Alma

Where to Eat in Downtown Los Angeles

Originally Featured on Serious Eats →
Udon at Marugame Monzo
Photo by Farley Elliott

Even to locals, the transformation of Downtown Los Angeles is hard to believe. Less than a decade ago, there were really two Downtowns: the high rises and upscale lunch spots of the Financial District and… everything else. Cheap eats ruled the day, taco carts crawled the late night streets, and the occasional ramen joint or yakitori spot could be found among the warehouses and shuttered storefronts. But for the most part Downtown was dead.

These days, revitalization is so rampant that it’s hard to recognize the same boulevards that used to be near-empty ten years ago. Young, urban crowds flock to bars, restaurants, art galleries and entertainment venues nightly, and it’s no longer a surprise to see someone on the streets at all hours of the night. Of course, with the influx of people and money comes competition, and Downtown is quickly becoming one of the most contested core neighborhoods for food and drink in this otherwise decentralized city.

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At the Table with Ari: A Four-Course Alma Meal at The New School of Cooking

Duck Breast by Ari Taymor of Alma
Photo by Farley Elliott

It took nearly 28 years, but Ari Taymor finally stepped foot into a culinary school. The self-professed “restaurant trained” chef didn’t actually start cooking for himself — let alone anyone else — until he was two decades old, and has never bothered to take on the debt or spend the time in a culinary classroom. But on Sunday, October 20th, with the weight of L.A.’s most in-demand restaurant, Alma, on his back, Taymor walked into the open kitchen at The New School of Cooking and got to work.

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