Each Friday, the Digest surveys the burgeoning L.A. restaurant scene 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. Petit Trois Ludo Leferve’s new French bar-bistro is finally open next door to Trois Mec, offering just 24 bar stools and no reservations. But the rich, traditional fare, like steak frites and chicken leg confit, is likely to be worth the wait. Sip wines and cocktails at the long marble-top bar and pretend you’re chilling in Paris.
2. Commissary Roy Choi’s rooftop greenhouse restaurant is open for business at Koreatown’s The Line Hotel. Serving vegetable-focused dishes and cocktails, Choi has dubbed the the poolside, garden-themed eatery as “a country club for the public.” The space should be a fine compliment to POT, Lobby Bar, and CaFe a.k.a. The Line’s other eclectic food and beverage outlets.
3. Alimento Sotto chef Zach Pollack is putting his own spin on Northern Italian cuisine at his long-awaited Silver Lake restaurant. If thick-cut mortadella sandwiches, mackerel conserva and biodynamic Nebbiolo are your jam, then this is your kind of place.
4. Brilliantshine Julian Cox and Josn Goldman’s new Santa Monica “coastal saloon” bar has got style to spare, slinging stylish cocktails made with things like “ginger air” and fig jam. But the food menu is an equal draw, with Paiche vet Richie Lopez offering red snapper crudo, lobster and uni rice, and pork belly beet hash.
5. New Port Seafood
Located in the heart La Cienega’s Restaurant Row, the Beverly Hills branch of this popular San Gabriel seafood restaurant is looking to turn some heads with its opulent Chinese cuisine. Opening this weekend, the sprawling New Port Seafood space has an outdoor patio and full bar to pair with dishes like “house special” fried lobster and Vietnamese-influenced beef loc lac.
This Culver City pizza restaurant from chef Tin Vuong recently underwent a makeover, and has now morphed into a more ambitious “Modern Italian Tavern.” The new menu offers handmade pastas, bread, and charcuterie—as well as wine, beer, and cocktails. Don’t worry though, those bubbly wild yeast pizzas are still on the menu.
7. Kazu-Nori Downtown’s new sushi handroll concept from the founders of Sugarfish is generating a lot of excitement. With only 22 counter seats, no reservations and a short selection of seaweed-wrapped hand rolls, Kazu-Nori will emphasize sushi efficiency.
8. Meat District Co.
Specializing in humanely-raised, hormone-free steaks and burgers, this Australian-backed restaurant looks to attract Pasadena carnivores who don’t want to break the bank. In addition to burgers and steaks, you’ll also find smoked ribs, grilled skewers, and lots of hearty side dishes to complete your meaty feast.
9. Saint Martha
Koreatown’s new wave of exciting restaurants continues with this subtle strip mall-enclosed wine bar on Western. On the ambitious menu from chef Nick Erven look for small plates like spot prawn tartare, sea urchin tataki with avocado and seaweed Doritos, and pecan-smoked brisket with hoisin.
10. Szechuan Impressions The red-hot Sichuan dining scene in the SGV rages on with this Alhambra Chinese restaurant serving regional specialities like spicy “bo bo” chicken pot, “cross-legged” beef stew and sweet pumpkin cakes.