The Top 10 Best New Restaurants of 2016

These star newcomers represent L.A. at its no-limits finest. From a beachside vegan café to a strip mall destination in the South Bay to a rotating cast of concepts in a Chinatown shopping center, 2016 was a year of eating on the glorious edge
White miso black cod with watermelon radish and dashi at Wolf

Photograph by Andrea D'Agosto

No. 4


7661 Melrose Ave., Fairfax District, 323-424-7735

Giant iron-hoop chandeliers hang from a wood-slat ceiling in the dining room of Marcel Vigneron’s hot first restaurant. The former Top Chef contestant was opening sous-chef at the Bazaar by José Andrés, but on Wolf’s short menu he tempers the modernist with the traditional. Nitro-frozen beet meringues crackle like Starlight Mints atop a vegetarian appetizer; a rich old-school green peppercorn sauce au poivre glazes beef cheeks that have been cooked sous vide overnight. The balance between Vigneron’s opposing influences creates its own dynamism. There’s a wisp of activated charcoal under the burnt carrots, and a classic grated egg polonaise is sprinkled over charred broccoli. But Vigneron still leaves room to honor those who inspired him. The yuzu soufflé that rises from its ramekin is an homage to a Chartreuse liqueur version Joël Robuchon used to make in Vegas when Vigneron was a line cook at the MGM Grand. —P.K.