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Aug 18, 2006 11:49 PM

Staying at the Hilton on Hollywood Drive in Universal City and need a dinner reccomendation, please!

I will be attending a conference at the Hilton on Hollywood Drive (not too far off of Ventura Blvd.) and am looking for a nice, out of the way place for 6 people to have a bite to eat for dinner. A couple of vegetarians are in the group (and will need to eat too). Price range, well, lets say about $25 per person.

Can you give me a few ideas Chowhounds? This Chicagoan thanks you in advance for the sage advice.


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  1. Outtake Cafe on Ventura, a couple of blocks East of Laurel Canyon. Nice and chill, quality American. Nothing that will blow your mind or anything -- there's not much that comes to mind immediately in that area -- but totally solid and something for vegetarians and carnivores alike.

    1. might be a little pricier than you're thinking but take a look at

      1. Again, may be pricier than you're looking for but Ca Del Sol (at the bottom of the hill on Lankershim) is one of my favorite restaurants in L.A. Salads, non-meat soups are options for the vegitarians. But you're also right on top of City Walk there...and while pretty commercial...there's a Wolfgang Puck in there that won't break the bank....

        2 Replies
        1. re: cimero

          I enthusiastically second the Ca del Sole. We're going there in a few minutes! The Osso Buoco, the Stinco (lamb shank), the salads, the risottos (usually there is a mushroom one for veggies), all good in a classic, un-hip way.

          1. re: NeNePie

            I love Ca del Sol! I think that would be the best bet for your group.

        2. There is a place called Lala's at 11935 Ventura Blvd.
          Studio City, CA 91604 (about 3 miles from where you will be staying). They serve Argentinian food (which may not sound great, but it is fantastic). It is a small place, but very popular. Try the Chicken Al Champignon and the Melrose salad.

          If you are looking for a quick bite, head up the the Universal City Walk and try Versailles. I recommend the shrimp in garlic sauce, but ask for yellow rice.

          4 Replies
          1. re: sugarcanejane

            AIEEEEEEEEEEEEEE NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO... don't, don't, DON'T go to Versailles, it can only lead to heartbreak. Versailles is a mediocre Cuban chain in Los Angeles, so it's only passable at best, and the CityWalk location is its fast-food outlet. It's completely, totally inedible. It'll be cold before you leave the restaurant to go sit (outside, of course).

            No, City Walk is truly the shop of Chain Horrors. If you must, there's a Daily Grill there that isn't horrible. The Wolfgang Puck is edible... but there are so many better things within 10 minutes' drive!

            Ca' del Sole, which is right at the bottom of the hill, has a beautiful patio. You could probably get two courses for $25-$30 with no wine.

            Eclectic Cafe is a good place for simple California-type cuisine (salads, pizzas, pastas and sandwiches). It's on Lankershim just south of Magnolia. (Ignore Pit Fire Pizza which is cattycorner to Eclectic.)

            About 15 minutes west on Ventura and a quick right into Woodman Avenue will bring you to Carnival, which is a good sit-down Middle Eastern restaurant. (Others call it "the best"... I don't know about that.)

            Out Take Cafe would be a good choice; Zach's Italian, which is just up Ventura on the left side from Lankershim, isn't bad (and they have addictive garlic rolls) -- you can give Miceli's the miss, though, which is probably the Italian restaurant closest to Universal.

            You'll be a hop, skip and a jump from some of the best sushi Los Angeles has to offer... Tama, Nozawa, Katsu-Ya.

            If you're looking for really quiet and serene, halfway between Vineland and Tujunga on Ventura, tucked away in a non-descript minimall next to an Armenian deli and Sushi Nozawa, is Daichan. It's "homestyle" Japanese food, really actually Hawaiian-Japanese. It's excellent, and the room is a little overdecorated but really very serene.

            1. re: Das Ubergeek

              Lots of people like Versailles, and the citywalk is open late if you are hungry, looking for quick take out and wish to avoid McDonald's.

              Sorry but Daily Grill is just awful and overpriced, it does not matter which location! Just my humble opinion!

              1. re: sugarcanejane

                I agree that it's overpriced... but honestly, I'd rather eat at McDonalds (or Panda Express, which I seem to recall is next door) than the CityWalk Versailles.


                1. re: sugarcanejane

                  there are vegetarians in the group.
                  taking a vegetarian to versailles is a hostile act.
                  their beans are full of animal fat.
                  their rice is full of animal fat.
                  there is virtually NOTHING for a vegetarian to eat at versailles.

                  (not to mention, the other quality issues)

            2. GAHHH!! NOT ! NOT! NOT! CityWalk! I LIKE Versailles (the Culver-adjacent Venice Bl original only) and I almost cried with disapointment when I tasted the stuff they served at the CityWalk location. The food there has the relationship to the original that the Puck Cafe has to, say, Spago. Even the Daily Grill isn't as good as other locations. Citywalk in general is the about the worst example of clustered
              "food-er-tainment" in LA. . .

              Even if you don't have access to a car, you've got a Red Line stop which will get you either into Hollywood, (Thaitown and Little Armenia), or into downtown LA, for all of $1.25.

              r gould-saltman