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Jan 24, 2007 04:22 PM

Help! Need a place to impress visiting New York friend in 2 hours!!

So we can't get in to Cut or Mastro's....she's already been to Lucques and e.baldi. Pane e Vino is my back up....can anyone suggest anything where I'll be able to get in without a reservation? In the Beverly Hills area, she's staying at the Regent Beverly Wilshire....thought McCormick and Schmick's a bit too bland/ordinary. Looking for something more LA unique trendy, but still good...and something they don't have in New York i.e. Orso. I need some serious Hound Help here!!! Thank you!!

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  1. I would go with sushi. You can typically get into Sasabune, Orris, Sushi Tenn, Kiriko, and Sushi Zo with late notice, especially for two people. All of them will give you better sushi than what she can find in NYC.

    6 Replies
      1. re: glutton

        That is misinformed. None of those sushi places come close to Sushi Yasuda or Kurumazushi in NYC. It's debatable whether even Urasawa's nigiri can match Yasuda's.

        I second the AOC rec.

        1. re: Porthos

          You're right that there is good sushi in NYC. Of course, I needed to take out a second mortgage on the house to enjoy it. The high end sushi is probably comparable in each city. However, the median sushi place in LA beats the median sushi place in NYC. You can't eat sushi affordably often in NYC, but you can in LA. That is a meaningful distinction.

          1. re: glutton

            Exactly. And don't forget, the Pacific Ocean is a lot closer to LA than NYC which means fresher fish of the varieties used in Japanese cuisine. Proximity has its privileges.

          2. re: Porthos

            I would much rather go to Sasabune, Kiriko or Sushi Zo than go back to Kurumazushi. What a waste of money that was...

            1. re: jcwla

              I could not agree more. If you don't see a difference between Kurumazushi and Sasabune, you should not waste your money on places like Kurumazushi or Sushi Yasuda.

              Sasabune would not impress someone from NYC though. Aside from the fact that there is now a NYC outpost, some people may find the precut fish, lack of fresh wasabi, and the skin left on the mirugai pretty unimpressive.

        2. Well this isn't really much of a help, but there are several interesting restaurants you could get in to in Downtown LA:

          1. Water Grill - great food and seafood, no view
          2. Windows - amazing view (best in LA? ) just OK food
          3. LA Prime - good steakhouse, great view

          2 Replies
          1. re: eecue

            Hm.. I didn't like Watergrill when i went there. Maybe because I catch my own fish all the time from groupers to halibut to tuna. so it's hard to impress w/ seafood. What did/do you like there??


            1. re: eezerik

              The presentation was top notch and the seafood was quite fresh to my palette, although I don't have a boat!

          2. Bit further afield than Bizzy Hizzy, but how about --

            What about the restaurant at the Argyle Hotel on Sunset -- I think it's now called Sunset Tower. Tower Bar is the place to eat and sometimes hear music (I haven't tried it with the new name and chef, but the view is killer.)

            I prefer Angelini Osteria's fare to Pane e Vino, but you can beat Pane's courtyard (which I presume is heated in winter)

            Hope this helps.

            1. 25 Degrees - Swanky Hip Restaurant and Burger Bar in The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel (Hollywood and Orange Drive)...It's quite the scene at night

              The Ivy - on Robertson, always a great L.A. staple...who knows, maybe Lindsay Lohan will wreck her car in front

              1 Reply
              1. re: brattenheimer

                Oh, and they don't take reservations at 25 degrees...walk-ins only. So that might be good. Put your name down and then hop into the lobby lounge at The Roosevelt for some pre-drinks and appetizers.

              2. I'd start calling places along the Beverly/W. 3rd stretch between Fairfax and La Cienega (AOC, Ortolan, new places like Hatfields and Sona, and so many others) to see about last-minute reservations/cancellations.

                Check out that recent post on this board of the "Best of 2006" for some ideas on other places, but I would not drive all the way to Downtown, esp. for steaks/seafood that can be had in NYC. Heck, you could probably just walk down W. 3rd west of Fairfax looking into windows and be ok.

                So don't panic - it's not like it's Valentine's Day or something (not that I'd know anything about that).