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LA’s Restaurant Renaissance Is Even Extending to the Cookbook World

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Plus a new chef at Maestro, and a hot chicken pop-up in Hollywood

Kris Yenbamroong
Matthew Kang

The year of LA

Los Angeles has experienced an incredible amount of restaurant growth over the past 18 months, with much more coming very, very soon. Another way the city continues to win on the culinary front? With cookbooks.

As LA Times points out, Los Angeles is in a similar cookbook frenzy right at the moment, with recent books either out now or coming soon from the likes of Josef Centeno, Wes Avila, and Kris Yenbamroong. Cookbooks can be a tricky proposition because they require an already-ardent fanbase, some national recognition, and recipes that work for the home chef — all things the Centenos and Yenbamroongs seem to be readymade for. It’s a good time to be eating in Los Angeles, and a great time to be cooking too.

A hot chicken pop-up

There’s a new hot chicken player in Los Angeles. This one comes in the form of a pop-up at Hollywood’s Electric Owl, and it’s got the awesome name McFly’s All-Natural. Check out the menu for the latest iteration below.

A new Maestro chef

Former Cocina Condesa chef Elena Vega is now at the helm of Maestro, the Pasadena modern Mexican outfit formerly helmed by Daniel Godinez. Expect a more casual turn to the place, along with the usual popular weekend brunch fare.

Green Door grows

Spinoff coffee shop Green Door Powered By Intelligentsia (yes that’s the full name) is close to opening in Beverly Hills. The company already has one South Bay location but has long promised to branch out — this time to a space on Robertson in Beverly Hills.

Alicia Kemper wins

Wine Enthusiast has named Alicia Kemper one of their 40 under 40 notables in the industry. The longtime wine lead at Fundamental is also an Eater Young Gun, and has been slowly helping to transform Los Angeles into a natural-wine-loving town for years.

Post-Bowl parties

Anyone looking for something to do after the Hollywood Bowl next Wednesday should consider Soul, the new long-awaited restaurant that recently opened right next to the Roosevelt Hotel. From 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., the Southern spot act as an afterparty of sorts, with Bowl players mixing it up with fans while the bar turns out drinks all evening.

Japanese breakfast wins

A rather unassuming operation out of Gardena is actually the home of what may be the best Japanese breakfast in LA County, says LA Weekly. It’s Fukagawa on Redondo Beach Boulevard, where morning combos have been popular with locals for more than 30 years.

New at Neighbor

Here’s the menu for Neighbor, the Abbot Kinney operation that officially opens tonight. It’s tucked into the former Willie Jane space, and should be a promising new casual dinner and patio optioin alongside neighbor Felix.

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