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Los Angeles food was all over the map this year, from a chic new bistro in Beverly Hills to a food revolution in Watts. Here are 21 of the best spots that opened over the past 12 months, all worth bragging about after your meal.
The old saying about not eating just one potato chip? That’s the reaction you’ll have to the irresistible hot dinner rolls made with fennel and za’atar, a Middle Eastern mixed spice, at this chic new spot inside the Montage Beverly Hills.
At this Nashville-inspired spot, you choose which part of the all-natural, hormone and antibiotic-free chicken you want and which of the six levels of heat you’ll have, from country (no heat) through howlin' (ouch).
Who wants to eat inside a butcher shop? We do, when it’s a bright space like this one and serves inventive dishes including steak-tartar eggs Benedict and chicken-pineapple sausage.
We’re crushing hard on this new restaurant in the courtyard of the Palihouse West Hollywood, where green walls and plaid chairs are so festive, as are dishes such as rabbit ragout and persimmon panna cotta.
It’s the fancy date spot for when you’re trying to impress someone with how discerning your vegan palate is. Creative dishes like tomato kimchi soup poured over sea beans, shelling beans and rice cake are earning this place major buzz.
This Venice casual dinner spot is based on the idea of a backyard barbecue…if it took place in a modern glass box and included perfectly-charred chicken served with a drizzle of salsa verde.
It’s the latest see-and-be-seen bistro imported straight from NYC. Order the Smashed Avocado Benedict, in which an avocado mash takes the place of ham, and curry, mustard seed and lime spice it up.
There’s a killer chicken sandwich with Tillamook cheese, but let’s be real: We’re coming to this DTLA eatery at 2 a.m. for the doughnuts in flavors like strawberry white chocolate and cinnamon nut crunch.
This Echo Park diner is known for its hipster clientele, lovely design (including a dreamy park mural) and the best comfort food east of the 405: burgers dripping with aged white cheddar and a grilled corned beef sandwich.
This make-your-own pasta-bowl takeout place has everything you need, without you having to so much as boil water.
This tiny—16 seats—breakfast-and-lunch spot in Culver City is being called the most creative neo-Nordic-style food (that means foraged, pickled and locally farmed) in town. Oh, and it’s open only on weekdays
This brand-new Arts District restaurant inside the Hauser Wirth gallery building just started serving dinner in October, and we don’t know which we love more, the soaring space or the delish Southern-inflected dishes.
Pop into either of two locations, Venice and West Hollywood, for grain-based bowls like black bean and quinoa or sweet potato and lentil, which can be amped up with egg, turkey or chicken.
This cute Highland Park bakery is famous for its neon-covered wall and its cruffin, a baked muffin-croissant hybrid. The place is open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., but take it from us: Go early.
A movie star (yep, that’s Trejo, as in Danny Trejo) opens a Mexican food empire serving mouthwatering stuff like vegan quinoa tostadas and rainbow cauliflower bowls with cashew cream—only in L.A.
With flavors like caramelized banana nut, matcha tea and honeycomb, you’re probably surprised this artisanal ice cream shop offers a huge vegan selection.
Choose ingredients to go on a base of rice, rice noodles or field greens. We love the Kona, the Hawaiian-inspired mash-up of Spam and egg, kimchi, green onions and furikake (Japan’s version of Mrs. Dash).
This Studio City restaurant serves charred octopus with preserved lemon, spice-rubbed chicken with kohlrabi slaw and roasted carrots in a chamomile jus that might just change your life.
This Bay Area import storefront is all organic, all vegan and hella seasonal. Try the candy-cap variety (it's made of mushrooms that taste like maple syrup).
Single-serve cakes and gluten-free options abound at this little storefront bakery, with treats like chocolate caramel cake, black and white cake, lemon custard cake and raspberry red velvet.
Two star chefs (Roy Choi and Daniel Patterson) team up to open an affordable and mostly healthy fast-food restaurant in the ’hood. And hella good four-dollar chicken-and-slaw sandwiches and six-dollar ginger-lime-and-noodle bowls are flying out the door.
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