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The most exciting restaurant and bar openings of October 2016

Manuela
Photograph: Courtesy Mark Bradford

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 October openings that are worth a visit.

Manuela (Downtown): Museum restaurants can seem stuffy at times, but Manuela, a new restaurant housed in the courtyard of the Hauser Wirth & Schimmel museum, is light, airy and approachable. Open for lunch Wednesday through Sunday and brunch on the weekends (and opening for dinner this week, Wednesday through Friday), Manuela's menu is rooted in chef Wes Whitsell's Texan roots. Diners can find dishes like a deer burger, blackberry cobbler and chilaquiles, along with beer, wine, cocktails and homemade kombucha. Oh yes, and there is a garden with chickens.

Da Kikokiko (Playa Vista): After finding success with Playa Provisions, Hudson House and the Tripel, Brooke Williamson and Nick Roberts have opened Da Kikokiko, a Hawaiian-inspired restaurant serving poké, musubi, shaved ice and other tropical treats. The homey eatery boasts bright colors, plenty of plants and a dining area that seats 30.

Honey Hi (Echo Park): The name may sound cute-sy (it's also a Fleetwood Mac song), but Honey Hi is serious about making flavorful, healthy dishes for the Echo Park crowd. Grain bowls dominate the menu: That One Bowl is a colorful mix of quinoa, pesto kale, watermelon radish, roasted pumpkin seeds and a turmeric poached egg, while the Miso Bowl is a little more hearty, with jade rice, cabbage, carrots, shredded chicken, ginger chickpea miso and spiced almonds. A selection of tartines abound—be sure to try the freshly made chia jam with tahini, bee pollen and torn mint. 

Delilah (West Hollywood): The H.Wood Group is behind some of L.A.'s swankiest spots—the Nice Guy, Bootsy Bellows, Blind Dragon—and now they've opened Delilah, a '20s-inspired lounge serving shrimp cocktails, filet mignon and funnel cake. You'll probably see plenty of celebs here, but you'll be more taken with the live entertainment and surprise acts that take place daily.

Tribute (Sherman Oaks): Snuggled up next to Tekila in Sherman Oaks is Tribute, a cocktail lounge with great music and an even better drink menu. Sit at the bar and opt for the bartender's choice if you're feeling adventurous (and if you're friendly enough, you might be able to write down a song request), or head to one of the booths against one wall of the bar where you can get intimate with a date. Sherman Oaks, man—it's happening.

Bianconi (W 3rd St): This dark, swanky Italian eatery is where couples in lust and and big groups come to dine on hearty Italian fare: ravioli all'ossobuco, lamb chops, broccoletti and cinghiale e rosmarino. Plenty of brick and stone give the space a masculine, serious feel, but the comfortable leather booths are prime for settling in with a strong cocktail or two.  

SomiSomi (Koreatown): Why haven't we always eaten our soft serve out of fish cones? SomiSomi has been breaking Instagram with its social media-ready dessert: swirls of flavored soft serve held by an open-mouthed fish cone. Choose from flavors like green tea, banana, milk tea or combo swirls, then add either red bean, custard or Nutella as filling. Your next step? Snap away.

Mr. Holmes Bakehouse (Highland Park): The SF-based bakery opened on October 1, and throughout the month, lines have snaked around the block as sugar-savvy Angelenos patiently wait for their box of cookies, tarts and the coveted cruffin. Get there early, take all your IG photos and try to make it back to your car before you've eaten everything in your box. 

Andare by Cento (Hollywood): If you're a pasta lover, you've probably heard about Cento Pasta Bar, the noodle-centric pop-up in Downtown's Mignon Wine Bar. Now Levi is taking his show on the road—this time to Birch in Hollywood, where he's expanded his menu to include sandwiches, salads and desserts. From Monday through Friday, 11am-3pm, diners can stop by Birch for Levi's chicken liver crostino, ricotta gnocchi with homemade 'nduja sausage, meat and veggie sandwiches and a handful of other dishes. Andare means "to go," and while you can certainly sit down and enjoy plates of luxurious pasta, there will also be the option for take-out. 

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

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