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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' 18 hottest restaurants below.


1/7/11: Added: Red Medicine, Eveleigh, Hostaria del Piccolo

3/22/11: Added: Wood + Vine, Son of a Gun, The Spice Table

7/11/11: Added: Picca, Black Market, Mr. C

9/6/11: Added: ink.sack, Next Door by Josie, The Strand House

10/6/11: Added: ink., Wurstkuche Venice, Osaka

1/13/12: Added: Short Order, Freddy Smalls, Bäco Mercat

2/2/12: Added: Little Bear, Tar & Roses

3/1/12: Added: Plan Check

4/10/12: Added: L&E Oyster Bar, UMAMIcatessen, Pitfire Pizza Fairfax

5/23/12: Added: The Pikey, BierBeisl

6/7/12: Added: Mo-Chica, The Corner Door

7/5/12: Added: Sycamore Kitchen

8/2/12: Added: Laurel Hardware, Superba Snack Bar, The Parish

9/6/12: Added: Cafe Gratitude Venice, The Churchill, Milo & Olive

10/4/12: Added: Mess Hall, Nobu Malibu, Spago

12/6/12: Added: The Hart and The Hunter, U-Mini

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

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

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

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.

Chef Evan Funke, formerly of Rustic Canyon, experiments with seasonal Italian fare at Bucato, and his house-made pastas steal the show. A wood-burning oven churns out small meat and veggie-centered plates, but don't try and snag a photo. The use of cell phones inside the restaurant is "politely discouraged."

EMC Seafood And Raw Bar

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An unexpected smash hit in Koreatown, this seafood and raw bar does one of the best happy hours in town, with $1 oysters, but consider the other great dishes, from the uni pasta to the whole lobster for a seafood shack that doesn't disappoint.

Hakkasan

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Heralded for many months, this worldwide high-end Chinese restaurant will surely take a stab at Mr. Chow's business in the Golden Triangle. Superb drinks come via Armando Conway while the arresting interior feels just right in the 90210.

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.

Magic Restroom Cafe

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The name says it all. A restaurant themed after restrooms, with full-on toilet bowls as seats, and a Taiwanese cafe menu where food is served in mini toilets and urinals.

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.

Mud Hen Tavern

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Mud Hen Tavern is Susan Feniger and chef Kajsa Alger's remake of STREET in Hollywood, now positioned as a bar-restaurant fixed on cocktails and pubby comfort food made with seasonal ingredients. The restaurant's design is conducive to socializing at communal tables over a burger, pumpkin ravioli or STREET's prized kaya toast, which remains on offer.

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.

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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.

Bucato

Chef Evan Funke, formerly of Rustic Canyon, experiments with seasonal Italian fare at Bucato, and his house-made pastas steal the show. A wood-burning oven churns out small meat and veggie-centered plates, but don't try and snag a photo. The use of cell phones inside the restaurant is "politely discouraged."

EMC Seafood And Raw Bar

An unexpected smash hit in Koreatown, this seafood and raw bar does one of the best happy hours in town, with $1 oysters, but consider the other great dishes, from the uni pasta to the whole lobster for a seafood shack that doesn't disappoint.

Hakkasan

Heralded for many months, this worldwide high-end Chinese restaurant will surely take a stab at Mr. Chow's business in the Golden Triangle. Superb drinks come via Armando Conway while the arresting interior feels just right in the 90210.

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.

Magic Restroom Cafe