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What restaurants are great in S.O.for dinner? Any type of cuisine, price is not an object, just very good food. How is Max's?
thanks

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  1. Mistral or maybe Mistral. The steak tartare Is some of the best I've ever had. The staff is incredible and the only drawback may be the decibel level. It is a Bistro and it sounds like a bistro. Other than that I give it 5 stars.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Hughlipton

      I would suggest La Loggia (sp?) on Ventura across from spark. Max is fine, takes itself a bit too seriously at times...actually, it's just the people who go there that do.
      I like Oliva for it's no pretense, good quality food...very comfortable waitstaff, lots of familiar faces when you've go often enough. Beautiful Carpaccio when they have it, delicate pastas, rich and hearty pastas, interesting pastas, perfect tri colore salad and fantastic quality quality cheeses on all the dishes that require cheese...that's all I can think of for now...happy food hunting.

    2. Max has one of the more diverse menus for a serious restaurant in the Valley, and really delivers the quality food. Very good, if smallish, wine list. www.maxrestaurant.com for more info.
      To me, it is the best quality restaurant in the Valley, which includes Mistral where I ate last week. I like it, but the quality of the food is not nearly as good, yet the vibe is more vibrant - translation, it can get quite loud in there!

      1. I love La Logia and the Wine Bistro's pretty good as well although I guess that's actually Studio City

        1. Il Tiramisu

          Cafe Cordiale

          Cafe Bizou

          Marmalade

          La Frite

          Clay Oven

          Sushi House of Taka

          Shiraz

          Oliva

          Billy's Grill

          Typhoon

          Simon's

          Gourmet on the Go

          Zankou

          Hong Kong 88 CHinese and SUshi (chinese food, skip the sushi)

          Great Greek

          Boneyard Bistro

          6 Replies
          1. re: Diana

            Max, without a doubt, MAX. The list above is just a list, not the best choice. How can you compare a hamburger joint like Billy's to a restaurant like Max? And I've never eaten anything decent at the Wine Bistro, but that was a long while ago. No interest in returning.

            1. re: compucook

              And I know of two different couples who went to Wine Bistro in the past 7-10 days, having heard about the chef change, and said it was no better than it was before his arrival.

              1. re: compucook

                The OP wanted great restaraunts, plural, at any cuisine, any price! Billy's burgers are amazing, and they offer ostrich, buffalo and more! Max can't do a burger the way Bily's does, I promise. Sure, it isn't "fancy, fine cuisine", but it's the best burger in SO.

                For me, Choice of WHere to Eat is something determined by:
                1> what I'm in the mood for
                2. How much money I have
                3> how far I'm willing to go for it

                One day, I might want to blow a wad at Max, or drive to Little Ethiopia.

                One day, I might want a yummy burger

                another day, I might want sushi, or a salad, or cheap corkage or whatever

                All I did was provide a list of the stand out chowish places in SO.

                Frankly, though, I found Max to be only OK. I much prefer Cafe Bizou

                1. re: Diana

                  To me, everything at Bizou tastes as if it came out of a cryovac bag.
                  And the ambience is so noisy that conversation is almost not an option.
                  And I don't care about the salad deal - that is not why I go to a restaurant in the first place.

                  1. re: carter

                    Salad deal?

                    Maybe Bizou does sous vide?

                    I don't have the same experience, though. It can get crowded and noisy. I find the food yummy, and I like the $2 corkage!

                    1. re: Diana

                      I really like Cafe Bizou too. Excellent steak frites, sesame salmon and very good short ribs. And you cannot beat the $2 corkage. We have always had good meals there and if you sit in the front patio its not noisy at all.

            2. I've been to Max 3 times now, because I keep *wanting* to love it. Each time, I really enjoy the food...and each time, the service is absolutely miserable. I keep giving Max the benefit of the doubt, hoping that I am hitting it on a bad night. But after three times, I have to wonder if the incredibly slow, inattentive, and less-than-knowledgeable staff is the rule and not the exception. It's frustrating, as I really do enjoy the food.

              1. Not sure if you are looking for 1 place for a special meal or just wanting to know good places for any night of the week? If you like Middle Eastern, Carnival is one of my favorites for it. The lentil soup is amazing.

                1 Reply
                1. re: suzyshi

                  I second Carnival. How could I forget it!