The Top 10 Best New Restaurants of 2014

Restaurant critic Patric Kuh crowns the year’s best new arrivals, plus insider tips from Dine editor Lesley Bargar Suter
10 Best New Restaurants
Before the dinner rush at Fath & Flower

Photograph by Andrea Bricco


No. 7

Faith & Flower

705 W. 9th St., Downtown, 213-239-0642

A page of absinthe possibilities sets the tone at Faith & Flower, a demimonde of flambéed infused spirits, crystal chandeliers, and tufted nooks. Chef Michael Hung and his sous-chef, Huy Nguyen, offer a contemporary rendering of a stringent classic approach. Blue Lake beans are blanched and pan seared, then dusted with Vietnamese shrimp powder. A tableside pour of smoky bacon broth turns a seared steelhead into instant chowder. Thick with mushrooms, a sauce chasseur glistens around seared calves’ brains atop a black radish salad. For dessert, plummy Armagnac bolsters a crème anglaise beneath an apple-and-miso crumble, while soft mounds of coconut tapioca cushion agnolotti made from thinly peeled pineapple strips. The bar draws a lively postwork crowd, but this bold venture is far more than a watering hole.

10 Best New Restaurants
Photograph courtesy

Editor’s Tips:

The Vibe: Fancy enough for a special occasion, but easygoing enough for drinks pre-Staples Center.
The Crowd: A nice mix of well-heeled types, pre-and-post L.A. Live goers, absinthe lovers, adventurous eaters.
The Must-Have Dishes: Kimchi-spiked Jidori deviled eggs are popular. Oxtail agnolotti stars bone marrow butter, tangerine salsa, and beef tendon chicharrones—it’s a showstopper.
The Drinks: Cocktails are, in a word, magnificent. The traditional milk punch was recently honored by Esquire Magazine as one of the drinks of the year.
Getting a Table: The restaurant is huge, which helps your chances of scoring a table. Still, Saturday nights and peak times can be a challenge. Think ahead with this one.
Insider Tip: Absinthe is so 2009, right? Wrong. Faith & Flower’s elaborate tableside presentation of the fabled spirit is worth the flashback.

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