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Inside the 20-Year Effort to Turn Chinatown Into a Thriving Cultural Center Once Again

Plus Republique expands and Cava Grill opens in Culver City

Lanterns in Chinatown
Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

Part of the plan

At first blush, the revitalization of Chinatown would seem to have been a major push only in just the last few years. Spearheaded by Roy Choi’s Chego and anchored today by tenants like Little Jewel of New Orleans, Burgerlords, Unit 120, and Howlin’ Ray’s, the movement to keep Chinatown relevant is actually almost two decades in the making, thanks to a few keen-eyed business types working behind the scenes. Now KCET has the full story on how Chinatown is saving itself, and has been for a while now.

It’s a fascinating tale that centers largely around George Yu, a bigwig with the Chinatown Business Improvement District, and the man in many ways responsible for making Far East Plaza what it is today. But along the way there are plenty of other players and storylines, from restaurants like Yang Chow and the Plum Tree Inn to the rise of rents and the influx of young diners who may not know (or care) about the neighborhood’s important history. Dive into the KCET piece for a fascinating look at a part of town that’s heavily in transition still, some 20 years on.

Republique’s window

That new takeout window from Republique is now open seven days a week, says LA Mag. The grab and go option should help to alleviate some of the heavy traffic the place gets in the AM, at lunch, during brunch ... any time, really.

Jessica Largey pops up

Before former Manresa chef Jessica Largey can open her Downtown restaurant Simone, she’ll first be popping up with a vegetarian dinner at Plant Food & Wine in Venice. The March 12 affair has tickets on sale now.

Bestia’s new barman

There’s a new face behind the stick at Bestia (or at least newly leading the charge), with the Arts District restaurant detailing the ascension of Iluggy Recinos. In the blog post he details his work, he favorite ingredients, and his favorite dish on the menu (it’s the pan-roasted chicken gizzards).

Crossroads goes late night

In desperate need of late night vegan food? Crossroads officially has you covered with a new late night menu, running 10 p.m. until close. That means you can get $5 tap beers, $10 cocktails, and a bar bites menu that runs sub-$15.

Tarzana’s best sushi stop

SO Sushi is a hit up in Tarzana, according to the Los Angeles Daily News. Apparently lines are routinely out the door, and the strong menu makes fans out of just about everyone.

Cava Grill makes for Culver City

It’s finally time to enjoy Cava Grill in Culver City today, as the restaurant is officially opening its doors at 11 a.m. From then until 2 p.m. you’ll be able to get free meals and donate to Garden School Foundation at the same time too, with daily hours kicking off for lunch and dinner from there. 9343 Culver Boulevard.