Quick Bites

The New Year dining scene is filled with refurbished favorites, continued expansion, cozy date-night spots, and plenty of pie.

Queen of Confections: Valerie Gordon has expanded her Echo Park operation to Glendale. Expect more of the chocolates, cookies, pies, and famous Blum’s Coffee Crunch Cake that have helped make Valerie Confections a mainstay for sweets in L.A. Another local favorite, I Like Pie, has expanded from Claremont to South Lake in Pasadena with its beloved hand-held pies in all the classic flavors, plus s’mores and savory chicken pot pie.


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Downtown L.A.: Popular Santa Ana and Rancho Cucamonga cocktail bar and alehouse Native Son has expanded to DTLA. This location features its own craft beer, along with a selection of brews from around the globe, wine-based cocktails, and spritzes. Cork & Batter is a new, three-level dining option offering everything from burgers to poke, as well as a rooftop bar—and it’s walking distance from Hollywood Park and SoFi Stadium.

Michelin-starred chef Shin Thompson from Chicago is helming the kitchen of NIKU X with modern Japanese cuisine and global influences in the classic yakiniku style of cooking, utilizing plenty of grilled meats. In addition, tasting menus feature seafood bites, a caviar course, and premium Wagyu cuts.


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More Meat: The Japan Food Product Overseas Promotion Center showcased its 3rd annual Japanese Wagyu beef program in January 2023, and has partnered with Citrin, STK, CUT by Wolfgang Puck, and Shibumi for specialty cuts and menu items.

Rooms with a View: Sendero, on the 24th floor of The Ritz-Carlton Los Angeles, is a new collection of multiple dining concepts dedicated to the cuisine found along the Pan American highway—from the seafood-rich Baja coastline to agricultural Argentina.

Luminarias in Monterey Park has undergone a recent revamp by Specialty Restaurants. The new events space with a killer view has a modernized take on New American cuisine with Latin influence and craft cocktails.

Hollywood: Michael Mina’s Mother Tongue now offers brunch on the rooftop so you can linger by the pool on a daytime date with healthy comfort fare by way of a two-course prix fixe menu and unlimited rosé. Hip-meets-classic-Chinese eatery Genghis Cohen has a new, midweek, afternoon happy hour with drink specials, dumplings, and potstickers.


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Westside: For date nights, The Culver Hotel has a new classic French restaurant, Lillie’s, with Gallic onion soup, steak frites, and grilled branzino, plus live jazz on the weekends. Josiah Citrin has expanded his Dear John smash hit from Culver City to Marina del Rey with Dear Jane’s, an old-school seafood eatery with a view.

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