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Brewing beer, curing meat, or making cheese? Get great advice

New Yorker coming to LA - Hollywood

erinl Feb 1, 2007 01:34 PM

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.

  1. b
    brownonthebeach Feb 1, 2007 01:36 PM

    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. e
      erinl Feb 1, 2007 01:40 PM

      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. d
        diningdivala Feb 1, 2007 01:57 PM

        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
          mehfactor Feb 1, 2007 02:12 PM

          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. f
          fluffyk67 Feb 1, 2007 02:11 PM

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

          1. m
            Mr. Cookie Feb 1, 2007 02:12 PM

            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. j
              JPomer Feb 1, 2007 03:34 PM

              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. m
                montgomeryrossmore Feb 2, 2007 01:35 AM

                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.

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