As Discover Los Angeles puts it: “New York restaurants and bars are in a Los Angeles state of mind these days, with numerous Michelin-starred and James Beard award-winning chefs from the Big Apple opening locations in the City of Angels. And there’s more on the way, with Milk Bar opening soon on Melrose, Five Leaves in East Hollywood, and award-winning cocktail bar, Employees Only in West Hollywood.”
These NYC-to-L.A. establishments are situated along a corridor that extends from Santa Monica to Chinatown, such as Catch, (as pictured above), where the innovative David Chang has set up shop. Opened in January 2018, Majordomo is the first L.A. restaurant from Chang. “Housed in a converted warehouse on the edge of Chinatown, the stunning restaurant features artwork by David Choe at the bar, Korean earthenware by Adam Field on display, and large pieces by James Jean in the private dining room. Grouped into seven sections, the menu (which changes daily per the Majordomo website) starts with bing breads and accompaniments like spicy lamb, sardines, eggs & smoked roe, Benton’s Reserve Ham, smoked pork neck & fried eggs, and cave-aged butter with white sturgeon caviar.”
But that’s far from the end of NYC transplants, as the list is more extensive than you might think and includes the following:
Siblings Heather and Christopher Tierney opened Apothéke, the L.A. outpost of their acclaimed pharmacy-themed New York bar, off Spring Street in Chinatown in January 2018. The striking interior will be familiar to regulars of the original, with the addition of a patio and dedicated bar – this is L.A. after all. Bartenders in white coats (aka “Dispensing Chemists”) mix cocktails from the 18-drink “Prescription List” of libations infused with herbs, fruits, and botanicals. Highlights include the Catcher in the Rye, a “Pain Killer” cocktail with rye, Amaro Nonino, honey cordial, house chamomile bitters, and peated Scotch mist. From the “Stimulants” section, the Greenseer is made with eucalyptus/spirulina infused tequila, mezcal, honeydew, lime, and habanero bitters. And despite Vizzini’s warning, you might fall for one of the classic blunders, the Land War in Asia: vodka, matcha, gunpowder tea, pandan leaf extract, aquafaba, lime and rosemary.
1746 N SPRING ST LOS ANGELES, CA 90012
BAOHAUS FAR EAST PLAZA
In November 2016, chef/author Eddie Huang opened this West Coast outpost of his popular pork bun stop in the space that formerly housed Andy Ricker’s Pok Pok Phat Thai at Far East Plaza in Chinatown. Keeping the same hip fast-food vibe as its predecessor, BaoHaus offers a variety of affordable and inventive bao, addictive taro fries, rice bowls, Taiwanese soft drinks, and fried sweets to take away or eat at the long rows of picnic tables in the mall outside. Return diners enthusiastically recommend the three bao + fries combo.
727 N BROADWAY STE 130 LOS ANGELES, CA 90012
BEAUTY & ESSEX + TAO – DREAM HOLLYWOOD
Designed to give guests the impression they’re dining in a jewel box, the third location of Beauty & Essex occupies 10,000 square feet at the new Dream Hollywood hotel on Cahuenga Boulevard. The Beauty & Essex experience begins when you step into the pawn shop-inspired retail store, which sells an eclectic collection of vintage and one-of-a-kind treasures. The double-height main dining room offers natural light from a 20-foot oval skylight, while outdoor seating is available in the ground floor courtyard and a patio on the second level. Chef Chris Santos (The Stanton Social) features globally inspired dishes such as Korean chile dusted tuna, tandoori spiced chicken, red snapper tacos, and Beauty “Banh Mi” Slider. Shared plates include Moroccan braised lamb, Thai style deep-fried shrimp, chile relleno empanadas, and the signature grilled cheese, smoked bacon & tomato soup dumplings.
Also located at the Dream Hollywood, TAO Los Angeles is inspired by TAO Downtown in New York. The massive, two-level space features a stunning bar and four private dining rooms. The main dining room is anchored by a 20-foot Guan Yin that floats above a koi pond – 3D projection mapping brings the statue to life. The 40-foot Grand Staircase features custom banquettes that offer prime seating to see and be seen. The food menu is a “greatest hits” of Asian cuisine and ideal for sharing: dim sum, sushi and sashimi, yakitori, pad thai, satay and more. A reclining Buddha watches over guests in the Dragon Bar, which features Asian inspired cocktails like the Lychee Martini, made with Absolut Elyx Vodka and Japanese lychee-infused syrup.
1615 CAHUENGA BLVD. LOS ANGELES, CA 90028
Based in New York with locations in Dubai and Playa del Carmen, CATCH became an instant celeb hotspot when it opened in October 2016. Perched above West Hollywood at the intersection of Melrose Avenue and San Vicente Boulevard, the 340-seat CATCH features a retractable rooftop with stunning city views and an Asian inspired, seafood-centric menu. Signature Cold dishes include Truffle Sashimi, Tartare Trio (salmon, hamachi, tuna) and Salmon Belly Carpaccio. The showcase A5 Japanese Miyazaki Wagyu with yuzu soy, garlic oil, Maldon sea salt, is cooked tableside on a hot stone. Go big with Crispy Whole Snapper, 2.5-lb Cantonese Lobster, Whole Branzino, 1.5-lb Alaskan King Crab, 50-Day Dry-Aged Bone-In Ribeye, or Whole Roasted New Zealand Rack of Lamb. Vegan highlights include Hearts of Palm Crab Cake and Sweet Potato Gnocchi.
1910 OCEAN WAY SANTA MONICA, CA 90405
DOMINIQUE ANSEL – THE GROVE
James Beard Award-winning Pastry Chef, Dominique Ansel opened his eponymous Bakery at The Grove in November 2017. Located on the first floor of the former Morels space, the bakery features Ansel’s famed half-croissant / half-doughnut creation, the Cronut® and other signature like the DKA (Dominique’s Kouign Amann), Frozen S’mores, and Cookie Shot. More than 30% of the menu features all-new L.A. exclusives like the Paris-LA (a local twist on the Paris-Brest) and the whimsical “California Roll” made with avocado mousse, vanilla lime mousse, honey gelee and olive oil biscuit. There’s indoor-outdoor seating for 70 and the menu is constantly refreshed, so there’s always something new, even for regulars.
The second floor houses 189 by Dominique Ansel, the chef’s first full-service restaurant and bar. Named as a nod to Ansel’s original bakery address in New York (189 Spring St), it serendipitously has the same address in L.A. – 189 The Grove Drive. (“It was meant to be,” says Ansel.) Rooted in traditional French techniques, the cuisine draws inspiration from different cultures and uses the best seasonal California produce. Currently serving dinner nightly, the restaurant seats up to 150 guests, including an outdoor terrace and bar seating. On Saturdays and Sundays, the restaurant serves Weekend Table, a unique brunch concept that features an interactive communal feast of seasonal dishes served family-style. Instead of menus, each table has cutting boards at the center – as dishes come out of the kitchen and are passed throughout the room by servers, guests can add items onto their boards. Each table receives a brunch card that’s stamped with each item ordered.
189 THE GROVE DRIVE, 2/F LOS ANGELES, CA 90036
HEARTH & HOUND
Described by L.A. Times food critic Jonathan Gold as “a force in American cooking at the moment,” April Bloomfield – the acclaimed chef who brought the gastropub to New York and earned Michelin stars with The Spotted Pig and The Breslin – opened The Hearth & Hound in December 2017. Located in the former Cat & Fiddle off Sunset Boulevard, The Hearth & Hound is an expansive space with a warm and inviting vibe, thanks to the crackling fireplace, massive wood-burning grill in the open kitchen, and a spacious patio with a restored water fountain. Rustic yet refined, the menu is surprisingly produce-driven – highlights include whipped cod roe on toast, bibb lettuces with fermented ranch & poppy seeds, whole roasted beet with walnuts & blue cheese, squash with baharat-spiced greens & pepitas, black cod with orange sauce & fennel, and hanger steak with smoked rub & Tuscan kale.
Opened in January 2018, Majordomo is the first L.A. restaurant from David Chang of Momofuku fame. Housed in a converted warehouse on the edge of Chinatown, the stunning restaurant features artwork by David Choe at the bar, Korean earthenware by Adam Field on display, and large pieces by James Jean in the private dining room. Grouped into seven sections, the menu (which changes daily per the Majordomo website) starts with bing breads and accompaniments like spicy lamb, sardines, eggs & smoked roe, Benton’s Reserve Ham, smoked pork neck & fried eggs, and cave-aged butter with white sturgeon caviar. Recent appetizers include Broken Soft Tofu, fried butterball potatoes, and jumeokbap – rice balls with seaweed flakes, avocado, and sesame seeds. Noodles include pan-fried chow mein and tapioca lo mein with yu choy, garlic, and krill. Numerous dishes are designed for couples and groups, such as fried skate rice, boiled whole chicken with black truffle, boneless chuck short rib, and Spicy Bo Ssäm (glazed pork shoulder with rice, Bibb lettuce, condiments). The showstopper is Whole Plate Short Rib – smoked bone-in Adam Perry Lang-style, and served with beef rice, shiso rice paper, ssamjang (Korean dipping sauce) and condiments.
1725 NAUD ST. LOS ANGELES, CA 90012
MATCHABAR SILVER LAKE
The matcha craze hit Silver Lake with the opening of MatchaBar in February 2017. Founded by brothers Max and William Fortgang, MatchaBar originally opened in Brooklyn and then in Chelsea before arriving in L.A. Centered on the green tea powder that inspired its name, MatchaBar offers Classics like a Matcha Shot (iced or hot), Double Shot and Matcha Latte. Signatures include Watermelon Matcha, Moon Dust Latte (with Moon Juice Beauty Dust), and The Holy Grail – double shot matcha with maca and Amara milk. The aforementioned “Amara” is Highland Park’s Amara Kitchen, which offers bites like Avocado Toast, Coconut Chia Bowl, and an Egg Sandwich – scrambled or fried egg with braised kale on Gjusta Bakery sourdough. Can’t make it to Silver Lake, but need your MatchaBar fix? Not to worry, MatchaBar bottles are available at Whole Foods.
3534 SUNSET BLVD LOS ANGELES, CA 90026
SHAKE SHACK – WESTFIELD CENTURY CITY
The Los Angeles burger wars escalated when Danny Meyer opened the first L.A. location of Shake Shack in West Hollywood in March 2016. Since then, the New York-based fast-casual burger chain has expanded its local presence, including Hollywood, Terminal 3 at LAX, and Westfield Century City, which opened in January 2017. The fourth California Shake Shack features all the classics, plus the L.A.-exclusive Roadside Double – a double Swiss cheeseburger topped with Dijon mustard and onions simmered in bacon and beer.
10250 SANTA MONICA BLVD LOS ANGELES, CA 90067
If you’re going to compete with an icon like Roscoe’s and the numerous L.A. brunch variations of chicken and waffles, you’d better deliver the goods. And that’s just what Brooklyn-based Sweet Chick did in April 2017 with their Fairfax location. Boasting Nas as a high profile investor (he’s a regular at the Williamsburg location), Sweet Chick serves its signature entree with two pieces of fried chicken and waffle options like classic, bacon-cheddar, dried cherry, rosemary-mushroom, apple-cinnamon, or spiced pecan. The Sweet Chick Bucket (guess what it’s served in) includes three pieces of fried chicken, buttermilk biscuit, and choice of mashed potatoes or kohlrabi slaw. Other Southern-style dishes include Shrimp & Grits with a smoked paprika & bell pepper sauce; catfish with Chorizo’d Bacon Rice, purple cabbage and spiced okra; the ubiquitous Nashville Hot Chicken with milk jam waffle; crawfish hush puppies, and sweet potato salad. After a few sips of the Christopher Wallace (five-year aged rum, blended Scotch, maple syrup, Whiskey Barrel Bitters), you’ll have to agree with the neon sign behind the bar: “today was a good day.”
448 N. FAIRFAX AVE. LOS ANGELES, CA 90036
THE BUTCHER’S DAUGHTER
Inspired to start juicing after creating cocktails for the original Apothéke in New York’s Chinatown, Heather Tierney launched The Butcher’s Daughter, a plant-based restaurant, cafe and juice bar with locations in Nolita and the West Village. Opened on Abbot Kinney in January 2016, The Butcher’s Daughter is a “vegetable slaughterhouse” that treats fruits and vegetables as a butcher would meat: fresh, seasonal produce is chopped, filleted and carved into vegetarian dishes and pressed into colorful juices. Serving breakfast, lunch, dinner and weekend brunch, the menus feature healthy selections like the Surfer’s Breakfast (burrito with farm eggs, avocado, black bean mole, new potatoes, house salsa verde), Butcher Bowls (including Pad Thai, Macro, Acai, Daily Market Pasta) and Stone Oven Pizzas like Pesto & Micro Kale, Artichoke & Olive, and Dolce Piccante with fig jam, spicy red pepper, pear, gorgonzola, honey and arugula.
1205 ABBOT KINNEY BLVD VENICE, CA 90291
THE NOMAD HOTEL LOS ANGELES
The numerous accolades for Chef Daniel Humm and his celebrated restaurant, Eleven Madison Park include four stars from The New York Times, six James Beard Foundation Awards (including Outstanding Chef and Outstanding Restaurant in America), three Michelin Stars, and the top spot on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants List. For their first restaurant outside of New York, Humm and restaurateur Will Guidara have reimagined their vision of dining at The NoMad Hotel in Downtown L.A.
Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner with seating held for walk-ins, The Lobby is a sunlit restaurant and bar located beneath the building’s original, 1920s blue and gold Italianate ceiling, which has been meticulously restored to its full grandeur. Overlooking The Lobby below, The Mezzanine offers The NoMad’s most formal dining experience. Dinner bookings for The Mezzanine are opened on the first of the month for the following month. Highlights include Humm’s famed Roast Chicken for Two with black truffle & brioche stuffing with baby turnips & sesame; suckling pig confit with persimmons, wild spinach & bacon marmalade; pan-roasted duck with apples, chicories & spiced jus; and slow-cooked carrot with dates, wheatberries & crispy shallots.
649 S OLIVE STREET LOS ANGELES, CA 90014
Article and Lead Photo Courtesy of Discover Los Angeles