Each Friday, the Digest surveys the burgeoning L.A. restaurant scence 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.
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 literally within footsteps of the beach.
Restaurateur Bruce Marder and his son Max are behind this Parisian-inspired bistro on Beverly near The Grove, along with some help from Escuela’s Steven Arroyo. The focus is on wines by the glass and bistro faves like steak frites, cassoulet, mussels, and le cheeseburger.
Chocolate-flavored fried chicken has arrived, and it tastes way less weird than it sounds. Press for Adam Fleischman and his team’s new restaurant has been very good so far—everyone loves a juicy hunk of bird, after all. Sides dishes like white chocolate mashed potatoes, bacon-butter biscuits and duck fat fries with chocolate ketchup help sweeten (and fatten) the deal.
Perfecto Rocher, former chef at Lazy Ox Canteen, partnered with Adam Fleischman to produce this brooding Spanish restaurant located in the old Angeli Caffe space. He’s gained numerous thumbs-up so far for his elegant take on rustic Spanish cuisine.
5. Night + Market Song
Chef/owner Kris Yenbamroong is counting down the days until he finally gets his liquor license. Until then, his Silver Lake restaurant is becoming the hottest spot in Northeast L.A., especially with new dishes like hot dog-topped “Khao Pad American” and little fried pork patties called “Larb Todd.”
6. Ladies’ Gunboat Society
The early word on Hart & the Hunter chef Brian Dunsmoor’s new spot on Sawtelle has been very good, as the eager crowds can attest. Dunsmoor and his crew are serving a Southern-infected menu filled with smoked salmon johnny cakes and honey-drizzled chicken-fried rabbit, but since their project is technically a residency, who knows for how long.
7. Superba Food & Bread
Fresh off three stars for L.A. Weekly, this breezy, casual restaurant in Venice is serving everything from breakfast to dinner along with fresh-baked breads, pastries and desserts. Lunch is always popping, but check out the rotating nightly suppers too.
8. Beelman’s Pub
ACME Hospitality Group has been on a roll lately, and their newest bar—located on Spring St. in Downtown’s Historic Core—looks to keep the ball rolling. Executive chef Tom Block will be serving housemade charcuterie and European small plates in a gorgeous Old World-inspired space. You can read about the ambitious drink program here, too.
9. Ball & Chain
The theme of this new Hollywood pub hall designed by Spacecraft is simply “meatballs and beer”. Choose to enjoy your meaty balls, cooked by former Cobra & Matadors chef Michael Ruiz, as a hoagie or atop a side dish and pair it with one of 100+ rotating craft beers.
10. Asian Box
This popular fast-casual Asian street food chain based out of the Bay Area has opened its first SoCal location in Burbank (another is planned for DTLA this summer). Customers can build their own box with rice, noodles, or salad and customize with various proteins, vegetables, and sauces.