Clockwise from top left: The Eveleigh, Baco Mercat, Lukshon, Next Door by Josie
Wow, what a year! Japanese kaiseke, American gastropubs, Southeast Asian flair, smart molecular gastronomy, a kick-ass brunch and a fabulous return to glamour—2011 proved to be a terrific year for new restaurants in Los Angeles. Rising stars like The Spice Table’s Bryant Ng and Night + Market’s Kris Yenbamroong went head-to-head with seasoned heavyweights such as Wolfgang Puck and Josie Le Balch. With so many outstanding choices this year, narrowing the year’s best new restaurants to a list of merely 20 was difficult. But here it is.
The “original” bäco at Bäco Mercat (Brad A. Johnson)
This is the best sandwich I’ve eaten all year. This is also my favorite new L.A. restaurant (in the bargain category, at least). The sandwich is not exactly a sandwich, though. It’s a bäco, which is a cross between a taco and a flatbread, an invention of one of my favorite chefs, Josef Centeno (still of Lazy Ox), at his new Bäco Mercat (408 S. Main St., L.A., 213.687.8808) downtown. Continue reading →
Spanish mackeral sushi and fried backbone at Slow Fish (Brad A. Johnson)
Here’s where to eat now in Los Angeles. From high to low, these are the 10 restaurants I’m most excited about this month. This is not a list of the 10 newest places to open lately. Rather, a few of these spots are brand new. Some are just getting broken in and deserve another look. And one’s pretty old but has a new chef. They’re all fantastic. Continue reading →