Eat Here: Some New Contenders

Relatively new restaurants that you need to add to your rotation.

Eat Here: Some New Contenders
Spicy lamb at Chef Fu in Monterey Park
Dumplings and buns at Hui Tou Xiang in Hollywood. Image: Hui Tou Xiang

Hui Tou Xiang: All of us who don't live in the SGV have much to be thankful for as good Chinese restaurants expand westward. Hui Tou Xiang's original location in San Gabriel is takeout-only right now, but the Hollywood outpost is dine-in, but I bet it does gangbusters delivery. I like the noodle dishes, both dry and souped, and I appreciate that this location didn't dumb down its offerings: those pork and cabbage dumplings have a real old-timey flavor. (Also: ordering xiao long bao for delivery makes no sense.) (Hollywood & San Gabriel)

Emsakhan chicken, lemon-garlic chicken, and a falafel bowl at Jerusalem Chicken in Windsor Hills

Jerusalem Chicken: Between employees and customers this has got to be the most diverse location in Los Angeles, and the atmosphere is as chaotic as that would indicate, especially when you throw in the mysterious ordering process. It's fun! The food is excellent. The falafel bowl feels like the most wholesome meal you've ever eaten, and it's delicious too. You'll have to figure out which variety of roasted chicken is your favorite, but they're all perfectly cooked, and come with interesting sides. Get the greens. (Windsor Hills)

Dong'an chicken at Chef Fu in Monterey Park

Chef Fu: I forgot how spicy Hunan food is. Chef Fu learned me! And also serves excellent peanuts. The Dong'an chicken soup, pictured above, is the ideal chicken soup, with complicated flavors, but I'm not sure of every ingredient: when you google the dish it looks totally different, and the Chef Fu staff and I don't speak the same languages. That doesn't stop the service from being great. They gave us pears for dessert! (Monterey Park)