Enter a term to search the site
Search tips | Log in
Resources Job List publications bookstore style convention governance membership

A List of Restaurants from MLA Members

Recommendations from MLA members Ian Barnard and Aneil Rallin.
short walk icon = short walk from the Los Angeles Convention Center
long walk icon = longer walk from the Los Angeles Convention Center
short cab ride icon = short cab ride away


Casual Dining

  • Angelique Café (840 S. Spring St.)—Belgian; great setting; open lunchtime; sandwiches and salads. (213 623-8698)  long walk icon short cab ride icon
  • Blossom (426 S. Main St.)—Bank District restaurant serving Vietnamese cuisine, including tasty vegetarian pho.  long walk icon short cab ride icon
  • D-Town Burger Bar (216 W. 6th St.)—good burgers, including surprisingly tasty veggie burgers; open late. (213 228-0022). Second location closer to the convention center slated to open in fall 2010.  long walk icon short cab ride icon
  • Gram and Papas (277 E. 9th St.)—fresh salads and sandwiches in the Fashion District; lunch only; closed on weekends.  long walk icon short cab ride icon
  • Mac and Cheeza (223 W. 8th St.)—mac and cheese with various toppings and fillings (including vegan cheese); not much seating inside.  long walk icon short cab ride icon
  • Original Pantry Cafe (877 S. Figueroa St.)—great for breakfast, close to the convention center; long lines on weekends; cash only.  short walk icon
  • Orochon Ramen (123 S. Onizuka St., inside Weller Court)—Little Tokyo ramen restaurant; you choose the broth, toppings, and level of spiciness. (213 617-1766)  short cab ride icon
  • Pie Boy Pizzeria (456 S. Hill St.)—gourmet pizzas; eat in, take out, and delivery.  long walk icon short cab ride icon
  • Señor Fish (422 E. 1st St.)—Mexican food near the Japanese-American Museum; fish tacos consistently voted the best in LA.  short cab ride icon
  • St. Vincent Court (in the alley on the north side of 7th St., between Broadway and Hill)—multiple cafés and restaurants in the Jewelry District, most serving Armenian or Persian food. All are open for lunch; a few are also open at night.  long walk icon short cab ride icon


  • JR Bistro (750 N. Hill St.)—Good quality, inexpensive, creative. Casual atmosphere. (213 620-0838)  short cab ride icon
  • Yang Chow (819 N. Broadway St.)—a favorite among visitors to Chinatown; famous for its “slippery shrimp.”  short cab ride icon


  • Bottega Louie (700 S. Grand Ave.)—bustling and wildly popular new downtown restaurant, café, and patisserie; no reservations; long lines at lunch and dinner, so be prepared to wait for a table.  short walk icon
  • Frances Bakery (404 E. 2nd St.)—divine French-style pastries in Little Tokyo. (213 680-4899).  short cab ride icon
  • Groundwork Coffee (108 W. 2nd St.)—excellent cappuccinos; free Wi-Fi.  long walk icon short cab ride icon
  • Hygge Danish Bakery (1106 S. Hope St.)—tasty freshly baked goods and lunch offerings.  short walk icon
  • Syrup Desserts (611 S. Spring St.)—open until midnight; free Wi-Fi. (213 488-5136).  long walk icon short cab ride icon

Fine Dining


  • The Gorbals (501 S. Spring St.)—hipster hangout in the historic Alexandria Hotel; celebrity chef Ilan Hall.  long walk icon short cab ride icon
  • Lazy Ox Canteen (241 S. San Pedro)—our new favorite downtown LA restaurant; innovative and delicious small plates from the chef Josef Centeno (inventor of the “baco”); plenty of vegetarian and seafood options.  short cab ride icon
  • Starry Kitchen (350 S. Grand Ave.)—Asian fusion; open for lunch and some evenings; vegetarian options; menu changes weekly.  long walk icon short cab ride icon

For Insomniacs

  • Full House Seafood (963 N. Hill St.)—excellent, inexpensive Chinese food in Chinatown; open until 3:00 a.m.; outstanding crab and lobster; be sure to ask for the “pea shoot leaves” (not on the menu). (213 617-8382)  short cab ride icon
  • LA Café (639 S. Spring St.)—coffee, salads, and sandwiches in the Historic Core; open 24 hours.  long walk icon short cab ride icon
  • Restaurant at the Standard Hotel (550 S. Flower St.)—New American cuisine; open 24 hours.  long walk icon
  • Suehiro (337 E. 1st St.)—inexpensive Japanese diner in Little Tokyo; open until 3:00 a.m. on weekends. (213 626-9132)  short cab ride icon
  • Tacos Mexico (corner of 9th and Broadway)—taco stand; open 24 hours.  long walk icon short cab ride icon



  • Arashi Sushi (1111 S. Hope St., Suite 100)—inventive sushi, beautifully presented, within walking distance of LA Live. (213 749-1900).  short walk icon
  • Curry House (123 S. Onizuka St., inside Weller Court)—Japanese-style curry and spaghetti; also serves delicious tofu cheesecake.  short cab ride icon
  • Mikawaya (118 Japanese Village Mall)—Japanese pastries; inventor of mochi ice cream (no one should visit LA without trying the mochi ice cream!).  short cab ride icon
  • Shojin (333 S. Alameda St., Suite 310)—delicious vegan, macrobiotic, organic Japanese food in a rather dismal mall setting.  short cab ride icon
  • Sushi Gen (422 E. 2nd St.)—considered by many to serve the best sushi in the very competitive Little Tokyo sushi scene.  short cab ride icon


  • BCD Tofu House (3575 Wilshire Blvd.)—outstanding, inexpensive Korean soon tofu in Koreatown; open 24 hours. Close to purple-line subway stops (take the purple line subway from the 7th Street / Metro Center station to Wilshire/Normandie or Wilshire/Western; purple line runs until 11:30 p.m.).  short cab ride icon
  • Tofu Village (123 S. Onizuka St., inside Weller Court)—soon tofu and Korean BBQ restaurant.  short cab ride icon

Latin American

  • Ciudad (445 S. Figueroa St.)—stunning décor; “tapas Sundays” highly recommended; the chefs Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger.  long walk icon short cab ride icon
  • Rivera (1050 S. Flower St.)—pricey but innovative and memorable Latin cuisine.  short walk icon
  • Wood Spoon (107 W. 9th St.)—cozy Brazilian restaurant with fabulous Brazilian sausage served with plantains and collard greens.  long walk icon short cab ride icon


  • Shekarchi (914 S. Hill St.)—fantastic kebabs; popular with the downtown lunch crowd; not open at night or on weekends. Halal meats.  long walk icon short cab ride icon

Small Plates

© 2015 Modern Language Association. Last updated 10/08/2010.