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LA Hound, 6 days / 1 chance to impress

My girlfriend and I are visiting boston in a few weeks. Since she went to school in boston and I have only been there a few times, she is pretty much bogarting the dining out choices. I can I have convinced here to give me one night to pick the place. I need a great recommendation to impress; it was hard enough to get the one night out of her.

Since she lived in boston throughout college, she doesn't have much experience with the upscale dining scene, so that'll be my choice. I'd like something hard to find done well in LA (so you guys have a lot of choices, no sushi). I'd say I'd like to be money conscious, but I'm not too worried about price. I would like some place that is slightly lively and fun, but I am most concerned about food.

Thanks in advance.

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    1. re: chowfamily

      I agree. Or B&G in the south end. Both parts of town are so un-LA-like that you'll have a good time and the oyster bar didn't seem to be such a widespread phenomenon there. Good areas to walk around and check out neighboring places. I know you can do it, even tho walking is so foreign to LA.

      Plus if she doesn't have it on your agenda, you HAVE to go to a north shore clam shack while in town.

      1. re: Joanie

        I third Neptune. Just be aware that it's not fancy (though very cute), it's tiny and they don't take reservations, so if you get there after 6 you can expect a wait, sometimes even to sit at the bar (where I prefer to sit anyway, personally).

      1. re: emilief

        I second Sorellina - beautiful room. http://www.sorellinaboston.com/

        I also like some N. End options too - maybe Prezza or Neptune.

        1. Where is she thinking of taking you?

          3 Replies
          1. re: linz

            I am not sure. I think were probably doing more divey seafood and italian. A north shore clam shack for sure.

            I think this will be our one splurge.

            Thanks for all the replies so far.

            1. re: emosbaugh

              With the price of clams these days, don't expect to get off TOO cheap at a north shore clam shack!

              1. re: Chris VR

                Shoot, are clams really high too?

          2. Clio, No. 9 Park, or Mistral. Without a doubt.

            5 Replies
              1. re: Bostonbob3

                I'm worried about clio. It seems like that asian or asian fusion stuff we have so much of in LA. What sets this restaurant apart?


                1. re: emosbaugh

                  Yes, lots of Asian touches. I'd stick with the northern italian themed (Sorellina) or the oyster places. Or Mistral.

                  1. re: emosbaugh

                    I can see what you mean about Clio. I go to LA often so I know what you mean about all the Asian/Asian fusion places. I would say probably Mistral might be a good bet. Its strictly French, but trendy nouveau french. I have always liked the atmosphere AND food there! The tuna tartare appetizer is excellent, and they make a great leg of lamb! Oh, and if you go, you HAVE to have to the mistral fries! They are amazing!

                    1. re: NiKoLe1625

                      Listen, I like Mistral enough. But it's really quite pedestrian when compared to, oh, Daniel or something.

                      Why do fairly expensive French if it's not top-notch fairly expensive French?

                      I still say tasting menu at Clio. IMO, it's the single best meal in Boston right now.

                      If you don't want any Asian-influenced food, I agree with the Sorrelina suggestions.

              2. I'm with linz. Tough to make a call without knowing where the bar is set, Although all of the reccomendations so far are winners.

                5 Replies
                1. re: Food4Thought

                  Some of my favorites lately:

                  O Ya (Japanese food and sushi that's better than L.A.'s Urasawa)
                  UpStairs on the Square
                  Hamersley's Bistro
                  Oleana (though I had a mediocre meal there recently)

                  1. re: wittlejosh

                    I 2nd Hamersley's Bistro....WONDERFUL French bistro cuisine. And then you can walk around Harvard Square at night, which is a lot of fun.

                    1. re: Elyssa

                      I don't get the Hamersley's-Harvard Sq. connection. I'd just walk around the south end and back bay if I went to dinner at Hamerseley's.

                      1. re: Joanie

                        I would second the Hamersley's recommendation, especially if it is a nice night and you can sit on their patio. My strong recommendation is for their roasted chicken - sounds basic, but it is so, so good.

                        The South End (where Hamersley's is located) is a wonderful neighborhood with lots of excellent spots for dining and just nice for walking around. It's also probably changed quite a bit since your gf lived here...depending on when that was.

                        1. re: heathermb

                          I second that roasted chicken as well. I think it's one of Boston's classic dishes. Very very far from ordinary. I cannot go to Hamersly's without ordering it.

                2. In addition to the other fine suggestions, you might enjoy Eastern Standard - your g.f. should be surprised to find such a place in Kenmore - quite a change from her college days I would think - it is lively and fun.

                  East Coast Grill in Inman Square is also lively and fun, with great seafood. Depending on when she was living in Boston, this may be new to her. What area of town did she live in?

                  Incidentally, neither of these is really a splurge place - upper-mid range in prices, but if you can convince her, I think she may enjoy.

                  Also, Rendezvous in Central Square is a sure-to-be-new place that folks have been really loving here lately.

                  1. Oh, Oleana for sure. Clean tasting and flavorful Middle Eastern/Turkish inspired food, awesome space (I believe the patio should be open now or soon), James Beard Award winning chef Ana Sortun, great wine list, spectacular pastry chef... it's the bomb. I've never had a bad meal there, and it's always a hit when we take out-of-towners there (in-towners too!).

                    1. Toro. Incredible tapas, good bartending, but totally packed after 7pm. Check this board for details but it won't disappoint.