Handmade pastas, po’ boys brimming with catfish, and inventive omakase menus are just some of the offerings that brought LA-area Chowhounds to their feet in 2013. In alphabetical order, here are Chowhound picks for the year’s best openings. [This article was updated on November 30, 2017 to reflect two restaurant closures.]

1. BUCATO — CLOSED
3280 Helms Avenue, Culver City
310-876-0286

Evan Funke’s well-priced, house-made pastas and the restaurant’s impeccable service are drawing crowds to the Helms Bakery District.

2. CHENGDU TASTE (no website)
828 W. Valley Boulevard, Alhambra
626-588-2284

The cumin lamb—mind the toothpicks—is a Chowhound favorite, as is the long list of well-executed, spicy dishes that numb the tongue just right.

3. CHI SPACCA
6610 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles
323-297-1133

Meat takes center stage at the third and newest restaurant in the Mozza complex; the beef and bone marrow pie, with the bone jutting out of the center like a settler’s claim flag, is a force to be reckoned with.

4. THE FACTORY KITCHEN
1300 Factory Place #101, Los Angeles
213-996-6000

The name is simple, but the Italian food isn’t. Pastas and breads are made in-house (try the olive-flecked pappardelle) and fresh ingredients are locally sourced.

5. FISHING WITH DYNAMITE
1148 Manhattan Avenue, Manhattan Beach
310-893-6299

David LeFevre’s fancy fish shack prepares incredible oysters and scallops, but the grilled octopus, chowder, and crab cakes are also out-of-the-park hits.

6. ORLEANS & YORK DELI
4454 W. Slauson Avenue, Los Angeles
323-291-8800

The eatery may be small, but the golden fried catfish and shrimp po’ boys are anything but.

7. ORSA & WINSTON
122 W. Fourth Street, Los Angeles
213-687-0300

At his third restaurant in the Old Bank District, Josef Centeno exercises his culinary creativity with five- and nine-course tasting menus that change at his whim.

8. TACO MARÍA
3313 Hyland Avenue, Costa Mesa
714-538-8444

In another episode of food-truck-turned-restaurant, Carlos Salgado turned in his wheels and opened Taco María, where he wows Orange County with modern Mexican food—think guacamole with pistachio, flax, and Concord grape.

9. TACOS PUNTA CABRAS — CLOSED
2311 Santa Monica Boulevard, Santa Monica
310-917-2244

You could get a cheaper taco in other neighborhoods, but the lightly battered fish and killer house-made salsa selection may be worth a few extra dimes.

10. TROIS MEC
716 N. Highland Avenue, Los Angeles
No phone available

Power trio Ludo Lefebvre, Jon Shook, and Vinny Dotolo created a bit of a frenzy with Trois Mec’s online dining ticket system, but those who have scored a table in the 30-seat space have been delighted by the team’s high-caliber omakase dinner sets.

Photo of Peruvian scallops at Fishing with Dynamite by Flickr member T. Tseng under Creative Commons

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