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More and More, Los Angeles Is Embracing Its Hidden Restaurant History

Plus a Carlos Salgado interview, and lots of uni spaghetti

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A drawing of a Brown Derby site
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.

What you don’t see

Long considered a place of constant change and reinvention, Los Angeles has lately become something of a beacon for folks traversing the intersection of hidden history, lost culture, and food. You can see it now in the rise of underground, almost speakeasy-style bars like The Venue in Koreatown or Birds & Bees in Downtown — and there’s even more on the way.

Along with living timepieces like Clifton’s Republic in Downtown, newcomers are set to include The Wolves, a throwback cocktail bar and restaurant that’s still unearthing lots of gorgeous details during construction. Also coming is the Rhythm Room, which during the 1940s and 1950s was a swingin’ space for drinks and dancing. LA Weekly even chronicles a new underground walking tour in Downtown that takes customers through Hotel Indigo and other otherwise cordoned-off spaces to show off the bars and drinking warrens that hide beneath the street. It’s a good time to be looking backwards in Los Angeles, even as the city continues full steam ahead.

Oh, and all those other places too

In keeping with a theme, LA Weekly also published a photo carousel of forgotten old buildings in Los Angeles, among them the former Brown Derby and the old Ambassador Hotel. Slide through the LA Public Library’s collection of shots to see it all for yourself.

Fix your Cravings

Looks like House of Cravings is up and running in Beverly Hills, in all its former IHOP glory. The red and white spot is pushing for a fast casual change in the neighborhood, and is already keeping daily hours from 8:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. 8925 W. Olympic Blvd., Beverly Hills.

House of Cravings in Beverly Hills

Get to know the man

Carlos Salgado is best known for his Orange County restaurant Taco Maria, which continues to push the conversation about modern Mexican food forward. But he’s also come onboard at the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs, and dropped in for an interview with the hotel to talk about his love of the desert, his cooking style, and a whole lot more.

Uni spaghetti, everyone

In case you thought that putting uni on pasta was a purely Los Angeles thing, here’s Pasta e Pasta. The Little Tokyo shop at the end of Honda Plaza does wafu Japanese cuisine, with more than a dozen locations across the ocean. Now they’re here doing uni spaghetti, beef ragu, and a bunch of other delicious stuff. 432 2nd. St., Downtown.

Earth Day get-down

Enjoy tea, cheese, and wine on Earth Day (Saturday, April 22) with Cafe Demitasse at their newer West Hollywood location. The party is in conjunction with V Cheese Shoppe, and proceeds benefit Enrich LA.

Big Bar’s big plans

There’s a big neighborhood party happening at Big Bar in Los Feliz on April 21. The spring event will feature a separate patio experience, lots of cocktails, a sit-down tea party, and a build-your-own cocktail inside at the bar itself. This one’s going to be fun.