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Topanga Social Brings LA’s Brightest Food Stars to the Valley This Week

Plus, Josiah Citrin gets real, new bagels to know about, and more

Orange lettering for a food hall with light blue umbrellas and glass, at daytime.
Signage for Topanga Social.
Topanga Social.
Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

Topanga Social is here. The Westfield Topanga food hall project opens to the West Valley and beyond this Thursday, May 11, meaning some of LA’s most familiar restaurants can now be found in the deepest reaches of the San Fernando Valley. That’s great for diners there, and even better for some of the restaurants tapped to expand into the giant 55,000-square-foot space, with its hundreds of seats and endless possibilities. More than two dozen food and drink vendors now call Topanga Social home, including LA hotspots like Katsu Sando, DTown Pizzeria, Slab BBQ, Tail O’ the Pup, Amboy Quality Burgers, the Pie Room by Curtis Stone, and tiny Glendale Armenian restaurant Mini Kabob. The space, designed by AvroKO and PGAL, and overseen by Robert Earl of Earl Enterprises (Virtual Dining Concepts, Buca di Beppo, Planet Hollywood), was conceived as a fully-realized dining hub with multiple standalone full-service bars, a cocktail garden, and a semi-secret arcade area. The space has been in preview mode for more than a week, and opens wide on Thursday, May 11, keeping hours from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.

A dark room with backlit restaurant signs with names like Slab, inside of a large food hall.
Vendor signs at Topanga Social.
Topanga Social

Talking with Josiah

Melisse chef Josiah Citrin gets candid for a new feature in Honest Cooking, talking about how he has grown his restaurant empire, the expectations Angelenos have when eating out, and what he thinks of his own fine dining cooking in 2023. “It’s not that I don’t see a future in fine dining, it’s just that at the end of the day I’ve gravitated towards creating the types of restaurants that I feel like people want to go to in LA,” says Citrin, “and also projects that I can grow and replicate.”

Deals in the desert

Restaurant Week is coming to the greater Palm Springs/Coachella Valley region from June 2 to June 11. The annual showcase of area restaurants is entering its 15th year, and the deals are more prolific than ever. Expect more than 80 restaurants to participate with one-off menus, multi-course affairs, and budget-friendly collaborations.

A lunchtime burger setup

Melanie Wine Bar is prepping to launch a new daytime lunch program, selling smash burgers and other fare from chef Jorge Simental under the name Melanie Burger. “[It’s] a throwback brand,” says Andy Paxson (Sushi Note) to LA Weekly, “you’ll be served out of a sack lunch bag with your name on it.” The first day of service is May 17.

A new face in Hollywood

The Godfrey Hotel in Hollywood has a new culinary lead. Paris-born chef Olivier Rousselle (Michael’s, Luxe Hotels) is on to oversee the IO Rooftop space and ground-floor all-day restaurant ALK (that’s About Last Knife), turning out flatbreads, wings, a Maine lobster roll, a burger, pastas, and more.

Same name, new bagels

Wake and Late has reverted back to its original name, dropping the swap to Sundays the bakery last week. The name — originally a nod to the concept’s plan to only offer food in the early mornings and very late at night — no longer encompasses the entirety of the group’s latest plans for its bakery side, as it moves from a breakfast burrito hotspot to something much bigger, but had become so beloved by fans that ownership decided to settle back in.

The announcement of the name retraction joined news of the group’s new sourdough bagel launch in the coming weeks, with a full menu of bagel options alongside the rugelach, burritos, and other treats the Wake and Late crew is cooking up. Look for several new spaces to open outside of Downtown in the coming months as well.