Cassia 

Cassia is a restaurant I’ve been trying to go to for ages. The good reservations are all taken weeks in advance, so my dinner started around 6:30/6:45ish.

The actual space is indoor and outdoor, with beautiful high ceilings and tables that are filled by time, not by space. Something I truly appreciate.

The must orders include Kaya toast (Coconut Jam, Butter, Slow Cooked Egg), Green Papaya Salad (with a kick!), Kon Loh Mee (Egg Noodles, Chinese Broccoli, Ground Pork, Pork Belly), and  Spicy Wontons.

I highly highly recommend eating at Cassia. It’s all over all the best new restaurant lists, and well deserved. The service is top notch as well.

Cassia
1314 7th St
Santa Monica, CA 90401img_7734

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Westbound DTLA

One of my favorite new watering holes downtown is Westbound, located in the monstrosity that which is One Santa Fe. They have a limited, yet delicious food menu. My faves include the Foieffle and Oysters. They also have an amazing late night happy hour that begins at midnight.

Oysters with Grilled Watermelon Ice, Lemon Oil + Mignonette, Basil

Gravlax Cone with Roe, Charcoal Cone, Goat Cheese, Dill

Foie N Waffle – Brioche, Coffee, Maple, Naval Orange Compote

Cheese Board

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Osso DTLA

LA Weekly called Osso the best restaurant you aren’t eating at, and I couldn’t agree more. I stopped by yesterday for the second time, and it did not disappoint.

Located in the Arts District where the One Eyed Gypsy is located, it’s a nice hang for dinner or drinks. When you walk in there’s no host, or there hasn’t been the last two times I’ve been by which is a bit weird, so you seat yourself. The cocktails are delicious (I had a whiskey sour) .

MUST ORDERS: Sugar Snap Pea Salad. Couldn’t believe how good this was. Creamy thanks to a yogurt and dill dressing. We inhaled this dish. Live Diver Scallop. Served in the shell in kolhrabi, mandarinquat, and lemon basil. Absolutely divine. I have never had a scallop this fresh ever. Skilled Fried Chicken (not pictured), allow 45 minutes to order this deliciousness. Tagliatelle (not pictured) – house made pasta with meyer lemon and pistachios. So fresh and clean tasting.

HONORABLE MENTIONS: Kusshi Oysters. Rye Brownie.

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Birch – Hollywood, CA

It’s been a long while since I had a meal at a new restaurant and was blown away. That day finally came when I tried Birch during DineLA. First off, the deal was incredible, whether or not the food was good. 3 entrees + a cocktail or glass of wine for $39. I easily would’ve done this if it were $49 or even $59, as DineLA menus rarely include wine or cocktails.

Highlights: anything with Curry, Chicken Live & Fois Gras, Salmon, and cocktails (I ordered the #7, not pictured.)

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