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The 8 best new LA restaurants of 2023

A photo of Red logo
by Karen Palmer
Updated 18 December 2023

It’s been a banner year for restaurant debuts in Los Angeles. Not only are a few of 2023’s most exciting new spots in unexpected pockets of the city like Woodland Hills and Pasadena, but some even scored national attention including Eater’s best new restaurant award.

From glitzy red-sauce joints to spots redefining Californian cuisine, these are the new places that made major first impressions in 2023. Read on for a guide to LA’s eight hottest restaurants of the year.

A photo of Casaléna restaurant
4.6
4.6 (972)
$31 to $50
Italian
Woodland Hills
About the restaurant

A sprawling—and stunning—8,000 square-foot indoor and outdoor space made Casaléna an immediate hotspot when it opened in June. There are five dining areas to choose from, including an atrium with skylights and a glass window-wrapped terrace. The sibling-run Mediterranean restaurant draws crowds for a prolific coastal menu featuring crudos, seafood spaghetti with uni butter, and other crowd faves like short ribs with whipped potatoes. Pair that vacation-like menu with one seriously breathtaking space, and you’ll see why Casaléna is an important part of the Valley’s overdue restaurant renaissance.


Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 1 day ago
Great meal and fantastic server. The place fills up fast and can get a bit noisy when full so we went early and it was perfect
A photo of Lingua Franca restaurant
4.5
4.5 (207)
$31 to $50
Contemporary American
Atwater Village
About the restaurant

Some of LA’s most exciting Californian cooking is unfolding on its riverfront. Lingua Franca opened in February from the team behind hit neighborhood sandwich shop Wax Paper and takes its mantra—“good food for good people”—very seriously. Dishes like clam frites and root beer-braised beef cheek are just a couple of examples of how the restaurant is cranking out comfort food 2.0., which made it a fast favorite for local media and the restaurant industry crowd.


Top review
OpenTable Dinervip
Dined on 25 Feb 2024
Wonderful every time, a special place in a great neighborhood.
A photo of Loreto restaurant
4.7
4.7 (100)
$50 and over
Mexican
Atwater Village
About the restaurant

Mexico City-based restaurant group Grupo Palmares (also behind downtown favorite LA Cha Cha Chá) launched another stylish Mexican hit in March. Since opening, Loreto has earned a glowing review from the Los Angeles Times’s Bill Addison, who described its phenomenal seafood lineup as being “threaded with pan-regional inspiration.” That translates to lesser-seen dishes like shrimp and serrano aguachile and wood-fired branzino served in warehouse-like digs with pretty design touches like golden shelves and exposed brick for days.


Top review
Suls
Dined 2 days ago
Food, drinks, service, vibes are all phenomenal. Will definitely be back!
A photo of Joyce restaurant
4.6
4.6 (346)
$31 to $50
Southern
Downtown
About the restaurant

The second act from chef Sammy Monsour of acclaimed New Orleans-inspired spot Preux & Proper puts a Southern spin on sustainable seafood. Joyce opened its doors in August and is a force to be reckoned with among LA’s other fish spots, as confirmed by enthusiastic shoutouts from the Los Angeles Times and others. Expect excellent Lowcountry-style dishes like trout caviar deviled eggs and black tiger prawn and oyster perloo. Not to mention zero-waste cocktails—extensions of the restaurant’s super sustainable ethos—by beverage director Kassady Wiggins, including the tequila-forward Hootie Hoo, made with blue algae and salt foam.


Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 1 day ago
Joyce is one of the most astounding restaurants in Los Angeles for me. The experience from ambience, care, food, drink and presentation is second to none. You are treated so well, the food and drink looks like filtered Instagram photos in presentation and the taste of every dish I tried is packed with flavor and care in how it is cooked. I have been here at least ten times and this restaurant is thriving with atmosphere. It feels local and everyone who comes here, brings people and then they bring people because it’s that good. They really care. Enjoy a lovely night at Joyce. Every time is a new and delightful experience. Once you go once, you will definitely will be back again. Love Joyce! 💙
A photo of Bar Chelou restaurant
4.7
4.7 (317)
$50 and over
Contemporary French
Pasadena
About the restaurant

Not only did this eclectic French restaurant get a rave Los Angeles Times review, it was also named one of Eater’s best new restaurants of 2023. Bar Chelou comes from Trois Mec alum chef Douglas Rankin and sits next to the Pasadena Playhouse, making it a sought-after pre-show dinner spot. Its sexy interiors and pitch-perfect cocktails brought a burst of energy to the somewhat sleepy neighborhood when it opened in January. And then there’s the food: Bistro classics get Spanish and Asian twists resulting in some of the most spectacular dishes in the city, including a perfectly executed rainbow trout with garlic chive pil-pil.


Top review
JamesHvip
Dined 3 days ago
Great food, very unique and tasty. Noise level is very high so conversation is limited. We'll be back.
A photo of Jemma Hollywood restaurant
4.7
4.7 (56)
$31 to $50
Italian
Hollywood
About the restaurant

Red-sauce joints are having a moment in LA this year, judging from buzzy newcomers like La Dolce Vita and Donna’s. But Jemma Hollywood, an October opening by Top Chef alum Jackson Kalb, wins the Italian comfort food game with next-level linguine alla vodka and wood-fired pizzas. The warm and casual spot is the latest in Kalb’s rapidly expanding LA empire (Ospi, Jame, Jemma di Mare), proving he’s in serious expansion mode and one of the city’s most exciting chefs right now.


Top review
AidenM
Dined 7 days ago
The food was amazing! The portions of pizza and pasta were perfect, and the ambience vibes was exactly what we needed.
A photo of Que Barbaro at Level 8 restaurant
4.2
4.2 (89)
$31 to $50
South American
Downtown
About the restaurant

Level 8 deserves a spot on this list for its sheer ambition: The luxe food hall opened in October at the Moxy + AC hotel and brings together eight cocktail bars and restaurants from some of LA’s culinary heavyweights. Go first for Que Barbaro, lauded chef Ray Garcia’s triumphant return to the kitchen. The former Broken Spanish chef is a pro at smoke-kissed South American dishes like chicken thighs with roasted shallots and aji verde, and his wood-fired showstoppers are just some of the compelling reasons to visit this splashy restaurant playground.


Top review
JaymeNvip
Dined on 21 Mar 2024
Sit at the chef’s table and you will be in great hands ask for Recommendations
A photo of Best Bet restaurant
$31 to $50
Italian
Culver City
About the restaurant

The Rose’s Jason Neroni opened a Cali-Italian neighborhood star in July. At Best Bet, Neroni slings three types of pizza (wood-fired, pan-baked focaccia-style, and “crispy mountain style”) topped with ingredients that go far beyond cheese and pepperoni, like shrimp scampi and ’nduja vodka sauce. The stylish spot is set in an iconic A-frame building (once home to one of the country’s first IHOP locations) and decked out with vintage ads, pop culture relics, and art from Neroni’s collection, making it just the kind of cool and funky gem that Culver City needed.


Top review
FranAvip
Dined on 17 Dec 2023
The food was fantastic! So unique and complex. The two servers we talked with seemed to not really “know the food”. I feel like we might have missed out on some great things. Oooooand the Host was wonderful. Very welcoming!
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