Downtown dinner options...help
I'm heading downtown tomorrow and feel so overwhelmed with all the new places, old places, personal faves. Maybe ya'll can help.
I want to have two places to recommend to my SO for dinner, one sushi, one newish place/somewhere we haven't been. I've been to Blue Velvet, J restaurant, Engine Co., Nick & Stef's, Patina, Ciudad, Water Grill. It can be any price range, any kind of food. Fun is always good. Just trying to remember some of the standouts.
Second option should be sushi, which is highly unexplored for me. I went to Zip years ago and that's about it. Sushi Gen? R-23?
Cafe Pinot at the Library is gorgeous.
Pete's is great for comfort food and the new loft scene, as is Royal Claytons.
Had interesting wine and tapas at 626 Reserve.
As for fun/interesting - try the Pirate themed Redwood Bar & Grill. The burger is fantastic and the rest of the menu is supposed to be suprisingly good.
R-23 is a nice place for people who are still a bit new to sushi. the restaurant space is elegant and airy with high ceilings, the service is smooth and unburdensome, and the menu has a good mix of sushi and cooked dishes. it's definitely not the best value in terms of sushi, but the cooked dishes (crab salad, tempura, etc.) make up for it, in my opinion. sushi gen is much more focused on sushi and sashimi. the sushi is better and more reasonably priced, but the hectic ambience of the place makes me not want to go anymore. between the two, I'd rather go to R-23, order off of their cooked menu and maybe a few pieces of nigiri a la carte, and have a nice time.
re: tony michaels
I didn't mean that I'm new to sushi, but rather to the downtown sushi choices. But thanks for confirming R-23 to me. As for Roy's, that was my first recommendation to the SO, but wouldn't you know he says he "hates" Roy's. I think he may have eaten at one in Hawaii years and years and years ago, and he's stubborn like that. But I have been there, right when it opened, for drinks. And the fact that it has sushi and a full, somewhat interesting menu sounded perfect. He nixed it. I might sway him, though...
I was wondering about Redwood, if it's worth it, Pete's, which I've never been to but always heard about, and Trifecta. So I appreciate the help!
Pete's has a nice Bohemian ambiance but the food is very mediocre. Zucca on Figueroa is OK for Italian. R-23 is pricey but very good, and like the posters above say, don't miss the crab salad. Sai Sai, a Japanese restaurant in the Biltmore Hotel (which has a great bar for drinks) is likewise good. Sushi Go 55 in Little Tokyo can be good but in my two experiences has been a little uneven.