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Updating the Eater LA Heatmap: June 2014

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[Zinc Cafe & Market, Arts District by Elizabeth Daniels]

2008_10_hasmapsla.jpgMore 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' 21 hottest restaurants below.


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

6/5/14: Added: Marvin, Harlowe, Superba Food + Bread, Playa Provisions, Zinc Cafe

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

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Superba Food + Bread

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With a cheerful, open design that's perfectly reflective of the current laid back, upscale culture of Venice at the moment, Superba Food + Bread churns out a rather tight menu of focused American dishes, with some artisanal toasts (of course) and simply prepared hot plates like arctic char with pea tendrils. And don't miss the breakfast/brunch with some of the best pastries and baked goods in the city.

Playa Provisions

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Brooke Williamson and husband Nick Roberts have finally opened this seaside eatery touting everything from a bakery, deli counter, and sandwich shop to ice cream made in house. Throw in the new Dockside, the more composed dining environment, just opened this week, featuring Williamson's take on seafood.

Bruce and son Max Marder have revamped the former House Cafe with the help of Steven Arroyo (signature hanging ornaments line the ceiling). Touting a simple menu of small plates with a French slant, such as steak tartare, asparagus with fried egg, and roasted chicken to go with the well-curated wine list, it's a place for oenophiles and Francophiles to converge.

Harlowe

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1933 Group's newest nightlife venue takes over the old Crown Bar in WeHo, with a striking old-time design focused on classy antiques and an elegant Pre-Prohibition style. Cocktails might be the best of the 1933 group's bunch while bites come via Eric Greenspan.

Zinc Café & Market

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John Secretan, founder of a handful of Zinc Cafes in Orange County, decided to come up to Arts District, one of the hottest dining neighborhoods in L.A., with a massive rendition of his popular concept. And for the most part, the early reception is quite exciting. The fare is straightforward, with some European angles, but the bar program, called Bar Mateo and put together by Proprietors, LLC, might be the real reason to linger after dinner.

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Night + Market Song