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Fun, trendy restaurant for one night in LA

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I'm visiting LA for one night with my husband. We're looking for a trendy restaurant, good food and I'm looking for the chance to see some celebrities (not to sound like a dork). We're early 30's and live in a major city so we're used to city life. We don't want to completely break the bank but we want a nice time too. Any suggestions??

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  1. I'd say either Osteria Mozza or Pizzeria Mozza would be good bets.

    1. Dolce is definitely trendy (the bar is literally on fire) and I really liked the food and drinks when I went. Geisha House is even trendier, but I risk losing my Chowhound account just mentioning it. But I think I'd recommend Spago above either of them, and yes you CAN eat there without breaking the bank as long as you keep your eye on the prices and don't have too many courses.

      As for celebrity-spotting, the Arclight movie theater is the place I've seen the most (off the top of my head, Quentin Tarantino, Ben Stiller, David Schwimmer, and Timothy Dalton). Or go bar-hopping in Hollywood.

      5 Replies
      1. re: nick_r

        I wouldn't consider Dolce or Geisha House trendy anymore.

        1. re: mollyomormon

          Geisha House may not be the #1 hottest spot in town, but it's not exactly drawing a tiny crowd of librarians after bridge club, either. Both times I've been there it's been packed with beautiful people and had an army of paparazzi at the door, so I guess it depends on your definition of "trendy."

          The Mozzas have great food (Osteria by personal experience, Pizzeria by reputation) but they're definitely an older, staid-er crowd.

          1. re: nick_r

            I guess I meant more that it's highly unlikely that you'd actually see someone famous at Geisha House anymore considering that it was a hot spot more than two years ago. I wasn't trying to be offensive, it's just that LA's a fickle place in terms of hot spots. To the OP, you might want to check EaterWatch on eaterla.com as they post celebrity sitings and you might get an idea there.

            1. re: mollyomormon

              Yes, it's very fickle and really *trying* to spot celebs on any given night is usually a losing battle. The PrivacyWatch postings on Defamer are a good place to check as well.

              1. re: nick_r

                Mozza and Il Sole are probably the best bets on any given night. Most recently saw Damien Rice at the bar of Hungry Cat.

      2. il sole is a popular celeb hangout, as is dan tana's...and i've had consistently good meals & regular celeb sightings on the patio at pane e vino.

        unfortunately, none of these places are really 'trendy' per se.

        if you were willing to break the bank, i'd suggest cut.

        maybe one of the newer places in culver city?

        1. If it were me and I had only one night in LA, I'd spend it at Bar Marmont (not the Chateau up the hill, but the bar down on Sunset.). Great food, drinks and vibe. As for celebrities, last time I was there I saw Drew Barrymore. Does she still count?

          1. Mastro's Steakhouse in Beverly Hills - I havent eaten there myself but have heard a lot about it.

            Koi on La Cienega for celebrity spotting.

            2 Replies
            1. re: eadj2006

              I do not eat at these places, but I must admit on occasion read gossip mags/sites....! Top ones seem to be Il Sole, Mr. Chow, Spago, and Koi... Have had several sightings at Arclight as well and at the Sunset Plaza (no good restaurants there though) across the street from Marmont.

              1. re: LaLa Eat

                DO NOT waste your money at mastro's. it's way overpriced, the food is mediocre at best, the service is worse...and you'll likely be disappointed with the celeb factor...unless you'd be satisfied with a don johnson sighting. he's a mastro's regular, but the rest of them have migrated a few blocks away to cut.

                i wouldn't say koi is really 'trendy' anymore - it's been open for so many years - but the food is good, the ambience is very "l.a." and it is something of a celeb hangout.

                spago's another one that's not necessarily a trendy hotspot, but definitely good for seeing a famous face or two. sometimes the people who show up at spago can be pretty amusing...the last time i had dinner there we were sitting next to latoya jackson. totally random.

                mr. chow is another one that pretty much guarantees you a sighting, but again, it's not necessarily 'trendy.'

                i like the rec for bar marmont. the food's pretty solid, the scene is good, and it is sort of a hotspot.

                so i guess i'd say koi or marmont for dinner.

                for breakfast, either urth on melrose or hugo's on santa monica blvd...both in weho. i always see famous faces at both.

            2. You might also plan to have coffee and/or breakfast at the Urth Caffe on Melrose. I almost never leave there without seeing a celebrity. Will Ferrell last time. Queen Latifah the time before.

              1 Reply
              1. re: wutzizname

                Ha! Now I know where Queen Latifah went after seeing her in the a.m at Sunset Plaza! I was thinking Urth on Melrose as well but it is a breakfast spot...

              2. Lunch at The Ivy (on Robertson), then dinner at Koi, Spago, or Asia de Cuba (a bit past its prime, but still I see lots of celebs there), or the Bar Marmont. Go on a weeknight (Thursday, mayhaps) for a higher "real celeb-to-wannabe" ratio.

                Mr. Chow can be hit-or-miss with celeb sightings.

                Warning: Spago may break the bank...

                Oh, also... late night burgers at the Polo Lounge at The Beverly Hills Hotel can often result in a high celeb yield.

                2 Replies
                1. re: J.L.

                  We almost always see celebrities at Giorgio's in Santa Monica Canyon and at Matsuhisa in Beverly Hills, especially on week nights. I agree also, about the Ivy. The Grill in Beverly Hills has really good food and is bustling at lunch time during the week.

                  1. re: handlertaper

                    the ivy is tricky...celebs tend to avoid it during prime times. you're more likely to see them there at lunchtime midweek.

                    the matsuhisa suggestion reminded memof one more...it's a schlep, but nobu in malibu fits the bill.