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Los Angeles’s food scene has been on fire lately. Chefs from across the country are flocking to the city to open deeply personal restaurants. This fall is no exception. From Zach Pollack’s casual Cosa Buona to the much-anticipated restaurant, Kismet, from Sara Kramer and Sarah Hymanson of Madcapra, here are nine places to look out for.
Cosa Buona: Zach Pollack, who runs the much-loved Alimento in Silver Lake, is opening his second project over in Echo Park in the space that previously housed Pizza Buona. Pollack’s sticking with Italian fare, but unlike Alimento, Cosa Buona will serve lunch and to-go items like smoked mozzarella sticks, soft-shell shrimp scampi on polenta, eggplant Parm and an Italian “dip.” There will also be some pizzas, like one topped with clams and a Hawaiian number.
Sarah Kramer and Sara Hymanson of Kismet | Photo: Tasting Table
Kismet: Two-plus years ago, Sara Kramer and Sarah Hymanson shook up the restaurant world when they announced they were ditching New York to open two restaurants in L.A. The first, casual falafel shop Madcapra in Grand Central, was an instant success. Now, the two are preparing to open Kismet with the help of Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo. While things will remain casual, expect the place to feel a bit more like a traditional restaurant than Madcapra, with Middle Eastern food reimagined through a California lens.
TBA by Jenn Louis: Portland’s pasta master, Jenn Louis, has been logging some time in L.A. lately, preparing to open her yet-to-be-named restaurant at the upcoming Freehand hotel. The restaurant will have an Israeli bent to it, in part inspired by Louis’s time spent living on a kibbutz and a trip she took to the country a year and a half ago. Louis has stayed tight-lipped about the menu, but she’s been experimenting with plays on shakshuka and hummus up in Lincoln, so those looking for a sneak peek might be able to find some intel on her Instagram.
Handmade Ricotta and Swiss Chard Tortelloni | Photo: Courtesy of Rossoblu
Felix: What was Joe’s for 24 years on Abbot Kinney will reopen this fall as Felix. Evan Funke from Bucato will bring his handmade pastas and wood-fire pizzas out to Venice with this project. He spent time in Naples recently to brush up those skills for the opening.
Tinfoil Liquor & Grocery: Jeremy Fall of Nighthawk and Alvin Cailan of Eggslut (and many other things) are teaming up for a market in Highland Park that will have a hidden sandwich counter in the back. The team is baking their own bread and maintaining the iconic Coldest Beer in Town sign outside, and, since Cailan is involved, some rendition of an egg sandwich seems likely.
Manuela: As the Arts District continues to blossom, Wes Whitsell is adding his restaurant, Manuela, to the neighborhood. The restaurant is part of the Hauser Wirth & Schimmel gallery and will draw on Whitsell’s North Texas roots with a gamey menu including a deer burger and elk tartare. The vegetable dishes will use produce from the on-site garden (the team is also keeping hens for eggs), and in a nod to the building’s history as a flour mill, grains will be milled nearby, and hopefully one day, in-house.
Rosaliné: After taking a giant step back from restaurants, Peruvian-born chef Ricardo Zarate is back with his latest project. The goal is for the restaurant to feel a bit like eating in the streets of Peru, with a greenhouse and open kitchen. While some ingredients will get fired over an open charcoal grill, Zarate won’t forsake ceviche.
Illustration: Pizza Fingers
Rossoblu: Steve Samson, the man behind Sotto, has a much bigger project in the works (it seats 200), and it should open later this fall. The restaurant, which is focused on the food of Emilia-Romagna, where his mother’s family is from and where he spent his summers growing up, is named for Bologna’s football club. Samson hasn’t divulged a menu yet, but even within Italy, the region is widely respected as one of the country’s best.
Pearl’s BBQ: These ‘cue evangelizers want to bring a taste of Austin barbecue to L.A., so much so that they are looking to tempt an alum of one of Austin’s best places out west to come run the smokers here. When the team does get up and running (likely before Christmas), orders will be placed with workers in an Airstream and then carried to a table inside or outside. The menu will stay simple: Expect solid brisket, beans and pies.