Recently opened Westside restaurants feature sophisticated Italian fare, decadent waffles, build-your-own gyros, bone broth pho and classic American cheeseburgers

By Jessica Koslow, Angela Matano and Christina Campodonico

Savor a burger and fries
at The Window for under
$7 or go big with butter pasta served over uni at Heroic Wine Bar & Deli

It seems like every other day one restaurant closes its kitchen and another one pops open. It can be hard to keep track, so let us introduce you to several interesting eateries that have opened in the past few months:

The Window

The corner of Rose and 5th avenues has been quiet since Fiesta Brava and Ranch Market left, until now. Last week the brains behind the soon-to-be-in-this-spot restaurant American Beauty have been piquing diners’ interest with The Window, a walk-up counter serving a $3.95 cheeseburger and $2.75 fries. The entire parking lot is roped off, sprinkled with colorful blue, red and turquoise stools and an umbrella for shade. The simple menu also includes a beauty burger (for vegetarians), a fried chicken sandwich, a shaved kale salad and a grain bowl. Drink options are lemonade, iced tea and soda, and an ice cream sandwich for dessert. Everything on the menu is under $8 — a treat in pricey Venice. (JK)

425 Rose Avenue, Venice |

Heroic Wine Bar & Deli

If the name Adam Fleischman sounds familiar to you, it’s because he’s the guy behind Umami Burger and 800 Degrees. His latest venture — a dual concept with sandwiches on one side (Heroic Deli) and fine dining on the other (Heroic Wine Bar) — departs considerably from the fast-casual vein. Opened on Feb. 8 in partnership with Jeffrey Merrihue and Italian chef Barbara Pollastrini, Heroic’s highly seasonal menu in the wine bar celebrates the rich simplicity of Roman-style cuisine. Many of the ingredients and flavors fall in line with traditional Italian food, but are handled with a delicacy and elegance that can be difficult to find stateside. One of the best dishes is the “soupfle,” a portmanteau of soup and soufflé. This take on a traditional pappa al pomodoro dish bursts with flavor — perfect for a light evening meal paired with a glass of gorgeous red wine. You’ll wonder if you’ve died and gone to Italy. (AM)

514 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica | (310) 490-0202 |

Bru’s Wiffle

Longtime locals joint Café Buna might have been a tough act to follow, but in its place Bru’s Wiffle is wooing the neighborhood with its tasty breakfast, brunch and lunch fare — especially waffles. Some of owner Ebru Fidan Caplan’s favorites are the Chicken on Fire waffle (topped by grilled onions, grilled jalapeños, Oaxacan cheese and Bru’s blazing sauce) and the grain bowl (farro, barley, bell peppers, spicy crispy chickpeas, kale, crispy Brussels sprouts, cucumber, feta cheese and avocado). Your favorite just might be the Chocolate Waffle Party — a chocolate waffle stuffed with butter cream and topped with Oreos, whipped cream and chocolate sauce. Bru’s Wiffle is open daily except for Mondays, and recently started serving mimosas, Bloody Marys, sangria and Venice Duck Brewery’s Lucky Duck Blond Ale. Breakfast happy hour is 8 to 11 a.m. Tuesdays through Fridays. (JK)

3105 Washington Blvd., Marina del Rey | (310) 881-9162 |

Rodini Park Playa Vista

Build your own wrap, bowl or salad for about $10 at this fast-casual but high-flavor Greek eatery, which opened last month next door to breakfast spot HASH. At lunchtime, people working in nearby offices line up for gyros, chicken shawarma, pita sandwiches and the house-made savory pies (spinach, cheese, leek, chicken, beef and lamb, moussaka and salmon). A variety of fresh toppings, sauces and sides allow regulars to try something new each visit. If it’s your first time and you have a sweet tooth, don’t leave without a slice of the baklava cheesecake, which has been celebrated on a “10 Best Cheesecakes in Los Angeles” list. (JK)

12181 Bluff Creek Dr., Playa Vista | (310) 282-8500 |

Cowabunga Republic

In March, the owners of Holy Guacamole opened this new burger place a few doors down and it’s completely adorable, like a new-fashioned food stand. The restaurant’s small footprint features a walk-up window and about a half-dozen outdoor booths that look to be constructed of pallets and concrete blocks painted cherry red. The menu sticks to the basics, but in a good way. Sleek and well-curated, the options include a double burger, double cheeseburger, and a slightly more expensive grass-fed burger. Fries come plain or with chili. For vegetarians, there’s the option of a meatless patty or an avocado sandwich. There are not nearly enough inexpensive restaurant choices in the neighborhood — especially now, considering the recent closure of Bareburger — and this little gem sparkles like a diamond. (AM)

Cowabunga Republic | 2912 Main St., Santa Monica

Camp Pho

The outline of the words Tasty Goody can still be seen on the front of the building, but now the former Chinese Restaurant has been replaced with Camp Pho, serving small plates and bone broth noodle bowls from noon to 10 p.m. daily except Tuesdays. A waiter tells me that the business has been passed down from father to son, whose dream of owning a restaurant has finally come true. The son has also hipped up the design and vibe — games like Jenga, checkers and dominoes line the counter. The most popular items so far are the butcher pho (featuring a variety of meats, including the chef’s signature brisket) and Hanoi crab egg rolls. Vegan bone broth is also available. (JK)

Camp Pho | 715 Lincoln Blvd., Venice | (310) 392-8889

Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken

With a downtown location and food truck already rolling around L.A., Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken officially landed on Main Street in the former home of Books and Cookies two weeks ago. Order the crispy chicken by the piece or in a cheddar biscuit, bun or donut sandwich. Vanilla, maple-bacon, PB&J, crème brûlée and vegan donuts are always on the menu, as are locally sourced beer and wine and a chocolate birthday cake doughnut with CBD-infused chocolate buttercream frosting for the adventurous eater over 21. (JK)

2309 Main St., Santa Monica | (310) 490-0202 |

Rasselbock Kitchen & Beer Garden

We raved about this Bavarian-style German gastropub during its well-attended soft open week in the space formerly occupied by Louie’s of Mar Vista. Now in full-swing, it’s a bustling neighborhood hangout that pairs a wide selection of authentic German brews on draught with mouthwatering sausages and a schnitzel that’s fried to perfection. Be entertained by the furry jackalopes on the wall, friendly servers and the lively clientele; leave satisfied by the indulgent Deutsch offerings, including tempting desserts. (CC)

3817 Grand View Blvd., Mar Vista | (310) 439-2938 |