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The most exciting restaurant and bar openings of August 2016

Photograph: Kenji Fitzgerald

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 August openings that are worth a visit.

Laurel Point (Studio City): Studio City has gained a seafood star in Laurel Point, a nautical-themed eatery serving brunch, lunch and dinner. Down cheddar biscuits, lobster Benedict and smoked trout on the weekends, or stop by for lunch or dinner to enjoy sandwiches, salads and plenty of fish. An oyster happy hour offers a sweet deal: $1 oysters and $5 oyster shooters.

Society Kitchen (Santa Monica): This casual dining spot offers an extensive menu that includes favorites like kale salad to hand-crafted butternut squash, and a bevy of sandwiches, salads, soups, pizza and tacos highlight the best of California's ingredients. Craft beer, artisanal wines and a wide selection of coffee and teas are also offered.

Cosmic Brewing (Torrance): In brewery-rife Torrance, another beer spot recently opened: Cosmic Brewery, located right around the corner from Monkish and Smog City Brewing. The 5,000-square-foot space offers five beers currently on tap, including the Hell Hound Brown (an American chocolate brown ale) and the Cosmonaut (a California blonde), with more rolling out as the brewery gets settled into its new digs.

The Nickel Bar (West LA): Say hello to the Nickel Bar, West LA’s latest neighborhood watering hole. The whiskey haven boasts a solid pizza program and craft cocktails, like the Smog Check, a smoky version of a classic Manhattan. Order a slice of pizza, then turn your attention to one of the 20 flat screens around the bar to channel your newfound love for the Rams. 

Lost at Sea (Pasadena): The latest project from Papilles’ Santos Uy and Tim Carey has materialized in Pasadena. Lost at Sea uses SoCal ingredients with French technique, resulting in dishes like Tuscan kale with garlic confit and pickled golden raisins. Uy’s wine curation is on point, with a selection that leans toward Old World, obscure varietals.

Easy's (Chinatown): As part of Unit 120's rotating residency, Amboy has left the building and Easy's, a casual burger joint, has popped up in its place. The menu is small but well-crafted: five burgers, a few types of fries, shakes and burger add-ons (caramelized onions for the traditionalist, avocado puree for the Angeleno). The burgers are juicy, the shakes are thick, and the ordering process is, well, easy. Get on it.

Belle Vie Food & Wine (West LA): For a little taste of French sophistication and culinary style in the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles, there's Belle Vie Food & Wine. This quaint bistro offers a menu filled with classic French dishes that pair beautifully with the restaurant's extensive list of wines. Daily specials are available to showcase Belle Vie's new and seasonal concepts. 

Beefsteak (Melrose): Chef Marcel Vigneron (Wolf) has brought a healthy spin to fast casual eating with Beefsteak, a plant-based restaurant that aims to provide healthy options for Angelenos on the go. While the eatery isn't strictly vegetarian (you'll find dishes like Korean-style short ribs and Scottish salmon on the menu), there are plenty of options for those who do shy away from meat: bowls and wraps chock-full of toasted seaweed, quinoa and kale; matcha olive oil cake; Sunflower caesar salad and more. A juice and smoothie bar offers delicious, healthy concoctions while the cocktail program boasts booze-infused fresh juice punches. 

El Dorado Bar (Downtown): You’ll see the glowing sign first, a sweeping marquee arrow that points patrons underground and into the El Dorado Bar, a sexy cocktail lounge boasting leather booths and minimal lighting. Cocktails are infused with everything from mole to green tea, but you’d be wise to try the stiff Reborn, made with Nikka Coffey grain whiskey, vermouth, orange marmalade and Byrrh.

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

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