Form BierBeislBierBeisl Imbiss, an authentic taste of Austria, is the latest in a growing roster of distinctive restaurants in downtown Los Angeles. It’s located in the century-old arcade that links Spring Street to Broadway, three blocks north of the Ace Hotel, and conveniently close to the loft conversions that are infusing new life into the historic core. When chef Bernhard Mairinger lost the lease on his Beverly Hills restaurant he decided to reincarnate it as a casual eatery, specializing in baked goods, meaty snacks and artisanal beers–the kind of place he had grown up with in his native land. Being a perfectionist, who honed his skills at Patina, he allied himself with a master baker, and one could make a meal from the varied breads and pastries, fleshed out with some of the best sausages in town, and much else besides. You can sit out in the arcade at a long counter, or at a communal table inside if the smaller tables are full. And BierBeisl is open daily from 8am-2am, for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks in between.

Form Okun montageThere are other pluses. The lofty interior was designed by Greg Bleier, who promises it will be a lot quieter than his space for Bestia, where one has to yell to be heard over the din. A lively but audible restaurant is badly needed in downtown LA—assuming the art of conversation is not entirely extinct. Artist Jenny Okun, whose composite photographs of architecture are regularly exhibited by the Craig Krull Gallery in Bergamot Station, has created large scale panels to the restaurant and for the arcade storefronts that await other restaurateurs. Her montage of vintage downtown LA signs should provoke diners to stroll along Broadway, gazing upwards at movie theater marquees. 541 S. Spring Street.

–Michael Webb

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