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.
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.
3. 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.
4. Field Trip
Chefs Ming Phan (Gaji) and Sarah Lange (Hart and the Hunter) are helming the kitchen at this homespun Hollywood restaurant which serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner starting this weekend. A peek at the menu suggest light, seasonal fare with an Asian influence, along with a great selection of in-house pastries.
The main restaurant of Brooke Williamson and Nick Robert’s long awaited multi-concept Playa Del Rey food complex is now open, and things look good so far. Dine on clams casino, lobster rolls, and fried sand bands within footsteps of the beach. Pop in for a whiskey cocktail at the semi-hidden Grain bar.
6. Shi Hai
Alhambra’s massive and opulent new dim sum house hopes to compete with other local titans like Elite and Sea Harbour. Weekends have been packed so far, and early word is that this Shanghai-influenced restaurant has rare and ostentatious dishes.
7. Kush Sake Bar
Who would have guessed that not one, but two, marijuana-named restaurants would open in 2014 (the other being POT). This Echo Park Japanese restaurant, opened by the owner of Silverlake Ramen, specializes in kushiyaki, or grilled meat skewers, and various izakaya plates. The operation might not be entirely settled yet, but charcoal-grilled skewers seem like a promising offering for the neighborhood.
8. Tatsu Ramen
This Sawtelle ramen shop is debuting a much grander second location on Melrose and La Brea this weekend, complete with a flashy oragami-inspired interior, house-made noodles, and an iPad ordering system. A big win for ramen-loving neighorhood residents.
9. Hyde Sunset Kitchen +Cocktails
Top Chef alum Chris Crary is behind the stoves at this new SBE restaurant and club in the old XIV space, opening Sunday. The menu of shareable plates like shrimp toast and sweetbread caponata looks enticing, but will the space lean more nightclub or restaurant is the real question.
10. Belcampo Meat Co.
With the Grand Central Market now open for dinner, Belcampo is launching a new prix-fixe menu featuring dishes from chef Robbie Arnold-Starr, like Mexican corn with charcoal salt and lamb bacon with pickled collard greens. The four-course dinner, featuring the butcher shop’s own cuts, goes for $50 per person and sells out most nights (reservation only).