You’d never know it now, but Bub & Grandma’s was always supposed to be a sandwich shop. Owner and baker Andy Kadin fell into the retail bread game and then ended up at the pinnacle of it, selling outstanding sourdough at farmers markets and to some of the best restaurants in town. Bub & Grandma’s has long been the go-to bread at Wax Paper, it is an essential component in Dune’s underrated pickled beet sandwich, and now—some three years after they signed their lease—Kadin and his crew are building their own sandwiches at their stylish deli in Glassell Park. The menu skews classic and options are simply labeled with a familiar word or two: Italian, Tuna, Roast Beef Au Jus. That aesthetic serves them well, minimalism executed at the highest level, such that each piece shines but none obscures the bread itself. It extends, too, to their pastry program, which puts clever twists of flavor into familiar shapes, including some of the best new donuts in town, airy little puffs with bright, contrasting frostings like passionfruit and lime.
How to book: Walk-ins only for now.
Colette is not technically a new opening; the restaurant has been around with the same name in the same location since 2016. But late last year, it flipped into a totally new concept, morphing from a breezy New American brunch spot into its current shape, a thrilling modern Cantonese restaurant. New chef Peter Lai cooked elevated Cantonese classics at Embassy Kitchen in San Gabriel, and a similar theme runs through the menu here. There are top-tier versions of Braised Tofu with Mushroom, Curry Beef, and Kung Pao Chicken. And there are also some stunners that are a little harder to come by—a Cantonese Beef Stew served with crispy fried vermicelli noodles, Lobster with Sticky Rice, and a true showstopper in Crispy Stuffed Chicken, deboned and air-dried chicken that’s filled with shrimp paste then cooked until the outside is shatteringly crisp. The space retains its light and airy feel with a lovely outdoor patio, like a perfect brunch spot, but this food is exponentially more interesting.
How to book: Walk in or call 626-510-6286 for reservations and takeout orders.
Backed by the same big-name restaurateurs that brought the classic Culver City steakhouse Dear John’s back to life, Dear Jane’s serves as its seafood-driven sister, inviting all of the glamour of Old Hollywood to a waterfront destination in Marina Del Rey, complete with tableside presentations of Shrimp Louie Salad and fileted Whole Fish. The restaurant is equally appealing during LA’s version of winter, with views of the sparkling Pacific through floor-to-ceiling windows, plus a brick fireplace and plush velvet seating to keep you warm while you tuck into the bougiest version of Fish Sticks that you’ve ever seen, topped with caviar and served alongside a luscious seven-layer dip. The Seafood Tower is also a must—stacked with oysters and clams on the half-shell, shrimp, a half lobster, a stone crab claw, and Hokkaido scallops, with all of the requisite sauces and sides. But beyond the raw bar, there’s pasta dishes like Scampi and Vongole, Clams Casino with chorizo and Meyer Lemon crumbs, Oysters Rockefeller, New England Clam Chowder, and even a handful of turf options, plus a selection of vegetables like Creamed Spinach and Whipped Potatoes. Cocktails are booze-forward with a similar attention to ingredients—start your meal with the Fonda 75 featuring Jimador tequila, grapefruit, lime, rosemary syrup, and champagne, and end it with Smokey Jane, with Old Forester, Demerara syrup, angostura, and orange and black walnut bitters.
How to book: Seating at the bar is first-come, first-served.
Dry-aged fish is all the rage in LA right now, but Culver City’s new sushi den is dedicated to sustainable practices and sourcing methods, so you can feel good about ordering everything on its never-frozen seafood menu. With a sleek and moody interior, and a narrow, ivy-filled patio with hanging lanterns and backlit seating, it’s one of your best date night or special occasion options in the area. The menu features your favorite sushi stalwarts like Crispy Rice topped with spicy tuna and steamed and salted Edamame plus plenty of nigiri, but also ventures into new and delicious territory with inventive Maki rolls like the Catch 22, with Kani kama, cucumber, avocado, spicy tuna, kabayaki, and rice pop. Don’t disregard the sashimi where the dry-age program is on full display and there’s even a vegan section, where vegetables are given the same attention to detail, like the Dragon roll with avocado, sweet potato, eggplant, and vegan kabayaki maki. If you’d like to try a little bit of everything, there’s also the option to order a Big Fiish or Little Fiish plate. A selection of shochu, sake, and agave wine-based cocktails are on offer, plus several wines, sake, and shochu by the glass and bottle as well as beer.
How to book: Reservations can be made online.
Chef Chris Ono didn’t start his career intending to reimagine Japanese-American restaurant classics—most of his work has been in high-end French kitchens—but he has done just that at Hansei, Ono’s stellar tasting-menu dinner series at the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center. He draws on his Japanese-American heritage and his native Angeleno upbringing for his own spin on dishes like a Japanese-American ceviche, a California Roll showpiece decked out with uni, and at the heart of things, a Teriyaki Steak dinner set amped up with Wagyu beef. But a meal at Hansei is not about food alone—dinner takes you on a tour of the JACCC, starting with the gorgeous and historic Japanese garden before moving through their sushi bar-style setup and then on into the dining room.
How to book: Reservations available through Tock.