The 5 Best Restaurants That Opened in LA This November
Turkey quesadillas. Fried chicken. French food. Let’s review.
To keep tabs on every Los Angeles restaurant and bar opening is folly. But to keep tabs on the most worthy? Yeoman’s work, and we’re proud to do it. Thus we present Table Stakes, a monthly rundown of the five (or so) must-know spots that have swung wide their doors in the past thirty (or so). Let’s eat.
On a handsome wooden table in an airy dining room in Santa Monica, a mound of fried cheese glistens. Beneath that mound are layers of turkey confit, green chiles and kale stew — a hearty dish that pairs well with LA’s chillier November nights.
Welcome to Onda, a warm, soulful kitchen in the Proper Hotel that belies its austere, vaguely Scandinavian ambience. The cuisine comes courtesy of Chef Gabriela Cámara, an award-winning chef out of Mexico City, and Chef Jessica Koslow, a local star best known for her work at Sqrl.
It’s one of the five restaurants in this month’s Table Stakes, our guide to the best openings in Los Angeles each month. Also in the offing: more tacos, fancy French food and something called “Chicago fried chicken.”
You’re here because: You’re into something delicious and super convivial. Onda is pricey, but it’s very much worth the cost of admission. They’ll be starting lunch and brunch service soon. Given that Jessica Koslow (Sqrl) is one of the Exec Chefs, that can’t happen soon enough.
You’re dining on: The fish hiding in kelp is a mandatory opener. It’s crispy sheets of thick kelp with anchovies fried into place for a nice umami crunch. The pork jowl and ears come from Peads and Barnetts, a great local farmer that feeds their free-range pigs seaweed and oats, which renders the meat super fatty and delicious. Chef Gabriela Cámara (Contramar, Cala) cuts the fat of the jowl with pickled carrots and bibb lettuce.
700 Wilshire Blvd. (map)
You’re here because: You just got off work and are in the mood to get after it. The decor is both modish and deco, with a happening vibe. The evening could easily be extended at their sexy bar — if not at Seven Grand, which is upstairs.
You’re dining on: Wood-fired pizzas. Simple and delicious.
515 W 7th St. (map)
You’re here because: Dark French restaurants make for a romantic dinner. Chef David Beran also runs Dialogue, one of Santa Monica’s premier bistros, and this brasserie is a welcome (though pricey) addition to the Westside.
You’re dining on: The trout amandine is a classic, but with fresh California ingredients that really make it pop. The omelet with truffles and gruyére is rich enough for the whole table.
2732 Main Street (map)
Harold’s Chicken Shack
You’re here because: Your fried chicken hankerings will cause you to go through the madness of driving and parking in Hollywood. The long-awaited opening of Harold’s has been building steam for about a year. Go during the slow hours.
You’re dining on: Fried chicken. Harold’s makes fried chicken the old southern way, by using a mix of beef tallow and vegetable oil. They also fry their birds to order, making them super fresh and hot, before splattering a loose hot sauce over the top. You’ve been warned.
6523 Hollywood Blvd. (map)
You’re here because: You’ve found yourself holiday shopping at the Beverly Center.
You’re dining on: Flounder, which you so rarely see on the West Coast. The flat fish is typically served either scored or fried, so Angler’s poached version is a fresh take. And definitely don’t skip the raw seafood, like ruby fish with plum.
8500 Beverly Blvd. (map)