Sure, 2019 was the year Michelin returned to Los Angeles, but we already knew that L.A.’s dining scene is worthy of global praise, stars or none. The creativity bubbling underneath our collective chef toques spills out into genre-bending, global-embracing dishes and trends that pay homage to cultures and flavors and cuisines from all over the world, while still managing to feel representative of our spectacular city.
This year’s new restaurants embodied imagination and globe-trotting more than ever, serving up oolong agua frescas, sweetbread Texas toasts and tom yum bloomin’ onions. It was also a year of hot chicken (and hot not-chicken), of cool food merch and of smashburgers (truly, so many smashburgers it’s hard to keep them all straight).
Dive into the year’s best with our guide to the city’s top 15 new restaurants of 2019, already establishing themselves as L.A. dining icons.