It sure is nice not to be reading about restaurant closings. LA is alive again, as is its restaurant scene. If you know LA, you know the food is good. Nowhere in the US — no matter where the ingredients are sourced — quite does fresh fish, fruit and avocados like LA. These are 5 restaurants in LA to put on your radar.
Avra is not a new spot, but it is still one of the hottest restaurants in LA. After all, Bennifer 2.0 made their first public reunion outing here, looking pretty darned happy. Must have been the Mediterranean sea bass or those zucchini chips.
The big, sandy, Grecian atmosphere with 240 seats and a large statue is the perfect place to celebrate the end of a year spent inside. While munching on roasted veggies and barrel-aged feta and hummus, diners pick their main course — a “fresh catch” from the market display.
The fish of choice is grilled to perfection just like in Mykonos, and paired with exquisite sides. The Greek salad is a must, as are the tzatziki and saganaki. And you absolutely cannot leave without trying the Galaktoboureko. Once you try the creamy custard topped with a crispy honey pastry, you will never go back to American desserts. It’s unusual to have a menu like this outside of Greece, and Avra is not to be missed.
2. Ospero & Merois
Wolfgang Puck opened two new restaurants in LA: casual Ospero and high-end Merois. Everyone knows what to expect from him, and no one is disappointed. Ospero, the more casual of the two, brings a sophisticated touch to lunching in LA.
The cafe-style tables facing Sunset Boulevard are perfect for people watching. And it’s the best spot for a shopping pit stop. Upstairs, however, the stunning Merois is somewhat of a surprising delight with full views of the surrounding area. The outdoor patio and bar are perfect for mingling with the socialites and celebrities that will likely make this their new Friday night spot. A plethora of outdoor seating at both restaurants, and a takeaway pastry bar at Ospero, make these Covid-friendly as well.
The giant pizza oven takes center stage and churns out wood-fired pizzas. His classic toppings like prosciutto and mushroom or his famous smoked salmon are so delicious you won’t be able to stop until you’ve finished the whole thing. But we won’t blame you if you’re laser-focused on the culinary experience. Again, it’s Puck classics, but no one’s ever complained about his French and Asian fusion. The vegan sushi platter is a must, even if you’re a carnivore. And of course, squid ink noodles and grilled sea bass are delicious main courses.
3. Girl and the Goat
Head chef Stephanie Izard makes waves as she brings her flagship from the Windy City to sunny LA. We’re not surprised. The Top Chef alum has everything going for her. Her signature Girl and the Goat family-style dishes, which bring a hodgepodge of cultural influences, are universally appealing and made to be shared with the whole party. The opening makes Girl and the Goat one of the best new restaurants in LA.
The restaurant, designed by Studio K, is a cozy wood-filled venue flooded in natural light with rattan and leafy touches. Ceramic accents and pops of color round out the distinctly LA design.
One dinner could feature goat curry, branzino, and a Korean-inspired steak and rice bowl. We recommend second and third dates here, as the family-style sharing platters with new, experimental flavors will bring anyone closer together. But equally, this restaurant is perfect for a lazy weekend brunch, where you can nurse a hangover with peanut butter and jelly pancakes or some hair of the dog in the form of a glorious mimosa.
4. Nusr-Et in Beverly Hills
Shockingly, the opening of Nusr-Et was not hugely advertised. But that didn’t stop hoards of people from flooding in on opening night. That might be because nothing Salt-Bae does is ever low key or hush hush. The world famous social media star (the guy who sprinkles pounds of salt on his steaks with his fingers in a distinct elbow bent display) isn’t one to fly under the radar.
The Salt-Bae’s new restaurant is right next to world famous Spago is the place to be, if you’re looking for a casual, fun meal out. The indoor tables flow through open doors to their green-house like outdoor seating. The vibe is kitsch meets Istanbul-inspired decor. The restaurant leverages the star power of the Salt-Bae himself, with a larger than life photo of him in action.
This is definitely one of the most theatrical restaurants in LA. Whether you’re there for the gold plated steaks, or the wild shows of meat slicing and salt throwing, you won’t be let down if you’re looking for an over the top experience. The restaurant caters to meat lovers, and their dishes are always chef’s kiss. But really this is a place to travel to so that you can tell everyone you went. If you’re lucky the notoriously dashing Salt Bae himself may even drop by to christen your steak with a little salty love.
LA is known for huge, top-of-the-line restaurants that dazzle. But you can’t overlook Bicyclette. The family-owned, hole-in-the-wall restaurant is a masterpiece, and one of the best new foodie restaurants in LA.
Despite the tiny size of its kitchen (originally only six burners on the stove), it caters to lines spilling around the corner every night. And it has good reason to — the traditional French cuisine is spot on. You can’t beat the experience of feeling like you’ve been invited into a home in Provence for dinner.
Thick, crusty baguettes topped with sardines, the fresh escargot and the rich caramelized onion tatin are all musts. It’s impossible not to leave with your elbows dripping butter. Though potentially not a meal that caters to the supermodel California diet, the short ribs and mascarpone gelato is well worth it. And with a menu that changes by the week, there is always something new and seasonal to enjoy.