99 essential local restaurants *

Jonathan Gold's latest compilation for the Los Angeles area includes some newcomers and a nod to the city's changing eating scene:

This year especially, an essential L.A. restaurant may not even be a restaurant at all — it may be a tweet telling you which street corner to hang around at, or a cart parked in the same location from the hours of 11 to 2. Clubgoers are used to seeing their favorite band at the Smell one week and at Spaceland the next, but it is a new thing for diners, separating chef from dining room, the exultation of guerrilla cuisine.

As we’ve said before, an essential restaurant is one that reflects Los Angeles in a startling and unusual way, that uses fresh local ingredients in a fashion that respects the land in which they were grown, that showcases cooking echoing both foreign-trained chefs’ region of origin and the hypercharged mosaic of the L.A. dining scene.

They range alphabetically from A.O.C. to Zelo Gourmet Pizzeria in Arcadia. Downtown's Botega Louie debuts on the list, as do Church and State, Drago Centro, Wurstkuche and Chaya Downtown. Abbot Kinney is newly represented by Gjelina. The Kogi trucks and Let's Be Frank cart make the list too. Personally, I'm sad to see Angeli fall off the list.

* Friday update: Turns out Angeli, and several other restaurants beginning with A, were omitted online due to a glitch. They are back — all is right with the world.

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