Along with celebrating its 10th anniversay, dineL.A. has plenty to boast about. It's list of participants reached a milestone 400 restaurants this year, and included some of the city's hottest eateries. We chatted with some of the chefs who are serving up specialties for the LA food event, and picked their brains for predictions about 2018's hottest food trends.
On Participating in dineL.A.: "dineL.A. is incredible exposure for restaurants such as ours that are going through a relaunch. The menu has had a complete overhaul since I’ve taken over the kitchen. Our dineL.A. menu is a mix of existing favorites along with some specials that are not regularly on the menu. Some standouts include our Citizen Burger for lunch and Cheddar Biscuits for dinner."
Food Trend Prediction: "We will see a resurgence in French cuisine. CITIZEN’s 'Halibut in Parchment' is a perfect example. It is classically known as en papillote, which is a French classic that most people haven’t experienced. We use local halibut and organic vegetables."
On Participating in dineL.A.: "Mary Sue and I have participated in dineL.A. since its inception. It started 10 years ago as a way to raise awareness about the various neighborhood restaurants in Los Angeles and I really believe dineL.A. has done just that. Our dineL.A. menu has many new items, including our octopus with Spanish chorizo, white beans and chiles, winter farmers market salad to honor our city’s incredible produce, our Impossible Meat meatballs with confit tomatoes. Our fabulous dineL.A. Vegan menu includes our crispy quinoa bowl, marinated mushroom mulitas, and more!"
Food Trend Prediction: "High quality, interesting, delicious vegan menus!"
On Participating in dineL.A.: "I wanted to be involved with dineL.A. because of my deep-rooted passion for cuisine that was fueled at such a young age. It has translated into my constant development of skills in the kitchen, which I applied to the dineL.A. menu and I can’t wait for guests to experience it. I draw influence from various cultures and cuisines including Cajun, Creole, and French, and would refer to my personal cooking style as 'Mediterranean.'"
Food Trend Prediction: "Blending different styles of food in a fusion of flavors with fresh, local ingredients! I use only local, organically grown produce and sustainably raised organic meat for all of my dishes. My favorite time of the day is going to our garden and using the herbs in my dishes."
On Participating in dineL.A.: "This fantastic program incorporates the city’s fine dining restaurants alongside the great list of value-driven dining deals across our city. We’re involved in dineL.A. for both of our restaurants, Providence and Connie and Ted’s. This will be the third year that fine dining destination Providence will offer a menu for dineL.A."
Food Trend Prediction: "Let’s wait and see—I’m not one for trends or predictions, but it’s a great time for Los Angeles to be celebrated as a leading culinary player on the national stage, alongside other celebrated food cities across the country such as New York, San Francisco, and Chicago."
On Participating in dineL.A.: "It’s a great way for us to see new faces at our restaurant, from many folks, locals, and visitors alike, who participate in the program yearly; it brings our culinary community together. It’s a ‘cool’ winter (by L.A. standards) and I am excited to warm diners’ hearts and bellies with a three-course dineL.A. dinner menu featuring favorites and new additions (inspired by my travels this past year through Vietnam, Fiji, and Australia)."
Food Trend Prediction: "The surfacing of more young and exciting chefs bringing their interpretation of modern cuisine, inspired by their unique cultural heritage and upbringing. Shining a spotlight on more young blood, and the stories yet to be told via their dishes."
On Participating in dineL.A.: "We thought it would be a cool way to share our steakhouse experience with new guests. It's exciting to hear guests say they've had us on their bucket list to try, and that dineL.A. nudged them over the edge. We usually try to share a couple of new dishes. They're fun for our regulars who are coming back for dineL.A. and they're a great way to share something new with a wider audience for feedback."
Food Trend Prediction: "Taking sustainable seafood from a 'plus' to a 'must', and the same goes for reducing food waste. We're continuing to use more and more vegetable dishes (not just sides), and comfort foods that reach across different cuisines like pozole and ramen."
Photography by: Photography courtesy Noe Montes