This summer, the City of Angels is being invaded by the Big Apple.
The bar at Avra has already become a kind of Beverly Hills “power Cheers”
Three of NYC’s buzziest haunts are doing the bicoastal thing. The past year has already seen the crème de la crème of New York hot spots setting up shop in LA, including pharmacist-style bar Apotheke, David Chang’s first Momofuku LA restaurant, Majordomo, the splashy 189 by Dominique Ansel at The Grove and the always-packed Nomad hotel Downtown. Apparently, the trend of East Coast institutions moving west is just getting started. Suddenly a new wave of New Yorkers is making the trek west: an A-list-beloved Greek restaurant, a Prohibition-style bar and a dessert shop that will be guaranteed to make Angelenos cheat on their gluten-free diets.
BH GOES GREEK Avra Beverly Hills Marking the first West Coast location of the famed Greek restaurant Avra Estiatorio, this airy, spacious eatery (11,000 square feet!), located in the heart of Beverly Hills, already has a roster of celeb clientele booking tables in the buzzy main room. Founded by restaurateurs Nick Tsoulos, Nick Pashalis, and Marc Packer, the resto dishes up authentic Greek fare with fresh seafood flown in daily for a market-style display. The reason behind the westward expansion? It’s simple, explains Tsoulos: “There are many great restaurant options in the Beverly Hills area, but there’s a real void in the market for upscale Greek dining.” Who knew? Opa! 233 N. Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills, 310.734.0841, avrabeverlyhills.com
The open-concept dining room invites guests to join in some Greek-style camaraderie over charcoal-grilled octopus and zucchini and eggplant chips
WEHO’S PROHIBITION REMEDY Employees Only Making the move from the West Village to West Hollywood, this superstylish speak-easy focuses on a strong bar program by mixologist and co-founder Dushan Zaric and a food menu led by chef Sascha Lyon, who trained in several Michelin-starred New York City restaurants. Cozy up in the red leather booths at the LA iteration of this Gotham favorite known for its secret entrance (through a telephone booth) and strong pours, including chicly named cocktails such as the Fraise Sauvage and Billioniare Cocktail. Upstaging its East Coast sister, the West Hollywood version is nearly twice as big and features a seasonal menu with too-cool-for-school highlights such as the gourmet-style pizzas straight from a massive wood-fired oven—natch. 7953 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood, 323.536.9045, employeesonlyLA.com
Employees Only’s buzzy cocktail list is packing in LA scenesters
MID-CITY SUGAR FIX Milk Bar Los Angeles This summer, Milk Bar, the bakery chain you see all over your Instagram feed, expands to the West Coast at long last with their newly minted 14th location. It’s a huge space at nearly 4,000 square feet—with the obligatory indoor-outdoor areas. Don’t tell your personal trainer, but the menu features all the Milk Bar classics such as its legendary compost cookies and crack pie, plus their popular naked birthday cake. The flagship will also feature an R&D lab and test kitchen, plus cooking classes from the master chef herself, helmer Christina Tosi, so Angelenos can at least feel useful while they ingest all that evil gluten. 7150 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, milkbarstore.com
The Insta-famous Naked Birthday Cake from Milk Bar