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

Parisian pastries in Glendale, late-night bites in Koreatown, and more

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Spicy Korean rice cakes at Butnal in Koreatown.
Spicy Korean rice cakes at Butnal in Koreatown.

Brand new restaurants open every day across the Southland, usually without too much fanfare. This periodic compilation spotlights some of the most 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. For the biggest restaurant openings in town, check out this companion list.

August 24, 2023

Hacienda Heights— Find Cantonese cooking served in a contemporary dining room at daytime spot Happy Morning. Dig into fish paste congee, steamed rice rolls, and pastries filled with beef tongue, while natural light fills the room. 2130 S. Hacienda Boulevard, Hacienda Heights, CA 91745.

Koreatown— Open from 5 p.m. until midnight, Butnal serves K-Town’s bevy of late-night revelers. On the menu are savory pancakes (spicy chive, oyster, kimchi, etc.), bubbling stews, and spicy fried chicken — everything pairs well with soju and makgeolli. 954 S. Norton Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90019.

San Gabriel— It’s all about the hand-made biángbiáng miàn at XiAn Biang Biang Noodle. The wide and thick strands are served in a variety of preparations, including a lamb noodle soup, a stir-fry with beef or mutton, and underneath a heap of “big plate” chicken. 1039 E. Valley Boulevard, B102, San Gabriel, CA 91776.

Eagle Rock— Get a taste of Filipino chef Marvin Aritrangco’s cooking at Hungry Turtle. The chef, whose career has spanned international television appearances and a stint in the United Arab Emirates cooking for the royal family, serves coffee, pastries, and a slew of entrees like vegan stuffed peppers, fried lemongrass chicken, and more. 1740 Colorado Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90041.

GlendaleSweet Demi Lune Bakery & Café comes from Andreh Esmaeili, a pastry chef specializing in Parisian-style baked goods. Find an array of viennoiseries lining the pastry case including croissants and kouign amann, and a selection of tarts like lemon yuzu, chocolate hazelnut, and classic mixed fruit. Coffee drinks served hot or cold are also on hand. 3600 Ocean View Boulevard, Glendale, CA 91208.

July 27, 2023

Eagle Rock— Viet Tran, the owner of Viet Noodle Bar in Atwater Village and Santa Monica, just opened Viet Tapas Bar. The tightly curated menu of a dozen or so Vietnamese bites is intended to be paired with wine and includes bò lá lốt made with bison, chayote with tofu, and clay pot rice. 1661 Colorado Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90041.

Burbank— With one location in North Hollywood, Bread and Breakfast is also bringing its unique brand of Mexican, Armenian, and American breakfasts to Burbank. In addition to the signature burritos stuffed with basturma and soujouk, find tacos, sliders, tortas, and more on the menu. 321 E. Alameda Avenue, Ste. H, Burbank, CA 91502.

Koreatown— Hamburgers get the Thai treatment at Crazy Thai Burger. The namesake dish features a Thai-style beef patty and barbecue sauce, while the “Crazy Krapow” burger includes a fried egg and bird’s eye chile sauce. The “Crazy Sticky Rice” burger comes with a larb patty and sticky rice “buns.” 4008 W. 3rd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90020.

DowntownFirst & Last Club, which opens on Friday, July 28, comes from first-time restauranteur Alessandro Nicolaci, who wanted to bring a slice of European beach culture to Downtown Los Angeles. The restaurant’s name is a nod to the menu’s intentionally limited offerings centered around appetizers, desserts, and shareable bites. 525 W. 7th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90014.

Exposition ParkLittle Pan-Fried Bun in Rowland Heights and Santa Ana is now open in Downtown Los Angeles. In addition to Shanghai-style soup dumplings that come steamed or pan-fried, the menu features a robust selection of soups, appetizers, and porridge. 3742 S. Figueroa Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007.

June 21, 2023

San Gabriel— With the departure of chef Peter Lai to buzzy Colette in Pasadena, ownership at Embassy Kitchen has transformed the Cantonese banquet hall into a sumptuous spot for Shanghainese cooking. While the exterior remains unchanged, the menu is completely new and leans into high-end seafood preparations including braised sea cucumber with abalone and spicy Dungeness crab with curry and salted egg yolk. 218 S. San Gabriel Boulevard, San Gabriel, CA 91776.

El SegundoRice Cups serves casual Korean fare meant to be eaten on the go. The concise menu, which includes just seven rice bowls and two kinds of corndogs, is served in white paper cups. Vegetarian options include rice bowls topped with fried tofu and fried lotus root. 130 E. Grand Avenue, Unit K, El Segundo, CA 90245.

Downtown— Billed as a “French-influenced farm-to-table restaurant,” House of Cocotte operates inside a co-working and event space in the Arts District by the same name. While “credits” are required to access workspace amenities, the restaurant is open to the public for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and late-night, and even serves a seasonal tasting menu with advance notice. 2028 E. 7th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90021.

Alhambra— Longtime Indonesian stalwart Wong Java House is under new ownership and has been renamed Wayang Restaurant. Well-known dishes like satay skewers and beef rendang appear on the halal menu, along with rarer finds like ikan penyet, a whole fried fish slathered in shrimp and chile sauce. The restaurant is closed on Tuesday and Wednesday. 1936 W. Valley Boulevard, Alhambra, CA 91803.

San Pedro— Find Trani’s Dockside Station tucked inside the original Immigration Station at the Port of Los Angeles. The space was formerly occupied by Canetti’s Seafood Grotto. The seafood-centric restaurant boasts a raw bar, preserved historical touches, and an approachable menu by chef Dustin Trani, who also runs J.Trani’s Ristorante nearby. 307 E. 22nd Street, San Pedro, CA 90731.

May 31, 2023

El MontePho Vit 115 serves a “taste of Định Quán,” a rural district of Đồng Nai province in southeast Vietnam. Most of the menu is dedicated to poached duck preparations, including duck salad (gỏi vịt) and duck noodle soup (bún vịt), along with chicken curry and roasted pork belly. The most unique dish on the menu is the bánh đúc mặn, a regional specialty of steamed rice cakes topped with dried shrimp and pork. 10053 Valley Boulevard, Ste. 2, El Monte, CA 91731.

Playa Vista— Find both traditional Ukrainian dishes and Italian pizzas at Mom, Please. On the Ukrainian side of the menu are dumplings filled with beef, chicken, or potatoes, as well as sweet and savory varenyky. Pizza options include margherita, pepperoni, and “kebab meatballs.” 13151 Fountain Park Drive, Playa Vista, CA 90094.

Alhambra— Open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Ai Wei Ju specializes in Beijing street food staples like jian bing (stuffed pancakes), potstickers, and liang pi (cold skin noodles). The early word is that the jian bing here rival those from Me+Crepe in Pasadena. 31 E. Valley Boulevard, Alhambra, CA 91801.

Lincoln Heights— Angelenos have a new option for Cuban fare at Soto’s Cuban Kitchen, which is located in a hidden-away food court on the ground floor of an apartment complex. The all-day restaurant serves hearty breakfast plates in the A.M., weekday lunch specials that include ropa vieja and oxtails, and plenty of vegetarian options too. 2020 Barranca St Los Angeles, CA 90031.

East Hollywood— Find Malai Noodles on Hollywood Boulevard alongside the Rad Nah Silom crew in front of Silom Supermarket. The dinner-only operation serves up modestly portioned and boldly flavored bowls of boat noodle soup and tom yum noodles for $7 a pop. 5321 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90027.

April 25, 2023

Little Tokyo— Eigikutei is the latest high-end dining option to open in Little Tokyo. The restaurant offers set menus centered around shabu-shabu (hot pot) and sushi, with prices ranging from $87 to $270 depending on the number of dishes included and the origin of the ingredients. 314 E. 1st Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012.

Los FelizKingdom Dim Sum is here to serve dim sum-craving Angelenos dwelling in and around Los Feliz. The menu, which includes standards like har gow, steamed rice rolls, and shu mai, is available for dining in, takeout, and delivery. 5445 Hollywood Boulevard, Ste. B, Los Angeles, CA 90027.

Tarzana— The Valley’s burgeoning bureka scene is heating up with the opening of Baba Burekas. The newcomer's wares bear a striking resemblance to those sold at Borekas in Sherman Oaks. In addition to burekas filled with spinach and cheese, mashed potatoes, and more, the shop makes a vegan version of the flakey hand pie. 6030 Reseda Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 91356.

Chinatown— Head to Yum Salut from Thursday to Monday (11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.) for a taste of “authentic Lao refugee cuisine.” Operated by Tharathip Soulisak from the Lokel’s Only space in Chinatown, Yum Salut serves an array of home-style lettuce wraps, rice dishes, noodle soups, and desserts. 635 N. Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90012.

Echo Park— Seattle-based Biscuit & Bean is expanding beyond the state of Washington for the first time ever. Scratch-made biscuits are sold a la carte for $6 or layered with various jams, cheeses, and meats in a sandwich starting at $10. The shop’s coffee is made using beans from Seattle’s Fulcrum Roasters. 2105 W. Sunset Boulevard, Ste. A, Los Angeles, CA 90026.

March 23, 2023

East HollywoodHeng Heng Chicken Rice brings Thai-style Hainan chicken rice to Thai Town visitors and residents. In addition to the classic dish composed of poached chicken over rice, the restaurant also serves a version with deep-fried chicken or crispy pork belly on a bed of garlicky noodles. 5420 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90027.

Arts District— Find Tokyo-style street food and a boisterous dining room at Taberu. In addition to the house-special pork belly-wrapped grilled vegetable skewers (yasai maki), the winding menu also includes a smattering of appetizers, ramen, sake cocktails, and beer. 806 E. 3rd Street, Unit 140, Los Angeles, CA 90013.

Calabasas— Come into Meez for “traditional and modern” interpretations of Persian cuisine. Any one of the menu’s trio of stews (ghormeh sabzi, gheymeh, fesenjoon) served with basmati rice makes for a warming starter before tearing into platters of grilled beef, chicken, lamb, or fish. 23508 Calabasas Road, Calabasas, CA 91302.

Mar Vista— The former Gravlax space is now Yahir, a Spanish-leaning spot for small plates and wines. The venison tartare gets topped with a cured egg yolk, while the chicken liver mousse is paired with an apricot chutney. Red, orange, white, and sparkling wines are available to wash everything down. 12400 Washington Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90066.

Sylmar— Flanked between a dentist’s office and a cell phone service store, Antojitos Tacaná brings Guatemalan cooking to the San Fernando Valley. Try a shuco, a Guatemalan take on a hot dog, or pick from a handful of classic street foods including tamales, garnarches, and quesadillas. Don’t miss the weekends-only pig feet soup. 14705 Rinaldi Street, San Fernando, CA 91340.

February 28, 2023

Glendora— Pinoy provisions purveyor Lumpia Mania just opened inside the Glendora Public Market. In addition to its namesake deep-fried rolls, the stall prepares a drippy double lumpia burger made with American cheese, beef patties, and butter on a pandesal roll. 905 E. Arrow Highway, Glendora, CA 91740.

South El Monte— Bánh Cuốn Hương Bắc brings northern Vietnamese fare to a busy stretch of Garvey Avenue. The specialty is bánh cuốn, steamed rice flour “crepes” served plain or filled with ground shrimp or a mixture of pork and wood ear mushrooms. Rounding out the succinct menu are noodle soups that also hail from the northern canon including canh bún, bún riêu, and bún mọc. 9442 Garvey Avenue, South El Monte, CA 91733.

Reseda— There are pupusas on the menu, of course, and so much more at Con Sabor Salvadoreño. Those swinging by during morning hours will do well with a traditional Salvadoran breakfast plate that includes eggs, fried plantains, rice, and beans. The pan con pollo makes for a tremendous lunch, while the pollo asado works at any time of day. 8241 Tampa Avenue, Reseda, CA 91335.

Monterey Park— While Korean barbecue is fairly common around the San Gabriel Valley, restaurants specializing in grilled Korean-style seafood are a rare sight. The Clam House takes a page from the playbook of Jae Bu Do in Koreatown with tableside charcoal grills and set menus that range from $80 to $175. 133 W. Garvey Avenue, Ste. C, Monterey Park, CA 91754.

Inglewood— After popping up in View Park-Windsor Hills for years, Bootsy BBQ finally has a brick-and-mortar location tucked inside Comfort LA in Inglewood. Get a taste of Armond Keys’s beef ribs, baby backs, brisket, and even salmon on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 11 a.m. until sold out. 902 N. La Brea Avenue, Inglewood, CA 90302.

January 30, 2023

Alhambra— Come into Orange Bistro for Taiwanese cooking served in a contemporary dining room. The portions are on the larger side, so eating with a group is essential for trying dishes beyond the requisite three-cup preparation. Stinky tofu gets a dedicated section on the robust menu. 11 W. Main Street, Alhambra, CA 91801.

South Pasadena— A second branch of Rice & Nori just opened in South Pasadena. The fast-casual Japanese American menu includes over a dozen onigiri, like ones filled with bacon and avocado, along with hand rolls and sashimi. 901 Fair Oaks Avenue, Ste. D, South Pasadena, CA 91030.

Santa Monica— Vegan sushi is on the rise in Los Angeles, and the latest newcomer is Narita on Main Street in Santa Monica. Expect to find classic appetizers (seaweed salad, marinated cucumbers, mixed greens), souped-up and simple sushi rolls, and even sashimi on the plant-based menu. 2400 Main Street, Santa Monica, CA 90405.

Monterey Park— Hunan and Sichuan cuisines, famous for chile-laden dishes, are the focus at Chef Fu. Duck heads and necks headline the cold appetizers, while fried cumin lamb, spicy pork trotters, and frogs in dry pot round out the menu. 788 S. Atlantic Boulevard, Monterey Park, CA 91754.

Canoga ParkTainos is here to satisfy those in search of Puerto Rican fare in the Southland. Tucked into a ghost kitchen in the Valley, Tainos’s signature dish is a whole-roasted chicken marinated in a proprietary spice blend and served with rice, beans, and guava sauce. The menu also includes mofongo and empanadas. Open Monday through Thursday from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. 9020 Owensmouth Avenue, Ste. 20, Canoga Park, CA 91304.