Since the opening of Church & State more than a decade ago, Downtown’s Arts District has undergone an incredible transformation. What was once largely an urban industrial zone has developed into one of the most sought-after and vibrant neighborhoods in the city. Here now are 13 essential Arts District restaurants.Read More
13 Essential Arts District Restaurants in Los Angeles
Find terrific tacos, modern Korean cooking, and so much more in LA’s industrial pocket
Max Boonthanakit and Lijo George, who linked up while working for legendary chef Alain Ducasse, opened Michelin-starred Camphor in 2022 in the former Nightshade space. The French-leaning, heavy-hitting menu includes beef tartare served with tempura-battered herbs, classic steak au poivre, and creative desserts that always hit the mark. Best of all, the dining room feels refined but not the least bit stuffy.
Kris Tominaga is behind the stoves at Manuela, the gorgeous restaurant inside the Hauser & Wirth gallery. Expect Southern classics with coastal California influences on the menu. The chef’s famed biscuits are a must for the table, as are the barbecued oysters with serrano-corn butter, breadcrumbs, and Parmesan.
Cha Cha Chá
Experience breezy Mexico City vibes on the rooftop of Cha Cha Chá. While some indoor seating is available, the views atop this Arts District stunner are not to be missed. On chef Paco Moran’s modern Mexican menu are shareable appetizers like guacamole, oysters on the half shell, and shrimp aguachile, along with tacos, tostadas, and larger proteins served family-style with blue corn tortillas.
Loqui is the perfect spot for a casual and affordable lunch in the Arts District. The Mexican menu of chicken, pork, beef, and mushroom tacos served on handmade flour or corn tortillas is priced under $7 a pop.
De La Nonna
This pan pizza pop-up had too much potential to just show up in parking lots throughout the city. De La Nonna took over the former audiophile bar and restaurant space to serve its 55-hour fermented dough topped with market-fresh vegetables. The cocktails are just as good as the pizzas.
Consider Bavel Ori Menashe and Genevieve Gergis’s love letter to the flavors of the Levant. The gorgeous space is packed to the rafters nightly with diners happily sharing large platters of lamb neck shawarma and of course, duck ‘nduja hummus served with the fluffiest pita around.
Flor Y Solera
LA is in the midst of a Spanish moment, and Flor Y Solera is leading the charge in the Arts District. Opened by chef Mònica Angelats in February 2023, the restaurant specializes in classic tapas, like gildas, croquettas, and tortillas de patata, and prepares some of the best paella in town. Save room for Catalan sweets including crema Catalana and churros con chocolate.
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Afuri’s famed yuzu-shio ramen is served in a bright space along Mateo Street. With noodles made on-site paired with an umami-rich broth, this Japanese import has what it takes to stand out in LA’s crowded ramen scene.
Step into chef Junya Yamasaki’s Yess Restaurant for an ambitious, seafood-driven Japanese dining experience. The seats along the cypress bar are especially great, offering full views of the open kitchen. The restaurant serves a $110 tasting menu from Wednesday to Saturday that includes half a dozen smaller bites and a larger main course. Desserts, as well as daily specials, are available for an additional fee. Yess serves an a la carte brunch menu on Sundays.
Everson Royce Bar
This Arts District stalwart is best known for its expansive patio, well-made cocktails, and killer bar bites. The cheeseburger, biscuits, and chocolate chip cookies are just the thing to pair with a well-made Old Fashioned.
Chefs Katianna and John Hong’s latest iteration of Yangban draws inspiration from their Korean American heritage and time spent in Michelin-starred kitchens. Start with an array of appetizers and banchan like fried lobster claws and honey-glazed carrots before moving on to larger dishes including gochujang-braised black cod and matzo ball dumplings.
Reservations are still hard to come by at Bestia even though it’s been years since it opened. Clamoring crowds can’t get enough of Ori Menashe’s rustic Italian pastas, especially the cavatelli alla norcina, and Genevieve Gergis’s always-impressive desserts.
Chef Enrique Olvera’s Damian is an Arts District stunner, with its polished modern Mexican menu and a verdant covered patio. The lobster al pastor with pineapple butter is an absolute must, along with the hibiscus meringue for dessert. For a more laid-back dining experience, swing in for brunch or stop into sister restaurant Ditroit for daytime tacos.