The state of L.A.'s restaurant landscape will have you invoking Charles Dickens. It's gotten easier to find new restaurants and more difficult to settle on a favorite. Consistency is an issue and hype is ubiquitous. Chefs and restaurateurs face steeper-than-ever startup costs, while the city has (finally) received recognition for its populist culinary character. Enter Alvin Cailan's Unit 120, where Detroit-inspired pizza, Cali-Filipino fare and oxtail potato risotto remind us of what the city is built on. Stripped of pomp, the culinary incubator shape-shifts according to the day of the week and the talents of those who gather there. Cailan wields his success from Eggslut as a platform for meet-cutes of various ilks: chefs to chefs, investors to tested ideas, our palate to their creativity. You can say that Los Angeles has been rich with incubators, be it food truck or pop-up dinner, for years now. Cailan just formalized what we've come to love about eating here.
Credit: Brian Feinzimer