LOS Angeles has been declared America’s best dining city in 2015 for being the “epicenter of freethinking and diversity in American cooking.” Editors of the popular food blog Eater.com made the bold proclamation, heaping praise on the city for its culinary creativity, open-minded diners and multicultural strengths.
In a lengthy Q&A-type piece moderated by the site’s restaurant editor Bill Addison, editors discussed why they chose the City of Angels over traditional US power dining destinations — i.e. New York and San Francisco — as the most exciting food city in 2015.
“I don’t think there’s a more electric dining city anywhere in America, especially when you try to wrap your mind around the sheer breadth of cuisine possibilities that are available here,” said senior LA Eater editor Farley Elliott.
And while chefs like Roy Choi, Kris Yenbamroong, Sang Yoon, Bryant Ng, Wes Avila, Carlos Salgado, and Ray Garcia are given due credit for energizing the local dining scene, editors also point to other interesting factors for making LA so gastronomically interesting, including the attitudes of Angelenos and real estate.
“Everyone here is a dreamer, in a sense,” said Matthew Kang, Eater’s LA editor.
As an artist-driven town — be it for movies, music or art — Angelenos are less likely to shut down a new and innovative idea, culinary or otherwise, he said.
“…I think on the plate, that means chefs aren’t going to hold back because they think Angelenos won’t accept their ideas,” he adds.
Editors also credited an unlikely and often maligned reality among Angelenos for the city’s dynamic dining scene: LA’s car culture.
As a city where the predominant form of travel is by car, locals are more mobile and therefore willing to travel long distances for the promise of a good meal. Same goes for chefs in choosing where to open their restaurant, Kang notes.
“Everyone has cars, so that means good chefs can pick a cheaper spot and not have to fill their menu with predictable items to pay the rent.”
And while one of LA’s greatest culinary strengths has been its rich ethnic community: Korean, Mexican, Thai, or Salvadoran — sophisticated palates which drive chefs who’ve already mastered authenticity to up their game with interesting, compelling twists to classics.
Headed to LA? Here are a few shining examples of LA’s best ethnic restaurants, according to Eater:
Jun Won, Korean Chengdu Taste, Sichuan, China Carnitas El Momo, Mexican Coni-Seafood, Mexican Luv2Eat Thai, Thai
Other restaurants mentioned:
Gjusta Maude Trois Mec Sqirl Night + Market Song B.S. Taqueria