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Aug 30, 2006 11:43 PM

Playing hooky for a day; need lunch recommendation

Three of us are flying down from San Francisco for the day tomorrow to visit MOCA, LACMA and the sun, and we're looking for a lunch spot that would be good, fun and not too far out of our way. Bonus points for food or features that aren't easy to find here, such as outdoor dining or good okonomiyake. Since this is a treat, we're not looking for particularly cheap.

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  1. Since MOCA is downtown and LACMA is mid-Wilshire, it would help if you could choose which area you'll be in around lunchtime, or if you just want someplace in between the two.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Debbie W

      Either area is fine, as is somewhere in between. We are happy to let lunch determine our timing and itinerary!

      Thanks for asking.

      1. re: Millicent

        It is true that the patio at Cafe Pinot is really nice, but the food seems to have gone downhill, and there is a post from earlier today which documents a spectacularly terrible experience.

        Water Grill is quite upscale.

        If you don't care about upscale, and you want an LA experience, maybe one of the Korean places in Koreatown which is between downtown and LACMA. I'm woefully un-knowledgeable about K-town though so maybe someone else can chime in w/recs.

        Additionally there are some sushi places in Little Tokyo downtown which are highly regarded, and from what I understand LA can best SF in the sushi wars. Sushi Gen, Sushi Go 55 are two that come to mind, I've personally never been to either but they get a lot of play here.

    2. Try Cafe Pinot which is neare MOCA downtown, but about 5-6 miles from LACMA. They have a lovely outdoor patio. Water Grill is fancier and great fish and seafood. What is Okonomiyake?

      1. Oh, so many! Depends on what you're fancying at the time; Well here is a list and you can decide...
        Yang Chow's (amazing Chinese and the best Slippery Shrimp!),
        Philippe's Famous French Dip, the best!!!
        Water Grill, amazing seafood restaurant & drinkies!
        Nick'n Stef's, amazing everything! Steakhouse & great drinks, oh, outdoors too!!! Have fun, I LOVE SF too!

        1. Hi LA Chowhounds,
          I am one of the hookyees and wanted also to know about restaurants in Santa Monica or Venice. Years ago Main Street had some interesting places.

          1. Here are some less pricey options in case you are not looking for fancy choices.

            Guelaguetza is directly on the way from downtown to LACMA. I do not know if the smaller branch has a patio. The big one on Olympic does not, but how good is the Oaxacan food in San Francisco?

            Close to LACMA is the original Farmer's Market at 3rd and Fairfax, which is definitely a fun place with a lot of unusual attributes. It has a lot of different food stalls and patio seating. There was a group visit to test a bunch of the different restaurants inside. It resulted in a three-part post. You can do a search to get an idea of what the options are.

            I posted about Cafe Pinot earlier today. I strongly urge you to avoid it.