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Nov 2, 2006 10:19 PM

Very Unique Experience in Los Angeles

Hello Chowhounders,

I will be in Los Angeles with my boyfriend next weekend, and am in search of the ultimate unique dining experience. Location within LA will not matter since we will be all over; We are open to any type of cuisine; And price is not an issue. We are looking for a place that has quality food, but with an added bonus, such as a show, unusual surroundings, or an extraordinarily upbeat environment. We are from San Francisco, so some places that I would compare what we are looking for down there would be like AsiaSF (though not the highest of quality of food, but a very upbeat atmosphere, and entertaining show), Foreign Cinema (watching movies while you eat), or Supperclub (Eating dinner in bed while watching an interesting attempt at a show). As for LA, I have come across Opaque (dining in the dark), Saddle Ranch, and Gyu-kaku (apparently a japanese BBQ restaurant where you cook your own food). I would love to hear your opinion on these places, and any suggestions that you might think would fall under this category. It would absolutely be much appreciated. Thank you so much.

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  1. You mention Saddle Ranch as an option. Saddle Ranch is a bar on Sunset in West Hollywood and has tables with unobstructed views of a mechanical bull.

    I have a feeling you meant Saddle Peak Lodge located at 419 Cold Canyon Road in Calabasas. Unfortunately for very few, Saddle Peak Lodge does NOT have a mechanical bull; they do have great food, in part (I'm sure) to make up for the lack of a mechanical bull.

    1 Reply
    1. re: FKA Andrew

      This is one of the funnier responses I've read on chowhound. In addition to views of the bull, you'll also be able to see tourists on Sunset in the natural habitat.

      For food and ambience, Saddle Peak would be a much better bet.

    2. Gyu Kaku is a chain with outposts throughout Los Angeles. I like the food, I had a decent weeknight dinner there, but not something that I would recommend to someone coming from SF to have "unique" experience. It's just a restaurant.

      I honestly can't think of anything out here like AsiaSF, so I'm sorry I can't recommend anything to you... but I just don't think you should head to Gyu Kaku. It's not terribly special.

      1. Apparently you can have dinner and a movie at Cinespace in Hollywood? Not sure...

        1 Reply
        1. re: amandine

          You can, and it turns into a club afterward. But it's nothing like Foreign Cinema, which is a relaxed, nice environment. Cinespace is dark and club-like.

        2. Why not go to Spago? You'll get a very good meal and you can watch the celebrities come and go. That's a show in and of itself.

          1 Reply
          1. re: glutton

            In a similar vein celebwise is the Ivy. Food not as good as Spago, but good drinks and lots of celebs and celeb watchers. Or, Cut for steak with higher fares and lots of celebs currently.

          2. With the given that any streetside neighborhood dining table in town is ringside to various and sundry circus acts starring the fashionably enhanced and extraordinary ill-mannered, I would venture that "quality food" and a "show" don't seem to go hand in hand. And the crowd at Pink's makes the best people watching anyway. "Can I have extraaa tryglycerides?"

            (A counter to that remark occurs nightly at several homes in the Hollywood Hills, but that would stretch the definition of "show" into somewhat blush-inducing areas)

            Palms Thai restaurant has mediocre food and a scintillating Thai Elvis impersonator, who boldly adds the occasional John Denver/ Neil Diamond ditty to his sets. It is helpful to be drunk, as the food and the singing both increase in quality.

            Search "Korean BBQ" for a sprited debate over which restaurant makes your clothes smell like you slept in a chimney for longer.

            Cinespace screens films (think "Jaws" and "The Godfather" as opposed to any Bertold Brecht marathons) alongside standard grub. Fill up on fries from Scooby's nearby first.

            Catalina Bar & Grill is a great jazz club who's food is better than it needs to be.

            For cheap? Find a spot alongside Mulholland drive, or picnic up in Griffith Park. There's no wait, good company, and a great view...