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Mardi
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

The most exciting restaurant and bar openings of June 2016

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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 May openings that are worth a visit.

The Phoenix (W 3rd St): Phoenix is a rather fitting name for a bar that’s been given a second chance at life. The Beverly Hills-adjacent community’s once beloved destination for bottomless mimosas has risen again, this time as a whiskey-centric watering hole with an excellent menu from owner and chef Adolfo Suaya. Here you'll find 200 kinds of cognac, bourbon, brandy, scotch and whiskey, all curated by Ryan Sweeney (Blind Donkey, Surly Goat). Wet your lips with a Hennessy X.O. neat or one of the bar's spirit-forward cocktails, like a Godfather made with Pierre Ferrand. 

Georgie (Beverly Hills): Located in the upscale Montage Beverly Hills hotel, Georgie has perfectly combined the comfort of a hotel lounge with the fine-dining experience of a five-star restaurant, and it has the ideal menu and location to go along with it. Stop by for dinner, where you can dine on oysters, diver scallops, Moroccan-spiced lamb and spaghetti and veal meatballs.

Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken (Crenshaw): Well, thank the Fried Chicken Gods. Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken has arrived in LA, serving spicy fried goodness to the Crenshaw neighborhood. Choose from individual pieces or go for one of their "snacks"—2-20 pieces with white bread—or platters. Sides include baked beans, mac and cheese, seasoned fries, coleslaw and more, and you'll definitely want to splurge on a dessert. We're thinking the chess pie is a killer way to end your Gus's experience.

Mardi (West Hollywood): Back and better than ever, chef Kris Tominaga has popped up with his latest project, Mardi, at Palihouse in West Hollywood. Set in the picturesque courtyard of this boutique lodge, Mardi is a place to come with friends, where shared plates are actually massive portions and not the comically tiny servings we've become accustomed to. Tominaga has crafted a beautiful headcheese schnitzel, so rich and fatty that even those averse to headcheese will fall in love with the dish. To drink, a robust wine list is available, but you'd be remiss to skip one of Mardi's excellent cocktails—the floral gin with aperol, blood orange and grapefruit elderflower is a summer dream.

Ballast Point Brewing (Long Beach): Further proof that LA is craft beer's newest stomping ground, San Diego-based brewery Ballast Point has opened a restaurant and taproom in Long Beach. At 11,427-square-feet, it's a sizeable beer hall with a sweet view—located on Marina Drive, visitors are able to sit on the deck and look out onto the marina with a beer in hand and the breeze in your hair. 

Magpies (Silver Lake): In case you thought Los Angeles needed more artisanal ice cream, Magpies has arrived with flavors like green tea brown rice, Cuban espresso and horchata. But in this case, we're talking softserve, and LA could definitely use more of Magpies kind. Top your twist with homemade charred marshmallows, toffee rice krispies, spicy candied pecans and a bevy of other crumbled, sprinkled and sticky accessories. 

Flower Child (Santa Monica): Flower Child is a healthy Santa Monica eatery that caters to all of your dietary needs. With meat, vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options, Flower Child has something for everybody without compromising health or taste. Choose from plentiful salads, protein bowls, whole grain wraps and more. Bonus: this one-size-fits-all eatery is only a few blocks from the beach.

Gwen Butcher Shop & Restaurant (Hollywood): Curtis Stone has opened one half of his highly anticipated sophomore project in LA after the success of Maude. Gwen is both a butcher shop and restaurant—the butcher shop just opened, while the restaurant will open in mid-July. Here you can find housemade charcuterie, seasonal game, sausages and more, which translates to a meat-focused fine-dining experience at the restaurant. 

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

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