Where should we go for dinner? There’s no shortage of answers when you’re in LA. In fact, here in my hometown, there are sometimes too many options. So I thought it might be fun to break this city down a bit. If Downtown LA is your destination, any one of these restaurants would be a sure bet when it comes to the quintessential downtown experience—and a damn good dinner.
Order like I do every time, and you will be happy: steak tartare with frites and aioli, escargot, any one of the amazing tarts (the pear and caramelized almond is delish!), and pig ears when they are on the menu. This Arts District gem serves seasonal, French-inspired cuisine and one hell of a cocktail to boot.
The lomo saltado at Mo-Chica is an absolute must. Like all the food on this eclectic menu, this dish is packed with flavor. I love the modern spin on the traditional Peruvian comfort food this place serves, and also the stenciling they do with their drinks. Fancy!
Photo by DYLAN + JENI via Orsa & Winston
There are only a few establishments I know of that can legitimately be called “grown-ass” restaurants. This is one of them. Orsa & Winston does everything right, from top to bottom. The entrees have just the right amount of innovation without trying too hard and are always perfectly executed. Service is attentive, informed, and warm. The stemware is expensive and such a pleasure to drink from. And the atmosphere is intimate and sexy. This one’s winning all-around.
I love Sushi Gen for its no-frills approach to Japanese. No rolls, no gimmicks. Just bomb-ass fish. Come prepared for some serious sushi, and also a long wait. There’s always a wait.
Bäco is a totally made-up name for a flatbread sandwich, and it’s genius. The oxtail is my personal favorite, but really, the flavor combinations are all pretty fantastic. Lamb with raisin, pine nut and tomato? I’m in. And to go with the salty flavor of the packed bäcos, there’s a nice variety of house-made sodas, including ginger, strawberry, and orange-vanilla. Because there is nothing better (well ,maybe beer) than a cold, sweet soda to wash down all that savory deliciousness.