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
A salt-baked turnip is the star at P.Y.T.

Photograph by WONHO FRANK LEE

No. 3


400 S. Main St., Downtown, 213-687-7015

P.Y.T. is the first time Josef Centeno, the chef behind Orsa & Winston, Bar Amá, and Bäco Mercat, has tried his hand at a style of cooking that is almost entirely produce and—except for one grass-fed skirt steak—meat free. Brimming with inventiveness and offering a seed catalog’s breadth, the menu is a study in precision. Grilling over Japanese binchotan charcoal brings out the twilight sweetness in last-of-the-season figs. Shaving walnuts on a micro-plane allows Centeno to shade pristine baby carrots with a pesto made from their tops. Together with toasted pepitas, the saline kick from grated Paski sir, a Croatian sheep’s milk cheese, adds umami to creamy grits. Thickly cut San Marzanos (from a Lincoln Heights charter school garden where the chef volunteers) are at their most lyrical between flaky pastry and a swirl of crème fraîche. —P.K.