Pearl River Deli opens in Chinatown and famed Brooklyn pizzeria Lucali set to pop up in WeHo

The chair siu rice bowl with egg at Pearl River Deli, now open at the Far East Plaza in Chinatown
The char siu on rice with an egg at Pearl River Deli, now open at the Far East Plaza in Chinatown.
(Andrea Chang / Los Angeles Times)

Here are some of the notable restaurant openings around Southern California:

Pearl River Deli

Johnny Lee, previously chef of the Hainan chicken restaurant Side Chick in Arcadia, has opened Pearl River Deli in Chinatown. The Far East Plaza takeout spot offers dishes such as fried pork chops on pineapple buns, char siu over rice, and shrimp-egg scrambles. Lee says the concept is a casual offshoot of his Pearl River Delta pop-up, which promotes “the preservation, appreciation and evolution of Cantonese cuisine.”

727 N. Broadway #130, Los Angeles,


Famed Brooklyn pizzeria Lucali, known for its traditionalist thin-crust pies and hour-long lines, will pop up at the Nice Guy in West Hollywood on March 9 and 10. Lucali chef Mark Iacono will serve margarita and pepperoni pizzas, calzones and meatballs; no reservations will be taken.


401 N. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles, (310) 360-9500,


The original Johnny Rockets on Melrose is now Nomoo, a plant-based burger stand that pays homage to the location’s diner heritage. The menu features Impossible Meat cheeseburgers on vegan brioche buns, hot “chicken” sandwiches made with fermented seitan and cashew milk “milkshakes.”

7507 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, (323) 433-4990,

Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken

A branch of Memphis chain Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken is open in Santa Ana. Expect spicy half chicken plates, collard greens, sweet tea and chess pie by the slice. There are already local outposts on Crenshaw Boulevard and in Burbank.

102 N. Sycamore St., Santa Ana, (949) 336-3936,


Hermanito, a Mexican bar and restaurant, is open in Sawtelle Japantown. The menu features tacos on handmade Sonora-style flour tortillas and mezcal cocktails with “subtle nods to the neighborhood’s Japanese heritage.”


2024 Sawtelle Blvd., Los Angeles, (424) 465-9029,

Unknown Kitchen

Unknown Kitchen is open in Brentwood. The Vietnamese menu features mango soft-shell crab rolls, shaken beef salad and several varieties of pho, including a mushroom-based vegan version.

11911 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, (424) 208-3079

Lucas goes to Orange County with chef Shawn Pham for some of the best Vietnamese food you can find outside of the country itself.

La Camarona

La Camarona is open in Pasadena. The Nayarit-style restaurant offers an all-you-can-eat buffet of steak ranchera and various Mexican seafood dishes, cooked and raw. Micheladas are a house specialty.

181 E. Glenarm St., Pasadena, (626) 744-2777


Mitsuwa Marketplace

A redesigned 40,000-square-foot location of Mitsuwa Marketplace is now open in Del Amo Fashion Center; the Japanese grocery chain closed its Torrance flagship earlier this year.

Del Amo Fashion Center, 3525 W. Carson St., Ste. 164, Torrance, (310) 782-0335,

We asked a mix of writers, editors, chefs and staffers what supermarket they lean on most.

These restaurants have closed:

Curry House

All California locations of the Japanese American restaurant chain Curry House closed abruptly last week. Many restaurant employees and managers said they were given no notice before they were laid off.


Hollywood comfort food restaurant Grub has shuttered after 19 years. Owners Denise DeCarlo and Betty Fraser cited rising costs and a desire to focus on their catering business as reasons for the closure.


Downtown taproom and restaurant Mikkeller has closed after three years in South Park. The Copenhagen-based brewery behind the bar continues to operate locations in San Diego and San Francisco.

More restaurant news:


Baroo founders Kwang Uh and Mina Park will open their next restaurant, a casual Korean concept called Shiku, at Grand Central Market in mid-April.
Grand Central Market, 317 S. Broadway, Los Angeles,


James Beard Awards

The James Beard Foundation named its list of chef and restaurant semifinalists for its 2020 awards. Mei Lin of Nightshade, Dave Beran of Pasjoli and Jon Yato of Kato were among the honorees.

In this episode of “Off Menu,” Lucas Kwan Peterson heads to the Chinese food mecca the San Gabriel Valley, and chats with historian David Chan and Kato’s Jon Yao.

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