Courtesy of Maude
Rachel B. Levin
November 05, 2014

If you want to understand the hottest trends in Los Angeles dining, look no further than its crop of new restaurants. It's clear that the city is embracing a moment of the cult of the chef. Just like a big-name star can carry a movie, so too can a rock-star chef make a restaurant. These five eateries are the pick of the litter right now, and among them you'll find a third-generation paella chef, a reality show personality, a Michelin-starred chef, a local Italian specialist, and a hip pioneer. Regional European cuisine is in demand, from Catalan to Southern Italian, as is New American fare that's dependent on local farmers’ markets. As for size, this bunch runs the gamut from small 25-seat neighborhood bistros to grand downtown behemoths with multiple bars. Luckily, they can all accommodate even the most voracious of appetites. Bon appétit!

Saint Martha

For a strip mall storefront in Koreatown, this is wildly ambitious fare. The roster of elevated American comfort food boasts worldly influences, whether it's the hoisin-laced brisket smoked over pecan wood, steak and oyster tartare with bone marrow beignets, or Moorish-spiced crispy chicken thighs. Global wines and sakes make perfect complements.

smoke.oil.salt

Spanish chef Perfecto Rocher is a master paella maker, so you'll want to stop by for Sunday paella nights at this authentic Catalan hotspot. During the rest of the week, enjoy tapas like pa amb tomaca (tomato toast) and braves trencades (fried potatoes with ham, chorizo, and egg) with Spanish wines.

Maude

Celebrity chef Curtis Stone’s seasonal tasting menu restaurant features a singular item of California produce each month, and hones in on applications that let the ingredient shine throughout. Sit at the counter and watch the chefs work their magic, and be sure to opt in for the spot-on wine pairings.

Faith & Flower

With high-ceilinged dining rooms, ornate chandeliers, and gilded wall treatments, this downtown restaurant recalls the grandeur of the Roaring Twenties. The eclectic Californian menu is equally decadent, with selections like duck-liver mousse tarts, bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin, and vintage cocktails. For something less formal, try oysters from the raw bar or the carnitas pizza.

Alimento

Robust regional fare with a modern twist makes this eatery a fresh edition to L.A.'s Italian dining landscape. Pop in for small plates like chopped salad or chicken-liver crostini paired with small-batch wines, or settle in with a big group for family-style platters of bone-in pork shank or grilled orata.

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