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Unique Culinary Experiences in Downtown Los Angeles
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Unique Culinary Experiences in Downtown Los Angeles

Picture of Jarone Ashkenazi
Updated: 20 September 2017
Downtown Los Angeles (DTLA) used to be known for late-night cheap eats and taco trucks scattered among shuttered storefronts, but a culinary revolution has taken place. Fueled by new developments, young hip crowds have flocked here and it now boasts some of the best restaurants in town. Here are some stand-out spots.
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Pellicola Pizzeria

213 Hospitality’s Pellicola Pizzeria, located in the heart of DTLA, is an artisanal pizza concept restaurant that features recipes using classic techniques and incorporating both California and Italian ingredients. Showcasing Italian interpretations of New York pizza crafted by consultant Giulio Adriani, the renowned chef and owner of Forcella in New York City, Pellicola Pizzeria blends the crunch of New York City-style crust and the airy, light characteristics associated with traditional Italian pizza. Pellicola highlights eight specialty pizzas with one seasonally rotating special, as well as salads, appetizers and a signature dessert: the Nutella Pie. The Nutella Pie is stuffed with Nutella, sliced almonds, and powdered sugar.

Pellicola is often until the wee hours of the night, allowing guests to end their night with a slice of heavenly pie. ‘Pellicola Pizzeria is a great destination spot in downtown LA to relax with friends and enjoy a classic New York/Italian slice of pizza pie,’ says Kaye Brindley, General Manager at Pellicola. “We combine the best of savory and sweet; our Tricolore and Nutella signature slices are a must try. We also project classic Italian films on our panoramic windows that add to the eclectic glow and create a truly colorful experience.”

Pellicola Pizzeria, 421 W 8th St, Los Angeles, CA, +1 (213) 614-8000

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Badmaash, an Indian-gastropub, is acclaimed for traditional yet unconventional cuisine from chef and owner Pawan Mahendro and his sons Nakul and Arjun. The restaurant is a family owned establishment that incorporates their Indian heritage, Canadian upbringing and elevated French culinary training. Their dishes are traditional Indian dishes made ‘the way our grandmother would do them, but we also have fun with these spices and flavors with some of our favorite things to eat,’ according to co-owner Nakul Mahendro. Badmaash, which roughly translates to Badass in Hindi, serves Bombay Street Cart fare with a twist. Diners can choose from either the Bombay Street Cart, Tandoori Clay Oven, Traditional Indian or #FoodPorn sections of the menu. Some of the more popular dishes are: chickpea & chips (masala chickpeas with crisp chips, whipped yogurt, tamarind and mint chutney), spiced and slow-cooked mango pork belly, slow-cooked short rib samosas with charred pineapple and cilantro and chicken tikka poutine (masala fries topped with cheese curds, beef gravy, chicken tikka and cilantro). Nakul believes that Badmaash “fits perfectly in Downtown LA,’ as they ‘are authentic but non-traditional, new-age but old-school.”

Badmaash, 108 W 2nd St #104, Los Angeles, CA +1 (213) 221-7466

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Blacktop Coffee

Blacktop Coffee, an espresso bar opened by Tyler Wells of Handsome Coffee and Tyler Wilson of Wurstküche, offers the best coffee and a perfect brunch in the heart of downtown’s Arts District. Wells’ menu is charming in its simplicity and straightforwardness. The vibe is that of the neighborhood spot you’ve always dreamed of. As Wells explains, “we like to make friends and make people feel welcome.” It is a really small space (250 square feet) but has outdoor seats/stools which are little tree stumps that are under a shaded area. Wells says that DTLA chose him: “We did Handsome Coffee a few years ago and accidentally discovered the best community in America in the Arts District. I have met the most incredible people here and am astounded and delighted by the caliber of people we get to see every day. I couldn’t imagine a more creative, receptive, friendly, community-oriented group of humans anywhere.”

Blacktop Coffee, 826 E 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA, +1 (213) 599-8496

The Factory Kitchen

The Factory Kitchen serves traditional Italian food in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles’ Arts District. Matteo Ferdinandi, CEO of The Factory Kitchen, wanted to re-create an informal neighborhood trattoria. He stumbled upon Factory Place and knew that he had found a home. This restaurant is the product of a long-standing friendship between restaurateur Ferdinandi and Chef Angelo Auriana. Ferdinandi and Auriana share the vision of imparting their traditional Italian recipes and respect of the heritage of their Italian culture by featuring dishes that they remember from their days growing up in Northern Italy. Ferdinandi says that their goal is to preserve “the simplicity and the authenticity of the recipes that were created by our mothers and grandmothers and passed on by generations.”

The Factory Kitchen’s 3,000sqft main dining room stays true to the former factory building’s features, with concrete surfaces, reclaimed wood tables and garage doors. These highlights reflect the industrial detailing seen throughout the neighborhood. The Factory Kitchen takes its name from the street it’s located on and the complex that hosts it, but the restaurant’s soul is purely Italian.

The Factory Kitchen, 1300 Factory Pl, Los Angeles, CA +1 (213) 996-6000

Pitchoun Bakery!

Pitchoun Bakery! is a family owned, authentic French bakery that opened its doors in 2015. From artisan bread and homemade pastries to soups and salads, native French owners Frederic and Fabienne Soulies prepare everything from scratch using family recipes. Pitchoun serves both as a casual take-away bakery as well as a warm and cozy space where guests may relax beside a fireplace with a cappuccino. “Pitchoun! is unique because we gather three businesses in one (bakery + pastry + café) and we offer a level of quality in those three fields that nobody else offers locally,” says Fabienne Soulies. “We have a true French soul; we’re authentically French artisans!” Pitchoun! also does catering for corporate and personal events and offers customized cakes for any occasion.

Pitchoun Bakery, 545 S Olive St, Los Angeles, CA, +1 (213) 689-3240

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Preux & Proper

Preux & Proper is a New Orleans-inspired restaurant and bar in the heart of DTLA’s Fashion District. After Joshua Kopel, co-owner of Preux & Proper, left his home of Southern Louisiana, he found an “oasis from the daily grind” when finding his home in DTLA. It was there that the idea of Preux & Proper was born as “a great restaurant can help bring a community together in the same way the dinner table helps bring a family together,” according to Kopel.

The two-storey building situated where Spring and Main converge gives the restaurant its iconic triangle shape. The restaurant boasts both an upstairs and downstairs patio. While dining downstairs, guests can drink from a full bar, signature cocktails or one of the six frozen daiquiris while enjoying a happy hour food menu (from 4-6pm) or while getting into a game of shuffleboard with friends. Upstairs, the restaurant offers a seated dinner in addition to a second bar where diners can congregate for a quick drink or stay for a longer meal to enjoy quintessentially southern dishes from Chef Michael Ruiz including crispy frog legs, smoky shrimp beignets or even a classic steam pot. From the cocktails to the moonshine collection to the dishes and even the open-air layout, Preux & Proper offers Angelenos a unique NOLA experience that weaves together New Orleans staples and a California vibe.

Preux & Proper, 840 S. Spring St., Los Angeles, CA, +1 (213) 896-0090


Executive chef Alvin Cailan founded Eggslut in 2011 as a food truck company, but opened their doors in Grand Central Market in 2013. Eggslut serves all things egg. Cailan does a fabulous job proving that eggs are no longer just a breakfast staple. Their signature menu item is the slut, a coddled egg on top of a smooth potato puree, poached in a glass jar and served with a demi baguette. Other specialties include a breakfast burrito, delicious buttery biscuit and sunny-side-up egg-topped nachos.