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The mushroom-shaped exterior at Toadstool Cafe.
Toadstool Cafe.
Wonho Frank Lee

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The Biggest LA Restaurant Openings to Know in February

From a Super Mario Brothers-themed restaurant to a natural wine bar in Silver Lake, here are the most important new restaurants to know in Los Angeles

Los Angeles is no stranger to splashy restaurant openings situated in iconic buildings and helmed by big-name chefs. Consider this monthly rundown a go-to guide for the newest and boldest debuts across the Southland. For more under-the-radar restaurant openings, check out this companion list.


Angler, Beverly Grove

On February 1, after months of retouching the dining room and overhauling its menu, Angler returned to LA. The new iteration is still the work of San Franciscos’s Saison Hospitality group, while the kitchen locally is led by culinary director Paul Chung and chef Brian Limoges. Chung utilizes live fire while preparing dishes like swordfish al pastor skewers served with barbecued pineapple, and a bluefin tuna take on ‘nduja with Calabrian chiles and buttermilk bread.

An overhead shot of various bowls and plates filled with seafood fresh off a grill.
An assortment of dishes at Angler.
Jakob Layman

Juliet, Culver City

Expect classic French dishes like crepes Suzette and croque madames during Juliet’s breakfast hours in Culver City, before the hot new French spot moves to tuna carpaccio and a classic omelette with a side of market greens for lunch. IB Hospitality chef and culinary director Michael Williams, along with chef Jason Gonzales, have also programmed dinnertime options like a black cod with dashi butter or grilled lamb chops. This gorgeous newcomer also sports an impressive French wine list — with 50 different wines by the glass — thanks to owner Rohan Talwar, a wine fanatic who is also responsible for Norah and Margot. Open since February 1, Talwar describes Juliet as “an ode to the way Parisians are dining now.”

An overhead shot of four triangles of crepe on a white plate on a marble table.
Crepes Suzette at Juliet.
Liz Barclay

The Ruby Fruit, Silver Lake

After taking over the shuttered Eszett space in Silver Lake, former employees Emily Bielagus and Mara Herbkersman have revamped the restaurant and turned it into a lesbian natural wine bar called the Ruby Fruit. Open since February 21, the no-reservations bar boasts bottles from small-production wineries hailing from France, Italy, and Spain, along with a German pinot noir on tap and a white traminette from a vintner in Asheville, North Carolina. Beer, cider, house-crafted tonics, spritzes, plus sparkling and orange wines are also available, along with a non-alcoholic cocktail menu. The Mibrasa charcoal oven comes in handy for preparing light bites including the jumbo shrimp in ‘nduja butter, or bread service with honey butter or olive oil, warm marinated olives, and smoked bacalao.

The Ruby Fruit owners Emily Bielagus and Mara Herbkersman sit on chairs.
The Ruby Fruit owners Emily Bielagus and Mara Herbkersman.
Jesse Saler

Sendero, Downtown

Downtown’s new Sendero is open, but it has not yet reached its full form. Of the four eventual options at the restaurant, seafood-focused Corteza and Argentine-inspired steakhouse Leña are open now, having debuted on February 23. The Agave Library opens in March and the chef’s table Volante at the end of the year. No matter where one sits, Sendero boasts a striking north, east, and western view of LA, and is meant to trace chef Kevin Luzande’s travels through the Americas on its menus. Corteza’s shared plates include Peruvian and Mexican ceviches, anticuchos, and a stunning platter filled with crab claws, oysters, lobster, and large shrimp; Leña has a massive tomahawk with sides, plus tableside carving service.

A Downtown LA skyline view at Leña restaurant in Downtown.
A Downtown LA skyline view at Leña.
Wonho Frank Lee

Telefèric, Brentwood

An offshoot of 30-year-old Barcelona restaurant Telefèric opened in Brentwood in mid-February. The new restaurant is as traditional Spanish as it gets, with chef Oscar Cabezas preparing patatas bravas, crispy paellas, and gambas in ajillo while including a 40-ounce tomahawk steak. Sibling owners Xavi and Maria Padrosa already have a handful of locations in the greater Bay Area, and there are plenty of cocktails, wines, and the highly entertaining porróns for tableside drinking fun.

An overhead shot of sliced pork with fried green sage on paella at the new Telèferic.
Paella at the new Telèferic in Brentwood.
Abel Rincon

Toadstool Cafe, Universal Studios Hollywood

Toadstool Cafe could have easily leaned on the popularity of the Super Mario Brothers-themed restaurant by offering pizzas, chicken fingers, and hot dogs. Instead, the team opened the massive space on February 17 with a creative menu that takes on the physical traits and personalities of its popular video games. Toadstool Cafe is quite the collaboration between Nintendo, Universal Studios Hollywood, and Universal Studios Japan, with dishes like toadstool-shaped garlic knots, a mushroom soup with power-up printed crackers, a Luigi burger full of the character’s signature green, and a question mark block tiramisu dessert.

Question Mark Block Tiramisu at Toadstool Cafe in Los Angeles, California.
Question mark block tiramisu at Toadstool Cafe.
Wonho Frank Lee

Villas Tacos, Highland Park

Since 2018, Villa’s Tacos owner Victor Villa has steadily grown his taco business from a backyard pop-up to a street stand sensation, and now he’s got a standalone restaurant in Highland Park. The lines have been steady since Villa opened on February 6, with local eaters queueing up for Villa’s signature blue corn tortilla tacos. Villa also has fans from season three of Netflix’s Taco Chronicles, and his run as the champion of L.A. Taco’s 2021 and 2022 Taco Madness tournament.

Victor Villa of Villa’s Tacos.
Victor Villa of Villa’s Tacos.
Erwin Recinos


Bar Chelou, Pasadena

For Bar Chelou, chef Doug Rankin partnered with Whole Cluster Hospitality to take over the former Saso space in Pasadena, with a new look thanks to Lovers Unite. Chelou translates to “strange” or “unexpected” in French. Here the chef is drawing on his love of Spanish, French, and Asian flavors to create an eclectic shared plates menu organized from lighter to more robust dishes. Smaller plates include marinated olives, sprouting cauliflower au poivre with Sichuan peppers, and carrots râpées with coconut dressing, lime leaf, and pommes allumettes. Heartier dishes include a dry-aged, bone-in rib-eye and an Iberico pork chop with cabbage, fennel pollen, and furikake.

Sprouting cauliflower with Sichuan pepper au poivre at Bar Chelou restaurant in Pasadena, California.
Sprouting cauliflower with Sichuan pepper au poivre at Bar Chelou in Pasadena.
Wonho Frank Lee

Cafe Basque, Downtown

Acclaimed chef Daniel Rose of Michelin-starred Le Coucou restaurant in New York quietly opened Café Basque at the tail end of 2022 inside the Hoxton hotel Downtown. The chef settled on French Basque cooking for his West Coast debut because of the similarities between the food traditions, temperate climates, and “fun, freewheeling” lifestyles of the two regions. The menu starts with a sampling of pintxos, including traditional Basque corn cakes (talo) and raw oysters with an Espelette gelee. Larger entrees, like a braised chicken with peppers and tomatoes or grilled duck breast with cherry preserves, follow. AIME Studios/Ennismore updated the interiors to capture “an elegant but easygoing feeling,” says Rose. The chef’s culinary footprint at the Hoxton spans the entire ground floor and even stretches outside to a terrace decked out with umbrellas and globe wall sconces.

A collection of dishes from Café Basque in Downtown.
A collection of dishes at Café Basque in Downtown.
Wonho Frank Lee

Monarch, Arcadia

The family behind the Peruvian Chinese restaurant Chifa in Eagle Rock debuted a new concept in Arcadia called Monarch. While Chifa draws inspiration from the family’s first restaurant in Lima, Peru, Monarch takes its culinary cues from Hong Kong — but don’t expect to find standard Cantonese dishes and presentations here. Chef John Liu’s menu is designed to appeal to those familiar with (or not) the Cantonese canon. Liu’s baked pork chop rice includes a pan-seared pork cutlet served over fried rice with tomato sauce and topped with Gruyere cheese. His wok-tossed lobster tails get a crush of black pepper that’s usually reserved for steaks. The celestial dining room, awash in pale blues and scalloped edges, was designed by Humberto Leon alongside architect Michael Loverich.

Trinity Fried Rice at Monarch in Arcadia.
Trinity Fried Rice at Monarch in Arcadia.
Wonho Frank Lee

Corridor 109, Chinatown

Who doesn’t love a secret restaurant, especially one that leans into unique seafood preparations done with a high-end flourish? The new Corridor 109 is precisely that — except it isn’t exactly hiding anymore. Once an in-the-know meal prepared by long-tenured fine dining chef Brian Biak and served out of his family’s Koreatown restaurant Kobawoo, the newest iteration brings the upscale menu to Chinatown’s Far East Plaza. Here, Baik is pushing into Korean and Japanese flavors heavily (but not exclusively), using his time at Michelin-starred New York City restaurants to turn out pristine dishes with quality ingredients like Hokkaido scallops, abalone, and black truffle. With only three services per week and eight diners per service, this is still one hard-to-score reservation.

Hokkaido scallop with herbal clam broth at Corridor 109.
Hokkaido scallop with herbal clam broth at Corridor 109 in Chinatown.
Matthew Kang

Casa Madera, West Hollywood

The Sunset Strip’s Casa Madera is a breezy rooftop destination where the party is just as important as what’s on the plate. This latest project from the team behind Tocaya Organica and Toca Madera lands atop the Mondrian Hotel as a see-and-be-seen hangout for the Hollywood Hills set. Expect lots of leafy alcoves, rattan touches, and big views of the LA basin beyond, matched only by the colorful cocktails, opulent steaks, and contemporary takes on Mexican dishes like duck carnitas and chicken al pastor tacos. For an ultra-cool night out amongst some of LA’s wealthiest and prettiest people, this is the spot.

White booths and lots of wood at a new rooftop Mexican restaurant.
Casa Madera, West Hollywood.
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