Little J's in Downtown LA?
i actually like this place, but i had a dinner there very early on before it got crowded. we were one of only a few tables and got great food and service. i was worried that might not hold up once the bar/club crowd moved in. i kind of like the bigness of the space. the downstairs feel more chicago than LA to me, the cabana patio is nice on a warm-ish night and the patio outside is great for me cigar-smoking friend. they make a good drink. i like that burger too and their kennebec fries.
Since I didn't get any takers on this one, I'll respond myself! Maybe the problem was that I got the name wrong - it's actually called J Restaurant & Lounge (www.jloungela.com), and let me tell you, there's nothing little about it. About a month ago, I tried it out. When we arrived for a 7:30 reservation on a Saturday, the caverous dining room was empty, so my party of four was somewhat surprised to be seated off to the side in a booth on a corridor. However, the dining room soon filled up with a very ecclectic group of people - perhaps convention-goers, but we couldn't tell for sure. Nonetheless, our booth was cozy and we were perfectly fine. The menu is very enticing-sounding, but disapppointingly, the actual food was only so-so. I had the pan-roasted chicken breast with "sicilian spinach", and I know this is a strange complaint, but the spinach left a weird uncomfortable feeling on my tongue - and the whole thing was just average-tasting. Also, the service was fairly amateur, including a pretty glaring wine mix-up. All in all, it's a very pleasant decor and ambience, but the food and service need to improve in order to compete in Downtown. If any other hounds have been there, I would interested to know if you agree or disagree!
P.S. Although we didn't have drinks in the enormous bar upstairs, it did seem like a fun place to hang out with a group of friends - but not quiet or intimate AT ALL!
Yes, that was my problem as well -- not at all intimate. We just had a hamburger at the bar, which was actually pretty good, but I wouldn't go back there just for a hamburger. I found the whole cavernous space, and the fact that you can't get draft beer upstairs in the bar, rather off-putting.