FAMILIA FIRST: Chef Ray Garcia continues to conquer downtown with his second Latin locale, Broken Spanish, which opened in June. More formal than B.S. Taqueria, Broken Spanish reflects Garcia’s warmth by creating a sense of family and community. Combining the diversity of Los Angeles with his Latin roots, the menu encourages family-style dining with mostly small plates such as sweet Mexican bread topped with foie gras butter and brown sugar ($13).
Broken Spanish, 1050 South Flower Street
LESS IS MORE: Four years in Ho Chi Minh City gave chef Shawn Pham the culinary connection to his family’s culture that he was looking for. His one-month-old restaurant Simbal imparts the simplicity and balance that he observed in Vietnam into dishes like short rib potpie with lemongrass, annatto and bone marrow ($16). Said Pham, “From food to fashion to design to art, doing more with less has always fascinated me.”
Simbal, 319 East 2nd Street, Suite 202
SOUTHERN COMFORT: One thing remained the same for chef Nick Montgomery and restaurateur Ami Lurie in their move from the Asian flare of Momofuku to the southern style of Osso: fried chicken. The duo swapped mu shu pancakes for potato salad to create Osso, which opened in June as “a neighborhood joint serving simple food and drinks,” said Lurie.
Osso, 901 East 1st Street
BRATWURST AND BREW: Authentic Austrian cuisine arrived this month in the form of sausages and steins. Serving schnitzel on freshly baked bread and Nutella-filled croissants from 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily, “BierBeisl Imbiss captures the energy and lifestyle of the new emerging downtown L.A,” said owner/chef Bernhard Mairinger.
BierBeisl Imbiss, 541 South Spring Street
NOLA IN L.A.: With a raw bar upstairs and a frozen daiquiri bar downstairs, Preux & Proper combines the vivacious vibe of New Orleans with Southern California freshness. The drinks pack a punch and the menu delivers California takes on NOLA classics, like smoked shrimp beignets ($10) and foie gras Po’Boys ($19). Born and raised in Louisiana, owner Joshua Kopel said the downtown spot he opened last December “has the same grit, heart and soul of my hometown.”
Preux & Proper, 840 South Spring Street
HOLY MACKEREL: After descending a spiral staircase at Mrs. Fish, guests discover a 5,500-gallon chandelier — filled with fish. The suspended aquarium brightens the bar, inviting guests to unwind with craft cocktails, tasty small bites and live music. This combination fashions “an atmosphere for live-music enthusiasts and the local bar crowd alike,” said Joseph Ojeda, director of operations at Citrus Hospitality Management, which runs the eight-month-old establishment.
Mrs. Fish, 448 South Hill Street
TRIPLE 8 PLAY: Succulent soup dumplings and steaming sake take over the old Trader Vic’s spot at L.A. Live. Unveiled in May by the owners of Wokcano and EMC Seafood, Triple 8 is a Chinese bar and grill with classics like Kobe beef porridge ($22) and sparkling blueberry sake ($10).
Triple 8, 800 West Olympic Boulevard, A-120