From ice cream sandwiches to a new wine bar in Chinatown, here’s what’s happening in the L.A. food and drink world.
Top up: Halo Top, the ice cream brand known for its low-calorie pints sold at the grocery store, is about to open its first-ever scoop shop. It’ll be at the Westfield Topanga beginning Nov. 15. So instead of eating the ice cream on the couch, you can order a scoop at the shop, on the second floor dining terrace of the mall. The ice cream shop will introduce four new soft serve flavors (including birthday cake) and will serve seven of the classic pint flavors (red velvet, pancakes and waffles, sea salt caramel). You can also have your ice cream in one of four cone options: Order an ice cream sandwich (made with vegan, high-protein cookies) and an ice cream taco made with a waffle cone shell. 6600 Topanga Canyon Blvd., Canoga Park, www.halotop.com.
Chinatown sips: There’s a new French wine bar in Chinatown called Oriel, and it’s serving charcuterie boards, escargot and plenty of French wine. It’s the latest opening from Dustin Lancaster, founder of the Eastside Establishment company and restaurateur behind L&E Oyster Bar, Covell, Augustine and Hotel Covell. Oriel is located just down the street from Philippe the Original. 1135 N. Alameda St., Los Angeles, (213) 253-9419, www.orielchinatown.com.
Fancy fish: Chefs and brothers Bryan and Michael Voltaggio (Michael was on “Top Chef” and is behind the restaurant Ink.well) have opened a seafood restaurant in Santa Monica called STRFSH. The fast-casual restaurant, which specializes in build-your-own fresh fish sandwiches, is now open at the Gallery food hall on the Third Street Promenade. The Voltaggios’ version of a fish sandwich includes grilled swordfish or salmon, house-made rubs, toasted potato rolls and condiments such as yuzu kosho mayo. 1315 Third Street Promenade, www.strfsh.com.
Aussie gem: Little Ruby, the New York City cafe that celebrates all things Aussie (flat whites, surfer’s breakfasts and a riff on Banoffee pie), is opening a location in Santa Monica on Friday. The sentiment behind the cafe may be Aussie, but the menu reads on-trend California, with a Cauli Rice Bowl made with kohlrabi, pear, puffed rice and spicy buttermilk dressing; and a Crispy Rice Bowl full of cucumber, radish, tomato, red onion, haloumi and a fried egg. The coffee bar will serve espresso drinks made using La Colombe, and there will also be smoothies, fresh-pressed juices, beer, wine and spritz-style cocktails. 109 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica, www.littleruby.com.
Molto Italian: Casa Barilla, a new 2,600-square-foot Italian restaurant, is now open at South Coast Plaza. If the name sounds familiar, that’s because it’s the same company behind the Barilla pasta sold at stores, everywhere. The restaurant serves the pasta the brand is known for, along with pizza, panini and salads. To sip, there’s a full list of Italian wine and beer. 3333 Bristol St., Costa Mesa, www.barillarestaurants.com.