Welcome to the 2017 edition of the Eater Awards, the eighth year that Eater LA will honor the city’s best and most talented restaurants, chefs, and other hospitality experts from around the world.
All 24 cities will grant prizes in different categories, from Restaurant of the Year, Chef of the Year, and Design of the Year. In each category, Eater editors will make their pick while the Reader’s Choice will be up to you, the avid Eater reader, to decide. All winners will be announced on December 5.
Earlier this week, readers helped pick the Chef of the Year and Design of the Year. Today, we have a new category: Sensation of the Year. This is a bit harder to define but the easiest way is this: what was the most talked about, most discussed, most gossip-worthy, and most social media-heavy establishment of 2017? Here are the five nominees (and a bit more background of each below):
What was the biggest sensation of 2017?
This poll is closed
Ave 26 Tacos
This mega weekly food festival started in 2016, but it hit a real stride in 2017 with places like Shrimp Daddy, Bolo, Churro Boss, Porchetta Republic, The Ricans, and URBN Pizza hitting Instagram accounts every Sunday. It’s become an essential weekend dining destination for tourists and locals alike.
Easily the most controversial and compelling opening of 2017, and the now #1 restaurant in the city according to Jonathan Gold, Vespertine was chef Jordan Kahn’s vision of a standout dining experience that broke molds and expectations.
Virtually every celebrity in Los Angeles dined at Catch at some point this year. The downstairs valet area swarms with papparazzi every night. The New York City transplant situated atop a West Hollywood rooftop was where the scenesters and cool kids hung out, or at least tried to snap a selfie.
Avenue 26 Tacos
This incredible street taco stand in an industrial stretch north of Chinatown and on the way to Lincoln Heights became one of the city’s most popular places to eat carne asada and suadero. Earlier this year, the health department (originally thought to be the police) raided the thirty foot-long stand and confiscated everything. They returned two days later with a brand new set up, and long lines of rabid fans.
This upstart Filipino pop-up became one of the most celebrated new restaurants in the city thanks to a positive review from Jonathan Gold and a high placement on the critic’s annual 101 list. Owners Chad and Chase Valencia have truly elevated Filipino cuisine from its homestyle origins.