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Mapo pork lasagna at Nightshade
Wonho Frank Lee

The 16 Hottest Restaurants in LA Right Now, February 2019

Where to eat right now in the City of Angels

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Mapo pork lasagna at Nightshade
| Photo by Wonho Frank Lee

More often than not, tipsters, readers, friends, and family of Eater have one question: Where should I eat right now? Restaurant obsessives want to know what's new, what's hot, which favorite chef just launched a sophomore effort. And while the Eater 38 is a crucial resource covering old standbys and neighborhood restaurants across the city, it is not a chronicle of the 'it' places of the moment. Restaurants are placed on the map in geographical order, from west to east. Generally these restaurants are younger than six months old.

Added January 2019: Margot, Blackship, Daughter’s Deli, Pikunico

Dropped January 2019: Milk Bar LA, Otoño, Ma’am Sir, Ms. Chi, Roberta’s, Bavel, Sushi Note

Added February 2019: Nightshade, Tacos 1986, Jon & Vinny’s Brentwood, Dan Modern Chinese

Removed February 2019: Imperial Western, Jame Enoteca, Simone

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Jon & Vinny's Italian

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11938 San Vicente Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90049
(310) 442-2733
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Brentwood’s hottest new opening is just a second branch of Jon & Vinny’s, the reformed Italian-American restaurant on Fairfax that’s essentially packed every night of the week. And Brentwood is no different, except the layout’s a little wider giving diners a bit more breathing room. Menu, service times, and overall vibes are nearly identical, except it’s just a lot easier for Westsiders to get here.

Jon & Vinny’s Brentwood
Wonho Frank Lee

2. Margot

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8820 Washington Blvd #301
Culver City, CA 90232
(310) 643-5853
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Already packed with eager Culver City diners and imbibers, this rooftop destination from the team behind Norah in West Hollywood has opened a crowd pleasing spot with epic views of Los Angeles and classy comfort fare from Michael Williams like roast meats, avocado toast, and pastas.

Margot, Culver City
Wonho Frank Lee

3. Daughter’s Deli

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8555 Sunset Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90069
(310) 652-6552
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The daughter of Langer’s Deli, Trisha Langer, has opened her own sandwich shop with her husband in a West Hollywood strip mall, bringing a very similar take on the iconic deli’s pastrami and corned beef on rye. The situation here is more takeout and casual, but it’s probably the most compelling new sandwich shop in this part of town.

Pastrami sandwich at Daughter’s Deli
Wonho Frank Lee

4. Blackship

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8512 Santa Monica Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90069
`(310) 734-7553
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Former Hinoki & The Bird sous chef Keiichi Kurobe has partnered with the same restaurant group to open a Japanese-Italian restaurant called Blackship in West Hollywood. It’s a lush affair on the patio while the inside is dark and intimate with a modern oceanic touch. The food incorporates Italian pasta and classics with Japanese ingredients and techniques, yielding one of LA’s more innovative, if sometimes uneven, new restaurants.

Blackship, West Hollywood
Wonho Frank Lee

5. Slab

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8136 W 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90048
(310) 855-7184
Visit Website

Longtime underground barbecue pitmaster Burt Bakman has finally opened a brick & mortar restaurant called Slab along West Third Street in a partnership with h.wood Group, serving excellent smoked brisket, ribs, chicken, and more in a 40 seat space. Instead of employing offset smokers, Bakman is using steel box smokers as confined by the health department regulations, but the results are pretty close to what Bakman was able to do at his underground operation. LA finally has a new barbecue destination worth checking out.

Burt Bakman at Slab
Wonho Frank Lee

6. Fiona

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339 N Fairfax Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 852-3210
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Longtime LA baker and pastry queen Nicole Rucker opens this daytime bakery and cafe on Fairfax serving crafted breads, pastries, and toasts with a helping hand from former Simbal chef Shawn Pham. Dishes get an LA-style infusion of Asian flavors like miso chicken soup and Japanese sesame butter toast with service from morning until 8 p.m. Starting this month, Fiona will take hours to 10 p.m. with a larger savory menu to serve the neighborhood.

Fiona, Fairfax
Wonho Frank Lee

7. Alta

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5359 W Adams Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90016
(323) 571-4999
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Highly regarded San Francisco chef Daniel Patterson has brought his Alta restaurant to West Adams, installing Watts native Keith Corbin as the chef. The fare and vibe is spot-on for what the neighborhood needs, a well composed dining room that doesn’t feel fussy with some “California soul food” to match on the menu. Corbin takes comfortable classics like fried chicken, oxtails and rice, and collard greens and puts a bit of finesse on them.

Alta Adams skirt steak
Wonho Frank Lee

8. Ronan

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7315 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90046
(323) 917-5100
Visit Website

A former Sotto and Alimento vet has opened Ronan on Melrose with a set of shareable small plates, large format platters, and wood-fired pizzas that should serve the neighborhood nicely. It’s a little hidden away on the eastern part of Melrose’s busy stretch, but find everything from excellent grilled snapper to creative takes on Neapolitan-style pizza.

Ronan Melrose
Wonho Frank Lee

9. Tacos 1986

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611 S Western Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90005

It’s been a while since LA had a bona fide street food star, but Tacos 1986 might be the most talked about taco place in LA of the past few months. Though they had to move from its original Hollywood location, it’s seemed to settle into a nook in Koreatown along Western Avenue. What to order? Tijuana-style tacos with freshly made tortillas, grilled meats over open flame, and seared marinated pork sliced straight from a trompo. Don’t sleep on the mushroom taco, and ask about the off-menu perron, inspired by Rosarito’s famed El Yaqui taco laden with cheese and beans.

Perron taco at Tacos 1986
Matthew Kang

10. Atrium

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1816 N Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027
(323) 607-6944
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Los Feliz, with its limited retail space, doesn’t often get big new restaurants. With Beau Laughlin and Jay Milliken working on this restaurant for what seemed like years, Atrium is now open behind Skylight books with a wide, crowd-friendly menu of innovative Californian fare from chef Hunter Pritchett. The soaring space feels modern and fresh while the warm service help push out everything from passionfruit hamachi crudo to a robust dry-aged steak au poivre with Sichuan peppercorns.

Atrium, Los Feliz
Wonho Frank Lee

11. Porridge & Puffs

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2801 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90057
(213) 908-5313
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One of Jonathan Gold’s favorite restaurants, Porridge & Puffs returns after a years-long hiatus from chef Minh Phan, who once ran the place in Hollywood. With a new Historic Filipinotown operation, Phan is more adventurous than ever, serving a market-oriented set of comforting rice porridge bowls in a friendly neighborhood space.

Porridge + Puffs
Farley Elliott

12. Konbi

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1463 Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90026
(213) 278-0007
Visit Website

Already clogging up Instagram with its delectable Japanese-style sandwiches, this coffee and daytime restaurant goes into a tiny slot in Echo Park from Akira Akuto and Nick Montgomery. Order the katsu sando, Japanese-style convenience store food, and see what happens when cooks use high-quality Duroc pork with plush milk bread. Prices are high considering the inspiration for these sandwiches, but the flavor is there to match.

13. Pikunico

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767 S Alameda St Suite 122
Los Angeles, CA 90021
(213) 278-0407
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Talented chef Kuniko Yagi is back cooking in Los Angeles with a Japanese fried chicken karaage restaurant at the Row in Downtown, a large retail and office development just south of the Arts District. With a fresh take on karaage with fusion sides like sesame-dressed slaw, seaweed and cucumber salad, and ginger onigiri, it’s a casual every day fried chicken destination.

Jakob Layman

14. Nightshade

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923 E 3rd St #109
Los Angeles, CA 90013
(213) 626-8888
Visit Website

Mei Lin, Eater Young Gun and former Top Chef winner, opens this hotly anticipated Asian-American restaurant in Arts District with very strong early reports. The stylish, well-appointed dining room glows from the energy of the open kitchen, which puts out delicately plated but craveable dishes inspired by Lin’s childhood. Mapo tofu-flavored pork comes in the form of cheesy lasagna while a bloomin’ onion tinted with tom yum flavors works nicely with a side of coconut ranch.

Nightshade, Arts District
Wonho Frank Lee

15. Hippo

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5916 1/2, N Figueroa St
Los Angeles, CA 90042
(323) 545-3536
Visit Website

James Beard Award winner Matt Molina gets back to cooking seasonal California fare at Hippo, an underrated neighborhood dining secret that hides behind Triple Beam Pizza along Highland Park’s bustling Figueroa thoroughfare. The food is approachable, reasonably priced, and full of flavor, all served in an inviting high-ceiling dining room.

Clams at Hippo
Wonho Frank Lee

16. Dan Modern Chinese

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146 S Lake Ave #105
Pasadena, CA 91101
(626) 817-9799
Visit Website

Soup dumplings are a beloved dish in LA, but few places can take on the dominance of Din Tai Fung. Dan, a recently opened shop in Pasadena, tries to replicate DTF’s classic formula but with slightly larger, soupier xiao long bao. Order the dungeness crab fried rice and the oxtail noodle soup to go alongside the soup dumplings.

Soup dumplings from Dan, Pasadena
Euno Lee

1. Jon & Vinny's Italian

11938 San Vicente Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90049
Jon & Vinny’s Brentwood
Wonho Frank Lee

Brentwood’s hottest new opening is just a second branch of Jon & Vinny’s, the reformed Italian-American restaurant on Fairfax that’s essentially packed every night of the week. And Brentwood is no different, except the layout’s a little wider giving diners a bit more breathing room. Menu, service times, and overall vibes are nearly identical, except it’s just a lot easier for Westsiders to get here.

11938 San Vicente Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90049

2. Margot

8820 Washington Blvd #301, Culver City, CA 90232
Margot, Culver City
Wonho Frank Lee

Already packed with eager Culver City diners and imbibers, this rooftop destination from the team behind Norah in West Hollywood has opened a crowd pleasing spot with epic views of Los Angeles and classy comfort fare from Michael Williams like roast meats, avocado toast, and pastas.

8820 Washington Blvd #301
Culver City, CA 90232

3. Daughter’s Deli

8555 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069
Pastrami sandwich at Daughter’s Deli
Wonho Frank Lee

The daughter of Langer’s Deli, Trisha Langer, has opened her own sandwich shop with her husband in a West Hollywood strip mall, bringing a very similar take on the iconic deli’s pastrami and corned beef on rye. The situation here is more takeout and casual, but it’s probably the most compelling new sandwich shop in this part of town.

8555 Sunset Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90069

4. Blackship

8512 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069
Blackship, West Hollywood
Wonho Frank Lee

Former Hinoki & The Bird sous chef Keiichi Kurobe has partnered with the same restaurant group to open a Japanese-Italian restaurant called Blackship in West Hollywood. It’s a lush affair on the patio while the inside is dark and intimate with a modern oceanic touch. The food incorporates Italian pasta and classics with Japanese ingredients and techniques, yielding one of LA’s more innovative, if sometimes uneven, new restaurants.

8512 Santa Monica Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90069

5. Slab

8136 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90048
Burt Bakman at Slab
Wonho Frank Lee

Longtime underground barbecue pitmaster Burt Bakman has finally opened a brick & mortar restaurant called Slab along West Third Street in a partnership with h.wood Group, serving excellent smoked brisket, ribs, chicken, and more in a 40 seat space. Instead of employing offset smokers, Bakman is using steel box smokers as confined by the health department regulations, but the results are pretty close to what Bakman was able to do at his underground operation. LA finally has a new barbecue destination worth checking out.

8136 W 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90048

6. Fiona

339 N Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036
Fiona, Fairfax
Wonho Frank Lee

Longtime LA baker and pastry queen Nicole Rucker opens this daytime bakery and cafe on Fairfax serving crafted breads, pastries, and toasts with a helping hand from former Simbal chef Shawn Pham. Dishes get an LA-style infusion of Asian flavors like miso chicken soup and Japanese sesame butter toast with service from morning until 8 p.m. Starting this month, Fiona will take hours to 10 p.m. with a larger savory menu to serve the neighborhood.

339 N Fairfax Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90036

7. Alta

5359 W Adams Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90016
Alta Adams skirt steak
Wonho Frank Lee

Highly regarded San Francisco chef Daniel Patterson has brought his Alta restaurant to West Adams, installing Watts native Keith Corbin as the chef. The fare and vibe is spot-on for what the neighborhood needs, a well composed dining room that doesn’t feel fussy with some “California soul food” to match on the menu. Corbin takes comfortable classics like fried chicken, oxtails and rice, and collard greens and puts a bit of finesse on them.

5359 W Adams Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90016

8. Ronan

7315 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046
Ronan Melrose
Wonho Frank Lee

A former Sotto and Alimento vet has opened Ronan on Melrose with a set of shareable small plates, large format platters, and wood-fired pizzas that should serve the neighborhood nicely. It’s a little hidden away on the eastern part of Melrose’s busy stretch, but find everything from excellent grilled snapper to creative takes on Neapolitan-style pizza.

7315 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90046

9. Tacos 1986

611 S Western Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90005
Perron taco at Tacos 1986
Matthew Kang

It’s been a while since LA had a bona fide street food star, but Tacos 1986 might be the most talked about taco place in LA of the past few months. Though they had to move from its original Hollywood location, it’s seemed to settle into a nook in Koreatown along Western Avenue. What to order? Tijuana-style tacos with freshly made tortillas, grilled meats over open flame, and seared marinated pork sliced straight from a trompo. Don’t sleep on the mushroom taco, and ask about the off-menu perron, inspired by Rosarito’s famed El Yaqui taco laden with cheese and beans.

611 S Western Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90005

10. Atrium

1816 N Vermont Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027
Atrium, Los Feliz
Wonho Frank Lee

Los Feliz, with its limited retail space, doesn’t often get big new restaurants. With Beau Laughlin and Jay Milliken working on this restaurant for what seemed like years, Atrium is now open behind Skylight books with a wide, crowd-friendly menu of innovative Californian fare from chef Hunter Pritchett. The soaring space feels modern and fresh while the warm service help push out everything from passionfruit hamachi crudo to a robust dry-aged steak au poivre with Sichuan peppercorns.

1816 N Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027

11. Porridge & Puffs

2801 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90057
Porridge + Puffs
Farley Elliott

One of Jonathan Gold’s favorite restaurants, Porridge & Puffs returns after a years-long hiatus from chef Minh Phan, who once ran the place in Hollywood. With a new Historic Filipinotown operation, Phan is more adventurous than ever, serving a market-oriented set of comforting rice porridge bowls in a friendly neighborhood space.

2801 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90057

12. Konbi

1463 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026

Already clogging up Instagram with its delectable Japanese-style sandwiches, this coffee and daytime restaurant goes into a tiny slot in Echo Park from Akira Akuto and Nick Montgomery. Order the katsu sando, Japanese-style convenience store food, and see what happens when cooks use high-quality Duroc pork with plush milk bread. Prices are high considering the inspiration for these sandwiches, but the flavor is there to match.

1463 Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90026

13. Pikunico

767 S Alameda St Suite 122, Los Angeles, CA 90021
Jakob Layman

Talented chef Kuniko Yagi is back cooking in Los Angeles with a Japanese fried chicken karaage restaurant at the Row in Downtown, a large retail and office development just south of the Arts District. With a fresh take on karaage with fusion sides like sesame-dressed slaw, seaweed and cucumber salad, and ginger onigiri, it’s a casual every day fried chicken destination.

767 S Alameda St Suite 122
Los Angeles, CA 90021

14. Nightshade

923 E 3rd St #109, Los Angeles, CA 90013
Nightshade, Arts District
Wonho Frank Lee

Mei Lin, Eater Young Gun and former Top Chef winner, opens this hotly anticipated Asian-American restaurant in Arts District with very strong early reports. The stylish, well-appointed dining room glows from the energy of the open kitchen, which puts out delicately plated but craveable dishes inspired by Lin’s childhood. Mapo tofu-flavored pork comes in the form of cheesy lasagna while a bloomin’ onion tinted with tom yum flavors works nicely with a side of coconut ranch.

923 E 3rd St #109
Los Angeles, CA 90013

15. Hippo

5916 1/2, N Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90042
Clams at Hippo
Wonho Frank Lee

James Beard Award winner Matt Molina gets back to cooking seasonal California fare at Hippo, an underrated neighborhood dining secret that hides behind Triple Beam Pizza along Highland Park’s bustling Figueroa thoroughfare. The food is approachable, reasonably priced, and full of flavor, all served in an inviting high-ceiling dining room.

5916 1/2, N Figueroa St
Los Angeles, CA 90042

Related Maps

16. Dan Modern Chinese

146 S Lake Ave #105, Pasadena, CA 91101
Soup dumplings from Dan, Pasadena
Euno Lee

Soup dumplings are a beloved dish in LA, but few places can take on the dominance of Din Tai Fung. Dan, a recently opened shop in Pasadena, tries to replicate DTF’s classic formula but with slightly larger, soupier xiao long bao. Order the dungeness crab fried rice and the oxtail noodle soup to go alongside the soup dumplings.

146 S Lake Ave #105
Pasadena, CA 91101

Related Maps