spot is open till 11pm weeknights and midnight on Friday and Saturdays. 
How to order: Order takeout via Chownow.

Pasta | Bar

Encino 
Restaurateurs Phillip Frankland Lee and Margarita Kallas-Lee, the couple behind the San Fernando Valley’s high-end tasting menu experiences Scratch | Bar& Kitchen and Sushi | Bar (which morphs into pop-up Magic | Bar some nights), have added another concept to their portfolio with an $85 fresh pasta experience meant to marry Italian techniques with California ingredients. Dinners (which aren’t available for takeout) were supposed to take place in the kitchen to give a handful of guests a chance to watch the chefs work their noodle magic, but are now taking place on the outdoor patio with two seatings a night. 
Book a table: Via Tock

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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.