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What Josef Centeno Knows About Downtown’s Dining Scene

Plus a new burger place on Melrose to explore

PYT, Downtown
Wonho Frank Lee

Josef Centeno is the voice we need

LA Downtown News is turning to a familiar face in Josef Centeno, asking the popular chef to figure out exactly what Downtown needs right now. His answer? Time, really, so that the neighborhood can focus on itself, figure out what’s working and what isn’t. Eventually the area will grow stronger, but there could still be more than a few pains along the way.

Centeno makes sense as the sort of person to answer this question, having gone from Lazy Ox Canteen in a foreboding 2007 stretch of San Pedro Street to his massive corner collection of restaurant properties. Even with him, not everything works perfectly all the time, but as he tells the News, he wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.

Seasalt Fish Grill hits Culver City

Have you been in to Seasalt Fish Grill in Culver City yet? The downtown Culver arrival launched right at the end of last month, and has been quietly serving for a few weeks now. Expect everything from poke bowls to salads to churro waffles as a finisher.

Been to The Burgerian?

Have you noticed the new The Burgerian on Melrose yet? It’s in that crawl between Larchmont and Hancock Park, with a shiny new space that’s been flying under the radar for a little while now. If you’re interested in checking it out, you can always work up an appetite by watching this Instagram video of theirs.

Our Burgers are made with 100% Angus beef. Made fresh to order. So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to eat!

A video posted by The Burgerian (@theburgerian) on

The dirty secrets of Mexican food

Bill Esparza and Gustavo Arellano head to First We Feast to let you in on a few secrets about Mexican food. First among them is the notion that heirloom corn tortillas don’t always make sense with every Mexican dish you’re preparing (gasp!), with other surprise tidbits involving chiles, elote, and more.

Finding your strip mall favorite ... from New York City

Yes, the old LA adage is true: Strip malls are “a thing” here, and often contain some pretty tasty places to eat. Unfortunately, the New York Times only saw fit to highlight a handful (including three of the six coming from one restaurant group) of those places, leaving out large swaths of the rest of the city. Do they need to be comprehensive? No, but hopefully in the future the NY Times can move past the most obvious picks to really dig into what LA has to offer.

The Little Door in Santa Barbara

Renovations continue at The Little Door in Santa Barbara, as the long-running West Third Street restaurant seeks to expand on a downtown space there with a lush patio, indoor-outdoor bar, and more. You can catch a glimpse of the expected new vibe here, with a hopeful finished look coming sometime in early 2017.

Jeni’s in Venice is coming along

Here’s your live look-in at Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams in Venice, with their corner location on Rose looking all sorts of shiny. It’s still papered over, but word on the street is an opening is not far off.

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