After nearly two years of *very* little dining outside of our home, G and I started venturing back to real life restaurants, which has been a thrill. L.A. has always had great dining options, but I have to say…some of the more recent additions have been nothing short of extraordinary. We’ve been trying to find the balance of supporting some of our go-to spots in the city (Son of a Gun, Jon & Vinny’s, Connie & Ted’s, etc.) while also leaving room to try out new restaurants as well. Here are our top five newish favorite places to eat in L.A.
It took us months of trying to secure a reservation until we finally were able to nab one at Mother Wolf for 5:30pm on a random Tuesday. It’s led by chef Evan Funke, whose Roman-inspired food we’ve loved at both Felix and his first spot, Bucato, in Culver City. We ordered a good portion of the menu after a friend instructed me on the can’t-miss items, which included the porchetta bruschetta, margherita pizza, prawns in salsa verde, fried artichokes (which tasted *exactly* like the ones we had in Italy on our honeymoon), rigatoni alla carbonara, the olive oil cake and the chocolate budino.
If you want to feel like you’re in a cool brasserie in New York, Horses should jump to the top of your list of places to try. The interior feels sleek and cool, with cozy banquettes and unexpected pops of color, which feel like the perfect backdrop for the classic menu. I went with a group of friends and highly recommend the cheeseburger (our favorite), the smoked salmon with lavash, and the Caesar salad.
We went to Found Oyster twice in the span of several weeks if that tells you anything about just how good this little seafood joint is that spills onto the street in East Hollywood. The vibe is fun and relaxed and I love how you make check marks on the menu to indicate which items you want. Everything on their raw bar is fantastic (and I’d suggest going with a group so you can try even more things!), as is Sicilian crudo, scallop tostada, clam chowder (it’s epic), the wedge, and fries.
When G and I went to Girl & The Goat for the first time, we booked our next reservation on the way home. The food was inventive, highly flavorful, and our cocktails were next level. In short, I can’t remember loving a restaurant that much since Bavel opened back in 2018. If you’re going for the first time, don’t miss the tahini tofu and carrot ‘hummus’ (trust me), the shrimp and crispy greens, chickpea fritters, sautéed green beans (the best I’ve ever had), hamachi crudo, grilled whole branzino (this is coming from someone who doesn’t love cooked fish), the pork shank, and the chili crunch chicken thigh. I told you we’ve made sure to go back on multiple occasions.
I was torn about how I’d feel at Bicyclette, a Parisian-inspired restaurant located in what used to be one of our most beloved date night spots (RIP, Sotto), but the moment we walked into the bustling space, I was sold. Somehow the new interior lends itself even better for a romantic meal filled with decadent dishes and excellent French food. Don’t miss the baguette in butter, the oysters, the caramelized onion tarte tatin (one of the things they’re known for), the chicken breast, and the ora king salmon. And if your meal isn’t too rich to finish with dessert, make sure to at least split one of their famous tarts.
*Other new spots we’ve tried and enjoyed: Etta, Sogo Roll Bar, Bari, Soulmate, and Tacos Don Manolito.