Westbound

Westbound

Downtown

This new intimate Arts District drinkery is both gorgeous (it's modeled after the interior of an old-school train car, with lush banquettes and purple-tinged wood walls) and delicious. Head bartender Dee Ann Quinones, from NY's acclaimed Booker & Dax, is pouring crafted drinks made with fresh and unusual ingredients (think black sesame and tamarind) and chef Gary Nguyen did time at Alma, which means all the bar bites  are absolutely on point. Pro tip: even if you're not a vegetarian, order the beet tartare.

Dylan and Jeni

Paley

Hollywood

Since opening in a mixed-use apartment complex, this old-school-feeling (low banquettes, quiet interior, wine racks, etc) restaurant is a contender for best new restaurant in LA. It actually opened super-softly for lunch in April, but went full bore (to that unexpected acclaim) in May. Chef Greg Bernhardt, who did time with LudoBites, makes a scallop crudo that would make the trip to Paley worthwhile no matter where it was located, but its proximity to all the Hollywood action is just a bonus. 

Doheny Room

Doheny Room

West Hollywood

If you're into that whole celeb-hang thing, Doheny Room (unsurprisingly from SBE) is for you: Vanessa Hudgens and some of the Jonas Brothers have been spotted there recently. But here's the thing: if you're into just eating and drinking in West Hollywood, it's the spot for you, too, because the Asian chicken sliders, pictured above, have also been spotted there recently.

Salazar

Salazar

Frogtown

Chef Esdras Ochoa -- one of the guys behind Mexicali Tacos (whose Vampiro we recently called out as one of the best cheap chicken dishes in town) -- just opened this Sonoran spot, the newest addition to the rapidly growing Frogtown neighborhood. At Salazar, he'll be doing tacos and burritos, as well as big dishes like mesquite-grilled rib-eye served up on one of the best new patios in town. Grab a seat before it gets too hot, both literally and figuratively. 

Baldoria

Downtown

Anything from a former Mozza alum is an ear-perker, including owner (and former Mozza sommelier) David King's new Italian-and-more bistro Downtown. He's working with executive chef Duke Gervais -- formerly of Cube -- on short-rib ravioli and bottled, smoked cocktails in an intimate, common-table, and tiled wall-abutted space.

Flickr/T.Tseng

Wexler's Deli

Santa Monica

Rejoice, Westside: LA's best pastrami (OK, maybe second to Langer's) has found its way from Downtown to your part of town, in a brick-and-mortar location that gives the team room to do more than was possible at the Grand Central Market stand -- including pastries from award-winner Nicole Rucker, and new savory additions like matzo ball soup.

Ryan Tanaka

Sawyer

Silver Lake

This new Silver Lake spot (from an all-star team of owners, including some of the founders of The Hudson and The Churchill) is destined to be a brunch favorite for its gorgeous patio and dishes like duck hash confit when it launches weekend brunch service in June. Until then, hit it up for seafood dishes like soft shell crab sandwiches from the chef team behind Brooklyn's Egg.

Bondi Harvest

Bondi Harvest

Santa Monica

This Australian restaurant snuck in at the end of April, but when you have a breakfast burrito this monstrously huge and cheesy, we'll let that pass. It also has plenty of healthy options, like smoothies and cold-pressed juices, plus additional not-so-healthy options, like pastries, served all day long.

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1. Westbound 300 S Santa Fe Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90013 (Downtown)

Located on the site of a circa-1893 train station and modeled after the interior of an old-school train car, this Arts District bar and lounge is gorgeous and well-stocked. Expect expertly-made craft cocktails with fresh and unusual ingredients and sophisticated bar bites. The interior is dark and cozy with lush banquettes and purple-tinged wood walls.

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2. Paley. 6115 W Sunset Blvd Ste 100, Los Angeles, CA 90028 (Hollywood)

Helmed by chef Greg Bernhardt (Church & State), Paley. focuses on seasonal California cuisine. The 200-plus seat space is located in the Nestor Film Co. building, the site of Hollywood's first movie studio before it became home to CBS, and the restaurant is named after CBS CEO William S. Paley. The interior is a celebration of old-school Hollywood with mid-century furniture and leather banquettes.

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3. Doheny Room 9077 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069 (West Hollywood)

If you want to mingle among celebrities, Doheny Room in West Hollywood is for you. From nightlife maven SBE, this eatery-slash-lounge focuses on small plates (crafted by Cleo and Katsuya's Danny Elmaleh) and swanky cocktails. The bi-level space is posh and elegant with floor-to-ceiling windows and tropical touches.

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4. Salazar 2490 Fletcher Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90039

Located in a converted auto body shop in Frogtown, Salazar specializes in Sonoran-style Mexican food, which means mesquite barbecue, tacos, and burritos. The mostly outdoor space has a huge desert-themed patio with communal tables and utilitarian chairs. Expect plenty of mezcal, tequila, and Micheladas.

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5. Baldoria 243 S San Pedro St, Los Angeles, CA 90012 (Downtown)

From Mozza alum David King, Baldoria is an Italian bar-slash-restaurant in downtown LA. The food menu is all about sharing, whether it's one of many meat and vegetarian small plates or thin-crust pizzas. The highlight of the drink menu is the changing selection of pre-bottled cocktails (sealed with nitrogen for freshness) concoted by guest bartenders, but craft beer, global wines, and spirits are also available.

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6. Wexler's Deli Santa Monica 616 Santa Monica Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401 (Santa Monica)

After getting rave reviews for its Grand Central Market stand, Wexler's Deli expanded to a larger sit-down space in downtown Santa Monica. A throwback to old-school Jewish delis, the 30-seat spot serves its signature pastrami and smoked fish, plus an expanded menu that includes pastries and matzoh ball soup. It's one of the few places in LA with quality bagel-and-lox sandwiches that taste just like New York.

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7. Sawyer 3705 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026 (Silverlake)

This Silver Lake spot (from an all-star team of owners including some of the founders of the Hudson and the Churchill) serves a seafood-centric menu that includes raw bar options and revamped classics like soft shell crab sandwiches and clam chowder. The best part of the airy space might be the gorgeous patio and outdoor fireplace.

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8. Bondi Harvest 1814 Berkeley St, Santa Monica, CA 90404 (Santa Monica)

An outpost of the Australian original, Bondi Harvest in Santa Monica celebrates the Bondi beach lifestyle with healthy-leaning breakfast and lunch items. Aside from an all-star breakfast burrito, the all-day menu is filled with organic sandwiches, acai bowls, smoothies, and cold-pressed juices. Everything about the spot -- from its shack-like exterior to white-washed walls -- is shabby chic.

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