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3 Restaurants I should take my friend from out of town ...

  • b

A friend of mine is coming in from San Francisco, and we both love to eat!

We will be together for 5 days, two of which are taken. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday are open to possible dinner choices.

Wednesday: Musha in Santa Monica (his flight comes in late, this will still be open)
Thursday: somewhere in Monterey Park (I have another thread about rest. suggestions)


Table 8
Belvedere Restaurant
Grace Restaurant

I'm leaning more towards this itinerary:

Friday: Josie's
Saturday: Hatfield's
Sunday: NOT SURE???????????? [slightly leaning towards Table 8]

Does anyone have a suggestion (on that list or not) for where I should take him Sunday?

Or maybe I should change where I'm planning on for Friday and Saturday?

I'm open to changes, and price is not an issue (unless it's over $200+/person).

Thanks for any suggestions/help! I'm stumped! :)

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    1. re: Jennalynn

      Thanks for the suggestion, I've heard of it on yelp but don't really know much about it... I'll have to research this one :)

      1. re: badtz

        I would not go to Jar. It is hopping - lots of action - but the noise level is deafening, the prices are high, and while the food is definitely good, IMO it won't wow someone who lives in SF. The times we have gone, we have had a nice enough time, but have never been in a hurry to go back and usually had sticker shock from the bill. I think some of your other suggestions are much better options. If you do go, the steaks are pretty good as is the creamed spinach. Skip the fries. I tend to order the less standard fare each time, while my husband goes with the traditional chophouse food, and his stuff is usually better.

    2. Grace is so yummy. Musso and Franks might be fun to mix it up a bit. You would need to double check that they're open on Sundays though.

      1 Reply
      1. re: bite bite

        Musso's is not open on Sundays nor Mondays!

      2. While I love Grace, I'm not so sure it's a good idea to do Hatfield's and Grace back to back on successive nights. They're not exactly similar in terms of menu or decor, but your out of town guests might think that they're similar enough not to be enamored by it. Ultimately, that's your call as you know them best, and there's nothing wrong with that choice food-wise (I highly recommend both going to Hatfield's as well as Grace, just not back-to-back).

        For that reason, though, Jar is a good suggestion because you'd go from Hatfield's with a heavy French influence to a fun meat and potatoes place like Jar.

        Since price is not an issue, how about omakase at a sushi joint?

        1 Reply
        1. re: SauceSupreme

          I've thought about going to sushi route .... do you have any suggestions? Would Grace and Hatfield's be worth going to if I spread them apart? Say Grace on Friday, Josie's on Saturday and Hatfield's on Sunday? :)

        2. How is AOC? I've actually never been there (or Bin 8945 or Angelini). Is it more festive or romantic? And how about general food quality for all three (compared to places like Mozza, Spago, hatfield's, etc.) :)

          2 Replies
          1. re: badtz

            I am not a fan of AOC. I just don't get it. They want to be a "small plate" restaurant, but the choices last time I went weren't exactly what I would associate with small plates. Coq au vin? Isn't that something I want in a shallow bowl with crusty bread? However, my FAVORITE small plater is Mozza. I LOVE there starters. I'm just a huge fan of what they're up to at Highland and Melrose.

            1. re: badtz

              You may have moved away from these places by now, but here's my take:

              Bin 8945, Angelini and AOC are all very festive - lots of hustle and bustle - could be romantic but in general not places I would recommend to couples looking for a romantic dinner out, so I would say more action than romance. Mozza has a similar vibe.

              Mozza's food quality has been debated at length, but I do think it's a fun place to take someone if you sit at the bar. Same with the AOC charcuterie bar. Every out of towner I have taken has loved their experience when we did that at AOC.

              Spago's tasting menu is fabulous, but really expensive. Regular menu for me does not merit a trip.

              I'd limit yourself to one somewhat formal, grand "foodie" place - i.e., Providence, Spago (if tasting menu), Grace (though for me inconsistent, others love), Melisse, Valentino. Then do one more happening spot that still has great food - AOC, Mozza, Bin 8945, Angelini, the Hungry Cat, that type of thing. The other night I'd do sushi (again, so far Azami has wow-ed my visitors), but if not, I'd go for an intimate dining experience like a Hatfield's, or a neighborhood spot (a la Violet, Blair's, etc. - just so they can go somewhere tourists normally do not). Re Hatfield's food, I cannot comment on that b/c I have never been there, but a local restaurant mgr at a great restaurant told me I should try it. (I have tried about 4 times but never call far enough in advance to get a reso). Good luck!

            2. I agree with SS - i feel like you need to mix it up a bit and Hatfields and Grace are almost too much on top of each other. Also, even though I love Hatfields - like really, really love Hatfields - I don't know if I'd take an out of towner. Even though it's such a culinary experience, it's not necessarily an LA experience (probably part of the reason I love it)....Saturday night should be more fun...Grace is probably more fun.

              4 Replies
              1. re: Julefish

                Which one out of the two (Hatfields and Grace) should I go to if I HAD to ONLY pick one of them :) ??? It's really hard trying to narrow these choices down to just 3 dinners. I would like to choose a variety of places (not just one type of decor, and not just one type of food) :P

                1. re: badtz

                  I'd do Grace. Lively and fun, and amazing food and service.

                  1. re: djdebs

                    is the food here better than hatfield's?

                    1. re: badtz

                      I like Grace better but it's like trying to pick a favorite flavor of ice cream. Grace has better decor as a result of it being bigger room. Also I prefer desserts overall at Grace, though Hatfield's has a chocolate mille-feuille that's great. I would peruse their respective menus and see which cuisine you prefer.

              2. In the past couple of weeks, I've had two amazing meals at Providence and Urasawa... yeah, Urasawa is pricier, but SOOOO worth it.

                3 Replies
                1. re: Emme

                  Isn't Urasawa $250/person minimum? :X ouch!

                  1. re: badtz

                    And worth every penny... I know I said it was out of price range, but I suggested merely as a gastronomic experience, one that I will long remember.

                    1. re: Emme

                      That's up in "Per Se" price range .... :P

                2. Josie, Grace, Hatfield's..they're all pretty progressive American or a twist on Cal cuisine...Perhaps you should mix and match it up a little? Choose one of them, throw in AOC tapas, and add a sushi joint like Sushi Gen.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: chica

                    that's kind of what I was afraid of ... everything being a touch too similar. I'm considering AOC though ......... decisions! :(

                    1. re: badtz

                      If you want AOC, I suggest you book...now. Reservations fill up quickly.

                  2. I'd mix it up and go for Josie, R-23 and AOC.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: mc michael

                      right before I saw your post, I was thinking of adding R23 to Friday.

                      Thus making it R23 (Friday), Hatfield's (Saturday), Josie's (Sunday) .... still debating though.... thinking about dropping either Hatfield's or Josie's :(

                    2. CURRENT [POSSIBLE] ITINERARY :)

                      Friday: Chameau

                      Saturday: Hatfield's

                      Sunday: [still not sure, but here are my now current choices] Josie, Grace, Jiraffe, Ortolan, Melisse, Le Petit Bistro

                      CHOICES CHOICES

                      1. Reading J. Gold today reminded me there's a restaurant that gets overlooked in these parts, namely Michael's (no relation) in Santa Monica. If you or your friend like art and if you can get reservations for the patio, this is a good place to enjoy a fine meal. Given our warm weather of late, this could be very nice. Retro, but in a good way.

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: mc michael

                          Michaels is a beautiful setting (on the patio) and the service is top notch, but the food just doesn't rise to the same level as places like Providence or Grace or Josie or others that are under discussion here.

                          1. re: tony michaels

                            I think you're right, but Michael's provides some perspective. In 5-7 years (if they exist) will Josie, et al., seem like Michael's today? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljbI-3...

                            1. re: mc michael

                              Michael's is one of my favorite restaurants in all of Los Angeles. Not as cutting edge as it was way back when, but in my mind, one of the two (other being Spago) that really helped define California Cuisine.

                              No, it's no longer on the same tier as Providence or Grace, but I'd still put it on the same tier as Jiraffe and Hatfield's (although Hatfield's probably has the most potential to be promoted).

                              1. re: SauceSupreme

                                Is Jiraffe at the same level as josie/grace/spago?

                                1. re: badtz

                                  Not in my experience, no. It can be, but my few visits there were wildly inconsistent.

                        2. Best of LA: (not including Sushi)
                          Valentino (upscale Italian)
                          Angelini Osteria (highend casual Italian)
                          La Cachette

                          1. first, the restaurants your mentioning are meagerly less expensive than PROVIDENCE. i'd eat low-brow for four meals just to eat at PROVIDENCE.

                            second, of your list of restaurants, there is another to match in SF and that restaurant is probably better in SF. when i lived in SF and came to LA, i wanted the greatest of what i couldn't get in SF.

                            consider focusing on what your friend doesn't get in SF: great sushi or japanese, in general, chinese seafood, shanghainese, dumplings(counterintuitive, i know), pastrami (LANGERS), korean, greek (go to PETROS after p/u at LAX), and the diversity of great latino food (BABITA). last i looked, SF doesn't have anything like CUT. and even though SF has MINA and PUCK, it's hard to replicate SPAGO and PROVIDENCE. i also can't get ice cream in SF like i get at BULGARINI, PAZZO, or SCOOPS.

                            good luck.

                            7 Replies
                            1. re: revets2

                              Chinese I definitely have covered, and I'm trying to fit in sushi (R23) .... but they don't do lunch on the weekends :( Never heard of BULGARINI so I'll def. add that to the list. Scoops was going to be one of my Saturday afternoon stops :P

                              1. re: badtz

                                http://www.bulgarinigelato.com/ You don't have to go to the movie to get the gelato, but you can.

                                1. re: mc michael

                                  Had the Bulgarini pistachio gelato for the first time recently at the Laemmle Playhouse 7. It was so good, I wanted to go back, not see a movie, and buy more. Someone else on this board mentioned that he or she does this....just goes in for the gelato, and then leaves. I understand why now. I read on the Bulgarini website that their main store is located in South Pas-- never knew. :)

                                  1. re: katkoupai

                                    That pistachio is great. I think the South Pas location is just a mailing address.

                                    1. re: mc michael

                                      Thanks for the info. I was thinking of driving over to check it out some day. I thought I'd see more flavors and options there. :)

                                    2. re: katkoupai

                                      sounds like I have to go check out this place!!!! :)

                                      1. re: badtz

                                        Do it! :) You can also catch a movie at the Laemmle. They have great independent films. :)

                              2. FINAL ITINERARY

                                Thanks everyone for all of your great input! I truly truly appreciate it and have taken all your suggestions in depth! Unfortunately I had to narrow it down extremely, so here's (I think) my final itinerary ....

                                Weds: Musha (Japanese)
                                Thurs: New Concept (Chinese)
                                Fri: Chameau (French Moroccan)
                                Sat: Hatfield's (California/French: will be going w/their tasting menu + wine pairings)
                                Sun: Josie's (American)

                                For lunch on Sat/Sun, I'm thinking about going with:

                                Sat: Brasserie Les Voyous (French) + Scoops
                                Sun: Daikokuya (Japanese) + Jin Patisserie

                                If you have any opinions on dishes for any of the above places, or any alternative places for lunch + mid-day snack places ... please let me know :)

                                Thanks again for all the great help! :P

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: badtz

                                  NEW CONCEPT has been closed since jan/feb. it's re-opened as ELITE. not been, but hearing mixed results coming back.

                                  consider DIN TAI FUNG if it's just two of you as you can easily navigate the menu with two which is harder to do at "new concept" type restaurant.

                                  we put our name in at DTF, walk to the mall next door and get take-out of the SIN BA LA taiwanese sausages and, i don't know how to describe it in english, but the rice tamale is legendary. if you want to be really progressive and if the line at DTF is really long, order the spareribs in lotus leaves with the fried bread at CHANG'S GARDEN, also in the mall next door. finish up with a good drink and dessert after dumplings at DTF at PHOENIX FOOD BOUTIQUE. we love the forbidden rice with young coconut even if it does sound somewhat pornographic.

                                  the gift shop next to DTF is a hilarious. i love to buy pens and japanese candy. they have a rockin' japanese gum in a black container that will make you cry...literally.

                                  1. re: revets2

                                    Wait ... New Concept closed/re-opened? Really?

                                    I'll look into DIN TAI FUNG ... thanks for the tip :)