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The Greatest Los Angeles Dining Neighborhoods of 2015

A cavalcade of writers pick the city's best 'hoods for eating well — and often.

Otium, Downtown
Otium, Downtown
Wonho Frank Lee

Joshua Lurie, FoodGPS

Koreatown still has the highest concentration of great, focused restaurants. That said, I didn’t see many inspired openings in the neighborhood in 2015, allowing downtown to catch up. Considering all of the excitement in Arts District that’s on tap for 2016, downtown could soon surge past K-Town.

Bill Esparza, Streetgourmet LA

Your own. With huge openings all over the city and suburbs, it was pretty much guaranteed that a great restaurant was within walking distance, or a $6 ride in Uber. In Hollywood, we picked up Birch, Baroo and Tlayuda L.A.

Hadley Tomicki, UrbanDaddy LA

Santa Monica takes home most improved. KTown retains the #1 spot.

Eddie Lin, Deep End Dining

The San Fernando Valley, specifically Studio City and Sherman Oaks, continues to surprise with winners like chef Ted Hopson's The Bellwether and, let's not forget, Top Chef Phillip Frankland Lee's dramatic relocation of Scratch Bar to Encino. Barrel & Ashes in Studio City continues to pack in barbecue lovers. It's also the venue where chef Johnny Ray Zone unleashed his Howlin' Ray's Nashville hot chicken onto the L.A. food scene. Nashville hot chicken is only one of the reasons why the Valley was the hot spot in 2015.

Farley Elliott, Senior Editor, Eater LA

I'm a bit of a homer, but Silver Lake has become one of the most exciting places in the city to get a casual meal. I play at being a regular everywhere from Dinosaur Coffee to Alimento, and that's completely leaving out favorites like Pine & Crane, Night + Market Song, and the new Trois Familia. Plus it's still a hell of a lot easier to park than Santa Monica or Downtown.

Dinosaur Coffee, Now Helping Hipsters Roar to Life in Silver Lake Elizabeth Daniels

The Offalo

I don't really dine by neighborhood, but I'll say Santa Monica because it has Cassia, Sweetfin, and also because I've had some great meals at Rustic Canyon, Cadet, and other places in SM this year.

Stan Lee, Eater LA

DTLA

Nicole Iizuka, PopSugar

I'm not sure I'd say it's the best dining neighborhood - but for this east-sider, I have to say that those beach cities have given me quite a good excuse to crash on my Venice friend's couches... I can't get enough of Superba Food + Bread's guava croissants, Belcampo's burgers, Sweetfin's sweet poke, late night poke at Big Daddy's, basically just ALL THE GOOD POKE by the beach.

Garrett Snyder, Food Editor, LA Weekly

Chinatown, baby.

Matthew Kang, Eater LA

Silver Lake, which hasn't always had the best dining scene, is quickly becoming my favorite place to dine, mostly thanks to Night + Market, Trois Familia, and Sqirl (which yes, I realize is in Virgil Village but it's close enough for me). I also found myself in Downtown more than ever last year. Silver Lake still wins for me, by a hair, because of easier access during rush hour.

Kat Odell, Eater Drinks Editor

The SGV, always and forever.

Esther Tseng, EstarLA

DTLA - because density. Lots of exciting things that went on there this past year.

Tony Chen, Eater LA Contributor

Downtown

Caroline Pardilla, LA Magazine, Eater Drinks

Downtown. A large variety of places ranging from low-key like ERB to high-end like Otium. And don't get me started on all the drinking options.

Zach Brooks, Midtown Lunch, Food is the New Rock

Urgh... I can't believe I'm saying this, but, Santa Monica!? Might not be as cool as Downtown or Silverlake but Cassia and Ester's Wine Bar were two of the best new places to open this year. They won the poke wars (Sweetfin), the donut wars (Sidecar), and got their own branches of Jinya, Belcampo, Mendo Farms and Sweetgreen. Plus they're about to get their own Wexler's Deli!

[Ox & Son, Santa Monica, photo by Elizabeth Daniels]

Jeff Miller, Editor, Thrillist LA

I personally like eating in Koreatown more than anywhere, still, but that may just be because I'm a huge fan of Korean food; St Martha's closing made the "dining neighborhood" aspect diminish just a bit. Most of the destination openings were downtown; I still feel like the neighborhood's finding its footing but there's a lot of good stuff there.

Lesley Balla, LA Magazine, Angeleno, Zagat

A toss up. It seems like every time I turned around, more was happening in Venice and Santa Monica than on the east side of town. At the same time, downtown, the Arts District, Bunker Hill (Otium at The Broad) and Chinatown are really destination-worthy. I mean look at what's happening in Chinatown: Pok Pok Phat Thai, Ramen Champ, Chego and more in the Far East Plaza; the larger Pok Pok down Broadway; Burgerlords. And man I do love the Little Jewel of New Orleans for that oyster po'boy.

Stacey Sun, dineLA

DTLA's Old Bank District (aka Josef Centeno's (4) restaurants + Kazu Nori)

Lucas Peterson, Eater LA Contributor

South LA

Euno Lee, Eater LA Contributor

This is actually hard to pinpoint this year since my favorite restaurant was on Fairfax, but if I was forced to eat nothing but Venice restaurants for a year I probably wouldn't be that mad. I'd say the same thing about being locked inside Jon & Vinny's for a year, though.

Lesley Barger Suter, Food Editor, LA Magazine

If you include the arts district, Grand Central Market, and all the Redbird/Broken Spanish/Otium hubbub, downtown still takes the title.