The latest breed of recent transplants? New York restaurants looking to expand west. NYC mainstays of all stripes, from soulful soul food to tony nightlife spots, are looking to get in on L.A.’s stellar food scene. After all, it’s no secret that New Yorkers of all stripes are being lured out here in increasing numbers. Now, when is a bagel shop going to open? Here are four restaurants to keep an eye out for—and one to visit ASAP.
1. Sweet Chick
The Hype: Old school Biggie blasts over the impressive speaker system at Sweet Chick, where modern Southern food is in plentiful supply and bartenders serve up drinks like the gin-based “Bad and Boujee” cocktail. Rapper Nas has teamed up with Brooklyn based joint to bring fried chicken across America, and L.A. is the first spot outside of NYC.
The First Thing We’ll Order: Brunch. Impossibly fluffy shrimp and grits, thick buttermilk pancakes with blueberry compote, and classic chicken and waffles make for a next-level breakfast menu. We predict this spot will blow up on Sunday mornings—nothing kills a hangover like Southern comfort food.
Why It’ll Do Well Out West: Any Angeleno knows that Roscoe’s has the chicken and waffles market cornered, but Sweet Chick’s menu is eclectic enough to warrant their own niche. The restaurant’s hip hop-infused brand will fit well into the swagger-heavy food scene built by Roy Choi, and options like “vegetarian fried chicken” will curry favor among L.A.’s ultra conscious foodies this winter.
The Hype: One James Beard Award for Best Bar, one foie gras-stuffed chicken and countless devoted diners make the NoMad stand out among NYC’s already excellent coterie of five star, clubby hotels. Both the restaurant and hotel will move into their DTLA digs in fall of 2017.
The First Thing We’ll Order: Picking a single dish from a menu of this caliber is tricky, but the signature “Milk and Honey” dessert is unquestionably a stand out. Wafers of dehydrated milk foam, honey oat shortbread, and “milk ice” are topped with thin hunks of honey brittle for a perfectly sweet plate.
Why It’ll Do Well Out West: In an expert-level Angeleno move, the NoMad team tested the waters with a food truck. The NoMad Truck debuted at Indio’s Desert Trip music festival and then parked outside the Line Hotel to offer a menu formed in collaboration with Roi Choi for a perfectly pitched introduction to the L.A. food scene.
The Hype: Will speakeasies ever lose their appeal? The clubby Lower East Side bar—located behind a fake pawn shop, ‘natch—offers free Rosé in the women’s bathroom and an inventive dining menu with offerings like tomato soup dumplings. A second Las Vegas location cements its trendy nightlife reputation as a place to see and be seen.
The First Thing We’ll Order: Cocktails are king, but the regularly edited food menu has a couple must-eat gems. For dessert, vanilla beignets stuffed with raspberry jam and Nutella-esque cream arrive neatly arranged in a box that begs to be photographed.
Why It’ll Do Well Out West: The appearance of new, ultra-trendy nightlife spots is integral to a city full of actors waiting to be discovered and deals waiting to be made. With its on-trend opulence and inventive menu, Beauty and Essex is sure to become a mainstay of L.A.’s elite social scene this winter.
The Hype: Practically everything the always cool, multi-hyphenate Eddie Huang touches turns to gold, and Baohaus is no exception. The original Baohaus curried favor among hip Lower East Side diners with a small menu of cheekily named Taiwanese-Chinese dishes, and the newly opened L.A. location joins Howlin’ Rays and Chego at foodie mecca Far East Plaza.
The First Thing We’ll Order: It’s tempting to order a Chairman Bao off the merits of its name alone. Luckily, it’s also totally delicious. The pillowy bun is packed with braised pork belly, Taiwanese red sugar, crushed peanuts and house relish—the stuff umami dreams are made of.
The Hype: A twenty-foot statue of the Buddhist goddess Quan Yin, covered in 3D mapped video projections, towers above a stocked koi pond at the new, two-level L.A. outpost of this sceney Asian fusion restaurant. Subtle? Maybe not, but damn if it’s not a great place to people watch while feasting on Wagyu rib-eye teppanyaki and lychee martinis.
The First Thing We’ll Order: Lobster wontons, floated in an umami-rich shiitake ginger broth. Really, all of TAO’s seafood is a stand out, making the Miso glazed Chilean sea bass another worthy candidate.
Why It’ll Do Well Out West: This restaurant/nightclub hybrid was practically built for social media, and its opening this winter is sure to be accompanied by a wave of Instagrams. With a grand staircase to connect the four private dining rooms and sprawling bar area, TAO balances between being an exclusive dining spot and popular after hours spot with ease.