The Best New Restaurants in Los Angeles

The Best New Restaurants in Los Angeles

1. Palate

Palate is a place where the gospel of local provenance is adhered to by Becerra and his head chef, Gary Menes. Offerings can be blessedly uncomplicated, as with the potted Berkshire pork that comes with an assortment of tangy pickled onions, nectarines, and cherries, and though Becerra’s preparations are confidently forthright the grilled mackerel is served head and all, thank you a dazzling technical finesse is on display throughout the menu. » 933 S. Brand Blvd. , Glendale, 818-662-9463.

2. Gjelina

In this Venice spot, with its quirky chandeliers, unvarnished wood appointments, and cozy courtyard, his cooking has taken on an elemental quality that revolves around the wood-fired oven. Smoked tomato butter does something wickedly good to flatiron steak with grilled beets. The long wait for a seat the pair of communal tables by the bar are overflowing as well is worth it in a restaurant imbued with such devotion to craft. » 1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd. , Venice , 310-450-1429.

3. Nickel Diner

It has faded murals, Naugahyde seating, and a display of sodas from a time when local bottlers still existed. The food is seriously engaged with the classic diner repertoire. Candied pecans and pickled onions give the chicken salad sandwich a jolt. Every morning each table is given a few sugar-dusted doughnut holes the handiwork of pastry chef Sharlena Fong, who worked at Thomas Kellers Per Se before coming to this bright addition to the city. » 524 S. Main St., downtown, 213-623-8301.

4. Anisette

With its checkered tiles, wood paneling, and weathered mirrors, Anisette has perfectly captured a brasserie interior. Lunch calls for a traditional pan bagnat drenched in tomato juices and great olive oil. It is at dinner, however, when the bar is crowded and friends splash wine from carafes, that the food reaches an ideal. The Bourride de Lotte Setoise braised monkfish tail for two is the loving homage to a dish learned at Papa’s stove. » 225 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica, 310-395-3200.

5 Comme 

Of the many new brasseries that have sprung up in L.A., Comme  may be furthest from the model but closest to the source. The white banquettes say Casino, while the blackboard walls scrawled with musings wink at the Sorbonne. The noise level can overwhelm, but as a background to dishes like glazed sweetbreads with sauteed romaine, bubbling bouillabaisse, and moules friteswith Pernod and aioli, it seems like the soundtrack to urban joy. » 8479 Melrose Ave. , L.A. , 323-782-1104.

6 Little Dom’s

The latest from Brandon Boudet and Warner Ebbink (101 Coffee Shop, Dominick’s) is coy about its ambitions. Its leather booths and old framed pictures impart the look of a red-sauce Italian joint, but the kitchen is more hell, let’s say it refined than that. Cute, zingy meatballs bob in the Italian wedding soup, and freshly made pastas are a specialty (the black squid ink linguine is magnificent). » 2128 Hillhurst Ave. , Los Feliz, 323-661-0055.

7 Animal

The clientele give in to newsboy caps and tattoos delights in mussels, which arrive in a rich, buttery tomato broth flanked by an outsize slice of grilled bread. There’s a touch of whimsy in the PB&J-derived foie gras tartine with Concord grape gele, and the fried quail with Anson Mills grits and maple jus is memorable. Seeing the restaurant’s valet stand on Fairfax can cause a pang of disappointment, but if the street has to change from bubbes to bacon, it should be with spots as merry as this. » 435 N. Fairfax Ave. , L.A. , 323-782-9225.

8 BLT Steak

The dining room has a clubby, contemporary feel, and the high prices dictate a certain formality. Sommelier Dan Warrilow draws from a broad cellar, and chef Liran Mezan lets loose with wine-friendly blackboard specials that go well beyond the usual steak house aspirations. The diver scallops come with a pert Meyer lemon vinaigrette, and spaghetti squash alla carbonara offers a lush counterpoint to a charred hanger steak. »  8720 W. Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, 310-360-1950.

9 Loter­a Grill

The soaring walls (bare but for enlarged images of loter­a cards) smack of Mexican modernism, but the comal, or traditional griddle, is the restaurant’s lodestar. Vegetable preparations are a high point: Mixed squashes, wild mushrooms, and papas con rajas(potatoes laced with poblano strips) make vibrant fillings for tacos. Amid the buzz of the dining room, a team of ladies presses out the tortillas, and at night the terrace has a magical quality, spilling as it does onto light-streaked Hollywood Boulevard. » 6627 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, 323-465-2500.

10 [email protected]

Chefs Michael McDonald and Carlos Olivera have put together an enterprising steak house menu. The best appetizer is a wonderful split pea soup served with country bread. Petit filet carries a payload of poached garlic, with creamy potatoes au gratin acting as a great foil. It’s not the showiest restaurant that debuted this year, but welcoming and focused, [email protected] offers a shining example of the fundamentals done right. »1601 Pacific Coast Hwy. , Hermosa Beach , 310-698-0740 .