Food Trends

A look at the hot new culinary concepts that will be embarrassing to even mention in six months.
  • Monster Food Trucks: If there’s one thing Angelenos know, it’s that tacos and grilled cheese just taste better when delivered from the window of a 12-foot-tall, 11,000-pound behemoth rumbling over a row of rusted Oldsmobiles.
  • Molecular Cutlery: For those seeking more creative ways to transport food to their mouths, this up-and-coming dining trend offers a complete reimagining of utensils, from knives that have been perfectly spherified, to foam spoons, to the deconstructed elements of a fork arranged in separate powdered piles of iron and nickel.
  • Sprinkles-Free Cuisine: With ever greater numbers of diners seeking the health benefits of a sprinkles-free diet, expect to see more menu items marked “SF.” In fact, many skeptics might be surprised by how a skilled chef can create a meal so delicious that you can’t even tell it doesn’t contain sprinkles.
  • Tip Trusts: Bucking the no-tip trend, a number of restaurants are not only retaining tipping, but also providing diners the option of placing their gratuity into a trust that remains inaccessible to the server until a specified time, typically upon the customer’s death.
  • Tableside Dishwashing: The dazzling tableside power-washing displays popping up at many LA restaurants provide an exciting draw for customers, who watch in awe as dishwashers expertly flip and spin dirty plates and cutlery while blasting them with scalding water.
  • Distantly Sourced: After years of menus that emphasize their local ingredients, expect the pendulum to swing in the opposite direction with such offerings as Mongolian-grown salad greens and sea salt harvested from the Mariana Trench.
  • Flash-Baked Ice Cream: Judging by the long lines at places like Inferno Creamery and Searing Milk, LA eaters have a boundless appetite for ice cream that’s baked in a custom oven at 900 degrees and then dissipates throughout the restaurant as vapor.
  • An End To Complimentary Seawater: In order to conserve natural resources, eco-conscious restaurants are no longer automatically bringing diners big, sloshing buckets of briny salt water as soon as they sit down.
  • Pepto-Bismol Emergency Sprinklers: Angelenos can’t stay away from their greasy burgers and deep-fried fish tacos, and more establishments are installing emergency antacid sprinkler systems along the ceiling that are triggered by loud rumblings of indigestion.
  • Nonmonetary Menus: In anticipation of the city’s next massive earthquake, more LA establishments are forgoing currency payments in favor of batteries, gauze, and other durable goods that will be more useful when infrastructure crumbles and the power grid fails.
  • Dessert Bikes: Carts are out; rugged off-road motorcycles with platters of tiramisu and bananas Foster lashed to their mud-spattered handlebars are in, and they’re giving the meal’s most overlooked course a much-needed jolt of adrenaline.
  • Reverse Send-Back: Traditionally, restaurants will replace any meal that a customer finds unsatisfactory, but more establishments are now choosing to send the food back to the diner unchanged as a stark reminder of who’s really in charge.
  • Oral Tradition Menus: Tapping into diners’ strong desire for community, a number of LA’s hippest restaurants are relying on menus passed down by spoken word for hundreds of years, from one retiring waiter to the next.
  • Meat With All The Bones And Shit: Simple homestyle meals have been making a strong comeback as of late, often starring a piece of meat that still has all the bones and shit.
  • Alfresco Bathrooms: If there’s one thing better than the food in LA, it’s the weather, and more restaurateurs are taking advantage of the region’s unbeatable climate by offering alfresco toilets and washbasins for customers who wish to soak up the sun as they relieve themselves.