Farida, George Abou-Daoud’s latest venture, starts serving Middle Eastern dishes this week. Photo by Bowery St. Enterprises.

Each week we spotlight top Los Angeles restaurants, dining and drinking experiences you need to try.

Edited by Christina Xenos

The Venue
Opens Jan. 26. Koreatown’s hottest new destination features an eclectic menu by executive chef Kayson Chong, inventive cocktails by mixologist Devon Espinosa and 13 private karaoke rooms in a subterranean location just off Wilshire Blvd. Highlights of Chong’s menu include yellowtail crudo; bone-in short rib and towers of appetizers like fried mac ’n’ cheese, spicy wings and fried calamari. Espinosa’s cocktail menu gets the party started with selections like the Seana with Absolut Elyx, yellow chartreuse, eucalyptus, lemon, passion fruit and bitters, served in an icy copper pineapple. For your karaoke experience, you can enjoy cocktails from the bar, or opt for the location’s take on bottle service: DIY bar carts in the private rooms, where you can create your own drinks based off of provided recipes. 6 p.m.-2 a.m. nightly. 3470 Wilshire Blvd #B1, L.A., 213.221.1251. thevenuela.com

Black Truffle Dinner Series at SAAM
Jan. 26-Feb. 25. The annual dinner series celebrates the opulence of truffle season through the imagination and gastronomic vision of renowned chef José Andrés’ culinary team, led by SAAM’s Aitor Lozano Zabala. Dine on a 16- to 18-course+ tasting menu in honor of the black truffle, featuring bites such as the mini airbread “escalivada” made with puffed bread, roasted eggplant, onion, red bell pepper and topped with Spanish anchovy and black truffle. The series features avant-garde techniques, while honoring the playful spirit of José Andrés’ cooking. Thurs.-Sat., and Valentine’s Day. $250/pp. SLS Beverly Hills, 465 S La Cienega Blvd., L.A., 310.246.5545. sbe.com

the venue koreatown
Seana with Absolut Elyx, yellow chartreuse, eucalyptus, lemon, passion fruit and bitters, served in an icy copper pineapple from mixologist Devon Espinosa at The Venue in Koreatown. Photo by Jakob Layman.

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams
Opens Jan. 26. Columbus, Ohio-based artisanal ice cream pioneer Jeni Britton Bauer opens her second LA outpost in Venice this week. For the last year and a half, sweet seekers have been flocking to Jeni’s Los Feliz outpost for her from-scratch scoops. Now, scoops of Gooey Butter Cake and Juniper and Lemon Curd will delight diners closer to the beach. Also, put their Feb. 9 party in your calendar; you can stop by for a fee scoop and swag bag (for the first 50 in line) starting at 7 p.m. 11 a.m.-11 p.m. daily. 540 Rose Ave., Venice, 310.314.2024. jenis.com

Opens Jan. 26. The new Middle Eastern dining destination in Hollywood is the latest from veteran restauranteur George Abou-Daoud (Bowery, Delancey, Bowery Bungalow). He named it after his grandmother and draws inspiration for the menu from dishes he grew up eating at home utilizing centuries-old preparation techniques and transcending some of the everyday dishes synonymous with the region. Highlights of the menu include Lavender Baghrir Crepes with honey brown butter and sel gris to start; Mountain Prep Lamb Awarma, which follows a traditional mountain-side preparation process and is served alongside hummus bi tahini, a nut and fig medley, lamb cracklins and a soft egg; and stuffed squash, a whole gourd filled with basmati rice and le puy lentils with pistachio butter. Also find cocktails created to compliment the menu, incorporating ingredients like rosewater, mint, orange blossom, pomegranate and fig. And with kitchen hours extending until 2 a.m., Farida is also poised to be one of Hollywood’s best late-night dining options. Mon.-Fri. noon-2 p.m., Sat.-Sum. 4 p.m.-2 a.m. 6266 Sunset Blvd., L.A. faridarestaurant.com

Saam black truffle dinner
Mini airbread “escalivada” on the menu at the Black Truffle Dinner Series at SAAM. It’s made with puffed bread, roasted eggplant, onion, red bell pepper, and topped with Spanish anchovy and black truffle

Burns Supper at The Pikey
Jan. 25. Hollywood’s premier English Pub features a Burns Supper, honoring the life and poetry of Robert Burns. Observed in Scotland and Northern Ireland since the late 1880s, the event always includes the customary Haggis—a slow simmered sausage made of sheep’s heart, liver and lungs—and Scotch whiskey, both of which were celebrated by Burns in his poem, Address a to Haggis. The popular gastropub menu of chef Johnson’s organically sourced snacks, and small and large plates will also be available. Also find multiple selections of Bruchladdich Single Malt Scotch as well as a special Robert Burns cocktail of Scotch, Dolin sweet vermouth, orange bitters and Matahari absinthe, served up—both offered at $5. 6 p.m.-2 a.m. 7617 W Sunset Blvd., L.A., 323.850.5400. thepikeyla.com

Sassafras Saloon
The NoLa inspired drinking destination has an agenda for 2017. Find happy hour every day from 5-8 p.m. along with special themed nights. Tuesdays will thus be known as Fat Tuesdays, recreating Mardi Gras every week with Bourbon Street cocktails live music and more. Red Light District Wednesdays bring a sultry evening of burlesque and blues (from 10 p.m.). Friday Jr. sets the stage for a weekly rock ’n’ roll karaoke competition alone with specials on whiskey shots and draft beers (from 10 p.m.). Stop by on Fridays and Saturdays for DJs, bands and a dance party and enjoy tasty new cocktails all along the way like the Vine Street Shandy with Kin white whiskey, Amaro Montenegro, ginger, lemon and egg white. 1233 Vine St., L.A., 323.467.2800. sassafrashollywood.com

Chinese New Year at the Terranea Resort
Jan. 28-29. Kick off the year of the rooster with with Chinese New Year-inspired dishes at the seaside resort. Bashi offers a special Chinese New Year menu that features selections like char siu bbq pork tenderloin, Hong Kong-style fried noodles and shaking flowering shrimp balls. Stop by Sea Beans for a selection of dim sum; while at Catalina Kitchen—newly reopened on the property—you can dine on dishes like pork shumai, crispy chicken dumplings and General Tso’s chicken. 100 Terranea Way, Rancho Palos Verdes, 424.666.0845. terranea.com

A Mano, Amaro-The Dumpling Edition
Jan. 27. Join chef Elizabeth McCoy (pastaiolo for Faith & Flower) and mixologist Jonathan Joy (The Wallace) for a one-night immersive dining experience centered on handmade Italian dumplings (gnocchi, cavatelli, etc.) paired with custom amaro-based cocktails. The four-course menu includes dishes such as squid ink cavatelli with ridgeback prawns and Calabrian chili butter or Pici D’Abruzzo with 8-hour lamb ragu and housemade minted ricotta. The duo is throwing the pop-up at Feastly, the chef-driven culinary incubator in the Arts District. 7:30-10:30 p.m. $60/pp, tickets are available through the website and the address is revealed with purchase. eatfeastly.com

Shake Shack
The modern day “roadside” burger stand is taking LA by storm with the opening of their fourth SoCal outpost in Century City. Find it at Westfield Century City, boasting their menu of classic burgers, Vienna beef hot dogs, spun-fresh frozen custard, crinkle cut fries and more. This location features the LA-only Roadside Double, a double Swiss cheeseburger topped with Dijon mustard and onions simmered in bacon and beer. Also find a selection of local frozen custard concretes, including the Beverly Chills (vanilla custard, salted caramel sauce, Compartés dark chocolate chunks, chocolate toffee and malt). 10250 Santa Monica Blvd., Level 2, Century City. shakeshack.com

Bar Clacson
If the bar world had a dream team, it might mirror the collaborators behind downtown’s newest drinking den. Cedd Moses, Eric Needleman and Mark Verge of 213 Hospitality join forces with Eric Alperin (The Varnish) and Richard Boccato (Dutch Kills) to bring imbibers masterfully crafted classic cocktails; cocktails, beers, and ciders on tap; and an all-day menu of European fare like bruschetta, paninis and cheese and charcuterie boards. It also boasts LA’s first indoor pétanque court. Tues.-Fri. 3 p.m.-2 a.m., Sat.-Sun. noon-2 a.m. 351 S. Broadway, downtown. barclacson.com

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