BEST OF LAIST

The Best New Restaurants In Los Angeles In 2014

It's been a great year for dining in Los Angeles, with plenty of new openings giving us great meals and service to boot. We've whittled down our favorite restaurants that have opened this year—with some affordable options and a few splurges—so that you can add them to your New Year's to-do list. Here they are.

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The burger at Republique (Photo courtesy of Republique on Facebook)

Republique

Republique is one of those restaurants that we just keep going back to—whether it's for a business meeting, date night, or brunch with the girls. The massive windows allow light to spill into the sprawling dining room, where the bar team is mixing up fantastic market-driven, classic-inspired cocktails and Walter Manzke is pushing out California bistro fare. Pretty much everything on the menu is delicious, from the expertly crafted charcuterie boards to the gourmet style In-N-Out burgers made with dry aged beef and their perfect moules frites in a thyme and white wine sauce. Finish off your meal with Marge's cakes and pastries, and it's the ideal restaurant experience.

Republique is located at 624 South La Brea Avenue, (310) 362-6115

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Gjusta's olive oil, lemon, poppyseed cake with cream cheese glaze and blueberry jam swirl (Photo by Krista Simmons/LAist)

Gjusta

Fans of San Francisco's Tartine will feel right at home at Gjusta in Venice, both because of the open kitchen style and incredible baked goods. There's a case stocked with pastry chef Nicole Rucker's cookies, croissants, cakes, scones, and utterly perfect pies. Then there's a smoked fish counter with oil-cured Japanese sardines, gravlax, smoked trout, and herring, as well as a garde manger section filled with cheeses, terrines, charcuterie, and pates to take away. There's yet another station for sandwiches—falafel, pastrami, chicken parm, and an incredible daily butcher's selection, among others—that are all prepared on the bakery's fantastic fresh breads. And don't forget the massive deli case displaying a cornucopia of cold salads, ancient grains, and roasted heirloom veggies. It is epic.

Gjusta is located at Gjusta, 320 Sunset Ave., Venice, (310) 314-0320

Pine & Crane

Moonlynn Tsai and Vivian Ku are both vets of Chez Panisse, and their dedication to farm-driven food is evident in their fresh take one Taiwanese-Chinese cooking. Their Silverlake restaurant is incredibly affordable and approachable, with their fast casual dishes range from $8-$14, and much of their produce comes from their farm in Bakersfield farm. Highlights are the beef roll, scallion pancake, and awesome Dan Dan noodles. (Bonus: you can get it delivered.)

Pine & Crane is located at 1521 Griffith Park Boulevard, Los Angeles, (323) 668-1128

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Grilled corn with red sauce made with chiles, garlic and onion at Commissary (Photo by Krista Simmons/LAist)

Commissary

We're admittedly all about everything that's going on at The Line Hotel, including Roy Choi's rooftop greenhouse Commissary (which recently launched breakfast). Each dish is plated with a smattering of five different types of sauces, Choi's mother sauces, if you will: red (chiles, garlic, onion), green (garlic), brown (chiles, soy), yellow (onion, soy), and rainbow (nuts, garlic, chiles). Though the emphasis is on vegetables, there are hearty meaty options too, like thinly-pounded pork schnitzel, succulent scallops, and steak served with hearty dose of brown sauce mixed with A1. Choi's charred carrots served atop tomatillo, cilantro and garlic "green" sauce give Ludo Lefevbre's famed barbecued version a run for their money. The veggie-heavy menu serves as a testament to the trend of chefs placing a premium on produce. The cocktails served in deli cups are a cute touch, too.

Commissary is located at 3515 Wilshire Blvd. in Koreatown, (213) 381-7411

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Chicken terrine with pain perdu and mustard quenelle at Maude (Photo by Krista Simmons/LAist)

Maude

Celebrity chef Curtis Stone's 25-seater in Beverly Hills is named after his grandmother, and the monthly set tasting menu is based off a singular seasonal ingredient. It's cozy and welcoming, with unique midcentury modern and antique touches all around. (Bishop Pass, who did Gjelina Takeaway, Laurel Hardware, and Andaz in Napa are responsible for the eclectic design.) It's a big challenge for a kitchen staff to execute 150 new dishes a year, but Stone and his team do it with grace and excellence. It's a bit spendy, but worth the splurge to see the chef at work.

Maude is located at 212 South Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills, (310) 859-3418

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The lox and bagel at Wexler's (Photo by Krista Simmons/LAist)

Wexler's Deli

Wexler’s at Grand Central Market is the only Jewish deli in town making its own lox, using farm-raised salmon from Scotland whose cure is just right. There's a sweet luxurious fattiness to their fish, which stands out for its stunning deep pink hue and thin slicing technique, which allows for the lox to melt in your mouth the same way a choice cut of toro might at one of L.A.'s greatest sushi spots. Their pastrami is similarly mouth-watering and also done in house, which is also uncommon at another delis. Though the kitchen and seating space is small, it's definitely earned it's keep as one of the must-hits on the L.A. food circuit.

Wexler's Deli is located at 317 S. Broadway, Downtown

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Squid Ink Agnolotti at Pistola (Photo courtesy of Pistola)

Pistola

What we love about Pistola—a sleek Italian restaurant that pays homage to the 1950s, NYC-Style Italian steakhouses—is that their dry-aged steaks are charred and cooked to perfection. They also excel in their freshly-made pastas; some of their most creative dishes include their Chocolate Campanelle pasta made with braised duck and giblets, rosemary and a balsamic sauce, and their Squid Ink Agnolotti that's packed with lobster, shrimp, scallop and sea urchin. Everything is meant to be shared family style, so it makes for a great group dinner, and make sure to ask your server for some wine recommendations as they have a pretty extensive list. With the classy restaurant's monochromatic color scheme—a matte-black, barn-like exterior and white tablecloths covering the tables—we can honestly imagine it as a spot where a modern-day Rat Pack would hang out at. —Jean Trinh

Pistola is located at 8022 W 3rd St., Fairfax District, (323) 951-9800

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An Asian twist on deviled eggs at Faith & Flower (Photo courtesy of Faith & Flower on Facebook)

Faith & Flower

There are a lot of things we love at Faith & Flower in Downtown L.A.: the smart art deco meets modern design; the flaming table-side absinthe show; the prayerbook menus with hidden messages from rappers and poets; the fact that "Ratatouille's" menu consultant Michael Hung is the chef; and the reality that the chef's comforting oxtail agnolotti doesn't need any assistance from rodents of any sort. They also have an incredible bar program—best known now for its milk punch—which made our Best Bars of 2014 list here. It's an all around great dining experience.

Faith & Flower is located at 705 West 9th Street, Los Angeles, (213) 239-0642

Sushi Tsujita

The Tokyo-based restaurant that also owns one of our favorite ramen bars in town opened up an edomae-style sushi spot this year. If you can manage to resist the siren calls of the tsukemen next door, you'll be welcome with impeccable presentations of fish served in an omakase style that dates from the 19th century. The service in the bamboo adorned restaurant is reverent but unpretentious, and is definitely one for the books.

Sushi Tsujita is located at 2006 Sawtelle Blvd., West L.A., 310-231-1177