Food trends come and go. So how can you tell which tastes are trending at this very moment?
We took a data-driven look at the question, using Yelp to analyze which eateries have been seeing especially high review volumes this month.
To find out who made the list, we looked at Los Angeles businesses on Yelp by category and counted how many reviews each received. Rather than compare them based on number of reviews alone, we calculated a percentage increase in reviews over the past month, and tracked businesses that consistently increased their volume of reviews to identify statistically significant outliers compared to past performance.
Read on to see which spots are worth exploring this summer.
Open since May, this wine bar and seafood and Mediterranean spot is trending compared to other businesses categorized as "Seafood" on Yelp.
Citywide, seafood spots saw a median 2.4% increase in new reviews over the past month, but Le Grand saw a staggering 116.1% increase, maintaining an excellent five-star rating throughout.
It's not the only trending outlier in the seafood category: Chela's Mexican Restaurant has seen a 32.4 % increase in reviews.
Located at 707 S. Grand Ave. in downtown Los Angeles, Le Grand offers Mediterranean-inspired fare "with a focus on fresh seafood with a coastal California touch," according to the business' website. On the dinner menu, look for swordfish tataki (with sumac, avocado and kiwi), Maine lobster bucatini (with saffron bisque, confit tomatoes and opal basil) and Mediterranean sea bass “Plaki” (smoked and roasted in a traditional Greek sauce).
Explore the full menu here.
Chanpen Thai Cuisine
Whether or not you've been hearing buzz about Van Nuys's Chanpen Thai Cuisine, the Thai spot is a hot topic according to Yelp review data.
While businesses categorized as "Thai" on Yelp saw a median 2.1% increase in new reviews over the past month, Chanpen Thai Cuisine bagged a 40.6% increase in new reviews within that time frame, with a slight upward trend from a four-star rating a month ago to its current 4.5 stars. It significantly outperformed the previous month by gaining 6.5 times more reviews than expected based on its past performance.
Open at 15333 Sherman Way, Suite B since August, Chanpen Thai Cuisine offers soups, salads, fried rice, noodles and more. Yelpers recommend ordering the barbecue chicken, pad kee meow (spicy flat noodles with onion, tomato, green chili and basil leaves) and the yellow chicken curry (with coconut milk, potato, onion and carrot).
Downtown Los Angeles's Pizza Napolita is also making waves. Open since April at 541 S. Spring St., Suite 112, the pizza, Italian spot has seen a 35.5% bump in new reviews over the last month, compared to a median review increase of 1.7% for all businesses tagged "Italian" on Yelp.
Pizza Napolita offers pizza, salads, wings and other side dishes. The menu features the Margherita fior di latte pizza (fresh mozzarella, Parmesan, tomato sauce and basil) and the Mr. Porcini pizza (porcini, shiitake, oyster, mushrooms, smoked mozzarella, garlic and oregano), as well as six kombucha varieties on tap.
Over the past month, it's maintained a healthy 4.5-star rating among Yelpers.
Kopan Sushi & Ramen Bar
Beverly Grove's Kopan Sushi & Ramen Bar is the city's buzziest sushi bar by the numbers.
The sushi bar, which offers ramen and more and opened at 8562 W. Third St. in January, increased its new review count by 28.7% over the past month, an outlier when compared to the median new review count of 1.6% for the Yelp category "Sushi Bars."
Kopan Sushi & Ramen Bar has 15 locations scattered across Southern California. The franchise offers sushi, poke, rice, noodles and, of course, ramen. Diners may order one of the restaurant's signature ramen dishes, or create their own by choosing the spice level, protein (pork belly, fatty pork, chicken or tofu) and additional toppings (garlic, veggies, eggs and meat).
Check out the full menu here.
Sawtelle's Red Rock is currently on the upswing in the gastropub category on Yelp.
While businesses categorized as "Gastropubs" on Yelp saw a median 1.3% increase in new reviews over the past month, this steakhouse, gastropub and Japanese spot increased its new reviews by 10.8% — and kept its rating consistent at four stars. Review counts increased by more than 330% on a month-to-month basis.
There's more abuzz in the world of Los Angeles gastropubs: The Burrow has seen a 10% increase in reviews.
This Japan-based franchise has one other location in Los Angeles. Open for business at 11301 Olympic Blvd., Suite 210 (Floor 2) since 2018, the business offers soup, salad, noodles, pork, chicken and steak bowls. Yelpers recommend ordering the sliced kobe beef bowl, the chicken karaage and the sliced wagyu steak rice bowl.