Los Angeles’ premiere dining week kicks off today with an extensive list of participating locations, all offering discounted menus. Also, dineL.A. is celebrating its tenth year bringing Angelenos into the hundreds of diverse eateries from the Valley to the South Bay.
dineL.A. director Stacey Sun stopped by to answer all our pressing questions about approaching the dineL.A. list and who we’ll need to keep our eyes on.
In the 10 years DineLA has been running, what are the biggest changes you’ve noticed?
We’ve worked to showcase our city’s diverse cuisines and provide more dining options across L.A. We recognize that great food is available at all price points and celebrate family-run restaurants as well as higher-end dining options with the Exclusive Series.
What makes LA’s food scene so unique?
Our city attracts the most talented chefs and Angelenos give them the freedom to be creative. We also have access to the best seasonal ingredients imaginable.
When it comes to farm fresh ingredients, it’s hard to beat Southern California’s selection. How do you see chefs utilizing local produce?
Farm-to-table used to be a selling point for restaurants. Now, farmer’s market produce is engrained in the process and expected whether it’s a fine dining restaurant or a family-run stall in a food hall.
Who are some of the new additions to this year’s lineup?
The event is so beloved that each year we attract new and exciting options. Some of them include 189 by Dominique Ansel at The Grove, P.Y.T. from Chef Josef Centeno in Downtown L.A., and Sushi | Bar, a hidden omakase experience in Encino.
Where are some of your must-hit locations for this year’s Summer dineL.A.?
I’m a creature of habit and always make it a point to visit Lawry’s The Prime Rib and Craft Los Angeles who are both known for excellent service and consistently great food. Inko Nito in the Arts District is a newcomer with a unique Japanese focused menu in a beautiful setting.
Is there a particular chef doing things differently in this year’s lineup?
One area that’s really notable and distinctive for dineL.A. is our Exclusive Series, which features some of the most distinguished chefs and restaurants in Los Angeles. Among them is Michelin-starred chef-owner Michael Cimarusti and his painstakingly coursed sustainable seafood menus at Providence, considered to be the number one restaurant in Los Angeles. There’s also a new Exclusive Series addition: Umeda, led by Chef Takuya Umeda, the talented chef and longtime protégé of Nobu Matsuhisa himself who’s serving Edo-style Japanese cuisine. Edo cuisine dates back to the 16th century and reflects Japan’s ancient cooking principles and traditions, allowing for an exquisite and oftentimes transcendent fine dining experience. There will be thoughtful wine and sake pairing options—all without breaking the bank at $95 per person which is the highest price point on the dineL.A. program. There’s truly something for everyone, including those with a refined palate who are looking for the benchmark of L.A.’s finest culinary offerings.
What are some of L.A.’s on-the-rise food destinations?
Koreatown is one of the most exciting neighborhoods to dine in right now because you have your traditional Korean restaurants and non-Korean restaurants such as M Grill, an AYCE Brazilian BBQ concept. Manhattan Beach in the South Bay is another great destination, especially with David LeFevre’s restaurants. You can eat at all of his restaurants during dineL.A. including Fishing with Dynamite, M.B. Post, and The Arthur J for an Exclusive Series experience.