No Flash in the Pan
Downtown LA's dining scene keeps getting hotter
We first told you about the City of Angels' downtown restaurant boom back in spring 2015. Two years later, the revolution keeps unfurling at a dizzying pace. Sure, tatted young chefs keep opening delish dives for mostly millennial eaters, but new, more elegant restaurants thrill a more grown-up crowd. Sunday is fun day, when a Brooklyn-transplant flea market dazzles with La La Land's food trucks and stands. The craft beer boom? It's hopping. Take a peek at all that's new and good in the DTLA 'hood.
KARL STRAUSS BREWING CO.
At this craft beer pioneer, which originated in San Diego, choose from 24 small-batch beers on tap, including ones brewed on-site and limited releases. The brewpub's suds-friendly menu stars beer-braised smoked pork belly, beer-basted burgers with beer-brined bacon, and stout beer floats for dessert. Look for it in the Financial District. 600 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 100; 213-228-2739; karlstrauss.com
Come to this Chinatown restaurant with a simple storefront and an industrial vibe to dig into Taiwanese-inspired street food. Beef ban mian, flat noodles coated in eight-hour spicy bone marrow broth with five-spice beef shank and pickled veggies, and pork wontons in fiery chili oil with peanut powder and cilantro are standouts. 727 N. Broadway, Suite 207; 213-372-5218; laotaostreetfood.com
At this midcentury-bespoke dining spot in the high-end Hauser Wirth & Schimmel art complex, the kitchen garden and chicken coop make farm-to-table cooking a snap. In this Arts District winner, the Texan-born chef imparts a home-state twang to modern plates, such as bacon-wrapped elk loin with maitake mushrooms and fermented radicchio. 907 E. 3rd St.; 323-849-0480; manuela-la.com
NOMAD FOOD TRUCK
How better to announce Manhattan's much-anticipated NoMad restaurant's fall DTLA arrival than with a roaming food truck? Love the easy eats' upscale twists, such as truffle mayo and pickled shallots on chicken burgers, and French fries spiked with rosemary and lemon. Social media provides daily locales. thenomadhotel.com/dining/nomad-la-truck
Sip mai tais and Singapore slings at this tiki-tropical bar inside Clifton's Republic in the Historic Core. Check out the custom thatched roof and palm-fringed murals, evoking the 1936 vibe of Clifton's original Pacific Seas bar. 648 S. Broadway; 213-627-1673; cliftonsla.com/pacific-seas
The latest Old Bank District venture by DTLA dining king Josef Centeno celebrates local vegetables in inspired dishes, such as a salt-baked turnip wrapped in hoja santa (anise-flavored plant leaves)with shiso chimichurri. 400 S. Main St.; 213-687-7015; pytlosangeles.com
SALT & STRAW
Run-of-the-mill ice cream here? Not a chance. Get your handmade avocado-and-strawberry sherbet, or black olive brittle and goat cheese ice cream on at this wildly creative small-batch Arts District creamery. 829 E. 3rd St.; 213-988-7070; saltandstraw.com
Located on the U.S. Bank Tower's 71st floor, this Financial District restaurant ranks as the highest eatery west of the Mississippi. On a good day, ogle 360-degree views of ocean, basin, and mountains in a stunningly modern room with a honeycombed ceiling, light wood accents, and glass walls. On any day, swoon over dishes such as poached oysters with uni and caviar; parsnips with duck fat, dates, and pistachios; and young chicken breast with foie gras and black truffle. 633 W. 5th St.; 213-712-2683; 71above.com
In South Park, behind a counter carved from 400-year-old cypress wood, chef and owner David Schlosser presents this kappo-style Japanese restaurant. He and his kitchen staff use five cooking techniques - from raw to grilled - to create his intricate, intense, minimalist dishes. The many wondrous menu options include Santa Barbara raw shrimp and lobster cured in sake and lobster innards.815 S. Hill St.; 213-265-7923; shibumidtla.com
Each Sunday, some 50 local food vendors add the culinary kick to this hipster-y vintage and artisan flea market hailing from Brooklyn. Devour artisan cheese sandwiches, acai bowls, burritos, noodles, and more. Find it at Row DTLA in the Arts District. 777 S. Alameda St.; la.smorgasburg.com