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Updating the Eater Heatmap: Where to Eat Right Now

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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 essentials across the city, it is not a chronicle of the 'it' places of the moment. Thus, we offer the Eater Heatmap, which will change continually to always highlight where the foodie crowds are flocking to at the moment.

Check out the map of Los Angeles' 20 hottest restaurants below.


1/3/13: Added: Bar Ama, The Black Cat

2/7/13: Added: Bestia, chi SPACCA, littlefork, Barnyard, Sirena

3/7/13: Added: Bludso's Bar & Que

4/4/13: Added: Goldie's, RivaBella, Crossroads

5/2/13: Added: AOC, Nozawa Bar, Hinoki & The Bird

6/6/13: Added: Trois Mec, Chi-Lin, Corazon y Miel, Connie & Ted's, Fishing with Dynamite, Petty Cash Taqueria

7/11/13: Added: Flores, Salt Air, Nikita

8/1/13: Added: Phorage, Girasol, Mari Vanna

9/5/13: Added: Little Sister, Bucato

10/3/13: Added: EMC Seafood, Hakkasan, Rao's

12/5/13: Added: Scopa, Republique

1/2/14: Added: Mud Hen Tavern

2/6/14: Added: Maude, East Borough, Gracias Madre

4/3/14: Added: Night + Market Song, POT, Faith & Flower

5/1/14: Added: The Wallace, Wexler's Deli, smoke.oil.salt, Pine & Crane

Have any suggestions? Any vital omissions? Leave 'em in the comments.

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Eater maps are curated by editors and aim to reflect a diversity of neighborhoods, cuisines, and prices. Learn more about our editorial process. If you buy something or book a reservation from an Eater link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics policy.

Chef Ori Menashe and restaurateur Bill Chait have teamed up to open Bestia, a seasonal Italian restaurant with excellent house-cured salumi and a fancy wood-fired oven which cooks pizzas and more. The space is hip enough without trying to hard in a sort of industrial unfinished way, and as of late has been one of the hottest tickets in town. Reservations are recommended, but there's room for walk-ins at the bar.

Trois Mec

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Dinner at the French mashup, from all-star team Ludo Lefebvre, Jon Shook, and Vinny Dotolo, is a tough ticket to score (just 26 seats), and meals must be purchased in advance off Trois Mec's website. Including tip but excluding alcohol, the nightly prix fixe amounts to nearly $100 a head.

Connie and Ted's Seafood

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Connie & Ted's is celebrated Providence chef Michael Cimarusti's contemporary take on a classic seafood "shack." He's serving up tried and true sea-centric constructions made with top quality ingredients and only the best sea animals, plus a few extras like a burger topped with Hook's four-year-aged cheddar.

Fishing with Dynamite

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Chef David LeFevre's tiny nook of a seafood joint has been slammed since its debut, which means it's vital to make a reservation in advance. In this bright and convivial (though cramped) space he's plating up a mixed batch of old and new seafood dishes, alongside a thoughtful list of intoxicants. Early standouts are the Thai Shellfish Coconut Soup, Albacore Tartare, and Loup de Mer.

Petty Cash Taqueria

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In the former home to Playa (RIP) comes Petty Cash Taqueria, a colorful and fun new eatery conducive to social dining (many communal picnic-style tables). Chef Walter Manzke collaborated with famed Baja chef Guillermo Campos Moreno of Tacos Kokopelli on Petty Cash's Mexican street food menu. There's deep fried cheesy churros, a bevy of tacos, and even raw pork ceviche.

Girasol Restaurant

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A sleek new Studio City addition designed to resemble a sunflower, Girasol is a dedicated California eatery through and through. Top Chef alum CJ Jacobson is responsible for the restaurant's refined seasonal California menu, and there's beer and California wines to go alongside.

This New York transplant serves predictable but well executed Italian-Amnerican classics in a charming, perfectly sized dining room in a part of Hollywood that might best be described as in the "the middle of nowhere." It's exactly what ownership wanted in terms of location.

Orsa & Winston

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Chef Josef Centeno goes the fine dining route with Orsa & Winston, a small, minimalist-designed Japanese-Italian hybrid Downtown. Here one will find prix fixe menus priced at $60 (five courses), $95 (nine courses), or the super omakase (offered at the rear chef's counter) for $195.

Scopa Italian Roots

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This newcomer in Venice pairs chef Antonia Lofaso's soulful, Italian cuisine with Steve Livigni and Pablo Moix's straightforward and well-crafted cocktails. The interior isn't just expansive, the semi-industrial space has a warmth that makes it a great place to linger late into the night.

Republique

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Walter and Margarita Manzke's landmark restaurant in the historic Campanile building sure took a long time to open, but it was worth the wait. The bistro-inspired fare gets more refined by the day while everything from house-made bread and desserts to another level. This is the restaurant L.A. has been waiting for.

Maude is chef Curtis Stone's first restaurant, an intimate dining experience with just 25 seats in Beverly Hills. Here Stone is serving a $75 nine-course seasonal California prix fixe menu centered on one theme ingredient per month. Tip: The best seats in the house are the four rear chairs at a bar that overlooks the open kitchen.

Gracias Madre

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The most recent meat-free effort from those behind Cafe Gratitude, Gracias Madre follows a slightly more formal model in which guests are urged to make reservations for vegan Mexican cuisine served alongside tequila and mezcal-based drinks by Jason Eisner formerly of Drago Centro. Since day one this place has been an early hit with the denizens of West Hollywood.

East Borough Fraîche Vietnamese

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A hip, modern Vietnamese eatery born in Costa Mesa and brought to Los Angeles thanks to Superba Snack Bar's Paul Hibler and chef Jason Neroni. During lunch drop in for banh mi, vermicelli noodle salads, and even a pho baguette, while dinner brings more serious plates of baby octopus and phocatini.

Night + Market Song

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Kris Yenbamroong of Night + Market is back with this Silver Lake sequel equally dedicated to Northern Thai cuisine consumed in a colorful 50-seat space. Although Yenbamroong wants Night + Market Song to be a locals spot, the chef has earned enough of a reputation for his flavor-packed plates to attract Angelenos from across the city. Keep in mind this place doesn't accept reservations, so expect to wait for a table.

Pot at the Line Hotel

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Roy Choi's first restaurant in Koreatown is an incredibly authentic and thoughtful rendition of some of the best that Korean cuisine has to offer. While the large family-style pots full of everything from braised beef to seafood are the star of the menu, the other shareable bites like dumplings, squid, pollack roe, and fried rice are also worth trying. An unbeatable scene, too.

Faith & Flower

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Faith & Flower is Coastal Luxury Management's redo of the old Towne space into a fun, boisterous New American eatery cheffed by Michael Hung of La Folie in SF. The AvroKO-designed space is supposed to pay homage to Los Angeles during the 1800s and early 1900s. The menu has everything from uni and fava bean toast to kimchi-spiked deviled eggs to oxtail agnolotti, and the pizzas here are pretty on point as well. To drink, go with the milk punch.

Wexler's Deli

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Micah Wexler has changed the deli game in L.A. completely, with this modern take on classics like pastrami, lox, corned beef, and pickles. For a change, nearly everything is done in house, from the smoking to the curing, and the result is fantastic: thick, hand-cut slices placed between plush rye bread or kaiser rolls. And the lox is so perfectly cured it's nearly translucent. With all the great places opening up at Grand Central, it's hard to find the best one right now, but Wexler's might be the most popular at the moment.

smoke.oil.salt.

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Perfecto Rocher is finally doing the kind of cuisine that he's wanted to bring to Los Angeles: soulful and elegant Spanish tapas in the former Angeli Caffe space on Melrose. It definitely makes this block more interesting, especially with that super-smokey wood-fired grill whose aroma tends to pervade the space. Try the grilled Iberico, uni flan, and house-made olives.

The Wallace

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Michael and Carol Teich have created a sleeper hit in Culver City with their ode to rustic Californian cuisine fueled by pristine market produce and solid technique. The former baseball player is churning out some of the best vegetables in town, as a result. The cocktails are no slouch either.

Pine & Crane

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Vivian Ku and Allan Lai decided to bring something that Silver Lake really needed: a modern Chinese restaurant in a beautiful space. And this casual eatery in the heart of Silver Lake is just what the neighborhood needed. Handmade noodles, fresh produce straight from the family farm, and top-notch tea service. Pine & Crane is an oasis of Chinese cuisine for the Eastside.

Bestia

Chef Ori Menashe and restaurateur Bill Chait have teamed up to open Bestia, a seasonal Italian restaurant with excellent house-cured salumi and a fancy wood-fired oven which cooks pizzas and more. The space is hip enough without trying to hard in a sort of industrial unfinished way, and as of late has been one of the hottest tickets in town. Reservations are recommended, but there's room for walk-ins at the bar.

Trois Mec

Dinner at the French mashup, from all-star team Ludo Lefebvre, Jon Shook, and Vinny Dotolo, is a tough ticket to score (just 26 seats), and meals must be purchased in advance off Trois Mec's website. Including tip but excluding alcohol, the nightly prix fixe amounts to nearly $100 a head.

Connie and Ted's Seafood

Connie & Ted's is celebrated Providence chef Michael Cimarusti's contemporary take on a classic seafood "shack." He's serving up tried and true sea-centric constructions made with top quality ingredients and only the best sea animals, plus a few extras like a burger topped with Hook's four-year-aged cheddar.

Fishing with Dynamite

Chef David LeFevre's tiny nook of a seafood joint has been slammed since its debut, which means it's vital to make a reservation in advance. In this bright and convivial (though cramped) space he's plating up a mixed batch of old and new seafood dishes, alongside a thoughtful list of intoxicants. Early standouts are the Thai Shellfish Coconut Soup, Albacore Tartare, and Loup de Mer.

Petty Cash Taqueria

In the former home to Playa (RIP) comes Petty Cash Taqueria, a colorful and fun new eatery conducive to social dining (many communal picnic-style tables). Chef Walter Manzke collaborated with famed Baja chef Guillermo Campos Moreno of Tacos Kokopelli on Petty Cash's Mexican street food menu. There's deep fried cheesy churros, a bevy of tacos, and even raw pork ceviche.

Girasol Restaurant

A sleek new Studio City addition designed to resemble a sunflower, Girasol is a dedicated California eatery through and through. Top Chef alum CJ Jacobson is responsible for the restaurant's refined seasonal California menu, and there's beer and California wines to go alongside.

Rao's

This New York transplant serves predictable but well executed Italian-Amnerican classics in a charming, perfectly sized dining room in a part of Hollywood that might best be described as in the "the middle of nowhere." It's exactly what ownership wanted in terms of location.

Orsa & Winston

Chef Josef Centeno goes the fine dining route with Orsa & Winston, a small, minimalist-designed Japanese-Italian hybrid Downtown. Here one will find prix fixe menus priced at $60 (five courses), $95 (nine courses), or the super omakase (offered at the rear chef's counter) for $195.

Scopa Italian Roots

This newcomer in Venice pairs chef Antonia Lofaso's soulful, Italian cuisine with Steve Livigni and Pablo Moix's straightforward and well-crafted cocktails. The interior isn't just expansive, the semi-industrial space has a warmth that makes it a great place to linger late into the night.

Republique

Walter and Margarita Manzke's landmark restaurant in the historic Campanile building sure took a long time to open, but it was worth the wait. The bistro-inspired fare gets more refined by the day while everything from house-made bread and desserts to another level. This is the restaurant L.A. has been waiting for.

Maude

Maude is chef Curtis Stone's first restaurant, an intimate dining experience with just 25 seats in Beverly Hills. Here Stone is serving a $75 nine-course seasonal California prix fixe menu centered on one theme ingredient per month. Tip: The best seats in the house are the four rear chairs at a bar that overlooks the open kitchen.

Gracias Madre

The most recent meat-free effort from those behind Cafe Gratitude, Gracias Madre follows a slightly more formal model in which guests are urged to make reservations for vegan Mexican cuisine served alongside tequila and mezcal-based drinks by Jason Eisner formerly of Drago Centro. Since day one this place has been an early hit with the denizens of West Hollywood.

East Borough Fraîche Vietnamese

A hip, modern Vietnamese eatery born in Costa Mesa and brought to Los Angeles thanks to Superba Snack Bar's Paul Hibler and chef Jason Neroni. During lunch drop in for banh mi, vermicelli noodle salads, and even a pho baguette, while dinner brings more serious plates of baby octopus and phocatini.

Night + Market Song

Kris Yenbamroong of Night + Market is back with this Silver Lake sequel equally dedicated to Northern Thai cuisine consumed in a colorful 50-seat space. Although Yenbamroong wants Night + Market Song to be a locals spot, the chef has earned enough of a reputation for his flavor-packed plates to attract Angelenos from across the city. Keep in mind this place doesn't accept reservations, so expect to wait for a table.

Pot at the Line Hotel

Roy Choi's first restaurant in Koreatown is an incredibly authentic and thoughtful rendition of some of the best that Korean cuisine has to offer. While the large family-style pots full of everything from braised beef to seafood are the star of the menu, the other shareable bites like dumplings, squid, pollack roe, and fried rice are also worth trying. An unbeatable scene, too.

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Faith & Flower

Faith & Flower is Coastal Luxury Management's redo of the old Towne space into a fun, boisterous New American eatery cheffed by Michael Hung of La Folie in SF. The AvroKO-designed space is supposed to pay homage to Los Angeles during the 1800s and early 1900s. The menu has everything from uni and fava bean toast to kimchi-spiked deviled eggs to oxtail agnolotti, and the pizzas here are pretty on point as well. To drink, go with the milk punch.