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Sep 7, 2006 12:23 AM

An alternative to AOC?

I am going out for a fun night on the town this Friday, but can't get into AOC for dinner. I love the food, the vibe and the look. Does anyone have a suggestion for an alternative spot?


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  1. Lou on Vine comes to mind, although the menu is fairly small. It's certainly not as ambitious foodwise, but has a good vibe and the same attention to detail and good ingredients.

    Have not been to Bin 8945, but it sounds like it might fill the bill.

    1. Upstairs2 @ The Winehouse on Cotner in WLA. Excellent.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Francesca

        although not as vibrant/bustling as AOC, Upstairs2 is definitely a good alternative.

        1. re: wilafur

          Really? What did you guys like from there? I saw the menu and was impressed, but I heard a few lack luster reviews and am now wondering...

          Thanks! :)


          1. re: Dommy

            i went for an after dinner snack so i did not partake in too much food. but i do recall the scallop dish was DIVINE. mmm! the duck confit flatbread (basically a pizza) was decent, but the duck was dry (probably due to the 2nd round of baking into the flatbread).

            i really enjoyed the lowkey and laid back atmosphere. service was spotless and attentive without being overbearing. plus their rec's on wines were perfect with the late night snacks.

            a plus is that upstairs2 is @1mile from my house. :D

            1. re: Dommy

              Was there recently and shared pan seared scallops, shrimp and arugula salad, garden ravioli, and a cheese plate. Wine pairings were very impressive. The chef, Todd Barrie, has been recognized as one of America's top chefs and was previously associated w/Joe's in Venice, CA. Take a look at the website. AOC is definitely more of a scene, but this is a good alternative if you are into the food and wine as it seems original poster is and you can actually get in! The Winhouse wine classes are great, too.

        2. What about Cobras and Matadors?

          1 Reply
          1. re: chica

            I have not been to C&M for a few years. Do you still need a reservation to get a table?

          2. You probably should, but I guess that also depends on what night you plan on going.

            1. Bin 8945 on SMB. Great wine program. Very good food. And just as busy. It's like the gay version of AOC. Highly recommend. But just like AOC, it's hard to get a reservation and unlike AOC you don't want to just show up without one and take your chances at the bar ...