[Echo Park]

This little restaurant has tried to be many things many times. Now the owners are taking a chance on 25-year-old Miles Thompson, of the arty pop-up the Vagrancy Project. The result is more highbrow than the area wants or needs—but damn if it isn’t delicious. Carrot tendrils headline a salad with sunchoke, radish, and pickled turnips. A tender raviolo envelops soft blood pudding, and a clever kimchi ranch dressing sets off a fried oyster. You can taste the effort, and service struggles while the chef pores over each garnish. Depending on how much Top Chef you watch, you’ll worship or despise the place, but the craft cocktails should please all. » 1320 Echo Park Ave., 213-935-8787 or