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Fried chicken sandiwch at Howlin' Ray's
Photograph: Jakob N. LaymanFried chicken sandwich at Howlin' Ray's

The most exciting restaurant and bar openings of April 2016

Written by
Erin Kuschner

It's hard to keep up with all the restaurant and bar openings, closings, chef swaps and revamps that happen every day in this city. What's worth spending your money on and what's all just hype? We're here to help you out with that. At the end of each month, we'll give a recap of the most exciting additions to enter LA's dining and drinking scene, whether it's a new ice cream shop or a creative cocktail bar. Here are a few April openings that are worth a visit.

The Lincoln (Venice): It doesn't look like much from the outside—a stark box of a place on a busy street lined with auto shops. But step inside the Lincoln and you'll feel like you're in the happening part of Venice again. An open-aired courtyard provides a gorgeous space to sip on beer, wine and cocktails (we're big fans of the gin-based Menthylamine), while inside you'll find a vintage bar with comfortable couches and dim lighting.

Same Same (Silver Lake): Formerly Rambutan Thai, this wine bar and Thai eatery is small, with a smattering of tables, a collection of framed photos from artist Davin Sanchez and two bars accented by rows of wine bottles. There's plenty going on here, from exceptional dishes (jade noodles with BBQ pork, mussel pancakes and sticky rice with mango) to a well-curated list of small production wines.

Baran's 2239 (Hermosa Beach): Making a splash in the South Bay this past month was Baran's 2239, an intimate restaurant helmed by executive chef Tyler Gugliotta. A chalkboard filled with the names of fantastic craft beers hangs on the wall, tempting diners to pair their smoked fried chicken with a local brew. An excellent wine list is also available, as are plates of gnocchi, Peruvian-inspired crudo and Manila clams.

Highland Park Bowl (Highland Park): Formerly a cherished music venue called Mr. T's Bowl, the 1933 Group has transformed the space into a gorgeous bowling alley and bar. The details here are meticulous, from chandeliers made out of repurposed pinsetters to old bowling banners that line the alley's eight lanes. Bowlers can wait out their turn on leather Chesterfield sofas and order from a menu boasting Neapolitan-style pizzas, craft cocktails and a rotating selection of local beers. 

Howlin' Ray's (Chinatown): LA's beloved Nashville hot chicken truck has found a permanent home in Chinatown's Far East Plaza. They opened this month to hundreds of fans lining up for wings, chicken and waffles, chicken sandwiches and market sides. The only question before you place your order: How hot do you want it? 

Paley. (Hollywood): Evoking the age of Hollywood glamour, Paley. landed on the scene a few weeks ago, offering lunch and dinner in a mid-century setting. Chef Greg Bernhardt is creating beautiful, classic plates of beef tartar, Manhattan steak and foie gras mousse, with breakfast and brunch options coming soon.

Kogi Taqueria (Palms): Roy Choi continues his comfort food reign with the opening of Kogi Taqueria, a small shop in a Palms strip mall where you can find all of Kogi's OG Mexican-Korean favorites: kimchi quesadilla, Korean spiced fries, Kogi hot wings and more.  

Miro (Downtown): Nestled in Downtown's financial district is Miro, a beautiful dining space that offers California-inspired cuisine with a Mediterranean and Middle Eastern influence. They have a fantastic charcuterie program, as well as a Whiskey Room that offers 1- and 2-ounce pours of rare whiskey.

Did you miss our favorite openings from March? Check out the list from last month

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