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The Most Anticipated Los Angeles Restaurant Openings, Spring 2016

The next crop of compelling LA restaurants

Farley Elliott

Howlin' Ray's

Address: Far East Plaza, 727 N. Broadway

Projected opening: April

It's hard to think of a chicken restaurant that has ever been more hotly anticipated than Howlin' Ray's. Although several setbacks have delayed the opening date much longer than its hot chicken fans would like, the brick-and-mortar iteration of the popular food truck should open its doors in Chinatown's Far East Plaza with the likes of Chego, Pok Pok Phat Thai, and Ramen Champ any day now. —CC

Highland Park Bowl

Address: 5621 N. Figueroa

Projected opening: Late April

Originally built in 1927 as a bowling alley before becoming Mr. T's, Highland Park Bowl (the original and upcoming name) went dark a few years back when 1933 Group (Harlowe, Sassafrass, Idle Hour) took over the iconic live music venue with the aims of restoring it to its original glory. The lanes that were washed away with time are back in play, making the revamped space the oldest operating bowling alley in LA. Expect craft beers, bites, and a wide variety of libations when it opens in April. —CC


Address: 5630 N. Figueroa St.

Projected opening: Second quarter of 2016

The Greyhound team has been busy building out this former boutique into a classy cocktail lounge in the heart of Figueroa's budding dining corridor. With a shift toward ambiance and vibe, the drink program should still be more than respectable for the area, with Mauricio Canales assembling the menu.

Mod Con (New name tba)

Address: 8459 Beverly Blvd.

Projected opening: Within the next few weeks

The former Cafe Sushi, a long time staple of Beverly Blvd, has given way to this new school globally-influenced restaurant from Jeff Ko. The details are still thin at this point, but look forward to craveable, affordable fare in a prime location, plus beer and wine. Oh, and the name will likely change a little bit as well since there were some trademark conflicts with Mod Con.


[Photo: Facebook]

Address: 300 S. Sante Fe

Projected opening: Early May

This Arts District project has a little bit of everything: cocktails by Mitch Bushell, plus Alma and Melisse vet Gary Nguyen in the kitchen doing a small plates menu. The design by Studio Collective will hold up to 80 diners and features a copper-lined bar. Just the kind of neighborhood spot the Arts District could use.


Address: 3500 Overland Avenue

Projected opening: Late March/Early April

Originally slated for an early winter opening, some setbacks have put the project on an early spring debut. But here's the lowdown: Roy Choi returns to Palms after vacating his original Chego space to open in Chinatown. Expect fusion Korean and Mexican flavors via tacos, burritos, quesadillas, and more.


[Photo: Farley Elliott]

Address: 2490 N. Fletcher Drive

Projected opening: April 15

This large-scale Mexican barbecue place takes inspiration from Austin-style barbecue joints and Sonoran-style taco spots. So expect a heavy emphasis on grilled carne asada and more on handmade flour tortillas. Billy Silverman and Mexicali Taco & Co. vet Esdras Ochoa are overlooking the project, which hopes to open within the next month in Frogtown.


Address: 6600 W. Sunset Blvd.

Projected opening: Late spring

Curtis Stone and Chi Spacca vet Chad Colby are building the ultimate meat-centric restaurant in Hollywood in the old Mercantile space. Right now the place is in the thick of construction, and according to Colby's Instagram, he seems to be hanging out with Argentina chef Francis Mallman. Perhaps Mallman's rustic grill techniques might make their way to Los Angeles. The place will also feature a European-style butcher shop, in case you want to take the grill game home.


Address: 815 S. Hill St.

Projected opening: End of March

It's a shame that chef/owner David Schlosser's Shibumi has been delayed, as Angelenos should be excited for the L'Arpege and Urasawa-trained chef's upcoming kappo-style restaurant. Here Schlosser's experience in Japan with famous kaiseki chefs Kikunoi Honten and Arashiyama Kitcho will come into play, with a dining experience that will be like a less formal, counter-style kaiseki that can enjoyed with beer, sake, and pared-down cocktails. —CC

The Cannibal

Address: 8850 W. Washington Blvd.

Projected opening: Late April

This beloved New York City restaurant is opening a massive restaurant and adjacent butcher shop in Culver City's The Platform project. The butcher shop, which will have a sandwich and takeout component, will come first while the larger restaurant, which features a meat-heavy menu, will come a little bit later. Oh, and expect a diverse craft beer selection. Christian Pappanicholas, Cory Lane, and executive chef Francisc Derby are working together on this project, with design from Studio MAI.


Address: 888 Wilshire

Projected opening: Mid to late April

Downtown's Cucina Rustica on the corner of Wilshire and Flower has been gradually rebranding into the upcoming Miro. After going under the knife to brighten up the space, the new concept is about ready to emerge as a more pan-European spot, breaking away from Cucina Rustica's strictly Italian menu. Expect dishes like Portuguese fish stew and wood-fired pizzas by chef Gavin Mills that can be enjoyed with Tyler Dow's (formerly GM of Faith & Flower) curated international whiskey program. —CC


Address: 1023 Abbot Kinney Blvd.

Projected opening: Late spring

Evan Funke is back, thanks to a partnership with a seasoned Toronto restaurant group and a prime location on Abbot Kinney in the former Joe's restaurant space. Funke is bringing back his market-driven cooking spoken through the lens of Italian pasta. One notable addition the reportoire: wood-fired pizzas, which Funke never did back at his former restaurant Bucato.

Here's Looking at You

Address: 2901 W. 6th St.

Projected opening: Late spring

Jonathan Whitener, former chef de cuisine of Animal, has partnered with front of house vet Lien Ta to open a restaurant in the former Whiz space in Koreatown. The concept promises a blend of Mexican and Japanese flavors, though the bill of fare might include anything from fried chicken, hamachi crudo, and other uber-trendy dishes you'll find across L.A.


Address: 243 S. San Pedro St.

Projected opening: Late April

Industry veterans Duke Gervais, formerly of Cube and Pizzeria Antica, has partnered with David King (Osteria Mozza) to open a small plates and cocktail spot in the old Toranoko space in Little Tokyo. Project M+ has plans to fully redesign the space. Originally slated to offer Haitian and Southern flavors, the place might eventually lean in another direction once it opens.


Address: 6115 Sunset Blvd #100

Projected opening: Mid-April

Chef Greg Bernhardt, formerly of Church & State, along with Nicolas Fanucci (previously at The French Laundry), are preparing to open a suave new restaurant in the heart of Hollywood in a beautiful 1930s building. Bishop Pass and Plan Do See are redesigning the space, which was once part of CBS Studios and was originally put together by architect William Lescaze. As for the menu, expect modern California cuisine, which means something like miso beef tartare with grapefruit, mint, and gochujang vinaigrette.

Ramen Champ

727 N Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90012 (213) 316-8595

Far East Plaza

727 North Broadway, , CA 90012 (424) 207-4459

Pok Pok Phat Thai

727 N Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90012 (213) 628-3071 Visit Website


218 North Rodeo Drive, , CA 90210 (310) 247-8939 Visit Website


7321 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90046 323-876-5839