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Outdoor dining area at Cha Cha Cha in Downtown Los Angeles
Cha Cha Chá in Arts District
Wonho Frank Lee

12 Essential Arts District Restaurants in Los Angeles

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

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Cha Cha Chá in Arts District
| Wonho Frank Lee

Since the opening of Church & State over 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 12 essential Arts District restaurants.

Added: Cha Cha Chá, Afuri, Yess Aquatic, Damian

Removed: Nightshade (closed), Bon Temps (closed), Verve Roastery

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Father's Office

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905 E 2nd St #105
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(310) 736-2224
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Here at chef Sang Yoon’s newest Father’s Office in the Arts District, expect the same timeless burger, loads of craft beer, and plenty of dark woods and black leather. Originally founded as a bar serving some food in Santa Monica in the early 2000s, Father’s Office has evolved to become the standard-bearer for a certain type of casual Los Angeles restaurant.

The famed father’s office burger on a big bun with arugula.
Father’s Office
Lindsey Baruch

2. Manuela

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907 E 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90013
(323) 849-0480
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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 and the grilled oysters too. The new garden at Manuela features a different menu and set of cocktails that works great during warm weather.

3. Cha Cha Chá

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812 E 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90013

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

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

4. Bavel

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500 Mateo St
Los Angeles, CA 90013
(213) 232-4966
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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

5. The Factory Kitchen

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1300 Factory Pl
Los Angeles, CA 90013
(213) 996-6000
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The Factory Kitchen has made a name for itself for Italian dishes that transport diners to chef Angelo Auriana’s hometown of Bergamo, like the mandili, a supple handkerchief pasta dressed with an almond basil pesto.

The Factory Kitchen
The Factory Kitchen
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6. Afuri

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688 Mateo St
Los Angeles, CA 90021

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

Ramen and gyoza from Afuri
Ramen and gyoza from Afuri
Wonho Frank Lee

7. Yess Aquatic

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2001 E 7th St
Los Angeles, CA 90021

Chef Junya Yamasaki is planning to open a grand restaurant at this corner of Mateo and 7th Street in Arts District, but until the space opens, he’s serving innovative Japanese food using local, fresh-caught seafood. Try the fish katsu curry and the sashimi plates.

8. Everson Royce Bar

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1936 E 7th St
Los Angeles, CA 90021
(213) 335-6166
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This beloved bar is known for warm service, well made cocktails, and killer cooking from former Mozza chef Matt Molina. The burger, biscuits, and chocolate chip cookies are just the thing to pair with an Old Fashioned.

Everson Royce Bar
Everson Royce Bar
Everson Royce Bar

9. Guerrilla Tacos

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2000 E 7th St
Los Angeles, CA 90021
(213) 375-3300
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Though founding chef Wes Avila is no longer behind the stoves at Guerrilla Tacos, managing partner Brittney Valles continues the tradition of serving thoughtful, creative tacos at this street-inspired restaurant in Arts District. The fish taco and sweet potato tacos are enduring classics, which work great with the fresh cocktails.

A white paper plate holds two tacos, with beans.
Guerrilla Tacos
Matthew Kang

10. Bestia

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2121 E 7th Pl
Los Angeles, CA 90021
(213) 514-5724
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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. One of LA’s most difficult tables to get and for good reason.

Cavatelli alla norcina at Bestia
Bestia
Bestia

11. Damian

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2132 E 7th Pl
Los Angeles, CA 90021

Enrique Olvera’s Damian had to open in 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 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

12. Tacos Al Carbon

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Violet St & Mateo St
Los Angeles, CA 90021

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

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1. Father's Office

905 E 2nd St #105, Los Angeles, CA 90012
The famed father’s office burger on a big bun with arugula.
Father’s Office
Lindsey Baruch

Here at chef Sang Yoon’s newest Father’s Office in the Arts District, expect the same timeless burger, loads of craft beer, and plenty of dark woods and black leather. Originally founded as a bar serving some food in Santa Monica in the early 2000s, Father’s Office has evolved to become the standard-bearer for a certain type of casual Los Angeles restaurant.

905 E 2nd St #105
Los Angeles, CA 90012

2. Manuela

907 E 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90013

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 and the grilled oysters too. The new garden at Manuela features a different menu and set of cocktails that works great during warm weather.

907 E 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90013

3. Cha Cha Chá

812 E 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90013
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 Arts District. Chef Alé Guzman serves tacos, tostadas, and set dishes with a modern Mexican approach and seasonal ingredients. It’s been white-hot popular since it opened earlier this year.

812 E 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90013

4. Bavel

500 Mateo St, Los Angeles, CA 90013
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.

500 Mateo St
Los Angeles, CA 90013

5. The Factory Kitchen

1300 Factory Pl, Los Angeles, CA 90013
The Factory Kitchen
The Factory Kitchen
Facebook

The Factory Kitchen has made a name for itself for Italian dishes that transport diners to chef Angelo Auriana’s hometown of Bergamo, like the mandili, a supple handkerchief pasta dressed with an almond basil pesto.

1300 Factory Pl
Los Angeles, CA 90013

6. Afuri

688 Mateo St, Los Angeles, CA 90021
Ramen and gyoza from Afuri
Ramen and gyoza from Afuri
Wonho Frank Lee

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

688 Mateo St
Los Angeles, CA 90021

7. Yess Aquatic

2001 E 7th St, Los Angeles, CA 90021

Chef Junya Yamasaki is planning to open a grand restaurant at this corner of Mateo and 7th Street in Arts District, but until the space opens, he’s serving innovative Japanese food using local, fresh-caught seafood. Try the fish katsu curry and the sashimi plates.

2001 E 7th St
Los Angeles, CA 90021

8. Everson Royce Bar

1936 E 7th St, Los Angeles, CA 90021
Everson Royce Bar
Everson Royce Bar
Everson Royce Bar

This beloved bar is known for warm service, well made cocktails, and killer cooking from former Mozza chef Matt Molina. The burger, biscuits, and chocolate chip cookies are just the thing to pair with an Old Fashioned.

1936 E 7th St
Los Angeles, CA 90021

9. Guerrilla Tacos

2000 E 7th St, Los Angeles, CA 90021
A white paper plate holds two tacos, with beans.
Guerrilla Tacos
Matthew Kang

Though founding chef Wes Avila is no longer behind the stoves at Guerrilla Tacos, managing partner Brittney Valles continues the tradition of serving thoughtful, creative tacos at this street-inspired restaurant in Arts District. The fish taco and sweet potato tacos are enduring classics, which work great with the fresh cocktails.

2000 E 7th St
Los Angeles, CA 90021

10. Bestia

2121 E 7th Pl, Los Angeles, CA 90021
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. One of LA’s most difficult tables to get and for good reason.

2121 E 7th Pl
Los Angeles, CA 90021

11. Damian

2132 E 7th Pl, Los Angeles, CA 90021
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 in 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 Mexican cuisine.

2132 E 7th Pl
Los Angeles, CA 90021

12. Tacos Al Carbon

Violet St & Mateo St, Los Angeles, CA 90021

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

Violet St & Mateo St
Los Angeles, CA 90021

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