Not only do we love finding things to do in Los Angeles, but we’re constantly trying new places to eat as well.
That said, we’re putting together a monthly listing of some of the best new spots, special menus and awesome deals that you just might want to keep on your radar as you continue a culinary exploration of the city of angels.
This month’s top picks include a DTLA institution’s multi-million dollar facelift, calamari tacos in El Monte, a Sichuan “old oil” hot pot joint, free soft serve and a few options on how to celebrate Labor Day!
As always, hope this month’s rundown helps inspire to you try something new.
New To Los Angeles
Grilled shrimp and fish taco with an aqua fresca. #ixtacotaqueria #elmonte #mexican #restaurant #tacos #burritos #tapas #aquasfrescas #quesadillas #tortas #salsas #laweekly #eater #eater_la #lamagazine #laistpics #welikela #thrillist #foodbeast #tastingtable #thedailybeast #foodnetwork #foodandwine #foodrepublic #foodie #lafoodie #foodporn #lafoodwine #starvingfoodseeker #626foodie
1. Ixtaco Taqueria
There is a new taco joint growing in popularity in the city of El Monte. Ixtaco Taqueria’s modern interpretations on authentic street tacos are inspired by the authentic and rich flavors of Mexico and it’s diverse city cultures. Delicious tacos, fresh handmade tortillas and handcrafted agua frescas make up the counter service atmosphere serving folks for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Standouts include a calamari taco topped with a chipotle sauce and their rotating daily agua frescas like the pineapple raspberry. Normally there priciest taco is around $2 (for seafood), and regular tacos are $1.45, but a special promo for the grand opening (good for the next week or so) will offer $1 regular tacos and $1.50 seafood tacos. They also have a nice tapas menu which includes chicharron, nachos and guacamole.
2. Clifton’s Cafeteria Reopening!
Not exactly new but years in the making! Clifton’s Cafeteria will officially reopen with a celebration to benefit the Los Angeles Conservancy. Guests will be among the first to visit the iconic downtown restaurant after its multi-year, multi-million-dollar renovation by owner Andrew Meieran. Guests will explore the beautifully restored and reimagined first-floor cafeteria, as well as the new Monarch Bar on the second floor. They’ll enjoy passed hors d’oeuvres, drinks, and entertainment, plus full dinner and dessert—by going through the cafeteria line, of course. Tickets are available at laconservancy.org/cliftons-2015.
3. Chengdu Lao Zao
In scorching hot food news Chengdu Lao Zao has garnered buzz after getting the stamp of approval by Chengdu Taste’s chef Tony Xu. Just like Xu’s popular resturant this hot pot spot is SPICY. The Sichuan “old oil” style hot pot resturant cooks a traditional long-simmered broth, packed with tallow that creates the “old oil” flavor and texture of the soup base there is a non spicy version for the weak. They also have all the usual suspects on a hot pot menu like shrimp, beef and tofu but if you are an adventurous eater they also serve pork brain, bullfrog, and other authentic Chengdu hot pot ingredients.
4. Avenue 31
Currently in a soft opening phase, Avenue 31 on Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood is the second location of a Monaco hotspot of the same name. Expect to find plenty of small plate options like Hamachi crudo, Squash Blossoms and Spanish octopus. On their entree menu tomahawk rib eye stakes, lamb shank tagine, Mary’s chicken and more tasty meat and vegetarian options are available. Behind the bar is cocktail chef Matthew Biancaniello, who I think is creating some of the most exciting libations in town.
The Best Of The Month
5. LA Times: The Taste
Labor Day weekend will mark the return of LA Times: The Taste a three-day event celebrating the SoCal food scene that’s sure to be an impressive display of culinary excellence. Special features of the weekend include a ‘root to table’ roundtable, a special dinner hosted by Jonathan Gold, demos from Love & Salt’s Fiorelli and Marianella, Roy Choi, Curtis Stone and more, plus unlimited tastings and pours at all events. The LA Times shared a promo code with us for the Sunday Brunch and BBQ event get 10% off tickets for that specific event by using the code: LATBrunchtastic
6. Salt & Straw Scoop Truck
Salt & Straw, the Portland-based, ice cream purveyor known for its artisanal approach to ice cream making, has just announced plans to open two new scoop shops in the Los Angeles area. Come fall of 2015, Venice residents will be able to savor Sea Salt with Caramel Ribbons and Stumptown Coffee & Compartes Love Nuts at Salt & Straw’s new home at 1357 Abbot Kinney, with a subsequent location in the burgeoning Arts District at 829 East 3rd Street to follow in the winter of 2016. To give Downtowners a taste of what’s to come, Salt & Straw’s ice cream truck will be scooping outside its future home on East 3rd with plans to serve 7 days a week from noon to 10:00pm.
7. Saturday Brunch At Toca Madera
Now you can enjoy brunch all weekend at Toca Madera! Indulge in modern organic Mexican cuisine curated by Chef Raymond Alvarez, which includes their famous Chipotle Chicken and Churro Waffle. For the vegans, Toca Madera’s separate vegan brunch menu includes a delicious play on the breakfast burrito called the Burro and even a vegan style “Chicken” and Churro Waffle. Be sure to pair your meal with a refreshing signature brunch cocktail like the But First, Coffee made with Vanilla infused el jimador, stumptown cold brew, café lolitta, and cinnamon or the Adios Felisha made with Don Julio tequila, cucumber, mint, tajin and a seasonal paleta.
New Happy Hours Launching
8. Holy Cow BBQ $5 Happy Hour Menu
Holy Cow is launching a new BBQ happy hour with a $5 food menu and $3 beers. Standout’s include Pigs-N-A-Blanket made with Johnny cakes, pulled pork and a corn relish, the Bull Nachos topped with wet beans, brisket, cheddar and Q-sauce and Fried Pickles + Onions with a buttermilk dressing.
9. Día de Campo’s New Late Night Happy Hour
Dia de Campo is offering a new late night happy hour Friday through Saturday, 10:00pm to close. Guest can enjoy Mexican-inspired dishes from Executive Chef Tin Vuong and Chef Ken Johnson, standouts include the Super Fries topped with asada, chorizo, beans, cheese, pico de gallo, bacon and salsa verde, a Poke Chalupa made with ahi, ponzu, avocado and sesame and the Mole Wings.
10. Chavela Happy Hour
Chavela, the plant-based Latin America-inspired restaurant from Jorge, Walter and Eduardo Rodriguez of Los Balcones and Executive Chef Rachel Carr, just launched a happy hour! Served Monday through Friday from 5:00pm to 7:00pm, diners can enjoy their signature cocktails and traditional Peruvian-style sangrias called Chavela, along with signature vegan fare. Stand out happy hour dishes include their chicharron de hongo y coliflor a spicy battered fried mushrooms and cauliflower dish served with salsa guera and their mole verde enchilada filled with mushrooms, corn, sweet potato black beans and quinoa.
Freebies and Deals
11. Amorino September Gelato Special
It’s still hot as heck outside so throughout the month of September, Amorino in Beverly Hills will be running a happy hour for gelato!! The store will be offering 25% off all cones every weekday from 2:00pm to 5:00pm. This offer is only redeemable for parents and their kids! Think of this as a back to school treat!
12. BierBeisl Imbiss Taller Than Chef Challenge
Calling all tall ass people! Austrian DTLA eatery BierBeisl Imbiss’s chef Bernhard Mairinger will buy you lunch or dinner if you measure up and are taller him. By the way he is 6’8″ … that’s taller than Kobe!
13. Fall Open House At The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf
On Thursday, September 10 from 2 – 6 pm, the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf invites you to sip and sample any 12 oz. fall beverage for just $2. New fall flavors include Salted Butterscotch, classic Pumpkin, and Pumpkin Chai flavors served up as a latte or Ice Blended® Check participating store locations to take advantage of this day.
14. FREE Fosselman’s Soft Serve Cones At Dog Haus
Dog Haus will be offering free soft serve cones at all of their locations on Labor Day Monday September 7th. In collaboration with Alhambra’s most famous ice cream shop Fosselman’s the creamery has created a soft serve item, exclusively for Dog Haus. During the month of September Dog Haus will host an “I Scream, You Scream for Fosselman’s Ice Cream” contest on Facebook and Instagram. Guests will be invited to post videos screaming at the top of their lungs for an opportunity to win a free ice cream cone each week for A WHOLE YEAR at their local Dog Haus. Each store will select a winner based on entries submitted from September 1st and September 30th.
15. McDonald’s Free Breakfast For Students Day
Free is free, right? On Tuesday, September 15th participating McDonalds in Cali will offer free breakfast, to kid’s kindergarten through eighth grade from 6:30am – 9:30am. Students under 13 years old are required to be accompanied by an adult to redeem this freebie.
Celebrating Labor Day Weekend!
16. 626 Night Market
The 626 Night Market lays claim to being the largest Asian-themed night market in the United States with over 200 food and craft vendors participating in each event on average every year. Try the Lotza Tots tater tots topped with uni cream, chili and cheese or the above uni toast! Happening September 4-6 it will mark the final weekend of the summer for the market at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia. Admission is $5. Parking is $7.
17. Bid Summer Adieu With Chef Kris Morningstar At Terrine
Labor Day, Monday, September 7th California brasserie Terrine will host an all-day BBQ on the restaurant’s idyllic patio from 11:30am to 11:00pm. Chef/Owner Kris Morningstar, will host its second all-you-can-eat BBQ featuring traditional, American-favorite fare prepared with Terrine’s French-California twist. Prepare for a feast standouts include Pickle Brine Fried Chicken, Swordfish Brochettes, Crispy Potato and Hatch Chile Tacos and Frito Pie with Texas chili and cheese. The all you can eat BBQ cost a modest $35.
18. Blue Plate Oysterette Extended Happy Hour
The West 3rd St. location of Blue Plate Oysterette will extend their happy hour on Labor Day. The restaurant offers $1 oysters and $6 sangria/wine and $5 beer al happening from 4:00 -6:00pm.
19. LA County Fair
Few events combine live music, art, agricultural attractions, farm exhibits, and more fried food than your arteries can handle, but it’s all part of the LA County Fair, starting this Friday, September 4 and running until September 27. Have a Cinnamon Fireball Texas Donut for me!
20. Bow & Truss Wine & Cheese Night Launch
Latin-inspired restaurant Bow & Truss will launch a wine and cheese event series on Labor Day and will continuing every first Monday of each month until November. The Wine & Cheese Night will feature a special wine and cheese tasting with wine expert Chuck Novak guiding guest through the experience.
Where are you eating in L.A. this September? Let us know in the comments below!