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By now, all the trend stories about Los Angeles’ rapidly expanding dining scene have been written, and the facts are well-established: LA is a truly fantastic place to eat. (And getting better all the time!)
A mix of retro Hollywood sparkle, the region’s abundantly fresh ingredients, a focus on wellness and clean eating, the city’s vibrant tapestry of immigrant communities, and an overarching spirit of innovation combine to create a map of restaurants that resembles no other city in the world. Each month, Departures will dive deep into the best new eateries opening across the city, as well as exciting chef collaborations, pop-ups, and other culinary happenings. Check back each month to stay up to date!
Santa Monica’s new trattoria by chef Stefano De Lorenzo (Le Botte) is already open in soft launch mode, and expecting to fully open by the end of the month. Fresh, handmade pastas are the focus with creative dishes like beet tagliatelle with burrata, pickled white peaches, and mulberry syrup joining classics like beef ragu lasagna. The kitchen also turns out a gluten-free casarecce made with quinoa, rice, and corn flours.
A small, well-curated selection of antipasti and soups—like cauliflower soup with pesto and buckwheat popcorn—round out the menu. The restaurant is set just a few blocks from the beach, offering an ideal post lunch or dinner stroll. 1241 Fifth St; 310-310-8336.
Starting July 10, renowned chefs Ludo Lefebvre (Trois Mec, Petit Trois) and Gilles Epie (Citrus Etoile, Juvia) are teaming up for an exclusive pop-up series celebrating the cuisine of the French Riviera. Based out of The Restaurant at Montage Beverly Hills, an American Express Fine Hotel & Resort property, and in partnership with chef de cuisine Monica Olaes, the lunch and dinner series runs through Sept 30.
The menu includes starters like caramelized octopus with aioli, pimentos, and potato, and fish soup with saffron croutons. Main courses feature iconic dishes like roasted herbs de provence chicken with country bread salad, steak frites with black olive sauce, and provencal beef with basil mashed potatoes. 225 North Canon Drive; 855-691-1162.
Inspired by the open-air late-night bazaars found in Asia, 626 Night Market is a celebration of food, drink, and socializing. Located in Arcadia at Santa Anita Park, the weekend market features more than 300 vendors offering food, crafts, merchandise, music, and entertainment. Food vendors offer a diverse array of festive, carnival-ready treats—deep fried onions from The Onion Bomb, grilled, butter-drenched lobster from Lobsterdamus, bulgolgi blossoms from Gangnam Food, and churros sundaes from Ridges Churros Bar, to name a few.
626 Night Market will run for three more weekends over the summer—July 12 to 14, August 9 to 11, and August 30 to September 1. Santa Anita Park, 285 W Huntington Dr.
Fans of the artisanal coffee company, bakery, and cafe can now find their favorite brews and snacks at The Row in downtown Los Angeles. The location’s menu features favorites like avocado toast with pickled kohlrabi and chile sauce and the chickpea frittata with seasonal veggies. But the new location offers the company’s first burger served with aioli, dill pickles, and American cheese on a cheekily-named “real good bun.”
GGET’s drinks menu features their signature roasts in a full array of espresso drinks, housemade chai, and dairy-free drinks like their almond-macadamia latte. 777 Alameda St.; 323-579-1368.
Last month, LA’s posh Tel Aviv-inspired eatery opened its second location in the Palms neighborhood. The indoor-outdoor space mimics the beachy vibes of the al fresco cafes found throughout Jaffa. The menu, meanwhile, is Middle East meets West with dishes like spiced lamb sliders on kubaneh rolls, spaghetti with Moroccan saffron butter, and a lamb bacon BLT. The kitchen also turns out a variety of house-baked breads and pastries from challah and rye breads to babka and cardamom morning buns.
The beverage service also skews Mediterranean with cocktails like the amba margarita, Figging Out (fig preserves, rum, and citrus), and the Dead Sea Mule (mezcal, citrus, pomegranate, and ginger beer). 10306 Venice Blvd; 424-298-8180.