Before she left town for Washington, former New York Times bureau chief Jennifer Steinhauer did the tour of newer Downtown restaurants. The Travel piece says "Downtown Los Angeles has been 'reviving' for the better part of 20 years," but that for a long time the revival didn't include enough good places to eat.
Yes, there is Little Tokyo, where I have sat in silent awe of the fish at Sushi Gen, and the occasional historic spot, like Philippe the Original, which makes claims on inventing the French dip. But true destination restaurants have been few.
That, too, is changing, with smart new bistros emphasizing creativity and local produce; hidden bars; and cheap-but-chic fare springing up from points east and west. An increasing number of intrepid diners are venturing a few miles east on the 10 Freeway toward the contemporary response to years of suburbanization and sprawl that led to downtown’s descent years ago. And they will now be well fed.
She visits Lazy Ox Canteen, WP24 at the Ritz-Carlton, Church & State, Rivera and Starry Kitchen (shown above from online slide show by Monica Almeida.)