The Future of Dining in Downtown Los Angeles Is Looking Bright

With an array of big openings—including three new projects from Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne near the Fashion District—there’s a lot to look forward to in DTLA

While COVID-19 was uniquely devastating to downtown Los Angeles, a number of exciting restaurant openings are rejuvenating the area. At the close of the summer, Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne are set to unveil two long-awaited concepts in the Kelly Wearstler-designed Proper Hotel (1100 S. Broadway, South Park): a Portugal-meets-SoCal restaurant, Caldo Verde, and a rooftop lounge called Cara Cara. The signature dish at the former is the kale-and-sausage soup from which it takes its name, ratcheted up a notch with local rock crab. The duo will also oversee a lobby bar, Dalia, coming soon. These are the first downtown projects for the two industry vets who just opened a Brentwood outpost of their West Third Street hit, A.O.C.

“We’re really looking forward to being a part of downtown L.A., with its energy and openness to creativity,” says Styne.

In the Arts District, another eagerly anticipated spot, Girl & the Goat (555-3 Mateo St.), debuted in July, bringing Top Chef winner Stephanie Izard’s globe-trotting fare to an airy dining room and lovely courtyard patio. Nearby, in the former Bon Temps space, Yangban Society (712 S. Santa Fe Ave.) will offer Korean American deli food from two Mélisse alums when it debuts in September.

The Arts District openings keep coming as the year draws to a close. Look out for Kensho Ryokan (710 S. Santa Fe Ave.), an inn with a modern izakaya called Kodo, in the old Firehouse 17 building. And the team behind the Yess Aquatic food truck—acclaimed avant garde chef Junya Yamasaki and Kino Kaetsu—will open a high-end Japanese restaurant, Yess (2001 E. 7th St.), alongside a casual spot called YESS Cafe and Wine Bar. Kaetsu also has plans for a culture space with food and cocktails, Good Brown (1509 Mateo St.).

“It’s a good place,” she says of the area, “and a good time to do something new.”

Also About Town …

Big-name chefs are on the move across the city

Alice Waters

The legendary farm-to-table pioneer is opening the tentatively named Lulu in the courtyard of the Hammer Museum (10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood) at some point this fall.

Lincoln Carson

The acclaimed chef, his exacting standards, and fine French fare return in September with Mes Amis (1541 Wilcox Ave., Hollywood), in the Thompson Hollywood hotel.

Josiah Citrin

His roasted, tamarind-glazed “dirty chicken” was famous at the original Mélisse and now Citrin. He’ll offer it up at an as-yet-unnamed casual eatery. (2428 Main St., Santa Monica.)

— Heather Platt

Stay on top of the latest in L.A. news, food, and culture. Sign up for our newsletters today.