Winter may be coming, but that doesn’t mean L.A.’s food scene is going into hibernation. These three new dining rooms offer a mix of flavors to try right now.
1. The Mighty
Quinn and Karen Hatfield expand to downtown, bringing their finesse to an airy room with poplar banquettes and all-Californian wine and beer lists. Counter service belies the detail-driven cooking the couple has perfected at their other outlets, so the smoky heat of aji pepper aioli pops on batons of fluffy polenta, and morsels of roast pumpkin contribute a muted sweetness to chicken Bolognese.
Scandinavian food is uncommon in L.A. (outside of Ikea), but if anyone can raise its profile, it’s Christer Larsson. The Swedish chef opened New York’s Aquavit in the ’90s; now you’ll find him at a pared-down space on Melrose, slicing house-cured gravlax. Hewing to homey tradition, Alta charms with plates like meatballs and lingonberries.
Former Smorgasburg vendor Darren Sayphraraj riffs on iconic Asian noodle soups inside a compact corner shop: Northern Thai khao soi with squash, Serrano ham-spiked shoyu ramen, chicken pho set off with garlic oil. Ironically it’s the dishes that don’t require slurping—crispy chicken gizzards and a funky eggplant nam prik— that pack the most punch.
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