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BEST small plates restaurant in LA???

I'm looking for a restaurant that has yummy small plates. I like eating lots of different dishes instead of one entree. Any suggestions???

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  1. Lots of great choices nowdays. I will start the ball rolling with just three of them:

    A.O.C. [3rd near Fairfax] -- Cal-Med

    Orris [Sawtelle between Olympic and Santa Monica] -- Franco-Japonaise

    Celadon [3rd near Fairfax] -- Pan-Asian

    3 Replies
    1. re: New Trial

      Those are my choices, plus I would add Mako for dinner.

      Also, Craft divides its menu into appetizers, entrees and sides, but it is basically small plates served family style.

        1. re: New Trial

          Outside of the activity center of midcity/westside/hollywood

          there are 3 places I like

          750ml (because its in a cute quaint setting)
          Torrance's Musha (because it is better than santa monica's)
          Japonica (because it is the best no-frills good tasting sake traditional tokyo style izakaya around)

          all are far away but can become fun day trips if you plan a good iteneray.

          Also tinto and tasca TRY to offer spanish tapas but arent as good as the other suggestions.

        2. cube
          lou on vine
          bar marmont
          3rd stop

          2 Replies
          1. re: Emme

            I've been meaning to go to Lou - "pig candy" sounds delicious. Any recommended dishes?

            1. re: rastan

              the caramelized onion tart
              cheese plates
              chocolate pot

          2. I also like A.O.C., and even though this is a disputed one on the board, I like Cobras and Matadors on Beverly as well. We are also big fans of Mako in Beverly Hills.

            1. Thanks so much for the suggestions!!! Any other ones you can think of :)

              1. Here are some Japanese (non-sushi) suggestions


                  1. Cobras and Matador on Beverly
                    I second Primitivo
                    Beachwood in MDR
                    Orris is Divine.. ( best of the crop in my opinion)

                    1. Have you tried Cantonese dim sum, or are you referring to non-Chinese small plates?

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: raytamsgv

                        non-chinese small plates...and yes I have tried dim sum. LOVE IT!!! But I' m not chinese so I usually only get the clear dumplings. I'm sure I'm missing out on a tone of other great food.

                      2. orris
                        izakaya sasaya
                        terried sake house

                        1 Reply
                        1. You can always order multiple appetizers instead of an entree. I often do this, especially since at some restaurants the appetizers seem to be far more interesting than the entrees. I've always asked the waiter/waitress if it's okay if I do so, and so far, nobody has objected. It's not necessarily any cheaper, but then you do get to sample more of the menu. Most recently I've done this at Grace and Hatfield's.

                          1. I love Ciudad! Everything is so tasty!

                            1. My new favorite is Minibar, it rocks! The kitchen is very Latin-inspired, and they're rightly proud of the great eats they're kicking out. Great decor and relaxed ambience, and it's more affordable than many other small plate restaurants. In fact, I think they still have a happy hour special from like 4-7 on weekdays where you can order lots of their plates for 4 bucks each. Right outside the entrance to Universal Studios Drive on Cahuenga.

                              1. Yes - Orris and A.O.C. are fantastic. I also like Axe, La Paella, Monsieur Marcel, and Ford's Filling Station for this kind of meal, even though none of these four are "small plates" restaurants.

                                Also, I just heard about a new restaurant, Hidden, that seems like a promising place to find small plates.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: ElissaInPlaya

                                  Ford's Filling Station reminded me of Fraiche, also in Culver City. Fraiche has great small pasta plates, and also appetizers.

                                2. Primitivo on Abbott Kinney and Cobras & Matadors - i agree

                                  had a not so good meal at A.O.C. haven't been back in a long time.

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: Jaybay

                                    I've had 3 more-than-not-so-good-meals at AOC.
                                    Their food: FLACCID
                                    The servive: Lame
                                    The hype: hype
                                    My verdict: what's the point.

                                    1. re: tatertotsrock

                                      Add TABLE 8 to the list. Their lounge menu is great, particulary Short Rib Grilled Cheese, Lobster Roll and Kobe Slider.

                                      Table 8
                                      7661 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046

                                      1. re: tatertotsrock

                                        Interesting. I was also extremely unimpressed, but in the face of the continuous hype, I thought it was just my meal. Looks like the AOC has bigger issues.

                                        Of all the places on this list (haven't tried Ciudad yet), Musha is my favorite by far. Not always great, but a diverse, unique Izikaya menu with lots of specials and great social atmosphere. I also like Upstairs 2 quite a bit as well, as its got a great wine bar & unpretentious atmosphere, although its less of a true 'small plate' restaurant.

                                        I've had very bad luck with tapas in LA and have been very surprised by the lack of good Spanish options here (I lived in Barcelona so I shouldn't be too full of hot air).

                                        I haven't tried the new Tinto yet on Santa Monica in WeHo. Has anyone been there yet?

                                      1. Has anyone been to the Japanese place on Wilshrie Blvd in Brentwood next to Cabo Cantina, now offering a "Japanese tapas happy hour?" Any good?

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: Emme

                                          UPDATE: It's not anywhere near Cabo; it's called "Z" Japanese Tapas Bar, and it's a couple of doors down from Amandine... anyone been yet? I keep running by it, but forgetting about it come meal time...