Bored With Hollywood...help!
I'm bored with all the choices offered in Hollywood. We don't do sceney sceney places...Social or Rock Bar or Geisha House...Like them for the right occasion but we prefer high end foodie driven places...Been more times than I can count to Hungry Cat, Lou, Cafe Stella, Dustys, Ita-Cho, Mozza, Ammo, Vinoteca, Cafe Des Artistes, The Bowery, Sushi Ike, AOC, Pastis, Cynthias, Celadon (blech!), Chameau, Campanile and the rest of La Brea's pantheons to cuisine, Edendell Cafe, Malo, Cobras and Matadors, blah blah blah blah . Not into things like Budda's Belly (there's just something off...too expensive for what it is). Sona you can't just drop in for a meal. Lucques bar menu is fab...but you have to wait til 10:00. Still haven't made it to Hatfields...but saving for a special occasion...I just want more ideas for solid, hole in the wall to slightly upscape places that we haven't been to aaaaaa thhhouuuuussannndddd tiiiiiimmmeesssss, that aren't on Abbot Kinney, and we can add to our rotation. Help.
Ditto the Thai, or other stuff that's not your typical high cuisine. I'd try to get my brain out of "high end foodie" and try to focus more on ethnic places to inject some variety into eating out.
Places we've been recently that I'd recommend: India's Grill in the mini mall where San Vicente and La Cienega intersect, the Chan Dara on Cahuenga and Sunset, Joan's on 3rd for a quick sandwich, Farmer's Market on 3rd & Fairfax for a variety of things.
You need a change. You need a drink. You need downtown. Wait til about 8. Get to 7 Grand downtown and order some Bernheim Wheat Whiskey with 1-3 rocks. Sip slowly. Next, head over to Little Tokyo/Arts District. Go to Sushi Gen and sit at the bar and eat omakase. Or, go to R-23 and do the same. If at R-23, be sure to get some of the seared salmon sushi. After, you might check to see if anything's doing at the Orpheum Theatre or at the Mayan--if that's not too sceney.
OK, Seven Grand. Just a really nice whiskey bar with lots of hard to get bourbons and scotches and whiskeys. As an example, you can get Bernheim Wheat Whiskey there. Of course, they've got all other sorts of drinks as well. No food other than nuts or chips. Not much happening before 7:30. You can usually find free street parking. Same guys who did Golden Gopher, Broadway Bar, etc. But I like this better. http://www.sevengrand.la/ It's hip but civilized.
Some all over the place, and if they are already on your "burnt list," I apologize par avance... Angeli Cafe, Mirabelle, 25 Degrees, Lucky Devils, Dakota, Genghis Cohen, Grub, Magnolia, Messob/Rahel/Meals by Genet, Asia de Cuba, MILK, Opus, Ortolan, Simon LA, Traktir, Vivoli Cafe, Bienvenuto Cafe, Carlitos Gardel, Griddle Cafe for B/L
I'm a bit in the same boat, having tried every single "name" restaurant on 3rd, Beverly and Melrose, and what saved my love for good chow is now I'm going to more "dive" restaurants instead, and having fun going there. I recommend Thai Town, Little Ethiopia and maybe even Little Tokyo to start rekindling the thrill.
hot dogs: pink's, carney's, skooby's
thai: yai, sapp, palms
not far away is studio city sushi row: tama, nozawa, sasabune, asanebo
have you been to anything on sawtelle?? i drove over there a few weeks ago in search of a special citrus juice for tuna... i was there about 6:30ish - that street was off the hook! i was pretty shocked to see how happening that area has become. growing up in west la - ive certainly seen that area go from nothing to what it is now. check it out
When I used to live in Hollywood, one of my standbys was Marco's Trattoria in the little mini-mall at Santa Monica & Fairfax. Sweet service, great Italian food, and not expensive. Very good bruschetta served with the bread basket. I somehow always managed to find a parking spot in that little lot, and I never had to wait for a table. It's not "high end foodie" but it's a reliable place for a good basic meal.
If I was eating during off hours (before 8pm) I also really liked El Compadre & Bossa Nova.
I also second the 25 Degrees recommendation. I went there for dinner once on a Friday at 8pm and there was hardly anyone in there.
Yikes. The places you're sick of seem to be a long list of great restaurants. Maybe post what you feel these places are lacking/what you're seeking? The Budda of Budda's Belly wants to know...
I echo the Downtown advice, esp. for upscale - I'd wait til traffic dies down and explore parts of the city that aren't bounded by 3rd and Hollywood, like going south and east. Oaxacan and Central Am. joints abound along the Pico corridor east of La Brea, all pretty low-brow to no-brow. You could spend a year in Koreatown alone satisfying a variety of budgets and sceney/non-sceney extremes - just head east to (are you sitting down?) Western and turn right. You will not be jaded there, I guarantee. There's amazing Chinese off the 10 or 60 Fwy. just east of downtown (a quick drive after 8pm or so), and a little non-chain restaurant row along Main St. in Alhambra. Agree re: Thai Town also. But note that you're used to some relatively upscale places. The "rest" of L.A. doesn't eat like you're used to.
Oh yeah - totally agree re: Budda's Belly - can't quite say what it is. Maybe the "jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none" aspect to the menu? Or, maybe it's too close to what I could easily cook at home??
re: cant talk...eating
Whenever I walk or drive down Beverly, I note all the great places to eat between Highland and La Cienega: Grace, Jar, Hirozen, Pan E Vino, etc etc. Yet they're always busy. Buddha's Belly is one of the few where it seems empty. As I tell guests visiting this part of town: if a restaurant isn't packed, don't go.
Three that are in your area and not so sceney that I think are pretty great are:
Cayenne (on beverly, a block west of la brea), great Morrocan food
Pace (on Laurel Canyon), excellent pizza and salads
The Courtyard (on Santa Monica, a block west of La Cienega) Spanish tapas, never as full as Cobras y Matadors, not nearly a scene, but has a nice patio and the food is simple and solid.
I'd suggest Michaelangelo's on Silverlake blvd (near Spaceland) - fairly small family-owned Italian with outdoor seating, good food, nice atmosphere.
There's Cliff's Edge and Blair's but judging from your list you've likely frequented these spots as well...
I'm not crazy about Gingergrass - I've never been satisfied with my meals and have had really spotty service. Plus the wait never seems worth it.
Chi Dynasty on Hillhurst has funny old-fashioned atmosphere but good Chinese food.
If you want Thai but don't want to dive in to the super 'authentic' places, there is Rambutan on Sunset (at Silverlake Blvd) - fun drinks, nice atmosphere if a little loud - great brown rice - or Simply Thai on Hillhurst - fresh menu - I love their drunken noodles or Tom Yum with shrimp. I've also heard Yai Thai is good but have yet to make it there. Palms on Hollywood is a Thai standby but I don't like the atmosphere at the new location - so loud and neon!
I'm also a fan of Alegria on Sunset - it gets mixed reviews on this board.
Indian - I like Flavor of India on Santa Monica & Doheny.
I second Canele, Ethiopian, downtown (little Tokyo, Ciudad has a nice patio), 25 degrees for something casual and great beer, still can't wait to try Opus myself.
La Buca on Melrose or Cube on LaBrea for Italian - the former is probably better for pastas, and I love La Buca's pizzas - Cube has some interesting Ravioli and a large selection of cheeses...
There's that stretch of Franklin by Mayfair market as well - I can't stand Birds but La Poubelle has done me right for Moules Frites and drinks, and I have friends who like the Prizzi's Pizza next door. I've had bad service but decent pizza the two times I've been there. All the restaurants on this strip have outdoor seating and interesting people watching.