you are welcome in year at Eater 2022 – An annual tradition that takes a look at the highs, lows, and mids of the Los Angeles restaurant scene. Today, LA’s best food writers, editors, reporters, and a few strong-minded people share their take on the year’s most exciting openings.
Farley Elliott, Senior Editor, Eater LA
Coya lorde, sure. This level of Filipino cooking is personal and incredible. The Capri Club too, for its ambience and general cool feel.
Kristi Hang, freelance writer, Eat Los Angeles
Borekas and Fuji & Vis, 1968 Bistro
Oren Peleg, freelance writer
Nossa Caipirinha Bar – A really fun and beautiful space. The All Time wine bar is a nearby runner-up.
Sharon Lee, Content Creator, helloimsharon (TikTok)
Clark Street Diner, Bodega Park, Bega’s Palace, Horses
Matthew Kang, senior editor, Eater LA
I was really excited to check out Yangban Community after all the hype that came with two great chefs coming to LA. I went there a lot to try and find out what John and Katiana Hong would bring to this town. And I think that over time, with less deli preparation and more setting out small plates as a free-for-all with really tasty and really well-prepared dishes, the Yangban community has become a memorable place to dine.
I also loved Mother Wolf, and ate there several times with people who came from town. Practically everything I ate there was executed to perfection. Pijja Palace was a really interesting place to see the future of LA food, and I personally dug the sports bar side since I watch a lot of sports in general.
Camphor really convinced me that sticking to French cuisine but doing it in a modern Los Angeles way would find an audience here. Bringing a sense of refined taste without demanding any kind of fanfare in return from diners, Lijo George and Max Boonthanakit has shown it. People love the place, and so do I.
I also really liked Astrid, which fell off the best of lists, but made for a great date night earlier this year. I still think Chef Ray Garcia is one of the most talented chefs in Los Angeles, and I hope Astrid continues to gain a following.
Baxter Holmes, Senior Writer, ESPN
Danielle Dorsey, Senior West Coast Editor, Thriller Writer
By expanding the definition of a modern deli into a hybrid day-to-night market highlighting Asian-American cuisine, Yangban Society has created something unique yet nostalgic and they always do something fun on the menu that plays off the seasons, a wide-ranging Los Angeles identity, or Both. Speaking of nostalgia, it instantly brought me back to my childhood summers in Jackson, Mississippi, when I was waiting impatiently next to my own. Grandma’s hip, hoping to get a stolen taste of fresh fried chicken. It truly is some of the best fried chicken in the country, and how lucky we are that they chose Los Angeles for their first location outside of Louisiana.
Jane Tanaka, Contributor, Eater LA
Dave Holmes, editor-at-large, Respected
Oui Bar in Studio City! It’s a space that’s a true fortress of the old valley, and the new iteration respects that and takes it in a similarly humble new direction. The signature smoked salmon yaki onigiri dish.
Gary Baum, Senior Writer, Hollywood Reporter
Kathy Chaplin, Senior Correspondent/Editor, Eater LA
I have been a fan of Palazzo Pigia since day one. Also on the list of my favorite newcomers are Maciel’s Plant-Based Butcher & Deli, Chef Brandon Kida’s Gunsmoke, and the always-fun Quarter Sheets.
Allison Herman, Writer, The Ringer
Quarter leaves. I’m a local, so I’m biased, but it’s the best pizza in town and not particularly close.
Bill Esparza, Contributor, Eater Los Angeles
Tenchita dining room
Hadley Tomecki, LA TACO Deputy Editor
Tulsi Indian Eatery is a satisfying, fresh and casual place to swing by for a wide variety of dishes from different regions of India, including some that are generally hard to find, like pav bhaji and dabli.
Josh Lowry, founder of FoodGPS.com
Seeing Kuya Lord step out of their garage and into a restaurant was a thrill. Some of the best Filipino food I’ve ever had. I always like to order everything on the menu. Sometimes we have for family celebrations. Some other notable offerings include Camphor for their unexpected flair with fine dining, Mr. T for their creative presentation and bold flavours, and Gunsmoke for Brandon Kedah’s playful Asian dishes, especially the rock fish and warm cabbage salad. I also eat Carlos Jurado’s Colombian wood-fired food at Selva in Long Beach and best-in-class pizza and cake from Quarter Sheets.
Andy Wang, Contributor, Rob report And the Food and wine
Saffy’s, Willie Mae’s, Pijja Palace, The Lonely Oyster, Yangban Society, Masamitsu, Dear Jane’s, Pizzeria Bianco
Gene Train, Los Angeles editor, Eat
There are plenty of fried chicken restaurants out there – and although I love fried chicken – I didn’t think I’d be blown away by a new place, but Le Coupe has delivered. Chef Craig Walker’s buttermilk-salted fried chicken topped with a honey-chile glaze is a winner, and I really can’t stop thinking about its sides: root-fried corn “ribs,” puffy chicken skins, and blue cornbread made with duck fat.
Kristen Ko, actress, Dave, only murder is on the premises
The camphor is recommended for the scallop pasta alone but all dishes are exquisitely prepared.
Alyssa Walker, Senior Writer, Curbed
You don’t have to be a newcomer but how happy are we all to see that Here’s Looking at You is back?
Esther Tsing is a freelance writer
Camphor was coming early in the year, but it was exciting to see how Max Boonthanakit and Lijo George bring something fresh, new, refined, yet totally tailored to the Los Angeles dining scene. The way each dish is utterly luxurious is still understated, yet so meticulous and thoughtful in its preparation that makes every dining experience an enjoyable one.
Mona Holmes, reporter, Eat Los Angeles
camphor. I’ve watched co-chefs Max Boonthanakit and Lijo George craft their Arts District menu around the flavors they love with rehearsed techniques. Like any new restaurant that opens, they undergo changes to suit the customer and the space. The two found a way to express their creativity in it, making Camphor a fun and friendly place to dine.
Leslie Sutter, Special Projects Editor, Eater
I feel like I’ve been waiting for Saffy’s – or any version of it – to open for years! Full disclosure, I worked with Uri Menashe and Genevieve Gerges on their cookbooks for Bestia and Bavel, but through the process, I knew Uri’s dream was to open a shawarma restaurant. While Saffy ends up being so much more than that, it’s so cool to see them finally do it — and you can taste that sincerity.
I can’t mention the Pijja Palace either. This was before the current hype, but I was satisfied after my first visit. It made absolutely no sense and in no way needed to be good, but it somehow worked in such a magical way that it felt pure LA.
Megan McCarron, Special Correspondent, Cannibal
I liked Quarter Sheets as an infestation popup, and I root them as they progress in bricks and mortar. The food is great, and I desperately want there to be a future of fun restaurants run by talented ordinary people, not just extravagant destinations backed by big investors.
Nicole Adelman, Director of Cities Eater
I must say that it is rare to think of Marina del Rey as a destination for dinner or even dining in general. Abbey Jane shattered that perception, somewhat, this year with a fully imagined dining room and bar overlooking boats and sailboats undulating over the smooth waters of the night. The menu is robust and the food very good: crispy fish sticks to dip in fresh cream and top with caviar; The best shrimp salad I’ve had, perhaps ever; Puffed shrimp stuffed with crab served over a sauce that tastes like grilled lobster soup. You can’t really go wrong with Dear Jane’s, except to turn it down because of its location.
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