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Are we able to identify a singular "Los Angeles Restaurant of the Decade"?

Any price range, any cuisine.

Just one restaurant that somehow epitomizes, defines, symbolizes or just screams "2000-2009"?

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    1. re: steve h.

      A simple google search reveals 563,000 results.

    2. In a good way or a bad way? It's been an odd decade. You've got Kogi and you've got Urasawa--and everything in-between. I'd like to say some place like A.O.C. or Cut but they don't scream. I guess if you want screaming it's Bottega Louie.

      1. If it screams like it's off it's meds, if it's a flake or it's shaky in the extreme, and the good denizens of the city of the Angels (who change like the wind because they're "foodies") can be said to mirror those qualities then it's gotta be Bastide.... ;-D>

        3 Replies
        1. re: Servorg

          Bingo! Bastide,

          Pytka may be nuts, but there was always serious talent in that kitchen. Along with the soap opera type buzz that place generated. Very L.A.

            1. re: mc michael

              Which iteration? It's still going. Reinvented (this being LA and all maybe reincarnated is a better term) for the 4th time recently. I always got the feeling that Pytka fancied himself the second coming of Patrick Terrail and the original Ma Maison on Melrose - which like Helen of Troy launched - if not a 1,000 ships at least a score of chefs and restaurant heads (even though he seems to have failed pretty completely if that was his actual intent).

          1. That'd be like asking if there was a singular LA *anything*.

            1. You can choose to look at "restaurant of the decade" as a concept so strong that it continues to forge mightily into the future as though it sparked an eternal L.A. legacy on the order of Phillippe's or Cole's.

              But I choose to be cynical about it and look for concepts that peaked and turned quickly into dated cliches.

              So my nominees: boutique cupcakeries like Sprinkles. Frozen yogurt shops a la Pinkberry. Boba shops. I realize the last two are clones that originated in Asia. But in the US, they started here in So Cal.

                1. Much as I prefer the XLB elsewhere - J&J for one - I might say Din Tai Fung. In its way it represents the explosion of regional Chinese restaurants that have come in waves from different parts of China throughout the 2000s. It being from Taiwan, the most recent wave seeming to come from Sichuan. I think there's an argument to be made that Asian immigration to L.A. in the past ten years has had the greatest single impact on the city's restaurants and markets.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: estone888

                    Good concept. You might be on to something.

                  2. Hi there... How about (stretching the term 'restaurant', here):
                    1) Wat Thai Foodcourt (R.I.P.)
                    2) Campanile/La Brea Bakery

                    1. LA is a burger town. father's office.

                      1. No hype in this town lasts that long. So, my answer would be no.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: J.L.

                          Agreed, our attention spans are too short. I read in a blog somewhere (Elmomonster?) that seeking out xiao long bao are so 2006, hahah. Kogi's still strong, but kinda fading. Now burgers are making a comeback, but alas can't put my finger on a single trend or restaurant.

                        2. It's a great question. I will go out on a limb and try to add some history as well.
                          60's Chasen's
                          70's Matteo's
                          80's Spago
                          90's Campanile (or Vida)
                          00's Father's Office

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: Ciao Bob

                            "70's Matteo's"

                            Without a shadow of a doubt it was Ma Maison on Melrose (which continues to cast its net of influence to this very day).

                            1. re: Servorg

                              Oh yes Servrorg, Ma Maison is what I meant! Thanks for the correction.

                              1. re: Ciao Bob

                                And thus why has no one yet mentioned Spago - not only the place for the 80s, but it still is the most consistent place for the last ten years.
                                Maybe AOC should be in the mix as well.
                                Matteo's - god, that was NEVER in any mix - dreadful place, even though I realize Ciao Bob corrected himself.
                                Vida was never in the mix in any decade, as it was not successfully around for any ten years.

                            2. I think a restaurant of the decade should be around for at least 5 years, and be very consistent over time.

                              My vote is Providence.
                              It is a home grown haute cuisine restaurant that has been a stable success for years. Unlike Patina and Water Grill, it hasn't faded. Spago was the restaurant of the 90s.

                              AOC, Lucques, and JAR are nothing too fancy, but they serve simple, comforting, quality food in an atmosphere that is representative of LA's more casual nature. Perhaps they more represent the "fancy" LA food movement of the 00s.

                              Finally, some food trends of 00s were
                              small plates, fancy burgers, and quality beer and cocktail lists.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: jlrobe

                                Providence was, for sure, my other thought for the aught's. Animal is tempting too but awfully new.

                              2. Bazaar.
                                Ethnic , celebrity driven, the bar turns into a version of "entourage"
                                A white hot light let's see when it burns out.
                                And my local taco stand.