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Something akin to Nook for dinner

Mom's coming to town and we need a place to have dinner. The last time she was here, we went to Nook (I'd been several times before) and she loved it. She also has loved Grace, AOC, and Mako, though they are a bit pricey for what I need now. Any suggestions, preferably on the Westside? Would Literati II fit the bill? I've only been there once for lunch. Your suggestions are greatly appreciated.

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  1. Literati II is a good place, except it can be a bit pricey. A lobster dish went for above $30, and sandabs were in the high $20s. It's up to you.

    I'd recommend Violet as another place to try. They offer good prixe fixe menu deals. I believe those are Monday evenings. I've never been to that, so someone else may have better insight.

    4 Replies
    1. re: chica

      I've been curious about Violet, but it looks as though it gets mixed reviews on this board. Anyone care to lend their opinion about it before I take the plunge and make a reservation?

      1. re: LAmonkeygirl

        Small portions, unremarkable food, and poor service.

        1. re: Ernie

          Ditto. Went 3 times--not impressed. Go to Orris on Sawtelle. Your mom will love it (I'm probably your mom's age). Go early or sit at the bar to eat (no reservations). The food is terrific and you won't feel ripped off (as I did at Violet).

          1. re: ThatPat

            Orris is a wonderful suggestion! Well priced too! :)


      1. re: ipsedixit

        We've already been to Luna Park and liked it. I'll put it on the short list if it gets down to the wire. Thanks!

        1. Another option might be the Monday night prixe fixe menu at Jiraffe for 34$. Or maybe Musha?

          1. How about Orris? It is like Nook with an Asian twist.

            1. Literati II is definitely cut from the same cloth as Nook. Limited menu, nothing too elaborate, but solid and satisfying. It can be a bit noisy. Plus you have to look at those Marion Ettlinger photos...

              1. Literati II is more expensive and, I would say, more haughty than Nook. My negative vibe comes from the nickel and dime -- the valet, the extra $2 for fries or cheese with the already pricy burger, the fritto misto that was delicious but a small serving, the specials that can be half-again as expensive as the menu items.

                If you don't want to go back to Nook, I'd try Sawtelle or Shamshiri or Sherh'zad on Westwood for Persian kabobs, breads, etc, in that vicinity. Or for hi-grade flavor at low prices maybe Mama Voula's or Monte Alban.

                1. I just had another thought. I took my mom to Frida, the upscale Mexican restaurant across from Mako. We had a great time. Large portions, great service, beautiful decor and delicious food. It can get a bit crowded and loud near the bar, but simply ask for patio seating.


                  2 Replies
                  1. re: chica

                    what is the price range at frida. the online menu doesn't have prices. also, is it good for groups? thanks!

                    1. re: USCott

                      Good for a group, especially if you enjoy drinks, great Tequilla selection.

                      As for the restaurants itself, it's fancified Mexican, not very good fancified mexican either. It's pricy for what it is... but decent grub (Not vile or anything, just I would MUCH rather do Babita...)

                      Here's the menu with the prices...




                  2. Hi... Just today on another thread, someone reviewed the new Punch, in Santa Monica on Wilshire blvd, where the old Royal Star formerly inhabited. Their review of ambience and menu sounded promising...

                    1. Upstairs 2. A little fancier than Nook, but was the atmosphere was intimate and the food was good. Excellent wine pairings.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: misseatsalot

                        Is that the one on Cotner, by The Wine House?

                        1. re: WestsideLisa

                          yep. its actually attached to the wine house.

                      2. I love Nook! Recently my friend and I went to Opus for their tasting menu for $30 (with wine flight for $15)--it was great! It's not quite on the westside (on wilshire at western, next to the wiltern) but worth the drive.

                        1. IIRC Someone posted here that Mama Voula's is no more so that's not an option. I didn't care for much of Violet's food and I don't think Literati is all that great. I hate their upcharges for cheese or fries with a burger...please!

                          1. I do love Nook and I've heard wonderful things about Orris. I also like Persian (I like Javan more than Shamashiri) and I would like to try Upstairs 2.