If you tried to keep track of every brand new restaurant in Los Angeles, you might go a little bit crazy. So just read this list instead. These are the new restaurant openings that seem like they have the most potential - although keep in mind, for the ones we haven’t tried, we make no promises. Go forth and be a pioneer.
Oh, and even though we’ve been sheltering in place, we’ve still been eating. Check out our first thoughts on these spots that have opened during quarantine.
As you probably gathered from the name, this Venice cantina is quite new. Located in the old Sunny Spot space on Washington Blvd., Nueva is a Mexican restaurant that serves modern dishes like shakshuka ranchos in a corn tortilla, hamachi and uni ceviche, and tempura sea bass topped with cilantro aioli. And given the legacy of their building’s former tenants, yes, they’re doing brunch. They’re only available for takeout and outdoor seating for now, but with their brightly colored patio, Nueva is already shaping up to be one of the best places in town to drink watermelon shrub margaritas (six feet apart, obvs).
Alert the media (wait, isn’t that us?) Champion’s Curry arrives in Little Tokyo on 8/15. After a successful launch in Long Beach, the Japanese curry chain is opening their second U.S. location, and with a bigger space (and designated patio seating), there’s even more room to enjoy their signature Kanazawa-style curry - a thick, savory sauce that can be served on everything from chicken katsu and rice to a bowl of fries.
We checked out Champion’s in Long Beach, read our first thoughts here.
In perhaps the greatest crossover episode in history, this Glendale spot combines the distinct flavors of Korean BBQ with Mediterranean cuisine. Galbi and kimchi live on the same menu as lamb chops and basmati rice. Grills are filled with tiger prawns, lule kabobs, and filet mignon. And everything is available for patio dining. Which begs the question - why didn’t we think of this?
From tzatziki to house-made pita to full-blown mezze plates, Theía is a new Greek spot on West Third in Beverly Grove that has everything you need to recreate the trip to Mykonos you had planned this summer, including an outdoor patio space. Theía opens August 15th.
Highland Park’s latest addition is Ichijiku, a neighborhood sushi bar that specializes in nigiri and hand rolls. Owned by the team behind Cafe Birdie and Ma’am Sir, the menu here is pretty compact - you’ll find all the standard cuts of toro, yellowtail, and blue crab, alongside slices of A5 wagyu beef and vegetarian rolls made with roasted red pepper and lotus root. Currently takeout only.
Striped bass crudo, sustainably sourced ingredients, and a dash of racial justice? Maybe you really can have it all. Meet Crudo e Nudo, a new coastal Italian raw bar in West Hollywood. Operating out of Employees Only’s patio space on weekends, the focus here is on seafood sourced from local fisherman, like Pacifico striped bass and line-caught ahi. Plus, 10% of all sales goes directly to Black Lives Matter. So maybe order that extra round of crudo?
Lascivious name aside, Lemme Smash is the latest entry into LA’s New Burger Universe. These smashed patties have everything you need when it comes to a burger - crispy-yet-juicy meat, thick buns, melted cheese, and a provocative name, but Lemme Smash also comes with a secret ingredient up their sleeve - cilantro on top. Takeout only.
Now that international travel is, how you say, off the menu, if you’re in the mood for a traditional Sunday roast, you’re going to look domestically. But luckily, not too far - because Market Tavern opens in Hollywood this week. Located in The Original Farmers Market, this casual British pub serves everything from fish and chips to shepherd’s pie. Oh, and of course, Sunday roasts, and lots of beer. Outdoor patio seating available.
Another day, another hilariously named Modern Times brewery: Joining the ranks of The Dankness Dojo and The House of Perpetual Refreshment is Leisuretown. Located in downtown Anaheim, this 33,000 square-foot behemoth is equipped with a full-scale kitchen, beer garden, mini-mart, and even a pool - which, for the record, is currently not open for swimming (but might be soon?)
Westwood’s latest addition is Violet, a casual French bistro that also doubles as a culinary school. Everything here is charming and Très French, from the rustic, wooden interiors and a shaded patio out back, to the menu, filled quiche, steak frites, gougères (choux pastries with cheese), and pan-seared whitefish barigoule. The cocktail list follows suit, featuring, uh, French-ish drinks like the Monsieur Pimm and the Bloody Antoinette. Violet is open for lunch and dinner during the week, and does a weekend brunch from 9am-2pm.
Forget Disneyland, if you really want your dreams to come true, head to Melrose Ave. Operating out of a cozy, West Hollywood-ish space, Tree of Wishes serves all kinds of Mediterranean fare, from meze like hummus and muhammara (a red pepper and walnut spread), to larger mains like branzino and casarecce with roasted eggplants and Kalamata olives. And if you’re like B.O.B. and could really use a wish right now, there’s a literal wishing tree out back. Just write down your hopes and dreams onto a ribbon, tie it to one of its branches, and hope that the forest gods will actually take away your adult acne.
We found love in a hopeless place - which, in this context, means organic, vegan food in West Hollywood. This plant-based restaurant on Santa Monica Blvd. serves a variety of pan-Asian foods, such as Thai “wings” cooked in lemongrass, pad thai, chow mein noodles, and green curry dumplings, as well as an entire menu of fish-less sushi rolls, with ingredients like spicy tofu, seared trumpet mushrooms, and carrot tempura.
Life is cyclical - the old replaces the new, Drew Barrymore now books mom roles on television, and the Johnny Rockets on Melrose has been taken over by vegan burgers. Nomoo (get it?), is a new plant-based restaurant that serves Impossible cheeseburgers and “hot chicken” sandwiches made with fermented seitan. Plus, 10% of their monthly profits are donated to an animal rights charity - which should make you feel better about all of the water you wasted taking that 40-minute stress shower last night.
After starting as a pop-up, Pearl River Deli made like that tattoo you got while blacked out of broccoli conducting an orchestra (it’s Chopin Broccoli, and it was not funnier at the time) and has gone permanent. Located in a bare-bones space in the Far East Plaza (you might need to wade through the line at Howlin’ Ray’s to find it, F.Y.I.), this order-at-the-counter Chinatown joint is serving Cantonese dishes like char siu over rice, silky shrimp-and-egg scrambles, and Macau pork chops on pineapple buns.
We checked out Pearl River Deli and put it on our Hit List.
With shelves filled with ’90s NBA bobbleheads and Happy Meal toys, this retro smashburger spot hits the nostalgia button hard, and will transport you back to the days when you wore low-cut jeans and got dropped off at the mall in your mom’s Dodge Caravan. Owned and operated by the brothers behind Badmaash, this new burger joint on La Brea keeps it pretty simple - look out for single and double patties, a bacon burger, hot dogs, breakfast sandwiches and burritos, fries, and milkshakes. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
We checked out Burgers 99 and put it on our Hit List.
If the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the words “Mexican seafood” is “I want more of it,” then La Camarona might just be for you. This new all-you-can-eat restaurant in Pasadena focuses on the flavors and cooking styles of the coastal state of Nayarit, which means hot and cold dishes like ceviches, aguachiles, steaks, and whole fried tilapia. Do not eat beforehand.
Unlike hanging out with your actual little brother (for the record, this is a joke, Noah), Hermanito is a bar/restaurant where you might actually have some fun. Located on Sawtelle Blvd., this new neighborhood spot has a menu filled with “snaxxx” (their word, not ours) like chicharrones and shrimp sandwiches, and tacos served on Sonoran-style flour tortillas, as well as a variety of mezcal-filled cocktails.
We checked out Hermanito, read our first thoughts here.
El Prince is a new Middle Eastern restaurant in Inglewood, and perhaps the first place we’ve ever covered inside of a Quick Mart. Located amongst rows of produce and cleaning supplies, this all-day Halal spot features plates of shawarma, kofta, and shish taouk (grilled chicken skewers marinated in yogurt, lemon juice, and garlic) served over rice or fries, as well as wraps made to order.