LOS ANGELES (Hoodline) — 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 and SafeGraph, a dataset of commercial points of interest and their visitor patterns, to uncover which restaurants have been on the tips of diners’ tongues this month.
To find out who made the list, we first 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. Then we analyzed foot traffic data from SafeGraph to validate the trends.
Read on to see which spots are on a hot streak, right now.
Salaya Plant-based Kitchen
Open since December 2019, this vegan Thai and Asian fusion spot is trending compared to other businesses categorized as “Thai” on Yelp.
Citywide, Thai spots saw a median 0.9% increase in new reviews over the past month, but Salaya Plant-Based Kitchen saw a 36.4% increase, maintaining an excellent five-star rating throughout.
According to its Yelp profile, Salaya Plant-Based Kitchen serves traditional Thai and international fusion vegan dishes. “There are no meat or dairy ingredients but the food is tasty and pleasing with fresh and healthy vegetables and fruits, plant-based ‘meats,’ and homemade vegan sauces and ‘cheeses,'” the Yelp page states.
Located at 5185 Hollywood Blvd. in Los Feliz, Salaya Plant-Based Kitchen offers eggplant larb salad, avocado green curry, spicy garlic noodles and basil beef with rice.
Salaya Plant-Based Kitchen is open from 11 a.m.–9:30 p.m. on Monday-Thursday and 11 a.m.–10 p.m. on Friday-Sunday.
Whether or not you’ve been hearing buzz about Van Nuys’ PizzaRev, an outpost of the famous chain, the popular spot to score pizza and salads is a hot topic according to Yelp review data.
While businesses categorized as “Pizza” on Yelp saw a median 1.3% increase in new reviews over the past month, PizzaRev bagged a 2% increase in new reviews within that time frame, maintaining a healthy four-star rating. As for foot traffic, PizzaRev saw visits nearly triple in the past month, according to SafeGraph data.
PizzaRev specializes in custom personal pizzas with artisanal ingredients and unlimited toppings, which are flame-fired in three minutes, according to its Yelp page.
Open at 5608 Van Nuys Blvd. since December 2013, PizzaRev features signature and create-your-own pizza, with choice of signature thin, double dough or gluten-free crust.
PizzaRev is open from 11 a.m.–10 p.m. daily. According to SafeGraph, foot traffic is heaviest at 11 a.m., 12 p.m. and 5 p.m., and on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so go on Sundays if you want to avoid the rush.
Main Chick Hot Chicken
Sawtelle’s Main Chick Hot Chicken is also making waves. Open since December 2019 at 11419 Santa Monica Blvd., the well-established spot to score chicken wings and sandwiches has seen a 22.4% bump in new reviews over the last month, compared to a median review increase of 1.4% for all businesses tagged “Sandwiches” on Yelp.
“Main Chick Hot Chicken is a passion-inspired food concept serving the most unique Nashville-style fried chicken to date,” reads its Yelp page. “We serve hot chicken with spices ranging from mild to some of the hottest peppers in the world.”
Main Chick Hot Chicken specializes in fried chicken sandwiches and fried chicken tenders. Over the past month, it’s seen its Yelp rating tick down from 4.5 stars to four stars.
Main Chick Hot Chicken is open from 11 a.m.–10 p.m. daily.