Eating Well In Los Angeles

A slew of savvy new restaurants—some from old hands, some from young chefs making their debut—is invigorating Los Angeles.

TEMPLE The new kid on La Cienega Boulevard's Restaurant Row, Temple is a contemporary Korean restaurant from brother-sister team Jun and Soyon Kim, two former fashion designers raised in Brazil. Set in a 1950s coffeeshop, it has a sleek look, as well as an outdoor lounge. Chef Richard Aramino's menu is traditional in its flavors but pure California in its penchant for greens and stylish presentation. Appetizers include hand-pleated rock shrimp dumplings, seared beef sirloin "carpaccio" garnished with daikon sprouts and sesame leaf, and an extravagant seafood pancake. $65. 14 North La Cienega Boulevard, Beverly Hills, CA 90211; 310-360-9460.

GLOBE VENICE A late-night hangout for chefs, Globe in San Francisco has opened an outpost in Venice Beach. Chef and co-owner Joseph Manzare makes a fabulous pizza, especially the one with potato, arugula, and pancetta. Try the tender homemade mozzarella with fleur de sel and a swirl of green-gold olive oil, and his terrific salade aux lardons. There's a beautiful roast chicken for two, its juices tart with verjus. Chefs are drifting in late here too, since Globe Venice stays open until midnight. $70-$185. 72 Market Street, Venice, CA 90291; 310-392-8720.

JOSIE RESTAURANT After cooking Venetian cuisine at Remi in Santa Monica and game at the Saddle Peak Lodge in Calabasas, Josie LeBalch finally has her own restaurant. She's the blonde in a baseball cap working furiously in the small open kitchen while husband Frank Delzio runs the front of the house. The food is American eclectic—everything this young chef, who grew up in her father's French restaurant in the Valley, loves. She'll send out wild-mushroom-and-Gruyère quiche as an amuse, offer an individual cherry-tomato-and-goat-cheese tart as a starter. Other best bets: pan-seared salmon in a gentle Meyer lemon sauce, "campfire" trout with green and yellow beans, tagine of fresh cod with vegetables and silky preserved lemon, and Brittany salt-crusted chicken breast atop irresistible white-corn grits. $90. 2424 West Pico Boulevard, Santa Monica, CA 90405; 310-581-9888.

MOOMBA Once the trendiest restaurant-club in New York, Moomba has migrated to a sprawling two-story building with wraparound outdoor terrace in West Hollywood. The downstairs lounge has its own bar and billiard table. Normally you'd be right not to expect much of the kitchen. Yet the food from co-chefs Frank Falcinelli and Donnie Masterton (formerly of San Francisco's Azie) shines. Don't miss the silky slabs of foie gras au torchon or the day-boat scallops on a sweet-corn-and-chive ragout. Free-range Amish chicken in foie-gras-and-giblet sauce and a gutsy New York steak au poivre both delight. For dessert, "the cookie jar," a stack of warm chocolate chip cookies and fudgy brownies, arrives warm from the oven. $80. 665 North Robertson Boulevard, West Hollywood, CA 90069; 310-652-6364.

ZAX In Zax, Brentwood has a wonderful new neighborhood restaurant led by 22-year-old chef Brooke Williamson, who served as sous-chef at Michael's in Santa Monica. From the open kitchen she turns out appealing salads such as grilled jumbo asparagus in a fig balsamic vinaigrette or a red-beet "carpaccio" served with Satsuma tangerines and shaved ricotta salata. But her best dish may be bucatini with cockles and breadcrumbs. $75. 11604 San Vicente Boulevard, Brentwood, CA 90049; 310-571-3800.