The Most Innovative Los Angeles Restaurant Trends for 2023

Welcome in Year in Eater 2023 our annual tradition that looks at the highs, lows and in-betweens of the Los Angeles restaurant scene. Today, Los Angeles’ top food writers, editors, reporters and a select few others with strong opinions discuss the trends they’d like to see in 2024.

Farley Elliott, SoCal Bureau, Chief/SFGate

Suá Superette is a great model for many more casual venues and I hope people will continue to embrace alternative revenue streams and smaller spaces as a way to provide the most consumer interest while meeting cost requirements.

Christy Hang, Contributor, Eater LA

It’s not innovative per se, but I’ve really enjoyed the creations of talented home bakers and chefs who have taken to working and selling goods from their homes. It was a pleasure to support them with their seasonal menus that vary week by week and the opportunity to really get to know the person behind your food. Personally, I loved supporting SoySweet LA, Lucy Wang, Malayasian Foodlovers LA and Los Boludos.

Allison Herman, television critic, Diversity

The pop-up pipeline (or Smorgasburg stand) to the physical pipeline continues to bear fruit. Budonoki feels fully formed right out of the gate, and I’m excited about Saucy Chick Rotisserie’s partnership with Goat Mafia getting a more permanent home in Pasadena. More please!

Daring Goat Mafia.
Daring Goat Mafia

Mona Holmes, reporter, Eater LA

I am grateful for recent efforts by Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass and the City of Los Angeles that have recently made it easier for restaurant owners to expand outdoor dining. I also love seeing collaboration front and center at different restaurants. Operators like Saucy Chick Goat Mafia and Lei’d Cookies sell each other’s food products/meals in their stores. At Lei’d’s store, they sell products from Smorgasburg vendors, giving them the opportunity to spread the word and availability to other businesses in Los Angeles.

Matthew Kang, Managing Editor, Eater LA

I’m curious to see if reimagined service situations, from online or phone ordering and technology, can really improve the customer experience. I’ve already adopted ordering kiosks and QR codes, but I hope we can keep the human interactions and see the added value from that. I recently went to a bean shop with digital kiosks, which most places offer in the San Gabriel Valley, but this system, combined with delightful servers giving advice on their favorite flavors, makes me see and experience value that a machine never would. could provide.

Evan Lovett, Founder, LA for a Minute

The continuation of outdoor dining. I’m amazed that this isn’t an ingrained part of Los Angeles culture pre-Covid, and I love seeing neighborhoods become vibrant and alive due to the proliferation of more outdoor dining restaurants.

Joshua Lurie, Founder,

Boxy slow-rolling food delivery robots are not the answer. An army of double-parking drivers who inevitably get stuck in traffic isn’t ideal either. Let’s hope a truly innovative food delivery company can find a better solution for restaurants and customers that strikes the right balance. Is the world ready to fight food delivery drones?

Jean Trinh, freelance reporter

I went to the Regarding: Her panel at the Chefs Conference in Los Angeles in October, which discussed ways people in the restaurant industry can balance work and family. I found it enlightening and hope to see more restaurant owners build infrastructure into their businesses to allow for flexibility and work-life balance.

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