Downtown L.A. Restaurants: A Beginner's Guide
Enjoy the view: 71Above
Opened this summer on the U.S. Bank Tower’s 71st floor, this swanky restaurant and lounge offers — unsurprisingly — some of the most incredible views in all of L.A. A true exercise in appreciating our city by the sea, 71Above also features a selection of cocktails inspired by L.A. neighborhoods and a menu of dishes focused on fresh local ingredients. The circular space offers a dining experience for every guest, including a bar dining, main room dining (where guests can reserve a specific table online), chef’s table, semi-private dining, private dining and a sky lounge.
633 W. Fifth St.; (213) 712-2682, 71above.com.
Uni comes draped across a small block of egg tofu that has been doused in a slurry made from fresh nori.
Instead of a plane ticket: Shibumi
Chef-owner David Schlosser studied under some of Kyoto’s top culinary masters. Drawing from these experiences, Shibumi focuses on two traditional Japanese dining styles: kaiseki, a high-end tasting menu, and kappo, a practice of ordering directly from the chef behind a counter. Shibumi is a sophisticated spot, and you'll accidentally learn a lot by eating there.
815 Hill St.; (213) 265-7923, shibumidtla.com.
Mini fried chicken biscuit
Poppy + Rose
Hungover brunch: Poppy + Rose
Three words: chicken and waffles. Need we say more? This Southern-inspired spot brings a taste of country home cooking, and some of the best fried chicken and waffles in the city, to the Flower District. Other Poppy + Rose menu favorites include the weekends-only eggs Benedict, a rib tips breakfast burrito and biscuits sure to soak up any remaining alcohol in your stomach. Best of all, it serves breakfast and lunch all day, so you can hit this spot even after sleeping in.
765 Wall St.; (213) 995-7799, poppyandrosela.com.
Eggs for the Eggslut breakfast taco
Instagram star: Eggslut
For those looking to step up their social media game, it doesn’t get any better than Eggslut, an overwhelmingly trendy grab-and-go concept in DTLA’s popular Grand Central Market. Known for its remarkably photogenic egg sandwiches, Eggslut has become an iconic stop on the social media circuit — and a can’t-miss for all those Instagramming foodies. If you can, try to visit during the week or early on the weekends: This spot attracts so many breakfast fiends, the line often spills onto the sidewalk.
317 S. Broadway; (213) 625-0292, eggslut.com.
Eat meat: Bestia
For foodies fatigued by eating the same dishes over and over again, there’s no more desirable (and hard-to-get) reservation in L.A. than Bestia. The acclaimed modern-Italian concept is known for its out-of-the-box menu, featuring the likes of chicken gizzards, roasted bone marrow, veal tartare and lamb neck. But it’s not all challenging animal parts at Bestia, as the more unusual dishes sit alongside a range of more traditional options such as margherita pizza, farro salad and grilled branzino.
2121 E. Seventh Place; (213) 514-5724, bestiala.com.
Late-night drunk food: The Original Pantry Cafe
The word "drunchie" may have been coined at the Original Pantry Cafe. Seriously — if you've never had these pancakes at 2 a.m. after the bar closes, then have you even really lived? This cash-only diner has been open since 1924 and serves a modified menu 24 hours a day, seven days a week, making it a favorite of anyone who's ever craved breakfast food in the wee hours of the early morning.
877 S. Figueroa St.; (213) 972-9279, pantrycafe.com.
Get the Food & Drink Newsletter
Our weekly guide to Los Angeles dining includes food news and reviews, as well as dining events and interviews with chefs and restaurant owners.