The 5 Best Restaurants to Open in LA in 2022 (So Far)
Did someone say “weed concept”?
To keep tabs on every Texas 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 rundown of five must-know spots that have swung wide their doors so far this year. Let’s eat.
Dining is back with a vengeance. If “revenge travel” is a post-Covid trend, it might also be the case that an influx of reservations, parties, and dates is due to the pent up energy from the past few years of pandemic life. Given that demand, Los Angeles is responding in kind, with a whole host of new spots cropping up all across the city. From brand-new fine dining mainstays to pasta-and-pizza spots, casual neighborhood pop-ups, and even weed-infused concepts, here’s the best new places to check out for 2022 so far.
Fans of Tilda, rejoice! The powerhouse crew behind Echo Park’s chicest new wine bar has finally completed their labor of love — an adjoining Roman restaurant complete with gorgeous marble, glistening wood, leather banquettes, and of course, loads of freshly made pasta. Chef Joel Stovall helms a Rome-meets-California menu that includes street food classics like suppli and fried rice dumplings, winding all the way up through clever salad and crispy pizze starters to a massive bistecca ribeye. Though the proteins are lovely, skip them and dive into the pasta course — classics like cacio e pepe and carbonara feel brand new in this airy and romantic neighborhood mainstay.
At the center the newly dubbed “Vinyl District” stands a three-story concept from the masterminds who established West Hollywood’s luxe life staple, EP & LP. Grandmaster Recorders is technically the bottom floor and the rooftop, though each section offers slightly different menus, and a cozy corner space tucked into what was formerly a recording studio has been dubbed 71 Studio Bar. Both the roof and the studio bar are perfect after-dinner or happy hour haunts, but the sprawling ground floor restaurant is where you should spend every weekend night from now on. It’s a party environment with a fine dining twist: Chef Monty Koludrovic has concocted whimsical, delicious canapes like caviar cannolis, pastas with Asian fusion twists, and the kind of elegant, meaty proteins that you just can’t make at home, no matter how good the Zoom cooking class was.
If you’re craving a dash of Old World Hollywood glamor and the drama of tableside theatrics, look no further than Fanny’s. Opened at the Academy Museum by renowned restaurateur Bill Chait, and in partnership with chef Raphael Francois and mixologist Julian Cox, this restaurant is playful enough to host museum guests as a cafe during the day, and graceful enough to be suitable for formal dining at night. Red velvet chairs and hand-drawn wallpaper give the room a sense of cinematic charm, and the “World’s Best Martini” pairs wonderfully with côte de boeuf, which absolutely will be rolled out on a shiny cart and sliced to order. Your vegetarian friends will find plenty of grilled, seasonal options, but if you come with a carnivore, opt for the beef tartare with smoked ricotta before selecting your steak.
Smash burgers are having a moment, so it’s no surprise that one of LA’s best purveyors of this melt-in-your-mouth trend recently set up a Silver Lake encampment. After blowing up at an initial location on Rose Avenue in Venice, The Win~Dow expanded their operation to Venice and have now set up a third location on the corner of Sunset and Griffith Park Blvd at the Sunset Triangle Plaza. There’s a reason they’ve expanded to three locations in a manner of months: Every menu item is well below $10, making this burger window a winner for the younger, less monied crowds that flock to the Venice and the Sunset Strip. Grab a fried chicken sandwich if you’re not in the mood for a gooey, perfect cheeseburger; the kale salad is a hearty serving for only $7. The Win~Dow is the perfect place for a quick snack before perusing the farmer’s market that pops up here a few times a week.
Gusto Green is basically a weed lover’s paradise. Through an exclusive relationship with Ziese Farms, “the only federally approved purveyor of hemp leaf for food,” Janet Zuccarini’s latest project is already incorporating the signature green leaf into their kitchen. Try it dipped in chickpea batter and fried to a crisp for an appetizer, or get a whiff of Pineapple Express buzz with the terpene-laced Uptown Girl cocktail. Both the leaf and the cocktail aren’t supposed to get you high, but hey, the placebo effect is very real. Otherwise, chef Michael Magliano’s kitchen is hyper-focused on seasonal veggies, playful gluten-free carbs — spelt pancake, anyone? — and of course, a stack of pizza options for those seeking something tried and true. As part of the seven-story Green Street incubator building, Gusto Green is one of many companies that will be part of the cannabis-focused collective.
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