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New Northridge food hall specializes in Asian restaurants

A photo of crispy pork with papaya salad from Mee Dee Thai Kitchen.
Northridge Eats food hall includes the second location of family-run Thai restaurant Mee Dee Thai Kitchen. The new outpost serves crispy pork belly, unique to this Mee Dee location.
(Stephanie Breijo / Los Angeles Times)

Northridge Eats

There’s a new food hall in San Fernando Valley that focuses entirely on Asian restaurants. Northridge Eats, which opened in March, houses four fast-casual restaurants within a strip mall. Hainan chicken specialist Maxwell Chicken Rice is offering its signature boiled chicken along with fried chicken, garlic noodles and bone broth, while Akafuji Sushi, from Ryota Okumura (formerly Sushi Zo and Katana), serves nigiri, hand rolls and more. Mee Dee Thai Kitchen, which also has a location in Historic South-Central, sells boba, curries, stir-fried noodles, classic Thai street food and new, inventive spins such as green-curry fried chicken sliders and Tom Yum fries. Regional chain and ramen-ya Kotsu Ramen & Gyoza offers 12-hour-simmered tonkotsu, rice bowls, karaage, vegan gyoza, meat dumplings and seaweed salad. Akafuji Sushi is open 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesdays to Sundays; Maxwell Chicken Rice is open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily; Mee Dee Thai Kitchen is open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily and until midnight for delivery; and Kotsu Ramen & Gyoza is open 5 to 9 p.m. daily.

9346 Corbin Ave., Northridge, northridgeeats.com

A white rectangular plate holds a nigiri sampler from Akafuji.
Four restaurants can now be found in the newly opened Northridge Eats food hall, including sushi bar Akafuji, which offers nigiri samplers.
(Stephanie Breijo / Los Angeles Times)

Nostalgia Bar & Lounge

Longtime cannabis chef and consultant Chris Sayegh, founder of the Herbal Chef, has opened a restaurant and bar in Santa Monica that’s all about throwbacks and childhood flavors. At Nostalgia Bar & Lounge, Sayegh and co-chef Jared Ventura aren’t infusing the menu with CBD and THC, as Sayegh has done at pop-ups and dinner events in the past. Instead, they are focusing on comforting American fare (burgers, lobster rolls, fried cauliflower) and grown-up takes on kid classics: peanut butter and jelly cake for dessert, for instance, or a terpene cocktail reminiscent of the fruity, watery last bit of an Otter Pop. Tabletop games such as Connect 4 and Jenga are available to play indoors as well as the patio with picnic-bench seating. A tangential members-only dinner series, called the Secret Supper Club, is open to applications, with an annual membership fee of $1,000 for private, ticketed meals and events targeted to guests interested in discussing art, food and psychedelics, among other topics. Nostalgia Bar & Lounge is open 3 p.m. to 2 a.m. Wednesdays through Sundays.

1326 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica, nostalgiabarandlounge.com

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A photo of beers and games like Jenga on a tabletop in the lounge area of Nostalgia Bar & Lounge.
Santa Monica’s new nostalgia-fueled bar and restaurant serves cocktails inspired by childhood treats like Yoo-hoo and Otter Pops, and offers games to play while drinking them.
(Nostalgia Bar & Lounge)

Hui Tou Xiang

The San Gabriel family-run dumpling shop Hui Tou Xiang has expanded to Hollywood, taking over the former Cellar 43 wine bar space. The second location offers the signature hui tou, along with more of the San Gabriel staples: pork-and-leek pancakes, wontons, steamed xiao long bao, noodles, boiled dumplings and appetizers such as marinated tofu skins. The Hollywood location has more seating, a bar and a larger kitchen — the latter offering the space to broaden the menu with a selection of grilled skewers. Beer and wine service is forthcoming, spotlighting local and international drinks that will complement the dumplings. Hui Tou Xiang is open in Hollywood from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. daily.

1643 N. Cahuenga Blvd., Los Angeles, (323) 645-7272, huitouxiang.com

An interior photo of the Hollywood Hui Tou Xiang, which features a bar, a black-tiled curved ceiling and pink neon.
Unlike the San Gabriel location, the Hollywood Hui Tou Xiang outpost includes beer, wine and grilled skewers.
(Stephanie Breijo / Los Angeles Times)

Calaca Mamas Cantina

A new Mexican restaurant is headed to Anaheim from sisters Angela and Mariam El Haj, who are planning to pay homage to Día de los Muertos in theme and decor. The 200-seat restaurant is adjacent to Disneyland and will offer indoor dining, a cantina and a patio with a firepit, along with dishes such as chilaquiles, achiote-marinated mahi mahi and chicken tinga tacos. Calaca Mamas Cantina is set to open May 27.

1550 S. Harbor Blvd., Anaheim, calacamamas.com

A photo of a spread of Mexican dishes on a tabletop: chile relleno, enchiladas, carne asada and more.
Anaheim’s forthcoming cantina is set to offer enchiladas, tacos, carne asada and more next to Disneyland.
(Max Milla / Calaca Mamas)

Gilles Cabaret

Gilles Cabaret, a dinner and a show, has launched within West Hollywood restaurant La Bohème. The event runs Saturdays from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. Entry is free, but each table requires a $50 minimum per person (with no minimum at bar seats, and a $100 minimum for premium tables). The night out features performances from musicians, DJs, dancers and aerialists, while menu options include kale salads, oysters and sushi, plus cocktails, wine and bottle service.

8400 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, (917) 690-2523‬ gillescabaret.com


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