Weekend Buzz List: Power-Ranking the Buzziest Restaurants in LA

Our weekly list of the most hyped restaurants in town right now

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.

1. ChocoChicken

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.

2. Playa Provisions

Two out of four stations in Brooke Williamson and Nick Robert’s long awaited, multi-concept Playa Del Rey food complex opened today, including King Beach, a daytime café, and Small Batch, an ice cream shop. Dockside, the main seafood restaurant, is still a few weeks away.

3. 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.

4. Union

Besha Rodell gave a thumbs up this week to chef Bruce Kalman’s Italian spot in Old Town Pasadena. The veteran chef is putting out hearty dishes like roasted porchetta, spot prawns with treviso, and spelt cavatelli.

5. Smoke.Oil.Salt 

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.

6. Superba Food & Bread

Restaurateur Paul Hibler has assembled something of a chef supergroup (Jason Neroni, Jason Travi, Lincoln Carson) at this casual Venice hangout, which serves everything from breakfast to dinner along with fresh-baked breads, pastries and desserts. Check out the rotating nightly suppers.

7. Faith & Flower

This opulent space near L.A. Live features an ambitious bar program (milk punch, anyone?) with an equally luxe menu. Chef Michael Hung is turning out dishes like mesquite-grilled ribeye with oyster jus, Dungeness crab toast and miso steak tartare with kombu seaweed.

8. Zinc Café & Market

This O.C. based outfit opened in the Arts District this week. The massive space will serve coffee and pastries in the morning, along with sandwiches and simple entreés for lunch and dinner. They’ll be wine, beer, and cocktails too in a small space called Bar Mateo.

8. Wood

The dude who famously delivered those pizzas to the Oscars this year is apparently the owner of a new Neopolitian pizza place in Silverlake. The pizzas aren’t too traditional though: try one with lamb and mint, or squash and burrata.

9. The Standing Room

Rendondo Beach’s back-of-a-liqour-store gourmet burger counter, which have been one of the South Bay’s best kept secret’s for years, has finally gotten it’s own restaurant space. It’s currently in its spot-open phase, but locals are already chomping at the bit.

10. Beach Nation

This West Hollywood café may only be serving a short menu of sandwiches and salads made off-site right now (expect the menu to expand later), but what really has people talking is the sand-covered patio, canopies and lounge chairs just off Santa Monica Boulevard.