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LA Food and Drink Pop-Ups to Catch Before They're Gone – The Hollywood Reporter

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As the topography of Los Angeles changes with the addition of countless new restaurants and bars, pop-up concepts are adding a uniquely temporary yet powerful shift to the culinary landscape. More than ghost kitchens and yet not fully independent establishments, these destinations can take different shapes: some are limited-edition experiences, traveling from city to city, some are expansions designed to create more space for guests, and others are a chance to explore and promote new tasting menus indefinitely without the pressure of overhead. Whether you’re looking for a 10-course Japanese-Italian fusion experience or different spin on a familiar cocktail, these pop-ups are not to be missed.

Pasta Ramen

Pasta Ramen's sesame uni ramen carbonara.

Pasta Ramen’s sesame uni ramen carbonara.


pastaRAMEN is the brainchild of James Beard-nominated chef Robbie Felice, and following sold out runs in New York and Miami, is now in Los Angeles for a limited time. Running through mid-November, the pastaRAMEN culinary experience (which is in partnership with hybrid cookware company HexClad) is a lavish Japanese-Italian 10-course spin on Tokyo’s “Wafu pasta” concept (pasta cooked with Japanese ingredients) through Nov. 13. The immersive experience is reserved to 10-people at a time and takes place at a secret location, and boasts surprising items like a cacio e pepe gyoza, sesame ricotta cavatelli with ginger soy pork ragu, and a caviar-injected burrata flaked in gold.

$295 per person, drink pairings included; location provided upon reservation;

Lil’ Pinky’s

The interior of Lil' Pinky's bar in Los Feliz.

The interior of Lil’ Pinky’s bar in Los Feliz.

Courtesy of Josh Telles

While Pinky’s in Los Feliz already has a following as the cozy, 80s-deco bar located opposite popular hotspot Atrium, the bar has expanded with a pop-up satellite bar beyond its tile-lined walls, prominently located in the brick-walled pathway just outside. Every Friday and Saturday night from 10:15pm-1:15am, the smaller location known as ‘Lil’ Pinky’s’ is revealed and features an exclusive outdoor menu of new cocktails. Though they are expected to change, currently the pop-up offers a gin-based Negroni with damson plum, a tequila based drink made with peach and yellow chartreuse, and a rye cocktail featuring prickly pear, ginger, and tarragon. Curated DJ sets by Alex Rodriguez, who has curated the on-site record store at Coachella, play in the open-air courtyard.

1816 N. Vermont Ave.,


A conceptual tasting menu experience from chef Chris Ono, Hansei is located at the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center, tucked away in an oasis of a garden beneath the busy streets of Little Tokyo above. Chef Ono, a fourth-generation Japanese American chef who cut his teeth at Michelin starred restaurants, Providence, Eleven Madison Park and Mori sushi, has designed Hansei (Japanese for “self-reflection”) to be a representation of Japanese-American cuisine in Los Angeles. Divided into three parts, the tasting menu features unique dishes like corn flake crusted Jidori chicken wings, a crispy crab “California roll” featuring Santa Barbara sea urchin and avocado, and Wagyu steak teriyaki. Hansei, which is set to last indefinitely as a pop-up, also encourages guests to pair their meal with rare, small-batch sake or a glass of wine from a range of California-based Japanese American winemakers.

$175 per person; 244 S. San Pedro St.,

A version of this story first appeared in the Nov. 2 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.