Culture Restaurants

How dineLA Showed Us A Restaurant Doesn’t Have To Fit A Specific Mold To Be Successful

Photo: Dylan + Jeni

Once again, my fellow Angelenos, dineLA is upon us.

The two week-long annual dining event celebrates a milestone 10th year where more than 300 participating restaurants offer unique prix fixe meals to local patrons and tourists at a fraction of the normal price.

At a press event, a panel of acclaimed chefs and restauranteurs spoke about participating in the 15 days of dineLA and what it meant to them. That panel included chefs Susan Feniger (Border Grill), Roy Choi (Kogi), David LeFevre (Manhattan Beach Post), and Steve Samson (Rossoblu).

Photo: Peter Pham

David LeFevre, the owner of the Manhattan Beach Post brought up an inspiring quote that reignited the spark inside the dreamer in me who once wished to open his own BBQ spot.

You don’t have to fit a certain mold to be successful. You don’t have to fit a certain mold to be the best restaurant.

Just scanning through the hundreds of participants and cuisines taking part in the event brings us joy, seeing food celebrated so abundantly.

Foodbeast’s managing editor and Los Angeles resident Richard Guinto had this to say:

Success isn’t made from a certain mold or archetype and dineLA is a good example of that. To elaborate, it’s because dineLA is a good indicator of just how diverse and expansive the Los Angeles dining scene is.

He added:

Whether you’re doing fancy white table cloth type of dining or you’re the local gastropub with eccentric bar bites and a good beer selection or even if you’re a Thai restaurant serving up authentic flavors, dineLA features it. All of which have nothing in common but good food and the success they share as a result of it.

Take Roy Choi’s Kogi concept, for example. Nearly a decade ago, Choi changed the food scene with his Kogi food truck. College students, businessmen and women, chefs, and doctors alike were all waiting in long lines to get their hands on his Korean and Mexican fusion.

Choi now owns multiple concepts and brick-and-mortar Kogi locations throughout California.

Of course there are a few basic guidelines that provide a good foundation when opening a restaurant.

Entrepreneur lists four keys to opening a successful restaurant: perfecting the menu, hiring a great staff, comfy and appealing decor, and market the crap out of your spot.

As my publisher once said, you just have to do what you’re passionate about and the success will follow.

If you’re interested in checking out this year’s dineL.A. event, you can see all the restaurants participating here.

By Peter Pham

Pete's favorite foods include pizza, tacos and pretty much any kind of breakfast. He'll usually snap a photo or two while his food cools down.