It’s time for the Resy Hit List for Los Angeles, our monthly dispatch of the best of the best coast’s restaurant scene. Here’s a rundown of restaurants that are hot like #dressgate. From noodle empire PokPok Phat Thai to Chef Josef Centeno’s salute to American staples at Ledlow; behold, March. 6 New, 5 Returning
1/POKPOK THAI Debut
Because Chef Ricker is in the house. The Portland originated Thai noodle shop dropped onto the scene in Chinatown’s Mandarin Plaza late 2014. Next to Roy Choi’s Chego and Scoops Ice Cream, the first LA outpost fires out paper plates stacked high with Northern Thai comfort food. Buttery phat sii ew is essential, but the main star is the national treasure, phat thai. The sauces are key. Fish sauce for umami, chile powder for heat, fresh chile-fish sauce for both, and the cherry on any phat thai, white sugar. We’re hooked. // Downtown. No reservations, best to avoid rush hour.
Because ‘rain granita’ is crushed ice (or is it?) and the menu is printed on screen-drained tree pulp. The brain-child of Laurel Hardware partners Phil Howard and Dean Mckillen, this modern American eatery has the same flare for interiors as its sister restaurant. Olive trees shade the patio for an intimate space as a Chanel clad waitress delivers a 24 oz. rib eye to the West Hollywood in-crowd. Why the purses, though? // West Hollywood. Call (323) 366-2940 for a reservation.
Because every day of the week is a celebration of patriotic classics. Monday through Friday, Chef Centeno’s seasonal menu offers up a daily rotation of nostalgic dishes. You’re talking smoky andouille gumbo with chicken liver dirty rice, beef shoulder potpie with a crust so flaky grandma is jealous, and stroganoff, yes, beef stroganoff. Also, a not to be missed Jeremiah Doherty cocktail, the Rosencrantz is a caraway, chamomile, and Eucalyptus bitters ode to Shakespeare. // Downtown. Call (213) 687-7015 for a reservation.
4/CASSELL’S HAMBURGERS Debut
Because Parker House buns, juicy ground beef, and the half a century-old original Cassell’s grill. The diner reopened in the historic Hotel Normandie with a fresh coat of paint and outlook. Almost everything is from scratch in the K-town institution, from the sarsaparilla soda with ten different herbs to the thousand island dressing. Still, no fries. But the paper-thin chips and piquillo pepper macaroni salad stand up to the plate for a home run. Pro tip: foie gras burgers pop on and off the menu. // Koreatown. Walk-in diner.
Because Barbrix duo Claudio Blotta and wife Adria Tennor’s new Atwater gem is a wood-fire pizza party and you’re invited. The rustic space has a Naples-built wood-fire oven, exposed beam ceilings and a modern dining room with a clear view of the pizzaiolo. The menu rotates, but sticks to a traditional Italian palate with marinated anchovies in ligurian olive oil, cacio e pepe, and a puttanesca pizza. Plus, chef Dickman brings down the house with his daily specials. Roast suckling pig alla porchetta anyone? // Glendale. Call (323) 663-3280 for a reservation.
6/OSTRICH FARM Debut
Because everyone is obsessed with the Brussels sprouts tossed in pancetta and draped with a runny egg. Chef Jaime Turrey hails from Monsieur Egg and is not afraid to serve breakfast for dinner in the white-walled, mid-century restaurant. Don’t miss the crab, citrus, avocado and escarole salad, a decidedly California heritage plate. // Echo Park. Call (213) 537-0657 for a reservation.
7/GJUSTA 4 Weeks On
Because too many cooks in the kitchen is the right many. From the kitchen to the front of house, everyone has a favorite; so don’t be afraid to ask. Even Jonathan Gold waxed poetic about the Reuben sandwich with, “griddle-seared corned beef, house-cured sauerkraut, gooey cheese and Russian dressing on drippy, crunchy rye.” Take a ticket, and enjoy the ride. // Venice. Walk-up counter.
Because Neil Fraser’s breathtaking restaurant makes you want to go to church. And that heritage pork belly posole is downright sinful. // Downtown. Call (213) 788-1191 for a reservation.
Because, like you said, that pa amb tomaca is out of control. And Chef Rocher’s paelleria is a royal flush. // Mid-city West. Book Now at Smoke.Oil.Salt
10/ODYS + PENELOPE 4
Because carnivores rejoice. The grill-central restaurant elevates charred meat to new heights. Chew on the bone, nobody’s judging. // Hollywood. Call (323) 935-2977 for a reservation.
11/PETIT TROIS 4
Because you’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again, seven days a week. Chef Ludo Lefebvre, Vinny Dotolo and Job Shook are the fantasy food team on everyone’s list. // Hollywood. No reservations.
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