As the first half of 2023 saw mostly wet weather followed by May grey and into June Gloom, LA chefs and operators are preparing to introduce their new restaurants to the bright, warm, and drizzle-free days of summer. Spring welcomed some enticing newcomers, but this summer is shaping up to include all types, from a beloved barbecue pitmaster to a famous tiki bar makeover. Here are eight upcoming LA restaurants and bars we can’t wait to try in the summer of 2023.
Best Bet Pizzeria
Location: Culver City
Players: Jason Neroni
Projected opening: June
The situation: When it opens later this month, Best Bet Pizzeria will complete a three-year process where Venice chef Jason Neroni takes up pie production in Roy Choi’s former A-Frame space. On Instagram, Neroni says the opening “Is so close, we are just waiting for the paint to dry.” Neroni will serve 10- and 20-inch wood-fired and NY-style pies with Sicilian/focaccia-style square pizza, and fried Montanara-style pizza. Also, expect pastas, binchotan/white charcoal-grilled meats, and rotisserie-cooked lamb shoulder and short ribs.
Location: Laguna Beach
Players: Boulevard Hospitality Group
Projected opening: June 10
The situation: Two World War II veterans opened Laguna Beach’s Royal Hawaiian in 1947. It closed in 2022 until Boulevard Hospitality Group — who oversees the TCL Chinese Theatre, Yamashiro, and the Arts District’s Kodo — took it over and is preparing it for a debut this weekend, June 10. The team brought in known fabricator Ignacio “Notch” Gonzales to revamp the 10,000-square-foot space while drawing influence from the past and taking a thoughtful approach to address cultural erasure and overdue discussions of appropriation. Employees Only’s Dushan Zaric will handle the cocktail menu, and Yamashiro chef Jae Hee Lee put together a menu utilizing Korean, Filipino, Japanese, and Chamorro flavors.
Location: Santa Monica
Players: Kevin Bludso, James Starr
Projected opening: Early July
The situation: As one of SoCal’s most respected barbecue operations, Bludso’s BBQ is operated by Kevin Bludso plus Cofax and Prime Pizza owner James Starr. With a well-established location on La Brea near Melrose, the Westside space is happening as Bludso makes food festival and Netflix appearances, or takes in a fresh win at the James Beard Awards ceremony last weekend. The partners have their hands full with a full build-out and inspections at the former Truxton’s on Santa Monica Boulevard and 14th Street. Starr tells Eater LA they’re pushing for early July.
Location: Silver Lake
Players: Nic Adler, Jared Simons
Projected opening: August
The situation: Prolific plant-based restaurateur Nic Adler’s latest project is straight out of Silver Lake in Moby’s Little Pine space. He’ll bring over chef Jared Simons to run Argento where Italian flavors will run the show. Adler and partners are still building Argento while preparing to close Nic’s on Beverly on June 18.
Location: Highland Park
Players: Cary Mosier, Kat Turner, and Alex and Chelsea Matthews
Projected opening: August
West Adams’ popular cafe Highly Likely is moving across town and into Highland Park. Chef Kat Turner — with partners under the Delicious Monsters restaurant group — says version 2.0 is slated for late July, provided approvals and inspections are in order. Highly Likely will reside in a central spot on Figueroa and 55th, across the street from popular Peruvian restaurant Rosty, while blocks away from Highland Park Bowl and the Greyhound. Contractors are currently refreshing the former Kitchen Academy’s indoor space while building a sizeable 2,500-square-foot patio into a fully landscaped outdoor bar. Turner says August is the opening date.
Suá Kitchen and Superette
Location: Larchmont Village
Players: Jing Gao and Stephanie Liu Hjelmeseth
Projected opening: Summer
The creator of Sichuan condiment sensation Fly By Jing will open a market in Larchmont Village this July. Jing Gao is calling it Suá Kitchen and Superette which is “An all-day, grab-and-go marketplace offering pre-packaged meals,” says Gao. Staff will line the shelves with AAPI vendors and offer a modern take on Sichuan fare. Expect Suá to open this summer.
Broad Street Oyster Co. HB
Location: Huntington Beach
Players: Christopher Tompkins
Projected opening: Mid-summer
It’s hard to believe that Broad Street Oyster Co. started six years ago. The popular restaurant now has locations in Malibu, Grand Central Market, Santa Barbara, and San Francisco, plus a new stand at the Huntington Beach Pier opening this summer, making it the first location to open in Orange County.
Players: Houston Hospitality, plus chefs Ray Garcia, Josh Gil, Hisae Stuck, and Richard Archuleta
Projected opening: August
Plenty is happening at Level 8 inside the Moxy and AC Hotels. In addition to multiple bar spaces run by the Houston Hospitality brothers, some of LA’s biggest culinary talents will operate multiple dining concepts across several different floors. That includes Qué Bárbaro and Brown Sheep from chef Ray Garcia, Maison Kasai and Mother of Pearl from Mírame and Mírate chef Josh Gil, and Lucky Mizu shabu-shabu and seiro-mushi (steam cooked) from Hisae Stuck. A spokesperson tells Eater that the restaurants will begin a rolling opening process beginning in August.
Updates for previously mentioned anticipated openings:
- Baroo: Opening this summer, this is the fully formed, tasting menu format from chef Kwang Uh and partner Mina Park.
- Sushi Sonagi: Originally slated for spring, Daniel Son is traveling before opening his upscale omakase restaurant this summer.
- Atla: Anticipated spring opening, more likely July/early August, from NYC’s modern Mexican restaurant from Enrique Olvera.