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Downtown Restaurants

Restaurant neighborhood
Bäco Mercat
408 S. Main St., Downtown
From the people who brought you Bar Ama comes this Mediterranean-inspired restaurant where the signature bäco is made into tasty sandwiches. While they're known for meat, we particularly love their myriad veggie small plates (from crispy fava beans to pickled eggplant salads), and the fresh and unique seafood dishes. They also have a great drink list with small batch spirits and unique global wines and beers. It gets crowded so be sure to reserve before you go. Photo: Dylan + Jeni
Downtown
Badmaash
108 W. 2nd St., Downtown
No one’s ever really attempted to make Indian food cool until brothers Nakul and Arjun Mahendro enlisted the help of their classically trained chef dad Pawan Mahendro to open their Indian gastropub, Badmaash. The menu here is devoted to both traditional and reimagined Indian dishes: chili-cheese naan, Punjabi fish-fry, chicken tikka poutine—an homage to the Mahendro’s Canadian roots—and our personal favorite, butter chicken. While the majority of the tiny two-story space is kept starkly industrial, there are several focal points throughout, like a brightly striped wall and a mural of a sunglasses-clad Ganghi.
Downtown
Best Girl
929 S. Broadway, Downtown
Leave it to the Michael Cimarusti (he's the brilliant chef behind LA mainstays Connie and Ted's and Providence) to pull a culinary magic trick: Cimarusti unveiled his new restaurant, Best Girl, after secretly working with DTLA's Ace Hotel to reimagine its now-former restaurant, L.A. Chapter (the change was unveiled to the public literally overnight, as hotel guests learned of the news via a note slipped under their doors). A good dose of nostalgia and history come with the new concept, from the name (Best Girl nods to the building's history, the former home of United Artists, the studio co-founded by actress Mary Pickford whose film My Best Girl premiered at United Artists Theatre, now the Theatre at Ace Hotel), to Cimarusti's return to the downtown culinary scene more than a decade after he was head chef at the Water Grill. The interiors are stylish and moody—and the menu is refreshingly unique, albeit heavy on the meat (there are a few veg-centric items, including a stuffed pachieri), with a solid desert game thanks to chef Crisi Echiverri.
Downtown
Bestia
2121 E. 7th Pl., Downtown
In an industrial-inflected, warehouse-like space in L.A.'s Arts District, you'll find Bestia, helmed by husband-and-wife duo, Ori Menashe and Genevieve Gergis. While the scope of the menu is ambitious (and innovative, as Ori hates to waste meat, meaning you'll find the occasional beef and lamb heart or chicken gizzard dotting the offerings), you should really go for the pizza: Ori gives his dough a good 24-hours to rise and fall before it heads into the wood-burning oven, and you can tell. A trip here requires Uber, as this place draws huge crowds—the bar is a fun place to wait, and the cocktails are delicious.
Downtown
Blossom
426 S. Main St., Downtown
Owner Duc Pham, who was born in Vietnam but raised in Anaheim, obsesses over the quality of every detail in his restaurants, from the Scandinavian-inspired furniture to wine list to the bread on his banh mi, which is baked fresh daily. While the classic dishes are excellent at all three locations—anything on the menu with pork belly is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser—we love the Silver Lake location, which has a secret wine bar downstairs. They also have an outpost in Chinatown.
Downtown
Blossom Chinatown
451 Gin Ling Way, Chinatown
Owner Duc Pham, who was born in Vietnam but raised in Anaheim, obsesses over the quality of every detail in his restaurants, from the Scandinavian-inspired furniture to wine list to the bread on his banh mi, which is baked fresh daily. While the classic dishes are excellent at all three locations—anything on the menu with pork belly is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser—we love the Silver Lake location, which has a secret wine bar downstairs. There's also a location Downtown.
Downtown
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