After a year spent learning to live with the coronavirus (and sadly getting reacquainted with the flu), 2023 is almost upon us, bringing with it a slate of buzzy new restaurant openings to look forward to.
In the new year, local, national and even international players will enter L.A.’s ever-changing dining and drinking scene with more of the city’s best pasta, pristine sushi that can trace its lineage back to Jiro Dreams of Sushi and a New York cocktail lounge once named the world’s best bar. Will staffing shortages, the rising cost of living and a possible recession hamper their success? Only time will tell. Until then, read on for our guide to the 10 biggest L.A. restaurant openings to know for 2023.
Anticipated opening: March
Evan Funke, one of L.A.’s best pasta makers, will open an eponymous three-story concept in Beverly Hills this spring. The chef behind Mother Wolf and Felix—two of the city’s all around best restaurants—will not be regionally specific (as with Mother Wolf’s menu of regional Roman cuisine), but instead will pay homage to multiple Italian culinary traditions. Located near 90210 eateries like Mírame and Wally’s Wine Bar, the renovation of 9388 South Santa Monica Boulevard is being led by local construction team Intension Design and architect Dan Brunn (who also designed Melrose Avenue’s Coffee for Sasquatch).
Za Za Zá
Anticipated opening: Late January
This soon-to-open Frogtown marisqueria is the mesquite- and seafood-focused sibling to LA Cha Cha Chá—a breezy, design-oriented Mexican rooftop that’s one of our favorite restaurants in the Arts District. Based on renderings, Za Za Zá at 1993 Blake Avenue will be filled with the same wood accents, houseplants and jewel-toned hues as the Downtown L.A. original. With a hospitality team that’s mostly opened concepts in Mexico City, expect the new space to offer a distinctly Mexican culinary perspective peppered with Angeleno influences: think charcoal-grilled meat from Baja, spicy Sinaloan aguachile and other dishes from across western Mexico and Baja California from Paco Moran, the current head chef of LA Cha Cha Chá.
Anticipated opening: Unknown
Jiro Dreams of Sushi fans, look alive: Jiro Ono’s longtime protégé, Daisuke Nakazawa, will open up shop in West Hollywood sometime next year. The space, located at 145 North Robertson Boulevard, is the third for the chef’s longtime apprentice, who also maintains outposts in Washington D.C. and New York City (the latter of which has one Michelin star). Based on omakase menus from previous locations, the L.A. sushi bar should offer 20-odd courses of edomae-style sushi.
Anticipated opening: Late summer
As first reported by the Los Angeles Times, two Michelin-starred Somni will reopen in West Hollywood next year, minus involvement of culinary icon José Andrés. Instead, Spanish-born Aitor Zabala, who played a more hands-on role at the original location at the SLS Hotel, will revive the concept on his own with Andrés’s blessing. Located at 9045 Nemo Street, the slightly larger space will feature 14 seats. Expect the same irreverent-meets-highbrow fine dining that once earned Somni glowing reviews, though Zabala told the Times he is considering adding a smaller, shorter tasting menu.
Holy Basil Atwater Village
Anticipated opening: February
From inside a mostly deserted Downtown food hall, this fast-casual Thai spot by chefs Wedchayan “Deau” Arpapornnopparat and Tongkamal “Joy” Yuon has built a strong following for its unapologetically spicy Bangkok-style street food. In as little as six weeks, Holy Basil will expand its reach with a similar takeout-oriented outpost at 3166 Glendale Boulevard. Located steps away from local falafel favorite Dune and gourmet mini-mart Wine and Eggs, Holy Basil Atwater Village will offer delivery within a small radius, just like the original in DTLA.
Anticipated opening month: Unknown
This year, José Andrés opened lobby eatery San Laurel and rooftop lounge Agua Viva inside the shiny new Conrad Hotel. In 2023, the hotel’s third on-site dining concept, Bazaar Meat, will open in a similar vein to the Las Vegas original, which features a “José’s Way” tasting menu focused on all things beef.
Best Bet by Jason Neroni
Anticipated opening: March
The head chef of the Rose Venice—a neighborhood classic he revamped in 2014—has similar all-day eatery plans for the A-frame building in Culver City once occupied by an IHOP, a Mexican restaurant and most recently Roy Choi’s A-Frame. As first reported by Eater, the soon-to-open Best Bet will feature a freewheeling California-inspired Italian menu centered on multiple kinds of pizza—wood-fired, New York style, focaccia squares and even a Montanara variety—a fried pie not commonly found in L.A. Keeping in tradition with two of its former tenants, Neroni will also offer weekend pancakes in the fully renovated space, whose interior design and branding will draw inspiration from comic books and the ’70s.
Lustig by Bernhard Mairinger
Anticipated opening: Summer
Also in Culver City, former Patina and longtime private chef Bernhard Mairinger has a grand vision for the former La Dijonaise space inside the Helms Bakery complex: Lustig, an Austrian-influenced all-day restaurant cast in a similar vein to Walter and Margarita Manzke’s République. In the early 2010s, Mairinger drew glowing accolades for his short-lived Beverly Hills restaurant, Bierbiesl, including a James Beard Rising Star nomination in 2013. As it stands, Austrian cuisine is hard to find throughout Southern California, save for the longtime Johannes in Palm Springs.
Dante at the Maybourne Beverly Hills
Anticipated opening: Spring
Okay, this one is a bar, but when it’s the World’s Best Bar (circa 2019) coming to town, even less alcohol-inclined Angelenos might want to head for a bite and a drink at this pretentious 90210 hotel’s rooftop pool and bar with dazzling views of the Hollywood Hills. The first expansion for a New York City cocktail lounge beloved for its Negronis and “fluffy” Garibaldi spritzes, Dante Beverly Hills will offer the Greenwich Village bar’s signature aperitivo cocktails and an uncomplicated coastal Italian food menu with plenty of wood-fired seafood.
BONUS: Saltie Girl Los Angeles
Opening: December 20
Technically open as of today, this party-hearty seafood concept from Boston hopes to take West Hollywood by storm with dazzling seafood towers, fried lobster and waffles, caviar service and over 130 varieties of tinned fish. Inside the 90-seat space at 8615 West Sunset Boulevard, you’ll find carved wooden mermaids, sea foam green banquettes and plenty of polished wood and brass—giving the dining room an overall polished nautical vibe. Initial restaurant hours of operation: Tue–Sat 11am–3pm, 5–10pm; Sun 11am–3pm, 5–9pm.