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Saltie Girl dining room interior
Photograph: Courtesy Mike CotroneSaltie Girl Los Angeles

The best new restaurants in Los Angeles to try right now

From celebration-worthy seafood and Wagyu to a new Montreal-style bagel contender, here are the latest L.A. newcomers worth checking out.

Patricia Kelly Yeo
Written by
Patricia Kelly Yeo
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If you’ve already eaten through L.A.'s best restaurants and sipped cocktails at the hottest bars from the Westside to Downtown, you’re probably the type of person who loves checking out the city’s hottest eateries, but hates spending money on overhyped duds. With our heavily vetted list of newly opened restaurants (yes, we've personally checked out every single one), we’re helping you decide where to head next—since there's nothing worse when it comes to going out than wasting one’s precious, typically limited free time and, of course, money, especially with rising inflation.

Updated on a monthly basis, our best new restaurants list takes into account the quality of cuisine, overall ambience, price and value. We steer clear of the social media hype cycle, give thoughtful ordering tips and let you know exactly what to expect in terms of crowd, vibe and cuisine at upscale Hollywood hot spots, laidback fast-casual joints and everything in between. If necessary, we also make recommendations as to when, and how, to fit these red-hot restaurants into your finite leisure time and budget—whether they're worth driving out of your way for, or perhaps better suited for locals in the neighborhood.

In the interest of price transparency and reader convenience, we also strive to include valet costs and parking availability for every restaurant—further taking the headache out of your next great new meal in Los Angeles. Read on for January and February's best new restaurants, ranked. 

January 2023: With a relatively sleepy start to the new year, only a handful of recent mid-winter openings have caught our attention, so we're doing a joint update for both January and February with six new additions. They include a vegan sushi spot in West L.A., a sceney Mexican-ish restaurant in West Hollywood and, unsurprisingly, Saltie Girl, which has earned rave reviews from our Boston and London teams. For those hoping to lower their risk of getting Covid-19, we're still including outdoor dining callouts.

Gotta try ’em all: Our favorite new restaurants in L.A.

  • Restaurants
  • Seafood
  • West Hollywood
  • price 3 of 4

Seafood lovers, rejoice: Saltie Girl has finally arrived. A glittering ode to all things fruits de mer, this restaurant along the Sunset Strip hails from Boston (with another location in London, too). From New England classics like lobster and full-bellied fried clams to a staggering 100-plus kinds of tinned fish, Saltie Girl does it all. The soup-to-nuts menu might not jive with L.A. diners used to more tightly curated offerings, but we appreciate the sheer level of variety and over-the-top items like the fried lobster and waffles. Exclusive to L.A. is a phenomenal dessert program led by Sweet Boy, a.k.a. Ben, the son of owner Kathy Sidell. Delicious, ultra-thick chocolate cookies and other seasonal treats cap off dinner and a softly launched brunch here, and half the city’s already caught on—so don’t expect an empty house, especially on weekends. Tip: Reservations open up to 14 days in advance. Outdoor dining available. Free lot parking.

  • Restaurants
  • Bistros
  • Hollywood
  • price 3 of 4

A favorite among the Parisian creative class, this modern bistro has brought brings the verve and elegance of the Marais original to an industrial-chic dining room and patio along Sycamore Avenue. While that fact alone might endear Mr. T to the jet set, even those unfamiliar with the French capital's dining scene will find plenty to love on the playfully cosmopolitan menu that blends the eclectic flavors of Paris and Los Angeles. République alum Alisa Vannah riffs on signature dishes by Paris's Tsuyoshi Miyazaki (or, for short, Mr. T), including the decadent bistro-style burger, while adding her own unique touch with newer creations like a big-eye tuna crudo and the whimsically named berries and pearls. Combine all that with a stylish patio and major cool kid vibes, and you've got a Hollywood dinner destination that earned a glowing four-star review from yours truly. Outdoor dining available. $10 valet and street parking.

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  • Restaurants
  • Pizza
  • Downtown Arts District
  • price 2 of 4

One of Phoenix's best pizzerias has finally arrived at ROW DTLA with dinner service—which, as of writing, is completely booked out for several weeks. Since opening this summer, Chris Bianco has won over plenty of Angelenos with more takeout-friendly styles at lunch, but the James Beard Award-winning pizzaiolo's signature New York-Neopolitan hybrid pies weren’t available in L.A. until September. For those who can score a table (walk-ins are theoretically available—though not really on weekends), Bianco's maximalist approach to thin-crust pies makes jockeying for a reservation a worthwhile quest for hardcore pizza fans. Comparatively, while still tasty, the lunch-only pies fall short of the original recipe that made Bianco famous and even earned the brand-new eatery a Michelin Bib Gourmand. Outdoor dining available. Two hours free ROW DTLA parking; $5 for the first hour afterwards.

  • Restaurants
  • Mediterranean
  • Venice
  • price 3 of 4

With a dreamy, bougainvillea-lined patio that's overtaken the old Zinque parking lot (and replaced the short-lived Varro), this Mediterranean-inspired stunner is the most destination-worthy restaurant to hit this stretch of Venice in a long, long while. Despite hailing from Madeo (the only two-star review we've given since 2019), head chef Raul Cerritos has pulled off an ambitious mix of Italian, French and Greek cuisine that zigs from creamy wagyu-topped hummus to lobster spaghetti and skirt steak with soy honey, all without missing a beat. A breezy breakfast and lighter lunch menu appeals to the usual health-conscious locals' crowd, but the elevated dinner menu and romantic ambience after dark make a visit to Paloma worthwhile for your next big(ger) night out, even if you're coming from clear across town. Outdoor dining available. $10 valet and limited street parking along Venice Boulevard.

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  • Restaurants
  • Bakeries
  • Santa Monica
  • price 2 of 4

Sold out within a couple hours on opening weekend, this already-busy Santa Monica storefront is helping meet the city’s overflowing demand for Montreal-style bagels. Though lines are, for now, nowhere as long as the more eastward Courage Bagels, those hoping for a taste of Layla’s delicious open-face creations should arrive early and anticipate at least a half-hour wait to order. Once at the counter, you’ll find a mix of savory and sweet options like the must-order Pre-Jam (seasonal fruit, cream cheese and honey), plus coffee and a small “not bagels” section that includes muffins, challah bread and overnight oats. Though loose bagels are currently not available in large quantities (there’s a limit of two per customer), Layla hopes to change that soon. Street parking.

  • Restaurants
  • Soul and southern American
  • Venice
  • price 2 of 4

After first debuting its ghost kitchen in Santa Monica, Willie Mae’s has now finally opened its full-service outpost along Lincoln Boulevard—and the national award-winning New Orleans-style fried chicken is as good as ever. Choose from the full array of sides, including a seafood gumbo unique to the Venice location, traditional red beans and rice, and a gooey, perfectly cooked mac and cheese. The slight twinge of heat and heavier breading style distinguishes Willie Mae’s from other fried chicken purveyors around town—making it a total must-try for fried chicken lovers. Though prices run a tad higher than you’d expect (a two-piece meal with a side and some cornbread is $16.95), the chicken is well worth the extra premium. Street parking.

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  • Restaurants
  • Steakhouse
  • Downtown Financial District
  • price 4 of 4

Housed on the second floor of DTLA’s InterContinental Hotel, this high-end yakiniku restaurant specializes in all things Wagyu—and while the $230 seasonal tasting menu puts it squarely out of reach for everyday meals (unless you’re loaded or just plain irresponsible), the splurge at Niku X is made worth it with seven kinds of highly marbled beef and plenty of seafood and caviar. A separate, still-pricey a la carte menu offers dishes like oxtail dumplings and Wagyu fried rice, and there’s even an ultra-premium tomahawk tasting menu for two starting at $299. While flashy ingredients and sky-high prices like these are increasingly commonplace in L.A., the luxurious and well-calibrated experience here is definitely worthy of any red meat lover’s big night out. $16.50 valet and self-parking off 7th Street for the first two and a half hours.

  • Restaurants
  • Mexican
  • Hollywood
  • price 2 of 4

The team behind Mírame in Beverly Hills is back with this more casual, no less stylish follow-up in Los Feliz. Up a hidden flight of stairs, the gorgeous three-story restaurant features a tree towering over the dining room and an approachable, Baja-inspired menu of drinking snacks at an overall price point far lower than the 90210 original. Billed as more bar than restaurant, Mírate also offers a solid list of tequilas, mezcals and several house cocktails, courtesy of resident agave enthusiast Maxwell Reis (formerly of Gracias Madre). Food-wise, chef Joshua Gil has imported a few signature items from Mírame, including the fried chicken taco, but newer, bolder additions like the beef tongue taco arabe and crispy sweet potatoes keep diners engaged from a culinary standpoint—even if the space alone is a veritable feast for the eyes. $10 valet and limited metered street parking along Vermont.

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  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • Mar Vista
  • price 2 of 4

You won’t believe your eyes or taste buds at this vegan sushi restaurant, where a tapioca-based fish substitute expertly mimics nigiri and sashimi within the city's first plant-based omakase. Led by Dillon Bolin, a former chef at Phillip Frankland Lee’s Sushi by Scratch (f.k.a. Sushi | Bar), Kusaki also offers an à la carte menu that includes crowd-pleasers like avocado crispy rice bites, crispy garlic “tuna” sashimi and portobello mushroom fries. Though the minimalist design does its best to conjure up a sleeky, au courant L.A. restaurant, the atmosphere does little to disguise the fact you're eating next to a 7-11. Alongside tapioca-based creations, you’ll also find more overtly veggie-based, delicious sushi options made with trumpet mushroom and sweet corn in a flavorful meal that would surprise the most dubious omnivore. Outdoor dining available. Small on-site lot and street parking.

  • Restaurants
  • Sandwich shops
  • Glassell Park
  • price 2 of 4

Since 2015, Bub and Grandma's amazing bread has captured the hearts (and stomachs) of diners at some of L.A.’s finest restaurants, but baker Andy Kadin’s plan all along was a sandwich shop inspired by NYC tristate delis. His dream is now realized at this sunny daytime Glassell Park eatery serving all the manner of heavenly sandwiches, side salads and pastries. The passion fruit doughnut is a dream, as is the banana cream pie, but you shouldn’t leave here without trying at least one sandwich. (We like the vegan-friendly Rainbow, which mixes curried tofu, pickled vegetables, avocado and tahini spread.) Predictably, weekend lines, especially on late mornings, are a complete mess—so skip this one until the hype burns off if you'd rather not spend an hour or more waiting for breakfast or lunch, or just head here on a weekday if you're able to. Limited street parking.

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  • Restaurants
  • Seafood
  • Marina del Rey
  • price 3 of 4

Nautical, retro-cool ambience and traditional seafood with a twist have made this Marina del Rey follow-up to Dear John's an instant hit among locals—and while the neighborhood's sleepy residential corner where Dear Jane's resides is out of the way for many, the first-rate food and service make it worth the trek for those looking to splurge on seafood. Highlights include the bougie fish sticks topped with caviar and an excellent trout amandine, but every old-school dish here shines. A few Dear John's carryovers like sand dabs grenobloise and the chicken parm make an appearance, but the menu's newer additions, as well as the cocktail offerings, more than do justice to the current mid-century nostalgia dining trend sweeping the city. $15 valet parking (and no street parking whatsoever).

  • Restaurants
  • Mexican
  • West Hollywood
  • price 3 of 4

After years of dormancy, the Mondrian’s terrace restaurant has come back to life as a Tulum-inspired eatery offering a loosely Mexican menu and plenty of cocktails (non-alcoholic options included). As usual, the see-and-be-seen West Hollywood crowd has already descended en masse on the second iteration of the concept, which first debuted in Toronto courtesy of the same group behind Toca Madera. The food, in truth, is better than it needs to be, with a menu that appeals to everyone: think substantive vegan options, tomahawk steaks for big spenders and lighter fare for the pregame. The sprawling, beautifully designed space offers live music nightly and a buzzy, party-ready atmosphere familiar to those who frequent the Sunset Strip after dark, so don’t expect to land a table as a walk-in at 7pm. The bar, however, is much more conducive to unannounced diners, especially closer to opening time. Outdoor dining available. $22 valet parking. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Korean
  • Koreatown
  • price 2 of 4

Forced to close during the pandemic, one of the city's best Korean restaurants has made a surprising comeback—albeit in takeout form. From a new tiny storefront, mother-and-son duo Jung Ye and Jeff Jun are serving up a handful of carryout-friendly dishes, including two namesake items (dak translates to "chicken" in Korean). A nourishing traditional samgye-tang features a whole rice-stuffed chicken, jujubes and ginseng, while the spicy dakdori-tang comes laden with carrots and potatoes—and mellows out beautifully in the fridge over a few days. Though prices run higher than one might expect, each dish serves two to three people, making Jun Won a great back pocket at-home option for the busy holiday season. Note: For best results, call and order ahead—wait times for walk-ins run closer to a half hour. Limited metered one-hour street parking and food pick-up zone.

  • Restaurants
  • Hamburgers
  • Santa Monica
  • price 2 of 4

This buzzy burger pop-up dates back to the early days of the pandemic, when owners Max Miller and Danny Gordon first began selling short rib smashburgers in the driveway of Gordon’s Mar Vista home. Now, Heavy Handed has gone fully brick-and-mortar on Santa Monica's Main Street, where lines form daily for the pair’s juicy short rib patties topped with American cheese, beef tallow fries (no breaks for vegetarians here) and brand-new Straus Creamery soft-serve. Combine all that with wine and beer, plus the casual patio and parklet, and you’ve got a great new gourmet burger option on the Westside. What we wouldn’t call Heavy Handed, however, is fast food—wait times can stretch up to a half hour or more after placing your order. Limited street parking. Fully outdoor dining.

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  • Restaurants
  • Pizza
  • Santa Monica

A Westside brewery is an odd place to land, but the built-in Santa Monica Brew Works clientele has done wonders for Emmy Squared. The NYC-based, Detroit-inspired pizza chain offers a mash-up between Long Island grandma pies and Detroit-style squares that would make even the staunchest local pizza partisan break into a smile. Made with fluffy, focaccia-like dough laced with a crispy baked cheese “frico crust,” the pies here easily beat out any of L.A.’s other Detroit-style pizza operations. Available for dine-in, takeout and delivery, these mouthwatering rectangles of cheese, sauce and toppings are the reason to order from Emmy’s—which has already landed a spot on our Best Pizza list. Outdoor dining available. Free lot parking.

  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • Beverly Hills
  • price 2 of 4

After several months of soft opening, this Chicago import has made its official debut in Beverly Hills—not exactly an easy task in the competitive L.A. ramen scene. Taking a generalist approach, Strings Ramen offers shoyu, shio, miso and tonkotsu broths (plus one for vegetarians) made with housemade egg noodles. Though we've yet to try all of them, we found the spicy clam and pork tonkotsu surprisingly delicious and affordable, particularly for the area. Running on the lighter side, the tonkotsu here might disappoint fans of the decadent variety offered at Sawtelle's Tsujita, but the broth still retains a rich, flavorful quality worth trying the next time you're anywhere near South Beverly Drive. For masochists, there's also a selection of spicy items, including a "Monster Hell Ramen Challenge." Outdoor dining available. Two-hour free parking at the public lot across the street, plus metered one-hour street parking.

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