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The most exciting restaurant and bar openings of September 2016

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 August openings that are worth a visit.

Destroyer (Culver City): No detail is unaccounted for at Destroyer, where the presentation, architecture and ingredients all come together to create this minimalist breakfast and lunch spot in Culver City. Chef Jordan Kahn (Red Medicine) has an impressive list of restaurants under his belt, and Destroyer is no exception: the menu changes daily and incorporates items like raw oatmeal and Icelandic yogurt. 

Harlowe's French Dip (Pasadena): Well, look at this—there's a brand new French dip contender in town. The gastropub has a menu full of French dips (beef, turkey, slow roasted pork and braised lamb), as well as burgers, oysters and salads, while the craft beer menu is just as long as the selection of food and filled with local favorites like Craftsman Brewing and Phantom Carriage. Stop by for happy hour from 2pm-6pm Monday through Friday, and all day on Sunday.

Catch (West Hollywood): Catch has made its way from New York City to a rooftop in West Hollywood, bringing fresh seafood and stunning views to well-dressed Angelenos. An expansive raw bar, hand rolls, cut rolls and cold seafood dishes kick off the menu, followed by entrees that include rack of lamb or crispy chicken. An entirely separate vegan menu caters to meat-and-dairy-free diners, and there are plenty of cocktail, wine and beer options for those who want to imbibe on the gorgeous rooftop patio.

Pearl's Finest Teas (Fairfax): Pearl's Finest Teas, smack dab in the center of Fairfax's trendiest block, is a hip tea and coffee shop that presents thirsty Angelenos with plenty of Instagram-worthy beverages. Their Chamango drink comes overflowing with fruit, and their three-tone Orange Yuzu is so mesmerizing that you'll probably forget to drink it. Classic boba drinks are accounted for as well, but why would you ever turn down a drink when it comes with Oreos on top?

Tabula Rasa Bar (Thai Town): Thai Town needed a bar like this. Bestia alums Zach Negin and Daniel Flores have brought a comfortable, friendly beer and wine bar to the neighborhood, one where glasses of wine are actually reasonably priced and the menu offers decadent Cuban sandwiches instead of uppity charcuterie boards. The selection of music here is fantastic—jams are chosen from the staff's personal record collection—and the cozy booths and subdued lighting make it a low-key first date spot.

Brack Shop Tavern (Downtown): Say goodbye to the old Barrel Down and welcome Brack Shop Tavern, a darky, moody cocktail-meets-sports bar. The Downtown watering hole is both a prime first date spot and a casual place to watch the game (a handful of TVs fill the room). To drink, try the Jersey Handshake, a tea-infused sweet vermouth mixed with apple brandy, bourbon, Benedictine and an orange twist, or the Brack Shop Coffee, a highball of chicory-infused bourbon, Amaro Montenegro and cold brew. Don't skip the grub, though—the patty melt here is one of the most decadent in town (make sure to use that jalapeño pimento cheese spread), and the mini baked potatoes stuffed with cheese and bacon are like something straight out of your childhood. 

Cafe Birdie & Good Housekeeping (Highland Park): Welcome to the neighborhood, you two. Cafe Birdie is a stunning restaurant focusing on California cuisine, with a menu populated by toasts (steak tartare, mushroom, burrata), salads, pastas and meat-focused plates like braised meatballs and pork collar. Stay and have a drink at the marble-topped bar, or head to the adjacent bar in back (Good Housekeeping) for a stiff swill in a more casual, intimate setting.

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

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