8 DTLA Restaurants Make the L.A. Times’ Top 101 List
Tuesday January 5, 2021
Downtown LA is home to a diverse and dynamic food scene, with an impressive lineup of restaurants–from new and inventive eateries to tried and true standards–providing something for every palate and preference.
Every year, the Los Angeles Times publishes a list of the top 101 restaurants, but for the 2020 edition they took a different approach, reflecting the unique moment in which we all find ourselves. Instead of a ranked listing, the Times celebrates the resilience and excellence of many different kinds of establishments during a challenging year. From rustic taquerias to Michelin-star establishments, the list honors both old favorites that have persevered, and newcomers that opened to connect with and serve their communities during a pandemic.
Eight restaurants from DTLA appear in the 2020 list, which features dishes, people, and ideas that define–and redefine–how we eat today. With dishes like adobo French dip sandwiches or fresh fruit doughnuts to satsuki rice porridge with caviar, these distinct Downtown restaurants are serving up the kind of food that makes DTLA one of the most exciting culinary destinations in the world.
Badmaash is “what happens when you hail from India and Canada.” This family-run gastropub serves up inventive eats such as Chicken Tikka Poutine, which are masala fries topped with cheese curds, beef gravy, and tandoori chicken, as well as traditional Indian selections like Good Ol' Saag Paneer from mom’s recipe. Other standouts include Indian street food with a twist, like the Butter Chicken Samosa or Chili Cheese Naan stuffed with white cheddar, serrano chilies, and cilantro.
2. Grand Central Market
Grand Central Market is an iconic open-air food emporium and marketplace that has been feeding Angelenos since 1917. Still going strong after 103 years, this landmark is where you can get dozens of delectable foods in one place: Pupusas Revueltas with pork, bean, and cheese from Sarita’s Pupuseria; The O.G. Sandwich with pastrami, mustard, and rye from Wexler's Deli; Curried Greens Handpie with kale, swiss chard, and coconut milk from Fat & Flour; and a legendary strawberry-stuffed donut from The Donut Man.
3. Orsa & Winston
Orsa & Winston specializes in Italian and Japanese-inspired cuisine. The Michelin-starred restaurant offers upscale dishes made from seasonal ingredients, such as the Crab Cake Sando with cabbage, pickles, and shiso tartar sauce or Satsuki Rice Porridge featuring abalone, white sturgeon caviar, trout roe, scallops, and truffle. Try the fan favorite Quarter Pounder Sando with Cheese, an elevated version of the infamous fast food burger, or the Matcha Rice Pudding with miso caramel and matcha powder.
4. Petite Peso
Petite Peso serves fast casual Filipino soul food that is authentic, progressive, yet approachable. From Chicken Adobo with crispy chicken skin and chili flakes – in a bowl or French dip sandwich form – or the Kare Kare made with Strauss beef, peanut butter, eggplant, and bok choy, their philosophy of Filipino food with thoughtful and delicious ingredients shines through with every bite. Order some Pork or Impossible Meat lumpia or flaky Ensaymadas, Pan de Sal, and Polvoron Cookies to accompany your meal.
Rossoblu is a Michelin-starred restaurant that focuses on wood-fired meats and handmade pasta inspired by Bologna. Standout antipasti include 24-Month Prosciutto di Parma with crescentine fritte, melon, and figs or the Grilled Pork Meatballs with balsamic jus, fennel pollen, and chive salad. Praiseworthy pastas include Tortelloni with swiss chard and ricotta or Tagliatelle in a meaty Bolognese, and the Grilled Red Snapper accompanied by warm fingerling potato salad and Castelvetrano olive pesto delivers sophisticated Italian flavors.
Shibumi is a Michelin-starred Japanese restaurant that sources local, organic, and sustainable ingredients of the highest quality. They are currently offering exquisite bento boxes, like the Black Cod Bento Set with grilled miso-marinated cod, edamame rice, a shrimp and potato croquette, and pickled lotus roots, or the Chicken Katsu Bento Set with organic California koshihikari rice, potato salad, and spinach ohitashi. Lightly Cured Fatty Mackerel Sushi or Smoked Karasumi Bottarga are delightful small bites available à la carte.
Sonoratown is a taqueria that pays homage to the small border town in Mexico where one of its founders grew up. Using handmade flour tortillas and ingredients cooked over real mesquite carbon, the much lauded Burrito 2.0 is stuffed to the gills with chunky guac, Monterey jack cheese, pinto beans, Chiltepin salsa, and your choice of meat. There are also takeaway meal kits available with Grilled Carne Asada, Chicken, Chorizo, or Grilled Poblano Chile accompanied by tortillas, chile arbol salsa, avocado salsa, radishes, and limes.
Woodspoon is a rustic Brazilian kitchen inspired by indigenous, African, and Portuguese cultures. Here you can find appetizers like Pastel Portuguese, which are shrimp and coconut dumplings, or Yucca Fries with fresh salsa, and comforting entrées such as Frango Com Quiabo, a Brazilian chicken stew with okra and polenta, and Costelinha Com Canjiquinha, stewed pork short ribs on corn grits. The Brazilian Chicken Pot Pie made with hearts of palm, olives, and corn is crispy, creamy, and a can’t-miss.
To explore the 101 best restaurants in Los Angeles, view the full list at latimes.com.
For more restaurants in Downtown LA offering all kinds of delicious cuisine for every occasion, explore the Dining Services page at DowntownLA.com.