This massive new Valley food hall is packed with some of L.A.’s best restaurants

An overhead view of food from Topanga Social food hall on a green background: Hawaiian shrimp, fried chicken, hand roll, etc.
Shrimp Daddy, Katsu Sando, Burrata House, Slab, Wanderlust Creamery and other L.A. restaurants, pop-ups and bars are now open in Canoga Park’s new food hall — with more to come.
(Elmer Argueta / Topanga Social)
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Topanga Social

More than 25 L.A. restaurants, bars and gourmet retailers are now open under one roof, bringing together sushi, barbecue, Hawaiian shrimp, truffles, iconic hot dogs, Detroit-style pizza, boba, cocktails and dumplings in Canoga Park. At Topanga Social, the sprawling food hall now attached to the Westfield Topanga shopping center, some of the region’s biggest names — including L.A. Times 101 List awardees — have opened stalls in the 55,000-square-foot space, some with bricks-and-mortar locations for the first time. Stalwart L.A. businesses such as Tail o’ the Pup debuted fast-casual stalls at the food hall this month, as have longtime pop-ups such as Shrimp Daddy and Man Eating Plant. Others include Katsu Sando, Temaki by Seaweed Hand Roll Bar, Slab, Dumpling Monster, Fat Sal’s, Truffle Brothers Market, Amboy Quality Burgers, Wanderlust Creamery and Mad Lab Coffee, with more to come.

For owners of the retail brand and pop-up I Love Micheladas, which regularly appears at Smorgasburg on Sundays, the first permanent space for the concept means spreading the word of micheladas and the Lopez family’s years-long pursuit of the perfect recipe.

The multinational chain on Tuesday launched its latest salvo in decades-long dispute to claim and use the term ‘Taco Tuesday.’

May 16, 2023

“I think it shows how far the culture has moved, and it’s very representative of L.A.,” said co-founder Fernando Lopez. “That’s what makes me most proud. Every booth here is the owner’s version of what L.A. means to them, and this was ours.” The I Love Micheladas booth offers micheladas as well as botanas such as tacos, flautas and barbacoa prepared in the Lopez family’s restaurant, Guelaguetza (a 101 List Hall of Fame awardee), as well as a tostada that’s unique to Topanga Social.

An exterior photo of new Canoga Park food hall Topanga Social at the Westfield Topanga mall.
The sprawling new Canoga Park food hall features many first-time bricks-and-mortar locations for some of L.A.’s most notable pop-ups.
(Renee Cascia / Topanga Social)

To others, the new food hall signifies expansion to new neighborhoods and the promise of more growth. “It’s exciting, it’s a little daunting,” said Armen Martirosyan, a second-generation owner of Glendale’s Mini Kabob, another L.A. Times 101 List restaurant. “The most important thing to me is that the quality of product is upkept. I can see where this can go now, and mean freedom for my family one day so my parents had to take a step back.” Martirosyan says his family is launching their stall with a more pared-down menu than at their Armenian kebab shop, at least until they can decide what works best for the new location and format. If successful, he hopes someday to open more Mini Kabob outposts.

The new food hall boasts takeout, delivery and mobile ordering, plus 700 seats spread across the indoor dining hall and an outdoor patio. There are two bars — a margarita garden and a Rock and Reilly’s — in addition to the michelada stand, and there are more businesses yet to launch: Maude and Gwen chef Curtis Stone is set to open a location of his pandemic-spurred pie pop-up, the Pie Room by Gwen, while a speakeasy-style, hidden arcade is yet to debut, to be accessed through a candy shop.

6600 Topanga Canyon Blvd., Canoga Park,

Jemma di Mare

An East Coast-style Italian American restaurant with a focus on seafood has opened in Brentwood from “Top Chef” alum Jackson Kalb and restaurateur Melissa Saka Kalb. Offering more red-sauce classics than in the couple’s other L.A. restaurants — Ospi in Venice and Jame Enoteca in El Segundo — Jemma di Mare serves fontina-topped garlic bread, clams oreganata, shrimp scampi, spaghetti with meatballs, chicken parm heroes and more.

A table with dishes including calamari, martinis and other Italian American fare from Jemma di Mare Brentwood.
A new restaurant from the team behind Ospi and Jame Enoteca is serving parms, calamari, caviar-topped polenta, martinis and other Italian American fare in Brentwood.
(Max Milla / Jemma di Mare)

“A lot of times when I go out, I just want something comforting, and Italian American restaurants have this really special place in history and it’s just been starting to come back around,” said Jackson Kalb, a veteran of Alinea in Chicago and the Las Vegas Joël Robuchon. “I just thought, ‘What if we brought the technique that I grew up learning into that school of food?’ It looks very simple on the surface.”

Veal Parmesan is first braised, then fried and served with the rib, while a “very intense, laborious dashi” helps bolster flavor in the linguine with clam sauce. For dessert there’s tableside sundae service with house-made soft serve, and at lunchtime, a menu that includes sandwiches on house-made sesame hero bread. At all hours look for cocktails such as the “pasta water martini,” which features water from the house rigatoni, topped with droplets of olive oil. The forthcoming brunch menu is set to offer focaccia French toast, crab cake benedict and lemon ricotta pancakes, among other items.

For Jackson Kalb, Jemma di Mare heralds somewhat of a return and a new beginning: After serving as the opening chef for the previous restaurant in the space, Bottlefish, he’s back and bringing his own concept to Brentwood Gardens Plaza — and filling it with his own touches. (In order to draw guests to the drinks program, the team removed roughly one-third of the dining room to construct a wraparound bar and make room for a champagne vending machine.) “I’ve kind of come full circle in this funny way,” he said. “It was very weird coming back to redo the space so we put a lot of love into it.” Jemma di Mare is open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Friday from 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.


11677 San Vicente Blvd., Suite 200, Los Angeles, (424) 955-2410,

Lucky Yu

A temake trio from Santa Monica seafood and sushi restaurant Lucky Yu (formerly Blue Plate Oysterette).
Santa Monica’s Blue Plate Oysterette is now Lucky Yu, an indefinite pop-up offering temaki, seafood towers and frozen sake.
(Brooke Olsen / Lucky Yu)

Japan meets Baja California at Lucky Yu, a new weekday-only pop-up from the team behind Blue Plate Oysterette, which formerly inhabited the space. The new project from owner Jenny Rush tapped Alex Maranslicht (formerly of Nobu Fifty Seven in New York City) to lead the kitchen, which riffs on Baja California seafood with flavor and technique from Japan, such as fried shrimp in honey wasabi crema; hamachi aguachile with nori chimichurri; and scallops in ponzu. A focus on temaki involves fillings such as Dungeness crab, eggplant in caramelized miso, Wagyu, lobster, Hokkaido scallop and more, with the option to add caviar or marinated ikura. The raw bar remains, but the space now features a new aesthetic that includes gold bamboo and neon. A few of Blue Plate Oysterette’s most popular dishes have carried over to the new concept, such as the red curry mussels with Thai basil, the prawn cocktail with mustard aioli, and the beer-battered fish and chips. Others involve new spins — like the addition of yuzu to the Key lime pie or dashi and miso to the clam chowder. Cocktails such as matcha mint juleps, frozen white peach sake, and vodka with lychee and hibiscus are on offer, as are wine, beer and sake. Lucky Yu runs, indefinitely, Monday through Friday from noon to 9:30 p.m.

1355 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica,

Mariscos Za Za Zá

A casual walk-up window is now open in Frogtown/Elysian Valley, serving mariscos and tortas from the LA Cha Cha Chá team. Mariscos Za Za Zá serves lunch-only bites in the alley of Loreto, the also seafood-focused — but more formal — restaurant opened in March by the same group. At Mariscos Za Za Zá, look for hot dishes such as swordfish al pastor with grilled nopales and Oaxacan cheese; loaded fries with shrimp, lobster mayo and jalapeño; and a calamari and chorizo torta featuring black beans and Chihuahua cheese; as well as cold options such as Baja-yellowtail tostadas, aguachiles and ceviches, all from chef Francisco “Paco” Moran (also of LA Cha Cha Chá and Loreto). Boozy slushies, canned cocktails, beer and wine are all on offer, as are churros, plus house-made soft serve in flavors such as jamaica and horchata. Patio seating is available. Mariscos Za Za Zá is open Wednesday to Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., with daily operations expected to launch in June.

1995 Blake Ave., Los Angeles,

An overhead photo of a taco from Mariscos Za Za Zá in Frogtown.
New alleyway, lunchtime-only window Mariscos Za Za Zá serves a tight menu of fresh Mexican seafood from the team behind Loreto and LA Cha Cha Cha.
(Mariscos Za Za Zá)

Hollywood Bowl additions

The Hollywood Bowl has unveiled its new menus for the season, and the food and beverage program — now in its eighth year under A.O.C. and Lucques chef Suzanne Goin and restaurateur Caroline Styne — packs a few surprises in 2023. South L.A. Cafe is now the Hollywood Bowl’s exclusive coffee vendor and will operate in Plaza Marketplace daily from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. and during shows. Nearby, Goin is launching Suzanne’s Fried Chicken, a new food kiosk serving buckets of Goin’s iconic fried chicken with slaw, cornbread, ranch dressing, hot sauce and honey. Bar West, with a beverage menu by A.O.C.’s Ignacio Murillo, will serve wine-based cocktails, and there’s been an increase in wine options across the venue’s three markets, including more canned and natural wines. Mobile and cashless ordering is now available at all food and beverage vendors, while signature offerings — such as order-ahead picnic boxes and the Sunday wine-tasting program at Plaza Marketplace — are set to return.


2301 N. Highland Ave., Los Angeles, (323) 850-1885,


A Spanish restaurant from a “Top Chef” alum is headed to downtown L.A. in early 2024. Vaca, from Amar Santana, is set to open at the base of residential building the Beaudry with a similar menu to that of his Costa Mesa restaurant of the same name, serving tapas, paellas, grilled meats and a range of cured ham. In addition to the ground-floor restaurant, Santana — who also operates the restaurant Broadway in Laguna Beach — will oversee a food and drink program available to residents elsewhere within the building.

960 W. 7th St., Los Angeles,

An overhead photo of a range of Thai dishes, including green beans and a red curry shrimp dish
Holy Basil, a Thai restaurant and 2021 L.A. Times 101 List awardee, will be in attendance at Mama’s Night Market this month.
(Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)

Mama’s Night Market

A popular food event from community-driven takeout service Mama returns this month in a new location that will double both the available seating and the number of participating vendors. Spotlighting mom-and-pop and Asian-owned operations, Mama’s Night Market takes place May 27 with a range of restaurants including Brodard, Holy Basil, Kinn, Domi, Sweet Grass and Bang Bang Noodles. Organizers are expecting more than 50 food and beverage sellers to set up stalls in the Fashion District’s City Market South with a view of the downtown skyline, with many appearing to a large audience for the first time.

“There’s a high percentage of these restaurants who have never done a pop-up,” said co-founder Jared Jue. It’s an opportunity “to share their food in a different way to reach a different community.”


Jue realized halfway through his first Mama’s Night Market that the event could perform in a much larger space; after roughly one year of searching, he found the new 5-acre location, moving the event from its previous home at the Berrics. Eventually, he says, he would like to grow Mama’s Night Market into an international event that represents Los Angeles and other locales’ small, independent restaurants. General-admission tickets cost $39 and include entry, with food and drink available for additional purchase; VIP admission costs $125 and includes entry plus open bar and access to a VIP lounge and VIP bathrooms. The May 27 Mama’s Night Market runs from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m., is a 21-and-up event and will include entertainment such as music and karaoke. A portion of ticket proceeds will benefit partner nonprofit Respect Your Elders, which feeds seniors in minority communities across L.A.

1057 S. San Pedro St., Los Angeles,

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LA Times Today: This massive new Valley food hall is packed with some of L.A.’s best restaurants

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