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New Yorker coming to LA - Hollywood

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My cousin is coming from nyc - he wants to go to a good place to eat - good food where we can actually talk. He has to go to a show most likely downtown or in Hollywood.

I wanted to try BLD but hearing mixed reviews of it and the food - is that a bad choice.
Or maybe Off Vine - haven't been there in years...so I need some suggestions. I don't want to spend an extreme amount of money.

Also was thinking about Carlitos Gardel but haven't been there.

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  1. BLD is loud and dinner is just ok (but brunch is great). Had a disasterous meal at OffVine recently, so would wave him off there. Hungry Cat on Sunset and Vine (if he likes fish), Magnolia (fun - not really about the food), or Sushi Ike for old school sushi.

    1. thanks...I don't eat fish so sushi or hungry cat is out for me. also just went to Magnolia and it was pretty loud.

      1. What about Opus on Wilshire? Pretty equidistant between Hollywood and downtown, so it wouldn't be a burden in either direction. Do a search on the site and you'll find a lot of comments about it.

        Also in Hollywood, 25 Degrees at the Roosevelt for gourmet burgers, good wines. Though it could get loud.

        Table 8 just reopened with a more loungey vibe; haven't seen the space/been yet, so i can't say how loud it is. when it was open before, i don't remember it being crazy loud.

        Jar is great at the bar; if it's Monday, I think they're still doing mozzarella mondays.

        1 Reply
        1. re: diningdivala

          I went to Opus on a Thursday night at 8:30. My friend and I were the only diners in the restaurant. Tasting menu was okay. The experience overall was a bit depressing.

        2. Buddha's Belly (7475 Beverly Blvd) for dinner. Pinkberry for frozen yogurt. Trendy, I know, but I saw Kirsten Dunst there last week!

          1. I second brownonthebeach's opinion above on Off Vine -- it's medi-friggin-ocre. There are plenty of better places to eat in Hollywood and its environs. One is Los Balcones del Peru, not fancy but off-beat. A sort of upscale version of Peruvian peasant food. If you want high end, Grace on Beverly near Fairfax is first-rate, and they serve a lot of meat dishes. It's refined, not loud. Table 8, as mentioned above, is another excellent choice, altho I haven't been since the remodel. Eat.Sunset is yet another good restaurant where the din isn't overwhelming, and it has a good bar with a fireplace in back. There's always Campanile on La Cienega, too.

            1. don't rule out Hungry Cat because you don't eat fish...they have a killer burger, the Pug Burger. Do avoid Off Vine
              What about Bowery, also on Sunset, just around the corner from the Hungry Cat. If you're downtown, how about Ciudad

              1. For your requirements... I'd say Jar your might be your wisest choice (www.thejar.com).

                The food can be occasionally amazing... on most nights fantastic. They have a good selection of meats, delicious appetizers and sides, and a good wine list.

                However, the most attractive quality of the restaurant, to you, might be the acoustics. Jar is completely wooden and carpeted inside, with a very light paint job and soft lighting. It always feels warm... remains moderately subdued during its busiest hours, and plain-out beats nearby restaurants as far as food and ambiance.

                The decor, ambiance, and *steaks* (espeically the kobe-styled specials) are top-notch. If you're willing to spend $27-42 per entree and $6-10 per side, Jar is the best choice.