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

Red sauce Italian in Lincoln Heights, oodles of noodles and congee in Monterey Park, and more

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An ornate purple plate with a serving of crispy saffron rice topped with chicken and barberries at Kuku in Inglewood.
Crispy saffron rice topped with chicken and barberries at Kuku in Inglewood.
Kuku
Cathy Chaplin is a senior editor at Eater LA, a James Beard Award–nominated journalist, and the author of Food Lovers’ Guide to Los Angeles.

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.


Lincoln Heights— Pop into Trattoria Daly for hearty red sauce Italian American fare. The familiar and affordable menu includes antipasti like fried calamari and Caesar salad, Roman-style pizzas, and plenty of pasta including fettuccini Alfredo, rigatoni amatriciana, and penne a la vodka. 2423 Daly Street, Los Angeles, CA 90031.

West Hollywood— It looks like hot focaccia summer 2023 is trending into spring 2024 with no signs of waning. New to the stacked sandwich scene is Mamie on Santa Monica Boulevard. The shop’s two dozen or so sandwiches are all prepared on house-made schiacciata bread using Italian-imported flour. 7900 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90046.

Torrance— With four locations in Orange County and one in San Diego, Japan’s Kitakata Ramen Ban Nai is finally available in LA, with an opening scheduled for March 1. Every bowl of the signature Kitakata ramen contains wavy and chewy hand-crumpled noodles, clear pork broth, and slices of chashu pork. 4338 Pacific Coast Highway, Torrance, CA 90505.

Monterey Park— Congee & Noodles House lives up to its straightforward name with nearly a dozen different kinds of porridge and over 30 varieties of noodles on the menu. In addition to its two namesake items, the grab-and-go spot’s deli case offers a few desserts like silken tofu with ginger syrup and slices of sponge cake. 349 E. Garvey Avenue, Monterey Park, CA 91755.

Inglewood— LA’s many Persian restaurants tend to offer done-up dining rooms and full service, but the all-new Kuku Cafe is bringing something different with a casual setting and counter-only service. The menu features familiar hits like beef shawarma served in a wrap or over rice, crispy saffron rice topped with chicken and barberries, and kuku, a Persian frittata with herbs, walnuts, and barberries. 318 N. La Brea Avenue, Inglewood, CA 90302.


January

Westwood— Find Lima Nikkei in the fancy food court located above the new 99 Ranch Market in Westwood. The casual spot from chef Jason Yamaguchi prepares Japanese Peruvian cuisine using fresh seafood flown in from Japan and custom nori from Okinawa. 1360 Westwood Boulevard, Ste. 110C, Los Angeles, CA 90024.

Downtown— Deep-fried seafood is the thing to get at Hushpuppies, a new fish-fry joint catty-corner from the former Ace Hotel on Olympic. The lunch specials start at $13 and include fried-to-order shrimp or fish (sole, red snapper, catfish, salmon, seabass), one side, and the restaurant’s signature hushpuppies. 310 W. Olympic Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90015.

Rosemead— Prince Dumpling has the potential to surpass Din Tai Fung in xiao long bao prowess, says Eater LA contributor Kristie Hang. Folks are lining up for a taste of the classic soup dumplings, prepared within a glass-encased open kitchen, along with unique takes filled with lobster and Spanish ham. 8801 Valley Boulevard, Rosemead, CA 91770.

Burbank— There is no shortage of great Armenian flatbreads to be found in and around Northeast LA. The latest newcomer, Grtnak in Burbank, prepares two versions: Lahmajo Perfection and Lahmacheesy Twist. Also, find khachapuri on the succinct menu. 2128 North Glenoaks Boulevard, Burbank, CA 91504.

Lomita— Long Beach’s Poke and More just opened a second location in the South Bay. The Hawaiian-style poke shop sells tuna and salmon varieties topped with classic condiments like sea salt and Aloha shoyu. In addition to 15 kinds of traditional poke served over steamed white rice or by the pound there are Hawaiian dishes like loco moco and beef ribs. 1928 Pacific Coast Highway, Lomita, CA 90717.