Dining

Now Open: The Bakery at Fat Rice, Halal Guys L.A. and More

19 restaurants to add to your must-try list
Photo: Jason Penney
Arbor

New York City
The Meat Hook at Threes Brewing: Since opening more than a year ago, Threes Brewing in Gowanus has had a rotating cast of restaurants take up residence for a few weeks at a time. That experiment has come to an end, and The Meat Hook’s sandwich shop is moving in permanently, not only adding some sausages and charcuterie to the menu but also some vegetarian options to keep everyone happy.

Los Angeles
Kato: What’s for dinner at this Japanese and Taiwanese spot in West L.A. changes daily, but it’s always centered around a five-course tasting menu that runs for a mere $49. Recent offerings have included beef tartare with garum (a fermented fish sauce), black garlic, kombu and yolk jam.

The Halal Guys: New York’s cult street food favorite has finally landed in L.A., right in Koreatown. Here, the food is served indoors—not on a street corner from a cart—but there’s still shawarma, rice and those famed sauces.

Chicago
Ema: Lettuce Entertain You’s newest project has a Mediterranean feel to its menu. Think meze, hummus, grilled octopus, sweet corn and bulgur risotto, and English peas with yogurt and blackberry-sumac granita.

Paulie Gee’s: The Brooklyn staple is making progress with its aggressive expansion plans. Look out for cheekily named pies like the Mo Cheeks, made with tomatoes, pecorino, shaved Parm, pickled onion and guanciale, and the Thrilla in Manilla with tomatoes, garlic, tomato and onion relish, and a type of sausage called Filipino longganisa. Its Detroit-style pies even go by the name of Logan Squares.

El Che Bar: John Manion’s latest is finally here, and with it comes lots of smoke—literally. Almost everything is cooked over an open wood hearth. The team has kept the menu under wraps, but some recent Instagrams reveal a decadent-looking lamb rib dish.

Blue Door Kitchen & Garden: Art Smith’s Blue Door just got a revamp and a new menu. The space is a bit swankier this time around. As for the food, there’s cauliflower cheddar pierogi, salmon with rutabaga latkes and Brussels sprouts, and Smith’s fried chicken, so nothing too out of the box.

The Bakery at Fat Rice: Look for changes taking place over at Fat Rice. There are new tasting menu options at the main restaurant, and most recently this week, the team opened a lounge called The Ladies Room. At the new bakery, there are Portuguese egg tarts, sweet and savory Rice Krispie treats with nori and caramel, and bao reimagined with the Chicago hot dog bun in mind. In the evening, the space turns into a standing bar called Petisco.

Washington, D.C.
Hazel: Rob Rubba, who used to be at Tallula in Arlington, is running the show and drawing on his home kitchen, which he shares with his Korean wife, for inspiration. There are dishes like a play on Korean rice cakes, in this case made with pork kimchi ragù. There’s also a seven-course tasting menu for just $46, which features new dishes the chef is trying out.

Homestead: Clink lamb bacon-topped LBLT sliders with your loved ones to kick-off a family style comfort food feast. The focus is on homey and local—from the dry-aged sirloin to the two co-owners—and the menu changes daily. The space spans three levels and 4,000 square feet, so even once the crowds catch wind (which they will), you should still be able to squeeze in.

Austin
Boiler Nine Bar + Grill: Don’t let the fact that it’s located in a refurbished power plant keep you away from this giant three-in-one restaurant. In fact, it should be the reason you go: The result of years of work was well worth the wait. The impressive wood-fired grill leaves its (literal) marks throughout the menu, even on dessert with a griddled banana cake.

RELATED   How Wood-Fire Cooking Sparks Chefs' Creativity »

Kyōten Sushiko: They’re serious about the omakase “experience” here—large cameras and strong perfumes are not allowed—but when you step in, you’ll see how far Otto Phan’s sushi trailer has come. Every one of the 20 courses gets progressively better and will leave you longing for the day when takeout becomes available.

Coast Bar & Kitchen: Find your sea legs at this seafood-focused spot in Downtown’s 360 building with options like snapper crudo, crab claws and beer-battered fish tacos. If you’re more turf than surf, try the skirt steak with tomato jam or jalapeño marmalade-topped burger.

Houston
Luv Me Tenders: The paint inside the first permanent space matches the food truck by the same name, so you’ll know you’re in the right spot. Whether you put those chicken strips in a taco, on a sandwich or simply nestled into a bed of fries is up to you. Stay tuned, because this could possibly be the first of many brick-and-mortar locations to come.

The Hamptons
Arbor: Head to the East End for expertly plated refined cuisine, plus top-notch lighting, thanks to a sea of hanging light bulbs. There’s also a rosé brunch, featuring a brunch cocktail of choice, pastries for the table and two individual courses, for just $29.

Bistro Été: French Mediterranean food comes to Water Mill in Southampton with “exotic mushroom and Brie” inside puff pastry, classic escargot and grilled halloumi. But there’s still Hamptons flair in there, from smoked Long Island duck breast to the local catch of the day.

Grey Lady: With locations already in Manhattan, Aspen and Nantucket, the breezy New England restaurant is now in nautical Montauk. It has all the lobster rolls, clam chowder and bacon-wrapped scallops you need to round out a day spent on the beach.

Union Cantina: This spot comes in an effort to bolster the lack of Mexican restaurants on the Southampton scene. The food is refreshing and satisfying all at once, with tomatillo watermelon salad, fresh lobster tacos and deconstructed enchiladas. Pair with fried plantains and a frozen cocktail, and you’ll be set for the evening.

Detroit
Fountain Detroit: You’ll find this casual outdoor spot next to a shipping container that houses the kitchen. Unsurprisingly, it’s the city’s first of its kind. Play foosball, grab a cocktail and share crispy potato-cheese pierogi with friends, right from the heart of Downtown Detroit.

Around the Web

Get the Tasting Table newsletter for adventurous eaters everywhere