Last week, I was lucky enough to attend Los Angeles Magazine’s Best New Restaurants party at LOT 613 in the Arts District. Last year’s celebration was full of delicious bites, wine and cocktails, a beautiful venue, and a fun crowd, so I was definitely looking forward to this year’s event!
The venue was a lot more spread out in terms of food booths. There were a couple in the main room, a few more in the loft area, and the last couple outside along with the bar, coffee station, and etching table for your complimentary wine glasses from Infiniti.
As for the food, I truly loved the choices that the chefs made this year! Keep reading for the full list:
MB Post served a pork and shrimp dumpling. Due to my shrimp allergy, I was unable to indulge, but my boyfriend quite liked it! Their restaurant is definitely one of my favorites in the South Bay.
Mercado was serving cheese enchiladas and shrimp tacos. I’m allergic to shrimp, so I was unable to try the taco, but it was well received by the crowd. It was pastor marinated served with Oaxaca cheese, onions, cilantro, and chile de arbol salsa.The cheese enchilada was simple, but saucy.
Smoke.Oil.Salt served creative Spanish skewers with olives, Iberico pig and Atlantic cod. As a whole, the skewer was on the salty side, but very rich in flavor. The restaurant is known for their Paella Sundays, which is a must-try! For a full breakdown, see my post from last year: https://eatdrinklovejenna.com/2014/05/20/paella-sunday-at-smoke-oil-salt/.
I remember reading about Union last year, but the accolades seems a lot quieter than some of the other restaurants on the list. I have no idea why; their dish was one of my favorites. It was a burnt semolina capunti with duck sausage and fennel. It was awesome! I promised the chef I would be visiting ASAP because I wanted to try more of his creations!
Bestia served a crispy ciccioli with mustard creme fraiche, fennel, and a candied summer eggplant. It was a crispy, bite-sized burst of flavor. This was different from any other dish I have tried of theirs, so I was glad to experience more variety. I am too in love with their pasta dishes to try anything else when I visit.
My dad has been wanting to try Alimento for quite some time, so I was happy I was able to sample their dish and report back to him. They served a chicken liver crostini. The portion was perfect and the spread was creamy and rich.
Faith and Flower served a delicious lamb pierogi. It was small in size, but packed with flavor. I only wish there was more food to try. This establishment landed on countless ‘best new restaurants’ this year and I can see why.
Pine and Crane impressed me with their servings. I’m not a huge green tea fan, but their passion fruit infused jasmine green tea was so refreshing! I’m not a huge peanuts fan, but their spicy peanuts were so flavorful!
Scopa Italian Roots was serving yummy ricotta bread bites and festive dessert bites! Unfortunately, I was unable to try their pasta, which seemed to be one of the crowd favorites of the night. I hope to be able to dine with them in the future to experience the hype!
Night + Market Song served their Crispy Rice Salad. When I saw that they were serving a salad, I wasn’t excited. After tasting it, I felt quite silly for thinking that it would be underwhelming. It was delish! It also happens to be a choice on their DineLA menu, so I’m excited to be able to try it again tonight!
Last, but certainly not least, Republique served two dishes: a smoked eel fritter and their famous warm brioche bomboloni with hazelnut gelato. The eel fritter was my favorite bite of the night, besides the bomboloni! Republique definitely won my heart, and I already have a reservation for the first Saturday in February for an early Valentine’s Day dinner.
For the full list of this year’s winners, visit http://www.lamag.com/thebestnewrestaurants/best-new-restaurants-2014/.