The past six months witnessed some of Los Angeles’s biggest restaurant openings, including Saffy’s from the Bestia and Bavel team in East Hollywood, chef Ray Garcia’s Asterid at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, and semi-hidden sushi destination Sawa in Little Tokyo. Chef José Andrés is back this fall with a handful of new projects — and more are coming — while some of the nation’s most prominent restaurateurs from Chicago and Louisiana are looking to make their mark in LA. From reborn Italian hangouts favored by the Rat Pack to America’s most famous fried chicken, here now are the most anticipated restaurants slated to arrive this fall and early winter.
Location: 13950 Panay Way, Marina del Rey
Major Players: Patti Rockenwagner, Hans Rockenwagner, Josiah Citrin
The Situation: This powerhouse trio of restaurant owners and chefs is back for a second go at collaboration. Following on the success of throwback chophouse destination Dear John’s, the Rockenwagners and Citrin are teaming up for a waterside seafood spin named Dear Jane’s that should arrive just in time for Los Angeles’s notorious late-summer heatwaves. Expect marina views, raw seafood platters, and mid-century-era cocktails.
Projected Opening: Late September
Location: 1060 S. Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90015
Major Players: Daniel Rose, Boka Restaurant Group
The Situation: Chef Daniel Rose takes over the food and beverage programs for the Hoxton hotel’s ground floor, which includes a restaurant, lobby lounge, and coffee stand. The Illinois-born, French-trained chef is best known for Michelin-starred Le Coucou restaurant in New York City. Cafe Basque brings French-style Basque cuisine to Downtown, with live-fire cooking, seasonally-driven ingredients, and local seafood.
Projected Opening: Mid-October
Bub & Grandma’s
Location: 3507 Eagle Rock Boulevard, Glassell Park
Major Players: Andy Kadin
The Situation: Angelenos have had a longstanding love affair with Andy Kadin’s bread, which will very soon be used as the building block for sandwiches at Bub & Grandma’s new cafe, slated to open imminently. Sandwiches will include a bacon, egg, and cheese on a Kaiser roll at breakfast, as well as tuna salad on challah; a pickled vegetable sandwich with sunflower tahini on seeded bread; and an Italian sub stuffed with salami, mortadella, capicola, and dry coppa. There will be toasts, breakfast pastries, cookies, cinnamon-sugar donuts, salads, and a coffee window as well.
Projected Opening: September 12
Location: 324 Lincoln Boulevard, Venice
Major Players: Kerry Seaton-Stewart, Mike Stewart, Jerry Greenberg, Lowell Sharron
The Situation: Willie Mae’s Scotch House is one of America’s most famous legacy restaurants. The historic, James Beard award-winning, 65-year-old New Orleans institution has long been sought out by travelers and locals as perhaps the best place in the United States for fried chicken (as well as other staple New Orleans foods). Now the family is expanding to Los Angeles to run a whole new location. Expect a slew of familiar dishes beyond said fried chicken, including gumbo, red beans, and more. Lowell Sharron and Sugarfish’s Jerry Greenberg are part of the team with Seaton-Stewart and Stewart, who will both be splitting their time between LA and New Orleans to make sure the West Coast location keeps the same quality.
Projected Opening: Mid-winter
Location: 100 S. Grand Avenue, Downtown
Major Players: José Andrés, ThinkFoodGroup
The Situation: Global celebrity chef José Andrés is back in Los Angeles in a big way, having already opened a slew of projects inside the Conrad hotel in Los Angeles, across the street from the Disney Concert Hall. His biggest return, though, is still to come with Bazaar Meat at the Grand LA development adjacent to his new restaurants. Bazaar Meat is practically synonymous with Andrés and features luxury in the form of caviar cones, jamon iberico tacos, and fire-kissed meat.
Projected Opening: Late fall
La Dolce Vita
Location: 9875 S. Santa Monica Boulevard, Beverly Hills
Major Players: Marc Rose and Med Abrous, Call Mom
The Situation: The longtime Los Angeles folks behind Genghis Cohen, the Spare Room, and other fun projects are looking to take on another colorful project, this time in Beverly Hills. The Call Mom hospitality group is redoing the longtime Rat Pack hangout La Dolce Vita, pulling the Sinatra-loved red sauce destination into the modern era (without losing its timeless charm). Expect classic service, spaghetti and meatballs, chicken parm, and a very cool-kid crowd.
Projected Opening: Late fall
Za Za Za
Location: 1993 Blake Avenue, Elysian Valley
Major Players: Alejandro Marin, Jorge Salim, and Javier Hernandez Pons, Paco Moran
The Situation: Key team members from Arts District rooftop hit LA Cha Cha Chá are teaming up again to create the similarly-toned Za Za Za restaurant in the heart of Elysian Valley, also known as Frogtown. The indoor-outdoor restaurant, imbued with lots of sandy tones and deep green touches, will seat north of 125 diners at a clip and will feature a curving bar, a big patio, and lots of room for casual upscale Mexican fare which will be heavy on the seafood and charred meats.
Projected Opening: Early November
Jemma di Mare
Location: 11677 San Vicente Boulevard, Brentwood
Major Players: Jackson Kalb
The Situation: Top Chef alum Jackson Kalb has been busy building a Westside empire, starting with Jame Enoteca and the hip Ospi in Venice. His next project brings him to Brentwood, where Jemma di Mare will focus on coastal Italian-American flavors. That means something slightly different than coastal Italy, so expect more fried fish, pasta and raw seafood preparations, and photogenic drinks.
Projected Opening: Late winter
Location: The Bradbury Building, 304 S. Broadway, Downtown
Major Players: NeueHouse
The Situation: The NeueHouse group is gearing up to open a dining room right within the Bradbury Building’s iconic atrium. The menu will skew toward casual all-day fare, with craft cocktails, wine, beer, and daytime drinks that are being billed as “creative recharges.” Live music courtesy of DJ residencies is also slated to be in the mix. Reservations will be open to non-members, although NeueHouse members will get priority.
Projected Opening: October
Location: 9255 Sunset Boulevard, West Hollywood
Major Players: Vandalay Hospitality Group
The Situation: One of the bigger Texas restaurant groups is headed for Los Angeles, with plans to open the successful Dallas-based Hudson House right along the Sunset Strip in late fall/early winter. The project will feature lots of East Coast touches and seafood, from lobster rolls and seafood towers to blue booths, roast chicken, and beyond. Once operational, Hudson House should offer all-day dining daily as well as weekend brunch.
Projected Opening: Early winter
Location: 73 Market Street, Venice
Major Players: NeueHouse
The Situation: It will be a busy fall for NeueHouse, which also plans to open its third Los Angeles location in Venice Beach. Along with that unveiling comes Reunion, a rooftop bar and restaurant that will offer 360-degree views. The menu will skew coastal Italian (with a handful of “secret” menu options for NeueHouse members), while mixology vet Eric Alperin of The Varnish is developing the cocktail program. Much like Wyman Bar, reservations will be open to the public, although members will have priority access.
Projected Opening: November