Patrick Kuh is the restaurant critic for Los Angeles magazine, which recently named L.A.'s top new restaurants of 2008:
1. Palate, 933 S Brand Blvd, Glendale. 818-662-9463, Octavio Becerra's place that also has a wine shop attached.
2. Gjelina, 1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice. 310-450-1429. Chef Travis Lett makes magic with his wood-fired oven.
3. Nickel Diner. An authentic-looking, real diner. 524 S Main St, downtown LA. 213-623-8301. Every morning each table gets donut holes. It has a classic diner repertoire.
4. Anisette. A brasserie opened by chef Alain Giraud. Farmers market produce is featured in a perfect brasserie setting. 225 Santa Monica Blvd, Santa Monica. 310-395-3200.
5. Comme Ca. A brasserie by David Myers, owner of Sona restaurant across the street. 8479 Melrose Ave. 323-782-1104.
6. Little Dom's. Italian wedding soup and freshly made pastas in leather booths. 2128 Hillhurst Ave, Los Feliz. 323-661-0055.
7. Animal. Pork-intensive, artisan grains and lots of bacon. 435 N Fairfax Ave, LA. 323-782-9225.
8. BLT Steak. The steakhouse from Laurent Tourondel has fare that goes beyond the usual steak house. Diver scallops with meyer lemon vinaigrette, crepe souffle and a nice wine list. 8720 W Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood. 310-360-1950.
9. Loteria Grill. The full service restaurant from the Farmers Market stand. Fresh tortillas go along with the Mexico City fare in a Hollywood Blvd spot. 6627 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood. 323-465-2500.
10. Brix @ 1601. Fundamentals done right like the split pea soup with country bread. Not the showiest restaurant but an example of delicious basics. 1601 Pacific Coast Hwy, Hermosa Beach. 310-698-0740.
Music break: You Are My Chicken Fry by Bappi Lahiri