Grilled oysters at Rossoblu (photo: Wonho Frank Lee)

Eat This Now Los Angeles: The Winter Edition

By Kat Odell

Los Angeles is vibing with hot new eateries, many of them molding the city’s excellent local produce into creative new plates. From some of the country’s best handmade pasta to new efforts from veteran chefs, here’s where to eat prime winter delights.

Grilled oysters at Rossoblu
Pizza and pasta whiz Steve Samson hit Downtown last year, launching one of the city’s most hotly anticipated dining engagements. Though he’s not serving pizza here (you can go to Sotto for that), what he is plating is rustic Italian food inspired by his youth in Bologna. The menu screams seasonal Italian, from starters to pastas, and he’s finding smart ways to flip warm weather staples into heartier bites fit for winter. By way of example, oysters get the cool climate treatment, dressed with nutty brown butter, sage, and Parmesan, while a squeeze of lime brightens each bite.
Neighborhood: Downtown MAP

Barbecued ribs at Rosaliné
Peruvian prince Ricardo Zarate is back and shaking up West Hollywood with a pretty new eatery named after his mother. Not totally dissimilar from his restaurants of the past, but perhaps now a bit more modern, Rosaliné embraces Peruvian flavored with Los Angeles’ seasonal sensibility. The menu is divided into various sections, like Mamaqucha (from the sea) and Allpa (from the soil), but there’s also a separate family-style cluster of options that pulls from both. An early winner, which puts to good use local figs, is the slowly barbecue ribs, cooked over Zarate’s sleek central charcoal-fueled Josper oven.
Neighborhood: West Hollywood MAP

Kimchi latkes at Native
The earthy red-stained kimchi latkes at Native–chef Nyesha Arringtong’s new Santa
Monica abode–come served over a generous smear of crème fraîche, and anointed with a mountain of scallion slivers. This Asian-Cali fusion is a perfect representation of the inspired vision Arrington has refined over the years, moving from Josiah Citrin’s Melisse, to her most recently Venice effort, Leona. At Native, you’ll find the season’s best local ingredients, twisted into plates with global flavors, many from Asia.
Neighborhood: Santa Monica MAP

Croquettes at Tsubaki (photo: Pascal Shirley)

Kinoko Croquettes at Tsubaki
Cute and cozy sake-focused izakaya Tsubaki in Echo Park naturally plates a menu meant to compliment rice wine. You’ll find small dishes cooked using a variety of techniques: raw, steamed, fried, and grilled. Of course, one of sake’s best friends is tempura, and in-season right now the eatery is offering a duo of croquettes filled with mushroom, chestnut, Japanese sweet potato, plus a sesame barbecue dunking sauce served on the side.
Neighborhood: Echo Park MAP

Black truffle and squash tortelli at Felix
Evan Funke was revered for his handmade pasta at the short-lived Bucato, but at his Venice ristorante Felix he has mastered the craft further, challenging anyone in the city to out-roll him. Sure, you could order fried artichokes and various bitter green salads, but what you’ve come for is pasta–the offerings of which change daily. There’s really no way to lose, but to win big, and only until the season runs out, try Funke’s tortelli di zucca, a recipe he learned from Florence’s Le Fontecine. Classic winter pasta filled with squash, finished with Umbrian black truffles.
Neighborhood: Venice MAP

Persimmon and burrata salad at Good Measure
LA wine enthusiast Matthew Kaner–beloved for his excellent, small-production, esoteric juice selects–has launched the hip, wine-centered Good Measure in Atwater Village, with a Mediterranean-leaning menu. Before persimmons go out of season, drop by for his mixed greens salad, sprinkled with pomegranate seeds, laid with persimmon slices, and crowed with a lobe of locally-made burrata.
Neighborhood: Atwater Village MAP

Thin Mint Cake in a Jar at fundamentalLA
After six years of vending an unfussy, concise collection of seasonal California eats with a hint of Asian influence, Westwood’s darling café fundamentalLA has spun a second, slightly larger home in Downtown. Now with a vastly expanded menu spanning from breakfast through dinner, fundamental continues to embrace its roots, with an occasional nod of whimsy. Just in time for Girl Scout cookie season, pop in for an adult take on a childhood classic: a mini-jarred Thin Mint cake made with chocolate mousse, mint whipped cream, and crumbled cookies.
Neighborhood: Downtown MAP

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