The culinary scene in Los Angeles regularly makes headlines, even on a national level — just this year, it’s landed a top spot on a list of the country’s best breakfast destinations and Michelin’s most-anticipated restaurant openings for 2024. Recently, Esquire released a list of the best new restaurants in America for 2023, and it included four outstanding L.A. eateries that opened just this year.
Esquire’s list was compiled by Kevin Sintumuang, Jeff Gordinier, Joshua David Stein And Omar Mamoon. The group traveled the nation throughout 2023, trying over 200 new restaurants from coast to coast.
The final list of 50 includes Los Angeles standouts like the homey and modern Dunsmoor, serving American heritage cuisine; and Poltergeist, an eccentric fusion restaurant bringing a new dining experience to L.A. Read on for more about each of the L.A. restaurant inclusions, in no particular order.
At this Glassell Park restaurant, chef Brian Dunsmoor crafts a magnificent menu of Southern-inspired American heritage cuisine. You’ll know you’ve found it when you see the building’s gorgeously embellished corner facade. Sintumuang calls out the bison tartare, rainbow trout, pork and green chili stew, and sour milk cornbread as must-tries, but the baby albacore and pork chop are especially popular on Yelp.
📍3501 Eagle Rock Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90065
Chef Diego Argoti helms the kitchen at Poltergeist, a bizarre and memorable fusion restaurant located inside the Echo Park barcade Button Mash. The menu is an oddball take on familiar foods, such as the Thai caesar salad encased in a craggy mass of puffed rice, or the grilled dorade dipped in masa and fried whole.
📍1391 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026
Decorated chef Shenarri Freema opened this plant-based West African restaurant in West Hollywood this year. Freema’s travels in Senegal, Nigeria, and Ghana inspired the vegan menu paying homage to some of the most delicious traditional dishes in West African cuisine. Try the flavorful lions mane pie with tamarind applesauce (a take on the classic Nigerian meat pie), or the jollof arancini topped with curry and miso.
📍7469 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046
In addition to the Esquire list, Chef Junya Yamasaki‘s new Japanese restaurant Yess also received a nod from the NY Times in their list of the 50 best restaurants in America. Esquire’s Jeff Gordinier was just as smitten with the restaurant’s ambience as he was with the delicate and creative menu, which changes often and seasonally.
📍2001 E 7th St, Los Angeles, CA 90021