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Los Angeles Restaurant Trends 2011: Eat Your Way Through Our City

The Huffington Post     First Posted: 12/16/11 04:26 PM ET   Updated: 12/17/11 08:56 PM ET

This year, the rest of the country recognized what Angelenos have known for years: Los Angeles is a food city!

In a Reuters piece from earlier this year, Saveur magazine's editor-in-chief James Oseland sung our city's praises. "The way the global food cultures casually converge in the place makes for a vigorous food culture that exists nowhere else on the planet," said Oseland. "LA really is the food city of the moment."

Some of the nation's most recognizable culinary stars like Ludo Lefebvre, Suzanne Goin, Roy Choi, Nancy Silverton, Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo, and Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger make their home here, and we have the privilege of eating their cooking any time we care to, as opposed to just watching them longingly on TV.

And, at the risk of stoking the fires of rivalry with our brothers and sisters up north, Los Angeles also edged out San Francisco by one point in Sunset magazine's point-by-point comparison this year.

So if you have yet to see what all the fuss is about, take a look through the top 11 food trends of 2011 in Los Angeles, and start making some reservations.

For more on the best of 2011, visit AOL's Best of 2011.

Small Plates
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This one's been building for a while (see this New York Times article from 2007), but small plates are officially the norm at most of Los Angeles' most trendy new restaurants.

Son of a Gun, ink., M.B. Post and Picca all opened this year with a focus on small plates, and the glowing reviews they've garnered from the likes of Jonathan Gold and S. Irene Virbila could mean we'll be eating daintily for years to come.

The economic advantage of small plates for the restaurant is obvious. But often times the social aspect of a shared meal of snacks is too irresistible a lure for a group of people who like food and like each other. Dim sum at a banquet hall. Tapas at the bar. Mezze on some cushions. It's just how we want to eat some times.


Photo by Anna Almendrala
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