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Help! 1st Date in Brentwood/WLA

p
partypants Jun 11, 2007 04:16 PM

Hounds, I need help!

I have a date tomorrow (TUES) and here are the parameters:

1 dont want to scare her off with intimidating food
2 she is coming from northridge and gets lost easy... I need easy access to freeway
3 good food!
4 see #1, i know she likes thai & steakhouse fare... but those are the only clues I have... she's not that into sushi... so thats a no.

I dont need to tell you ambiance and all that, you already know. She's no hound, so help me out on this one. Thank you in advance!

  1. p
    partypants Jun 12, 2007 04:50 PM

    Thank you all, I think I have made my choice, and I will let you know tomorrow!

    5 Replies
    1. re: partypants
      m
      maudies5 Jun 12, 2007 08:50 PM

      Look forward to the update.

      1. re: maudies5
        p
        partypants Jun 13, 2007 10:06 AM

        OK, Violet it was. Just perfect thank you so much. She didn’t even get lost, well, unless you count passing it and circling back.

        We started with a celebratory glass of prosecco, (I had a delicious malbec while waiting, not sure of the name, but it was on the featured board)
        They have a nice selection of interesting wines, by the way....

        The menu of small plates was such a great idea, because we were obviously going to share, so this could provide a glimpse into her interests, food wise.
        We started with the frisse & gorgonzola salad and the tuna tartare. As a starter, to get the palate working, I think they were good. The tartare didn’t knock my socks off, but it had an interesting presentation, with ice on top and popcorn seasoned with what tasted like Picante flavored Cornuts. Made for an interesting coversation.
        The next round, thank you hrhboo, was the mac n cheese and the mushroom ravioli.
        The mushroom ravioli was good, but my date really enjoyed it, raved about it, actually.
        OK.
        The mac n cheese. wow. thats it. just wow.
        She text messaged me this morning.... what I thought would be a "good morning, thank you, blah blah..."
        NOPE
        It was "I had dreams about the mac n cheese last night. Amazing."
        'nuff said
        Then came the pork salimbocca. Another star. Very tender, very good, masterfully seasoned.
        A nice touch? Well, they serve your check with a little chocolate chip cookie and a shot of milk. Perfect night.
        Thanks to all of you that contributed, and I hope to get to all of the places you described!

        1. re: partypants
          goodhealthgourmet Jun 13, 2007 11:47 AM

          sounds like it was definitely a success...the only improvement would be if that text said she had dreams about you FEEDING her the mac n cheese.

          goal for date #2, perhaps? :)

          1. re: goodhealthgourmet
            p
            partypants Jun 13, 2007 12:44 PM

            There were other texts... none relating to the mac... but that is for another site ;)

          2. re: partypants
            hrhboo Jun 13, 2007 12:29 PM

            I'm so glad it went well. Now you've got me jonesing for that mac!

      2. hyacinthgirl Jun 12, 2007 11:06 AM

        I love Nook and I think it's great for a date. But if you already know she gets lost easily... maybe go for Nook on a second date. The first time I tried to find it, I got very lost, as did the people I was meeting there.
        Italian is easy for people whose tastes you're not sure of. I might suggest Pizzicotta on San Vicente. Easy to find, not super expensive. It's a very small space, but it feels pretty cozy and casual. Good food, nice waitstaff. It would make a good low pressure date.

        1. PseudoNerd Jun 12, 2007 02:21 AM

          There are so many other recommendations for Nook that I won't bother (even though I kinda did).

          How about Osteria Latini? It's relatively easy to find, intimate, not very sceney (so she probably won't be looking over your shoulder to check the crowd out), not very loud ,and not very expensive (in comparison with other places you could go to). That drink with gelato and prosecco served at the end is a always a charming touch.

          1. f
            Frank_Santa_Monica Jun 11, 2007 08:37 PM

            I would go to The Ivy in Santa Monica on Ocean Ave. It's easy to find. It's a few blocks off of the 10 fwy. It'll cost you $150, easily, though. I think it's a GREAT first date place. Great drinks. Food is just alright, but hey. But, it's nice and dim. There's a nice buzz to the room.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Frank_Santa_Monica
              goodhealthgourmet Jun 11, 2007 09:43 PM

              there's also 'i cugini' next door to the ivy...or the lobster across the street...or a little further down that stretch of ocean ave, there's 'boa' if you want to impress her with more of a 'scene' [you mentioned she likes steakhouses]. she should be able to find any of them pretty easily.

              good luck! :)

            2. n
              Nicole Jun 11, 2007 08:12 PM

              Agree with the Violet recs. Good date environment, and it's fun the share the small plates...good first date activity. A lot of the items are updated comfort food...so good for a foodies and accessible for a non-foodie. Price is reasonable. And easily accessible from the 405.

              1. Emme Jun 11, 2007 06:57 PM

                Violet and Nook are good choices.

                I'd also consider Upstairs2.

                You could also hit up The Gardens on Glendon or Palomino in Westwood.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Emme
                  h
                  handlertaper Jun 11, 2007 07:12 PM

                  My friends who date like going to Palomino, Napa Grill, or The Gardens. All of them have a menu with lots of choices and the atmosphere is nice. Food works too!!! In West L.A. there is Il Moro. You can sit on the patio which is nice and it is easy to access from the Freeway.

                2. c
                  clairelouise Jun 11, 2007 05:53 PM

                  Another vote for Nook! It's fits all of your reqs. Good luck!

                  1. hrhboo Jun 11, 2007 04:57 PM

                    Violet would be my pick - it's delicious, romantic and right near the freeway!

                    7 Replies
                    1. re: hrhboo
                      a_and_w Jun 11, 2007 05:00 PM

                      I keep meaning to try Violet. Any recs?

                      1. re: a_and_w
                        hrhboo Jun 11, 2007 05:03 PM

                        I've been pleased with every dish I've eaten there, but standouts are the mac n' cheese (ruined me for life), pork chop with polenta, zaatar fries and mussels. The menu is seasonal and changes frequently.

                      2. re: hrhboo
                        l
                        LAmonkeygirl Jun 13, 2007 12:13 PM

                        We just ate at Violet for the first time, about two weeks ago. I was severely underwhelmed--the lights were on too bright, so I could see how much the carpet needed vacuuming, the food was exceptionally uninteresting except for the nice cheese plate to start the meal, a dessert selection so boring that we actually skipped it and went to Milk instead.

                        I saw the chef walking around and talking to guests, and he was much more avant garde than the food. Mind you, I am not someone who enjoys foams and other conceptual cooking that entertains bored palates. But the very average fare at Violet, combined with miniscule portions that barely suffice as small plates, is not worth the expense. We could have gone to Lucques Sunday supper for the same price and have been much more happy.

                        1. re: LAmonkeygirl
                          hrhboo Jun 13, 2007 12:30 PM

                          Violet isn't supposed to be avant garde, it's comfort food done very well.

                          1. re: hrhboo
                            l
                            LAmonkeygirl Jun 13, 2007 12:39 PM

                            I don't like avant garde--comfort is great. And that's why I like Nook.

                            1. re: LAmonkeygirl
                              p
                              partypants Jun 13, 2007 12:42 PM

                              I really wanted to try Nook, and I will soon.... but for what I was asking for? This place nailed it.

                              1. re: partypants
                                l
                                LAmonkeygirl Jun 13, 2007 02:18 PM

                                I'm glad you had a good experience. Hope you get a second date! ;)

                      3. d
                        dinami Jun 11, 2007 04:29 PM

                        You didn't mention Italian but Guido's is a nice romantic environment with booths and is actually quiet! Great italian food. Santa Monica/Bundy

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: dinami
                          c
                          cupcake Jun 11, 2007 04:52 PM

                          VITO on Ocean Park and 28th!! Right off the 10 at Bundy!! Great food, dark and cozy. : )

                        2. a_and_w Jun 11, 2007 04:23 PM

                          How about Nook? Upscale comfort food plus easy access from the freeway. Only trick is finding the actual restaurant, which is hidden in the back of a mini-mall.

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