Weekend Buzz List: Power-Ranking the Buzziest Restaurants in L.A.

Presenting our weekly list of the most hyped restaurants in town right now

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Each Friday, the Digest will survey the burgeoning L.A. restaurant scence and compile this (highly unscientific) list of the most hyped and heralded restaurants in town this instant. Whether old or new, big or small, near or far, these are the restaurants that have people talking. Whatever that means. Anyway, we recommend getting a seat at these places while you still can.

1. Smoke.Oil.Salt

Perfecto Rocher, former chef at Lazy Ox Canteen, partnered with Adam Fleischman to produce this brooding Spanish restaurant located in the old Angeli Caffe space. Expect indulgent riffs on traditional Catalan dishes like pan con tomate and papas bravas, along with a large selection of Spanish wines. 

2. Ladies’ Gunboat Society

Hart & the Hunter chef Brian Dunsmoor has expanded to the former Flores spot on Sawtelle for a temporary culinary residency. Dunsmoor and his crew are serving a Southern-infected menu filled with smoked salmon johnny cakes and honey-drizzled chicken-fried rabbit, but for who knows how long. 

3. Faith & Flower

This opulent space near L.A. Live features an ambitious bar program (milk punch, anyone?) with an equally luxe menu. Chef Michael Hung is turning out dishes like mesquite-grilled ribeye with oyster jus, Dungeness crab toast and miso steak tartare with kombu seaweed.

4. Superba Food + Bread

Restaurateur Paul Hibler has assembled something of a chef supergroup (Jason Neroni, Jason Travi, Lincoln Carson) at this casual Venice hangout, which serves everything from breakfast to dinner along with fresh-baked breads, pastries and desserts.

 5. Fifty-Seven

What was once an industrial loading dock in the Arts District has been transformed into a slick, modern restaurant featuring rotating head chefs throughout the year. The first: David Nayfeld, formerly of NYC’s Eleven Madison Park, who will cook his progressive American fare—like roasted sunchokes with molé—through July.

6. Wexler’s Deli

Downtown L.A. finally gets a taste of the new-wave deli trend with the opening of chef Micah Wexler’s Jewish delicatessen inside Grand Central Market. House-smoked pastrami and lox are available daily, buttressed by locally baked bagels and rye bread.

7. Tipple & Brine

An oyster bar in the Valley? The bartending minds behind Honeycut are slinging drinks at this Sherman Oaks seafood spot, which touts dishes like lobster terrine and uni toast, along with freshly-shucked bivalves. And yes, the oyster-scotch luge is a thing now.

8. El Condor

The team who brought you Bar Covell and L&E Oyster Bar have flipped the Silver Lake branch of El Conquistador and turned it into this equally colorful and flamboyant Mexican cantina, which specializes in tacos, tortas, enchiladas and muy fuerte margaritas.

9. Shiki

This high-end Japanese restaurant in Beverly Hills blends elements of traditional omakase and kaiseki cuisine. Behind the sushi bar is chef Shigenori Fujimoto, a Tokyo-trained veteran of both Matsuhisa and Asanebo. If you don’t feel like throwing down for the full multi-course experience, there is an á la carte menu offered as well.

10. Escala

Musician and artist OG Chino recruited Seoul Sausage chef Chris Oh to help lead this Columbian-inspired gastropub located in Koreatown’s historic Chapman Plaza. There’s craft beer and cocktails, plus shareable plates like street corn, empanadas and chorizo clams. 

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