Welcome to the Year in Eater 2022 — an annual tradition that looks back at the highs, lows, and in-betweens of Los Angeles’s restaurant scene. Today, LA’s finest food writers, editors, reporters, and a few select others with strong opinions share their biggest hope for the restaurant industry next year.
Farley Elliott, Senior Editor, Eater LA
I hope that more restaurants continue to be transparent with their customer base. Restaurants like Goldburger have posted about rising food costs, even offering specific percentage increases for various staple products, to help diners understand where their money is going. Being open too about how ownership is or isn’t interacting with the local community, about who really controls the money behind a build-out (from developers to investors), can and should be a part of the curriculum for restaurants and media.
Kristie Hang, Freelance Writer, Eater LA
I hope people are paid fairly and compensated with adequate health care and paid time off. I also hope that smaller home cooks will get more of a platform to create.
Oren Peleg, Freelance Writer
That restaurants and the hospitality industry in general buck the members-only trend. Bars, cafes, and restaurants are our last surviving “third places.” Limiting them to small groups of people who have enough money for membership (on top of the price of the meal) seems like a dangerous trend for our communities.
Sharon Lee, Content Creator, @helloimsharon (TikTok)
That we treat food service workers with the respect they deserve; especially the ones who work in the kitchen, may be undocumented, and work incredibly hard so that we can eat well.
Matthew Kang, Lead Editor, Eater LA
I hope that while social media reporting from TikTok and Instagram are entertaining and helpful, LA readers and the dining public continue to read about reporting on the ground from trusted publications. There are many ways to consume media, but the 15-second hot takes on TikTok aren’t the only sources of information about where to eat.
Baxter Holmes, Senior Writer, ESPN
More affordable and sustainable dining experiences.
Jenn Tanaka, Contributor, Eater LA
I hope the staffing issues get sorted out in 2023. One of the biggest hurdles for restaurants was maintaining a reliable crew.
Dave Holmes, Editor-at-Large, Esquire
I am more ready than ever for you to stop telling me how you do things here. I am equipped to face any dish outcome without an onboarding session.
Gary Baum, Senior Writer, The Hollywood Reporter
That restaurateurs and workers, who’ve already suffered so much in recent years, are spared from the effects of a recession.
Alison Herman, Staff Writer, The Ringer
That some of today’s hotspots (looking at you, Pizzeria Bianco) calm down enough for me to actually try them! It’s no fun to plan a meal a month in advance.
Bill Esparza, Contributor, Eater LA
My hope is that Indigenous and Black-owned restaurants will continue to find support from our dining community, not just as a novelty, but as a part of their regular dining routines.
Hadley Tomicki, Deputy Editor, L.A. TACO
To see more independent restaurants opening, thriving, and bringing us all back together over great food in Los Angeles and beyond.
Josh Lurie, Founder, FoodGPS.com
My biggest hope for the restaurant industry is that diners continue to celebrate restaurants that aren’t just in the (310), (323), and (213) area codes, and that we continue to expand the definition of what it means for a restaurant or cuisine to be relevant or innovative.
Andy Wang, Contributor, Robb Report and Food & Wine
That it becomes easier to open and operate small businesses in Los Angeles, and that LA loses less talent to Texas, Florida, Nevada and elsewhere.
Christine Ko, Actress, Dave, Only Murders in the Building
More new restaurants in Hollywood!
Mona Holmes, Reporter, Eater LA
That restaurant owners and chefs will consider the impact of opening a business in a gentrifying neighborhood with longtime residents. Please connect with the people who have lived there for decades while in the midst of applying for permits, construction, and opening. I only hope that the research and development process includes the consideration of how a restaurant/business might change an existing and often Black and Brown community.
Lesley Suter, Special Projects Editor, Eater
Stability! That we can stay healthy and staffed for as much of the year as possible.
Meghan McCarron, Special Correspondent, Eater
I hope the pop-up and cottage cooking scene continues to thrive and be an engine for new businesses.
Nicole Adlman, Eater Cities Manager
I love the idea of “chaos cooking,” in part a result of chefs and home cooks fusing their cultural backgrounds with their secular upbringings in the U.S. I hope this trend of leaning into personal history continues to proliferate in exciting ways in the new year.