If you want a taste of California comfort food with a twist, you’ve come to the right place: Fiona is a bakery-meets-restaurant that oozes with charm. You’re first greeted by baker Nicole Rucker’s enticing pastry case—featuring stellar house-baked loaves, cookies, and pies—but venture further and you’ll be swept away by chicken noodle miso soup and Vietnamese beef stew, courtesy of chef Shawn Pham of Simbal fame.
From Jon & Vinnys’ long-awaited second outpost to an all-day eatery helmed by two of LA’s rising stars, these tables are kicking 2019 off right, and they’re all New on Resy.
Don’t expect fried chicken here; Hatchet Hall will make you rethink Southern comfort food. In this old-school hunting lodge of sorts—complete with trophy deer antlers and mismatched chairs—Brian Dunsmoor fires mushroom crusted pork chops, potato yeast rolls, and grilled oysters with bone marrow, all the while hiding a secret whiskey bar in the back.
Jon & Vinny’s BTWD is like your favorite Italian family restaurant… only better. Owners Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo are James Beard Award-winners and their reimagined red sauce classics are rendered beautifully with peak-season produce and Californian flair. Plus, there’s a wine shop out front (look for Helen’s Wines), which houses a treasure trove of biodynamic, naturally-driven, and small producer bottles. What more could you ask for?
Tucked on the outskirts of Downtown, Yxta Cocina Mexicana is the first of many projects between notorious restaurateur Jesse Gomez and executive chef Jose Acevedo. Here, handmade tortillas envelop slowly-cooked carnitas, enchiladas de mole melt in your mouth, and pollo en salsa de cuatro chile slowly burn against a hip décor. You’re bound to become a regular, and as such, you should know: it’s pronounced “eeks-tah.”
Nestled in a 1911 Craftsman bungalow, Little Beast is a neighborhood restaurant through and through. Helmed by a husband-and-wife team, the Eagle Rock restaurant offers American cuisine—with a charming back patio to boot—from market-fresh small plates (roasted sunchokes, radicchio and couscous), to kid-friendly mains (chicken breast “pot pie”).
For power lunches and special occasions, head straight to Jean-Georges’ first Golden State location. Tucked inside the Waldorf Astoria, the dazzling restaurant is outfitted in white, with high ceilings, towering plants, and Hollywood views. This is the time to indulge, so order the egg caviar, ahi tuna ribbons, and lamb chops with mushroom Bolognese, and take it all in.
If your idea of heaven is cocktails and stellar views, then The Rooftop by JG is the place for you. Snack on market-driven plates, from tuna tartare lettuce cups to smoked salmon latkes, and sip your way through a magnificent Beverly Hills sunset, with a fine cocktail in hand.
A deep dive into Jesse Gomez and Jose Acevedo’s Mexican roots, Mercado is an ode to the flavors the pair grew up with. Think simple grilled elote, tamales made with fresh masa, chile relleno with handpicked veggies, and carnitas from chef Jose’s own family recipe. It’s honest food with soul and memory, and bonus: the tequila list sports over 70 excellent varieties.
Helmed by the same dynamic duo behind Mercado, Maradentro is a mariscos joint where the plates go beyond fish tacos. Expect sálmon a la parrilla, enchiladas with Mexican sweet shrimp, and crabiqueso—an out-of-this-world queso with lump crab meat in tow. Also on the menu: bacon-lobster guacamole—the only way you’ll ever want to eat guac again.
Located in the heart of Sushi Row, Mercado Taqueria is here to feed superior bar bites to the Studio City masses. Devour tacos and tablitas (that’s marinated beef ribs) on handmade tortillas, with drinks that lean on agave spirits, Mexican wines, and cocktails dreamt up by Cesar Arenas.
Sleek, seasonal, and inviting, Local Kitchen + Wine Bar is a neighborhood gem. At this Ocean Park restaurant, farm-to-table fare reigns supreme, with seasonal plates to share, and handcrafted Neapolitan-style pizzas. Throw in exceptional wines and small batch cocktails, and you’ll understand why locals keep this Santa Monica spot to themselves.
In a bright and beachy-chic setting right along the marina, Malibu Farm dishes out simple, health-forward fare that’s bound to satisfy. Think quinoa oatmeal, multigrain pancakes, cauliflower-crust pizza, and miso tahini salmon. Located in Newport Beach, it’s just about an hour south of LA proper, but worth the trip for the feel-good eats and laid-back vibe.
With Red O, acclaimed chef Rick Bayless takes his regional Mexican cuisine to the West Coast. In a plush, inviting, and design-savvy space, award-winning wines collide with an extensive tequila list. Menu highlights include pork belly sopes, lamb in mole negro, chilean sea bass, and superb service.
After a series of acclaimed pop-ups, chef Mei Lin has finally set roots in the Arts District. For Nightshade, the Top Chef winner looked to her family’s Chinese restaurant in Detroit just as much as her time with Wolfgang Puck in Vegas, thinking up dishes like the tom yum bloomin’ onion, mapo tofu lasagna, and a Nashville-inspired Szechuan hot quail.
A Westchester Thai institution in its own right, Ayara Thai is a family affair. Owners Andy and Anna are first-generation immigrants who learned to cook from the matriarchs in their families, and now, it’s their Thai-American children who have taken the helm. You’re here for their mom’s khao soi curry soup, the decadent “When Tigers Cry” tomahawk to share, and belly-warming chap chai bone broth.
Too often plagued by cramped and touristy drinking holes, Venice was in sore need of boardwalk haven. Enter The Waterfront, a beachfront gem where locals come for baja-style Mexican eats (get the grilled fish tacos, beer steamed mussels, and huevos rancheros), cold beer, and an overall soulful vibe that recalls the Venice of lore.
Archives: Where to Dine Now