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Sun. Jul 14th, 2024

Under the radar new restaurants to check out in Los Angeles

By Vaseline May31,2024

Brand new restaurants open every day in the Southland, usually without much fanfare. This periodic compilation highlights some of the most notable and under-the-radar places that have popped up lately. From the San Fernando Valley to the South Bay, from the Westside to the San Gabriel Valley – let’s dive right in. For the biggest restaurant openings in the city, visit this accompanying list.


Beverly Grove— The restaurant group behind the chain of Shin Sen Gumi ramen spots recently opened a new shop called Torisoba Tonsho, which serves three types of chicken ramen: original, dan dan (spicy) and lemon butter. Each bowl contains whole-wheat noodles, scooped up with chicken broth that has been blended to create a foamy, fluffy texture. Side dishes include karaage, chicken gyoza, avocado chicken salad, chicken tempura and a miso teriyaki chicken bowl. 349 N. La Cienega Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90048.

Redondo Beach— A selection of Taiwanese and Chinese specialties are on the menu at Dumpling Mix, the South Bay’s newest dumpling contender. The nearly dozen varieties, including celery pork, beef onion and corn chicken, can be boiled, steamed or fried. Stir-fried noodles, noodle soups, fried rice and appetizers, along with an impressive array of teas, round out the menu. 705 N. Pacific Coast Highway, Redondo Beach, CA 90277.

Valley Village— Valley Village newcomer Vivi Ristorante specializes in traditional Italian pizza and pasta, served in a cozy and casual dining room for lunch and dinner. The lunch-only paninis are layered with a choice of steak, grilled vegetables, turkey or salami on house-made rosemary focaccia. The pizza and pasta selections, all made in-house, are available all day. 5424 Laurel Canyon Boulevard, San Fernando Valley, CA 91607.

3rd and Fairfax Monterey Park’s Xi’an specialist Noodle Art just opened a second location at the Original Farmers Market. The menu is more pared-down compared to the San Gabriel Valley flagship, but includes many of the bestsellers, including two types of “burgers” and “pita bread soaked in lamb soup.” 6333 W. 3rd Street, Ste. 508, Los Angeles, CA 90036.

Pasadena— Quiet East Green Street just got even hotter with the arrival of Sichuan Street Food. With an entire section of the menu dedicated to bullfrog delicacies, along with crowd-pleasing favorites like dan dan noodles and twice-cooked pork, there should be something for everyone at this newcomer to Pasadena. 1035 E. Green Street, Pasadena, CA 91106.


April

Northridge– Find Master Gan Noodle and Dumplings at the Northridge Fashion Center food court. The Chinese handmade noodle specialist, said to be owned by the same people behind 1919 Lanzhou Beef Noodle in Arcadia, is serving up combo meals and a la carte options for mall goers. The ‘house special’ meal costs $16 and includes a bowl of Lanzhou beef noodle soup, four fried dumplings and a choice of Thai or taro milk tea. 9301 Tampa Avenue, Ste. FC-5, San Fernando Valley, CA 91324.

Sawtelle— Jamaican culinary specialties abound at Jerk Stop, tucked in a quiet West LA strip center in the former All India Cafe space. The sleek menu features the island’s greatest hits, including four types of soups (cow’s foot, fish tea, chicken, red pea), a plethora of patties, ackee and salt fish, braised oxtail, curried goat, and of course, roasted shrimp and chicken. 12113 Santa Monica Boulevard, Ste. 205, Los Angeles, CA 90025.

North Hollywood— Bodega Delights is a family-owned delivery and takeout restaurant that combines Dominican flavors with New York City bodega culture. The line of Dominican-inspired empanadas, sandwiches, smoothies and bowls promises to transport diners to the vibrant streets of Washington Heights’ Dominican community. 5528 Satsuma Avenue, North Hollywood, CA 91601.

Monterey Park– TP Banh Bao, a growing chain of Vietnamese steamed bun restaurants, just opened its first location in LA. The signature bánh bao is filled with nearly a dozen different fillings, including the classic with ground pork and hard-boiled egg, barbecue pork, vegetarian and salted egg yolk. 122 S. Atlantic Boulevard, Monterey Park, CA 91754.

Long beach— Head to La’ Croque for well-made French sandwiches and pastries from owner Claudette Pentz. She turned her beloved restaurant, Happy Cow Kitchen, into a weekend-only shop selling a range of sandwiches for under $15. The signature croque-monsieur features ham and gruyere on sourdough toast, while the ‘carpretzel’ comes delivered with tomatoes, olive oil, pesto and sheep’s milk cheese on a pretzel bun. 371 Redondo Avenue, Long Beach, CA 90814.


March

West LA— The latest must-try omakase for serious sushi fans is Mori Nozomi, located in the former Mori Sushi space on Pico Boulevard. Behind the seven-seat counter, chef-owner Nozomi Mori (no relation to Morihiro Onodera of Mori Sushi) serves a menu of about 20 courses with nigiri and prepared dishes. 11500 W. Pico Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90064.

Temple city— Those who fancy home-style Taiwanese food served in a simple room will do well at All-In Cafe. While the outside signs promote popcorn chicken and beef noodle soup, the restaurant’s menu includes much more, such as rice dishes (braised pork, pork chop), fried treats (cheese sticks, onion rings) and tea-based drinks. The All-In Combo comes with a mix of fried items including popcorn chicken, oyster mushrooms, squid balls, sweet potatoes and fish cakes. 5953 Temple City Boulevard, Temple City, CA 91780.

Silver more- Founded in 2021 by Cody Ma and Misha Sesar, Persian pop-up Azizam now operates full-time from a Sunset Boulevard storefront in Silver Lake. The restaurant is open Thursday to Monday from noon to 4 p.m. and serves a few Mazeh (small cold dishes), such as smashed green olives and a duo of yogurt dips, along with ‘hot dishes’ such as braised beef, rice meatballs and turmeric-stewed chicken . The homemade breads and sweets are an absolute must-order. 2943 W. Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90026.

Pico Union— There’s no shortage of excellent ramen in every corner of Los Angeles and the latest newcomer is Ramen Akira. Chef Akira Imamura prepares several types of ramen broth, including pork shio, pork shoyu and chicken. In addition to noodle soups, the restaurant serves rice dishes and small snacks such as gyoza, karaage and spicy tuna on crispy rice. 2716 W. Olympic Boulevard, Ste. 101, Los Angeles, CA 90006.

Beverly Grove— Longtime fans of the 35-year-old Greek restaurant Le Petit Greek, which closed at the end of 2023 and was replaced by Phil Rosenthal’s new old-school restaurant, can visit Greek Eats. Owned and operated by the same people behind Le Petite Greek on Larchmont Boulevard, Greek Eats serves most of the original menu, including gyro sandwiches and kebabs, in a fast-casual setting. 8236 W. 3rd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90048.


February

Lincoln Heights— Visit Trattoria Daly for hearty Italian-American dishes with red sauce. The familiar and affordable menu includes antipasti such as fried calamari and Caesar salad, Roman-style pizzas and plenty of pasta, including fettuccini Alfredo, rigatoni amatriciana and penne a la vodka. 2423 Daly Street, Los Angeles, CA 90031.

West Hollywood— It looks like the hot focaccia summer of 2023 is trending into spring 2024, with no signs of abating. New to the stacked sandwich scene is Mamie on Santa Monica Boulevard. The store’s 20 or so sandwiches are all prepared on house-made schiacciata bread with Italian imported flour. 7900 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90046.

Torrance— With four locations in Orange County and one in San Diego, Japan’s Kitakata Ramen Ban Nai is finally available in LA, with an opening scheduled for March 1. Each bowl of the signature Kitakata ramen contains wavy and chewy, hand-crumpled noodles, clear pork broth, and slices of chashu pork. 4338 Pacific Coast Highway, Torrance, CA 90505.

Monterey Park— Congee & Noodles House lives up to its simple name with nearly a dozen different types of porridge and more than 30 types of noodles on the menu. In addition to the two namesake items, the grab-and-go spot’s deli offers a few desserts, like silken tofu with ginger syrup and slices of sponge cake. 349 E. Garvey Avenue, Monterey Park, CA 91755.

Inglewood— LA’s many Persian restaurants usually offer refurbished dining rooms and full service, but the all-new Kuku Cafe brings something different with a casual setting and counter-service only. The menu includes such well-known hits as beef shawarma served in a wrap or over rice, crispy saffron rice topped with chicken and barberry berries, and kuku, a Persian frittata with herbs, walnuts and barberry berries. 318 N. La Brea Avenue, Inglewood, CA 90302.


January

Westwood– Find Lima Nikkei in the chic food court above the new Ranch Market 99 in Westwood. Chef Jason Yamaguchi’s casual spot prepares Japanese Peruvian cuisine with fresh seafood from Japan and custom nori from Okinawa. 1360 Westwood Boulevard, Ste. 110C, Los Angeles, CA 90024.

Centre– You can get fried seafood at Hushpuppies, a new fish fry corner of the former Ace Hotel on Olympic. The lunch specials start at $13 and include fried-to-order shrimp or fish (sole, red snapper, catfish, salmon, sea bass), one side and the restaurant’s signature hushpuppies. 310 W. Olympic Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90015.

Rozenveld— Prince Dumpling has the potential to surpass Din Tai Fung in xiao long bao skill, says Eater LA contributor Kristie Hang. People line up to sample the classic soup dumplings prepared in an open, glass-walled kitchen, along with unique dishes filled with lobster and Spanish ham. 8801 Valley Boulevard, Rosemead, CA 91770.

Burbank— There is no shortage of great Armenian flatbreads in and around Northeast LA. The newest newcomer, Grtnak in Burbank, makes two versions: Lahmajo Perfection and Lahmacheesy Twist. Also look for Khachapuri in the quick menu. 2128 North Glenoaks Boulevard, Burbank, CA 91504.

Lomita— Poke and More of Long Beach just opened a second location in the South Bay. The Hawaiian-style poke shop sells tuna and salmon varieties topped with classic condiments like sea salt and Aloha shoyu. In addition to 15 types of traditional poke, served with steamed white rice or by the pound, there are Hawaiian dishes such as loco moco and beef ribs. 1928 Pacific Coast Highway, Lomita, CA 90717.

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