Table Stakes: August

Five new restaurants for all you dilettantes and bon vivants

By Reuben Brody

Five New Restaurants From LA's Best Chefs
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31 August 2017

Because every Angeleno loves to eat, even if he has to valet, we bring you Table Stakes: a series that answers man’s eternally recurring question (“Uh, what’s new?”), and recurs once every lunar cycle or so. Bon appétit.

MTN
Venice
You’re here for: A foodie experience. You’ve probably seen the construction fence around the cubist brown building on Abbot Kinney. That’s MTN (pronounced mountain), the new izakaya-style restaurant by Travis Lett, the man behind Gjusta and Gjelina. It’s been years in the making, and worth the very long wait you’ll have to endure for a table.
You’re dining on: Buttery, umami-laden ramen loaded with soft pork belly and house-pulled noodles. A mackerel that’s both crispy and succulent. And the best okra you’ve probably ever had. 

1305 Abbot Kinney Blvd. (map)
Website

PBJ.LA
Downtown
You’re here for: Lunch. If you have kids, bring them here when you’re downtown. 
You’re dining on: Surprisingly delicious versions of that childhood classic, the PB&J. Conceived by the guy behind Umami, this spot is using homemade peanut and almond butters with fresh apple, fig and strawberry jams. The classic sandwiches are great. But the Italian, which uses pine nut butter, arugula and mozzarella, will make you rethink nut butters. They press the sandwiches with a hand-cranked device that removes the crusts, and then they toast it to perfection. 

317 S. Broadway (map)
Website

The Proud Bird
Inglewood
You’re here for: A break from LAX
You’re dining on: The classic restaurant has a new stall from the guys behind Bludso’s BBQ, so there are now ribs and some very tasty fried chickens. Grab a beer and watch the planes land. 

11022 Aviation Blvd. (map)
Website

Barbara Jean
Melrose
You’re here for: Couples dinner. It’s hidden in the back of Melrose Umbrella Club, so you have a spot for drinks after. You’ll be eating outside, so tell the old lady to dress accordingly. 
You’re dining on: Southern chefs have been moving toward a more sophisticated cuisine for a long time, so it’s nice to see someone bring the trend to L.A. Yeah, the okra is fried, but it comes with violet mustard. And the pulled pork is served over agnolotti.  

7465 Melrose Blvd. (map)
Website

Neighbor
Venice
You’re here for: Precursor to a big, boozy night. One of the best patio spaces in Venice just got a major tune-up.
You’re dining on: A crisp, roasted cauliflower in tahini, followed by a succulent lamb and lots of effervescent cocktails.

1031 Abbot Kinney Blvd. (map)
Website

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