Downtown: Now that he's nailed fine dining, Trois Mec's Ludo Lefebvre is working on improving this city's casual dining options. This week, he softly opened Ludo Bird inside downtown's Staples Center. It's a lot like his Ludo Truck (think: buttermilk Provençal fried chicken and honey lavender biscuits) except, well, this stall is not on wheels. Could this be the best new dining option around L.A. Live? » 1111 S. Figueroa St., inside the Staples Center, main concourse across from aisle 119.
Whittier: Uptown Whittier’s getting fishier, courtesy of Portsmouth, a new raw bar and seafood restaurant by Phlight’s owners Jay and Nikomi Arroyo, chef Daniel Salcido, and Senor Peppers’ Bernardo Pena. They’ve just gotten their beer and wine license approved, though it’ll still be a few more weeks ‘til you can suck down those oysters with a nice, cold cerveza. » 13103 Penn Street, Whittier. 562-789-9700.
Highland Park: Oh Highland Park, you have to admit, gentrification looks good on you. Now open right across from the still under-construction Greyhound—last April’s victim of an anti-gentrification graffiti attack—is Chez Antoine, a quaint new French crêperie and bistro serving up everything from savory and dessert crêpes to onion soup to peach cider. » 5511 N Figueroa St., Highland Park. 323-982-9480.
Sherman Oaks: Mendocino Farms has just opened its first Valley and seventh overall location in Sherman Oaks. This location is near and dear to owner Mario del Pero's heart as it's in his neighborhood and is the largest location of the sandwich mini-chain yet. As per usual, all salads and sandwiches take their rightful place amidst tufts of grass, distressed wood and whimsical chalk typography with interiors courtesy of Poon Design. » 4141 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks. 818-205-9744.
Downtown: Tucked behind downtown’s O Hotel, you’ll find Honeycut, a pseudo speakeasy-cum-craft bar-cum-nightclub from Cedd Moses of 213 Nightlife. Gawk at the psychedelic LED dance floor while sipping on a Stone Cold Fox (tequila, amontillado sherry, apricot liqueur, and cardamaro). The bar is open from 6 p.m. til 2 a.m.; the disco, from 9 p.m. til 2 a.m. Check back next week when our resident cocktail expert Caroline on Crack delves deeper into downtown's newest bar. » Behind 819 S. Flower St., Downtown. 213-688-0888.