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Chiofrito, or whole fried snapper, at Rumba Kitchen in Little Tokyo.
Chiofrito, or whole fried snapper, at Rumba Kitchen in Little Tokyo.
Wonho Frank Lee/Eater LA

18 Hottest Restaurants in Los Angeles, September 2021

Where to eat right now around the City of Angels

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Chiofrito, or whole fried snapper, at Rumba Kitchen in Little Tokyo.
| Wonho Frank Lee/Eater LA

The past year and a half has been an incredible challenge for restaurants across the country. Los Angeles has been no different, though the year 2021 has already seen a significant return to on-site dining due to eager diners looking for experiences and amazing food. LA’s restaurant scene seems to be mostly back to its pre-pandemic shape, though of course challenges remain with safety, staffing, and finances. The Eater LA heatmap has existed for more than 15 years as a place to answer the age-old question of “Where should I eat tonight?”

Typically restaurants here are less than six months old, giving a sense of what’s new to Los Angeles’s dining scene. For restaurants that have established themselves as one of the city’s essential places to eat, check out the Eater LA Essential 38. Restaurants are placed on the map in geographical order, from west to east.

Removed: Pie Room by Gwen, Chef C’s Smhokin’ Pot, Cha Cha Chá, In the Kitchen, Merois, Daybird

Added: Rumba Kitchen, Winston House, Danny Boy’s, Wise Sons, Melanie, Etta, BLVD MRKT, Mom’s Touch

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; the latest data about the delta variant indicates that it may pose a low-to-moderate risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial transmission. The latest CDC guidance is here; find a COVID-19 vaccination site here.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Winston House

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23 Windward Ave
Venice, CA 90291

One of LA’s most unexpected openings, this supper club and music venue nestled into the Venice Boardwalk has a bit of that Delilah vibe but next to the beach. The fare is classic American with some Asian influences, and the music is a surprise every night in terms of star power but more than likely to be someone you’ve heard on the radio. —Matthew Kang

Winston House, Venice.
Winston House, Venice.
Local Los Angeles

2. A.O.C. Brentwood

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11648 San Vicente Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90049
(310) 806-6464
Visit Website

Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne have transformed the former Tavern into a wonderfully composed outpost of their West Third Street restaurant, with a similar Mediterranean rustic menu that should appeal to Brentwood diners. —Matthew Kang

A.O.C. Brentwood dining room.
A.O.C. Brentwood dining room.
Wonho Frank Lee

3. Matū

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239 S Beverly Dr Suite 100
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
(424) 317-5031
Visit Website

Beverly Hills certainly has plenty of places to get steak, but Matū might be the most compelling place for beef right now, with a gorgeous and understated dining room along South Beverly Drive. The menu has a five course tasting that offers various cuts of the restaurant’s trademark New Zealand-grown wagyu beef from First Light. What’s on the tasting menu changes every day, but the grilled ribeye, wood-grilled maitake mushrooms, and iceberg lettuce salad are highlights. Finish the meal with the delicious flourless chocolate cake. —Matthew Kang

Matu restaurant’s dining room in Beverly Hills, California
Matu’s dining room in Beverly Hills
Virtually Here Studios

4. Bicyclette

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9575 W Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90035
(424) 500-9575
Visit Website

Walter and Margarita Manzke have finally opened their ode to Parisian bistros in this subterranean space that used to be Sotto (and Test Kitchen before that). The wood-lined space with green hues feels intimate but energetic, serving excellent renditions of French classics from beef bourguignon to duck confit, though the bread and butter service, taking a page from their other restaurant République, is a stellar way to start every meal here. —Matthew Kang

Bicyclette Bistro dining room
Bicyclette
Wonho Frank Lee

5. Wise Sons Jewish Deli

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9552 Washington Blvd
Culver City, CA 90232
(424) 298-8205
Visit Website

San Francisco deli chain Wise Sons has expanded to Los Angeles from founder Evan Bloom and brother Ari Bloom into a prime Culver City location that was once Bacoshop and Amacita. Serving sandwiches, bagels, and other deli favorites, Wise Sons fills in a major gap in deli food for this part of LA.

Bagels at the counter of Wise Sons in Culver City.
Bagels at the counter of Wise Sons in Culver City.
Dylan + Jeni

6. Ardor

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9040 Sunset Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90069
(424) 310-1572
Visit Website

Without a ton of fanfare with its original November 2019 opening, Ardor has been mostly closed for the past 15 months before reopening in June. John Fraser, who has earned Michelin stars in New York City, brings an elegant mostly vegetable menu with some meaty highlights as well. —Matthew Kang

Ardor West Hollywood
Ardor West Hollywood
Matthew Kang

7. etta Culver City

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8801 Washington Blvd
Culver City, CA 90232
(424) 570-4444
Visit Website

Chicago’s popular Italian-inspired restaurant feels right at home in Southern California, with pastas, blistered pizzas, rustic grilled proteins, and seasonal produce dishes in a modern space in Culver City.

Pizza, steak, and more from Etta Culver City.
Pizza, steak, and more from Etta Culver City.
Wonho Frank Lee/Eater LA

8. Melanie Wine Bar

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8310 W 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90048
(323) 592-3390
Visit Website

David Gibbs, who operates Augustine, Mirabelle, and Sushi Note in the Valley, expands into West Third Street with partner Andy Paxson (Simplethings) with a friendly neighborhood bar serving a tight, wine-friendly menu (with help from consultant Shane Lopez) and an extensive set of vintage and mostly Old World picks by the glass. —Matthew Kang

Melanie Wine Bar on West Third Street in Los Angeles.
Melanie Wine Bar on West Third Street in Los Angeles.
Wonho Frank Lee/Eater LA

9. Vegan A.F. Truck

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7951 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90046

Chanel Goodson left a career in marketing to make her own mark on the LA food scene, starting with this bright pink truck rolling into Melrose Avenue from Thursday to Saturday serving delicious vegan comfort food like deep-fried monster egg rolls and absolutely loaded fries. The early shoutout from Lizzo on TikTok has meant Goodson is selling out regularly every night. Check the IG for weekly schedules. —Matthew Kang

Deep-fried Philly eggroll from Vegan A.F. truck
Deep-fried Philly eggroll
Kristal Douglas

10. Daedo Sikdang

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4001 W 6th St
Los Angeles, CA 90020
(213) 322-2559
Visit Website

South Korean barbecue chain Daedo has opened a new flagship location in LA’s Koreatown, and the response has already been tremendous from beef-loving Korean Americans. The upscale vibes, the high-quality prime grade ribeye, and thoughtful sides like the refreshing yulmu guksu, make this one of the most compelling new Korean barbecue restaurant to open in years. —Matthew Kang

Thinly sliced ribeye at Daedo Sikdang in Los Angeles.
Thinly sliced ribeye at Daedo.
Wonho Frank Lee

11. Mom’s Touch

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1400 W Redondo Beach Blvd Unit 120
Gardena, CA 90247
(310) 400-7305
Visit Website

Gardena is the first location for this popular South Korean fried chicken chain serving ultra-crispy wings, tenders, and sandwiches at reasonable prices. The sauces and flavorings set apart Mom’s Touch, with the wacky green onion and cheese or the apple zing sounding strange on paper but really tasty after the first bite. Already two other locations in LA are in the works. —Matthew Kang

Mom’s Touch fried chicken in Gardena.
Mom’s Touch fried chicken in Gardena.
Wales Communications

12. Danny Boy's Famous Original Pizza

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330 S Hope St
Los Angeles, CA 90071
(213) 772-7664
Visit Website

Little by little, New York City-style pizza places are opening across Los Angeles, and this spot from Meatball Shop co-founder Daniel Holtzman could be one of the city’s best new contenders. Located inside a Downtown LA food hall, expect well crafted large format thin-crust pies or slices to-go. —Matthew Kang

Pizza, sandwiches, and more from Danny Boy’s Famous Original Pizza in Downtown LA.
Pizza, sandwiches, and more from Danny Boy’s Famous Original Pizza in Downtown LA.
Jakob N. Layman

13. Rumba Kitchen

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DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Los Angeles Downtown, 123 Astronaut Ellison S Onizuka St #204
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(323) 507-6404
Visit Website

Puerto Rican food hasn’t had a standout new opening for a very long time, but Triple Threat Truck owner Omayra Dakis has landed with this exciting new restaurant in Little Tokyo’s Doubletree Hotel. Serving classic Puerto Rican street fare inspired by kioskos in Playa Pinones, as well as more composed dishes, it’s a party almost every night here. —Matthew Kang

Chuleta can-can, a grilled then deep-fried pork tomahawk at Rumba Kitchen.
Chuleta can-can, a grilled then deep-fried pork tomahawk at Rumba Kitchen.
Wonho Frank Lee/Eater LA

14. Girl and the Goat

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555-3 Mateo St
Los Angeles, CA 90013
(213) 799-4628
Visit Website

Top Chef winner Stephanie Izard brings her popular Chicago restaurant Girl and the Goat to a trendy Arts District space with all of the style and verve of Los Angeles. The menu takes plenty of ingredients and flavors from the global pantry, but with a foundation of fresh produce. —Matthew Kang

Girl and the Goat Los Angeles.
Girl and the Goat Los Angeles.
Wonho Frank Lee

15. Afuri

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688 Mateo St
Los Angeles, CA 90021
(213) 221-7206
Visit Website

Tokyo’s highly regarded Afuri has finally brought its yuzu-inflected shio ramen to Los Angeles, starting with this bright, airy space in Arts District that offers its signature ramen plus noodles made on the premises in a dedicated room. So far, the place is buzzing with people that come all the way until it closes for the night. —Matthew Kang

Inside Afuri in Arts District, Los Angeles
Afuri Los Angeles
Wonho Frank Lee

16. Valeu Espetos

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2232 Honolulu Ave
Montrose, CA 91020
(818) 369-7277
Visit Website

Brazilian skewers are the highlight at this new restaurant in Montrose, just north of Glendale. Chef Tony Park serves excellent skewers of pork belly, beef, and chicken at this casual restaurant. Don’t forget to order some beers and share the easy-to-eat skewers with friends and family.

Sprinkling farinha de mandioca at Valeu Espetos
Sprinkling farinha de mandioca at Valeu Espetos
Matthew Kang

17. Agnes

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40 W Green St
Pasadena, CA 91105
(626) 389-3839
Visit Website

Pasadena’s new Agnes is full of color and pop, from the plaid banquettes to the orange sizzle and glow of the open hearth. The restaurant feels energetic all day long thanks to its multi-purpose approach, with a cheesery and marketplace up front, bar in the middle, and indoor-outdoor dining room towards the back. This is the place to be in once-quiet Pasadena right now, watching the increasingly busy stand-alone city whiz by. —Farley Elliott

Round four-top tables and brick walls inside a new restaurant with tall ceilings.
Agnes, Pasadena
Wonho Frank Lee

18. BLVD MRKT

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520 Whittier Blvd
Montebello, CA 90640
(323) 863-5566
Visit Website

Montebello’s shipping container destination BLVD MRKT opened in late August. The bright food hall houses eight restaurants as well as Alchemy Craft, which serves beer from LA County breweries, plus options from Rosarito wineries. In addition to new spots like Los Taquero Mucho, Cafe Santo, and Nola’s Cajun Cuisine, there’s also a familiar name that setup shop on the corner of Sixth and Montebello Boulevard: a smaller outlet of Pez Cantina. Take a lap, figure out what to order, sit in the cozy courtyard, and prepare to hang out. —Mona Holmes

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1. Winston House

23 Windward Ave, Venice, CA 90291
Winston House, Venice.
Winston House, Venice.
Local Los Angeles

One of LA’s most unexpected openings, this supper club and music venue nestled into the Venice Boardwalk has a bit of that Delilah vibe but next to the beach. The fare is classic American with some Asian influences, and the music is a surprise every night in terms of star power but more than likely to be someone you’ve heard on the radio. —Matthew Kang

23 Windward Ave
Venice, CA 90291

2. A.O.C. Brentwood

11648 San Vicente Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90049
A.O.C. Brentwood dining room.
A.O.C. Brentwood dining room.
Wonho Frank Lee

Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne have transformed the former Tavern into a wonderfully composed outpost of their West Third Street restaurant, with a similar Mediterranean rustic menu that should appeal to Brentwood diners. —Matthew Kang

11648 San Vicente Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90049

3. Matū

239 S Beverly Dr Suite 100, Beverly Hills, CA 90212
Matu restaurant’s dining room in Beverly Hills, California
Matu’s dining room in Beverly Hills
Virtually Here Studios

Beverly Hills certainly has plenty of places to get steak, but Matū might be the most compelling place for beef right now, with a gorgeous and understated dining room along South Beverly Drive. The menu has a five course tasting that offers various cuts of the restaurant’s trademark New Zealand-grown wagyu beef from First Light. What’s on the tasting menu changes every day, but the grilled ribeye, wood-grilled maitake mushrooms, and iceberg lettuce salad are highlights. Finish the meal with the delicious flourless chocolate cake. —Matthew Kang

239 S Beverly Dr Suite 100
Beverly Hills, CA 90212

4. Bicyclette

9575 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90035
Bicyclette Bistro dining room
Bicyclette
Wonho Frank Lee

Walter and Margarita Manzke have finally opened their ode to Parisian bistros in this subterranean space that used to be Sotto (and Test Kitchen before that). The wood-lined space with green hues feels intimate but energetic, serving excellent renditions of French classics from beef bourguignon to duck confit, though the bread and butter service, taking a page from their other restaurant République, is a stellar way to start every meal here. —Matthew Kang

9575 W Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90035

5. Wise Sons Jewish Deli

9552 Washington Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232
Bagels at the counter of Wise Sons in Culver City.
Bagels at the counter of Wise Sons in Culver City.
Dylan + Jeni

San Francisco deli chain Wise Sons has expanded to Los Angeles from founder Evan Bloom and brother Ari Bloom into a prime Culver City location that was once Bacoshop and Amacita. Serving sandwiches, bagels, and other deli favorites, Wise Sons fills in a major gap in deli food for this part of LA.

9552 Washington Blvd
Culver City, CA 90232

6. Ardor

9040 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069
Ardor West Hollywood
Ardor West Hollywood
Matthew Kang

Without a ton of fanfare with its original November 2019 opening, Ardor has been mostly closed for the past 15 months before reopening in June. John Fraser, who has earned Michelin stars in New York City, brings an elegant mostly vegetable menu with some meaty highlights as well. —Matthew Kang

9040 Sunset Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90069

7. etta Culver City

8801 Washington Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232
Pizza, steak, and more from Etta Culver City.
Pizza, steak, and more from Etta Culver City.
Wonho Frank Lee/Eater LA

Chicago’s popular Italian-inspired restaurant feels right at home in Southern California, with pastas, blistered pizzas, rustic grilled proteins, and seasonal produce dishes in a modern space in Culver City.

8801 Washington Blvd
Culver City, CA 90232

8. Melanie Wine Bar

8310 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90048
Melanie Wine Bar on West Third Street in Los Angeles.
Melanie Wine Bar on West Third Street in Los Angeles.
Wonho Frank Lee/Eater LA

David Gibbs, who operates Augustine, Mirabelle, and Sushi Note in the Valley, expands into West Third Street with partner Andy Paxson (Simplethings) with a friendly neighborhood bar serving a tight, wine-friendly menu (with help from consultant Shane Lopez) and an extensive set of vintage and mostly Old World picks by the glass. —Matthew Kang

8310 W 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90048

9. Vegan A.F. Truck

7951 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046
Deep-fried Philly eggroll from Vegan A.F. truck
Deep-fried Philly eggroll
Kristal Douglas

Chanel Goodson left a career in marketing to make her own mark on the LA food scene, starting with this bright pink truck rolling into Melrose Avenue from Thursday to Saturday serving delicious vegan comfort food like deep-fried monster egg rolls and absolutely loaded fries. The early shoutout from Lizzo on TikTok has meant Goodson is selling out regularly every night. Check the IG for weekly schedules. —Matthew Kang

7951 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90046

10. Daedo Sikdang

4001 W 6th St, Los Angeles, CA 90020
Thinly sliced ribeye at Daedo Sikdang in Los Angeles.
Thinly sliced ribeye at Daedo.
Wonho Frank Lee

South Korean barbecue chain Daedo has opened a new flagship location in LA’s Koreatown, and the response has already been tremendous from beef-loving Korean Americans. The upscale vibes, the high-quality prime grade ribeye, and thoughtful sides like the refreshing yulmu guksu, make this one of the most compelling new Korean barbecue restaurant to open in years. —Matthew Kang

4001 W 6th St
Los Angeles, CA 90020

11. Mom’s Touch

1400 W Redondo Beach Blvd Unit 120, Gardena, CA 90247
Mom’s Touch fried chicken in Gardena.
Mom’s Touch fried chicken in Gardena.
Wales Communications

Gardena is the first location for this popular South Korean fried chicken chain serving ultra-crispy wings, tenders, and sandwiches at reasonable prices. The sauces and flavorings set apart Mom’s Touch, with the wacky green onion and cheese or the apple zing sounding strange on paper but really tasty after the first bite. Already two other locations in LA are in the works. —Matthew Kang

1400 W Redondo Beach Blvd Unit 120
Gardena, CA 90247

12. Danny Boy's Famous Original Pizza

330 S Hope St, Los Angeles, CA 90071
Pizza, sandwiches, and more from Danny Boy’s Famous Original Pizza in Downtown LA.
Pizza, sandwiches, and more from Danny Boy’s Famous Original Pizza in Downtown LA.
Jakob N. Layman

Little by little, New York City-style pizza places are opening across Los Angeles, and this spot from Meatball Shop co-founder Daniel Holtzman could be one of the city’s best new contenders. Located inside a Downtown LA food hall, expect well crafted large format thin-crust pies or slices to-go. —Matthew Kang

330 S Hope St
Los Angeles, CA 90071

13. Rumba Kitchen

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Los Angeles Downtown, 123 Astronaut Ellison S Onizuka St #204, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Chuleta can-can, a grilled then deep-fried pork tomahawk at Rumba Kitchen.
Chuleta can-can, a grilled then deep-fried pork tomahawk at Rumba Kitchen.
Wonho Frank Lee/Eater LA

Puerto Rican food hasn’t had a standout new opening for a very long time, but Triple Threat Truck owner Omayra Dakis has landed with this exciting new restaurant in Little Tokyo’s Doubletree Hotel. Serving classic Puerto Rican street fare inspired by kioskos in Playa Pinones, as well as more composed dishes, it’s a party almost every night here. —Matthew Kang

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Los Angeles Downtown, 123 Astronaut Ellison S Onizuka St #204
Los Angeles, CA 90012

14. Girl and the Goat

555-3 Mateo St, Los Angeles, CA 90013
Girl and the Goat Los Angeles.
Girl and the Goat Los Angeles.
Wonho Frank Lee

Top Chef winner Stephanie Izard brings her popular Chicago restaurant Girl and the Goat to a trendy Arts District space with all of the style and verve of Los Angeles. The menu takes plenty of ingredients and flavors from the global pantry, but with a foundation of fresh produce. —Matthew Kang

555-3 Mateo St
Los Angeles, CA 90013

15. Afuri

688 Mateo St, Los Angeles, CA 90021
Inside Afuri in Arts District, Los Angeles
Afuri Los Angeles
Wonho Frank Lee

Tokyo’s highly regarded Afuri has finally brought its yuzu-inflected shio ramen to Los Angeles, starting with this bright, airy space in Arts District that offers its signature ramen plus noodles made on the premises in a dedicated room. So far, the place is buzzing with people that come all the way until it closes for the night. —Matthew Kang

688 Mateo St
Los Angeles, CA 90021

Related Maps

16. Valeu Espetos

2232 Honolulu Ave, Montrose, CA 91020
Sprinkling farinha de mandioca at Valeu Espetos
Sprinkling farinha de mandioca at Valeu Espetos
Matthew Kang

Brazilian skewers are the highlight at this new restaurant in Montrose, just north of Glendale. Chef Tony Park serves excellent skewers of pork belly, beef, and chicken at this casual restaurant. Don’t forget to order some beers and share the easy-to-eat skewers with friends and family.

2232 Honolulu Ave
Montrose, CA 91020

17. Agnes

40 W Green St, Pasadena, CA 91105
Round four-top tables and brick walls inside a new restaurant with tall ceilings.
Agnes, Pasadena
Wonho Frank Lee

Pasadena’s new Agnes is full of color and pop, from the plaid banquettes to the orange sizzle and glow of the open hearth. The restaurant feels energetic all day long thanks to its multi-purpose approach, with a cheesery and marketplace up front, bar in the middle, and indoor-outdoor dining room towards the back. This is the place to be in once-quiet Pasadena right now, watching the increasingly busy stand-alone city whiz by. —Farley Elliott

40 W Green St
Pasadena, CA 91105

18. BLVD MRKT

520 Whittier Blvd, Montebello, CA 90640

Montebello’s shipping container destination BLVD MRKT opened in late August. The bright food hall houses eight restaurants as well as Alchemy Craft, which serves beer from LA County breweries, plus options from Rosarito wineries. In addition to new spots like Los Taquero Mucho, Cafe Santo, and Nola’s Cajun Cuisine, there’s also a familiar name that setup shop on the corner of Sixth and Montebello Boulevard: a smaller outlet of Pez Cantina. Take a lap, figure out what to order, sit in the cozy courtyard, and prepare to hang out. —Mona Holmes

520 Whittier Blvd
Montebello, CA 90640

Related Maps