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The 14 Most Anticipated Summer Restaurant Openings in LA

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Mei Lin inches towards her Arts District debut, and some of the city’s best tacos get a brick and mortar

Simone Restaurant
Pork chop at the upcoming Simone
Aliza J. Sokolow

This year has already been one of the most active in Los Angeles in terms of restaurant opening in recent memory. That’s thanks to years of development and expansions, plus a new crop of chefs and restaurateurs jumping into LA’s already crowded scene.

That doesn’t mean there isn’t room for new ideas, from elevated tacos and Spanish-inflected small plates to modern Asian-American. Prolific players like Bill Chait and Daniel Patterson have new spots while first time owners Mei Lin and Jessica Largey will add something totally different to the city. Here now, the 14 most anticipated restaurants projected to open this summer in Los Angeles.

Nightshade

Location: 923 E. 3rd St., Arts District

Razor clams with coconut vinaigrette and coriander by Mei Lin
Matthew Kang

Major Player: Mei Lin

The Situation: Top Chef winner Mei Lin is hoping for an August debut for her first standalone project Nightshade in the Arts District. The expansive space will feature a pan-Asian menu infused with modern touches and California sensibilities, with Lin herself calling the experience “fine food in a casual setting.”

Projected Opening: August 2018

Simone

Location: 447 S. Hewitt St., Arts District

Simone Restaurant
Pork chop at the upcoming Simone
Aliza J. Sokolow

Major Players: Jessica Largey, Bruno Bagbeni

The Situation: Former Manresa lead Jessica Largey is putting the finishing touches on her expansive Arts District space after much delay, and hopes to open up by early summer. When the expansive property does come online, expect a lively atmosphere in the main dining room, a coursed-out six-seat chef’s bar, and Duello, a fine cocktail bar tucked inside the whole thing.

Projected Opening: August 2018

Guerrilla Tacos

Location: 2016 E. 7th St., Arts District

Guerilla Tacos Instagram/@guerillatacos

Major Player: Wes Avila

The Situation: From cart to truck to cookbook to brick and mortar, it seems that Wes Avila can do it all. His latest magic trick is a set to arrive in less than six weeks, a fully-realized restaurant that expands on the modern Los Angeles Mexican food themes he and his team already do so well. Expect tacos of course, as well as drinks and an expanded menu of favorites. Build-out of the former La Reyna space is moving fast, so look for something soon.

Projected Opening: July 2018

Tesse

Location: 8500 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood

Raphael Francois
Tesse [official photo]

Major Players: Raphael Francois, Sally Camacho, Bill Chait

The Situation: Tesse is one of the first big new standalone Bill Chait restaurant projects following his departure from Sprout a few years ago, and it comes with a few big names. Acclaimed French chef Raphael Francois comes from Restaurant Le DeSales in Washington D.C., while pastry chef Sally Camacho is a star in her own right. Expect classic French and European dishes done with California flair, and an opulent dining room along the Sunset Strip.

Projected Opening: June 2018

Slab BBQ

Location: 8136 W. 3rd St., Mid-City West

Trudy’s Underground Barbecue
Trudy’s Underground Barbecue
Clay Larsen

Major Players: Burt Bakman, H.Wood Group

The Situation: Trudy’s Underground Barbecue founder Burt Bakman is moving into a space of his own thanks to the newly restaurant-focused H.Wood Group team. This West Third Street property will be a home for all things brisket and ribs, with a variety of Texas-leaning sides to boot. Expect drinks, both indoor and patio seating, and long lines when it’s all finally revealed.

Projected Opening: July 2018

Alta

Location: 5365 West Adams Blvd., West Adams

Alta
Chicken from Alta in San Francisco
Alta [official photo]

Major Player: Daniel Patterson

The Situation: Daniel Patterson has become familiar with Los Angeles through his work as part of Locol in Watts, but now he’s moving in with a new outpost of his San Francisco restaurant Alta. The upscale casual California-focused project will lean towards redone soul food thanks to on-site chef Keith Corbin, and will also feature an attached coffee bar, and will hire extensively from the surrounding community.

Projected Opening: July 2018

Cassell’s DTLA

Location: 421 W. 8th St.Los Angeles

Cassell's
Cassell’s Koreatown
Wonho Frank Lee

Major Players: Christian Page, Elia Aboumrad, and Jingbo Lou

The Situation: The team behind Cassell’s in Koreatown brought a revitalized taste of LA history to the city with the revival of a longtime strip mall burger stand into the remodeled Hotel Normandie. Well chef Christian Page and wife Elia Aboumrad, plus partner Jinbo Lou are at it again, this time bringing those fantastic burgers and patty melts to Downtown. That’s not all there is to this new location, though, with Page explaining that Cassell’s Downtown will focus on classic deli fare, with sandwiches perfect for a casual lunch and deli platters for office party catering.

Projected Opening: Mid-July 2018

Otoño

Location: 5715 N. Figueroa, Highland Park

Otoño
Spanish gin and tonic from Otoño
Instagram/@otonola

Major Players: Teresa Montaño, Vince Nguyen

The Situation: Partners Vince Nguyen and Teresa Montaño have a likely future hit on their hands with Otoño, the incoming Highland Park Spanish restaurant that’s still in build-out mode along the hottest dining corridor in Los Angeles. Expect a summer arrival for all things tapas, conservas, and wine.

Projected Opening: July 2018

Workshop

Location: 241 Main St.El Segundo, CA

Workshop
Pastas from Workshop
Workshop [official]

Major Player: Jackson Kalb

The Situation: It seems the South Bay always has a few exciting projects on their way, but the most notable of the bunch is likely Workshop. The work of Factory Kitchen vet Jackson Kalb, the tiny 900-square-foot space should become a handmade pasta force for the sleepy beach town. And with the pizza powerhouse Il Romanista nearby, it could be the mark of exciting things to come for El Segundo.

Projected Opening: Lunch begins next week, with dinner to follow

Mon Li

Location: 26025 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu

Matthew Biancaniello [official]

Major Player: Matthew Biancaniello

The Situation: Matthew Biancaniello, who may very well be Los Angeles’ most celebrate bar man, has long needed a place to flex his cocktail and food-pairing talents. Enter Mon Li, the very much anticipated omakase food and drink experience that will open at Calamigos’ beach club property. The twelve seat, three night a week restaurant/bar will certainly become quite a coveted ticket, and with Biancaniello’s track record of innovative cocktails that often merges food, it certainly should be one of the city’s most unique new eateries.

Projected Opening: August 2018

Unnamed Lincoln Carson Project

Location: 712 Santa Fe Ave.Los Angeles

The future home of Lincoln Carson’s project
Google Maps

Major Player: Lincoln Carson

The Situation: Acclaimed pastry chef Lincoln Carson (formerly Superba Food + Bread) is breathing new life into the relatively short-lived Petty Cash Taqueria branch in the Arts District. As one would expect from such a maven of all things dough, plenty of outstanding pastries should be on offer, but Carson will take a full walk on the savory side too, with dinner to start, followed by all-day service.

Projected Opening: Late summer/early fall 2018

LBK Pizza

Location: 4359 1⁄2 Tujunga Ave.Los Angeles

Luzzo’s BK LBK
The wood oven from Luzzo’s BK in Brooklyn
LBK [official photo]

Major Players: Stella Hospitality

The Situation: The team behind Luzzo’s in Brooklyn and Levante in Long Island City are bringing their particular version of Neapolitan-style pizzas to Studio City. As former business partners of the original Luzzo’s, the well regarded coal-oven-fired East Village institution, Stella Hospitality group should make a splash with their first West Coast location in the heart of the Valley.

Projected Opening: July 2018

Konbi

Location: 1463 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles

Konbi
Nick Montgomery and Akira Akuto
Konbi [official photo]

Major Players: Akira Akuto and Nick Montgomery

The Situation: The opening chefs behind the relatively short-lived Arts District restaurant Osso are at it again, this time with a casual, Japanese-style sandwich shop that will open in Echo Park. The design-influenced cafe will maintain 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. hours daily, and will also serve coffee, tea, and a smattering of other vegetable-focused dishes.

Projected Opening: July 2018

Phat Birds Inglewood

Location: 3386 W. Century Blvd., Inglewood

A fried chicken sandwich at Phat Birds
Phat Birds [official]

Major Players: Max Henriquez

The Situation: Fried chicken continues to have a stronghold in Los Angeles, with East Los Angeles star Phat Birds expanding to Inglewood with a built out menu and roomier digs to serve a range of Southern specialties. Brunch will also be on deck in the former Art’s Wings & Things space on Century Boulevard.

Projected Opening: August 2018

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