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Dishes from Yangban Society, Arts District.
A selection of dishes from Yangban Society.
Matthew Kang

13 Essential Arts District Restaurants in Los Angeles

Lush rooftops, excellent tacos, and terrific Japanese-inflected seafood abound

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A selection of dishes from Yangban Society.
| Matthew Kang

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.

Added: Camphor, Yangban Society, Bike Shed, De La Nonna, Kodo

Removed: Father’s Office, Factory Kitchen, Guerrilla Tacos

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
If you buy something or book a reservation from an Eater link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics policy.

De La Nonna

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This pan pizza pop-up had too much potential to merely show up in parking lots throughout the city. The operation took over former audiophile bar In Sheeps Clothing to dole out its 55-hour fermented dough-crusts topped with market-fresh vegetables. Don’t sleep on the cocktails.

Pizzas from De La Nonna. Verytaste

Bike Shed Moto Co

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Casual, leather-sporting, and expansive Bike Shed Motor Co. happens to bring more than good vibes — the food is worth its weight in gold, too. Chef Enrico Glauco offers a proper English breakfast alongside espresso drinks in the morning, and high-end burgers and ribs by night. 

A warehouse space converted to a motorcycle bar, with wooden tables. Bike Shed Moto Co.

Cha Cha Chá

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Mexico City’s breezy vibes come to this rooftop space (with some indoor seating) in the Arts District. Chef Paco Moran serves tacos, tostadas, and set dishes with a modern Mexican approach and seasonal ingredients. It’s been white-hot popular since it opened last year.

Cha Cha Cha’s indoor dining area in Downtown Los Angeles
Cha Cha Chá LA
Wonho Frank Lee

Manuela

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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 grilled oysters. Also worth noting: the garden at Manuela has a different menu and set of cocktails that works great during warm weather.

Camphor

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Heard of chef Alain Ducasse? Well, even if not, his former cooks Max Boonthanakit and Lijo George linked up to bring this French restaurant to the neighborhood. Beef tartare and marzipan Meyer lemon ice anchor the duo’s heavy-hitting menu. 

Baby shrimp gunpowder at Camphor restaurant in Downtown Los Angeles Wonho Frank Lee

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 bread around.

Spread at Bavel Nicole Franzen

Everson Royce Bar

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This beloved spot, with its expansive backyard, is known for warm service, well-made cocktails, and killer bar food. The burger, biscuits, and chocolate chip cookies are just the thing to pair with an Old Fashioned.

Everson Royce Bar’s burger, a thick single patty on a low, wide bun, held on a plate in the air with two hands.
Everson Royce Bar
Everson Royce Bar

Tacos Al Carbon

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Not feeling the steep dinnertime prices elsewhere in the Arts District? Consider the neighborhood’s humble bistec and cecina stand, with meat grilled over charcoal at the corner of Violet and Mateo. The daytime stop offers big tortillas and smoky meat, and lets diners add their own toppings and salsas, including some wonderfully tender beans.

Afuri’s famed yuzu-shio ramen and its variants have come to a bright space along Mateo Street. With noodles made in an on-site laboratory and umami-rich broth, this Japanese import has the chance to stand out in LA’s crowded ramen scene.

Ramen and dumplings from Afuri in Arts District.
Ramen and gyoza from Afuri
Wonho Frank Lee

Chill and comfortable, Kodo (just down the block from Yangban Society) serves up Japanese food and even lets you stay the night in its hotel, a former firehouse, too. This spot from the Kensho Group features sake, sushi, live fire-cooked entrees, and a robust dessert selection.

Yangban Society

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Katianna and John Hong bring insanely well-seasoned galbi beef-back ribs and thick pozole to the district with their new-ish restaurant and market that mixes Korean flavors with California ingredients. Expect comforting culinary mashups like a congee pot pie and biscuits with kare gravy.

Dishes from Yangban Society, Arts District. Matthew Kang

Even though it’s been years since Bestia first opened its doors, a reservation here is still difficult to come by. Clamoring crowds can’t get enough of Ori Menashe’s rustic Italian pastas and Genevieve Gergis’s impressive desserts. It’s one of LA’s most difficult tables to get — and for good reason.

Cavatelli alla norcina at Bestia
Bestia
Bestia

Enrique Olvera’s Damian had to open during the pandemic, keeping it from garnering a lot of momentum that the famous Mexican chef would have otherwise received. With an expansive outdoor patio and polished dishes, it’s a solid ode to Olvera’s distinctive take on modern, regional Mexican cuisine.

Fish tartare, avocado, furikake at Damian in Los Angeles on a plate with a slice of lime.
Fish tartare tostada at Damian
Araceli Paz

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De La Nonna

Pizzas from De La Nonna. Verytaste

This pan pizza pop-up had too much potential to merely show up in parking lots throughout the city. The operation took over former audiophile bar In Sheeps Clothing to dole out its 55-hour fermented dough-crusts topped with market-fresh vegetables. Don’t sleep on the cocktails.

Pizzas from De La Nonna. Verytaste

Bike Shed Moto Co

A warehouse space converted to a motorcycle bar, with wooden tables. Bike Shed Moto Co.

Casual, leather-sporting, and expansive Bike Shed Motor Co. happens to bring more than good vibes — the food is worth its weight in gold, too. Chef Enrico Glauco offers a proper English breakfast alongside espresso drinks in the morning, and high-end burgers and ribs by night. 

A warehouse space converted to a motorcycle bar, with wooden tables. Bike Shed Moto Co.

Cha Cha Chá

Cha Cha Cha’s indoor dining area in Downtown Los Angeles
Cha Cha Chá LA
Wonho Frank Lee

Mexico City’s breezy vibes come to this rooftop space (with some indoor seating) in the Arts District. Chef Paco Moran serves tacos, tostadas, and set dishes with a modern Mexican approach and seasonal ingredients. It’s been white-hot popular since it opened last year.

Cha Cha Cha’s indoor dining area in Downtown Los Angeles
Cha Cha Chá LA
Wonho Frank Lee

Manuela

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 grilled oysters. Also worth noting: the garden at Manuela has a different menu and set of cocktails that works great during warm weather.

Camphor

Baby shrimp gunpowder at Camphor restaurant in Downtown Los Angeles Wonho Frank Lee

Heard of chef Alain Ducasse? Well, even if not, his former cooks Max Boonthanakit and Lijo George linked up to bring this French restaurant to the neighborhood. Beef tartare and marzipan Meyer lemon ice anchor the duo’s heavy-hitting menu. 

Baby shrimp gunpowder at Camphor restaurant in Downtown Los Angeles Wonho Frank Lee

Bavel

Spread at Bavel Nicole Franzen

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 bread around.

Spread at Bavel Nicole Franzen

Everson Royce Bar

Everson Royce Bar’s burger, a thick single patty on a low, wide bun, held on a plate in the air with two hands.
Everson Royce Bar
Everson Royce Bar

This beloved spot, with its expansive backyard, is known for warm service, well-made cocktails, and killer bar food. The burger, biscuits, and chocolate chip cookies are just the thing to pair with an Old Fashioned.

Everson Royce Bar’s burger, a thick single patty on a low, wide bun, held on a plate in the air with two hands.
Everson Royce Bar
Everson Royce Bar

Tacos Al Carbon

Not feeling the steep dinnertime prices elsewhere in the Arts District? Consider the neighborhood’s humble bistec and cecina stand, with meat grilled over charcoal at the corner of Violet and Mateo. The daytime stop offers big tortillas and smoky meat, and lets diners add their own toppings and salsas, including some wonderfully tender beans.

Afuri

Ramen and dumplings from Afuri in Arts District.
Ramen and gyoza from Afuri
Wonho Frank Lee

Afuri’s famed yuzu-shio ramen and its variants have come to a bright space along Mateo Street. With noodles made in an on-site laboratory and umami-rich broth, this Japanese import has the chance to stand out in LA’s crowded ramen scene.

Ramen and dumplings from Afuri in Arts District.
Ramen and gyoza from Afuri
Wonho Frank Lee

kodō

Chill and comfortable, Kodo (just down the block from Yangban Society) serves up Japanese food and even lets you stay the night in its hotel, a former firehouse, too. This spot from the Kensho Group features sake, sushi, live fire-cooked entrees, and a robust dessert selection.

Yangban Society

Dishes from Yangban Society, Arts District. Matthew Kang

Katianna and John Hong bring insanely well-seasoned galbi beef-back ribs and thick pozole to the district with their new-ish restaurant and market that mixes Korean flavors with California ingredients. Expect comforting culinary mashups like a congee pot pie and biscuits with kare gravy.

Dishes from Yangban Society, Arts District. Matthew Kang

Bestia

Cavatelli alla norcina at Bestia
Bestia
Bestia

Even though it’s been years since Bestia first opened its doors, a reservation here is still difficult to come by. Clamoring crowds can’t get enough of Ori Menashe’s rustic Italian pastas and Genevieve Gergis’s impressive desserts. It’s one of LA’s most difficult tables to get — and for good reason.

Cavatelli alla norcina at Bestia
Bestia
Bestia

Damian

Fish tartare, avocado, furikake at Damian in Los Angeles on a plate with a slice of lime.
Fish tartare tostada at Damian
Araceli Paz

Enrique Olvera’s Damian had to open during the pandemic, keeping it from garnering a lot of momentum that the famous Mexican chef would have otherwise received. With an expansive outdoor patio and polished dishes, it’s a solid ode to Olvera’s distinctive take on modern, regional Mexican cuisine.

Fish tartare, avocado, furikake at Damian in Los Angeles on a plate with a slice of lime.
Fish tartare tostada at Damian
Araceli Paz

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