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Need help ASAP: Late-night, *non* Japanese in Little Tokyo?

Hi all,

I am in a bit of a panic. Some Italian friends (from Milan) are visiting for one night only -- tonight. And they are staying at the New Otani Hotel in Little Tokyo. For reasons I don't want to go into, we don't expect to eat until late -- after 10 pm.

My question is this: where can we go, without car, after 10 pm, for non-Japanese food? (One of them hates Japanese food; yes, a bit ironic considering where they're staying.)

Plus -- I checked Otani's website: even if everyone loved Japanese food, the dining options close after 10 or 11 pm at the hotel.

So I guess the first practical question would be: can anyone suggest some walkable restaurants that are open past 10 pm for food, near the region between Disney Hall and Little Tokyo?

And then, if any are non-Japanese, that's just a bonus, but I think the first priority is just finding a walking-distance place that's even open. The Standard Hotel isn't walkable from Disney Hall, is it?

Thanks so much!!

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  1. A couple of casual places for burgers and the like:

    Pete's Cafe is only a couple of blocks from the New Otani on Main

    Weiland's Brewery is also close, about 4 or 5 blocks on 1st/Alameda

    I think you'd probably have a nicer night if you just ponied up some dough for a cab. Then you could go anywhere you want, including places like Pacific Dining Car (classy) or Bonaventure Brewing Company (casual microbrewery) in the Bonaventure on Figueroa.

    1. I've never been, but there's a Cuban restaurant next to Weiland's Brewery on the corner of 1st & Central in Little Tokyo.

      1 Reply
      1. re: monku

        Cuba Central is actually pretty good. They have oxtail and usually make their pork or chicken dishes well. Not a bad price either, at around $10 an entree (comes with beans, rice or veggies, plantains and bread). Plus they have this banana chip w/ garlic oil thingy as a free appetizer which I love.

      2. The Standard (5th and Fig)- has a resturant that is open late but I have never eaten there. I think its walkable, maybe 15- 20 min walk from Disney.

        The Bonaventure Brewing Company- is within walking distance (4-5 blocks) and they have good food. 15 min walk from Disney.

        Trifecta and Redwood Bar- Both are bars that serve food but I dont know when their kitchen closes. 10 min walk from Disney.

        My recommendationa are Bonaventure Brewing Company and Trifecta, which is more expensive.

        1 Reply
        1. re: kek is khmer

          Redwood Bar's kitchen is open until 2AM and definitely walkable from Disney Hall and then to New Otani afterwards. Note: website says that late night dining (2AM-4AM) is coming soon.

          The Restaurant at The Standard is open 24 hours and switchs from dinner to late night menu somewhere between 10-11PM

        2. Noe is a short stroll from Disney Hall -- just past MOCA and through the plaza. They serve a decent bar menu until 1 AM.

            1. re: OCAnn

              everything suggested sounds great but i'd definitely get a cab. the stretch between disney hall down to the bonadventure is fine but crossing back town to new otani late at night is not a fun walk.

              1. re: trolley

                there are
                caperri - but since your guest is from italy...i wouldn't go there

                cuban central that have been mention above

                trifecta is another option as well as garden grill? teppan yaki which is steak or seafood on the grill....not very japanese but japanese enough for those that like it. just like steakhouse.

                azalea on lobby level of otani hotel

                grill lyon in honda plaza...french for touch of asian (very good lamb chop)

                410 boyd - on the same streeet as otani hotel

                i would not walk too far away from your hotel after 10pm....i would draw a line at trifecta if you are walking.

                1. re: trolley

                  there is E3rd steakhouse that just opened on next to zip sushi.

              2. To answer your last question - yes, the Standard is extremely walkable from Disney Concert Hall - DCH is at 1st & Grand, and the Standard is at 5th & Flower, so it's four blocks south and two blocks west. In my experience, Europeans are used to walking, so unless they're really not walkers, it's easy. I've only been to the Standard's diner once - the food was average, but the atmosphere was really fun.

                1 Reply
                1. re: aching

                  if walking from disney hall...you can go across the street to kendall's brasserie at music center or nick & steph steakhouse, mccormick & schmick's or even patina for late bite

                2. or pacific dining car (PDC) for a steak! its a bit farther but if you have the hankering for a steak at midnite......there is no other place to go but PDC.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: wilafur

                    PDC isn't really within walking distance of the Disney Concert Hall ... and esp. wouldn't want to risk late at night.

                  2. I'd have to agreee with Pacific Dining Car or Pete's.
                    get a cab, just to say you did..especially if you got a gal in the mix...it's nice to wear some nice heels on holiday and not have to worry about the hike.
                    Dining Car's wine list and quality meat and other goodies are worth the cab...the bizarre mix of people during late night service could give you all something to talk about...everything from Japanese business men, USC students with their parents' credit cards, after-show diners, and quiet readers who love great food (I've been that gal).
                    Pete's is great after Concert Hall (that's when our group has gone-we always choose to drive) Good wine-by-the glass choices, good cocktails, and good eats...I'm not sure how a Thursday night would be but I doubt it could be bad...
                    Have Fun!

                    1. i would highly suggest getting a cab (which would considerably expand your food options). you are right in skid row and at a time when the homeless and mentally ill are roaming. expect to get hassled and possibly robbed (i know a few cases). please trust me on this one, i used to work with that population.

                      1. If you are going to get a cab, consider Blue Velvet, Royale, or Opus!

                        1. My friend Joe swears by this place:
                          Cuba Central
                          114 S. Central Ave.
                          Los Angeles, CA 90012
                          (213) 687-3193

                          He's part Cuban himself and loves going here.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: brattenheimer

                            Hi everybody,

                            WOW! So many wonderful, thoughtful suggestions!

                            But guess what ended up happening? UGH. All my hard work and good intentions were wasted!! By the time it was time to eat, a bunch of the guys had already decided on a Japanese place a few blocks away. The one guy who hated Japanese food had no choice, and just shrugged. I felt kinda bad. But the rest of them seemed ready to go to this pre-decided place, so I just went along with it. I totally didn't catch the name of the place, but it was small, had the kitchen right there separated by bar seats, and the air was really greasy. One guy's ramen soup was flavorless and he ended up shamefacedly adding tons of soy sauce; my pork croquettes were dry and flavorless so I barely ate any, and for the Italians, the portions of their soups were just way too big. The beer was expensive and a bit of a shock. I don't know what else to say.

                            Except: thank you to everyone who responded. I am very grateful!