New Koreatown restaurant Laon is serving fresh pasta from a Trois Mec vet

An overhead photo of a bowl of squid ink tagliolini with spot prawns and lobster jus from Laon.
Koreatown’s new Laon focuses on fresh pastas made daily by chef-owner Joon Chang, such as squid ink tagliolini with lobster jus.
(Joon Chang/Laon)

Plus, New York-style slices in Fairfax, a South L.A. taco truck lands a bricks-and-mortar location and more.



A new restaurant specializing in fresh, handmade pasta is open in Koreatown. Laon is a new concept from chef-owner Joon Chang, who also runs pop-up Fishpop, and operates within the same space as Japanese restaurant Rollypop. Chang trained under chefs Ludo Lefebvre at Trois Mec and Joe Sasto (private events), and incorporates French technique into the Italian pastas such as squid ink tagliolini with spot prawns, basil, lobster jus, lemon and tomato; short rib ragu pappardelle; and corn pasta in a citrusy Madras curry cheese sauce. Chef Bobby Lee, who co-owns Rollypop with Chang, is also an owner of Laon. A natural wine menu is available, as is indoor seating. Laon is open from 5 to 11 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday.

3446 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, (213) 315-5117,

Kuya Lord

The Filipino-food pop-up run by chef Lord Maynard Llera out of his La Cañada Flintridge home is now a bricks-and-mortar restaurant in Hollywood. Specializing in Filipino rice bowls that spotlight southern Tagalog flavor, Kuya Lord riffs on the classic noodle-shop format by offering a casual setting and a range of customizable toppings, such as house-made longganisa sausage (available in either sweet or savory flavors), rolled-and-roasted pork belly, blue prawns and grilled short ribs. The large-format “Kuya trays,” popularized at the pop-up, can be found at the restaurant as a family-style meal for two. Desserts such as calamansi pie and bibingka, along with house-made pantry goods such as vinegars and chile oils, also are available at the storefront. Kuya Lord is open from 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Wednesday to Sunday.

5003 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles,

An overhead photo of a slice of New York-style Margherita pizza from Esco's.
Esco’s is serving whole and by-the-slice New York-style pizzas along La Brea. The restaurant space also includes a mock subway car and a reservation-only lounge.
(Stephanie Breijo/Los Angeles Times)

Esco’s Pizza

A pizzeria is selling New York- and Sicilian-style pizzas in Fairfax in varieties such as Margherita, clam pie, Buffalo chicken, vegan and vegetable, available both whole and by the slice. The new spot also offers penne alla vodka, chicken Parmesan, garlic knots, sandwiches, calzones, pepperoni rolls, chicken wings, salads and desserts. The attached reservation-only bar and lounge, the Presidential Suite, operates on Saturday nights.

615 N. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles, (323) 592-3042,

Tacos Arandas Bellflower

South L.A. taco truck Tacos Arandas has launched a second location, now serving in a repurposed shipping container within Bellflower’s SteelCraft food hall. The taco operation, which started in 1996, offers mulitas, tacos, nachos, quesadillas and burritos, with options such as carne asada, al pastor, buche and cabeza. Aguas frescas, flan, cheesecake, arroz con leche and champurrado also are available at the new outpost. Tacos Arandas is open in SteelCraft from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday to Thursday and from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

16500 Bellflower Blvd., Bellflower,

Sidecar Culver City

The regional, seasonally inspired doughnut chain famed for frying its doughnuts in small batches hourly is now in Culver City. Sidecar Doughnuts & Coffee has opened with classic flavors alongside options such as huckleberry, dulce de leche churro, Monday-only malasadas and more. The business launched a decade ago vending out of a former Helms Bakery delivery truck; the new location operates just down the street from the original Helms Bakery. Sidecar Doughnuts & Coffee is open from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday to Thursday and from 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

10705 Washington Blvd., Culver City, (424) 390-7030,


An overhead photo of a bowl of Tsujita LA's tsukemen ramen.
Tsujita LA and dozens of other food and beverage vendors will make an appearance at this year’s Taste of Japan festival.
(Mariah Tauger/Los Angeles Times)

Taste of Japan

Anaheim’s sprawling festival dedicated to the bites and sights of Japanese culture returns on June 17 (4 to 9 p.m.) and June 18 (noon to 9 p.m.). This year’s Taste of Japan event, held at the STC Anaheim GardenWalk, is free to enter and includes a beer and sake garden; more than two dozen food and drink vendors; and performances and entertainment, including karate demos, anime cosplay contests, odori and live music. Karaage, kakigori, yakitori, tonkatsu, ramen and more will be available for purchase through vendors such as Tsujita, Shin-Sen-Gumi, Torisho and Kagura.

400 W. Disney Way, Anaheim,