Strada: DTLA’s Warm Respite on 5th Street

Sand-brewed Turkish coffee. Locally-sourced charcuterie. Peruvian Ceviche. Hand-squeezed basil lemonade. If it sounds like we’re describing four different restaurants, you’re in for a surprise! All of these delights can be found inside the welcoming exposed-reclaimed wooden interiors of Strada Eateria.

Strada means “street” in Italian and Romanian, and indeed the eateria itself reflects the character and energy of the 5th Street, where Strada is located.

Owner Julian Andrei says his goal in opening Strada was to offer a welcoming environment for people from all walks of life to enjoy a pleasurable dining experience.

To me, food and drinks are part of most cultures, if not all of them, says Andrei. If its a happy event, people gather, eat and drink. If its a sad event, people gather, eat and drink. Its also something we need to do on a daily basis and I think its something weve kind of lost the enjoyment of when people step in here they are kind of separated from the street and the hectic environment that we all have to be a part of.”


Although Strada takes on the assumed character of a cafe, Strada is not a counter top service, nor a table service, Strada is both – with a menu so intentionally diverse it includes offerings for all tastes and diets earning it’s title “eateria”.

“I would call it LA cuisine but theres no category for it yet.”

The food is reasonably priced to encourage locals to pop in and quality lunch on a budget. The $7 “bus stop special,” inspired by the near-constant stream of buses running down 5th Street, includes an artisan sandwich and fresh-made drink attracts businesspeople alongside artists and surfers, as the eateria’s walls serve as a gallery to a rotating cache of local artists and hungry partakers. Assimilating into the street culture was not just a culinary choice, but a design choice as well.

I am a people person so I enjoy being around people and I enjoy being a good host.”

Strada’s interior is reflective of the local history, and it was designed to invite a passerby in with Andrei and his team spending months refinishing the interior of the building to exposed reclaimed wood previously left unattended.

Strada’s environs hark back to the past, with a menu that is decidedly current. With fresh, organic and locally sourced ingredients, Andrei and his skilled team have curated a menu of culinary favorites from around the world – a menu that is as diverse as Los Angeles itself.  119 E. 5th St., LA, CA 90013.