2478 Fletcher Dr., Frogtown
Zebulon was really having a moment a few years ago, and we still like it: They have a big patio, an upbeat vibe, and a separate space for their ticketed concerts.
1991 Blake Ave., Frogtown
From the same people who started LA Cha Cha Chá in the Arts District, Loreto is a high-end seafood spot inspired by the bold, zingy flavors of the Baja peninsula. The space feels expansive, with a wide bar, several dining rooms, and a sandy patio. By day, they serve a separate lunch menu under the name Za Za Zá—still seafood-heavy, with agua frescas and micheladas to boot.
2990 Allesandro St., Frogtown
You enter Lingua Franca through the bike path next to the LA river, which contributes to its relaxing neighborhood vibe. They serve a solid burger and fries, and they have a good selection of natural wine. But the real standout is dessert—try the walnut tart and cherry-misu. It’s a great spot to meet up with a few friends for a lively dinner and a round of drinks.
2490 Fletcher Dr., Frogtown
Salazar is one of those rare restaurants that puts just as much emphasis on togetherness as it does its food. There’s a giant patio that’s often crowded with every type of diner, from families to groups of friends to those on a first date–all noticeably enjoying themselves. The vibe is chill–you can grab a margarita or Horchata cocktail at the bar while you wait to be seated (trust us: there will be a wait)–and the food is some of the best fresh, inventive, Sonoran-style Mexican we've had. Housed in a coveted auto body shop right by the LA River, this place is unlike any other.
2902 Knox Ave., Frogtown
So this is pretty great: Chef Peter Lemos and Lauren Lemos (they're married) named all their sandwiches after NPR correspondents. The Ira Glass, for example, is a veggie combo of avocado, sprouts, picked and raw onions, cucumber, and garlic aioli with cheddar cheese, served on wheat bread from LA bakery Bub and Grandma's. The Audie Cornish is ham and cheese with honey butter and cornichon vinaigrette served on a baguette, and the Kai Ryssdal is tuna on a sesame roll. They also serve a few salads and sides, as well as a special every Thursday.