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Jan 30, 2007 05:41 PM

Looking for recs--Sushi and wine bar/small plates

Will be visiting LA from NYC in early March, only for two nights. Would like to have sushi one night and something wine-bar/small plates oriented the other. On past visits to LA, I've had sushi at R 23 (twice--first time more memorable than the 2nd), the Hump (had a great experience there), and Tama on Ventura Blvd. a couple of times--close to where I'll be staying, and a good standby. I'd like to try another sushi place in the vein of the Hump or R 23, someplace with at least a modicum of atmosphere (like the Hump; unlike Tama), but not a scene and definitely not a sushi nazi kind of place where we'll be abused. Price range around the same as Hump would be good--not too much more than that.

I've been to AOC several times and it's been my LA favorite. Went to the Hungry Cat once and was underwhelmed. Also tried Angelini Osteria and found it so completely unmemorable that the meal has entirely escaped me. I probably get better Italian in NYC anyway.

I'm interested possibly in trying Lou on Vine or Bottle Rock (I know, main focus is wine, but at least for drinks). Any thoughts or other recommendations?

Also, has anyone recently tried Pace on Laurel Canyon? I know it's been around for a long time, but it's always looked cozy to me and I wonder whether it's worth a try.


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  1. Try Kiriko on Sawtelle for omakse nigiri and excellent cooked dishes.

    Orris, also on Sawtelle, for small plates and drinks.

    1. Yatai on Sunset is really great for small Asian dishes and atmo.
      Agree w/Koriko. You could also look into Sushi Wa Bistro on Le Cienega and Holloway or Sushi Zo on National & Castle Heights - both have great sushi and atmo (atmo's better at Wa)

      1. I didn't care for Bottle Rock. It was very UNcomfortable, but the wine selections are good. Their food is simple charcuterie. Very good, but not a meal...and 'hounds are here for the food...right? So have a glass or two of wine at Bottle Rock then drive over to Sawtelle. Orris is IT -- a definite must try for izakaya (small plates) where the food is memorable. But it gets very crowded and they take no reservations. The bar/counter is comfortable with less of wait.
        Here's a link. Just take a look at their menu. Tonight we went to Beacon and I wished we had chosen Orris instead.

        1 Reply
        1. re: sassille

          I should have made it clearer that I'm mainly looking to have only wine at Bottle Rock. Orris sounds like a great combination of Japanese and small plates. Thanks. Will keep Kiriko in mind too.

        2. if you are on the westside, i suggest giving orris (as suggested above) and upstairs2 a try. the latter is a wine bar (unfortunately no sushi but plenty of other tapas-style eats) atop a wine warehouse.

          1. Not quite in the stratosphere as AOC, but Cobras and Matadors is another small bites place. There's no liquor license in the restaurant, but the owners also own the wine store next door (featuring Spanish and Portuguese wines) and they charge no corkage when you bring those wines over.

            2 Replies
            1. re: SauceSupreme

              And the Cobras & Matadors on Hollywood Blvd is more like a wine bar -- they have a big list of Spanish wines by the glass, and they are very eager to help you choose something you'll like. As to the original question about Pace, it used to be a favorite of mine, but I feel like the service and food have really gone downhill while the prices have gone up. That said, it's a lovely spot and you may enjoy trying it sometime. But if you've only got a few days, there are better places to go.

              1. re: djdebs

                I actually have been to Cobras & Matadors and liked it pretty well. I also liked the place they used to have, called Hillmont I think? Thanks for the assessment of Pace.