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Dining room of Loreto in Frogtown, Los Angeles.
Loreto in Frogtown.
Jakob Layman

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LA’s Best Dining Neighborhoods of 2023

Food editors and experts discuss their favorite LA neighborhoods to find fabulous fare

Welcome to the Year in Eater 2023 our 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 favorite SoCal neighborhoods for dining.


Brian Addison, founder, Longbeachize

Long Beach. Why you even playing?

Gary Baum, Senior Writer, The Hollywood Reporter

Downtown LA Despite some recent closings, it remains unmatched in depth and breadth.

Cathy Chaplin, Senior Editor, Eater LA

Arts District saw the opening of some very strong restaurants including Le Champ, Flor y Solera, Baroo, and the latest iteration of Yangban.

Virali Dave, food writer

The Valley! There have been so many Valley newcomers this year and so many classics that always deserve love.

A plate of seared steak from Casaléna.
A plate of seared steak from Casaléna.
Wonho Frank Lee

Kristie Hang, contributor, Eater LA

SGV, always! We experienced a lot of loss during COVID-19, and it’s been a wild ride watching all the new, up-and-coming restaurants now emerging on the scene. It’ll be interesting to keep tabs on what ends up working and what doesn’t.

Evan Lovett, founder, L.A. in a Minute

Frogtown. Everything about that neighborhood, from the history to the fact that it’s an island in this urban oasis, really makes it exciting to head over to that part of town.

Farley Elliott, SoCal Bureau Chief, SFGate

Santa Monica! From Xuntos to Bar Monette to Cobi’s and everything else happening on Main Street, it’s good to see some real culinary energy out by the water.

Bill Esparza, contributor, Eater LA

Hurray for Hollywood! My neighborhood has so many options now. I’ve always had Thai Town, Little Armenia, and a vibrant Central-American, and Oaxacan presence, all of which I got to know more intimately during the pandemic. And now we count Saffy’s, Mother Wolf, Ka’teen, Found Oyster, and Mírate. And the pace has been nice and steady with openings so that it all feels like these places have been around forever. But it wasn’t long ago that all my dinners were out of the neighborhood, and now fine dining is a Lime ride away.

Alison Herman, TV Critic, Variety

A new commute has brought me to the westside, so I’ve enjoyed getting to know a part of town that’s not exactly buzzy, but has lots of classics (Nanbankan, Naan Hut) and splurges (Pasjoli, CouCou) to explore.

A grilled steak with onions, a side of french fries, and sauce poured on top at Coucou restaurant in Venice, California.
Steak is served at Coucou restaurant in Venice.
Nick Walker Studio

Mona Holmes, Reporter, Eater LA

Was drawn to Frogtown in 2023. It started with Lingua Franca, then Loreto/Za Za Zá, and a boozy hangout that just gets me: Justine’s Wine Bar.

Matthew Kang, Lead Editor, Eater LA

I kind of secretly spent a lot of time plumbing the less traveled parts of Lawndale, Hawthorne, and Gardena as the sector hemmed in by the 405, 105, and 110 freeways. There’s a lot of cool food that almost no one ever really writes about, like the new Heng Heng Chicken Rice in deep Hawthorne, the mellow but delicious Cafe Cuba in Hawthorne, or the super tasty Borjstar Shawarma in Gardena. Quality of Bombay, Pho House, and PhoEver were some of my regular spots. Even more inland El Segundo and Redondo Beach had some gems, from Uncle Stevey’s Bagels and Southwest Bread in the former to the terrific Tommy & Atticus bakery in the latter. I live in the South Bay so most of the coverage veers closer to the ocean, but there’s culinary gold to be found in these parts.

Joshua Lurie, founder, FoodGPS.com

Thai Town is booming like no time I can remember. Heng Heng Chicken Rice has become a regular stop for me. Mae Malai Thai House of Noodles is already packed, for good reason, thanks to their powerhouse boat noodle soup. I look forward to trying more of its menu. Fun to see the family behind Bhan Kanom Thai dessert shop opening Thai Central Square in the same strip mall, and across the parking lot, Ruen Pair opening Kanomwaan Thai Gelato & Dessert Cafe. For years, it looked like North Hollywood might be stealing Thai Town’s thunder for Thai food. Not after the year Thai Town had in 2023.

Elina Shatkin, KCRW

I don’t really dine by neighborhood but I think Koreatown probably still has the most deliciousness per square block.

Memo Torres, L.A. Taco and Apple Maps

The South Bay and San Fernando Valley have been equally intriguing. The restaurants represent a wealth of different cultural cuisines to explore. They are two incredibly diverse areas filled with immigrant-owned shops for anyone to explore.

Nicole Adlman, Cities Manager, Eater

We had a baby this year, so staying close to home in Venice was often a comfort. Thankfully, some of Venice’s 2023 newcomers (Si! Mon, Atla, Owa, Ggiata, and Mr. Charlie’s among them), made nesting that much easier. Also found myself making repeat visits to Echo Park to try some weird and wonderful new restaurants (like Poltergeist) and some unmissable mainstays (like Ototo).

Jean Trinh, freelance reporter

I kept finding myself returning to Koreatown all year long, from getting soon tofu and spicy raw crab at Surawon Tofu House, to flaming galbi jjim and sul lung tang at Sun Nong Dan. Open Market also makes amazing sandwiches and has these gotta-catch-’em-all sort of specials like khao soi dip and Hainan chicken sandwiches.

Bacon, egg, and cheese bagel at Uncle Stevey’s.
Bacon, egg, and cheese bagel at Uncle Stevey’s.
Matthew Kang

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