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four photos of food on a green background
Jollof rice bowl from Ilé Bistro, clockwise, from top left; La Morra pizzas; Heritage BBQ; charred snap peas at Colibri.
(Cara Harman; Myung J. Chun/Los Angeles Times; Jenn Harris/Los Angeles Times; Colibri)

Where to eat and drink in L.A. right now, according to our food writers

The days are long and the sun is shining in L.A. again, reminding us all why we submit to hours-long commutes and ridiculous rents. Another feature of our incredible city that we (begrudgingly) pay a premium for? A dining scene that overflows with new and worthwhile options, from fancy date-night occasions to casual pop-ups, night markets and everything in between.

With April showers thankfully over, our writers hit the road. Along with 250,000 other music fans, we headed east to the Indio desert for Coachella Music Festival, where we gorged on tacos, vegan chicken wraps and boozy slushies in between performances by Bad Bunny and Bjork. We braved traffic to and from Anaheim to bring you the Great Big Highly Specific Guide to Disneyland, complete with our favorite food spots in both Disneyland and California Adventure, a 21-and-up drinking guide, vegetarian and affordable dining options, a roundup of local favorites in Anaheim, a critic’s review of Downtown Disney’s most sophisticated restaurant and much more.

If you’re wondering what reservations to book for the month of May, we’ve got you covered. From Culver City to Santa Monica to North Hollywood and beyond, here are 12 of the best new restaurant openings, plus a couple stalwarts worth re-exploring, spanning oceanfront barbecue, modern Mexican, a West African concept kitchen and more.

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bowl of roasted cauliflower and other vegetables
(Cara Harman)

Ilé Bistro

Culver City West African $$
Tolu “Eros” Erogbogbo, a.k.a. “the Billionaire Chef,” first made waves in L.A.’s food scene with Ilé, multi-course dinner parties centered around the West African cuisine he grew up with, including storytelling woven throughout. With a goal of putting West African cuisine on the global stage it deserves, the chef recently debuted Ilé Bistro in the space formerly occupied by Nancy Silverton’s Pizzette at Citizen Public Market in Culver City. Now, he’s using Silverton’s wood-fired oven to roast chicken, fish and vegetables that round out bowls of jollof rice and spicy-fragrant pepper soup, with desserts like palm wine popsicles and puff-puff doughnuts. Nigerian spices are featured prominently across the menu, with direct importing overseen by Eros’ family. Currently open for dinner service Tuesday through Sunday, Ilé plans to expand into lunch hours and offer a “Sunday service” in the coming months.
Read about the Billionaire Chef’s new West African bistro.
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An overhead photo of a white bowl of truffle-topped ravioli del plin in white sauce
(Stephanie Breijo / Los Angeles Times)

Dal Milanese

Los Feliz Italian $$
A Milan-born restaurant just landed in Los Feliz thanks to Italian restaurateur Luca Guelfi and executive chef Emanuele Gasperini, who relocated to L.A. to oversee the new outpost. The dining room is predominantly table service, with countertop seats that offer a view of the pasta-making action in the kitchen. Much of the menu has made the move as well, including handmade pastas, ossobucco with saffron risotto and an Italian wine list. Exclusive to the L.A. location are new dishes like tagliolini with crab and zucchini and cacio e pepe paccheri with shrimp. Menu items are expected to change monthly, with off-menu specials and vegan options coming soon.
Read about Dal Milanese’s first stateside location.
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interior of a restaurant with arched shelves holding bottles of liquor
(Emma Arends)

Superfine Playa

Playa Vista Californian Italian $$
Steve and Dina Samson, the husband-and-wife team behind downtown’s Rossoblu and Superfine Pizza have opened a spacious new restaurant in Playa Vista with California-Italian dishes including wood-fired proteins, handmade pastas, soups and salads. Chef Mo Marvel will head the kitchen alongside Steve Samson, with the signature pizzas coming soon. Grab a seat at the bar, one of the tables or booths on the interior or on the patio that overlooks the Runway shopping center. The wine list is curated by James Saidy and Dina Samson with a focus on family vintners and the cocktail program comes courtesy of Ella Zoller of Honey House pop-up bar, featuring fun takes on classics like spritzes, palomas and sours.
Read about the Samsons’ new Playa Vista restaurant.
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A horizontal photo of the shrimp walnut katsu sando on a red tray with yellow-and-white checkered paper.
(Stephanie Breijo / Los Angeles Times)

Katsu Sando Kitchen & Mini-Mart

San Gabriel Valley Japanese Sandwich Shop $
Chinatown’s Japanese-style sandwich shop has expanded to a larger outpost in San Gabriel with an expanded kitchen and market section with crackers, cookies and additional snacks, with plans to eventually offer house-made condiments, jams and chile oils. The full menu of sandos, rice plates and sides like Wagyu-topped waffle fries is available at the new location, plus cookies, puddings and other sweets. The extra kitchen space will allow for forthcoming menu items such as oxtail hayashi rice and kakigori.
Read about Katsu Sando Kitchen’s new location in San Gabriel.
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overhead view of a citrus salad
(Jenn Harris / Los Angeles Times)

Isla

Santa Monica Seafood Californian $$
Just a half-mile from Crudo e Nudo, Brian Bornemann and Leena Culhane have launched a second project in partnership with Shane Won Murphy in the space formerly occupied by Murphy’s Little Prince restaurant on Santa Monica’s Main Street. The focus here is on charcoal-grilled and wood-fired proteins and fresh seafood, as well as seasonal produce that makes its way into creative and colorful salads that columnist Jenn Harris recommends ordering to balance out the smoke-kissed skewers. The wine list favors California and European labels, while the cocktail menu finds inspiration from Little Prince’s former offerings, with options like Y Tu Mama, with mezcal, chicha morada, serrano, lime and agave rosewater. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner from Wednesday through Sunday, with brunch expected to follow in the coming months.
Read about Jenn Harris’ favorite salads at Isla.
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A tray of barbecue from Heritage Brewery & Barbecue in Oceanside
(Jenn Harris / Los Angeles Times)

Heritage Barbecue & Beer Co.

Oceanside Barbecue $$
Heritage Barbecue drew flocks of Angelenos to San Juan Capistrano for its Texas-style barbecue, so it’s hardly surprising that the second location — this one in Oceanside — from chef/co-owner Daniel Castillo would draw similar out-of-town crowds. In addition to the smoked meats that earned the restaurant a No. 19 spot on our 101 list, the new outpost features an exclusive selection of house-brewed and local craft beers, plus two tortillas folded on the corner of every tray of meat. Hand-molded by Claudia Sauceda, who made tortillas for the restaurant that formerly occupied the space, the tortillas pop with a decadent richness thanks to beef tallow from the brisket. Columnist Jenn Harris claims they’re just as delicious when eaten on their own, though the stretchy texture holds up if you decide to pile them with kurobuta pork burnt ends.
Read about the delicious tortillas at Heritage BBQ & Beer.
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chopsticks hold up noodles out of a bowl of ramen
(Jenn Harris / Los Angeles Times)

Japonica

El Segundo Japanese $$
Japan was one of the last countries to reopen its borders to foreign travelers, and according to my Instagram feed, just about everyone seems to be visiting for cherry blossom season right now. Columnist Jenn Harris recommends fighting the FOMO with — what else? — food, specifically the miso-fragrant tantan ramen with a sesame-seed-dotted broth and spicy ground pork at Japonica. While the Redondo Beach location has been a staple for two decades, there’s a newer outpost in El Segundo that will better immerse you in Japan-inspired daydreams with planes roaring overhead.
Read about the tantan ramen at Japonica.
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overhead view of onigiri in a takeout box
(Jenn Harris / Los Angeles Times)

Rice & Nori

South Pasadena Japanese $$
Not only will the onigiri at Rice & Nori transport you to the streets of Tokyo, it’s also the perfect portable snack for L.A.’s increasingly frequent warm days. The restaurant’s first bricks-and-mortar location is in Little Tokyo, but as of a few months ago, you’ll find a second location in South Pasadena, with a similar set-up involving bar stools, counter space and tables with chairs, though counter service makes it easy to take rice balls stuffed with baked salmon and chicken teriyaki to go. A selection of Japanese snacks and sweets are also available.
Read about Rice & Nori’s new South Pasadena location.
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porridge with egg and other garnish
(Laurie Ochoa / Los Angeles Times)

Porridge + Puffs

Westside Porridge $$
Following two years of pandemic closure and a pivot to fine dining with Phenakite, Minh Phan has reopened her Historic Filipinotown restaurant, Porridge + Puffs. Eleanor Hurtt has taken the reins in the kitchen, where the former Cassia sous chef is interpreting Phan’s recipes with a slight European twist. In addition to whimsical bowls of porridge topped with runny eggs, bright jams and herbs, Hurtt plans to expand the restaurant’s pastry offerings and add prepared foods and pantry items to the market section.
Read about the reopening of Porridge + Puffs.
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dish of fish in the middle of a green sauce
(Jennifer Johnson / Bombo)

Bombo

Beverly Grove Contemporary Mexican $$
Transforming the second-floor space formerly occupied by E.P., Bombo is a modern Mexican restaurant with “Chopped” winner and executive chef Samantha Quintero helming the menu. The food spans snacks including smoked guacamole and an ahi tuna aguachile, plus tostadas, tacos and large plates like agave-glazed octopus and lamb al pastor. The cocktail menu places emphasis on agave — including a tequila-spiked espresso martini and a strawberry-infused mezcal concoction with negroni foam. Quintero’s influence extends to the third-floor E.P & L.P. rooftop, where you can order up tacos, guacamole, calamari and signature cocktails with a view of the Hollywood sign.
Read about the modern Mexican restaurant taking over the E.P space.
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overhead view of three pizza pies
(Myung J. Chun/Los Angeles Times)

La Morra Pizzeria

Valley Glen Pizza $$
One of L.A.’s favorite pizzerias, La Morra has opened a new to-go operation in North Hollywood, serving up Neapolitan-leaning blistered pies topped with burrata, Yukon gold potato and house-made fennel sausage and hot honey. The new location from Zach Swemle and Marlee Blodgett will offer build-your-own pies in addition to vegan options, salads and wings.
Read about La Morra’s new Valley Glen location.
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Ricardo Zarate's pop-up now has a second location with a twist. The new version of Colibri features both Peruvian and Italian cuisine thanks to a partnership with Love & Salt chef Michael Fiorelli.
(Photo Provided By Colibri)

Colibrí Weho and Tacos on the Alley

West Hollywood Italian Peruvian $$
Peruvian chef Ricardo Zarate’s Colibrí pop-up has fluttered to a second location in the former Onikuza space in West Hollywood, this time with a Italian-Peruvian menu in partnership with chef Michael Fiorelli (Love & Salt) that celebrates the influence of Italian immigrants in Peru dating back to the 16th century. Highlights include rigatoni with lamb in a green ragù and a spicy tuna carpaccio toast with sun-dried tomato, plus a churro bombolini served with lemon cream for dessert. Sharing the same space with late-night hours is Tacos on the Alley from El Zarape restaurant, with tacos, burritos, quesadillas, ceviches, margaritas and micheladas.
Read about the new Colibrí pop-up in West Hollywood.
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