Los Angeles’ dining scene is on fire, with chefs from around the country — and globe — lured by its sunny climes, crisp produce and (relatively) cheaper rents. Developers have taken notice, building food-focused destinations with multiple marquee restaurants and bars all in one spot. Here are four of the buzziest boites in town.
This game-changing development aims to create a romantic Italian palazzo in the midst of LA’s gritty downtown fashion district, transforming old-timey produce warehouses into gourmand destinations, all clustered around an open-air courtyard. Bon vivants can wander from Sotto chef Steve Samson’s mouth-watering, Bologna-inspired Rossoblu (already up, running and booked solid) to the trendy Cognoscenti Coffee. They’ll soon be joined by San Fransisco hit The Slanted Door and a “deco-tropical” cocktail haven from dynamic drinks-duo Steve Livigni and Pablo Moix (complete with an outdoor terrace on what was once a banana loading dock).
Just opened last week, this mod NYC transplant and its 150,000-plus-square-feet of adjacent culinary offerings take up nearly a full city block. Tao Group brought in heavyweights Tao, Beauty & Essex and Avenue nightclub along with Luchini Pizzeria (from chef Alvin Cailan of Eggslut fame) and The Highlight Room, a poolside cocktails-and-bites spot (on the palm-dotted roof of hotel) with stunning skyline views, swanky cabanas and a major scene.
Launching this fall in DTLA, this revamp of an erstwhile 1920s YWCA (and later a Moroccan-themed hotel) promises an elegant, Spanish Colonial-style gem in the heart of the city — with multiple food and beverage venues from chef Casey Lane and Employees Only bar-star Dushan Zaric. Breva (think Spanish-French-Italian-North African small plates) will anchor the double-story lobby, along with the grand-dame Bar Figueroa and the ultra-intimate, mezzanine-level Bar Alta. Meanwhile, al fresco Veranda will serve farm-to-table Mediterranean nibbles near the courtyard pool while the dreamy, two-story Rick’s Place pours tropical cocktails near soaring stucco fireplaces.
A swanky spin-off of the Miami cool-kid hostel, the month-old Freehand offers a mix of private quarters and shared rooms in Downtown LA — plus the wildly popular Broken Shaker, with its playful blend of outdoor imbibing and vintage furniture, set to open next month on the hotel’s rooftop pool deck. Other tasty outlets include The Exchange (with Alex Chang’s LA-meets-Israel-meets-Mexico fare) and the sophisticated Rudolph’s Bar & Tea lobby cocktail den. Look for The NoMad Hotel (and its eponymous restaurant and bar) to arrive just a block away later this year.
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