Food & Drink | June 7, 2022 7:00 am

The 5 Best New LA Restaurants That Opened in May

Consider this a bucket list that kicks off with the city’s best pizza

Nigiri Causita Nikkei
Nigiri Causita Nikkei
Anne Fishbein

It’s basically summer in Los Angeles all year round, but the season still brings its pleasures, as the days get longer and restaurants gear up for the busy season. These are our picks for the best new places to get a meal in LA, whether it’s to celebrate a birthday, an anniversary or just a Tuesday when you don’t feel like cooking.

Ceviche Mixto
Ceviche Mixto
Anne Fishbein

Causita

Silver Lake

Right next door to the newly opened Sunset Strip darling Bar Moruno, Causita serves up Nikkei Peruvian dishes to match its sister restaurant’s Spanish tapas. So what is Nikkei Peruvian? A cuisine style popularized by Japanese immigrants in Peru. “Nikkei” refers to Japanese descendants scattered around the globe, but it has become synonymous with Japanese food in Peru. Celebrated Peruvian chef Ricardo Zarate is responsible for bringing this global fare to the heart of Silver Lake, serving up ceviches and tiraditos (raw fish dishes) so inventive they well outpace expectations. Stick around for small, medium and large plates that span everything from snap peas with labneh to grilled octopus and a sea bass tamale. Definitely grab a colorful libation courtesy of Ramsey Musk — aka @dadsdrinks on Insta — who just might be behind the bar rocking the kind of flamboyant button-down that would suit Robin Williams in The Birdcage.

Uovo Tortellini
Uovo Tortellini
Uovo

Uovo

Studio City

Does it get more luxurious than pasta flown in from Italy? Yes — if you add some silky crudo and decadent tiramisu to the mix. Uovo has already been turning heads in LA in three other locations, and a fourth outpost in Studio City, at The Shops at Sportsmen’s Lodge, promises to be a popular addition to this north LA neighborhood’s sometimes-lacking dining scene. Uovo says it’s “the one place outside of Italy that serves fresh pasta made in Italy,” and a fast-casual spin means that a pair of guests can get in, order three courses and get out for under $50. Add a couple glasses of wine and you’re still under $100 for two — and eating some of the best, most authentic pasta available at that price point. 

The Griddle Cafe

West Hollywood

Hollywood dwellers are ecstatic to welcome back The Griddle after a several-year hiatus due to the pandemic. Known for pancakes literally as big as your head, all kinds of boozy brunch drinks and plenty of celebrity sightings, The Griddle has been popping up at Yamashiro during the pandemic. That open-air setup made it easier for them to safely offer fluffy cakes and crispy waffles in an outdoor setting, but even with the view, that location is quite a trek. These hangover essentials are better suited to the original cozy diner, with its bustling open kitchen, bar seating and classic red vinyl booths.

Exterior of Pizzana
Exterior of Pizzana
Dane Deaner

Pizzana

Sherman Oaks

Ask most food writers to weigh in on the best pizza in Los Angeles, and the lion’s share will choose chef Daniele Uditi’s Pizzana. With its signature thin crust — still firm enough not to droop under the weight of ample toppings — and the expertly executed cacio e pepe pizza (which hundreds of imitators have tried, and failed, to replicate), Uditi earned the title for a reason. Aside from Uditi’s signature white pie, the Diavola is another must-try, with spicy salami, fior di latte mozzarella and honey. There are also vegan options, decadent salads and plenty of vegetarian pizzas.

Soup from De Buena Planta
Soup from De Buena Planta
The Salty Shutters

De Buena Planta

Silver Lake

In case you missed this tucked-away patio during the first few weeks it was open, now’s your chance to get in on one of the neighborhood’s best new gardens. Building upon the initial De Buena Planta in Venice, a pop-up that took over a parking lot on Abbott Kinney during the pandemic, this new Silver Lake location is intended to anchor the plant-based take on Mexican food from Heather Tierney of The Butcher’s Daughter. With a dreamy outdoor space that’s been built from the ground up, these coastal Mexican staples are so familiar that you might not even notice they’re completely vegetarian. “Chicharrones” made of rice paper, along with homemade salsa and hot sauces, kick things off right, while aguachile with young coconut, portobellos done al pastor for tacos and mole poblano enchiladas prove that these flavors work just as well with vegetables. Pop into the indoor speakeasy, La Casita, afterwards for a stiff nightcap — or better yet, a mezcal flight.