Sonoratown

If tacos are LA’s new religion, then Sonortown is their church. The hole-in-the-wall tacquería sits on the edges of the Fashion District and focuses on food in the style of San Luis Río Colorado, Sonora – a part of Northern Mexico known for its flour tortillas. One bite of the steak tacos draped in salsa and stuffed with chopped cabbage and green onion and you know you’ve been the victim of flour tortilla fraud at all other high street chains. The secret ingredient? Owners Teodoro Diaz-Rodriguez and Jen Feltham import (read: drive across the Mexican border) a specific type of flour, unique to the Sonora region.

  • +1 213 628 3710
  • Go to Website
  • 208 East 8th Street,
    Los Angeles
    90014

Pine & Crane

You’ll find pretty much anyone and everyone at this Silver Lake staple, for the casual Taiwanese-Chinese has quickly attracted a cult following – almost entirely their for its beef soup with hunks of tender meat resting on top of the inky broth softening the udon noodles beneath. Double up on the daikon dumplings and the dan dan noodles, sprinkled with crushed peanuts and doused in homemade chilli oil for an extra kick. Don’t forget to order a few of the vegetables dishes, as most of the produce is grown on the family’s Asian vegetable farm. If you spot yellow watermelon on the specials list, order it. The Taiwanese variety has a slight honey taste and is a great option if you’re dithering over dessert.

  • +1 323 668 1128
  • Go to Website
  • 1521 Griffith Park Boulevard
    Los Angeles
    90026

Bavel

After the roaring success of much-loved Bestia – which is commonly referred to as the catalyst for the Arts District culinary revival – chefs Ori Menashe and Genevieve Gergis have explored their Middle Eastern heritage to cook up Bavel. Slow-cooking techniques are favoured, order the roasted lamb neck shawarma smothered in spices and the wood-fired laffa flatbread to mop up the juices, plus the malawach, similar to a roti served with soft boiled egg, crème fraîche and a strawberry zhoug – a spin on the Yemeni hot sauce – which has grown to become somewhat of a sell-out dish. Book well in advance (months, ideally) as the whole of LA will happily get stuck on the freeway for a stab at the rose clove chocolate donuts.

KazuNori – The Original Hand Roll Bar

Grab a menu and pull up a pew at the sushi bar for their five hand-roll menu that comes with toro, yellowtail, bay baby scallop, blue crab and lobster. Everything is made to order in the open kitchen so the seaweed is crispy, the rice is warm and the fish is fresh. It’s pretty packed most of the time so we recommend a grab and go.

71 Above

Dining at 5PM in this high-level, panoramic restaurant ensures you get the best of LA from dusk to dark. The agnolotti with black truffle and ricotta is a must, while the scallops in curry will be one of those dishes you think about for days. With the whole of Los Angeles twinkling beneath you it’s a celebratory restaurant so get glammed up and don’t take first dates here (you’d be setting the bar very high).

  • +1 213 712 2683
  • Go to Website
  • 633 W. 5th Street
    71st Floor
    Los Angeles
    90071

Otium

Translating from Latin to mean the less catchy “a place where time can be spent on leisurely social activities”, this open-kitchen restaurant with merging indoor and outdoor spaces certainly lives up to its name. The delicate glass teardrops hanging from the roof and swimming fish by Damien Hirst resemble an art installation as opposed to an eatery – fitting considering location next to The Broad museum. Chef Timothy Hollingsworth of French Laundry fame has shaken up American classics in the form of grilled cheese served with caviar and funnel cake mixed with pear, truffle and frisse – you won’t find that combo at your county fair.

Grand Central Market

The original Downtown destination opened in 1917 and fits over 100 vendors under one roof. Instagram food giants Eggslut give you all day every day eggs, Union’s chef Bruce Kalman presents handmade pasta at Knead & Co. Pasta Bar and Sarita’s has classic Salvadorian dishes based on authentic family recipes. Go big or go home – save room for dessert at McDonnel’s where ice-cream sandwiches are build your own and “just one scoop” is certainly not an option.

Sushi Gen

Be prepared to wait in line and definitely over-order to compensate – it’ll be worth it when prime cuts of tuna, squid, yellowtail and toro are laid out in front of you from their $17 sashimi platter. There’s nothing exciting about the décor, which is a simple dining room, yet there’s something extra special about finding first-grade sushi at rock-bottom prices. The only hitch is that everyone in Downtown LA feels the same.

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