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Trending Tables Los Angeles Mr Holmes Bakehouse Courtesy of White Oak Communications
"Cruffins" and cookies at Mr. Holmes Bakehouse

Trending Tables: Casual restaurants reign supreme

Bakeries, diners among nation’s hottest restaurants

It’s a good time to run a bakery, if this class of Trending Tables is any indication. From Los Angeles to Louisville, shops selling vegan baked goods, hearty doughnuts and Cruffins (the croissant-muffin hybrid at Mr. Holmes Bakehouse in L.A.) have made it onto the list of popular locations across the country. To be fair, just three out of the 38 eateries featured here are bakeries, but that’s up from zero back in August.

Overall, it looks like we’re continuing to move to more casual dining and less fussy food at our trendy restaurants. Chicago restaurants Split Rail and Marshall’s landing are serving comfort food — albeit fancy comfort food like popcorn with truffle butter and Parmesan, and mac ’n’ cheese with smoked bacon crust.

In Charleston, S.C., 1Kept is serving modern comfort food, like a pimento cheese board with grilled sourdough, bacon jam, pickles and other accouterments, along with shrimp and grits with smoked pimento cheese, arrabbiata sauce and crawfish butter.

Courtesy of Kula

Kula Revolving Sushi Bar in Austin


In Austin, Texas, two diners — Bonhomie and Holy Roller — are attracting crowds. So is Kula Revolving Sushi Bar, which serves kaiten sushi, or sushi that rotates past customers on conveyor belts. That might sound novel, but it’s diner food in Tokyo.

And that points to another trend, casual Asian food, whether that’s dumplings at Bao’d Up, also in Austin, or ramen at Vista Ramen in St. Louis.

Of course there’s still room for fine dining, which is no longer purely for European food, as Otoko, a high-end Japanese restaurant in Austin, indicates, but most of the restaurants you will see here offer creative food that draw inspiration from around the world.

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Contact Bret Thorn at [email protected]

Follow him on Twitter: @foodwriterdiary

Correction: September 30, 2017
Sept. 30, 2017: The spelling of Mr. Holmes Bakehouse has been corrected.
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