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Dining out in summertime is a varied affair. Sometimes you just want a light salad, while other times you’ve worked up an appetite for a big, juicy plate of lean protein. Or maybe you’re in the mood for just a glass of fine wine and dessert. (Who are we to judge?) Here are five sizzling new spots, from Brentwood to the Valley, for all that and more.


Roll into this new Brentwood steakhouse for dry-aged, grass-fed Wagyu or prime steaks that come in sizes from 8 oz. to 40 oz. (from $42). We’re jazzed about add-ons including crab, blue cheese, béarnaise and foie gras.

Baltaire, 11647 San Vicente Blvd.; 424-273-1660 or

Knuckle & Claw

The lobster roll is the unofficial food of summer. The makers of this big version ($18) pride themselves on going light on everything (mayo, celery, butter) except the lobster: a quarter pound of lump meat (which is flown in daily from Maine).

Knuckle & Claw, 3112 W. Sunset Blvd.; 323-407-6142 or

E.P. & L.P.

Thai street food comes to West Hollywood in a hip new spot that serves family-style dishes like Chiang Mai larb ($18): chunks of New Zealand salmon flavored with a rich blend of fish sauce, lime juice, pickled fish and rice.

E.P. & L.P., 603 N. La Cienega Blvd., W. Hollywood; 310-855-9955 or

Augustine Wine Bar

A longtime wine collector is behind this new Valley bistro that’s anchored by a sexy Carrera marble bar. Besides a menu of up to 75 wines by the glass ($10 to $100), there are inventive small plates such as root-vegetable Caesar salad ($13) made with shaved raw carrots, beets and parsnips.

Augustine Wine Bar, 13456 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks; 818-990-0938 or


It’s rare that a fine-dining chef (here, Brendan Collins) has as inspired a touch with entrées as desserts. Rare, too, is top-level cuisine along Hollywood’s busy Cahuenga corridor. Enjoy both at this smashing small restaurant--and be sure to save room for the meringue-topped strawberry and sorbet dessert ($12).

Birch, 1634 N. Cahuenga Blvd.; 323-960-3369 or

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