New Year's eve in downtown LA
We live in San Francisco. It looks like we'll be in LA on New Year's eve and we're looking for a nice, upscale restaurant in the downtown area. We prefer a place that serves its regular menu rather than some special New Year's thing. This will be our third New Year's eve in downtown LA (think Rose Bowl). The last two times we've gone to the Water Grill. It's been very good but we were thinking of trying someplace different. Looking at Zagat, the only other hightly rated restaurants downtown are Roy's and Patina(where we went and were disappointed). Are there others? Thanks.
I think there's an Arnie Morton's downtown which might have a regular menu. I think the problem with upscale places is that they will tend to have "special" menus at a price. FWIW, I've found Roy's good but nowhere near great. Here's a rundown on newer places: http://www.downtownnews.com/articles/...
It sounds like you're in Pasadena, not Downtown L.A. Have you looked into gettin tickets to a show and then dinner in the real downtown area? We get stuck at home because of the fireworks - dogs being scared and such - but we used to go the Dorothy Chandler and then find food in downtown L.A. pretty easily. Or you can always get a car, go to Geoffrey's on PCH, (great place to view the sunset on the beach, or Charter House if they're not open), go to House of Blues for the crowd and Yamashiro for cocktails. Finish up at a local bar - - - - OH! hey, how about the Pacific Dining Car? Hell, I can't remember the exact name, but maybe somebody else will. Overpriced, but an L.A. land mark.
Well unless you are planning on attending the Giant Maximus NYE event, then I also agree with slumming it and heading over to Little Tokyo. The Giant Village event is expecting thousands of paty-goers, taking over 7 acres, between 8th & Figueroa.
How about something fun and casual like Haru Ulala or a little more upscale Izayoi. Both Izakya joints. As a SF hound, this could be something you'll enjoy, very unique experience!
I agree with staying away from most Patina group restaurants, I was going to suggest Nick & Stef's Steakhouse downtown but just found out that it's part of the Patina group. Went there once and was pleased with the steak prep and side choices: http://www.patinagroup.com/nickStef/
Surprisingly not many "good" fine dining options in Downtown LA. But plenty in other parts of Los Angeles.
Avoid the Patina group-- I bet you that all the restaurants will be overpriced, underspiced, and crowded as hell. Why? I have no clue. Maybe people like consistently bland food?
I agree with David. The Water Grill's probably the safest bet. I've heard that Noe at the Omni is good, albeit a bit...80s (in both decor and execution, whatever that means)?
There's a Roy's, but I have no idea how it'd compare with the one in Hawaii. For what it's worth, my parents like it.
In my opinion, the WaterGrill is the best there is downtown. Many of the other high-endish places downtown (e.g., Nick & Stef's steak house, Zucca (fancy Italian), Cafe Pinot (Cal/French), all of which can be found here: http://www.patinagroup.com/ ) are in the Patina group, and if you didn't like Patina, you probably aren't likely to be impressed by the lesser siblings (although I guess you never know).
Other, non-Splichal, possibilities:
Cicada (617 S. Olive St., (213) 655-5559), which is one of the most striking settings in LA, with good, if not great, high-end Italian food.
Checkers Hotel (http://www.hiltoncheckers.com/diningCD.php ) where Thomas Keller once cooked, is nice, but in my opinion, a bit fussy.
Engine Co. 28 (644 S. Figueroa, (213) 624-6996), not as up scale, serving decent American comfort food.
Ciudad (http://www.ciudad-la.com ), also not as up scale, serving Latin American cuisine as interpreted by "hot tamales" Feniger and Milliken.
The Palm (http://www.thepalm.com/sitemain.cfm?s... ), which is, I think, pretty good for steaks and lobster.
Hope this helps. If I think of others, I'll add another post. (And, if it were me, I'd stick with the Water Grill.)
SLUM IT!!! Give up on fancy fine dining establishments and go somewhere ethnic and delicious. We've got Little Tokyo and Chinatown down there and both offer really good stuff for great prices.
Also, your proximity to any subway service is good for getting to the Hollywood or Silverlake area where you have a really decent dining experience. Just because you are downtown doesn't mean you have to stay there.
It's a buck twenty-five to ride the train and there's some great food in the areas covered!