Found Oyster East? A Southern-inspired seafood bar opens in Eagle Rock

An oyster tower with hush puppies on a table in a restaurant: Queen Street in Eagle Rock Los Angeles
Queen Street, named for a street in South Carolina, brings Southeastern seafood specialties to Eagle Rock.
(Last Word Hospitality)
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Queen Street

A restaurant and raw bar from the team behind one of L.A.’s 101 best restaurants just opened in Eagle Rock and is drawing lines out the door for oysters, Southern-inspired seafood dishes and specials like fried pickled green tomatoes. Queen Street is the latest concept from Last Word Hospitality, the restaurant group behind Found Oyster, Caipirinha Bar and Barra Santos (which recently opened in nearby Cypress Park). At its newest, the inspiration is the variety of seafood grill one can find in Charleston, S.C., where chef-partner Ari Kolender grew up on she-crab soup and tomato bread pudding.

A semi-circular bar with barstools at Queen Street restaurant in Eagle Rock
At Queen Street, the large horseshoe-shaped bar is reserved for walk-in customers, while dining tables can be reserved.
(Last Word Hospitality)

His childhood-favorite fried flounder with apricot chutney here features an apricot agrodolce, and the barbecued prawns are dressed in Calabrian-inspired aged sherry vinegar. There are deviled crab fritters, baked potato with pimento cheese and hush puppies with a trout-roe add-on. “I’m never not going to not cook that way, and we even do that stuff at Found sometimes,” Kolender said. “But we’re not a Southern restaurant. We’re still using the bounty of California.”

Much like at Found Oyster, Last Word Hospitality’s other popular seafood restaurant, Queen Street will still source some seafood from the Northeast and California but also serves items such as blue crab from Maryland, Gulf shrimp and oysters from Charleston when in season. Also new is that almond-wood-fired grill for pork chops, lamb ribs, tuna, squid and more, and a kitchen that more than doubles the size of Found’s. Queen Street offers more than double the seating of Found and reserves for walk-ins about 20 seats around a large wooden horseshoe-shaped bar, where managing director and partner Joe Laraja might be spotted shucking oysters. Personal photos, including one of Kolender’s grandfather eating seafood, decorate the gallery wall.

Wine director Eva Goreshnik curates a list of French, Italian, California and other wines by the glass and bottle, plus sake, sherry and an additional captain’s list of rarer pours. After more than two years of planning and construction, Queen Street is open from 4 to 10 p.m. Wednesday to Sunday, with plans to expand to daily service.


4701 E. York Blvd., Los Angeles,

An overhead photo of jerk duck with risotto garnished with pickled carrots and peppers
Hollywood’s Linden riffs on the flavors of New York and chef Jon Harris’ upbringing there, weaving cultures and cuisines together for dishes like jerk duck with coconut-and-pea risotto.
(Stephanie Breijo / Los Angeles Times)


Linden — a culture-bending ode to New York, the Caribbean and Jewish cuisine — is now open in Hollywood with jerk duck over risotto, oxtail matzo ball soup, banana-pepper lobster rolls and a carbonara take on the bacon, egg and cheese deli sandwich. Linden, the first restaurant from chef Jon Harris, is in the former home of Ronnie’s on Sunset and features cultures and flavors from every type of community that you can find on Linden Boulevard from Long Island to Brooklyn.

“I’ve been to more bar mitzvahs than barbecues,” Harris said. “Being from Long Island and having deep roots that are Caribbean, it’s like: With New York being a melting pot of that, it’s my whole chemical build. You can go from Jewish food to Italian to Caribbean to Southern.”

A lobster roll topped with tempura leeks on a flowered plate, with a side of chips
In a nod to his time spent cooking in the Northeast, Harris’ lobster roll features banana-pepper aioli as well as tempura leeks.
(Stephanie Breijo / Los Angeles Times)

The third-generation chef cooked in Boston and Rhode Island before teaching cooking classes in New Jersey and using his apartment to host a 26-seat supper club. He moved to Los Angeles in late 2020, where he also debuted his supper club, the Apartment, setting the wheels in motion for Linden.

At the new restaurant, his oxtail matzo ball soup was inspired by a trip to Katz’s in New York City with his Antiguan and Barbudan grandfather, and the restaurant’s bread service is both an ode to learning how to make challah and fresh butter in school thanks to a teacher, Miss Bezalel, and a nod to the fresh focaccia he’d find in Italian restaurants with his father on Long Island. The traditional side of peas and carrots winds up as freshly made spaetzle, while the rugelach bread pudding — because his grandfather always kept rugelach at the ready — involves croissants, doughnuts, bagels and, of course, the Jewish cookie, all under a blanket of Chantilly cream.

The beverage program weaves in Trinidadian and Jamaican influence in a nod to business partner Scott Williams’ roots, with sorrel, pineapple, ginger beer and more. Rob Vinokur, a partner in the previous restaurants that inhabited the block, is also a partner here and will be involved with Harris’ plans for an adjacent speakeasy as well as a walk-up window for jerk chicken served in quarters, halves and whole. During its soft opening, Linden is open from 5 p.m. to midnight Thursday to Sunday, with operations extending to Tuesday to Sunday after a grand opening slated for August.


5936 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles,


Michael Francesconi and Matthew Glaser, the owners of Lowboy, Bar Flores and Little Tokyo’s Wolf and Crane, are bringing East Coast-inspired Italian American cuisine to their block of restaurants in Echo Park, with piccata, marsala, red-sauce pasta, parm-covered garlic bread and a bar program that’s serving variants on negronis, martinis and other Italian cocktail classics.

Three plates with head-on shrimp scampi, two meatballs and garlic bread
Donna’s in Echo Park serves red-sauce classics such as shrimp scampi, meatballs and Parmesan-topped garlic bread.
(Stephanie Breijo / Los Angeles Times)

Donna’s, which took over the Adamae space on Sunset Boulevard, sits adjacent to Lowboy and beneath Bar Flores. Chef Sathia Sun (formerly of Union and Felix) is serving his spin on checkered-tablecloth icons with items like head-on prawn scampi, fried calamari with pomodoro and squid-ink aioli, a tonnato Caesar salad, rolled lasagna Bolognese and grilled swordfish with olives and pine nuts. Karla Flores-Mercado, a partner in Bar Flores, is heading up the cocktail program, which includes Italian spirits and amari, while the wine program focuses on wines from Italy as well as California and elsewhere.

The space, transformed from the minimalist white walls and open floor plan of Adamae, now involves more nooks, color and archways for a cozier dining room and bar that seats roughly 70. For Francesconi and Glaser, Donna’s marks 20 years of dreaming of opening an Italian restaurant together, an idea discussed since their time as college roommates. It also won’t be the last project for their restaurant group, Park Hospitality: Another to-be-announced concept is in the works, though after that they might rest a bit. “Doing this block was a big endeavor,” Francesconi said. “I think we just want peace with it. Now that the last spot is in place, let’s just enjoy it. It’s been 3½ years of getting the whole building and block off the ground.” Donna’s is open from 5:30 to 10 p.m. Wednesday to Sunday.

1538 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, (213) 266-8132,


A sprawling Mediterranean restaurant and bar in Woodland Hills, with nods to coastal Spain, Italy and European resorts, is taking over the former Villa Restaurant space. Casaléna, with multiple dining rooms and a large patio spread across 8,000 square feet, serves charred octopus with chorizo vinaigrette, whipped eggplant with pickled peppers, steaks and lamb chops, grilled Caesar salad, pizzas, crudo, whole branzino, Wagyu pappardelle and more. The kitchen is helmed by executive chef Lobo Leon (formerly of the Rose and Cento Pasta Bar) and culinary director Danielle Sobel (Catch LA), who plan to launch lunch and brunch services later this summer. Cocktails include martinis, a Calabrian-chile take on the paloma, a Mediterranean margarita laced with orange marmalade, and a blood-orange spritz, with European and California wines and Italian and Spanish beers. Casaléna is the latest project and first restaurant from siblings Chloe, Brandon and Tyler Makhani of hospitality and realty group Avondale Equities, and was constructed on the site where their parents got married and formerly ran a restaurant. After years of planning and renovations, both restaurant and bar are open from 5 p.m. to midnight Sunday to Thursday. On Friday and Saturday, the restaurant is open from 5 p.m. to midnight, with the bar open until 2 a.m.

22160 Ventura Blvd., Woodland Hills, (818) 704-1185,

A restaurant's large open-air patio is dotted with trees and shrubbery at sundown
New Woodland Hills restaurant Casaléna, from a trio of siblings, serves Italian and Spanish coastal-inspired dishes in an 8,000-square-foot space.
(Avablu / Casaléna)

Bastion Bakery

Grand Central Market’s newest vendor is serving croissants, financiers, French baguettes, loaves of whole-grain bread and more treats from the team behind lauded wholesale operation Bakers Kneaded. At Bastion Bakery, founders Sara and Julian Partovi and Bakers Kneaded’s Carlos Enriquez are specializing in B.K. Buns — round croissants filled with jams and creams in flavors such as pistachio and strawberry — and selling desserts and pastries such as brownie caramel tarts, Nutella croissants, strawberry tarts, kouign-amann and ham-and-cheese croissants made with French butter and whole grains. Coffee from pop-up Refined Grind also is on offer. Bastion Bakery is open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.

317 S. Broadway, Los Angeles,

Thicc Burger

A single Thicc Burger cheeseburger with fries in a blue cardboard dish.
Pop-up Thicc Burger serves the kind of hearty beef patties that owner Jean “Jay” Wolfe grew up eating in L.A.
(Stephanie Breijo / Los Angeles Times)

After years away, a popular burger pop-up has returned to Los Angeles with a food truck — and soon, a new location in the Original Farmers Market. A pandemic-spurred pivot for private chef Jean “Jay” Wolfe, Thicc Burger brought the kind of thick, 4-ounce burgers they grew up eating at the likes of Fatburger and Hawkins House of Burgers to parking lots and breweries around L.A. In 2021, Wolfe took Thicc Burger’s pastrami burgers, chili cheese fries and more to Texas, New York, Georgia and beyond but returned with a food truck this year. Shortly thereafter, the Original Farmers Market awarded Thicc Burger a 1,500-square-foot stall along 3rd Street through its New Originals contest. Aiming to open there in mid-August, Wolfe plans an expanded menu that features plant-based and build-your-own options, plus breakfast items such as a burrito, a play on the McGriddle sandwich, fried chicken biscuits and specials such as shrimp and grits on Sundays.

“It’ll be kind of like the old-school burger joints that I ate at in Inglewood growing up,” Wolfe said. “I hope to bring that old-school L.A. back to L.A. The Farmers Market is a piece of our history, so keep it classic.” The truck will be used for catering and events once the stall opens. In the meantime, it can be found popping up in various locations each week. Thicc Burger is slated to open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Saturday and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday.

6333 W. 3rd St., Los Angeles,

Blitzen’s in July pop-up

Arts District bar Here and Now is reprising its annual Christmas in July pop-up this month, bringing back the holly, jolly cocktails, festive bites and programming that can also be found during its winter pop-up, Blitzen’s. Blitzen’s in July runs July 11 to 30 with such cocktails as boozy hot cocoa, a fig-tinged apple brandy old-fashioned, “naughty” and “nice” shots, spiced spiked cider and a rum-and-sherry eggnog variant, with other options inspired by the Grinch, the Festival of Lights and candy cane forests. The food menu features a cross-cultural smattering of holiday classics, including tamales, latkes, turkey “leftover” sandwiches and baked Brie, while this year’s programming involves carolers, Christmas burlesque, visits from Santa and holiday-themed drag queen bingo. Here and Now’s Blitzen’s in July pop-up runs from 5 p.m. to midnight Tuesday to Thursday and Sunday and from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday.

300 S. Santa Fe Ave., Suite N, Los Angeles, (213) 262-9291,