Don't get us wrong—we're still on a high from all the outstanding restaurant openings of 2015, as well as new bars that populated our city. But 2016 is shaping up to be a pretty exciting year, too—developing neighborhoods, hilarious talent and, yes, even more new places to eat and drink. Check out which restaurants and bars we're most excited about opening next year.
RECOMMENDED: More of our 2016 predictions
9 openings we're looking forward to in 2016
Roy Choi's fast food eatery in Watts is set to open in the next few weeks, and we can't wait to see the end result. The restaurant, which Choi started with Daniel Patterson, aims to offer delicious, affordable meals in South LA before expanding into other cities. We'll be your guinea pigs anytime, Chef.
After the massive success of chef Curtis Stone's Beverly Hills restaurant Maude, the Australian chef is partnering with his brother Luke and chef Chad Colby (Chi Spacca) to open Gwen in mid-2016. Named after Stone's maternal grandmother, the Hollywood restaurant will feature a butcher shop and will focus on fire-centric cooking methods.
Beer geeks, this one's for you. The celebrated Mikkeller Bar, which is home to experimental brews from around the world, will take over the old Discount Tire Center in Downtown LA to open a taproom, restaurant and morning coffee bar in late-2016. We'll be waiting in anticipation for more than 50 beers on tap when it opens.
Craftsman & Wolves
The Platform will be opening in Culver City in spring 2016, housing shops and a SoulCycle and plenty of eateries, including Van Leeuwen, Loqui, Blue Bottle and Juice Served Here. But we're most excited about Craftsman & Wolves, a San Francisco patisserie known for their Rebel Within: an egg baked inside a bacon and cheddar muffin. Swoon.
Howlin' Ray's stole our hearts this year with their phenomenal fried chicken sandwich and other Nashville hot chicken goodies, but they grew out of their food truck and took a break to work on a permanent brick and mortar spot. They're reopening in Chinatown in February, and we can't wait for a reunion.
Opening in just a few months, Shibumi is chef and owner David Schlosser's Downtown kappo and kaiseki project. Diners can choose to eat around a 400-year-old cyprus counter in the kappo-style (chef's counter), or in the back room where a kaiseki (tasting menu) will be served. Simplicity and restraint—albeit with fine-dining methods—will embody the cooking ethos here.
The Halal Guys
You won't have to wait much longer for this one. After the wild success of their Costa Mesa location (the lines, oh the lines), the Halal Guys will be opening a Long Beach outpost on January 2. The New York City phenomenon offers gyros, falafel, pita sandwiches and more, but their world-famous white sauce is what keeps people dreaming about the place for days.
The Slanted Door
Arguably the Bay's most buzzed about restaurant, The Slanted Door announced it would be expanding to Downtown LA in early 2016, setting up shop in the Fashion District's new City Market South development. We think chef Charles Phan's award-winning Vietnamese cuisine is going to do just fine here.