It’s been 10 years since Michelin published a guide to the restaurants of America’s second-largest city, but 2019 sees its return. The timing could not be better. As my recent visit confirmed, Los Angeles now ranks among the great dining destinations of the United States. Now people go to upscale restaurants there for the food as much as for the people-watching.
To get a sense for where the Los Angeles dining scene has been heading, we focused on restaurants that opened in 2018 or later. But even within that limited period of time there were several tempting new establishments that our schedule forced us to skip, most notably Bavel, which serves acclaimed Middle Eastern cuisine downtown. Indeed, the problem with eating out in Los Angeles nowadays, at least for visitors, is figuring out which excellent restaurants to omit from your itinerary.
It seemed criminal to leave Los Angeles without trying some tacos. This creative new restaurant in the downtown Arts District is an ideal lunch stop after visiting nearby galleries and the Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. Service is very casual — you order at the register, take a number and find a table — but very friendly, and the unique tacos are delicious. We tried a Baja fried-cod taco with crunchy panko-breaded cod, purple cabbage, chipotle crema and cilantro; a sweet and spicy char sui taco with avocado and radish; and a savory Pocho taco with a crunchy shell, fresh raw-tomatillo salsa, flavorful aged cheddar and wild boar. A citrusy and refreshing La Favela cocktail of cachaça, local gin, pineapple, salted agave and lime was an ideal accompaniment.