Esquire magazine's annual "Best New Restaurants in America" list took a hiatus after beloved food writer Josh Ozersky died in 2015, but the publication has brought it back for 2017. The list features 18 restaurants plus a few honorable mentions and subcategories, and its stated intention is to focus on sit-down, full-service restaurants. Los Angeles shows up multiple times, including in the No. 1 spot.
Miles Thompson snagged Esquire's "Rising Star of the Year" mention for his work at Michael's in Santa Monica. (This publication awarded the 38-year-old restaurant three stars last December.) The blurb mentions how much of a star-maker that restaurant has been and continues to be. "The narrative of Cali cuisine has revealed a plot twist at Michael’s in Santa Monica," writes food and drinks editor Jeff Gordinier, "where Chas McCarty (son of owner Michael), chef Miles Thompson and cocktail maven Meredith Hayman have proven that Hollywood doesn’t have a monopoly on the successful reboot."
Downtown's P.Y.T. comes in at No. 13 on the list, with praise for its vegetable-heavy menu and chef Josef Centeno's ability to make a globally inspired menu actually work. (We gave it three stars in April.)
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But the No. 1 spot on the whole list goes to Felix, the pasta palace in Venice that's part of L.A.'s resurgent Italian scene. We gave it a rare four stars; Gordinier gives it even higher praise, saying it feels like "the incarnation of everything life ought to be."