Advertisement
Filters

Neighborhood

Filter

Restaurants

Price

Sort by

Showing Places
Share
Filters
Map
List
The Escarole pizza, plus spaghetti and squash risotto from Rossoblu.
(Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)

DTLA’s 8 restaurants from The Times’ 101

[It’s here: The Los Angeles Times’ 101 restaurants, dishes, people and ideas that define how we eat in 2020.]

Downtown Los Angeles is one of the most dynamic dining destinations in the city, and it remains so as many restaurants have made the turn to takeout. Whether you’re in the mood for rich pastas or mesquite-grilled steak stuffed into some of the best tortillas in the city, these nine restaurants from the 2020 101 restaurants guide will keep you coming back downtown.

Showing Places
Lamb biryani and a glass chai from Badmaash.
(Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)

Badmaash

Downtown L.A. Indian $$
| 2020
The genius of Badmaash is that it keeps you guessing. At a cursory glance, the menu trades in the ubiquitous, broadly northern dishes of most Indian restaurant menus: butter chicken, aloo gobi, Goan-style pork curry that nods to southern India, an aptly named “good ol’ saag paneer.” Chef Pawan Mahendro, who runs the restaurant’s two locations with sons Nakul and Arjun, blessedly cooks them with fresh-minded intent — he gives the classics life. He is also not afraid to be playful: For stress eating, I suggest the gravy-soaked chicken tikka poutine, an homage to the family’s years spent in Canada. Ultimately, the Mahendros toss rocks at the notion of stagnant culinary identity. Curried short rib braised in red wine holds the same merit as the rich, traditional biryanis frequently available on weekends, and in their hands it makes a natural, wholly L.A. sort of sense.
More Info
A group take a selfie in front of a neon sign for Bulleit Frontier Whiskey inside the Grand Central Market.
A group take a selfie in front of a neon sign for Bulleit Frontier Whiskey inside the Grand Central Market in downtown Los Angeles.
(Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)

Grand Central Market

Downtown L.A. $$$
| 2020
Downtown Los Angeles’ 103-year-old landmark stands at many crossroads: continuity and change, preservation and gentrification, the American Dream and capitalist reality, even (of current significance) shelter and open air. Arriving in its ecosystem is exhilarating. Follow one trail of neon signs to pupusas revueltas with crunchy, chile-freckled curtido at Sarita’s Pupuseria and to Wexler Deli’s pastrami, sliced thick as dominoes and stacked between slices of rye. Turn a tight corner for a hand pie filled with curried greens at Fat & Flour; spin 180 degrees to pick up a dreamily runny Winnimere, aged in spruce bark, at DTLA Cheese. However socially distanced, lines still wind — most consistently for breakfast sandwiches at Eggslut and for Jim Nakano’s coveted strawberry doughnuts at the Donut Man, a new tenant in 2020. If the market is a junction of the past and the future, one feature firmly embodies the present: You can bundle delivery orders from over two dozen of Grand Central Market’s vendors via ChowNow.
More Info
Confit duck leg, satsuma sweet potato, roasted baby carrots, alyssum, salted shiso and ume duck jus from Orsa & Winston.
(Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)

Orsa & Winston

Downtown L.A. Italian $$
| 2019 | #7
| 2020
| 2020
At Orsa & Winston, Josef Centeno’s approach to feeding customers is manifold. Casual takeout? The cheeseburger sando and a grain bowl brightly dressed in ever-changing greens bring elemental cheer. Something more elaborate? His weekly “cibo e vino” tasting menus designed to eat at home revel in the market bounty and, in centerpieces such as lobster diavolo with shiso and yuzu kosho, keep the restaurant’s Italian-meets-Japanese sensibility alive with possibility. Looking for a special-occasion meal out?
More Info
A family-style meal with baboy tim, sisig salad, white rice, pancit and lumpia from Petite Peso.
(Christina House / Los Angeles Times)

Petite Peso

Downtown L.A. Filipino $$
| 2020
Petite Peso’s chicken adobo is engineered to withstand the culinary indignities of takeout. Garlicky and vinegary, flecked with crisped chicken skin and mustard greens, smoothed out by coconut milk and served over rice, the dish tastes delicious at any temperature and in any setting. Its counterpart, an adobo riff on a French dip sandwich (jus included) that perfectly encompasses Los Angeles, is best picked up and eaten the moment you can find a quiet spot. Scan its Instagram account — or call the restaurant for some human interaction — to learn about the always compelling specials. There might be sinigang, a soup of pork belly and shoulder depth-charged with fish sauce, or flaky-soft ensaymadas enriched with kabocha butter and snow-capped with pecorino.
More Info
Advertisement
Nonna’s tagliatelle al ragù Bolognese with beef, pork and not too much tomato sauce.
(Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)

Rossoblu

Downtown L.A. Italian $$$
| 2019 | #17
| 2020
The heart and soul of Rossoblu lies in chef Steve Samson’s Bologna-focused Italian cooking. His most revered dishes include exemplary tortelloni stuffed with ricotta and chard; ribbon-smooth tagliatelle served in a Bolognese sauce, more meaty than saucy; and down-home minestra nel sacco, plump, squarish dumplings in fortifying chicken broth. The restaurant focused its efforts on carryout meals this year, affordable, sophisticated, seven-course dinners packed with Rossoblu hits. Recently there were tiny coal-roasted turnips salted with bottarga; lamb meatballs with ricotta; and potato and cheese raviolini tossed in butter, thyme and Parmigiano, its richness lovely and fathomless.
More Info
The duck teriyaki bento from Shibumi in downtown Los Angeles.
(Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Times)

Shibumi

Downtown L.A. Japanese $$$
| 2020
David Schlosser’s downtown L.A. restaurant is a shrine to salt-cured fish, house-aged miso, Japanese whisky and the rigors of Kappo-style cuisine. Roughly translated, kappo refers to the cutting and preparing of food for a small audience, a traditional Japanese format that today runs counter to COVID safety regulations. Schlosser and his team have been channeling the spirit of Shibumi into remarkable bento boxes that evince the same degree of meticulous, technique-driven cooking. The menchi katsu set is furnished with two meaty pork-beef cutlets coated in an impossibly light and prickly panko crust. Chicken katsu is alternately chewy and crisp, served with a superb potato salad and spinach in a light dashi soy. Grilled unagi tastes wonderful over koshihikari rice, and marinated black cod with a pumpkin croquette and marinated shiitake mushroom is a moody, delicate tableau that startles with its precise and clean flavors.
More Info
The Burrito 2.0 from Sonoratown.
(Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)

Sonoratown

Downtown L.A. Mexican $
| 2019 | #5
| 2020
Named after one of the first established Mexican neighborhoods in Los Angeles — the “lost barrio” of Sonoratown that once stood near L.A.’s present-day Chinatown — Jennifer Feltham and Teodoro Diaz-Rodriguez Jr.’s influential downtown taquería has helped spread the gospel of mesquite grilled steak and finely honed flour tortillas far and wide. The restaurant has been a vital takeout staple throughout 2020, bundling carne asada, grilled chicken and the house chorizo by the pound with the restaurant’s famed flour tortillas, which are still made using soft Sonoran wheat flour produced in Diaz-Rodriguez’s hometown of San Luis Río Colorado, Sonora. There is succor to be found in a take-home tray of the char-tinged, finely chopped beef, gloriously accessorized with all the requisite trimmings, including shredded cabbage, earthy-sweet grilled green onions and the taqueria’s silken guacamole salsa. For a single bite that reminds you why the cooking at Sonoratown is essential, consider the Burrito 2.0, a sumptuously meaty parcel of chunky guacamole, Monterey jack cheese, pinto beans and your choice of meat. It is arguably the most perfect lunch in downtown Los Angeles.
More Info
Empadão de frango served with green sauce and salad at Woodspoon.
(Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)

Woodspoon

Downtown L.A. $$
| 2020
The gateway dish into Natalia Pereira’s Brazilian cooking is empadão de frango; she translates it on her menu as “chicken pot pie.” Take refuge in its comforts: A crust with the texture of a thin, crisp biscuit yields to a creamed mix of poultry, olives, hearts of palm and corn. If churrascarias, the all-you-can-eat meat-sweat palaces, are your only exposure to Brazilian cuisine, it’s time to know downtown’s Woodspoon. From Pereira’s hands you taste Brazil’s slow meld of indigenous, African and Portuguese cultures. Fried snacks — spheres filled with shrimp and coconut or chicken, a cigar-shaped variation on kibbeh — precede artful stews such as costelinha com canjiquinha, boneless pork rib meat over coarse but utterly tender grits. More comfort: porky tropeiro beans, entwined with collards and served with yucca fries. Occasionally Pereira makes Brazil’s most famous union of meat and beans, feijoada, but it might be better that it’s not always available.
More Info