Los Angeles has more fantastic restaurants and dining options than ever before in the city’s history, which makes determining the best a tougher task than ever. With the abundance of all the meals being served comes the unpleasant fact that we produce more food waste than ever before, which ultimately ends up in landfills that produce the greenhouse gases which contribute to climate change.
In fact, according to the California Integrated Waste Management Board, 6 million tons of food scraps or waste are thrown away in this state every year. Food is the largest source of waste in California and makes up about 18 percent of what goes into landfills. But always on the forefront, Angelenos are stepping up to the plate.
Preux and Proper recently received a green star from the city, making them one of the most sustainable concepts in Los Angeles for composting all their food waste on site. They’re getting a microgreen farm, where they plan to raise their own microgreens right there on the bustling corner of Spring and Main streets downtown.
“We can do well by becoming industry leaders in an industry where everybody follows the cheapest and latest trend,” owner Josh Kopel tells L.A. Weekly at the bar over a Preux Palmer mocktail. “We decided to push forward with this agenda, which didn’t make any money for a long time. But after five years, it’s really worked out well. We’re now a zero-landfill operation.”
The Butcher’s Daughter in Venice participates in the Postmates FoodFight program, which picks up leftover foodstuffs from local restaurants and drops it off at local shelters. The Bay Foundation’s Table to Farm Composting Program connects local restaurants with Environmental Charter schools to compost their food waste to help fertilize the community.
With that comes sustainability and the concept that food just tastes better the less it travels and that we have to limit our carbon footprints across the globe. It’s changing our culture and how we view what goes into our bodies.
“For a long time we looked directly past what was available to us in our local markets and our local fisheries,” award-winning chef and forefather of the sustainability movement in Los Angeles, Michael Cimarusti, tells L.A. Weekly. “For a long time the local catch was not considered good enough for a lot of the restaurants that are now serving it, which was just plain ignorant. We were ignoring what was available locally until Dock to Dish changed all that. Now we celebrate the ground fish species like black cod and rock cod on our menus every day at Providence.”
These are some of the ingredients that not only went into determining this year’s L.A. Weekly Best of Los Angeles: Food & Drink issue, but the best for Los Angeles. Here it is, from A to Z.