Urban Eats: DTLA’s Best Restaurants


Published: 04/22/2013

by Nick Rufca


Billing itself as ‘urban farm cuisine,’ Industriel offers adventurous French cuisine utilizing farmers market discoveries and locally sourced ingredients. The journey begins when you walk through the door: the artfully decorated space ranges from funky and fun (honey-bear containers hang in a large cluster from the ceiling) to the somewhat morose (portraits of depression-era farmers). The popular Skull and Bones dish is marrowbone and tongue. The crispy pig ears are served with pickled strawberries. For the truly ravenous—a black angus rib-eye “poutine,” served with kale and gravy, is the way to go. 609 S. Grand Ave., (213) 488-8020; industrielfarm.com

The Parish
Arguably the hottest dining and drinking spot in the Downtown area at the moment, The Parish is a modern, edgy take on the traditional English-style gastropub. The food ranges from the expected upscale bar fare (rotisserie chicken, hanger steak) to the decidedly different (fried frog legs, mashed celery root). The gourmet burger does not disappoint. 840 S Spring St., (213) 225-2400; theparishla.com

Italian food with a modern, California twist, Bestia was immediately embraced and celebrated by foodies and critics alike upon opening last fall. Begin with Grigliata di Polipo (grilled octopus, well paired with warm lentils and salsa), or the Carpaccio di Bue (tender beef carpaccio with a cured egg, arugula and parmigiano cream). The Pizza coi Salami has housemade salami, brussel sprouts and breadcrumbs packed onto its flavorful crust. Whatever you order, be sure to save room for the persimmon and pistachio cream tart. 2121 E. 7th Pl., (213) 514-5724; bestiala.com

The small, simple and sleek space is appropriate for new-kid-on-the-Downtown-block Alma, which boasts a focused menu in which the chef is firmly in creative control. The options change daily, depending on what is in season and available at the local market, but reserve hope that the incredible tofu and seaweed beignets will be available when you visit. Also memorable is the savory chicken liver toast with date jam. If there’s ever a place where the tasting menu may be the smartest option, Alma is it. 952 S. Broadway, (213) 444-0984; alma-la.com

Bottega Louie

Aside from being jam-packed all day, so noisy you almost have to shout to be heard and there often being an hour-long wait, Bottega Louie is a Downtown favorite still worth mentioning. For some strange reason, these caveats all manage to be part of the appeal of this bustling restaurant on the edge of DTLA’s Jewelry District. Here, you can’t help but be transported to a New York state of mind. It’s hard to go wrong with the food, but one way to assuredly go right is the amazing Trenne dish—pasta sautéed until crispy and served with braised rib-eye, kale and gravy-like sauce. 700 S. Grand Ave., (213) 802-1470; bottegalouie.com

Más Malo
Mexican fare for the hipster set with a rock ‘n’ roll vibe to match. The ‘chewy chips’ pair well with the impressive tequila selection, and Más Malo’s Coke carnitas have a considerable cult following—they’re made with a tasty combination of the classic soda, orange juice and savory meat. In the end, I personally find it impossible to resist the simple pleasure of their most famous dish—the ground beef and pickle taco platter. 515 W. 7th St., (213) 985-4332; malorestaurant.com