It may be the dead of winter, but a lineup of soon-to-open restaurants promise to add serious sizzle to the L.A. dining scene. So from Bestia’s little sister, Bavel (five years in the making!) to a slew of NYC imports (calling David Chang!) these are the places and faces bound to dominate 2018.
Bestia restaurant owners Ori Menashe and his wife, pastry chef Genevieve Gergis, will open the Israeli-inspired Bavel this winter.
We’re betting Ori Menashe’s feverishly anticipated Bestia follow-up will be well worth the wait. First floated all the way back in 2013, the Middle Eastern eatery (which references the oft-awarded chef’s own Israeli background) will likely launch on S. Mateo Street in the earlier part of the year. Meaning the Arts District should soon be blessed with lamb’s neck shawarma, slow-roasted tagines, and a hummus recipe Menashe has literally been fiddling with for the past three years. 500 Mateo St., Arts District
While much has been said of the L.A.-ification of NYC (still awaiting its own branch of Gjelina), it seems the City of Angels is conversely emulating the Big Apple. In fact, Daniel Humm and Will Guidara are readying to open their first restaurant outside of New York; an outpost of the NoMad, similarly situated in a luxury Nomad hotel. And they’re not just offering swanky dinner service; expect all-day dining in the Lobby, a Venetian-style café experience in the Coffee Bar, proprietary cocktails at Giannini Bar, receptions on the rooftop, and even a food truck, which the team used to first begin promoting the complex last autumn. 649 S. Olive St., DTLA
Ground control to Majordomo—David Chang’s first Los Angeles restaurant has almost landed in Chinatown. And don’t expect a basic rework of Momofuku; the basic concept seems to be a family-style chophouse, will abundant, meaty offerings such as bone-in slow roasted short ribs served bo ssam style. Chang’s capable co-pilot in the venture is newly minted executive chef Jude Parra-Sickels, recently of The Cannibal in Culver City and Roy Choi’s POT at the Line Hotel. 1725 Naud St., Chinatown
Jessica Largey’s star is definitely on the rise. A James Beard Award winner, and former chef de cuisine of the world-famous Manresa, her debut venture, Simone, could well prove one of the most critically-acclaimed (or at the very least, eagerly awaited) restaurants of the year. Located on Hewitt Street, plans for the space include a rooftop garden, on-site butchery, and chefs counter for tasting menu dinners, which, unsurprisingly, will have a hyper-seasonal focus. 449 S. Hewitt St., Arts District
The artist formerly known as Adam Perry Lang hardly needs more than initials as introduction. Slated for the historic Taft Building, his first L.A. resto will—unsurprisingly—be a no-holds-barred temple of meat, although styled much more like a steakhouse, as opposed to a Texas-style bbq spot. Expect prime, onsite-butchered cuts stored in a downstairs dry-aging room, and large-format feeds such as beef short rib for four, paired with potatoes aligot. 1680 Vine St., Hollywood
No need to mourn the closure of San Fran’s beloved Babu Ji, now that Jessi and Jennifer Singh’s Santa Barbara spin-off is in the works. Not only will it serve the gently tweaked Indian fare (including a brilliant butter chicken) they’ve become known for, the spot will also function as a wine bar and bottle shop, thanks to a partnership with vino expert Rajat Parr. 734 State St., Santa Barbara
Not that L.A.’s hurting for stellar Mexican food, but an Enrique Olvera entry will serve as quite a feather in its cap. Together with James Beard Award-nominated chef de cuisine, Daniela Soto-Ines, the Mexico City sensation is bringing NYC’s celebrated Cosme (and possibly, its casual counterpart, Atla), to the West Coast. We’re banking on the appearance of their infamous Uni Tostada, which we imagine will now boast lobes of prized Santa Barbara urchin. Location TBA
Ooh la la… this tres Françoise boite has quite the credentials. First of all, it’s being spearheaded by the formidable Bill Chait (who helped open Bestia, Picca, Tartine Manufactory and Barrel & Ashes, amongst many others), and the finessed European menu comes courtesy of Raphael Francois (Restaurant Le DeSales, Helene Darroze, Connaught Hotel and Le Cirque), and pastry chef Sally Camacho (WP24 and the Hotel Bel Air). 8500 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood