It's finally safe to say the Indian summer heat wave is passing us by, paving the way for what we call fall in Los Angeles. The plunging mercury delivers an excuse to dig into comforting dishes and warm drinks around town, straying from the sand long enough to catch up with some of the city's newest restaurants that opened in the last few weeks. We're looking forward to a diet heavy on Aztec hot chocolate, Korean sausages, Japanese burgers, and the revival of a few familiar fine diners to see us through the season. Here now, a look at what we can't wait to try now and in the coming days as the fall descends on L.A. Enjoy these fourteen things we can't wait to try.
Sawtelle's Sausage Alternative
We've been smacked by so many sausages of the Austrian and German kind in the last three years that we can't wait to snap our teeth through a different breed of wiener. Enter the Korean kalbi and spicy pork sausages of Seoul Sausage Co., which just cracked its doors this past Saturday in West L.A. following the team's first-place triumph on The Great Food Truck Race.
A Permanent Roost for Tominaga and Dunsmoor
The two talented chefs behind Venice's Wolf in Sheep's Clothing pop-up brightened our fall by springing The Hart & Hunter on PaliHotel at the start of October, reviving their menu of Southern-accented market cuisine. Finally, a fixed location for the duo's fried chicken livers, house pickles, and fried green tomatoes.
Shakes and Burgers From Gordon Ramsay
There's currently no address as thick with burgers and shakes as The Grove, which recently welcomed Gordon Ramsay's Fat Cow to the same playing field where Short Order, Umami Burger, and Du Par's battle it out. Say what you will about his bedside manner, Gordo's signature burger here sounds alluring, with wagyu short rib in the meat mix. Soon the restaurant will also open Moo Bar, a stand serving handmade shakes, pastries, and ice cream.
Spago's Got Noodles
Wolfgang Puck's flagship never lost old of its relevance, but we're still stoked to see new energy coursing through its revamped dining rooms. The new menu includes a heavier Asian flavor profile, featuring Lee Hefter and chef Tetsu Yahagi's chicken noodle soup and soba pasta with Dungeness crab, as well as a Hong Kong-style Maine lobster and Jidori chicken pastrami.
Chego's Also Got Noodles
Roy Choi rejiggered the menu this month for his rice bowl restaurant in Palms, going heavier on meat-free dishes and remixing existing recipes. The new selection features eggrolls with fish sauce, mushrooms, and tofu, roasted kabocha pudding, and just in time for the start of the seasonal chill, a KungPow noodle bowl. The chef also hints that he might soon deliver on a Korean pizza.
Jeremy Fox Feeding Meat-Eaters
We've been dealing with a mild case of Jeremy Fox-fever ever since learning that the Michelin-starred Ubuntu chef was decamping from San Francisco for a new home in L.A. Following a couple of consulting gigs, Fox is finally ready to open his own place this fall in Venice, promising affordable cuisine combining his flair for produce with a meatier menu than the cuisine that's past found him painted into a green corner.
An Excuse to Drink Aztec Hot Chocolate
With the thermometer ready to drop, we look forward to wrapping our mitts around the Mayan and Aztec-inspired hot chocolate packaged in Patricia Tsai's luxury bean-to-bar stone-ground chocolate shop. In November, Tsai is moving the whole operation to Culver City, in bigger digs that will find her three flavors of hot chocolate on a new menu to enjoy on-site.
And an Excuse to Drink Pumpkin Beer, Too
'Tis the season for swigs of Shipyard Smashed Pumpkin Ale and Bootlegger's Pumpkin Beer. Better to max out all at once at the October 27th return of Blue Palms Brewhouse's "Pumpkinpalooza," an afternoon rager at the Hollywood haunt, featuring over ten breweries' best pumpkin ale and a menu of pumpkin-based dishes.
"Hambagas"and Curry Fries
Humble Potato, a neighborhood burger and fries spot that downplays its accents to put the focus on its Angus beef, is on the verge of opening in Westchester. Mixing a U.S. diner with a dose of Anime culture, owner Eric Ong knows restaurants, having grown up around Hoka Hoka Bento, the popular Japanese chain his father spread throughout Indonesia.
Remi Lauvand Heads Downtown
With fine-dining supposedly on the ropes, it's encouraging to see this classically-trained French chef unabashedly embracing European cuisine at Le Ka. We're dying to try the chef's braised rabbit leg, wild boar albondigas, and beingets that grace his global menu.
Authentic Chinese Meets Craft Beer
The confident twosome behind Downtown's forthcoming Peking Tavern promise San Gabriel Valley-level authenticity to pair with L.A.'s current craze for gastro-pubs and craft beer. Already the owners promise their coming debut on Spring Street will find one of two chefs is an imported dumpling and noodle specialist.
Another Japanese Burger Import From Vegas
Bachi Burger is bursting onto the booming scene centered around West L.A.'s Sawtelle Blvd. in late November. You may be tempted to sleep on it considering you already have Umami and FukuBurger to juggle, but lup cheong-topped Angus burgers, Peking duck bao sandwiches, oxtail chili fries, and fried chicken from a former Roy's chef make it sound more like a Japanese-spiked version of Plan Check.
Gino Angelini Goes Hollywood
Construction is furiously underway on the former Hamburger Hamlet space for RivaBella, a double-sided restaurant tricking out the traditional rusticity of this Italian master chef with the slick sheen of Boa and Sushi Roku's Innovative Dining Group. We lose it over anything Angelini is cooking and are just as curious to see who the famous chef coming in on the other side for a Chinese concept may be.
Josef Centeno's Tex-Mex
Slated for mid-December, this may be the one reason we look forward to fall's quick conclusion, just to see what the kickass Baco Mercat owner has next up his sleeves. At Bar Ama, Centeno plans an interpretation of the Mexican food he grew up on in Texas and the women in his family who cooked it, including puffy tacos with lengua carnitas, menudo, enchiladas, and egg salad on butter-toasted bolillo rolls.
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