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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).

                1. You might get in to THE GRILL ON THE ALLEY in Beverly Hills!

                  1. Unique to LA and within walking distance or 5-minute drive from Beverly Wilshire Hotel (no longer a Regent, but a Four Seasons hotel):

                    1) Mako
                    2) Sushi Sushi on S. Beverly (authentic Tokyo-quality sushi)
                    3) Polo Lounge
                    4) Kate Mantilini
                    5) Urusawa (maybe they have a cancellation? It's right across the street)

                    Good luck! Let us know where you end up!

                    1. Oh, almost forgot...Spago is also within walking distance, and while not as "hot" as Cut, it stills bedazzles visitors...

                      1. From their Hotel they can walk to - In prioritized order:

                        Mako - French/Asian

                        Spago - Wolfie's Best Effort

                        Frida - High-end Mexican

                        Urasawa - Highest-end Sushi, but avialable in NYC

                        The hotel's front desk can help with directions, getting you/them in, ect.............

                        And what to do afterwards???

                        Do they enjoy a cigar??
                        With Cocktails?
                        Even with sports or something (Aussie Open?) on T.V.?
                        And do all that indoors? Legally?

                        The Buena Vista Cigar Club - open to the public - 3 + blocks from Hotel
                        9175 So, Santa Monica Blvd.
                        Beverly Hills - (310) 273-8100

                        1. opentable.com shows a bunch of places with availability for 2 tonight - you might want to check it out.

                          1. Lodge SteakHouse on La Cienega

                            1. We just went visited NYC and one of the "must eat at" restaurants is Mario B's Lupa -- I have to say our own ANGELINI OSTERIA tips Lupa, there's been a recent posting re: Angelini and it's def better than boring Pane Vino. There are fabulous steak houses in NYC so I'd avoid the new trendy ones here, I doubt they're even close. Another contender is GRACE, across the streeet from Angelini -- very L.A. Both places are a little east of where they're staying, about a 15-20 minute drive. And yes, there's also AOC. Do a search, these are all much discussed on the boards -- if you go to Grace, get the donuts.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Silverlaker

                                I've only been to Angelini Osteria only once, and I've been to Lupa maybe 20 times, so there's a possibility that I might have been to Angelini on an off night (or you might have been to Lupa on an off night) - but I don't think Angelini is better than Lupa.

                                AOC is a great idea, though.

                              2. Cruise down to Culver City ... Ford's Filling Station and/or Wilson ... Trendy, California Casual and the weather is supposed to be lovely this weekend ... Enjoy !

                                1. I agree with Cimero that your friend should have a quintessential L.A. experience, even though she's been here before -- take her somewhere super hip, meaning not Pane e Vino or Water Grill. How about something like the Standard Hotel on Sunset? A friend once raved about their pork chops. Sunset Blvd., Beverly Blvd., Santa Monica and Venice Beach are so very L.A.

                                  1. Being from NYC, I think that sushi in LA is a special experience.
                                    There are special LA things, like fish on crispy rice (not sure what it was called).
                                    You need to decide, do you want to share LA-scene or LA-food.
                                    You can combine the two by doing a drink + appetizer at the bar at a scene-place.

                                    1. Ya'll can come over to my place and eat seafood...

                                      1. LA people drive. So drive downtown, won't take but 20 minutes max, and get yourselves to Blue Velvet. VERY impressive and can stand with anything in NYC. Plus, it's beautiful. Easy exit off the 110 North at 9th Street; left at first light, then left again, then travel a couple of blocks to Garland,turn right and you're there. (You'll know Garland because you'll see The Flat).

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. If you're willing to venture out of Beverly Hills, why not drive up Pacific Coast Highway and have a drink somewhere at sunset. (Geoffrey's? Duke's barefoot bar?) Then head up the coast a bit and hit Nobu.