Trend alert: What's heating up Los Angeles' food scene this month

Photo: Mr. Pizza/Yelp

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 local businesses have been getting a significant uptick in attention 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 increase their volume of reviews to identify statistically significant outliers compared to past performance.

Read on to see which spots have the momentum heading into the end of the year.


Photo: Iamthe P./Yelp

Whether or not you've been hearing buzz about Valley Village's Burgerama, the burger spot is a hot topic according to Yelp review data.

While businesses categorized as "Burgers" on Yelp increased their review counts by a median of 3.1 percent over the past month, Burgerama bagged a 94.1 percent increase in reviews within that same timeframe, maintaining a healthy 4.5-star rating. It significantly outperformed the previous month by gaining 6.4 times more reviews than expected based on its past performance.

Open at 5424 Laurel Canyon Blvd., Burgerama is a casual spot offering signature burgers like the Country Boy, with bacon, Monterey Jack cheese, onion rings and bourbon sauce; and the Fourty Six Chevy, with bacon, dill pickles, feta cheese, avocado and bourbon sauce. The menu also features two vegan patty options.

FIN Asian Tapas - Hollywood

Photo: FIN ASIAN TAPAS - Hollywood/Yelp

Larchmont's FIN Asian Tapas - Hollywood is the city's buzziest Japanese spot by the numbers.

The Asian fusion and Japanese spot, located at 5750 Melrose Ave., increased its review count by 45.8 percent over the past month, an outlier when compared to the median review increase of 2.5 percent for the Yelp category "Japanese." It outperformed the previous month by gaining 22 times more reviews than expected based on past performance.

Originally hailing from Culver City, FIN Asian Tapas - Hollywood began serving up Japanese-American dishes and cocktails seven days a week this past March. The menu features a wide selection of classic and specialty sushi rolls, hot and cold appetizers, as well as seafood and meaty entrees and a la carte sides.

Some standouts so far: The crispy onion albacore sashimi with Vietnamese spice, tiger prawn tacos and the Hello Kitty cocktail -- combining vodka, black berries, pomegranate, lemon and agave.

Mr. Pizza

Photo: Mr. Pizza/Yelp

Van Nuys' Mr. Pizza is trending compared to other businesses categorized as "Pizza" on Yelp.

Citywide, businesses tagged "Pizza" saw review counts increase by a median of 2.5 percent over the past month, but Mr. Pizza saw a 27 percent increase, maintaining a convincing 4.5-star rating throughout. It gained 6.4 times more reviews than expected based on past performance, significantly outperforming the previous month.

Open at 14851 Victory Blvd., Unit H, since last December, Mr. Pizza offers a wide selection of signature pizzas and the option to design your own pie. Opt for a simple cheese or pepperoni pizza, or try regional varieties like the Greek, Hawaiian, Mexican or margarita. The menu also features appetizers, salads, pastas, calzones and dessert.


Photo: ARIELLE P./Yelp

Is University Park's Kobunga on your radar? According to Yelp review data, the Korean barbecue spot is getting plenty of attention.

While businesses categorized as "Barbeque" on Yelp increased their review count by a median of 3.1 percent over the past month, Kobunga nabbed a 50 percent increase in reviews within that timeframe, maintaining a convincing 4.5-star rating.

Located at 929 W. Jefferson Blvd., Suite 1610, in USC Village, Kobunga offers fast-casual Korean barbecue with a modern touch. Diners can order a signature plate -- like the USC Special with slow-cooked short ribs, Napa cabbage kimchi and soy sauce pickles -- build their own plates by choosing from a variety of bases and proteins -- including rice, kale, ribeye beef bulgogi and and tender pork belly with burnt sugar crust -- and add a housemade hot or cold side.
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