Today, the process of choosing this year’s stars in the greater Los Angeles restaurant world — the Eater Awards winners for 2019 — continues apace. After fielding many solid ideas from readers during the course of our month-long nomination period, it’s time to narrow the playing field. There are four finalists in three categories: Restaurant of the Year, Design of the Year, and Surprise of the Year, for those special local places that seemed to blow up out of nowhere in 2019.
Here they are:
Restaurant of the Year
Nightshade, Top Chef winner Mei Lin’s star turn in the Arts District, complete with the Instagram-famous bloomin tom yum onion.
Bon Temps, pastry chef Lincoln Carson’s take on French classics done with serious skill and all-day aplomb.
Pasjoli, fine dining chef Dave Beran’s upscale Santa Monica home for pressed duck and just the right amount of decadent luxury.
Yang’s Kitchen, the surprise San Gabriel Valley Chinese food star with its finger on the pulse.
Design of the Year
Auburn, chef Eric Bost’s stoic new tasting menu scene inside a famous Melrose building.
Formosa, the redone West Hollywood landmark that’s now decked out in a neon glow.
V DTLA, the bold Downtown newcomer that does fast casual food with a heavily curated dining room backdrop.
American Beauty, the gorgeously understated Venice steakhouse that glows with deep woods and hearty colors.
Surprise of the Year
Zoë Food Party, the once-a-week pita pop up party that draws big, happy Highland Park crowds.
Court Cafe, the Westchester newcomer that brought together some of South LA’s biggest culinary voices under one roof.
Lowell Cafe, the nation’s first-of-its-kind cannabis consumption cafe in West Hollywood.
Spoon by H, the captivating strip mall Korean secret that earned national recognition in 2019.
All of these finalists have either opened or come into their own in a new way since we declared the winners last year. All of them were key contributors to making 2019 a great year of eating in greater Los Angeles. So please, take a moment to give these brave finalists a round of applause. Winners will be crowned, with much fanfare, on December 10, 2019.