One of the joys of eating in Boyle Heights is that you'll find a good amount of restaurants that are embedded in the neighborhood's history. Spots like El Tepeyac, Al & Bea's and Otomisan have passed the half-century mark and, when you walk into them, you can feel the past and the present intermingle. Yet, Boyle Heights is also home to younger restaurants, like Guisados and Un Solo Sol, who are carving out their own niches in the neighborhood.
As much as you enjoy Downtown L.A. and Hollywood, for you the real L.A. is the old L.A. that exists west of the 405 freeway from Bel-Air to the beach. Places that belong to Dennis Hopper, the Ferus gallery, Jim Morrison writing lyrics on Venice Beach, Less Than Zero trust fund babies, Faye Dunaway lounging by the pool post-Oscars, the Malibu Colony and Joan Didion’s lonely characters nibbling hardboiled eggs as they circle the 405 freeway, too rich to ever be happy. To you, that’s the essence of L.A., the strange paradise city where angels’ fortunes rise and fall daily, casual as the sun.
Italian food has long been of the L.A.’s most consistently popular cuisines, with restaurants like Dan Tana’s, Marino, and Valentino thriving for decades, and consistent lines at Bay Cities Italian Deli. The arrival of restaurants like Bestia, Chi Spacca and Sotto ushered in a new era that dialed up interest in regional Italian cooking and genre-bending concepts. Discover 10 of L.A.’s most interesting new Italian restaurants.
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Westfield Century City has emerged from a $1-billion makeover as a 1.3 million square-foot destination with over 200 shops and restaurants, including a new Nordstrom, a completely remodeled Bloomingdale's, a modern new Macy's, a luxurious Equinox fitness club and spa, and the West Coast's first Eataly.
Architect Wayne McAllister was inspired by the Space Age, World's Fair pavilions and roadside dining culture when he designed the building. Large, curving windows contrast with sharp angles, incorporating elements of Streamline Moderne and Midcentury Modernism. McAllister also mixed the practical with the eye-popping. The 70-foot-tall neon sign, which made it easy for drivers to see the coffee shop from the road, was so distinctive it helped build the Bob's Big Boy brand. McAllister designed many popular restaurants including The Smoke House in Burbank and several circular drive-ins, all of which are now gone. He was also responsible for several early Las Vegas casinos including The Sands, The Desert Inn and The Fremont.
From large food courts to tiny takeout spots, the Downtown Los Angeles food scene is wide-ranging and eclectic. The offerings span generations, from classic local joints to trendy dessert spots. The options are global - you can find everything from Filipino rice bowls to Salvadoran pupusas. The best part is that dining out in Downtown L.A. doesn't have to hurt your wallet. Read on for 11 places where you can get some good grub at budget-friendly prices.