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normalheightsfoodie Aug 24, 2006 06:24 PM

Does anyone have any thoughts on CIUDAD. We will be in LA for the food show with a group of people.

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  1. David Kahn RE: normalheightsfoodie Aug 24, 2006 06:41 PM

    I think it's pretty good, if occasionally inconsistent. I am more familiar with their lunch menu than their dinner offerings, and I generally like their beef soft tacos and their sandwiches and salads. Every once in a while I get something that's dramatically over salted or has some other problem, but they have been good about addressing problems that are brought to their attention. Their pastry chef is talented, I think, and the torta de tres leches with mango sauce, in particular, is excellent.

    1. g
      gourmetla RE: normalheightsfoodie Aug 24, 2006 06:53 PM

      I think they are very inconsistent. On the day I saw Mary Sue walking around, it was fantastic. A week later, it was uninspired. Happy hour is okay and I can swallow the bad service much more easily with happy hour prices.

      I like Border Grill much better (though they also have a problem with the little things).

      1. t
        terencio RE: normalheightsfoodie Aug 24, 2006 07:24 PM

        I just ate there last night, and had very good service and good food. My strong recommendation is to go for lunch when the prices aren't as steep--most dinner entrees are above $20 and climb quickly from there.

        gourmetla's point about happy hour prices is also well taken. I love their caipirinhas, but at $11.50 a pop, it gets a little dear.

        1. davinagr RE: normalheightsfoodie Aug 24, 2006 07:48 PM

          I like to sit at the bar, sip drinks and munch on the Apps which to me are the best part of the menu.

          1. c
            Capybara RE: normalheightsfoodie Aug 24, 2006 07:55 PM

            What is the Sunday night tapas night like? Acceptible as a pre-theatre stop?

            1 Reply
            1. re: Capybara
              ceegee RE: Capybara Aug 24, 2006 08:38 PM

              oily and relatively bland...I'd skip it.

            2. o
              ostudio RE: normalheightsfoodie Aug 24, 2006 08:43 PM

              If you are from out of town AND in the food biz, I would definitely skip Cuidad.
              There are so many other great places in l.a.. It's just a matter of will you have access to a car, or do you want to stay in the downtown area?

              4 Replies
              1. re: ostudio
                normalheightsfoodie RE: ostudio Aug 24, 2006 08:57 PM

                We are staying at the Biltmore and dining at Watergrill on Friday. The group as a whole will all be at the hotel, walking is easist, but we can drive. We have been to Spago before and that is always good. Do you like Kate Michilini's?

                1. re: normalheightsfoodie
                  davinagr RE: normalheightsfoodie Aug 24, 2006 09:11 PM

                  Do you mean Kate Mantilini? If so, to me it's overpriced comfort food, nothing is a stand-out.

                  1. re: davinagr
                    normalheightsfoodie RE: davinagr Aug 24, 2006 09:17 PM

                    Do you have any suggestions that would be good for a group of 6 or so.

                    1. re: normalheightsfoodie
                      davinagr RE: normalheightsfoodie Aug 24, 2006 10:36 PM

                      All these joints have been reco'd time and again on CH:

                      Empress Pavillion - 988 Hill St (Dim Sum)
                      Pantry - 9th and Figueroa
                      TRAXX - Union Station
                      Pacific Dining Car
                      Nick & Stefs - 330 Hope
                      LA Prime Steakhouse - Bonaventure
                      Zucca Ristorante - 801 Figueroa
                      Taylors Prime Steaks - Old School Steakhouse - Koreatown

              2. b
                brwencino RE: normalheightsfoodie Aug 24, 2006 09:18 PM

                In my opinion Kate Mantilini is in the same class as Cuidad and a place you did not mention, Cheesecake Factory. They all serve "faux food", a "plastic" version of what they are presenting to be. Not even close to the fine category of Water Grill or Spago. If you will get in the car and don't mind going to Beverly Hills, you might want to try Cut, Puck's new steak restaurant in the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. I have not been there but it has gotten great writeups--be aware though, it is expensive.

                2 Replies
                1. re: brwencino
                  normalheightsfoodie RE: brwencino Aug 24, 2006 09:32 PM

                  Thank you, I abhore the Cheesecake Factory! I think Cut will be out of expense budget however.

                  1. re: brwencino
                    silverlakewino RE: brwencino Aug 24, 2006 10:28 PM

                    Go to Spago or Cut if you want to pay a lot of money for a very refined experience. They are excellent places, (i havet been to cut, but i hope for that price, that it is amazing.) Ciudad is very casual, kinda a loud party. I go to Ciudad if i want great cocktails, and yummy food, it is is no way comprable to Spago, and it doesnt try to be. Also, go on the nites they have a Calypso band on the patio, drinking mohitos, under the downtown skyline, with killer ceviche, Ciudad is great.

                  2. m
                    Mr. Cookie RE: normalheightsfoodie Aug 24, 2006 09:47 PM

                    Ciudad is also incredibly loud, the hard surfaces everywhere really reflect the noise.

                    If you want to stay downtown, you could try Zucca (Italian) or R-23 (Japanese), both are pretty good and probably in the range of $80-100 per couple. Guelegetza is a large Oaxan-style Mexican place near downtown; not fancy but not too downscale, either, and good food.

                    If you are willing to range into the mid-city, Angelini Osteria (Italian) or Grace (Calif) are good choices.

                    1. n
                      normalheightsfoodie RE: normalheightsfoodie Aug 28, 2006 04:53 AM

                      Thank you every one for your input. We had a nice dinner for four people. The dining room was loud, but after I got used to it we had a good time. Dinner for four with apps and one cocktail each and 2 desserts was 200. I thought that was pretty good. The chicken cooked under a brick was increadiblay succulent. The scallops were a little pricey at 28 and you got 3, but they were very good. The real winner at our table was the Gaucho Steak. It was a thick ribeye. I did not try the Mahi Mahi, but our 4th liked it.

                      I would go back.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: normalheightsfoodie
                        davinagr RE: normalheightsfoodie Aug 28, 2006 03:38 PM

                        Where did you go?

                        1. re: davinagr
                          normalheightsfoodie RE: davinagr Sep 1, 2006 06:38 AM

                          The first night we dined at the WATERGRILL , and the second at CIUDAD.

                      2. l
                        le_bun RE: normalheightsfoodie Nov 27, 2006 06:13 PM

                        Ciudad a disappointment the last couple of times. The food is dropping in quality and quantity as the price seems to be elevating. The common demise of most restaurants.

                        1. a
                          AquaW RE: normalheightsfoodie Nov 27, 2006 06:16 PM

                          I only go to Ciudad for happy hours (though always been intrigued by their paella nights on Tuesdays) - ranges from OK to good on both drinks & food but agreed on (lack of) consistency. I much prefer the pricier, though more consistently good, Xiomara's in Pasadena or Los Angeles areas.


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