The Anatomy of a Line: The Evolution of Communal Dining in Los Angeles

The Anatomy of a Line: The Evolution of Communal Dining in Los Angeles

By Courtney Walsh, West Coast Editor

Los Angeles is home to a number of unique cultural enclaves and pockets spread out throughout the city, which, while great for culinary diversity, is not exactly ideal for fostering a sense of Angeleno community. Visitors and locals alike know that Los Angeles is certainly a driving town and while the local dining community as a whole is an incredibly supportive system, the spread out nature of the city can be quite isolating for chefs and diners alike.

Recently, the introduction of long, communal tables in restaurants was seen as a dining revolution that forced patrons to sit in close proximity to their fellow diners while they enjoyed their meals. While some resisted the forced interaction, many others enjoyed the ability to share in a meal with their newfound dining partners, filling a void Angeleno diners never even knew they had. As such, the seating arrangements caught on like wildfire and continue to be implemented within some of LA’s best restaurants today.

Yet recently, a new kind of communal dining taken hold in a form not quite as expected – a restaurant line.

Seemingly much more of a challenge for restaurants to overcome rather than celebrate, the infamous restaurant line has yielded a surprising result in fostering a sense of community connected to a shared, communal dining experience.     

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Dinner Lab Arrives in Phoenix

Dinner Lab Menu  | Facebook

Dinner Lab Menu | Facebook

With a presence in 26 cities across the country, New Orleans based Dinner Lab is set to arrive in Phoenix in April.  Dinner Lab is known best for hosting a series of pop up meals in a number of nontraditional venues.  Menus and locations are never repeated and the multi-course meals are specially created by a select group of local chefs who seek to give diners a truly unique culinary experience. 

New to Phoenix, Dinner Lab plans to host monthly offerings to its members, featuring a communal dining format meant to foster interaction and to strengthen the local foodie community.  Alongside offering truly unique dining experiences, Dinner Lab also seeks to develop local culinary talent and guests are able to rate their meals and give chefs critical feedback crucial to their culinary development.   

While the exact location will only be released the day before the dinner, buzz about Dinner Lab’s arrival is already at a high within Phoenix’s local community. 

Learn more about Dinner Lab’s move to Phoenix here