The Ivy- with kids(?)
Our friends have a 12 hour layover in LA so we are trying to plan some fun, only-in-LA kind of experiences to pack in to the short time. We thought it would be exciting for them to do lunch at the Ivy for a little celeb/paparazzi action- but not sure if it would be an issue for their kids (ages 5 and 9). I have only eaten there once and I didn't notice whether or not there were kids around. I think I remember the menu being relatively kid friendly (pizza, pasta, etc.) Anyone know from experience? Also, any other kid-friendly suggestions (probably around Hollywood, Bev Hills..) would be appreciated! (Though I would like to stay away from chains and diners, preferably.) Thanks in advance. :)
I don't think I've seen kids at The Ivy either, but they should be fine there, and the menu is definitely conducive to kids, though the portions are so huge they will have leftovers. I'm thinking it just might not be worth the price for this reason. But I love it.
If they eat seafood, maybe try The Lobster in Santa Monica (I'm guessing your friends' layover is via LAX, so this wouldn't be very far - by the way, there is an Ivy in Santa Monica too...). The Lobster will give everyone a fantastic view of the ocean and the Santa Monica pier & ferris wheel.
Asia de Cuba in West Hollywood has an amazing outdooor patio, poolside view of LA, and it's on the Sunset Strip, so you can drive up and down there before or after lunch to look at all the billboards and stuff. The lunch menu is really good too - Cuban-style sandwiches, pizzas, fried rice, etc. in relatively normal portions.
You probably won't get the celeb/paparrazzi effect at Lobster or Asia de Cuba though. But they are great tasting with great views and should be fine for kids.
1602 Ocean Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90401
Asia De Cuba
8440 W. Sunset Boulevard, West Hollywood, CA 90069
If they're well-behaved, it's no problem... there's fried chicken that's definitely good as well as pastas. I'm sure others may try and dissaude your going there, but I think it's got its merits, even if pricey for the fare. I must admit loving the grilled veggie salad.
For fun, I'd take the kids to Griddle Cafe on Sunset for decadent breakfast fare.
Lucky Devils is good for burgers on Hollywood Blvd.
I'd also suggest Urth Cafe on Melrose for celeb sightings.
Depending upon the day, Barney Greengrass at Barney's is good for celebs as well.
For more only in LA, you could head up the coast to Malibu to Malibu Seafood or Neptune's Net.
I don't recall ever seeing kids at the Ivy, and I've eaten there many times (lunch and dinner). If the menu is "kid-friendly" it's only by coincidence, because the restaurant definitely does not make an effort to appeal to children. Also, although I've seen celebrities there on multiple occasions, especially during lunch, I wouldn't count on "celeb/paparazzi action." Even if there is a celebrity in attendance, it probably won't be one the children would recognize.
Instead of likely dissapointment at the Ivy, what about eating where you're guaranteed an "LA kind of experience?" How about eating somwehre on Rodeo Drive? Perhaps the cafes at Fred Siegel or Barney's? If that's not your cup of tea, take them to eat somewhere near Man's Chineese theatre so they can see the stars. These suggestions are, of course, all very cliche, but that seems to be what you're looking for.
Thanks to everyone for all the great suggestions!
PlatypusJ- cliche is probably what I am going for here- with only 12 hours- they want to do the silly tourist, where the "action" is kind of stuff. I am not counting on a celeb sighting at the Ivy necessarily (and even that would not be for the kiddies- they are 5 & 9- celebrity equals Mickey Mouse in their eyes) but rather a nice outdoor setting that both kids and parents would be comfortable. Somewhere where the focus is as much or more about the experience as the food. I think the fact that you have never seen kids there says a lot esp if you have eaten there several times, so I will definitely look into the other suggestions. Thanks!
I think The Farm in Beverly Hills would be more kid friendly than The Ivy. I agree that if the food at The Ivy is kid friendly, it is purely a coincidence. It's so full of bric a brac I think it would seem stuffy to the kids. If you eat at The Farm you can stroll around the shops in downtown Beverly Hills, including Rodeo Drive.
When my kids were about that age I frequently took them to The Ivy (both locations). They loved The Ivy! They especially loved the fried chicken (which is amazing), fish and chips and pasta. They also (surprise, surprise) adored the hot fudge sundaes. The servers were always very nice to the kids. As the portions are huge, definitely recommend asking for split portions.
Second this. The Ivy on Robertson is perfectly fine with kids. My old boss took his 3 kids and wife for lunch and dinner all the time with the youngest starting going there at 2 (now 5) and the oldest at 6 (now 9). Never had a problem though they'd usually do splits for the kids meals otherwise there would always be a large amount of leftovers.
The Ivy at the Shore is pretty far from the Robertson experience (both food, setting, and celebrity quotient)