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Brand New Eateries to Check Out in Los Angeles

Funnel cake hot chicken in Pasadena and Italian-American classics in Inglewood

A chicken sandwich with funnel cake as buns.
Nashville hot chicken gets the carnival treatment at Funnel Birds in Pasadena.
[Official Photo]

This is a weekly compilation of noteworthy restaurant openings throughout Los Angeles. Take note of these under-the-radar places from the Valley to the South Bay, from the Westside to the San Gabriel Valley. Let’s dive right in.


October 16, 2019

Pasadena— The Nashville hot chicken trend is morphing in unexpected ways at Funnel Birds, an evening pop-up in Pasadena. The signature funnel bird includes a slab of hot chicken, cheese, and honey served on a funnel cake bun. 1171 E. Walnut St., Pasadena.

Hermosa Beach— Simms Restaurant Group alums Anne Conness and Nancy Vrankovic have teamed up to open MOSA, a seafood-leaning Italian restaurant. On the menu are oysters, pastas, and crowd-pleasing mains including a hamburger, steak frites, and scallops. 190 Hermosa Ave., Hermosa Beach.

Downtown— The Hand Roll Bar Experience, also known as the HRB Experience, borrows liberally from both Sugarfish and Kazu Nori with its menu of minimalist sushi and hand rolls. A second outlet is slated for the Westfield Century City mall. 529 W. 6th St., Los Angeles.

Los Angeles— Bay Area-favorite Italian Homemade Company has arrived in Los Angeles, but only as a cloud kitchen. Available through third-party delivery services are fresh pastas, salads, and piadinas, Italian flatbreads stuffed with cheese, vegetables, and meat. 615 N. Western Ave., Los Angeles.

Inglewood— Straightforward and satisfying Italian-American fare is the specialty at Sunday Gravy. Look for red checkered tablecloths and the genre’s greatest hits like cheesy garlic bread, New York-style cheesecake, and fettuccini alfredo. 1122 Centinela Ave., Inglewood.


October 2, 2019

Torrance— There’s no shortage of Hawaiian fare in the South Bay and the second outlet of Aunty Maile’s is a fine addition to the thriving scene. The extensive menu features crowd-pleasing favorites like loco moco, kalbi short ribs, and furikake shrimp. 19106 Normandie Ave., Torrance.

Duarte— Just point-point at what looks tasty at Art’s Kitchen, a casual Filipino walk-up in Duarte. Choose from one, two, or three dishes from the day’s selection that usually includes homey and flavorful options like adobo and sisig. 1741 E Huntington Dr., Duarte.

Long Beach— Find Louisiana-style fried chicken, as well as standard Vietnamese fare, all under one roof at Louisiana Asian Kitchen. On the Vietnamese side of the menu is pho, vermicelli noodles, and rice plates. 2405 E 7th St., Long Beach.

Glendale— Jin Cook serves up “authentic Korean soul food” across the street from Porto’s. The simple menu contains just five dishes including braised beef short ribs and chicken or pork katsu. Korean-style dumplings and chicken wings are on hand to round out any meal. 310 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale.

Rosemead— A third outlet of Kim Kee Noodle House has opened in Rosemead. The speciality here are Vietnamese-leaning chiuchow noodle soups with clear broths and egg noodles. Order a bowl of the Trieu Chau Thap Cam for a smattering of offals, shrimp, and pork. 8766 Valley Blvd., Rosemead.


September 25, 2019

Little Tokyo— It’s easier to get a taste of Kabuto’s Japanese fried chicken now that the 626 Night Market vendor has a permanent space. The fried Jidori chickens are available a la carte and in set menus. The slew of sides includes creamed corn, cold tofu, garlic noodles, and curry mac and cheese. 323 E 1st St., Los Angeles.

Long BeachHaewah Dal is an ambitious restaurant serving “modern Korean cuisine” from chef Jake S. Jung. The restaurant is offering three different tasting menus — 10-courses for $130, 6-courses for $80, and a 5-course vegan tasting for $60 — along with an la carte menu. Dishes include Korean classics like bossam and galbijjim prepared with well-sourced ingredients and fine dining flare. 5020 East 2nd Street, Long Beach.

Hacienda HeightsPopping Yolk Cafe brings unfussy breakfast fare to this eastern suburb. On the menu are things like fancy French toast, classic egg Benedict, and almost-too-pretty to eat open-faced sandwiches. 15840 Halliburton Rd., Hacienda Heights.

Rosemead— Find CQ Tasty King hidden inside the foodcourt at GW Supermarket. The menu boasts specialties from Chongqing, including its famous hot pots, as well as oil-slicked noodles and dumplings The Sichuan food trend doesn’t look to be slowing down anytime soon. 8150 Garvey Ave., 105, Rosemead.

Manchester SquareThe Seafood Xperience serves up fresh fish, shrimp, and lobster in a variety of ways including grilled, deep-fried, on ice, and even tucked inside po’ boy sandwiches. Rounding out the menu are Southern-style sides like hush puppies and lobster mac and cheese. 2100 W. Florence Ave., Los Angeles.


September 18, 2019

Koreatown— South Korea’s Twozone Chicken opened its first stateside location in Koreatown. Established in 2007, the fried chicken specialist is best known for its plethora of flavors including cajun, wasabi, and honey butter. Diners are encouraged to mix and match flavors according to taste preferences. 3516 W 8th St., Los Angeles.

Little Tokyo— Fans of the now-closed Maison Akira in Pasadena can experience chef Akira Hirose’s cooking once again at Azay, a casual eatery serving French and Japanese breakfast and lunch. Come in before 11 a.m. for a traditional Japanese breakfast of broiled fish, rice, miso soup, pickles, and an omelet. 226 E 1st St., Los Angeles.

East Los Angeles— A second outlet of Alhambra’s Mancora Peruvian Cuisine is now up and running. The menu of carefully made fare is largely the same as at the original location, offering Peru’s greatest hits from chaufa to ceviches. 283 S. Atlantic Blvd., Los Angeles.

Lake Balboa— Saffron Mediterranean Kitchen serves up fast-casual Mediterranean fare. Diners can build their own pita sandwiches, tacos, or salad bowls with chicken, beef, or falafel. 7600 Balboa Blvd., Los Angeles.

San Gabriel— For late-night dining in the San Gabriel Valley, look no further than Hong Kong-style cafes, like HK Grand Cafe. From creamy seafood pasta to wonton noodle soup, the extensive menu of Chinese and European fare offers something for every mood. 5449 Rosemead Blvd., San Gabriel.


September 11, 2019

Mid-City— Roji Bakery, which opened in 2006 in Kumamoto, Japan, serves the unbeatable combination of carbohydrates and caffeine. With loaves of milk bread, lovely pastries, and plenty of coffee on offer, this place is perfect for mornings and afternoon pick-me-ups. 807 S La Brea Ave., Los Angeles.

Torrance— Head to the new Shiok! Asian Street Food in Torrance for a casual pan-Asian dining experience. The restaurant’s best-sellers include a Vietnamese banh mi with lemongrass steak on a house-made baguette, as well as rice bowls topped with steak or vegetarian jackfruit. 2595 Airport Dr., Torrance.

West Hollywood— Poached chicken served alongside broth-cooked rice is a staple in many Asian countries and What The Cluck shares the Thai tradition of khao man gai with WeHo denizens. The first location opened in San Francisco. Hone in on the skin-on organic chicken, livers, and poached egg served with rice and plenty of the restaurant’s signature sauce. 8281 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood.

Temple City— In a crowded noodle and dumpling market like the SGV’s, newcomer Dumpling King will face stiff competition from every corner of the valley. From meat-stuffed pastries to dumplings fried and steamed, the self-anointed king will need to prove itself with every bite. 10689 Lower Azusa Rd., Temple City.

Redondo Beach— Hermosa Beach’s The Hook & Plow has expanded to nearby Redondo Beach. Get a taste for the place by coming in for happy hour Monday to Friday from 3 to 6 p.m. for $5 beers and a slew of appealing bar bites. 1729 S. Catalina Ave., Redondo Beach.


September 4, 2019

Glendale— Pasadena’s Monta Factory has opened a second more service-oriented outlet in nearby Glendale. The menu is mostly the same, with little beef dumplings served with four sauces, salmon burgers, and cheesy sue-beoregs. 1208 W Glenoaks Blvd., Glendale.

Culver CityBianca Bakery has transformed the former Cannibal space at the Platform into an inviting spot to gather, caffeinate, and luxuriate. Find freshly baked bread, carefully made cakes, sweet and savory pastries, and a smattering of savories like open-faced sandwiches on hand. 8850 Washington Blvd., Culver City.

San Gabriel— Hot pot spots are a dime a dozen in this neighborhood. Hiher hopes to stand out from the crowd with a different service model where diners select meat and vegetables from a buffet table and are charged by the pound. 288 S San Gabriel Blvd., San Gabriel.

Hollywood— The Nashville hot chicken trend shows no sign of slowing down. New to the touristy district is Hot Motha Clucker, which promises an “extreme chicken experience.” One of the restaurant’s best-sellers are cheesy fries topped with chopped chicken tenders. 1708 N. Las Palmas, Los Angeles.

Koreatown— Opened by an entertainment industry vet, Nadri Korean Tea House serves traditional Korean teas, snacks, and desserts. Enjoy a mug of burdock root tea while nibbling a sausage and rice cake skewer. Save room for shaved ice for dessert. 4011 W. 6th St., Los Angeles.


August 28, 2019

Fairfax— Vow Burger, a socially conscious restaurant venture, is on a mission to make a positive impact by serving an entirely meat-free menu and donating a meal for every meal purchased. 519 N Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles.

Downtown— Mon Petit Poulet keeps its menu simple, offering only organic roasted chickens and a handful of sides including rice, potatoes, and a baguette. Chicken flavor “profiles” include thyme, rosemary, oranges, figs, and olives. 541 South Spring St., Los Angeles.

Pasadena— Check out Pillow Talk for coffee, pastries, and fanciful fruity trifles served in metal tins on South Lake Avenue. Signature beverages include a pineapple Americano and an ice tiramisu. 526 S Lake Ave., Pasadena.

Long Beach— South Bay revelers have a new place to call home: Long Beach Tap House. With over 30 beers on tap and alcoholic shakes, there’s something for everyone. 5110 E 2nd St., Long Beach.

Compton— Inspired by the southern tradition of Friday fish fries, Fishbone Seafood is making waves with things like po’ boys and all manner of fried seafood on the menu. This is the fifth location in LA proper for the local chain-let 162 E. Compton Blvd., Compton.


August 21, 2019

Alhambra— Yang’s Kitchen serves Taiwanese-inspired fare made with wholesome ingredients, like locally milled flours from Grist & Toll and organic vegetables. Sneak in during soft opening for a taste of chef Chris Yang’s beef noodle soup and braised pork with rice. 112 W. Main St., Alhambra.

Eagle Rock— Mama Shawerma brings grilled chicken wraps and salads with a Mediterranean bent to northeast LA. The signature wrap includes pickles, cheddar, and chicken wrapped neatly in a grilled flatbread. 2040 Colorado Blvd., Los Angeles.

Downtown— New to Santee Alley in Downtown’s Fashion District is Artesano Tamaleria, a tamale specialist with a penchant for both traditional and creative takes. Unique fillings include goat cheese, fish, and a sweet tamale with pineapple. 819 Santee St., Los Angeles.

Monterey Park— Cantonese newcomer Tan Gong brings a cart-less dim sum experience to a neighborhood not short on yum cha options. The genre’s greatest hits, like steamed pork buns and fried turnip cakes, are present and accounted for. 111 N. Atlantic Blvd., Monterey Park.

Downtown— San Francisco-based KoJa Kitchen brings its Korean-Japanese burgers served with crispy garlic rice buns to the heart of downtown. This is the 15th location for Alan Tsai and Hiep Lien, and the first in LA proper. 611 West 7th St., Los Angeles.


August 14, 2019

VeniceEla Greek Eats serves fast-casual fare in a brightly lit room on Lincoln Boulevard. The menu is easy to navigate with salads, gyros, dips, as well as more traditional Greek offerings like moussaka. Most dishes are served with a choice of lamb, chicken, steak, salmon, or tuna, which means there’s something for everyone. 307 Lincoln Blvd., Venice.

Monterey Park— The former owner of Delicious Food Corner is serving up more Cantonese fare at Alice’s Kitchen. With congee, clay pot rices, and curries on the menu, the Hong Kong hits keep coming. 580 E Garvey Ave., Monterey Park.

Little Tokyo— With locations in West Covina and Cerritos, The Noypitz Bar and Grill is poised to bring traditional Filipino cooking to Downtown denizens. There’s live music and a full bar to accompany all that hearty Pinoy fare. 333 S. Alameda St., Ste. 115, Los Angeles.

Palms— Upon watching George Motz’s documentary “Hamburger America,” Mark Tripp set out to create the perfect burger. Now at his Westside pop-up Tripp Burgers, Tripp serves smashed burgers simply dressed with American cheese on a toasted Martin’s Famous Potato Roll. For the latest updates, see Instagram. 3458 S. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles.

Covina— Look no further than Cajun Crawfish Stop the next time a craving for Viet-Cajun strikes. In addition to the usual spice-rubbed shrimp and crawfish are a number of Vietnamese specialties including bun rieu, a crab and tomato noodle soup, and chicken pho. 405 N. Vincent Ave., Covina.


August 7, 2019

Larchmont— The Filipino food movement shows no sign of slowing down. Rice Guys serves up rice bowls gussied up with an array of Pinoy proteins including grilled pork belly, coconut-poached chicken thighs, and glazed adobo chicken wings. 615 N. Western Ave., Los Angeles.

Downtown— Look for Burritobreak on the corner of Figueroa and 7th on weekdays from 7 a.m. until noon. This mobile food stand serves up moderately priced and petite burritos filled with things like eggs, cheese, and potatoes. 888 W. 7th St., Los Angeles.

San Gabriel— Straight out of Guangzhou is Yin Ji Chang Fen, a Cantonese congee and rice rolls specialist. The porridges here come topped with preserved eggs or pork blood, while the rice rolls are filled with pork kidneys or shrimp. 227 W. Valley Blvd., Ste 118-A, San Gabriel.

Koreatown— There is a new gopchang specialist in town for those who prefer innards when it comes to Korean barbecue. Hak San serves up a number of combinations showcasing large and small intestines, but also offers plain ol’ beef and pork for those less inclined toward offals. 3101 W. 8th St., Los Angeles.

Redondo Beach— Local chainlet Kalaveras opened its third location by the water. The Day of the Dead-themed restaurant brings together dependable cocktails and Mexican staples in festive fashion. 228 Ave. I, Redondo Beach.