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5 Under-the-Radar New Restaurants to Check Out in Los Angeles

A mezcal temple in Atwater Village, vegan fast-food in the Fairfax District, and more

Little Saigon’s beloved Banh Cuon Tay Ho opened a new location in San Gabriel.
Little Saigon’s beloved Banh Cuon Tay Ho opened a new location in San Gabriel.
Tay Ho

Brand new restaurants open every day, often without too much fanfare across the Southland. This is a periodic compilation spotlighting just some of the fresh, notable, and under-the-radar places that have popped up recently. From the San Fernando Valley to the South Bay, from the Westside to the San Gabriel Valley — let’s dive right in.


January 5, 2022

South LA— Chef, artist, and activist Wo’se Kofi opened Baba’s Vegan Cafe in the Gramercy Park neighborhood of South LA amid the holiday hubbub. The former sous chef at Mister Wisdom and Stuff I Eat is making his signature Jamaican patties, along with a slew of vegan soul selections. The “welcome plate” changes daily and includes a bit of everything, like mac salad, dirty rice, and red cabbage. 6619 South Western Avenue, Los Angeles.

Atwater Village— The vacant Village Tavern is now a temple dedicated to mezcal with Sagrado Mezcaleria + Kitchen. The evenings-only spot serves an Oaxacan small bites menu meant to be paired with cocktails, like the “loca en la cabeza” made with mezcal, absinthe, agave, and grapefruit bitters. 3216 Glendale Boulevard, Los Angeles.

Manhattan Beach— Chef Al Kim serves a pan-Asian menu with an emphasis on noodles and dumplings at Pa-Do, which means “ocean waves” in Korean. On the menu are traditional takes, like the xiao long bao and pork potstickers, along with playful riffs including a Philly cheesesteak dumpling. 1017 Manhattan Avenue, Manhattan Beach.

San Gabriel— Little Saigon’s beloved Banh Cuon Tay Ho now has a LA location. Whereas the Orange County shops provide full service and mom-and-pop charm, this newest outlet is takeout-only, slickly packaged, and Instagram-ready. The restaurant’s signature Vietnamese banh cuon (rice rolls) come filled with traditional pork and woodear mushrooms or Beyond meat. 529 East Valley Boulevard, Suite 118B, San Gabriel.

Fairfax District— Plant Based As Fuck (PBAF) is here to serve those in the mood for classic fast-food prepared with a vegan bent. On the meatless menu are burgers, chicken sandwiches, breakfast burritos, with fries and tater tots on the side. 345 North La Brea Avenue, Los Angeles.

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