While we wait for the incoming incarnations of Trudy’s Underground BBQ, Milk and Pizzana to open in West Hollywood, here are some other LA favorites that have set up shop in town or expanded their empire in the area.
Reika Alexander of Tokyo concept En Japanese Brasserie in New York decided to open an intimate eatery in a back bungalow on the Chateau Marmont property. Chateau Hanare features kaiseki – so don’t expect a typical sushi joint but a culinary art form featuring raw fish, tofu, udon and veggie tempura dishes best enjoyed from the patio or one of several private rooms. For something truly exotic, try the foie gras or wagyu handroll. Hot tip: Park at Bar Marmont on Sunset and walk around the corner. www.hanarela.com
Inko Nito on West Third
From the group behind Zuma in London, the first incarnation of contemporary Robatayaki Inko Nito opened downtown in the Arts District but now they have expanded into the old Blue Plate Oysterette space on 3rd Street. Once again, designed by Studio MAI – who also did the woodsy, earthy interiors for Hinoki & the Bird, the space has a great front patio leading to a central robata grill inside with counter seating and a private dining area in the back. Standout dishes to order include any of the skewers; fried chicken; yellowtail collar with brown butter ponzu; and Dungeness crab tartare with wasabi mayo, chicken skin and toasted nori. https://www.inkonitorestaurant.com/
Bacari W. 3rd
Taking over that glorious hidden patio where Sofi restaurant was on Third Street, West Hollywood now has a romantic version of Bacari from Playa del Rey and Glendale to call its own. The Mediterranean boom is also alive and well here with shared plates – or cicchetti – from Israeli Chef Lior Hillel who has spent time at 3 Michelin starred Jean Georges in New York. Start with a dip trio including green chickpea hummus, cashew-based vegan liver pate, and beet hazelnut muhammara served with pita. There is also delicious crab crostini, 24-hour short rib and lamb stuffed eggplant, but don’t skip “the best cake you’ve ever had” with medjool dates, brown sugar caramel, and crispy bacon. https://www.bacariw3rd.com/
Noree Thai on Beverly
Luv2Eat Thai Bistro gained a following from its first eatery on Sunset and by the little takeout window, Crying Tiger (do not miss the chicken skins here), attached to Black Rabbit Rose bar and magic show venue off of Hollywood Boulevard. Now you can feast on the duck fried rice, drunken noodles with shrimp, endless incarnations of fried chicken (we prefer the Tamarind version as a starter) and also the surprisingly delicious fried beef jerky right in the heart of Beverly Blvd. in a sit-down restaurant not far from the Fairfax District. www.noreethaionbeverly.com
Badmaash on Fairfax
Everyone’s favorite modern Indian place from downtown has opened a welcome second operation on Fairfax across the Street from Canter’s Deli and a few doors down from Jon & Vinny’s. The same warm hospitality and quirky charm prevail at this location, and we could not be happier to have the chili cheese naan bread and butter chicken within our grasp and not a trek down south on the freeway. https://www.badmaashla.com
Managing partner Jordan Ogron has a pedigree that includes Bestia and the Hakassan Group, but for the last two years, he has tirelessly traveled and met with boutique winemakers to help build his masterpiece and well-appointed wine cellar attached to Tesse on Sunset. Boutellier, as we reported in the Spring issue, was the title given to the person in charge of the King’s wine hundreds of years ago in 18th century France. He was the only one with the key to the cellar –and at this location, that might as well be in your hands since the focus is on exclusive wines that are not readily available at other retailers or online. You can expect to find everything from Abadía Retuerta – an award-winning winery in the Duero Valley, in Spain, to our favorite new Chablis from Jean-Marc Brocard which we hope to see on a wine pairing dinner menu sometime soon. You can book one yourself with up to 40 guests featuring the cuisine of chef Raphael Francois and desserts by Sally Camacho Mueller. https://www.tesserestaurant.com/
Lisa Vanderpump and Ken Todd have added a welcome trifecta to their other popular indoor-outdoor West Hollywood spots, SUR and PUMP, by wrangling the two loveable Tom’s from their Bravo hit show Vanderpump Rules. We are not sure how much you will actually be able to spot Tom Sandoval and Tom Schwartz on a daily basis, but their bromance is alive and well with the creative cocktails, shot of the day and tasty, mostly vegan, bites that are available in the buzzy front room or more serene back patio. Book this Santa Monica Blvd. spot for your next girl or guy’s night out.
Fish 8 by Jinpachi
Jinpachi is that hole-in-wall sushi place on Santa Monica Boulevard that everyone goes to but no one seems to really talk about – it’s one of the top ‘locals in the know’ spots in town. The owners have recently opened a more affordable outpost on Melrose where you can order the same quality spicy tuna and salmon rolls, sushi and sashimi, plus all day fish 8 specials. We are looking forward to trying it soon.
APL Hole in the Wall
A little further east, Adam Perry Lang has already added to his APL steak empire and brasserie setting to open a take-out window next door. Yes, you can feast on an outrageous $50 shaved NY strip sandwich that is built for at least 2 people, or you can grab a few hot dogs topped with prime chili for $6 to $12 bucks. But, those dogs are laced with top grade hand cut prime beef chuck on jumbo franks with New Mexican hatch chili, cheese and pickled jalapeño – and you can view an original graffiti painting by David Choe in the tiny space that used to be a barber shop. https://aplrestaurant.com/hole-wall/
The Beverly Center:
We are still pinching ourselves at how great the dining scene is shaping up at the old Beverly Center -and we can’t wait for Jeremy Fall’s new adult diner, Easy’s, to open in the mall, which will be more than worth braving the structured parking garage for. At the moment we are spoilt for choice with Cal Mare, Yard Bird, Farm Shop and Egg Slut, without even setting foot on an escalator.
Also new to the ground level, the world’s largest udon noodle brand, Marugame Udon, from downtown and Sawtelle have now brought their amazing fast casual line-up to this part of town. The cafeteria-style spot includes hot and cold options such as Kake Udon and the Crispy Tofu Udon Salad, with your choice of 12 tempura-fried veggies and proteins before heading to the cold toppings bar with an assortment of grated ginger, fresh wasabi and more that are made to order right in front of your eyes.
Pitchoun Bakery from downtown has also joined the mall bounty by opening their second spot offering daily organic pastries and desserts (using imported butter), traditional breads, gourmet sandwiches and salads. We recommend the juicy hot dogs rolled in buttery puff pastry. It’s the perfect upscale fast-food marriage of America meets France in one bite and we are glad to have them in much closer proximately now.
The two rooms below a tattoo parlor on Melrose that was once housed Smoke.Oil.Salt has morphed yet again into a welcome neighborhood bar by Evan Charest, formerly of Patina Restaurant Group. Think large format Champagne cocktails (sabering upon request), that are served in punch bowls with giant ice-cubes, or sherry and vermouth-based cocktails and Lambrusco rose all in exquisite vintage glassware. One of the most unique concoctions we tried was the Thai Pineapple Whip with dry filtered sake, sparkling sake, Thai chili, toasted coconut syrup, lime and yes, pineapple whip. As for the food, this is also created by a Patina alumni Weston Ludeke, so grab a group and dive into cheese fondue with veggies and French bread for dipping. Or, go the whole hog and order The Fondue Burger with two patties, melted Emmentaler cheese, pickled onion jam on a toasted brioche bun. For a smaller snack, try the giant fried olives. Check for weekly special events and guest from Champagne & Sherry Sundays hosted by Rick Arline of Nomad, or Night of the Spritz every Tuesday with Christina Russo of Salazar. http://www.severancela.com
For Quick Bites and Sweets:
Winston Pies has expanded from Brentwood to West Hollywood and will serve the same seasonal and comforting fare. The shop will also continue to feature rotating, monthly special flavors, including vegan and gluten-free options, and special pie flavors available exclusively at the West Third Street location. As with the Brentwood store, pies are served in a variety of sizes including extra-large family-sized, 11-inch pies, 5-inch mini pies, 4-inch square hand pies, and Winston Pies’ original PieBites®. Winston Pies also serves artisan coffee from Tectonic Coffee Co., teas from Rishi and vegan and non-vegan ice cream options from Van Leeuwen for pies à la mode. www.winstonpies.com
Look for the “we freeze the seasons” sign on 3rd street for an iconic molecular style ice-cream shop from London that just opened their first U.S. location. This is not your typical Fro-Yo pit stop. Each scoop is made to order and blended with evolving seasonal ingredients and home-baked toppings. This is a new twist to old-fashioned, hand-churned craftsmanship and they magically transform locally sourced, flavor infused dairy into ice cream before your eyes, and they plan to roll out new flavors inspired by SoCal farmers and artisans. www.fourwinters.co