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Jul 20, 2006 06:00 AM

a suggestion for Fri & Sat night this week for a bunch of NYers

we enjoyed Cafe Pinot downtown and AOC. We have a res at Minibar for Fri, but I've been reading alot of negs. So quick change is needed, or are these older reports no longer the case with Minibar?

We've also been to, on previous trips, Cobras & Matadors, Asia de Cuba and Table 8.

Ciudad is our plan for Sunday, if they're open.

We'd be open for a great seafood place, but not a long drive from Hollywood or downtown area.

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  1. I've never been there, but the Water Grill in downtown has very high ratings in Zagats for seafood. The LA Times food review reviewed it within the last year or two, but I think they've switched chefs two or three times since then. I am not sure if it is still what it used to be. Sure some regulars could be more helpful.

    1 Reply
    1. re: young_chower

      I told myself that I had sworn off negative posts, but...
      If you're made of money, The Water Grill is pretty good. Cold seafood, especially oysters are reliably great, but very expensive. Fish is imaginatively preapred and impeccably fresh, but often with distracting preparations. I love great fish "naked", which you can get only if you specially ask for it. I have never been bowled over unlike many other posters. Clam chowder is great, but again, with reservations - if you like lots of cream and bacon you will enjoy it, but if you're there for the clams, themselves, you might end up having to concentrate to appreciate them. Wines tend to be $60 plus, and quickly get to $100 for pretty much anything reasonably good.
      Ciudad is a mystery to me. Nice location, but nothing seems really great and its attraction continues to escape me.
      IMHO, Cafe Pinot is reliably good, but not that much seafood. Otherwise in Downtown:
      Went to Zucca last night and had a good time - the pastas are spectacular and the place is not overpriced.
      Dinner at Checkers last week - unusual and somewhat clumsy combinations (shrimp and lamb, etc) but overall pretty good - maybe this is the next wave.
      Pacific Dining Car three weeks ago - nice if undistinguished steaks, but at eye popping prices (glad I wasn't paying). Breakfast is a little more reasonable and reliably good. If you need something at 3am this is definitely the place.

    2. Water Grill has great seafood, and its Downtown. Ciudad can be skipped.

      If you like upscale Mexican, try La Serrenada de Garabaldi in Boyle Heights near Downtown. Terrific flavors including some very nice seafood dishes.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Noclue

        Definately La Serenada. No doubt about it, you will love it. I am a former NYer and I take alomost every visiting NYer there on their first LA visit. They beg to go back time-after-time. Get the Seafood Cocktail (it will bring tears to the eyes, reminding everyone of "Like Water For Chocolate"), any fish entree (the Cilantro Sauce on gargantuan prawns is also unforgettable -- even to cilantrophobes) and the Seafood Quesidilla.

        Agree with poster below that Ciudad is a better idea than reality. Hungry CAt and Providence, while both good aren't even close to the East Coast food they mimic.

      2. Do yourselves a facor and don't go to Ciudad! Trust me. Its overpriced for what it is, a lame vibe and the worst service ever. [Sunday is tapas night, I think and that's even worse...]

        For seafood go to Providence or the Hungry Cat [both in Hollywood]. I love Noclue's suggestions above too [La Seranata and Water Grill].

        Never been to Minibar so no input there...

        1. Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger I think have lost their touch. Their Pasadena restaurant went out of business!

          Water Grill is part of a family of restaurants. I think you'd be safe w/any of them. I enjoy going to Kings Fish House. The one in Long Beach is better than the Calabasas one- why?
          Maybe b-cuz it's Calabasas....sorry, but, there's major attitude in Calabasas.

          As always -don't forget about the seashore. Plenty of yummy spots in the Marina and along the coast right up into Malibu.

          1. thanks for these, and the update on Ciudad. Too bad, sounds inviting, especially as close as it is to the hotel.
            how's Pacific Dining car? seems rather expensive but a friend had suggested.