The 5 Best New Restaurants in LA
November’s top meals include gold-flaked sashimi, veal Milanese and some superb pasta
The sudden cold spell that hits Los Angeles every year always manages to shock the city’s system. It usually only lasts a few days — a week at the most — but it startles all of us sunny-day creatures of LA into hats, coats, mittens and scarves. The cold also spikes the appetite, and whets our collective palate for a boozy cocktail, a hearty plate of comfort food or a quiet coffee shop to stop for a snack and warm beverage. Here are our picks for where to duck the cold this month, or pop out to a patio that looks like Tulum (even if the heaters are blazing nearby).
Along with Bar Clara, Per L’Ora is one of two new dining options installed in Hotel Per La, the new tenant of the former NoMad building. The rooftop bar is a bit chilly this time of year, but situated in the historic building’s grand lobby, Per L’Ora is a sanctuary of historic architecture. We’re already fans of sommelier Rick Arline, who put together a stellar wine list, and executive chef Courtney Van Dyke is a third-generation Angeleno who brings flair and local charm to Italian classics. Fend off the wintry wind with a bone-in veal Milanese, one of the best dishes I’ve had all year. It comes with a fresh herb salad that cuts the fatty meat and crispy crust just right.
The Aussies behind Great White can do no wrong, and setting up shop right next to beloved vegan outpost Gracias Madres is the latest in a series of extremely savvy moves by co-founders Sam Trude and Sam Cooper. The pale pink, aesthetically friendly Great White on Melrose is destined to become a filming location, a haven of private party buyouts and a place to see and be seen for all WeHo — oh, and the food is excellent, too. Banana bread, Brussels sprouts, burrata and citrus and a breakfast sandwich: these could all be your morning and noon snacks. For night? Go with the mushroom pizza — hell, any of the pizzas — and pair with natural wine selections by Andy Miller, formerly of East Hollywood’s best wine bar, Tabula Rasa.
This sunny, mostly outdoor eatery replaces the old Zinque space on the corner of Venice Blvd and Abbott Kinney, making it a prime hang for those on the Westside. Plus, it fully looks like Tulum out here, with bougainvillea vines, rattan chairs and woven pendant lighting. With a full breakfast menu and all-day dining that spans into lunch and dinner, it’s the ideal pre- or post- airport stop if you need real sustenance during or after your travels. Chef Raul Cerritos was the mastermind behind the Sunset Strip staple Madeo’s for over two decades, and you can even get a taste of his infamous penne pasta — now the Palomo Penne Pomodoro, a combination of completely ordinary ingredients like tomato, basil and pecorino that somehow translates into magic in a bowl. For more wizardry, hit the saffron risotto and the fennel orange salad, perfected by the addition of mint.
Already thriving in Old Town Pasadena for the last two years, chef John Hans Yeo is bringing a Vegas-style version of his Kaviar creations to downtown. Directly across Arts District hotspot Resident, and next door to the slightly more subdued Urth Cafe, Kaviar is in prime position to be a fine dining haven in a still-emerging neighborhood. Go big or go home with Chef Yeo’s exquisite sashimi, sometimes topped with gold flakes, truffle or caviar, or stick with signature rolls like rock shrimp tempura and the lemon roll, with salmon, yuzu, spicy tuna, asparagus and a shock of citrus. The surf side of the menu also includes a tableside toro tartare, and turf goes all the way up to Miyazaki A5 Wagyu, or large-format steaks that cost closer to rent money than anything else. That’s the beauty of a splurge, though, and if you’ve got five or six people onboard, it’s actually not a bad deal.
There are countless fine dining options in Santa Monica, and when it comes to spending a chunk of change on a big night out, my money’s on Fia Steak — but let’s face it, most of us usually want something more ordinary than that. There’s beauty in the mundane habit of daily coffee and a few hours of laptop time or sitting down for a few minutes to page through a new book — and for those tiny rituals, Please Enjoy is the perfect spot. They’ve got all the usual coffee and tea suspects, along with a special latte section that leans into Lavender Honey and Golden Sunrise vibes (think turmeric and lemongrass), along with a full kitchen whipping up simple sandwiches and salads, a bevy of avocado toast options, and breakfast items like overnight oats and chia pudding. All that, plus pastries galore. If I wasn’t a tried and true eastsider, I might be posted up at this shop every day.
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