DTLA – A bevy of top-flight restaurants debuted in Downtown Los Angeles in 2016, including Spring, Officine Brera and Shibumi. Others were supposed to arrive in the past year, but were slammed by construction problems, permitting delays or other issues.
That sets 2017 up to be a big year for big debuts, with a number of hot transplants from around the country. Here’s a rundown of five intriguing projects.
Dough Show: No, Downtown doesn’t need a bunch of Bay Area-transplants to hit peak coolness. The fact that a giant Tartine Manufactory is coming here, however, is awesome nonetheless. For those not in the know, Tartine Bakery is one of San Francisco’s hottest spots for baked goods, sandwiches and simple cafe-style eats. Chad Robertson and Elisabeth Prueitt opened it in 2002, then expanded with Bar Tartine and, last summer, unveiled the 5,000-square-foot Tartine Manufactory. That’s small-time compared to Downtown’s iteration, which will have nearly 20,000 square feet for a bakery, kitchen and dining space, according to restaurateur Bill Chait, who is a partner on the project. The lease was being finalized at press time, with the final location still unrevealed.
Beef ’Em All: Admittedly, Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse has a small red flag: It’s a chain with locations scattered from Massachusetts to Georgia. Normally, eating at a steakhouse with a bunch of branches means predictable, good-not-great food. Davio’s stands out thanks to the meticulous involvement of owner Steve DiFillippo, who started the joint in Boston when he was in his mid-20s. The L.A. location will fill a large space at the Financial District retail complex The Bloc, and is expected to open in the middle of the year. The menu will be the same as other Davio’s locations, with the centerpiece being the Brandt-brand steaks from cattle raised in California. Alongside the meat and simply prepared seafood will be appetizers, Italian-influenced sides and handmade pasta.
Feeling Blu: Chef Steve Samson’s been slinging killer Southern Italian pastas and wood-oven pizzas at his Sotto restaurant near Century City. Next up is Rossoblu, at the Fashion District’s City Market complex, near San Pedro and 11th streets. Samson will hone in on regional Italian cooking, including the city of Bologna, where he spent time as a child. Rossoblu will also have about 200 seats inside and on a patio. The restaurant is aiming to open by early March. It will be part of City Market South, the first phase of the $1 billion City Market.
Pham-ished: What do you know, there’s another City Market South entry. Near Rossoblu will be the second outpost of chef Charles Pham’s modern Vietnamese eatery The Slanted Door, which has earned a strong reputation after more than 20 years in San Francisco. This won’t be a chill spot to grab a quick bowl of pho or a cheap plate of broken rice. Pham’s menu flaunts an array of regional Vietnamese dishes, constructed with luxe local produce and high-end meats: Check the roasted day-boat scallops with winter greens and pineapple or the tea-smoked duck with Asian pear. Expect an opening by summer.
A Brewing Storm: Downtown beer fans need to keep their eyes on a pair of bars wrapping up construction in South Park. San Diego’s quirky Modern Times brewery is opening in a renovated building near Ninth and Olive streets. It will offer standard and experimental craft beers on tap, as well as produce some new recipes for the brand on-site. Then there’s the hyped arrival of Mikkeller, the acclaimed Copenhagen-based microbrewery that’s known stateside for its popular bar in San Francisco. The Mikkeller on Olympic Boulevard will feature 62 high-tech taps that can control the beer’s temperature. Both bars are slated to debut early this year.
Four More We’re Waiting For: Chinese noodle joint [LiOrient Restaurant, previously known as] Monkee will finally fill the huge former McCormick and Schmick’s spot in U.S. Bank Tower; a new upscale food court on the ground floor of the Corporation Building at 724 S. Spring St. will offer eight vendors and a full bar; the long-awaited Clayton’s Public House will open in the Spring Arcade Building; two restaurants (Breva and Veranda) from chef Casey Lane and two bars (Bar Alta, Bar Figueroa) from Dushan Zaric will be part of the renovated Hotel Figueroa’s reopening.