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Kato Caviar and Milk Bread
Photograph: Courtesy Joy LimanonKato

This Arts District restaurant was just named as “one to watch” by the World’s 50 Best Restaurants

It’s the first L.A. restaurant to receive recognition from the organization in over a decade.

Anna Rahmanan
Written by
Anna Rahmanan

It’s not quite an official prize but we finally feel a bit seen: The annual World’s 50 Best Restaurants list just announced that Kato, the omakase-style Taiwanese restaurant at Row DTLA in the Arts District, is the recipient of their 2024 Resy One to Watch award—an honorable mention of sorts.

What’s perhaps even more noteworthy is that this is the first time in over a decade that World’s 50 Best Restaurants has brought up any L.A. destination when dissecting the global culinary scene.

“Los Angeles has one of the most exciting and diverse dining scenes in the world right now,” William Drew, director of content for the World’s 50 Best Restaurants, said in a statement to the Los Angeles Times. “Kato is representative of Southern California as a region, reflecting Jon Yao’s own experience as an Asian American growing up in the San Gabriel Valley, but also embodying the dynamic gastronomic spirit of Los Angeles.”

Kato Dining Room
Photograph: Courtesy Jeni AfusoKato

Given the popularity of the eatery and its culinary trajectory, we’re more surprised about the fact that Kato didn’t actually make the organization’s “best of” list but was simply called out as “a rising-star restaurant” worthy of some sort of recognition.

For starters, the eatery has been granted a Michelin star for years now, not to mention its presence at #3 on our own list of L.A.’s best restaurants. Kato’s original location in a strip mall in West L.A. made it to the top of the L.A. Times’ own best restaurant list back in 2019, and following its move across the city, it again reached the top of the paper’s ranking once more in 2023. (We awarded its “full-tilt transformation from scrappy Westside gem to definitive fine dining destination” four stars and a recommendation.)

That is all to say: Kato clearly deserves to be more than a “restaurant to watch,” perhaps even belonging on World’s 50 Best Restaurants’ list of top-notch eateries all around. What do you think?

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