Service 101: My Neighborhood Could Use a New Restaurant

My neighborhood could use a new restaurant, a post on

Thank goodness the current state of the economy hasn’t stopped plenty of new restaurateurs from opening a new establishment.  Since it’s my business to help people open restaurants, I’m incredibly proud of the places I have helped open because they all seem to fill a gaping hole in the food scene that myself and tons of others have been craving. But even with all the new businesses opening, a lot of us are left wanting for more.

So when the New York Times wrote a piece in which they polled the paper’s top food writers to find out what restaurants they wished would open soon in New York City, it got me thinking…What restaurants are still missing in my city and what do my top food blogging friends want to see in their town?

So, in hopes of inspiring a potential new wave of much-needed restaurant openings, I decided to reach out to a handful of my favorite food blogging friends to see what kinds of eateries they were longing for in their neighborhood.

My neighborhood could use a new restaurant on

Gaby Dalkin of What’s Gaby Cooking–Los Angeles

I would KILL for for a fun sandwich place like Beyond Bread in Tucson. They have basically every sandwich under the sun and then even more fun ideas that you’ve never thought of and 123980 kinds of homemade bread.

And I’d also like a killer pizza place that is super inexpensive where you can go and order a slice or two, eat it in the restaurant, and peace out for under 8 bucks.

we need a new pizza place in los angelesLucy of Ladles and Jellyspoons--Los Angeles

What I want? Not necessarily in any order: a simple traditional French bistro that served exquisite food, an English pub with great British food, a Jamie’s Italian (cheap Italian with amazing pasta), and last but by no means least, Ottolenghi’s Cafe and NOPI

Marla Meridith of Family Fresh Cooking–Orange County

We need everything [in Orange County]. High quality, chef owned restaurants would be a great place to start. I can’t stand all the corporate, low quality, big box restaurant chains.

"My neighborhood needs a new restaurant" on

Heather Christo of–Seattle

Not a week goes by that my husband and I don’t whine about how there is no great Jewish deli in Seattle (you know, with real bagels, dill pickles and big sandwiches!) I would also give a toe to have Balthazar to plop right down into my neighborhood. And we are really missing great Italian food in this city- there are very few options.

And Me?

Well, since we’re making our wish list, I’d like to make an official request plea to Portland, Oregon chef Andy Ricker. Los Angeles could desperately use a Pok Pok LA or Pok Pok Wings on Fairfax  would be a welcome addition to my neighborhood. I’d even go so far as offer relocation services to any of the Vietnamese restaurant families from Orange Country’s Little Saigon.

my neighborhood could use a new restaurant on


What restaurants are missing from your city?




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Food Woolf Written by:

Brooke Burton is an Los Angeles-based restaurant professional and hospitality expert. She is a freelance food writer, speaker, and co-author of The Food Blog Code of Ethics.


  1. September 15

    I’ve been a broken record on this topic lately, and I’ll say it again: we need a nouveau, updated (whatever you want to call it) Jewish deli!! It’s a shame that with our city’s talent and interest — this I KNOW for sure — L.A. doesn’t have its version of Mile End, Kenny & Zuke’s, Wise Sons, etc. Deli historian David Sax has vouched for L.A.’s strength as a strong deli city, yet all are in the old style. (Sycamore Kitchen’s salted caramel babka roll is a step in the right direction!) Not that we don’t love Langer’s, Brent’s, Greenblatt’s and the rest, but they’re of the old guard, and my generation doesn’t frequent delis like our families once did. This attitude could change with a fresh spin that takes into account how broader food culture and tastes have evolved. This void is CERTAINLY not for lack of qualified chefs and restaurateurs here in L.A…

    • September 15

      You know what? I couldn’t agree more. I think you’re right, it’s time to take LA got a re-visioning of the old deli. How about a Russ and Daughter’s in LA? THAT would be amazing.

  2. Marisa
    September 15

    Can you please please please get a Russ and Daughter’s going in our ‘hood? If anyone can do it, Brooke….

    • September 15

      🙂 Thanks for the vote of confidence, Marissa! I’ll see what I can do!

  3. September 15

    This is great Brooke! I had to chuckle that you put in my thoughts on the OC. Sounds like I need to try some of those Vietnamese restaurants you mention. The only problem is I refuse to drive any distance on the weekend ~ the weekdays are crazy with school. I’ll forget about the OC and stick with my CO favorites for now,

  4. September 16

    All such great ideas. I feel blessed to live where we live and have the resources we have. Still searching for that Pain au Chocolate I ate in Paris last year – my quest continues and I have no complaints as my journey continues!

  5. September 17

    I’ve got one location in my town (New Brighton, MN) that is a sports bar. It’s been a sports bar for the last [at least] 5 years. In those 5 years it’s been sold 4 times. Each new own remodeled, introduced a new menu and marketed. All have failed. I would love for a sports bar to succeed there. My critique of those that have come and failed is they have bad, overpriced food.

  6. September 18

    I want Mission Cheese (in San Fran) to come to Philadelphia: I want a place where I can sit at the bar and eat a bowl of steaming hot new potatoes with gooey Raclette and wee gherkins. Simple. Perfect.

  7. September 25

    I live in the metro D.C. area. And though there’s already a huge range of variety in terms of food, I’d wish more exotic restaurants featuring new cuisines. Maybe more from Singapore, Malaysia, or Russian.

  8. […] about the need for restaurants to consider teaching  better bussing. I wrote about restaurant concepts that work, why guests should keep an open mind when visiting restaurants, how I enjoy my work in restaurants, […]

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