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!
The Michelin guide returned to LA for the first time in a decade, showering the city with stars old, new, and updated. Highlights include: two stars for n/naka, Providence, Somni, Sushi Ginza Onodera, Urasawa, and Vespertine. While no restaurants in the City of Angels received the coveted three-star rating, there is plenty of excitement—for restaurant owners and especially for diners.
In 2017 Candace Nelson (Sprinkles Cupcakes) expanded her empire of sweets to include pizza with the neo-Neapolitan Pizzana. Next week a second location is due to open in the heart of West Hollywood.
Pizzana’s pizzaiolo Daniele Uditi has garnered a slew of celebrity fans from Gwenyth Paltrow to Steve Carrell, thanks to his inventive pies, signature slow dough, and the fior de latte he has shipped directly from Italy several times each week. The new location will feature wood-fired favorites draped with toppings like squash blossoms, black truffles, black walnut romesco, and fennel sausage. A bevy of antipasti and salads round out the menu, and Nelson’s desserts—olive oil chocolate cake, salted caramel panna cotta—will end meals on a sweet note. 460 N. Robertson Blvd; 310-657-4662.
Also on the pizza front, Rustic Canyon restaurant group recently debuted Milo SRO (short for standing room only). The pizza parlor, located just off the beach in Santa Monica, is the brainchild of chef Erin Eastland and baker Zoe Nathan of Milo & Olive.
Their inventive, New York-style pizzas include a white pie with raclette, ricotta, mozzarella, and taleggio, and a vegan pie with spinach and balsamic-roasted veggies. The menu also includes garlic knots and a gluten free tiramisu layered with cold brew syrup and mascarpone mousse. 826 Pico Blvd; 310-392-0706.
Later this month, Michelin-starred chef Joshua Skenes (Saison Hospitality) will open a highly anticipated Los Angeles location of the San Francisco sea-focused restaurant in the new Beverly Center food hall. The San Francisco restaurant built its reputation on carefully-sourced fish and seafood that is presented in its most elemental form, roasted over smoking embers. Skenes is also known for his gorgeous vegetable salads and sides—things like Radicchio XO or Sweet Chicory Caeser.
The LA outpost will maintain a similar vibe and ethos to the original location, but will partner with local seafood purveyors and delve deeply into the Southern California’s local ecosystems for inspiration. 8500 Beverly Blvd.
Downtown LA’s arts district just welcomed this France-meets-SoCal restaurant by chef Lincoln Carson. Based in a former Heinz loading dock, the indoor/outdoor space is anchored by a custom-made marble bar that serves as a pastry case in the morning and a raw bar later in the day.
Carson’s menu features plenty of goodness from the sea—like Dungeness crab and blue prawns in the raw bar selection. There is also updated brasserie fare like a bibb lettuce salad with crispy pig ears, and large-format dishes including two-bone prime rib and wild Brittany turbot with cabbage, leeks, and sauce Veronique. Bon Temps launched with dinner this last week and will soon expand to all-day dining with a wide selection of pastries and other baked goods to start the day. 712 S Santa Fe Ave; 213-784-0044.