Table Stakes: April 2016

Five new restaurants to visit this month

By Reuben Brody

L.A.’s Food Trucks Are Going Brick and Mortar
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29 April 2016

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.

Norah
West Hollywood

The press release says they just wanted a neighborhood spot. But the stylish white decor and marble counters coupled with the WeHo address and potent cocktails suggest that Norah could surpass the mere convivial. Plan on wearing something snazzy and ordering a few fancy libations with the wood-grilled lamb and some uni butter shrimp. The seafood charcuterie features a rotating list of fruits de mer smoked and cured like swine. It’s delicious.

8279 Santa Monica Boulevard (map)

www.norahrestaurant.com

Howlin Ray's
Chinatown

The peanut-oil-fried chicken at Howlin Ray's glistens a vibrant red, and when you bite into it, your senses are overwhelmed by crisp heat followed by a thick molasses sweetness capped off by savory, juicy white meat. It’s addictive. After months of withdrawal following the closure of his hallowed truck, Chef Johnny Ray Zone now has a new brick and mortar in Chinatown’s Far East Plaza. There will be lines. They’ve also added some market sides, fresh veggies and a sweet beet tea.

727 N Broadway (map)

www.howlinrays.com

Kogi BBQ Taqueria
Palms

Chef Roy Choi is always on a roll. His fast-food concept LocaL is bringing people from as far as New York City to Watts, and now he’s opened a Kogi BBQ Taqueria — the brick-and-mortar counterpart to his famous food truck — in Palms. Kimchi quesadillas and tacos filled with short rib, tofu and octopus; many napkins required.  

3500 Overland Ave. (map)

www.kogibbq.com/taqueria

Bondi Harvest
Santa Monica

Straight from the land of Oz (aka Australia) comes Bondi Harvest, a group of beach bon vivants plating healthy, delicious meals. Think avocado toast with haloumi (a meaty cheese) and thinly sliced radish. Pumpkin buttermilk pancakes with fresh fruit and guacamole. Quinoa bowls that will give you the energy you need to bike or surf all day long. And rich Victoria coffee, also imported from Australia. Add these guys to your healthy restaurant list for breakfast and lunch.

1814 Berkley St (map)

www.bondiharvest.cafe

Napa Valley Grille
Westwood

You’ve probably been to Napa Valley Grille before; its Westwood location has been around for a minute. But it was recently updated (same layout, darker colors) and their wagyu steak is incredibly succulent. Second pick: the pink trout served over risotto with thinly sliced asparagus. Great for business lunches and pre-show meals before hitting the Geffen Playhouse.

11 Glendon Ave (map)

www.napavalleygrille.com

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