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Diners' Choice: Lively restaurants in Downtown / South and East LA

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OpenTable
Updated June 05, 2024

Looking for restaurants that have the most vibrant bar scenes in Downtown / South and East LA? You’re in the right place. Each month, OpenTable analyzes nearly 2 million global diner reviews from the past four months. We sort the results by location and category to help you discover new favorite restaurants. It's a great partnership: you reserve, eat, and review. We listen...and deliver the results for all to benefit. Enjoy!

A photo of Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ - Downtown Los Angeles | CA restaurant
4.9
4.9 (133)
$31 to $50
Japanese
Little Tokyo
About the restaurant
Founded in Tokyo in 1996, Gyu-Kaku has become the world’s #1 Japanese BBQ brand! Thanks to our devoted fans we have reached over 700 locations worldwide. Each day, hundreds of thousands of people gather around the table-top smokeless grill, a centerpiece of our dining concept, enjoying selections of premium meats, just off the grill, and other freshly prepared foods from our kitchens, inspiring laughter, conversation, and a magical dining experience.

Our authentic yakiniku (grilled barbeque) dining experience crowns you the chef. Share a variety of delicious appetizers and premium cooked meats over a flaming grill, paired with Japanese sake, frosty cold beers, or other alcoholic and non-alcoholic options of your choice. We're the perfect spot to enjoy time with friends and family, organize an office party, or to spend quality time with your significant other!

Before you go, don't forget to taste our best-seller Harami Skirt Steak or Prime Kalbi Short Rib among other must-try dishes!
Top review
OpenTable Dinervip
Dined on Jun 12, 2024
Better service than the Beverly Hills location. Food was good. Staff was great.
A photo of Brew Kitchen Ale House restaurant
4.8
4.8 (22)
$30 and under
Comfort Food
Los Alamitos / Cypress
About the restaurant
Coming Soon!
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 7 days ago
Our very favorite local place to eat. The food is incredible, the staff is friendly, the beers on tap and wines are great!
A photo of Strada Eateria & Bar restaurant
4.6
4.6 (81)
$31 to $50
American
Downtown
About the restaurant
Local ingredients | World Flavors
Fresh, carefully curated food from local artisans!

Complimentary 3h parking for dinner with validation. Details on our website: www.StradaDTLA.com

We are looking forward to hosting you soon!
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined on Jun 12, 2024
Brought in some out of towers from Minnesota, Georgia, and South Carolina. I have driven by but never gone into Strada but read reviews and made a reservation for 5 people. We were pleasantly surprised and all enjoyed the presentation and the food. Owner/Chef took our orders and suggested a good bold red wine. Nothing was rushed, everything came on time. Everyone was very satisfied with their meal. Plus, the parking in the building next door is validated for 3 hrs! I'll be back again!
A photo of Dave & Buster's - Long Beach restaurant
4.5
4.5 (82)
$30 and under
American
Los Alamitos / Cypress
About the restaurant
Each Dave & Buster’s has more state-of-the-art games than ever, more mouth-watering menu items and the most innovative drinks anywhere. From wings to steaks, we’ve got whatever suits your appetite and our premium bar assures we’re stocked to satisfy! Plus, you can watch your game on one of our massive HDTVs with epic stadium sound.
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined on Jun 14, 2024
Great place for family gatherings! Took my teen boys and toddler girl - they all had a blast!
A photo of Frida Mexican Cuisine Cerritos restaurant
4.3
4.3 (228)
$30 and under
Mexican
Cerritos
About the restaurant
We are open for curbside pickup, takeout and delivery - we care for you! Take care of yourselves and eat Mexican food! We are open during our regular hours.
Monday-Thursday, 11am-10pm
Friday & Saturday, 11am-11pm
Sunday, 10am-9pm
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 1 day ago
Great food, great vibe, and great service! Will definitely come again!
A photo of Culichi Town - Bell restaurant
4.3
4.3 (97)
$30 and under
Mexican
Huntington Park / Bell / Maywood
About the restaurant
Culichi Town is a modern Mexican resturaunt that presents a brand new experience packed with live music, exciting cocktails, and gourmet food that’s perfect for any great night out! We are very passionate about Sinaloa food and drink, and we strive to show that passion through every dish and drink.
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined on Jun 1, 2024
Had a great time we went with a few friends and husband to celebrate my friends birthday and we loved it The only thing we didn’t like is that the service is really slow the waitress only came by like 4 times throughout the whole time we where there. But the food and ambience was great definitely will be back
A photo of Sonoritas - DTLA restaurant
4.3
4.3 (58)
$30 and under
Mexican
Little Tokyo
About the restaurant
We believe food should be prepared with nothing less than the best.

That's why our salsas and dishes are all made from scratch. Made with only seasonal, local and preferably organic ingredients, even our corn tortillas are homemade!

We have tried and tested every dish, every sauce and every ingredient over and over until it's perfect, to make your experience one above the rest. And we always keep one thing in mind.

Real tacos are not fast food. Real tacos are meant to be full of the tender, juicy, rich flavor of a steak, cooked to your preference; with at least as much care and dedication as a chef would put into a steak.
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined on May 12, 2024
We went for Mother’s Day and my parents loved it. The food and drinks were delicious and the staff were friendly. Definitely going back again!
A photo of The Exchange Restaurant restaurant
4.2
4.2 (537)
$31 to $50
Californian
Downtown
About the restaurant
Freehand LA’s full service restaurant, The Exchange, pays homage to the 12-story vintage blade sign (the largest in LA) under which its entrance proudly sits. The restaurant is led by the team behind Bar Lab and Chef Narita Santos. The focal point on Southern California's seasonal abundance of local produce, fresh seafood and choice meats beautifully highlights the multi-cultural flavors of urban LA. We accompany our menu by a natural wine selection. Private dining options are available. Please contact us for more details.

Please note that a 4% charge is added to all checks to help cover the cost of health care benefits that we offer for our full-time employees. Thank you for your patronage and support. If you would like this charge removed, please let your server know.
Top review
OpenTable Dinervip
Dined on Apr 18, 2024
Every time I come here… the food is so good! The lamb ribs are fall off the bone melt in your mouth good. Also the cod fried rice is a must!
A photo of Que Barbaro at Level 8 restaurant
4.2
4.2 (97)
$31 to $50
South American
Downtown
About the restaurant
Discover the diversity of South American cuisine through the tradition of live fire cooking, all prepared with a side of dazzling showmanship.

Over an open wood flame, Esquire Chef of the Year Ray Garcia and his team cook a regularly changing menu featuring fine cuts of meats, fresh seafood, and creative vegetarian dishes, all kissed with smoke and infused with bold, refined flavors.

Relax in the seductive, tropical-hued dining room or on the pool deck for an alfresco meal. And keep your eye on the rotating liquor risers, which perform their own synchronized routine when someone orders a specialty cocktail.

Please note that we are an Adults Only (21+) establishment after 9:00 PM. Parking validation is available.

For parties of 6 or more, please email restaurants@level8dtla.com.
Top review
FRM1801
Dined on Jun 14, 2024
Amazing dining experience Amazing service from Noe !!!
A photo of Kalaveras Whittier restaurant
4.0
4 (27)
$30 and under
Mexican
Whittier
About the restaurant
Kalaveras is a unique fast casual concept with vibrant colors, art, music, and culture of a time honored tradition – El Dia de Los Muertos. A blend of innovative urban mixology, Latin American culinary classics, tribute to well known Hispanic artists, and nothing but buenas vibras!

Our cocktails are a mixture of urban mixology complemented by fresh ingredients including herbs, infusions, and homemade syrups. This immersive experience indulges all of the senses, creating a unique experience even for those with the most complex of palates.

Our culinary menu reflects a deep passion for traditional Mexican and Latin American cuisine with a modern Kalaveras twist. Our Chef's recipes are passed down from generation to generation. We showcase classics such as barbacoa and carnitas plates, which are slow cooked to perfection, as well as unique twists on Enchiladas Verdes, Tacos gobernador, and our exclusive Molcajete.
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined on May 13, 2024
Food was great and our waiter was super attentive. Will definitely be back!
Explore Diners' Choice best of Downtown / South and East LA
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