The new year is here and, with it, a crop of new restaurants to check out. Here are our picks for this month’s buzziest eats.
Providence’s Michael Cimarusti is behind the makeover at Ace Hotel’s lobby restaurant, named for a 1920s comedy that was first screened at the theater next door. Charred hanger steak with cipollini onions and the seared peekytoe crab cakes are unfussy but showcase the chef’s fine-dining precision. Cocktails like a briny Gibson or strawberry shandy offer cool throwbacks. (927 S. Broadway, downtown)
One of West L.A.’s best sushi bars expands with a South Bay outpost. Veteran itamae Yoya Takahashi balances eccentric rolls like the “Sam” (fried baked crab, truffle aioli, and Parmesan in soy paper) with albacore sashimi and izakaya dishes. Want to play with your food? Try the warm lobster handroll—you get to build it yourself. (860 S. Sepulveda Blvd., suite 116, El Segundo)
Dominique Ansel is famous for his sweets, but it’s the chef’s savory skills that are on display at his groovy upstairs spot at The Grove. Whether husk-wrapped elote bread, rainbow carrots, or “chowder” with clam-filled tortellini, the menu charms with the same trickery found in Ansel’s whimsical desserts. Except the plum-glazed rib eye—that’s just a nice cut of steak. (189 The Grove Drive, Beverly Grove)
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