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A metal tray holds several dishes including fried chicken and pickles on white bread, beans, hot sauce, french fries, and more.
A full tray at Hotville Chicken.
Wonho Frank Lee

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The Biggest LA Restaurant Stories in 2022

The best New York-style pizza in LA, the staggering troubles inside fine dining restaurant Vespertine, and more great stories from the year that was at Eater LA

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.

There are few dining cities as resilient as Los Angeles, home to tens of thousands of restaurants, home cooks, street vendors, white-hot Hollywood Italian restaurants, and clandestine ranch parties alike. This place and its people continue to turn out new and exciting world-class food at all levels and price points, augmented by international awards like the Michelin Guide and underpinned by the daily ebb and flow of hot neighborhood restaurants and weekend brunch destinations — topics that were all significantly searched for and read on Eater LA this year. So, in the interest of looking back as this wild year comes to a close, here are 10 of the most-read stories from 2022 for Eater LA.

Why Can’t the Biggest Name in Fried Chicken Break Through in Los Angeles?

Kim Prince is hot chicken royalty, a direct descendant of the creators of the now globally-famous dish out of Nashville — so why hasn’t her Crenshaw restaurant Hotville Chicken been able to catch on with more Angelenos? Prince cites a few reasons herself: a lack of knowledge about the history of the dish; a troubled location beside a changing mall; and a surplus of lower-tier but more readily available hot chicken all over greater LA. Now Prince is facing 2023 without a restaurant, moving to a co-branded food truck that will offer catering, pop-ups, and more next year.

A Black woman wearing a black kitchen uniform holds a brown paper bag and smiles at the camera with a hand on her hip.
Kim Prince of Hotville Chicken
Wonho Frank Lee

James Corden Also Had a Meltdown at a Popular LA Italian Restaurant, According to ‘Try Guys’ Spouse

Just as he was getting roasted online for his brief dining ban at New York City’s Balthazar over bad customer behavior, Late Late Show host James Corden also had to fight off allegations from make-up artist and podcaster Becky Habersberger — who is also married to Try Guys cast member Keith Habersberger — that he once screamed at a staff member at Little Dom’s in Los Feliz. Cordon denied to Eater that the Little Dom’s encounter ever happened, saying through a publicist that he had never eaten at the restaurant.

A Killer Orange County Breakfast Burrito Hides at Home Depot

LJ’s Lil Cafe in Cypress, CA is the tiny breakfast stand that could. Situated in a small hut directly in front of a Home Depot, this minuscule shack is turning out some of Orange County’s best breakfast burritos, complete with tater tots and lots of cheese. There are few frills (expect to sit in the sun on a couple of picnic tables) and the waits can be long on the weekends given the constraints of the place, but that hasn’t deterred legions of diners from descending for a meal — no small feat in a county that already has plenty of great breakfast burritos.

Michelin Awards Stars to 8 New Los Angeles Restaurants for 2022

Michelin’s stars always make waves when they are announced for greater Los Angeles, and this year was no exception. The Big Red Book bestowed stars on a number of new names for 2022 — including a surprising nod for Hatchet Hall in Culver City — while also bumping the ultra-luxurious fine dining destination Addison in northern San Diego County to a full three stars, the first for Southern California.

A pizza topped with pistachios and red onion at Pizzeria Bianco.
Pizzeria Bianco pizza.
Wonho Frank Lee

Highly Opinionated: An Editor’s Favorite New York-Style Pizza in Los Angeles

Who says that Los Angeles doesn’t have good pizza? Or, rather, that it doesn’t have great pizza, even in the thin and crispy New York City style? Here Eater LA’s own city editor Matthew Kang argues that several places are pulling the pizza scene forward, including Pizzeria Bianco, Apollonia’s, and Vito’s (with love for spots like Danny Boy’s, Superfine, and Full Proof Pizza as well).

This Koreatown Brazilian Steakhouse Is One of LA’s Best Meat Deals

A tiny, unassuming Brazilian steakhouse is turning out some of LA’s best meats, says Eater LA contributor Bill Esparza, and it’s giving bigger-name places like Bossa Nova a worthy run for its money. Want quality slices of picanha, sirloin, and pork belly (among other items) at one low all-you-can-eat price? This is the spot.

A Rarefied Japanese Omakase and Cocktail Experience Hides Under Little Tokyo

Tiny underground bar Sawa is a treasure for sushi fanatics and cocktail lovers alike, offering some of LA’s best bites in the basement of an office building in the heart of Little Tokyo. Take a look inside at the sister project to sushi superstar Kaneyoshi, a beautiful and hard-to-find gem in the middle of the city.

Dimly lit cocktail bar with stools.
The bar at Sawa.
Wonho Frank Lee

Highly Opinionated: An Editor’s Favorite Korean Barbecue in Los Angeles

Countless restaurants grill meats over flame in and around Koreatown, making the densely-packed restaurant neighborhood one of the best places to eat in all of greater LA. But which Korean barbecue option is tops? Well, that depends on things like price, quality, and convenience, says Eater LA city editor Matthew Kang, who argues Park’s BBQ, AB Steak, and Soowon Galbi are the best of the bunch.

A Soul-Crushing Work of Staggering Genius

Since opening Vespertine in 2017, chef Jordan Kahn has wanted to “disrupt the course of the modern restaurant.” But some workers tasked with realizing his singular vision in Vespertine’s first years now wondered how far is too far to be pushed for the sake of fine dining.

Meet the Cambodian Cowboy, a Texas Barbecue Pitmaster in Long Beach

Long Beach pitmaster Chad Phuong is cooking up some of the most inventive weekly barbecue in Southern California, merging heartland American meats with some not-so-subtle Cambodian influences that play to his childhood and his community. It all makes for a rich tapestry of flavors — and makes the Cambodian Cowboy one of LA’s coolest cooks right now.

Chad Phuong wears sunglasses and a black cowboy hat while making barbecue.
Cambodian Cowboy chef Chad Phuong at his Battambong pop-up in Long Beach.
Brian Addison

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