For decades, Los Angeles’ Chinatown has been dominated by a number of traditional Chinese dining options. Yet over the past several years, a surge of new restaurants serving a range of cuisine from Cajun to Mexican to Japanese-fusion have begun to appear.
While Chinatown may seem an unlikely choice for these modern eateries, the neighborhood's dining revolution makes a lot of sense. As areas such as LA’s Historic Core and Arts’ District began experiencing unprecedented growth, many savvy restaurateurs identified Chinatown’s close proximity as prime real estate for opening their restaurants. The low rent and high levels of foot traffic also made Chinatown a safe bet for entrepreneurs looking for low risk ventures.
Residents of the neighborhood have been generally welcoming of the gentrification that allowed for Chinatown to stop competing with the San Gabriel Valley, LA's food capital of authentic Chinese cuisine, and instead follow in the likes of neighboring Little Tokyo by incorporating a mix of old and new cuisine while still maintaining the area’s distinct cultural heritage.
Recently, a number of celebrity chefs such as Portland’s Andy Ricker and LA’s own Roy Choi and Nguyen Tran have opted to open up shop in Chinatown, bringing a new hype and excitement to the neighborhood that will hopefully put Chinatown back on LA’s food map.
Read more about how this new wave of dining has revitalized the neighborhood here