How long would it take you to rattle off your favorite sandwich spots in L.A.? What about your go-to happy-hour haunts? Being the creatures of habit that we are, it probably wouldn't take Angelenos much time to name their beloved restaurants. Now, we don't blame anyone for playing favorites when it comes to dining out, but that doesn't mean your routine couldn't use some shaking up.
That's where we come in. We set out on a quest to find the coolest, most buzzed-about new eateries in L.A. to help you expand your culinary horizons. We scoured the city and came up with a must-visit list of 14 spots. From a seafood lover's haven to a vegan's paradise, these are the restos that made the cut. Better start making those reservations ASAP!
Photo: Courtesy of Love & Salt.
Love & Salt This Italian-inspired Manhattan Beach spot is helmed by former Terranea chef Michael Fiorelli. This bomboloni shown here is stuffed with house jam, nutella, and lemon curd — in other words, you need to try it, stat. Word to the wise: The restaurant just started serving weekend brunch earlier this month, so you better try it out before word spreads. Love & Salt, 317 Manhattan Beach Boulevard (near Highland Avenue); 310-545-5252.
Photo: Courtesy of Dylan + Jeni.
Odys + Penelope The husband-and-wife team behind the ultra-popular resto The Sycamore Kitchen are at it again with this new spot in District La Brea. Expect fresh California fare, like line-caught swordfish, a seasonal veggie salad, and smoked short ribs. Odys + Penelope, 127 La Brea Avenue (near West 1st Street); 323-939-1033.
Photo: Courtesy of The Independence.
The Independence Located a stone's throw away from the beach in Santa Monica, this sunny spot just opened its doors in mid-February. The chill ambiance, massive windows, and fun graffiti-inspired artwork all make for a cool place to hang out for hours on end. Don't miss the killer happy hour, with specials like $7 Sriracha lime chicken wings, $3 chili sliders, and a $5 beer of the day. The Independence, 205 Broadway (near 2nd Street); 310-458-2500.
Photo: Courtesy of Forma.
Forma When a restaurant is named after a cheese — Formaggio, to be exact — you know they take the stuff seriously. This restaurant and cheese bar just opened last month on Santa Monica's chic Montana Avenue. The mozzarella knots shown here are officially calling our name. Forma, 1610 Montana Avenue (near 17th Street); 424-231-2868.
Photo: Courtesy of Pascal Shirley/Catch & Release.
Catch & Release Seafood lovers, you need to make a beeline to this Marina Del Rey restaurant for all the scallops, oysters, and lobster rolls you can get your hands on. Opened in May, the restaurant is the brainchild of chef Jason Neroni (previously of Superba Snack Bar) and restauranteur Bill Chait (of Republique, Bestia, and others). So, it's safe to say they know a thing or two about running successful spots. Catch & Release, 13488 Maxella Avenue (near Del Rey Avenue); 310-893-6100.
Photo: Courtesy of Sweetgreen.
Sweetgreen This East Coast mini-chain finally has its first West Coast outpost near The Grove. Expect ultra-healthy organic salads, soups, rice bowls, and more, which are all customizable to your taste. We're partial to the Earth Bowl, complete with quinoa, farro, tomatoes, arugula, and other health-conscious goodies. Sweetgreen, 8055 West 3rd Street (near South Crescent Heights Boulevard); 323-934-3404.
Photo: Courtesy of Herringbone.
Herringbone Herringbone is the newest offering from restauranteur and Top Chef alum Brian Malarkey. Next month, it will be migrating from West Hollywood's The Mondrian to a shiny new Santa Monica location smack-dab on Ocean Avenue — and you can bet we'll be there for the reveal. Herringbone, 1755 Ocean Avenue (near Pico Boulevard); 310-971-4460.
Photo: Courtesy of Belcampo.
Belcampo This restaurant, which opened in April, is a meat-lover's paradise — it even has its own in-house, full-service butchery so you can take the goods home, too. The highlight of its daily changing menu? The signature Belcampo Cheeseburger. Trust us, it's a far cry from your In-N-Out standby. Belcampo, 1026 Wilshire Boulevard (near 11th Street); 424-744-8008.
Photo: Courtesy of Jon & Vinny's.
Jon & Vinny's Arguably one of the most anticipated openings in L.A., this Fairfax restaurant is the newest outpost from the geniuses behind Animal, Son of a Gun, and Trois Mec. Don't even think about leaving without trying the next-level Margherita Pizza. Jon & Vinny's, 412 North Fairfax Avenue (near Beverly Boulevard); 323-334-3369.
Photo: Courtesy of EP & LP.
EP & LP Sure, the contemporary Southeast Asian fare is to-die-for, but what really makes this West Hollywood spot a standout is its cool rooftop patio overlooking Melrose Avenue. It's been open less than a month, so scoot on over there before everyone and their mother knows about it. EP & LP, 603 North La Cienega Boulevard (near Melrose Avenue); 310-855-9955.
Photo: Courtesy of Osso.
Osso Located in the Arts District downtown, this brand new spot was founded by Momofuku alums Nick Montgomery and Ami Lourie. With cool exposed brick walls and metal accents, it has a cool, industrial vibe we're crazy about. Osso, 901 East 1st Street (at South Vignes Street); no phone.
Photo: Courtesy of Birch.
Birch This Hollywood restaurant has only been open a few months, but it's quickly become our go-to brunch spot. Think: Spanish omelettes, out-of-this world ham and eggs, buckwheat pancakes, and more. Birch, 1634 North Cahuenga Boulevard (near Hollywood Boulevard); 323-960-3369.
Photo: Courtesy of Public School 818.
Public School 818 Valley denizens, don't think we forgot about you! This Sherman Oaks restaurant is perfectly situated so you can fuel up on tacos and beer before a shopping spree at the Sherman Oaks Galleria. Public School 818, 15300 Ventura Boulevard (near Sepulveda Boulevard); 818-728-9818.
Photo: Courtesy of Barrel Down.
Barrel Down Single-handedly raising DTLA's craft beer game, Barrel Down has 20 beers on tap, each one as good as the next. Not to be outdone by the booze selection, the food menu isn't too shabby, either. You won't regret trying the buttermilk fried chicken sandwich. Barrel Down, 525 West 7th Street (near South Olive Street); 213-232-8657.