It's an exciting time to be in Los Angeles, lately evolving at a rate quick enough to make your head spin. Cultural shifts, infrastructure improvements and a steady rate of growth (4 million people live here, now!) have the country's second largest city bursting at the seams. Forward-thinking neighborhoods and suburbs are choosing density. Downtown is cool again. People are riding transit by choice—there's even a new train to the Santa Monica Pier. As in any fast-changing metropolis, the past is often left by the wayside. In Los Angeles, however, still young enough to remember what life was like back in the day, the occasional pang of nostalgia for the olden days—at least when it comes to food—keeps an embarrassment of classic restaurants afloat, even as Southern California's food scene becomes one of the continent's most exciting. Hungry for a trip back in time and a good meal? Pay tribute to local heritage at these terrific establishments. —David Landsel

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