THREE NEWCOMERS WITH WORD OF MOUTH

CHICAGO: OHBA, (773) 772-2727, www.ohbalounge.com
East meets West in the inventive menu at Ohba, a sleek new eatery in bohemian-cum-gourmand Wicker Park. Raised in North Carolina, Japanese chef Gene Kato draws on his multinational background to craft dishes like sake-poached sole and five-spiced squab. Go with a gang to graze on Kato’s dozen-plus appetizers highlighted by ishi yaki, a piping hot rock atop which diners sear scallops, shrimp, and Kobe beef.

LOS ANGELES: OPALINE, (323) 857-6725, www.opaline.org
At Opaline, former Michael’s sommelier David Rosoff pours his passion for wine with a comforting enthusiasm that makes it worthy of a weekly stop. Chef David Lentz matches the whites and reds with a Mediterranean menu that spans light and hearty. Opposite the industrial-look dining room, “The Den” serves simple small plates like figs with goat cheese and braised clams — all conducive to by-the-glass tippling.

MIAMI BEACH: METRO KITCHEN + BAR, (305) 672-7217
Karim Masri, former owner of Bambu, and Nicola Siervo of Mynt Lounge teamed to open this spot in the retro Hotel Astor. Take advantage of the South Beach heat with a seat on the lush patio among hedges, a water wall, and overhead trellising vines. Chef Rob Boone keeps guests guessing, creating a menu that covers both seductive Old World (Armagnac foie gras) and inventive New (spicy octopus carpaccio).