The 5 Best Restaurants That Opened in LA This December
LA's best new eats, chosen by us
The end of the year turns out to be a surprisingly great time to launch a new restaurant. All the excitement around the holidays lends an additional layer of magic to the air, and people are out and about more than usual, shopping and celebrating another 365 days gone by. We’ve got a major player opening their doors in South Bay, a YouTuber with a penchant for doughy Chicago pizza and a Beverly Hills stunner expanding to Los Feliz. The best new restaurants in LA are all great reasons to head out for a bite instead of staying in, particularly as this winter’s cold snap seems to be stretching on longer than usual.
Nothing warms the soul quite like a British pub, and this latest installment comes courtesy of Mother Wolf creators, Ten Five Hospitality. Nestled in Hollywood near major players like Beauty & Essex and Tao, The Chap goes the whole nine yards with wood paneling, leather booths, dark green and gold accents, and plenty of brick, as well as a self-contained outdoor garden area with its own private bar. Cheekily playing only Brit rock, the pub serves up classic English staples like fish and chips — mine were better than what I recently tried while in the UK. Harp beer and tempura make a perfectly battered fish with crispy, thick cut fries on the side. Wash it all down with an Old Speckled Hen or a robust cocktail, and sing along as they turn up Joy Division.
Already well-established in Beverly Hills with the Michelin-lauded Mírame, this east side sister restaurant from chef Joshua Gil is like walking into a tropical escape. Tucked up an unassuming staircase at the corner of Vermont and Hollywood Boulevard, the spacious digs feel more like Tulum than the edge of Hollywood. Gil isn’t afraid to playfully mix all sorts of influences with his Mexican background, which is how fire-roasted eggplant gets served alongside salsas, and ceviches delve into jicama and kanpachi alongside the standard shrimp and octopus. While myriad tacos and árabes are available, a plate of lamb barbacoa flautas with feta, eggplant and saffron-pickled fennel was one of the best dishes I ate all year. If you’re into mezcal, stick around for a spirit-and-cheese pairing that brings out totally different flavors in the highly curated house list.
YouTube star David Dobrik has launched a cleverly named pizza joint in the heart of West Hollywood, tapping fellow Chicagoan Ilya Fedorovich and partners Alan Jackson and Ian Olsen of the fast casual healthy-focused LA chain Lemonade to help him launch his Midwest-style pie. Or rather, two kinds of pies: the fluffy, focaccia-style dubbed “The Doughy” is available right alongside “The Tavern,” which is a thin-crust pizza cut into squares in a nod to Midwest bar culture. Staples like cheese, pepperoni, Hawaiian and meat lover’s join more inventive takes like the Spicy Vodka, which puts pasta-style vodka sauce on the pizza along with pancetta. Pies are available by the slice, whole or in personal pan size, and every order comes with a signature side of hot honey, adding an optional dash of sweet heat to every bite.
Crustacean has long been a Beverly Hills “event” restaurant, with their elegant seafood small plates, plethora of vegan options and chef Helene An’s modern Asian flair. But as with most historic, high-end establishments, it can feel set in its ways — and perhaps not welcoming to younger patrons with new ideas about how they want to eat now. Enter the Anna May Bar, named in honor of Anna May Wong, considered to be the first Chinese-American movie star in Hollywood. Here you’ll find classic cocktails like the Penicillin, spiked with a dose of strong, hot tea; the already popular salt-and-pepper calamari and other small plate offerings like smoked tuna “cigars” (served in an actual cigar box), filet mignon satay and scene-stealing eggplant fries. Come early and grab a table for great people watching, stiff drinks and an affordable peek inside the curtain at Crustacean.
One of the best steakhouse options in the city has now expanded its reach to South Bay, where excellent fine dining can be few and far between. Known for their stylish, upscale dining rooms and dry-aged offerings, Boa marks its third opening here in Manhattan Beach, officially raising it to the level of an LA staple. Along with all kinds of traditional steak preparations, an extensive seafood and raw menu are available, plus other staples like wedge salad, shrimp scampi, and lobster mac and cheese. BOA is the place to come for a celebration, when flights of wagyu are all part of the deal, or for a solid night out at a world-class kitchen that will never let you down. Either way, get that lobster mac and cheese and thank me later.
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