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Brand New Eateries to Check Out in Los Angeles

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Posted on: February 8, 2019
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Brand New Eateries to Check Out in Los Angeles

Michael C./Yelp This is a weekly compilation of noteworthy restaurant openings throughout Los Angeles . These are the newest places to check out in and around the city, from the Valley to the South Bay, from the Westside to the San Gabriel Valley. Let’s dive right in. February 6, 2019 West Covina— South Asian carbohydrates of all stripes is the specialty at Prata House . There are over half a dozen different pratas including ones with egg, mutton, and even chocolate. Rounding out the menu are dosas , biryanis , and mutabbaq (stuffed and folded pancakes). 360 S Glendora Ave #3, West Covina Arcadia— The specialty at Paper Pot Shabu is kami-nabe , a Japanese-style of hot pot that involves lining the cooking vessel with specially-coated paper. Diners can swish-swish the usual beef, noodles, and vegetables, along with lamb, pork, and chicken. 1236 S Golden West Ave, Arcadia Santa Monica— Build-your-own Asian-inflected bento boxes, as well as wraps and bowls, at Bento Moderno . The lunchtime menu includes crowd-pleasing things like chicken potstickers and a spicy tuna sushi burritos. 3101 Ocean Park Blvd Ste. 105, Santa Monica Alhambra— Shanghainese fare reigns supreme at Jiang Nan Spring . Start with an order of hot and sour soup, then settle in for seaweed-flecked fried fish sticks and baby back ribs. Finish with chewy tapioca balls filled with black sesame floating in a fermented rice brew. 910 E Main Street, Alhambra Whittier— Tuck into vegan and vegetarian fare made with Southern Californian flare at Modern Shaman . On the plant-based menu is vegan menudo, an Impossible vegan burger, and something called Happy the Corndog, a vegan hotdog in a hempseed-cornmeal batter. 6744 Greenleaf Ave., Whittier January 31, 2019 Little Tokyo— There’s no shortage of doughnut shops around town, but enthusiasts are happy to welcome any and all newcomers with open arms. Donatsu is the newest kid on the block boasting vegan wares in a variety of flavors including creme brulee, pistachio, ube, and mocha latte. Look for kombucha on tap too. Inglewood— The menu is simple at Wingopolis offering just buffalo wings, French fries, and drinks. The shop’s signature wings come in flavors like Volcanic Buffalo, Lemony Lemon, and Honey BBQ. San Gabriel— The number of Sichuan restaurants in the neighborhood has exploded in recent years and the newest spot is Zaza Noodle, a spicy noodle specialist. Consider the Piquant Intestine noodle, Chengdu Hot and Sour Noodle, or the signature Zaza Noodle Soup. Historic Filipinotown— Hi-Fi Kitchen founder Justin Foronda promises “Filipino-American comfort food born and raised in Los Angeles” at this casual neighborhood spot. There is chicken adobo, of course, and a mushroom alternative for vegetarians, as well as Sweet Spaghetti with hotdogs and meatballs. Torrance— Thai street food and sweets is what it’s all about at Thai Hub . South Bay residents craving Southeast Asian fare can dig in to mussel pancakes and chicken sate, along with the usual pineapple fried rice and pad thai noodles. January 23, 2019 City of Industry— For those who want eggs Benedict all day, every day there’s The Benediction by Toast . Consider 13 different varieties of this brunch-time staple including special takes with lobster and corned beef. Also on hand are pancakes, waffles, three-egg omelets, and avocado toast. Downtown— The Nashville hot chicken trend keeps getting hotter and the latest newcomer is The Red Chickz . Whether the mood strikes for tenders, wings, or sandwiches, there’s six different spice levels and things like potato wedges, coleslaw, and baked beans on the side. Florence-Firestone— The LA barbecue scene has a new player with the opening of Smokin’ Telle’s BBQ and Grill . This is the brick and mortar location of former catering-only business, A-TaylorD Affaire. There’s ribs, chicken, brisket, and sausages on the smoker and elote , baked beans, and mac and cheese on the side. Van Nuys— For a rotisserie chicken specialist with a build-your-own Mediterranean bent check out Chick Me Out Grill . Diners choose from a variety of bases (rice, salad, or pita), spreads (like hummus and creamy feta), proteins (chicken, steak, or falafel), and toppings. Palms— There’s no shortage of quality Mexican food in every corner of the city and La Esquina is hoping to stand out with its pared-down menu of breakfast favorites, beloved small bites, salads, and tacos. January 16, 2019 Eagle Rock— Head to Colorado Boulevard for all-day breakfast and sandwiches with “gourm-Asian” flare at Bite Me . For a breakfast burrito that really sticks to one’s ribs there’s one filled with ramen noodles, eggs, cheese, and Chinese sausage. Cerritos— A poutine specialist has popped up in the South Bay at Sauced Up . The Quebecois specialty is served traditionally, as well as with flair thanks to different bases (tater tots, wraps, nachos, and white rice) and toppings (lobster and poke). Hollywood— Tony Khachapuri shares the same kitchen as Banh Oui . Here, the Georgian breakfast staple called khachapuri is the star. The boat-shaped flatbread comes topped with a blend of cheeses, runny eggs, and a few pats of melted butter. Alhambra— The food of Northwest China, which is predominantly Halal due to the Islamic population, is the specialty at Dolan’s Uyghur Cuisine . Consider ordering the “big plate chicken,” lamb of all stripes, and house-made dumplings. Koreatown— Comforting cauldrons of chicken-based Korean soups and stews is the specialty at Bon Ga Ginseng Chicken Soup . There’s ginseng chicken soup, as well as braised chicken, chicken noodle soup, and spicy chicken feet. January 9, 2019 Chinatown— The Filipino food movement is going strong and the latest newcomer is Ord & Broadway . The menu brings together traditional Pinoy cooking with contemporary touches, like the oxtail adobo with roasted bone marrow and pandesal crostini and an ube funnel cake ice cream sandwich. La Cañada Flintridge— For the latest and greatest food trends in an idyllic suburban setting there’s Kokoroll Cafe . The menu has matcha lattes, Hawaiian poke, and even Kazu Nori-esque hand rolls. El Monte— For the sauciest of sandwiches that never fails to fill bellies, head to Torta Ahogadas El Rey . The Guadalajaran specialty is most popularly filled with braised or roasted pork and drenched in a chile sauce. Mid-Wilshire— Supremo Ristorante takes a cue from the pizza and pasta purveyors around town and serves up a mostly predictable menu that includes gnocchi with pesto, linguine with braised short ribs, and a risotto of the day. Alhambra— All-you-can-eat lunch and dinner sushi specials are what it’s all about at Sushi Me . There are two tiers of sushi available (premium and regular) with incremental prices to match. Don’t forget to read the fine print including a 90-minute time limit and a charge for leftovers. January 4, 2019 Pasadena— When the sun sets over Gabriel’s Auto Service, the folks at Smosh Town pop up and pop out smashed burgers. There are only two burgers on the menu, the Smosh Town Classic with raw onions, cheese, pickles, mustard, and ketchup, and The O’s Way with grilled onions and all the fixings. Both are priced at $7 and are made with Wagyu beef. West Covina— El Monte’s beloved purveyor of Vietnamese noodle soup, Pho Filet , has set up its third location in the same building as Garlic Crab. Expect dependable bowls of beef noodle soup with fresh herbs and bean sprouts to garnish. Downtown— MOA Kitchen takes a cue from New York City’s ubiquitous pay-per-pound buffet bars serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner of classic American and Asian-American fare. Stumptown coffee is on hand too. Encino— From schnitzel to pad Thai and orange chicken, there’s something for everyone at Chicken Star . The specialty is a build-your-own Chicken Star Baguette, which includes a choice of meat (chicken or beef), choice of flavor (from red curry to garlic pepper), and choice of vegetable (from mushrooms to jalapeños). Bellflower— Pinoy Fusion BBQ serves up classic Filipino fare in a no-frills setting. Point to what looks good and the person behind the counter will serve it right up. Choose from stir-fried pancit noodles, adobo , and halo-halo for dessert. December 19, 2018 Koreatown— The shaved ice and brick toast are standard for the neighborhood, but the namesake pancake souffles at Souffles offer a fluffy change of pace. Flavors range from plain to tiramisu, matcha, and even banana caramel. City of Industry— The latest outlet of Teddy’s Tacos brings more of the same hearty Mexican fare that diners have come to expect. Choose from barbacoa, chorizo, and asada to fill tacos, tortas, burritos, and mulitas. Whittier— Mexican fare goes meatless at Veggie y Que , a plant-based “deli” serving a strictly vegan menu. There’s chilaquiles on the menu smothered in tomatillo salsa and dairy-free mozzarella, as well as “al pastor” tacos made with marinated soy protein on organic corn tortillas. West Covina— Hidden inside the West Covina Mall is Chicken Xing , a new purveyor of popcorn chicken and house-made bottled tea drinks. “The O.G.” popcorn chicken comes with ranch, garlic aioli, or buffalo dipping sauce, while the “Swoosh” comes with a sweet vinaigrette. Koreatown— The latest newcomer in LA’s already saturated ramen market is Iki Ramen . Starters on offer are more varied than usual with salmon burrata and pork bao making an appearance. Ramen runs the gamut from simple shio to suped-up truffle butter tonkotsu . December 13, 2018 Koreatown— There’s no shortage of spicy fried chicken specialists in these here parts and Michin Dak is the latest newcomer. The menu features wings, tenders, popcorn chicken, and a chicken burger. Pair your cluck of choice with fries, pickled radishes, pickles, or slaw. Studio City — Gray Tavern serves up Spanish-Mediterranean gastropub fare from Jason Francisco. On the menu are large and small plates like salmon paella with shishito peppers and classic patatas bravas. There’s wine, craft beer, and cocktails on the drinkable side of things. Alhambra — It’s all about sizzling skillets with a Japanese bent at Pepper Lunch , “the original Japanese D-I-Y teppan restaurant.” Choose from steaks, seafood, pastas, and curry dishes, then mix in rice, butter, and vegetables to finish. The platters are legitimately hot, so proceed with caution. Artesia— Omar’s Kitchen , formerly known as Omar’s Restaurant, has finally reopened after a massive remodel. The specialty here is Islamic Uyghur cooking, which means plenty of lamb kebabs, meat pies, and hand-pulled noodles. Sherman Oaks — The Valley’s got a new spot for fried chicken sandwiches and tenders at Hot Motha Clucker . Every order comes with fries, slaw, and choice of heat level—from “no heat” to “clucked up.” December 3, 2018 USC— Ramen Kenjo is a new Japanese noodle spot next to USC that seems designed for busy and cost-conscious students. With a decent set of ramen bowls like tonkotsu, chicken shio, and spicy miso with a slew of toppings, there’s a few wild card menu picks like the K-Town, with pan-fried kimchi. Order sides like karaage or gyoza and it’s a meal under $20. Torrance— Anyone who likes Raising Cane’s could reach for the fried chicken tenders at Top Tenders , a new fast-casual restaurant in Torrance from the folks behind Chicken Maison. Choose from a variety of flavors like lemon pepper, garlic parmesan, or spicy buffalo, then order with waffle fries, cole slaw, or Texas toast. Beverly Grove— Just in time for chilly evening LA weather, The Osso Good Company serves bone broth to health-conscious West Hollywood denizens at a new Beverly Grove location along West Third Street. Beyond soup, there’s waffles and “superfood” smoothies for when the weather doesn’t call for hot broth. Koreatown— The corner restaurant spot on 6th and Western keeps changing, and the latest place is yet another soondae, or blood sausage, specialist called Moobongri Soondae BBQ . Since they want to basically serve everything, there’s pork belly barbecue, the namesake soondae, and even fresh beef sashimi. Truly nose to tail dining, Korean style. Little Tokyo— An onigiri restaurant called Rice & Nori has opened in Little Tokyo serving creative renditions of the popular Japanese snack. Priced at around $3 apiece and served on paper trays, the varieties include spam & egg, salmon yuzu miso, and beef sukiyaki. The place serves sashimi and hand rolls too, in case the cute triangular bites aren’t enough. November 14, 2018 Venice— A new noodle spot called Ramen Go opens in the former Osteria Venice and Piccolo space serving tonkotsu and other classic ramen just steps from the ocean. Early reviews seem to be pretty darn good, with high praise for the spicy miso and vegan ramen bowls. While the place should see brisk business during colder months, one wonder how a ramen shop will do in Venice during the thick of summer. Either way, right now is the time to go (ha) to Ramen Go. 5 Dudley Avenue, Venice, CA Culver City— The former Wheelhouse cheese shop in Culver City’s Washington Boulevard stretch has turned into Kustaa , another local cheese and wine shop serving boards and charcuterie. The menu expands to things like toasts, salads, and sandwiches that should help feed this rather sleepy part of the Westside. Kustaa opened in late September. 12954 W Washington Boulevard Little Tokyo— A new fusiony taco spot called Bad Son Tacos has debuted as of early October inside the Little Tokyo Galleria market with sort of a Guisados-like menu of stewed and grilled meat tacos. They also press tortillas into a slightly thicker shape like at Guisados. Taco types include chicken tinga, mole, chorizo, and chile verde, with sides of queso fundido, elote, and rice. There’s even burritos, which should quell any big lunchtime hunger pangs. Open daily from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. 333 S. Alameda Street Suite 100. Koreatown— Koreatown keeps getting busier, with a new soup destination called Haemaru that’s open for nearly 22 hours a day. Yes, Haemaru opens at 6:30 a.m. and closes at 4 a.m., which means it works as breakfast, late night, or hangover cure for Koreatown nightlife revelers. A Wagyu ox bone soup with prime brisket costs just $6.99 before 10:30 a.m. while the bowl runs just $9.99 until 2 p.m. Other Korean soups include haejangguk, or hangover soup, and dried cabbage soup with beef brisket. With plenty of drinking taking place all over the neighborhood, this place should come as welcome relief, especially during winter months. 3498 West 8th Street. Manhattan Beach— A fancy six-seat omakase destination from the Inaba group (which runs Inaba and Ichimiann in Torrance) opened in the middle of last year in Manhattan Beach serving some of the best quality sushi and fish in the South Bay. Though it opened a while ago, some Food Talk Central members are just starting to uncover how great the place is. Located just a few steps from the beach, Sushi I-naba has that rare upscale omakase vibe that reviewers think compares to some great sushi spots around the world. Prices start at around $120 and go up to $180 though there’s no set menu. Lunch prices are a bit more reasonable for anyone looking to try the fish without dropping hundreds of dollars. 1300 Highland Avenue, Suite 107, Manhattan Beach November 7, 2018 West Hollywood— Palms poke restaurant Tikifish has opened a second location as of two weeks ago on the ground floor of the new Trader Joe’s strip mall in West Hollywood along Santa Monica Boulevard. With more of a sushi-like approach to poke, chef Lionel Killens draws a bit from his Filipino heritage on some new dishes here, with Bobby Hundreds (of The Hundreds design company) contributing design and artwork. Hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Tuesday to Sunday, but daily starting November 12. 7318 Santa Monica Boulevard, West Hollywood Pasadena— A catch-all breakfast through dinner spot called The Pan has opened on Holly Street in the former Lost at Sea space serving everything from pizza and waffles to loaded fries and fried chicken. Early reviews on Yelp seem to be pretty positive for this directionless but still tasty-looking restaurant rocking fairly reasonable prices. 57 E. Holly St, Pasadena Eagle Rock—Truly oddball from beginning to end, The Cloudy Garlic is a new sandwich shop at an Eagle Rock strip mall serving everything from garlic meatball rice bowls to Korean barbecue sandwiches. Early feedback seems to be overwhelmingly positive despite its rather strange menu mostly because the place delivers on flavor and service. 2750 Colorado Boulevard, Eagle Rock Century City— Boba shop Red Straw brings the Instagram-friendly vibe to Century City with colorful iced teas and more at the Westfield Century City. Apparently they don’t use any artificial flavors or powders, which is a nice change of pace from other bubble tea shops. Hours run 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, making the teas a nice companion to some high end shopping. 10250 Santa Monica Boulevard, Century City Koreatown— A Koreanized rotisserie chicken and rice bowl spot called Kind People Kimchi opened serving whole roasted chickens that come with grilled sausages, japchae, and stir-fried kimchi. There’s also these mini rice bowls called “cup bob” topped with barbecue prime beef, spicy pork butt, or more of that japchae. Open from noon to 8 p.m. daily, except Sunday. 4220 Beverly Boulevard. October 31, 2018 Redondo Beach — The Rockefeller opened a Redondo Beach location a few weeks back, and the menu is ambitious for what could be mistaken as just a beer bar. The 24 local and regional beers on tap are a good start, and the menu is 100 percent comfort food, with chicken pot pie, a short rib cheesesteak sandwich, and braised pork cheeks over creamy polenta. 1707 S Catalina Ave, Redondo Beach, CA The Rockefeller, Redondo Beach The Rockefeller Long Beach — 21M Express Cafe opened in Downtown Long Beach in mid-October, and while bubble tea seems like the draw, the reasonably-priced full menu shouldn’t be overlooked either. Diners can create a custom box with a favorite protein over steamed rice, noodles, or fried rice, or choose one of 21M’s deep-fried crispy boxes with spicy mayo shrimp, or chicken wings. — 515 Long Beach Blvd Long Beach, CA 21M Express Cafe Nana S. via Yelp North Hollywood — Open for one month, the Brews Brothers is on a mission from the craft beer gods in North Hollywood’s Arts District. They’re doing this with 42 taps that include American and Belgian ales, light and wheat, ciders, kombucha, and several beers on nitro. The kitchen pushes out small plates, charcuterie, sandwiches, and salads, while customers play foosball, board games, and pool tables. — 5140 Lankershim Blvd Los Angeles, CA Koreatown — Boolieya joined the ranks of K-Town sports bars three weeks ago. And while TVs fill the darkened room, the owners are calling Boolieya an “Fusion Grill.” The communal-style dishes and seating makes for some colorful and tables filled with stir-fried octopus, fondue, and a heavy lean towards seafood selections. 3959 Wilshire Blvd B211, Los Angeles, CA Boolieya’s darkened interior Sanghyun C. via Yelp Historic South Central – Chef Jason Harley took a moment away from his Downtown Birdies’ doughnuts and fried chicken restaurant, and opened burger joint Baby J’s Burgers a few months back. Baby J’s has a truly simple menu with classic single or double cheeseburgers, with fries, along with old-school desserts and milkshakes. Be mindful that Baby J’s interior is positively tiny. — 1030 E 25th St, Los Angeles, CA David R. via Yelp October 25, 2018 East Hollywood — Sea Salt is what happens when H. Salt Fish & Chips gets a modern upgrade and moves into East Hollywood/Los Feliz. Only open for three weeks, Sea Salt fully embraces its deep-fried identity with fish and chips, popcorn shrimp, and some delicious add-ons, including clam chowder, hush puppies, and submarines, which are simply rolls filled with lobster, crab, or any fried fish of choice. 4732 Hollywood Blvd Los Angeles, CA Sea Salt Jerry K. via Yelp Koreatown — As if anyone needed a reminder that Koreatown has far more than Korean food, Rikas Peruvian opened its doors near Vermont and 3rd only a few days ago. Rikas is traditional Peruvian, with a reasonably-priced beefy lomo saltado, along with the signature Peruvian chicken a la brasa , and fried rice, aka arroz chaufa. 3553 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA Westlake — There’s a handful of Indian restaurant in Westlake, and the two-week old Bombay Beach is giving the neighborhood a go. The room is a pleasant place to eat with tiles, wood, and cheerful blue and white colors. Bombay Beach maintains a limited Punjabi menu at the moment, with chicken tikka, butter chicken, chana masala, naan, and samosas. 1338 W 7th St Los Angeles, CA Chicken tikka masala at Bombay Beach Erika S. via Yelp Silver Lake — Locals might remember the longstanding Leela Thai. A few months ago, new owners took over and transformed it into The Silver Lake House. There’s also a new traditional menu for the centrally located restaurant, complete with papaya salads, spring rolls, and pineapple fried rice. 1737 Silver Lake Blvd Ste 1 Los Angeles, CA The Silver Lake House Cooper K. via Yelp Torrance — There’s a new pizza delivery and takeout spot in Torrance called Pizzoun (oddly open just a few doors down from a Domino’s) that uses some high quality ingredients like local produce, organic flour, and South Bay-produced cheese. The pies come out in larger sort of shoe-like shapes and there are currently only four topping combinations, one of which is called the bacon and egg. In addition, a lot of the sprouts and greens are grown inside the restaurant on racks. Hours are currently 12 to 8 p.m. though they should expand as the shop continues to operate past its initial opening. 24422 Hawthorne Boulevard, Torrance, CA. Pizzoun’s bacon and egg pizza with red peppers and arugula. Matthew Kang October 18, 2018 Chinatown — MasterChef semi-finalist Becky Reams, and Yeekai Lim of Cognoscenti Coffee built Chinatown’s friendly breakfast and lunch addition, Lately . The cozy space and menu opened late-August, and the easy menu pleases with Reams’ green tomato sandwich, cake donuts, and country-fried steak sandwich. It’s window-service only for now, with plans for dine-in planned for the fall. 970 N Broadway Ste 114 Los Angeles, CA Lately Exposition Park — Earlier this summer, Taqueria El Taco Loco took over the fourth SoCal location for Hamburger Dan’s, and installed a traditional Mexican to crank out tacos, tostadas, flautas, and combination platters. The location is ideal for any one of the million activities nearby, including the California Science Center, Banc of California Stadium, the Natural History Museum, or the LA Memorial Coliseum. 3764 S Normandie Ave Los Angeles, CA Hawthorne — One of LA’s oldest independent restaurant chains expanded to Hawthorne this month. Bossa Nova Brazilian Cuisine’s new Hawthorne location includes a full-service restaurant, but also put together a deli, Brazilian grocery store, and cafe. The Brazilian eatery already has longstanding locations in Hollywood, West LA, West Hollywood, and another is planned for DTLA’s South Park this year. Bossa Nova Brazilian Cuisine I.A. via Yelp Koreatown — Jeong Yuk Jeom is a recent and spacious addition to K-Town’s unusually-shaped mini mall, Ma Dang the Courtyard. The modern ambience is striking, with high ceilings, bamboo, and floor-to-ceiling windows. The food is traditional, with Korean barbecue, galbi soup, soybean paste soup, and cold noodles. 621 S Western Ave Ste 100 Los Angeles, CA Beverly Hills — Finding quality dim sum west of the San Gabriel Valley has its challenges, but Capital Seafood hopes to make it easier. Capital Seafood took over the massive space that formerly housed New Port Seafood, after a three-year stint on Restaurant Row. The costs are slightly higher than in SGV, but the savings on gas should make up for it. — 50 N La Cienega Blvd Ste 130 Beverly Hills, CA Capital Seafood Beverly Hills Capital Seafood October 10, 2018 Manchester Square — The Authentic Philly At The Corner is what happens when South LA cuisine meets the Philly cheesesteak. The new shop opened slightly east of Inglewood in August, and options include Philly cheesesteaks, hero sandwiches, salads, and a signature asada hot Cheeto burrito. 1855 W Manchester Ave Los Angeles, CA Long Beach — Hortencias Mexican & Seafood had big shoes to fill when Long Beach favorite Baja Sonora closed in Bixby Knolls. The new Mexican eatery opened a few weeks ago, with a menu that leans towards seafood, including lobster tacos. 3502 Atlantic Ave Long Beach, CA Santa Monica — It took a year, but Silverlake Ramen finally opened its new location on Third Street Promenade this week. The new outpost took over Bravo Cucina , and is the restaurant’s first step into a franchising model, featuring the same crowd-pleasing menu at the original location, Highland Park, and in Echo Park. 1319 3rd Street Promenade, Santa Monica, CA Rolling Hills Estates — In late August, a charming wine bar opened in a sleepy part of the South Bay. Driftwood Wine Bar & Kitchen is the work of chef/owner Andie Hubka, who designed a relaxed menu to accompany the wine flights and craft beer. 767 Deep Valley Dr Rolling Hills Estates, CA Echo Park — LA’s second Baby Blues BBQ location opened late last month, complete with a massive mural of Dodgers third baseman, Justin Turner overlooking the former Costa Alegre space. It’s open early, and keeps serving until 10 p.m., right in the heart of Echo Park. 1901 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA August 13, 2018 Palms— There’s a new casual Indian restaurant called Tandoori Eats that takes over a former butcher shop in Palms, just across the way from the Expo Line station. Opened last Friday, the eatery serves a slew of Indian and Pakistani classics like biryani, karahi, goat curry, and chicken tikka masala. Prices are reasonable, the place is already packed with locals. 10004 National Boulevard. Koreatown— A new chicken spot called The Pollo does a sort of non-chain version of roasted chicken and sides that one might find at El Pollo Loco, but with a bit more quality. Opened on August 1, early reviews seem very positive for the affordable fast casual chain-in-the-making. 3183 Wilshire Boulevard. Suite 172. Culver City— The former OOAK in Main Street Culver City has turned quickly into a new dim sum destination called Fifty One . The extensive menu also goes into some fusion-style dishes, with a large portion of vegetarian plates as well. There’s even koi-shaped fish pudding, something that likely hasn’t cross over the 110 freeway, ever. 9540 Washington Boulevard. Redondo Beach— Another day, another South Bay ramen spot, this one called Rakkan that opened just steps from the beach. This ramen spot focuses on vegan broth, andalready has a location in Little Tokyo . Like its Downtown LA counterpart, they’ve got ramen bowls with everything from miso and shio to tomato and soy sauce. 629 South Pacific Coast Highway. Mission Hills— It’s not every day that a new Laotian restaurant opens in LA. A new place called Kop Jai Lai serves a combination of Thai and Lao dishes that has all the hallmarks of a homecooked meal. There’s a Lao-style papaya salad, spicy chicken mint, and larb. Fans of northeastern Thai or Isaan cuisine might really enjoy Kop Jai Lai, as a lot of those Isaan dishes are actually Thai versions of classic Lao fare. 15423 Chatworth Street. August 6, 2018 Burbank— A taste of Rome is hitting Burbank thanks to Gourmet Romano . Its multigrain dough is fermented for 72 hours, and serves as a backdrop for toppings like prosciutto, ndjua, and smoked salmon. There’s also panini, suppli (rice balls), and salads for the full Italian experience. 4017 W Riverside Dr Unit C, Burbank Hollywood— It’s nice to see hometown Korean food breaking out of K-Town. BBQ + Rice is attempting to do just that with a simple menu of rice bowls and salads . Select from proteins like bulgogi, spicy pork, black pepper chicken, and galbi , or braised short ribs. There’s even mandoo and Korean fried chicken for all sorts of Korean snack cravings. 7363 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles Koreatown — K-Town sure does love its cutesy coffee shops, as another one has opened, this time adjacent to California Ramen Factory. Dubbed Mint Whale 2018 , it is unclear whether or not the name will change with each passing year. With a full roster of espresso drinks, fruity beverages like smoothies and mojitos, and sugary ice blended concoctions, it seems like a nice post-ramen treat. Bonus points for an Instagram-worthy purple flower ceiling . 4008 W 3rd St, Los Angeles Inglewood — While there may not be enough Caribbean restaurants in LA, drive south of the 10 to satisfy jerk cravings. And with Karuba’s Yardy Kitchen , there are more places for a taste of the islands . The strip mall contender on Centinela sounds like an outstanding place for oxtails, curry goat, and even the Jamaican classic ackee and salt fish. 1300 Centinela Ave Unit 103, Inglewood Highland Park — While Korean fried chicken is definitely a thing in LA, dedicated Thai chicken specialists haven’t quite broken the mold. That is until now with the opening of Hot Gai Thai Fried Chicken . As the name intimates, it’s all about the fried bird here , with a tight menu that also includes an interesting fried chicken laab and phanaeng curry fries. 5043 York Blvd, Los Angeles July 26, 2018 Chinatown— Hoping to give Tsujita a run for its money as the best tsukemen specialist in LA is Okiboru House of Tsukemen . The Chinatown shop makes its own noodles, a thicker variety ideal for dunking in the restaurant’s long-simmered broth. Beyond the standard chasu offerings, the specialty here is grilled pork ribs that adorn the “okiboru,” or “big bowl.” 635 N Broadway, Los Angeles Koreatown— Koreatown sure does love its drinking dens, where locals congregate over free-flowing soju and beer. Secret IZT is a new bar that encourages imbibers to pour their rice wine over cotton candy while nibbling on K-Town favorite corn cheese and dried cuttlefish. 301 S Western Ave. Ste 201, Los Angeles Downtown— The Spring Street Arcade has another business to its name, and although Los Angeles is most certainly a taco town, this one specializes in burritos . Calavera Burrito Co goes beyond that standard offerings with options that include chile relleno, beef birria, and chili verde shredded chicken. The burritos even come with chips and guacamole included. 541 S Spring St. Ste 106, Los Angeles Pico-Union— It isn’t often that one hears of a modern Nicaraguan restaurant opening up in the City of Angels. Portobanco’s Restaurant on Venice Boulevard brings people together over plates of fritanga and tostones in a nicely revamped, expansive space. 1225 Venice Blvd., Los Angeles Eagle Rock— Pasadena’s My Vegan opened a second location on Eagle Rock’s Colorado Boulevard. While the menu leans heavily Thai, there are plenty of eclectic options that include vegan chili cheese fries and an assortment of Impossible burgers. With a hipster-friendly space adorned with exposed light bulbs and concrete walls, it should surely become a welcome addition to the neighborhood. 1759 Colorado Blvd., Los Angeles July 18, 2018 Koreatown— Another day, another home-style Korean restaurant opening in K-town. With a name like YUKGA gogi house , it’s clear the restaurant focuses on meat, or gogi in Korean. Diners can expect plenty of meaty offerings in the form of soups like suhlungtang , braised short ribs galbi jjim , and hot stone bibimbap. 608 S New Hampshire Ave, Los Angeles Pico-Robertson— Hoping to bring a taste of Chicago to LA is Mild Sauce , a retailer specializing in the beloved condiment from the Windy City. The sweet and slightly spicy sauce apparently is prevalent at chicken joints and other restaurants in the city’s West and South sides. At the new eatery on Olympic and La Cienega , get it doused on chicken, catfish, shrimp, and okra in a fast-casual setting. 8500 W Olympic Blvd Ste B, Los Angeles Downtown— Taking over the former Tacos Tu Madre address Downtown is Chiquitita , a similar concept that also serves Mexican fare. The new Corporation Food Hall tenant serves everything from breakfast tacos and burritos to spicy tuna tostadas. 724 S Spring St, Los Angeles Mid-Wilshire — LA sure does love its casual taco spots, as yet another strip mall contender, Soto’s Kitchen , has opened up on on La Brea. The eatery currently operates within the extremely limited hours of Saturday, Sunday, and Monday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The family-owned Mexican cafe sells simple breakfast and lunch fare of tacos, burritos, and tortas. 1292 S La Brea Ave, Los Angeles Exposition Park — There aren’t nearly enough Turkish restaurants in LA. Luckily for USC students, a catering company, Halaloglu , has opened a brick-and-mortar location that specializes in halal bowls, sandwiches, and wraps. Certainly seems like a nice break from the massive number of surrounding poke and sandwich joints. 3742 S Figueroa St, Los Angeles July 13, 2018 Koreatown— With this blazing heat, it’s officially cold noodle weather in Los Angeles. And given the long lines at Koreatown hot spots like Yuchun, it’s nice to see a new entrant in the noodle game. Wonsan Myunok on Western is currently hawking a menu of all the summertime favorites like naengmyun , or chewy noodles that come served in an icy beef broth or spicy sauce. Tack on an order of mandoo , or Korean dumplings and kalbi , and call it a perfect afternoon. 901 S Western Ave Ste 101, Los Angeles Koreatown — Wonsan Myunok isn’t the only new opening in Koreatown, as the neighborhood rife with strip mall eateries has yet another newcomer. Bukchon offers a more varied menu of homestyle classics that range from whole chicken soup samgyetang and soybean stews. 361 S Western Ave Ste 101, Los Angeles Fairfax — An ultra hip new Thai joint has opened west of Thai Town on West Third. Dubbed The Thai Thing , the sleek space with subway tiled accent walls should certainly be a welcome addition to the neighborhood that could use a solid Southeast Asian restaurant. Expect all the standard dishes like ka prao, curries, pad see ew, and, of course, pad thai, that can be ordered with a selection of proteins. Bonus points for a quaint patio lit with bistro lights. 6015 W 3rd St, Los Angeles Studio City— Breakfast for lunch is officially a thing at the Valley’s new Belgian Waffle House . Similar to Orange County’s beloved Bruxie, sweet and savory waffles are the name of the game here, along with a full roster of espresso drinks. Think options like the prosciutto and scrambled egg, and the smoked salmon croque madame. 11211 Ventura Blvd Ste 102, Los Angeles East Hollywood— Breaking out of the standard Thai restaurant mold is Love Shrimp Thai Thai . The appropriately named eatery combines the concept o f peel-and-eat shrimp spots with Thai flavors . With lobster, snow crab legs, and Thai seafood soup, it sounds like a haven for crustacean lovers. 4814 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles July 6, 2018 Redondo Beach— Remember when Suburbia opened at a Redondo Beach strip mall? After a few years, Tin Vuong has converted the all-around restaurant into another branch of his Southeast Asian-inflected Little Sister , placing it just a few miles away from the Manhattan Beach original. It’s not clear when the flip took place, but the last Yelp reviews for Suburbia came out in May 2018. Either way, early results for the third Little Sister branch (the other is in Downtown) are pretty solid out of the gate. 247 Avenida Del Norte, Redondo Beach, CA. Montrose— C’est la Vie , from Little Flower’s Christine Moore, has closed and made way for another friendly neighborhood eatery called Cafe Montrose . Some of the ownership is the same, as is much of the food, which leans on seasonal and easy-going sandwiches, salads, and pastries. 3459 N. Verdugo Road, Glendale, CA. Little Tokyo— A new Korean fried chicken joint called BBQ Chicken ( which has another location in K-Town ) has opened in Little Tokyo with a slew of sweet-savory-spicy chicken and some comfort fare to go on the side. It’s a pretty affordable affair, with whole chickens running around $24, good for two to three people to share. 442 East 2nd Street, Little Tokyo. Glendale— Another fried bird specialist, this one called Trap Fried Chicken , has opened on Chevy Chase Drive in Glendale. Serving Instagram-friendly fried chicken sliders, mac & cheese, and grilled corn, this one’s been drawing long lines since opened a few weeks ago. Open 6 p.m. to midnight, which is a pretty late closing time for Glendale. 1600 E. Chevy Chase Drive, Glendale, CA. North Hollywood— Muddle & Twist is a strange combination of a barbecue joint and trendy watering hole at Magnolia Square in North Hollywood. Early reports for the smoked meats are fairly solid, with a parking lot patio and late hours which works well for any studio workers coming out of Burbank. 10865 Magnolia Boulevard, North Hollywood, CA. June 27, 2018 Sawtelle— The Korean fast-casual chain Bibigo , which wants to give Chipotle a run for its money with sizzling hot bibimbap bowls, has opened a bright new location on Sawtelle. They’ve got a few new innovations at this spot, like scrambled egg poured right into the stone bowls, traditional crispy Korean seafood pancakes, and bulgogi steak. It’s Bibigo’s return back to standalone restaurants vs. the mall-based model they’d tried for a while. 2210 Sawtelle Blvd. Los Angeles, CA Century City— Westfield Century City’s food court has a new Brazilian barbecue option called La Vaca , which serves churrasco in a by-the-pound cuts like picanha, garlic chicken, and liguica sausage paired with a buffet-style salad bar. It’s similar to the popular Pampas, which occupies space at The Original Farmer’s Market and Culver City. Hours run 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily., with a later closure on weekends. 1 0250 Santa Monica Blvd. Century City West Hollywood— A new sushi roll and ramen spot takes over a prime slot in West Hollywood called Akuma . The casual roll specialist serves reasonably priced tuna and crispy rice along with some standard-looking tonkotsu ramen. The happy hour prices are very good, and there’s even a nice patio space for summer outdoor dining. 8267 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood Inglewood— A unique new Mexican seafood spot called Lalo’s Mariscos combines Italian pasta with shellfish cocteles. Located just a few miles from LAX, they’ve got reasonably priced pasta bowls with shrimp and scallops, along with large salsa-laden fresh seafood cocktails. Despite the odd pairing, early reviews are pretty solid. 4820 West Century Blvd. Melrose— One of LA’s earliest acai bowl spots , Ubatuba , has expanded to West Hollywood on Melrose just east of Fairfax. The menu here hews closer to what one might find in Brazil, and they’ve even got pao de quiejo (chewy tapioca cheese balls), which works as a nice after school snack for nearby Fairfax high school students. 7751 Melrose Avenue, West Hollywood Eater LA Sign up for our newsletter. 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