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Downtown L.A. - Dinner Ideas?

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I have a client who is staying in Downtown L.A. this weekend and wants to do dinner. We are friends as well - we've been out a few times before. I took her to A.O.C. last time she was here and she loved it.

I'd like to find a restaurant in Downtown L.A. - any suggestions? It's been years since I've eaten down there - I used to do Pinot quite often... this Blue Velvet sounds interesting...

Any other ideas? Thanks!

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  1. For something a little different, I love Izayoi in Little Tokyo. It's sushi and sashimi and cooked items on small plates that are presented beautifully! The service is also quite fine!

    I would suggest reservations, if they will take them:

    Izayoi
    132 S. Central Avenue
    #213.613-9554

    Park in the Office Depot parking lot; there is a sign that says it is also for Izayoi customers.

    1 Reply
    1. re: liu

      izayoi doesn't take reservations after 7pm. expect an hour wait on a weekend night and the kitchen closes at 10pm. that said, its totally worth the wait.

    2. I second Izayoi.

      Haru Ulala
      Pitfire Pizza
      Water Grill if you have the $$
      Engine Co. No. 28
      Ciudad

      1 Reply
      1. re: luswei

        I second Water Grill. Also, if you have the money, Patina is pretty incredible. It also has a weirdly cheap lunch (given it's stature as one of L.A.'s best restaurants.)

      2. I love Cafe Pinot-- you've also got
        Nick and Stef's, which I love
        Patina
        and Kendall's, great shellfish and fun, right in the music center.
        I never connected with Ciudad.
        I also think it's fun to go to the rotating bar at the Bonaventure
        (is it still called that?)

        1. I second the Patina recommendation. Patina has a wonderful modern-elegant ambiance, delicious combinations, and fantastic service. Plus, it is right next to the Disney center--a cool LA landmark for friends from out of town.

          On my most recent visit, we worked with the Patina chefs to create a custom seven-course tasting menu about a week in advance. One person in our party remembered having a phenomenal homemade lime sorbet at Patina a couple months back, and when we called them up the morning of the event to ask whether they could whip up a batch for the evening, they not only did so, but they gave us a few extra tubs to enjoy at home. It was an absolutely thoughtful touch for a restaurant that further exceeds our high expectations every time.

          1 Reply
          1. re: freshmix

            I agree. Patina can do no wrong. Their black truffle risotto is out of this world good. And the ambience is really the best in L.A. Disney Hall is so gorgeous and the restaurant is very quiet and beautiful. One of the few places in L.A. where you feel like you should be dressed up.

            I will also recommend for an experience with not as good food, but great ambience, I also enjoy Pacific Dining Car. It's overpriced and you can get better steaks elsewhere, but it's a real old timey, fun place to eat.

          2. Water Grill (never has disappointed me)

            Patina (great, but can be uneven at times)

            Roy's (yes, it's a chain, but still pretty good)

            Zucca (great Italian, esp. anything with pumpkin)

            1. Added bonus: Patina is offering 25% off all their wines this month!

              1. Roy's Hawaiian, at 8th & Fig.

                As someone else mentioned, yes, it's a chain; but, it's a good chain. Also, except for a handful of Roy's "signature" dishes, the menu at each Roy's is different. I've dined at Roy's on the Big Island (Waikoloa), Pebble Beach (Inn at Spanish Bay), and the downtown L.A. location. I've had very good meals at each, having enjoyed both the signature dishes and creations unique to each of those three restaurants. Plus, they have good cocktails! The service at the downtown location has been very professional.

                1. Patina and Cafe Pinot are always great.

                  If on anothers dime, and you don't want to risk it, Pacific Dining Car is always a good meal, very consistent and lots of old school charm. (if you want a steak)

                  I was once a Ciudad fan but I had 2 really bad experiences there (both food and service) Im done there....

                  1. These are great!

                    I used to dine at Pinot when I worked downtown - Water Grill & Ciudad as well (I also had a bad experience there, but it's a fun place to go). I've been to Roy's several times (Pebble Beach, Newport Beach, Maui), so I'd like to try something new.

                    Thank you so much for your ideas. I'm going to discuss these with my client and decide today.

                    Thanks again!!!