Welcome to Year in Eater, an annual review of some of the best and notable openings and restaurant news that took place in Los Angeles over the past year. Eater LA asks writers, editors, and food luminaries to pitch in to help summary the incredible year in dining that was 2019. Here now, LA food writers and editors attempt to describe the dining scene in one word.
Gary Baum, features writer and restaurant critic for The Hollywood Reporter
Kristie Hang, Eater LA contributor
Andy Wang, writer, Food & Wine
Hadley Tomicki, LA Times contributor
Oren Peleg, LA food writer
Joshua Lurie, FoodGPS founder
Euno Lee, Eater LA contributor
Bill Esparza, Eater LA contributor
Esther Tseng, LA food writer
For many years in L.A. restaurants, people have been talking about the next new thing or the next thing from out of town to expand here, but rarely about what doesn’t work or what has shut down. I think 2019 was the year oversized ambitions, whether from other cities and industries, woke up to the realities of how hard it is to sustain a restaurant here past the year mark.
Stephanie Breijo, Time Out LA editor
High-Low. (Can a hyphenate count?)
Mona Holmes, Eater LA reporter
Cathy Chaplin, Eater LA associate editor
Farley Elliott, Eater LA Senior Editor
Maximum. We’ve not only reached peak saturation with some of the city’s biggest trends (hot chicken, Tijuana and/or birria tacos, smash burgers), we’ve also possibly hit the top of the restaurant ceiling overall. There’s just so much that is open right now, it’s hard to comprehend another gangbusters opening (or closing) year like this any time soon.
Matthew Kang, Eater LA Editor